While the original Ronin system required users to build potentially complex rigs to mount cameras on, the Ronin-S is essentially an Osmo Mobile built to accommodate bigger cameras and lenses. Exactly how much weight the Ronin-S can handle is still a mystery, though; the company says its high-torque motors can work with "the most popular camera and lens combinations" and specifically cites compatibility with Canon's 5D line, Panasonic's GH-series mirrorless shooters and Sony Alpha systems. While you probably shouldn't throw a massive telephoto lens onto a Ronin-S, DJI's stabilization system should work fine with more standard zooms.
We haven't tried the Ronin-S yet so we can't vouch for how smooth it is, but DJI's trademark three-axis gimbal has been a life-saver on shoots in the past, so consider us cautiously optimistic. Actually controlling the thing seems like a pretty simple affair: You'll use a tiny thumbstick for panning and framing shots, while intelligent shooting features like Panorama and Hyperlapse modes have been offloaded to the Ronin's mobile app. New to the mix are a Sport mode meant to handle frenetic motion while remaining locked onto a subject and a Push mode so you can (as DJI puts it) "adjust the pan and tilt axis by hand" while the Ronin is on. Even better, the Ronin-S is compatible with certain DJI Pro accessories in case you need additional control over your focus or want to attach other components with a cheese plate adapter.
The Ronin-S arrives sometime in the second quarter, and it already has some competition from Chinese rivals like Zhiyun and Feiyu, which offer seemingly similar gimbals for about $399. Here's hoping we get a little hands-on time with the Ronin-S this week to see how well this thing really works.
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