With the Ronin-S, DJI released a one-hand gimbal that comes in a handy styrofoam case, much like the ones they use for their Inspire or Phantom drones. It’s nice because everything here has its place, but keep in mind that you will have to loosen all the joints in order to fit the Ronin S in there, meaning that you will always loose your balance settings.
It’s very simple to put together all its main pieces – the battery, the gimbal which includes the “brain” and controller of the unit, and this nice little stand which can also double as an extension of the device to hold it better. DJI went for an “angled” design of the roll motor at the back, it’s further down than on most other one-hand gimbals – and that means that it doesn’t block the screen, which is really amazing! I always prefer to use the build-in screen in order not to add any additional weight with accessories.
Talking about weight – I already mentioned the weight of the big Ronin rigs earlier – well, let me add that the Ronin-S unfortunately isn’t a lightweight either. At 4.1 pounds or 1.86 kilograms, it’s among the heaviest one-hand gimbals out there, alongside the Tilta Gravity for example. That’s a far cry from the 12.1 pounds or 5.5 kilograms of a Ronin-2 of course, but it’s still a lot for something that you are supposed to hold in one hand. And of course, you need to still add the weight of a camera on top of that!
When I used the Ronin-S on a recent shoot in Italy and Switzerland, I actually didn’t mind the weight so much. I often walked around with it for a full day, resting it on my hip with the stand when I didn’t use it. It’s MUCH less apparent than a two-handed gimbal, which makes it really great for shoots within crowds.
One reason why the Ronin-S is so heavy is its super strong battery. DJI claims that this battery, which also doubles as the grip of the unit, lasts up to 12 hours. And after using it for over a week on that shoot and charging it only 2 times so far, I have no reason to believe that this claim isn’t valid. Very impressive to say the least. DJI is so confident about the performance of this battery that they are currently not even selling it separately.