Overall, the Ronin SC’s build is fantastic. The handle feels nice and is comfortable to hold, the button layout makes sense, and the focus motor feels smooth, although it has a short travel and sometimes can be a bit too sensitive. It has a black matte finish, which does get scratched up easily but still looks good.
More important than the looks are the Ronin SC’s clever design bits. The ability to lock all axes helps when you balance it and with transporting the gimbal. The battery also detaches to make it even more portable. DJI says the battery will last 11 hours, which is just an hour less than the larger Ronin S. Battery life will largely depend on how well the gimbal is balanced and if motors have to work extra hard to keep the camera steady. In my testing, it easily lasted more than a day’s worth of filming. DJI also added a little clip on the camera plate, which means the next time you put the camera on, you won’t need to rebalance it. All of those little things start to add up to make for an enjoyable filming experience.
Let’s start with Active Track. If you’re familiar with DJI drones, you probably recognize this one. It basically lets you lock on to a target, like a car or a person, and then have the camera follow that subject. In order to make it work on the Ronin SC, you have to attach a phone on top of your camera. That’s when things get a bit tricky.
Lastly, the Ronin app is just really good. It is easily one of the better companion apps out there. It is stable, it connects to the gimbal almost instantly, it has a lot of customizable options, and it has multiple user profiles. Most importantly, it’s simple to use. If you’re a Fujifilm user, a lot of those features won’t work because both Ronin SC and the older Ronin S don’t support Fujifilm cameras. So features like time-lapses, motion lapses, and panoramas won’t work. DJI says it is working on enabling more Fujifilm support, but it’s not clear when those will be available.
Even without being able to take advantage of all of those features, I still kept my X-T2 on it for most of the week. I just love filming with that camera, and I genuinely loved using the Ronin SC, too. It’s small enough to bring around, and it feels like a piece of gear that will last for years.
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