DJI’s Ronin 4D is a next-generation cinematography system that is geared towards professional filmmakers. It boasts the industry’s first active-vertical 4-axis stabilization technique. This review will start with an introduction to the DJI Ronin 4D. Let’s explore with Lucidcam
DJI Ronin 4D Reviews
Highlights of Ronin 4D ecosystem
- CineCore 3.0 provides an internal 8K RAW codec that allows for precise color reproduction.
- ZenmuseX9-6K supports up 6K/60fps or 4K/120fps. Zenmuse 8K supports up to 8K/75fps.
- X9 8K, 6K get H.264 codecs, Apple ProRes and ProRes Raw.
- 4-Axis Stabilization System: The industry’s first active Z-axis that eliminates vertical camera shake
- ActiveTrack Pro is for complex and advanced tracking shots.
- LiDAR Range Finder offers a more precise, reliable, and faster focusing experience.
- 4D Video Transmitter transmits a 1080p/60fps video feed to remote monitors at a range of nearly 20,000 feet.
- High-Bright Remote Monitor combines a wireless video receiver with a 7-inch, 1,500-nit monitor.
DJI Ronin 4D Cinema camera
The Ronin 4D is equipped with Zenmuse X9, DJI’s flagship full-frame sensor camera. It also comes in 6K and 8K shooting options.
The 8K option may have you reenacting Scream scenes, but you will have to wait until the prequel. You can pre-order the DJI 6K option today.
The X9-8K, as well as the X9-6K, feature DJI’s latest image processing technology, CineCore 3.0. They can record Apple ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes RAW, and your standard H.264 codec – the only camera capable of doing that without an Atomos recorder.
DJI claims that this is their most powerful cinematic image platform.
Ronin 4D: Imaging System And Zenmuse X9 Camera
DJI’s most powerful cinematic image platform, the Ronin4D, is now available.
CineCore 3.0 is powered by a flagship proprietary chipset. It delivers an 8K RAW codec, precise color reproduction, advanced assist functions, and multi-link control with low latency image processing.
The Zenmuse X9 gimbal camera comes in both 8K and 6K models, allowing content creators to capture footage at cinematic quality.
In addition to the H.264 codec, both X9-8K & X9-6K is able to record Apple ProRes and ProRes Raw internally, giving more flexibility for post-production editing.
ZenmuseX9-6K supports 6K/60fps or 4K/120fps. ZenmuseX9-8K supports 8K/75fps. The creators have multiple options to capture cinema-quality footage.
The dual native EI 800/5,000 and more than 14 stops of the dynamic distance allow content creators to capture rich colors in any shooting situation.
DJI Ronin 4D’s DJI Cinema Colour System (DCCS) delivers natural skin tones even in difficult lighting conditions. It also allows for seamless tonal consistency across projects when different cinema cameras are used.
The camera comes with nine-stop physical ND filters. This makes it easy to adjust to dramatically changing lighting conditions, especially outside.
The X9 also features an interchangeable lens mount design that allows connection to DJI’s proprietary DL mount, Leica M mounting (pictured below), as well as other mounts with short-flange focal lengths. The new Ronin can accept a wide range of lenses such as anamorphic lenses, ultra-large aperture lenses, and vintage manual lenses.
More information can be found in the Ronin4D lens compatibility Guide and the Ronin4D recording specifications guide.
4-Axis Stabilisation System
Ronin 4D has an industry-first active Z-axis that effectively eliminates vertical camera shake.
Operators can shoot dynamically while running, walking, or running. There is no need to practice pacing and don’t rely on any external equipment.
Ronin4D can even capture wide sliding shots without the need for a dolly.
This unprecedented fluidity is achieved by the Ronin4D thanks to an advanced algorithm that processes inputs from a number of sensors, including downward ToF sensors and forward and downward dual vision sensors. It also has an IMU and barometer.
Ronin 4D, even with the Z-axis, is smaller and lighter than professional cinema cameras mounted on three-axis stabilizers. This reduces the size and complexity required to set up a professional camera system in an ideal way.
ActiveTrack Pro uses unique DJI technology to obtain complex, advanced tracking shots quickly and efficiently. The Pro version of DJI’s ActiveTrack system uses DJI Ronin 4D’s most recent artificial intelligence to track subjects at longer distances and adjust composition to ensure optimal framing.
DJI Ronin 4D Focusing System – LiDAR & Automated Manual Focus
Let’s discuss focusing. Because the sensor does not have phase-detection points, traditional autofocusing is not possible. They are shipping the DJI Ronin 4D equipped with a Lidar focus system, which actually works very well. You can use it to control autofocus, even with E-Mount lenses.
Autofocus is not the only option. You can also use the focus wheel on your right-hand grip to manually focus the lens. Ronin 4D uses the lens motor to focus and allows for extremely precise distance readings. Lidar Waveform is an innovative assistive focusing tool. It shows distance to objects in front of the lens from a top-down perspective.
DJI also offers a lens motor that allows for fully manual lenses to be used with its Ronin 4D and Lidar technology. Combining the two can make fully manual lenses instantly become autofocus lenses once they have been calibrated. After changing lenses, lens calibrations can easily be saved and reloaded.
Automated Manual Focus is a combination of autofocus/manual focus. The focus wheel on your right grip rotates when the focus point moves. This allows you to manually focus by jumping in. This is a very intuitive and smart function!
ActiveTrack Pro can also be used to track people and other subjects with DJI’s AI technology. This is what DJI drones already tell us. This makes complex movements around the subject much simpler.
New O3 Pro Transmission Technology
The 4D Video Transmitter uses DJI’s new O3 Pro transmission technology. It outputs a 1080p/60fps video feed to remote monitors. This transmission range is nearly 20,000 feet (FCC compliant).
AES256-bit encryption protects the video feed, and the industry-leading low latency ensures smooth, real-time monitoring as operators move around the set.
O3 Pro supports both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequencies, which significantly improves stability and anti-interference performance in noisy signal environments or locations with complex architectural structures.
This system allows multiple receivers to be connected to one transmitter, and users can quickly switch feeds between different Ronin 4Ds.
Additional High-Bright Remote Monitor combines a wireless video receiver with a 7-inch, 1,500-nit monitor.
For motion-based camera control, the built-in gyrosensor turns the monitor into an action controller. You can connect it to the Ronin 4D Hand Grips or DJI Master Wheels, DJI Force Pro, or the new DJI Three Channel Follow Focus to modernize coordinated shoots.
Multiple remote monitors can be used together to playback content with their own LUT. This allows them to work independently of each other without interfering. MicroSD cards can be used to record proxy footage at up to 1080p/60fps.
Storage, Sound Recording, And Battery Life
DJI Ronin 4D has three storage options.
- USB SSD: 4K projects available with a cost-effective solution
- The CFexpress Type B card: Provides stability and compatibility.
- DJI’s PRO SSD 1TB is the most reliable and stable internal recorder at maximum resolution and frame rates.
Ronin 4D includes microphones for sound recording. They can record 24-bit audio in 2-channels. You can also use the two 3.5mm jacks located on the body or the two XLR ports on Expansion Plate to add additional input or output options.
Inspire two and Ronin 2 drones are highly acclaimed. The Ronin4D is powered by TB50 intelligent batteries. It can shoot for up to 2.5 hours, with a full charge in approximately 1.5 hours.
The battery is highly reliable and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
Ronin 4D: What’s in the Box
- Two packages are available: the 8K and 6K combos.
- The 6K version – priced at PS5,999 – includes the main body, a Zenmuse X9-6K Gimbal camera, LiDAR Range Finder, and High-Bright Main Monitor. Hand Grips, Top Handle, and TB50 Intelligent Batteries.
- The 8K version, priced at PS9,499, features the Zenmuse X9-8K Gimbal Camera as well as a PROSSD1TB.
- You can also purchase the 4D Video Transmitter and High-Bright Remote Monitor separately.
X9 Camera Vs X7 Camera
The X9 camera is the latest addition to DJI’s X series. It follows the powerful X7 that was designed for the DJI Inspire 2.
The X9 and X7 serve different purposes. The X9 can take 8K photos, while the X7 can shoot 6K.
It is important to note that they should not be considered rivals but rather part of a high-quality ecosystem of DJI cinematography products, which can be combined on-set to create amazing footage from the air and ground.
Manual focus is then possible. DJI employs an innovative feature called Lidar Waveform to help you focus. This is a new assistive tool that displays distances from objects in front. This allows cinematographers to pinpoint focus points and to pull with great precision. You can manually focus the focus wheel by placing your right-hand grip on the focus wheel.
The Ronin 4D uses the motor of the lens to focus. It also allows for precise distance readings. After calibrating lenses, lens calibrations can be saved and then easily reloaded.
Automated Manual Focus
Last but not least, the Automated Manual Focus (AMF) was added. This mode combines autofocus and manual focus (although I doubt it would be called anything else).
The AMF combines the flexibility and accuracy of manual focus with autofocus. Additionally, the focus wheel rotates in accordance with the change of the focus point. You can, however, use manual control as a cinematographer to create an intuitive experience.
The right-hand grip’s focus wheel features electromagnetic technology and dynamic damping, which gives cinematographers an actual sense of how the focus changes.
High Frame Rates And Dual Native ISO
The Zenmuse X9-6K supports dual-native ISOs of 800 and 5000, and the X9-8K 800 or 4000. DJI claims that both have over 14 stops of dynamic range.
Zenmuse X9-8K is capable of 75fps at full-frame 2.39.1 and X9-6K at 60fps at full-frame 2.08:1. You can also get 120fps footage at 4K resolution at 120fps. Zenmuse X9-8K has 35.4MP pixels, while X9-6K boasts 24.1MP.
Full-frame recording can be done in ProRes RAW or standard ProRes codecs. However, if you need 4K ProRes Raw, you will need to switch to the Super35 crop option. In the Super35 mode, you can record 4K120 in ProRes Raw. These higher frame rates can be cropped to the top and bottom.
Interchangeable lenses: DL-mount, E-mount, M-mount
The X9 camera supports interchangeable lenses mounts, including DJI’s proprietary mount and the DL mount.
Each lens is only 180g in weight because the housing is monocoque carbon fiber and lightweight.
Mounts such as Sony’s E and Leica’s M mounts can be attached to the Ronin 4D’s mounted lens. The new Ronin 4D allows you to use a wide distance of lenses, such as anamorphic and ultra-large aperture lenses.
Electronic mounts allow you to adjust the focus and aperture of these lenses via the Ronin4D.
Integrated Monitor Design
The 4D video transmitter is easily mounted on Ronin 4D. It can also be powered by the main body’s battery. DJI has a new and improved High-bright remote 7-inch monitor. It is 1,500-nit bright, with a built-in gyro. This makes the monitor a motion controller for Ronin 4D.
You will need to pay approximately $1699 more to purchase the monitor. The additional video transmitter is required and can be purchased for $399. You get a completely remote-controlled monitor with focus, recording, and camera settings. You can also playback raw footage remotely.
The High-Bright Remote monitor has an integrated microSD slot that allows for proxy recording at 1080p/60fps. It can also be connected to a variety of accessories such as the DJI Force Pro, DJI Master Wheels, and DJI Force Pro. Multiple remote monitors can be used together to playback clips without interfering with each other.
This interface is amazing in its simplicity and intuitiveness. This interface is similar to that of Blackmagic cameras. It’s also well-organized and optimized for touch operation. If you are unable to touch it, there is a navigation wheel located on the side. This makes it simple to use, even if you have gloves.
9 SStops Of Built-in ND Filters
ND stops are built into the X9 camera. The NDs distance from one-half to 1/512th strength – which is more than most cameras.
An internal motorized system allows you to quickly and easily switch between ND filters.
You can adjust to extreme changes in lighting conditions with the built-in ND filters, which are 9-stop. This is especially important if you shoot outdoors.
Science Of Color
We’ll be continuing the discussion on ND filters by looking at color science in cameras.
Zenmuse X9 can create cinematic images by retaining true and accurate colors using the DJI Cinema Color System. The DCCS provides natural skin tones and allows for seamless tonal consistency by incorporating the industry-standard ACES workflow. This ensures that the DCCS is compatible with other cinema cameras’ color tones.
The ActiveTrack Pro version, which is based on DJI’s existing ActiveTrack systems, uses Ronin 4D’s latest artificial intelligence to track subjects at longer distances and adjust composition to ensure optimal framing.
ActiveTrack has been updated to allow subjects to be tracked at longer distances. It also features composition adjustment and continuous autofocusing to ensure subjects remain in focus during tracking shots.
The camera’s body does not have any sound inputs. Although it does have a microphone built-in, that won’t be used for reference; audio will be sufficient. You can, however, add a CLR connector with an expansion plate.
Ronin 4D includes microphones for sound recording. They can record dual-channel 24-bit audio. You can also add additional input and output options by adding two 3.5mm jacks to the body or two XLR ports to the Expansion Plate.
Limitations For DJI Ronin 4D
All good things have to come to an end.
The Ronin 4D has some great features, but nobody is perfect. This camera is no exception.
Let’s now get down to the Ronin 4D. We’ll talk about the potential downsides of this gimbal camera.
There are limited lens options
The Ronin 4D is a cinema camera with significant limitations. Due to their weight, zoom lenses cannot be attached to the camera.
The majority of lenses compatible with Ronin 4D lenses are prime lenses. Only six small zoom lenses are possible to be attached.
SIRUI35mm or SIRUI50mm 1.33X anamorphic lenses are not allowed to be attached. This may seem counterintuitive, as anamorphic lenses are often paired with popcorns or a coca-cola on a big screen.
It is a heavy camera (and a gimbal).
Cameras can be very heavy. Gimbals can also be very heavy. A combination of both can be very heavy.
The Ronin 4D is almost 5 kg once all components have been attached, without the lens.
DJI’s new camera is designed for running n’ gun shooting. You need to be able to move freely. You should be able to keep the gimbal in front of you for longer periods. However, 5 kg of pure aluminum can be difficult and could put a lot on your back.
It’s also difficult to get the lens to eye level. Contrary to one-hand gimbals that are held on the sides, your hands are at the same level as the lens. This means you will need to raise your arms high enough to film someone at eye height.
Some other cameras you can learn more about:
- DJI Action 2 Review 2022: Best Choice For You
- DJI Osmo Action Review: Best Choice 2022 For You
- DJI Osmo Plus Review: Best Choice 2022 For You
The Ronin 4D is truly a revolutionary product in the world of photography. Its features, convenience, and usability are what make it one of the best buys when it comes to stabilizing gimbals. As the world goes crazy about moving pictures, it is important to keep up with all these new technology releases in order to be able to capture the best quality shots. The DJI Ronin 4D offers you the opportunity to do just that.
Lucidcam hopes this article will be helpful for you. Thank you for your reading!.