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With object tracking, the lightweight DJI Ronin-SC is still heavy on features

DJI’s popular Ronin-S gimbal has lost some weight. On Wednesday, July 17, DJI launched the Ronin-S Compact (SC), a three-axis gimbal designed to stabilize mirrorless cameras with one hand. But the gimbal is going mobile in more ways than one, integrating new smartphone-powered tools including subject tracking and remote control of the camera’s movement.

Weighing 2.4 pounds, the DJI Ronin-SC is 41% lighter than the original. As the heavier hitter, the Ronin-S remains geared for heavier cameras, while the SC supports camera-lens combos up to 4.4 pounds, including most major mirrorless cameras from brands like Sony, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, and Fujifilm.

Despite the weight loss, the Ronin-SC is constructed with magnesium, steel, aluminum, and composite plastic and offers motorized three-axis stabilization. Designed with a single handle, DJI says the smaller form factor both makes the gimbal more portable and makes the system easier to use for long stretches. The gimbal itself will last for up to 11 hours with the built-in battery.

Along with the more mobile form factor, the Ronin-SC integrates a handful of new shooting options. Force Mobile adjusts the position of the gimbal remotely by synchronizing a smartphone’s movements to the gimbal — move the smartphone, and the gimbal will follow the same motion. The Bluetooth connection powers the feature from up to 82 feet away.

Arriving in the Ronin series for the first time, ActiveTrack 3.0 borrows the tracking technology from the Osmo series and some DJI drones. Without a connection to the camera to see the action, the ActiveTrack 3.0 instead uses the view from a smartphone camera to track the action. A mobile phone mount, used on the mirrorless hotshoe, is included with the Ronin-SC for the tracking feature.

The gimbal’s app also powers features like a virtual joystick, time-lapse and motion-lapses, motion control, and panoramas.

Like the heavier Ronin-S, the Ronin-SC also uses a joystick and mode buttons to control the gimbal’s movement and settings, including a sports mode for responding to faster camera movements. But unlike the earlier gimbal, the Ronin-SC includes locks for all three axes to help balance the camera or keep the gimbal in place while tucked in a bag. A new position lock system allows for faster remounts once the gimbal is balanced.

The lower capacity of the Ronin-SC also pushes the price point down compared to the Ronin-S. The Ronin-SC will be available for $439 in a standard kit, or for $539 with a Remote Start Stop Splitter and a new lightweight external focus motor. DJI Care Refresh is available for $49, a form of one-year gimbal coverage that will replace up to two damaged Ronin-SCs.

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