DJI Ronin 4D Professional Filmmaking Camera: Review

DJI Ronin 4D Professional Filmmaking Camera: Review

DJI launches the Ronin 4D - a comprehensive cinematography system aimed at high-end, professional filmmakers. It is the world’s first 4-axis cinema camera and features the new full-frame Zenmuse X9 gimbal camera, a LiDAR focusing system, and an unrivalled video transmission and control system.

7 minute read

  • The new DJI Ronin 4D is a comprehensive cinematography system aimed at high-end and professional filmmakers;
  • It is the world’s first 4-axis cinema camera;
  • DJI Ronin 4D combines the new full-frame Zenmuse X9 gimbal camera, the 4-axis stabilisation system, a LiDAR focusing system, and an unrivalled video transmission and control system in a single unit;
  • Two combos available: X9-8K and X9-6K;
  • Zenmuse X9-6K supports up to 6K/60fps and 4K/120fps. Zenmuse X9-8K supports up to 8K/75fps.
  • Sign up for stock notifications, also coming to heliguy™ rental soon


DJI has launched the Ronin 4D: A comprehensive, next-gen cinematography system aimed at high-end, professional filmmakers and featuring the industry’s first active-vertical 4-axis stabilisation system.

Designed to make cinema-standard production more affordable, the DJI Ronin 4D is a compact package which combines:

  • Full-frame Zenmuse X9 gimbal camera, with 8K or 6K capabilities;
  • 4-axis stabilisation system;
  • LiDAR focusing system;
  • Unrivalled video transmission and control system.


Highlights of the Ronin 4D ecosystem include:

  • CineCore 3.0 delivers internal 8K RAW codec with precise colour reproduction.
  • Zenmuse X9-6K supports up to 6K/60fps and 4K/120fps. Zenmuse X9-8K supports up to 8K/75fps.
  • X9 8K and 6K benefit from H.264 codec, Apple ProRes and ProRes RAW.
  • 4-Axis Stabilisation System: Innovative industry-first active Z-axis to eliminate vertical camera shake.
  • ActiveTrack Pro for advanced and complex tracking shots.
  • LiDAR Range Finder provides sharper, faster, and more reliable focusing experience.
  • 4D Video Transmitter outputs a 1080p/60fps feed to remote monitors with a transmission range of up to nearly 20,000 feet.
  • High-Bright Remote Monitor integrates a wireless video receiver into a 1,500-nit, 7-inch monitor.


The DJI Ronin 4D is available in 8K (£9,499) and 6K (£5,999) combos.

 

View Ronin 4D Combos and sign up for stock notifications

 

Ronin 4D: Imaging System And Zenmuse X9 Camera

The Ronin 4D is DJI's most powerful cinematic imaging platform to date. 

A flagship proprietary chipset fuels an intelligent image processing system, CineCore 3.0, which delivers an internal 8K RAW codec with precise colour reproduction, advanced assistive functions with a high-performance AI engine, and multi-link monitoring and control with low-latency image processing.

The new full-frame Zenmuse X9 gimbal camera is available in 8K and 6K versions, enabling content creators to capture footage in full cinematic quality.

 

 

In addition to the commonly used H.264 codec, both X9-8K and X9-6K can internally record Apple ProRes and ProRes RAW, leaving more latitude for editing in post.

Zenmuse X9-6K supports up to 6K/60fps and 4K/120fps, and Zenmuse X9-8K up to 8K/75fps. This gives creators multiple options for capturing cinema-quality footage.

Content creators can also capture scene with rich colour grades - regardless of shooting scenario - thanks to the dual-native EI of 800/5,000 and over 14 stops of dynamic range.

 

 

Even in complicated lighting situations, DJI Ronin 4D’s proprietary DJI Cinema Colour System (DCCS) delivers natural skin tones and enables effortless tonal consistency across a project when using different cinema cameras.

The camera has built-in nine-stop physical ND filters, making it easy to adjust to drastically changing lighting conditions, especially when outside on location.

The X9 is also equipped with an interchangeable lens mount design allowing connection to DJI’s proprietary DL mount, Leica M mount (pictured below), and other mounts with short-flange focal distances. This means that a variety of lenses, such as ultra-large aperture lenses, anamorphic lenses, and vintage manual lenses, can be used with the new Ronin.

For more details, read the Ronin 4D lens compatibility guide and the guide to Ronin 4D recording specifications.  

 

4-Axis Stabilisation System

DJI Ronin 4D features an innovative industry-first active Z-axis to eliminate vertical camera shake effectively.

This enables operators to shoot while walking, running, or moving around dynamically, with no need to practice pacing or rely on external equipment.

DJI Ronin 4D even captures wide sliding shots easily, without the need for a dolly.

 

 

The Ronin 4D achieves this unprecedented fluidity with an advanced new algorithm that processes inputs from a set of downward ToF sensors, forward and downward dual visual sensors, built-in IMU, and barometer.

Even with the additional Z-axis, DJI Ronin 4D is lighter and smaller than most cinema cameras mounted on a professional three-axis stabiliser, reducing the size and complexity of a professional camera setup into an ideal form that never existed before.

ActiveTrack Pro applies more distinctive DJI technology to get complex, advanced tracking shots easily and efficiently. Based on DJI’s existing ActiveTrack system, the Pro version uses DJI Ronin 4D’s latest artificial intelligence to track subjects from longer distances while adjusting composition to maintain optimal framing. 

LiDAR Transforms Professional Focusing Experience

A newly-designed LiDAR Range Finder continuously generates precise laser measurements to ensure a sharper, faster, and more reliable focusing experience.

It simultaneously casts more than 43,200 ranging points reaching as far as 10 metres, locating subjects quickly and accurately, even in low-light environments.

Because LiDAR measures the distance to the subject without relying on surface textures or hunting for edges, it obtains a faster focus speed without compromising image quality in any way.

DJI Ronin 4D offers three focusing modes: Manual focus, autofocus, and DJI’s unique Automated Manual Focus (AMF).

 

 

In manual focus, DJI Ronin 4D provides LiDAR Waveform, an assistive tool that allows cinematographers to locate focus points and pull focus with extreme precision.

Autofocus keeps a sharp focus on the subject in more dynamic and unpredictable situations like documentary filmmaking.

Automated Manual Focus combines the best of both modes to automatically rotate the focus wheel while following the focus point, allowing the operator to intervene manually at any time for an intuitive experience.

New O3 Pro Transmission Technology

Using DJI’s all-new O3 Pro transmission technology, the 4D Video Transmitter outputs a 1080p/60fps feed to remote monitors with a transmission range of up to nearly 20,000 feet (FCC compliant).

It also includes AES 256-bit encryption that protects the video feed and industry-leading end-to-end low latency for a smooth, real-time monitoring experience as operators move freely about the set.

 

 

In addition to 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, O3 Pro also supports the DFS frequency band, significantly improving stability and anti-interference performance, even in crowded signal environments and locations that feature complex architectural structures.

This system also enables multiple receivers with one transmitter and allows users to switch feeds quickly between multiple Ronin 4Ds.

The additional High-Bright Remote Monitor integrates a wireless video receiver into a 1,500-nit, 7-inch monitor.

 

 

The built-in gyro sensor also turns the monitor into a motion controller for movement-based camera control. It can also connect to the Ronin 4D Hand Grips, DJI Master Wheels, DJI Force Pro, or the new DJI Three-Channel Follow Focus to modernise coordinated shoots.

When several remote monitors are used in conjunction, each device can play back material separately with independent LUT, loaded without interfering with other monitors. The monitor’s built-in microSD card slot supports up to 1080p/60fps proxy footage recording.

Storage, Sound Recording, and Battery Life

DJI Ronin 4D offers three storage methods.

  • USB SSD: Provides 4K projects with a cost-effective solution.
  • The CFexpress Type-B card: Offers compatibility and stability.
  • DJI’s proprietary PROSSD 1TB: Delivers the best performance and highest stability for internal recording at maximum resolution and frame rate.

For sound recording, DJI Ronin 4D has built-in microphones to support 2-channel 24-bit audio. It also has two 3.5mm jacks on the body and two XLR ports on the Expansion Plate for additional input and output options.

 

 

DJI Ronin 4D uses the TB50 Intelligent Battery, which offers up to 2.5 hours of shooting time. Even in extreme weather conditions, the TB50 battery is still reliable with the help of auto-heating technology.

Ronin 4D: What's In The Box

There are two packages available: The 8K and 6K combos.

 

 

The 6K version - priced £5,999 - features the main body, a Zenmuse X9-6K Gimbal Camera, LiDAR Range Finder, High-Bright Main Monitor, Hand Grips, Top Handle, TB50 Intelligent Battery, and Carrying Case.

The 8K version - priced £9,499 - features the more powerful Zenmuse X9-8K Gimbal Camera and a PROSSD 1TB.

The 4D Video Transmitter, High-Bright Remote Monitor, and DJI PROSSD 1TB are also available separately.

X9 Camera Vs X7 Camera

The X9 camera is the latest in the series of DJI's X camera series, and follows on from the powerful X7, engineered for the DJI Inspire 2 drone.

In essence, the X9 and X7 have different purposes: The X9 - which can shoot up to 8K - is a hand-held camera, while the X7 - which can shoot up to 6K - is an airborne tool. 

It is worth noting that the two should not necessarily be viewed as competitors, but part of a high-quality ecosystem of DJI cinematography products, which can be used on-set together to produce awesome footage from the ground and from the air.   

DJI Ronin 4D: Summary 

Combining its expertise in aerial and ground-based cinematic innovations, DJI has engineered a hugely impressive content-creation tool.

Renowned for pushing the boundaries of innovation, DJI has done it again, this time with the Ronin 4D.

Compact, effective, and powerful, the Ronin 4D is a truly impressive piece of tech which will enable the next generation of professional content creators to produce jaw-dropping footage. 

It is very much the solution that cinematographers all over the world have been looking for: So much so that eight of the industry’s leading and award-winning DPs will work directly with DJI and Ronin 4D for their upcoming works.

These include: Rodney Charters, ASC, CNSC, NZCS; Takuro Ishizaka, JSC; Rachel Morrison, ASC; XiaoShi Zhao, CNSC; and Academy Award winners for Best Cinematography: Erik Messerschmidt, ASC; Claudio Miranda, ASC; and Peter Pau, HKSC. 

 

View Ronin 4D Combos and sign up for stock notifications


2 comments


  • Phil Streather

    Does the rumour mill say whether the X9 will ever fit on a a drone (Inspire 3??)?


  • Suchet Budon

    Amazing.


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