Our Ronin S is one of our favourite pieces of kit - here's our take on it (and some other tips you might find helpful).
Ronin S comes in two kits: The essentials kit and standard kit. Both come in a sturdy foam case.
Let's get into it
The Ronin S is one of those that makes life that little bit easier as a filmmaker. Whether you're on a music video shoot following a shooting script, or if you're running and gunning it at a live event, it's got you.
We honestly rate it highly in terms of stability, build quality and ease of use - and the battery life is insane. We could swear it's lasted longer than the 12 hours it's supposed to.
The sky's the limit for your cinematography
The best thing about the Ronin S is that it makes classic cinematic camera movements achievable with one piece of it.
Dolly, track, whip pan, crane, you name it, you can do it. You have so much control over the motors within the app too, so it's easy to configure it to behave just the way you want.
One thing to bear in mind: We'd suggest not using it instead of a tripod for prolonged, static shots. That might sound a little weird considering it's supposed to be a stabiliser - but it's difficult to keep it super still due to the weight, which we've found can create a strange floating, kind of unstabilised/stabilised hovering effect. It's designed to move, so move with it!
Lots of people ask us how easy it is to balance, and depending on your camera set up's load it can differ, but generally, it’s not difficult. To be honest, it’s a breeze when you’ve done it a few times. You can see and download our guide on how to balance your Ronin S here.
Watch your weight - if your gear set up is too heavy, it will outweigh (haha) the benefit of the gimbal and affect the performance. Then it can start looking really dodgy, with the weird hovering effect we mentioned earlier. We use our mirror-less Sony most of the time on our Ronin, which is usually pretty light compared to a lot of other cameras, even with a hefty lens on. The maximum payload is 3.6kg, but like we've seen others mention, that's a lot of weight on the end of a stick. So don't push it, the lighter the better (for both performance and your arms).
It's not all about the gimbal, it's about you too
A lot of people might think that a gimbal is the answer to all of your filmmaking problems.
But you can’t really just pick up a Ronin S and expect your shots to look insane right off the bat (well, they might, but stay with us for a moment). We’re quite surprised we’ve not seen many people talking about it, but your body movement can play a huge role in how your final shot looks. You have to move with it to optimize the results. For example, if you're tracking someone walking, you need to bend your knees and take shorter, faster steps to take out the up and down 'footstep' motion from your shots - that's one thing the gimbal can't counteract absolutely.
Lots of people say it's heavy. In fact, it's one of the heaviest, if not the heaviest single-handed gimbal currently out. But we think the positioning of the handle helps with this, as your arms are mostly in a lower position (compared to the Ronin M, for example). We’ve used it for days straight and haven’t been too hindered by the weight (and we ain't no bodybuilders, trust us).
All in all, we think it's one of the best pieces of kit we have invested in so far. It’s upped the production value of our films with the ability have to super smooth shots at our fingertips. Our filmmaking is much more efficient and most of all, FUN AS HECK.
We hope this helped!
Lauren, Prickly Peach Films