DJI Ronin 4D – DJI’s 1st ever Professional Camera

DJI, the industry leader in drone cameras, unveiled their latest invention, the DJI Ronin 4D Cinema Camera making their entry into the world of cinematography. 

DJI is making a massive statement with their newest announcement, and they aren’t cutting corners. The intentions are clear. The Ronin 4D was created to cater to the cinema pros and maybe the hardcore amateur filmmakers in mind. 

With RAW 8K and 6K versions in-store with capabilities of supporting up to 6K/60 fps and 4K/120 FPS, have no second doubts on where DJI wants to go with their newest piece of tech. 

A built-in gimbal and a LIDAR rangefinder for sharper, faster, and reliable focusing is the complete setup and a step away from the ordinary. 

Key Highlights

  • Cinematic Imaging System
  • 4 Axis inbuilt stabilization system 
  • LiDAR Focusing System 
  • Wireless Transmission and Control 

Camera overview

The Ronin 4D camera (Zenmuse X9) is a full-frame version with interchangeable lens mounts for DJI’s DL and Leica’s M systems. Until the introduction of the Ronin 4D, DJI has produced Zenmuse cameras to fly on its drones, but the X9 version is different and is built specifically for the Ronin 4D. 

The camera comes with nine built-in ND filters to help users control their exposure to the sun. The 6K model has capabilities of shooting 6K at 60fps and 4K at 120fps. 

But what’s gotten the entire cinematography world excited is the 8K model. With the 8K model, the Ronin 4D camera, the X9 opens up the possibility of shooting 8K RAW footage at 75fps. There are also options to shoot Apple ProRes or even in H.264 if you look for a fast turnaround and smaller sizes. 

LiDAR Sensor

The LiDAR sensor adds a greater sense of value to the Ronin 4D. Designed to automatically and instantly maintain quasi-perfect focus, even in the most dynamic situations, it provides the filmmaker’s freedom to decide how scenes can be shot. 

The focus is a result of firing 43,200 ranging points that can capture objects up to 10 meters away and still keep images sharp, delivering results even in low-light environments. The sensor is paired with manual, auto, and DJI’s very own patented Automatic Manual Focus modes. 

An effort to redefine the space

DJI’s intentions on the Ronin are woven around providing a cinema-standard experience that is wholesome but affordable. Speaking on the day of the launch, Paul Pen, DJI’s Senior Product Line Manager, stressed how they’d utilized their expertise in aerial and ground-based innovations to bring this creation. 

“DJI Ronin 4D draws on our expertise in both aerial and ground-based cinematic innovations to enable the next generation of professional content creators to amaze and inspire us.” 

When you get the 4D, you get everything you need to get started along with the camera – the gimbal, the range finder, a monitor, a battery, and a carry case. In contrast to other professional-grade cameras where you require several mods to complete your setup, this is an easy way in. 

The camera comes equipped with a 4D video transmitter that can transmit 180p/60fps feed to remote monitors within 20,000 feet. The camera has four storage possibilities to choose from – USB SSD, CFexpress, Type-B card, and DJI’s PRO SSD 1TB. It features two built-in microphones for two-channel 24-bit audio and has two 3.5 mm jacks and 2 XLR ports for additional input. 

The Ronin 4D operates with the same TB50 Intelligent Battery from the earlier Ronin 2 and the Inspire 2 drone, which guarantees 2.5 hours of shooting time. 

Who is the Ronin 4D meant for? 

As we break down the spec sheet of the Ronin 4D, it is clear where they want to be. Unlike the other products that DJI produces, such as DJI’s Osmo camera, the lower-end Ronin gimbals, they aren’t looking at the consumer market. 

DJI is trying to cash its reputation in building drone cameras and gimbals onto the professional cinematography industry through the Ronin 4D. They’ve done an incredibly fantastic job from the very first product itself. 

While the Ronin 4D is seen as a professional camera, it still sits between the YouTube content creator and the cinematographer. And there’s nothing wrong with it. DJI is looking to get the best of both worlds. The Ronin can be a valuable purchase for a content creator looking for more crisp and quality shots while positioning the camera to be an attractive addition for the pro. 

The 6K version will cost $7,199, and the 8K version is priced at $11,499. Both of these cameras will come all-inclusive, and there will be only a few more accessories that you would need to purchase additionally. You get the gimbal, the camera, LiDAR range finder, a monitor and hands grips/ top handle, a carrying case, and a battery. The 8K model also comes with a 1TB PROSSD. 

 While the $11,499 price tag looks to be a steep price, it isn’t by any means expensive in the professional cinematography market. The DJI cinema-focused Ronin 2 stabilizer costs over $8,000, and Sony’s FX9 6K camera costs $11,000 for the body. 

Final thoughts 

DJI’s first version of professional camera innovation is an attractive piece of tech. DJI has continued to deliver in innovation, and based on their reputation, the professional-grade camera will only get better. 

The company has put a lot of work into devising a camera that is affordable but also professional. In this approach, they’ve taken a different approach from the cinematography camera by providing all the essential add-ons that you need to start shooting out of the box. 

While there is still work on the professional side, DJI’s entry is a positive sign of what’s to come in the industry. The camera can easily be used by anyone to shoot fast-paced footage and put it to good use when shooting documentaries or commercials. DJI is also working on getting Netflix classification for the Ronin 4D, which would mean that the camera can come into use in streaming content creation. 

The Ronin 4D 6K that will be available by December 2021 will start many great things. The 8K version will be out at a later date. 

Spec sheet

  • Overall Dimensions : 309 x 290 x 277mm
  • Overall Weight: 4.67kg
  • Operating time: 150 minutes
  • intelligent features: ActiveTrack Pro, Autofocus
  • Sensor Size: Full-Frame
  • Base Lens Mount: DX
  • Supported Lens Mounts: DL, M, E
  • Dynamic Range: 14+ Stops
  • Gamma: D-Log, Rec. 709, HLG
  • EI: X9-8K: EI 200-12800, Dual Native ISO 800/4000 X9-6K: EI 200-12800, Dual Native ISO 800/5000
  • Shutter Speed: Electronic Rolling Shutter 1/24s-1/8000s
  • ND: Physical 9-Stop
  • Focus Control: AF, M, AMF
  • Recording Format: Apple ProRes RAW HQ/Apple ProRes RAW Apple ProRes 422 HQ/Apple ProRes 422* H.264 (4:2:0 10-bit)
  • Storage Media: DJI PROSSD 1TB, CFexpress 2.0 Type B, USB-C SSD