Ronin 4D, the cinematography system DJI launched today, may have been designed to provide an extraordinary imaging technology experience to filmmakers, but there are several innovations that the cinema camera borrows from DJI’s experience with drones. Let’s take a look…
Stabilized gimbal system
DJI’s camera stabilization tech, which has developed into a robust independent line over the last few years, started life as an extension of its drone tech. The first gimbal DJI created was to get stable imagery from an airborne drone – first, as a platform to mount a GoPro on and then with its own integrated cameras. From the air, that stabilization tech got transferred to a handheld, starting with the original Osmo, and now finds its way to the new cinematography system, Ronin 4D.
DJI’s new cinema camera comes with an active Z-axis to eliminate vertical camera shake. This means you can shoot while walking, running, or moving around dynamically, with no need to practice pacing or relying on external equipment. This remarkable fluidity comes courtesy of a new algorithm that processes inputs from a set of downward ToF (time-of-flight) sensors, forward and downward dual-visual sensors, built-in IMU, and barometer.
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O3 Pro transmission technology
Ronin 4D’s O3 Pro video transmission comes from DJI’s unbeatable drone communication technology, OcuSync 3.0.
The cinema camera’s 4D Video Transmitter outputs a 1080p/60fps feed to remote monitors with a transmission range of up to nearly 20,000 feet. It also includes AES 256-bit encryption that protects the video feed. Further, in addition to 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, O3 Pro also supports the DFS frequency band, which helps to improve stability and anti-interference performance even in crowded signal environments and locations that feature complex architectural structures.
LiDAR focus in DJI Ronin 4D
Though DJI doesn’t specify the maker of its cinema camera’s LiDAR Range Finder, it’s worth noting that the tech giant has a subsidiary called Livox that builds LiDAR units for its drones. DJI’s Zenmuse L1 payload for commercial drones also integrates a Livox LiDAR module.
In Ronin 4D, the LiDAR Range Finder simultaneously casts over 43,200 ranging points reaching as far as 10 meters, to locate subjects quickly and accurately even in low-light environments. There are three focusing modes to choose from: manual focus, autofocus, and DJI’s unique Automated Manual Focus (AMF).
The cinema camera uses the “ActiveTrack Pro” feature to track subjects, which is a variant of the AI tracking tech first seen in the DJI Phantom 4 drone.
Self-heating intelligent batteries
Like DJI’s Inspire 2 drone and Ronin 2 stabilization system, the new Ronin 4D uses the TB50 Intelligent Battery, which not only offers an enviable shooting time of 2.5 hours, but comes with an auto-heating technology to operate in extreme weather conditions.
DJI says it has collaborated closely with leading cinematography professionals to get prototype after prototype tested, receiving feedback, and working together every step of the way until the cinema camera was complete. But as Paul Pan, DJI senior product line manager, sums up:
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.
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