Ronin SC gimbal for system cameras
With the purchase of the Lumix G9 videography gets more important. So it was time to think about a gimbal for this camera.
I bought the Lumix G9 not as a very good camera for stills photography but also because the G9 inherited some of the video features from the GH5. With the Osmo Mobile 2 i made some experiences with a gimbal in general i decided to get a gimbal for the Lumix G9.
After some research and viewing some reviews i decided to get myself the DJI Ronin SC which can carry a payload of more than 2kg. The Ronin SC comes in 2 versions. One is the gimbal only and there is a Pro combo which inlcudes a focussing wheel. After a price drop for the Pro combo to 350,– € i ordered this version.
The gimbal consists of 3 parts. First the actual gimbal, the battery and the pedestal. Assembling is pretty easy and can be done very fast.
For the battery part including the hand grip i wished DJI offered to directly load the battery because you can get replacement battery. But the connector for the USB chargeing is located in the gimbal part so this must be mounted in order to charge the battery.
The bottom grip is a little tripod at the same time so you can displace the complete gimbal. Over a longer time the combination of the gimbal and a mounted camera like the Lumix G9 is pretty heavy.
Before the first usage you have to balance the gimbal with the camera and lens combination you plan to use. Under idela circumstances the camera keeps the balance even if the motors of the gimbal are off.
Balancing is a relativly easy process mainly because every of 3 axises can be locked seperately. With the Ronin SC you have to use the delivered camera plate and can’t use a already mounted L- bracket like the one from SmallRig i use.
The screw in the above image controls 2 directions, the side and the back and force movement. And the side movement is a little bit hard to position precisely.
Balancing should be done with all gear attached to the camera and that includes the USB-cable and of course filters like variable ND filter i mostly use for video. After the camera/lens combination is balanced you should start the Ronin App and start the motor parameters. If this test is ok then you don’t have to worry about the motors if you use the zoom lens 12-15mm at the longest focal length or swivel the display from the camera.
I checked the values for my Lumix 12-35mm/2.8, Leica 12mm/1.4 and the Laowa 7.5mm/2.0 and stored them as a textfile in the cloud.
The focus knob
The focus knob the Pro combo allows to control a focus motor attached below the lens. I must admit that i didn’t use this combination so far. In addition to use the focus motor you have to use an additional distance plate under the camera and that means new balancing.
But on the Lumix G9 it is possible to siwth to MF with an AF lens and then control the focus with the focus knob. But you need practise to do a smooth focus pull.
Even though the Lumix G9 is not a leight-weight camera the Ronin SC handles this camera even including Leica 12mm/1.4 with ease. But you have to practise your movements when walking, because the gimbal doesn’t stabelize horizontal movements.