DJI has unveiled several interesting additions for its professional Ronin 4D 4-axis gimbal camera system that expand the Ronin ecosystem, namely the Ronin 4D Flex extension that allows its Zenmuse X9 6K/8K full-frame modular camera to be used separately from it, as well as a cine-quality zoom lens (DJI&s first) and a license key that unlocks recording in the Apple ProRes RAW codec for the Ronin 4D.
Thanks to the new Ronin 4D Flex, the Zenmuse X9 head-mounted camera along with its 3-axis gimbal can now be used much more flexibly without the rather bulky main housing, as it is not only much smaller, but also weighs much less, only 1.8 kg (that&s about 34%) instead of 4.67 kg for the full-featured Ronin 4D. What is lost, however, is the fourth-axis image stabilization, the Ronin 4D&s big innovation, which also compensates for vertical camera shake in the Z-axis that occurs when walking or running with the camera, for example.
Ronin 4D Flex with Zenmuse X9 gimbal camera and Ronin 4D
DJI thus expands the field of application of its highest-quality camera and takes a logical step further in the direction of "normal" professional cine cameras, thus finally utilizing the potential dormant in the modularity of the Ronin 4D Flex since its unveiling in October 2021. However, the Zenmuse X9 doesn&t work entirely without the Ronin 4D housing - it is still needed as a recording unit and therefore has to be carried along connected by cable to the Zenmuse X9 camera head, for example in a backpack during more mobile shoots (which is somewhat reminiscent of Sony&s wired Rialto extension system for the Sony Venice). The Ronin 4D Flex is compatible with the Ronin 4D&s (dual) handgrips, LiDAR focusing and main monitor, so it can also be used on solo shoots.
Ronin 4D Flex with Ronin 4D in backpack.
So for those who already own a Ronin 4D for around ,000 (Zenmuse X9 6K) or ,000 (Zenmuse X9 8K), the Ronin 4D Flex option gives them the option to use it more easily than before in other scenarios that don&t require sophisticated stabilization but call for a more compact camera format.
The Ronin 4D Flex extension connects to the main body of the Ronin 4D via a 2-meter coaxial cable, which allows for lossless transmission of up to 8K video data. The cable can also be used to remotely control the Ronin 4D Flex including the Zenmuse X9 camera in 3-axis. The Zenmuse X9 can thus be used as an extremely small gimbal camera (it is only 17cm high) for cinema-quality shots, for example, also on a telescopic pole for shots from above as a remote head using DJI&s Master Wheels and Follow Focus. A quick release allows you to quickly switch between the Ronin 4D and the Ronin Flex setup without any additional tools.
Ronin 4D Flex below with Zenmuse X9.
DJI&s first cine zoom lens
. DJI has also newly unveiled the DL PZ 17-28mm T3.0 zoom lens, made from an aluminum-magnesium alloy, DJI&s first-ever cine zoom lens. Thanks to new focus control and native system calibration, autofocus, manual focus and automatic manual focus (AMF) are even more precise than before, according to DJI. The lens usable on the Zenmuse X9 delivers high resolution from center to edge, covering ultra-wide to wide-angle focal lengths with a minimum object distance of 0.19m. The DL PZ 17-28mm T3.0 lens weighs about 520 g and offers an integrated servo motor without the need to mount an external focus motor or perform lens calibration.
Ronin 4D Flex with new zoom lens.
Finally Apple ProRes RAW for Ronin 4D
. In addition, there is now the possibility to record with the Ronin 4D also via Apple ProRes RAW codec. DJI is paying dearly for this option - the ProRes RAW license key costs around 1,000 euros, which is only slightly less than an entire Blackmagic Pocket 4K Cinema Camera, which records in BRAW. The internal recording in ProRes RAW was already announced at presentation of the Ronin 4D, but DJI delivered it 4 months later without this option - but reduced the announced price by about 400 dollars. It should be noted, however, that for recording in Apple ProRes RAW, the DJI PROSSD including connection module for about 900 euros is required in addition.
Ronin 4D Flex with Master Wheels
Zenmuse X9 6K/8K Camera
As a reminder, here again are the capabilities of the Zenmuse X9 6K/8K gimbal camera (or camera head) which DJI offers along with the Ronin 4D gimbal system. Both Zenmuse X9 cameras use a 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor and feature a dynamic range of over 14 stops, a dual native EI (exposure index) of 800/5,000, and a built-in physical ND filter with nine stops.
The Zenmuse X9-6K supports internal recording in H.264 (4:2:0 10-bit), Apple ProRes 4444XQ/422 LT and HQ formats up to 6K/60fps and 4K/120fps and, via optional license key, Apple ProRes RAW now. The Zenmuse X9-8K supports up to 8K/75fps - the two models are identical in their other functionalities. However, recording ProRes RAW, which is now possible, requires DJI&s proprietary PROSSD 1TB as the recording media.
Prices and Availability
The Ronin 4D Flex expansion is available now for - included with the Ronin 4D Flex are a pan-axis quick release, two Ronin 4D handgrip adapters and two handgrip adapter cables. The DL PZ 17-28mm T3.0 lens for the Ronin 4D is also available now for 1,759. The Apple ProRes RAW license key for the Ronin 4D is available at DJI online for 999 euros.
Ronin 4D Flex with Ronin 4D Dual Handle and Monitor.
In addition, two upcoming accessories, the DJI Three-Channel Follow Focus and the DJI Ronin 4D Expansion Plate (SDI/XLR/TC) will both be available in May 2023. According to DJI, these new products are just the beginning of DJI&s Pro segment established with the Ronin 4D.