DJI Ronin 2 vs. Freefly MōVI Pro
Today’s blog post is all about the Freefly MōVI Pro and the DJI Ronin 2. Because when it comes to innovative designs for camera stabilizers, Freefly and DJI are frontrunners.
Of course, both camera stabilizers offer different advantages. But the big question is what exactly? As curious as you are, we looked for the differences and similarities between the Freefly MōVI Pro and the DJI Ronin 2. You can read our results and recommendations below.
First, let’s give you some basic information about both systems.
Freefly MōVI Pro
It is astonishing that the MōVI Pro is the lightest camera stabilization system. With only approx. 2.65 kg it has a payload of up to 6.8 kg. It also offers a toad-in-the-hole quick release system that can be attached to the MōVI Pro ring. The outer ring is made of a 30mm tube that acts as both a gripping system for manual actuation and a gimbal stand for tuning or operator relief.
In contrast to the earlier MōVI models, whose battery designs were very unfavorable, the new MōVI Pro offers two hot-swappable batteries that can be easily removed with just one hand. When the camera and accessories are used, battery life is one hour and recharges as quickly as it discharges.
In addition, the MōVI Pro is equipped with an integrated monitor, which is located on the back of the gimbal and thus offers basic control elements and on which, for example, settings can be made. The merged D-Taps offers an optimal solution for the power supply of the camera and accessories. The optional accessories MIMIC and the Bush-Pilot-Button are not included in the standard equipment but create a whole new world. The MIMIC and the integrable Bush-Pilot-Button can support the control of the gimbal, the camera movement and the lens control.
The DJI Ronin 2 is also one of the most powerful hand stabilizers that is on the market. Thanks to the improvements in the axle compensation the extended camera cage has a payload of 30 kg. The DJI Ronin2 offers space for a large number of high-end cameras and lenses. That means: fewer compromises when choosing the right camera package!
The gimbal features two hot-swappable batteries with industry-leading performance, and a built-in monitoring with a menu interface that supports tuning and advanced settings. It also offers built-in D-taps for powering the camera and accessories, a redesigned remote control and a camera integration. When the Gimbal is used with a camera the battery life is 2.5 hours. DJI has proven that they know their customers very well as built-in SDIs provide a cable management solution to maintain order. Additionally, a clever two-piece outer ring design allows for a fully constructed tuning stand during installation and a lighter hand stabilizer when the base is removed.
Freefly MIMIC – DJI Ronin 2 Remote
When talking about handheld stabilizers, it’s not uncommon for one operator to operate the gimbal and a second operator to control the camera and intricate movements. After all, it is not easy to carry the weight of high-end cinema cameras and special lenses.
The MIMIC is a compact, user-friendly alternative to the MōVI controller, since the use of the controller is very complicated in contrast to the MIMIC. The MIMIC can be conveniently attached to the MōVI crossbar with the QR plug supplied. Wireless gimbal control with the MIMIC is made possible by the ability to transfer the remote operator’s own kinetic energy to the gimbal’s motors and sensors. While the operator of the MIMIC executes a pan or tilt movement, the gimbal executes the same movement from a maximum distance of several hundred meters. For high-end recording, the MIMIC is a great addition to the set as the operator cannot change the sensitivity settings while in use. It is therefore important that the MIMIC operator fully records his or her recording. The settings for tuning and filters can be adjusted via the MIMIC menu. However, there are no dials for quick adjustments. When the remote makes a sudden, unwanted movement, the gimbal follows. The advantage, however, is that the MōVI Pro can be operated by a single operator just like earlier models when the recordings do not require a second hand. The MIMIC also offers the world’s first control for focus, iris and zoom via the remote control.
The DJI Ronin 2 improved its remote control but kept it relatively simple. The gimbal movements are controlled by a standard joystick that contains buttons to adjust the sensitivity settings for each axis. Camera recording is only integrated for certain cameras. DJI carefully selected which technological advances would make the difference and that is exactly what they incorporated into their redesigned remote control.
Battery and Camera/Accessories Powering Systems
Both DJI and Freefly Systems had battery design issues in previous models. The original Freefly MōVI batteries were designed without a built-in safety circuit, so the gimbal packages can be kept as light as possible. The MōVI Pro is designed with a secure and dual hot-swap battery system. These batteries are fairly compact and can be easily installed or removed from the gimbal with a convenient release system.
The MōVI Pro offers a D-Tap connection for single cameras, as well as D-Taps on the spin and on the tilt for accessories that require power. It also has an integrated USB port for power supply, which is built into the tilt axis. The batteries have a display so that it is no longer necessary to guess how long the batteries will last.
The Ronin 2’s batteries are large and use an eject button to insert and remove the batteries. Due to the location of the battery compartment, removing a battery will likely require two hands, making the design slightly less user-friendly than the MōVI Pro. The battery has a hub with power for the accessories such as the DJI Focus and wireless video transmission products, as well as a dedicated camera power connection for the Red Digital Cinema camera and the Arri Alexa Mini. Like the MōVI Pro, the Ronin 2 also offers D-Tap connections. Using both batteries, the Ronin 2 can operate a camera and accessories for approximately 2.5 hours on a single charge. The individual batteries need half an hour longer to fully charge than the batteries of the MōVI Pro.
The Mōvi Pro Handheld Bundle offers quick assembly out of the box. The MōVI Ring Pro has two fiber-reinforced feet that are attached to the base of the ring after installation and can serve as both a tuning stand and an operator handle. Once the feet, optional handles, and top handle are installed with the included hex keys and screws, the gimbal attaches to the ring via Freefly’s Toad-in-the-Hole quick release system.
Like previous models, the DJI Ronin 2 comes with some necessary mounting. The ring consists of a lower section with retractable feet for support and an upper bar that is connected to the base by two well-designed locking collars. The battery compartment must also be installed. There are two adjustable handles that are similar in design and function to the handles on the MōVI Pro. The fully assembled gimbal weighs almost 6.8 kg and has an extensive camera cage that supports a weight of up to 13.6 kg.
The Ronin 2 has mechanical axis locks so that the gimbal can be secured during transport. The standard locks on earlier Ronin models for unlocking the camera plate at various axis points have been replaced with a series of levers and buttons. Instead of the time-consuming back-and-forth locking adjustments required by the standard gimbals, the Ronin 2 now allows the user to unlock each axis with a lever. You can use buttons to raise, lower, push and pull the camera plate, so that a perfect equilibrium point arises.
So much information, but which system is better and offers more benefits?
Even when the DJI Ronin 2 has brought many new innovations and features and is a fantastic machine with powerful and almost silent motors, it could not meet the demands of its users. Knowing that users weren’t drawn to price, DJI added a lot of features and upgrades. Unfortunately, they did not take into account that its users expect a system that is comparable to Freefly’s MōVI Pro. And that is exactly what could cost them the loyalty of their users. Another disadvantage of the Ronin 2 is the massive construction, which is associated with a high physical load.
Even if the ARRI and Red integration is fantastic and attracts a lot of professional users, it is rather impractical because two cameras cannot be placed on one gimbal.
Another disadvantage is that the gimbal weighs around 6.8 kg, twice as much as the MōVI Pro at 2.65 kg. This means that users also have to use a support vest such as the Easyrig. Of course, the weight of the Ronin 2 becomes a problem for manual operation. When you consider that the rig weighs 20 kg and only a few operators can use it for a full day of production without having to purchase support equipment for additional costs.
The decision is now up to you. Are you Team DJI Ronin 2 or Team Freefly MōVI Pro?
Let us know your opinion below in the comments.
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