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DJI’s Ronin 4D with LiDAR and Integrated Gimbal is the World’s First 4-Axis 8K Cinema Camera

By on October 20, 2021 0

We don’t talk a lot about specialized cameras around these parts, usually because those discussions require in-depth technical details, full of industry jargon about the optical characteristics of the device. This is not the case when it comes to DJI’s new Ronin 4D cinema camera. Of course, we could talk about the ultra-wide aperture and support for third-party lenses, its full-frame 8K sensor, and how it supports up to ISO 5000 for low-end shooting. light. This stuff isn’t as interesting as the real features of the Ronin 4D, namely its LIDAR-based autofocus system, four-axis image stabilization technology, and the proprietary processor that controls everything.

DJI claims the Ronin 4D is the first camera with “active Z-axis” stabilization, and based on its sample footage, this claim seems legitimate. Although this is a rather small portable camera, much smaller than it looks on standalone images; see below – images coming out of Ronin 4D appear to be recorded on a cart.

ssd view
A Ronin 4D control side view showing the attached PROSSD module.

The company says it achieves this stability by dynamically processing inputs from many sensors, including many visual sensors and a barometer. Despite the additional mechanical systems required, DJI says the Ronin 4D is “smaller and lighter than most cinema cameras mounted on a three-axis stabilizer,” although we have to take their word for it.

In addition to the impressive stabilization, the Ronin 4D also uses technology powered by a neural network to automatically track moving subjects, allowing for complex shots in a single take. This includes automatic adjustment of the scene composition, including the focus of the shot. Focus adjustment is performed using a custom-built LiDAR rangefinder that reaches 43,200 distance points up to ten meters, allowing extremely accurate measurement of distance and location of subjects without standing. rely on surface textures or “edge chasing”.

ronin4k lidar
This box above the lens is the LiDAR module.

You don’t have to use autofocus if you don’t want to, and the LiDAR module still doesn’t get lost if you prefer to do it yourself. In manual mode, the LiDAR module can still provide a distance reading to its focus points, allowing you to focus quickly with great precision, and in addition to the traditional fully manual mode, DJI also offers a mode called “Automated Manual Focus” which is essentially autofocus with support for manual settings at all times.

ronin4d accessories online
A big stack of accessories for the Ronin 4D.

Depending on the model you get, the Ronin 4D’s full-frame sensor supports 6K or 8K video at up to 75 frames per second. It also supports a bunch of attachments, an additional connections module with TC, 3G-SDI and XLR ports, a wireless autofocus module that even supports older manual focus lenses. , extra batteries, and even a 1TB SSD for the highest quality local media recording (otherwise, you use the built-in CF Express card slots or your own USB Type-C storage device.)

We could go on and on about the features of this new camera indefinitely, but if you’re really interested you should probably check out the company’s product page for the Ronin 4D, which goes over its features in great detail. The 6K version of the Ronin 4D starts at $ 7,199 USD, while the 8K version includes a 1TB SSD and starts at $ 11,499, although the company says these prices are “just for reference” and the actual prices may vary.

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