As the smaller of the two new Ronin releases, the DJI RSC 2 is my prefered option. OK, it doesn’t have the big payload, and you do need to be a little more precise with the balancing, but ultimately, it’s a very accomplished gimbal. The reason it wins over the larger RS 2? Well, that’s solely down to the ease of balancing. I found balancing the RS2 often painful due to the carbon, whereas here with the RSC 2, that adjustment was smooth and easy; what a difference.
What is the DJI RSC 2?
The DJI RSC 2 is the smaller of the Ronin gimbals and packs in features that make it the best choice for many filmmakers.
The 3kg payload means that it should take most small DSLR and Mirrorless cameras; however, it’s worth allowing a bit of a weight buffer unless you’re highly skilled at balance.
Design-wise, DJI has taken a slightly different approach for each Ronin model. This compact release features a foldable design that enables it to be packed inside your kit bag easily, but that’s no the only reason for the hinged design. The RSC 2 is the most versatile of the Ronin’s when it comes to positioning and that’s all down to the slick angles that the hinge makes possible. Overall this new design is a definite improvement on portability over the old Ronin-S and even the bigger RS 2.
Otherwise, like the other Ronin’s and the larger RS 2, the RSC 2 is designed to stabilise your footage, and that it does with incredible effect, as long as you don’t try to push its limits.
Build and Handling
The DJI RSC 2 might not have the eye-catching carbon fibre and flashy graphics that mark out the DJI RS 2, but it’s still DJI. Like all DJI products, there’s a real slickness to the design.
First of all, the all-metal construction feels robust with the matt black surface, solid joints and high-quality finish. Removing and unfolding the gimbal from the neat case and you can feel that DJI quality. It’s well made and solid as the bigger sibling but more refined. I also once again like the big, bold logo down the side!
I liked the carbon fibre look of the RSC 2, but as I was reviewing the two gimbals, it became apparent that metal, at least, in this case, was the better material.
One of the main issues with any gimbal stabiliser is getting the right balance; after time, you get the knack but get distracted, and it’s easy for everything to go wrong.
Setting up the RS 2, there was a small battle with each arm adjustment to find that perfect balance. Herewith the RSC 2, there’s still a little resistance, but it’s far easier.
My original Ronin-S, now a few years old and well worn, has finally succumbed to easy adjustment, or at least I’ve become so used to it that it all seems to slot into position perfectly. \
With the RSC 2, set[-up is relatively easy, and the arm adjustment and camera balance were all straightforward enough.
Checking it over and the gimbal is well laid out with plenty of places to attach the accessories, such as the follow focus and video transmitter.
Ports are easy to find; the axis locks are all free and functional, working without a battle and lock and unlock when you want rather than unexpectedly whilst filming.
The RSC 2, as I said earlier, feels refined, it’s what you want, and nothing shows this more than the position of the rear arm. DJI has designed this to drop below the base of the screen when used in the standard position.
It sounds like common sense, but so many gimbals cover the screen in this position, here it’s clear and easy to see. Especially if you’re using a Sony Alpha with that ridiculous tilt-only screen
Once completed with the usual progressive balance of one arm before moving on to the next, the DJI RSC 2 was ready to fire up.
For a gimbal of its size, it has to be said the small motors kick in and demonstrate that they have more than enough speed and power to handle the Sony A7R II with 24-70mm f/4 mounted.
The compact Sony 24-70mm is relatively compact, and while there is a little weight shift as you zoom the lens, it’s not too great, and the RSC manages to handle the difference without issue.
Using the DJI RSC for gentle hallway glides provides little that raises any concerns. The motors correct my wobble and some careful footwork on my behalf manages to smooth out any bob as I walk.
For straight forward gimbal tasks, the RSC proves that it has what it takes to be a decent gimbal, and while my movements in the first test are relatively slow it gives me time to get a feel for the layout and control.
As ever the joystick is placed on the surface facing you, this means that it’s easily accessible for both left and right-handed users. Likewise, the record and mode buttons are positioned to the right of the joystick again making it easy for single-handed use. Testing out for both left and right-handed use the position of the joystick makes it that little bit more comfortable for right-handed users which is to be expected.
The small mono screen is handy for checking the modes and options, and while clear, it does take a while to figure out where all the settings are. However, once you find your style of use with a gimbal, I’ve found it’s rare to swap to other modes other than when demonstrating the features to others.
There are two features that, for me, really boost the RSC above most other gimbals on the market at present, the first is the wheel positioned by your index finger. This can be linked into the optional follow focus accessory and enables full manual control. Its position is spot on, and this feature alone makes me like this gimbal.
The second is the hinge. Now, this comes into play when packing down the gimbal but can also be used to hinge down for low-level shots. There’s no rebalancing required and enables greater versatility. It’s a simple idea but one that I like.
Of course, when it comes to using a gimbal, you have to consider that there are all sorts of situations and locations where they will be used.
In the first part of the test, motion and movement were sedate and well within the range that almost all gimbals should handle.
In the second part of the test, the terrain changed to off-road, and my speed picked up as I filmed a cross country runner through the New Forest terrain.
The conditions were generally good, and finding a dry patch of level ground; it was easy enough to set up the camera and get the gimbal balanced.
The DJI RSC 2 seemed to find the correct level well, and any fears that the slightly ruff ground would start the gimbal off slightly was dismissed.
Picking up the gimbal and the weight is noticeable lighter than I’m used to, which is good. Setting off and the gimbal once again provides it’s worth stabilising the shot and managing to compensate without issue as I adjust the lens’s focal length to compensate.
DJI provides a small Y support to hold the lens securely, which does the job, although I forgot to fit it on the second outing. I managed to get away with the small 24-70mm, and the footage looked fine, but this Y bracket is essential for larger lenses. Honestly, it’s not something that I’ll forget again.
Picking up the pace and doing a gentle jog alongside the runner, you can start to feel the limitations of the small RSC compared with the larger RS 2.
The slightest mistake as you take a corner and the RSC 2 is far more likely to whip as it hits the limits of its rotations. It’s not that the gimbal itself is not doing the job; it’s more that it’s far less forgiving than the bigger model.
On one outing, when the light went too low in a rush, I didn’t balance the camera correctly. Not enough for it to not work on slow, considered motion, but push the speed and. The demands on the motors and the shake in the balance started to show.
A deep breath, rebalance, and all was fine, at least with the stabilisation, the sun, however, had gone, and the runner and I decided to call it a day.
When it comes to stabilisation for the small Sony A7 series and other mirrorless cameras, the DJI RSC 2 does an outstanding job.
It’s small, light and has two stands out features in the focus wheel (Follow Focus accessory required) and the hinge. However, while it’s pitched at the more entry-level user, you actually need a great level of skill to use this than the larger model as it’s far less forgiving.
But then is a beginner going to be trying those more advanced shots with the gimbal? Probably not.
DJI RSC 2 Review Final thoughts
I like this small gimbal; it’s so much more refined than much of the competition. It’s far better made and packs in features that the Benro RedDog R1 could only dream of, and the WeeBill, while exception, just doesn’t come close when it comes to the build quality.
The DJI RSC 2 stands on its own as a very decent gimbal stabilisers designed perfectly for the latest generation of mirrorless cameras.
It may be the little sibling to the excellent RSC 2 but I prefer it by a mile. The full metal construction might not be as stunning or sleek as the carbon fibre of the RS 2 but it is far more functional.
The RSC 2 also requires a little more skill to use, but at the same time I like the simplicity. As ever, the gimbal is only part of the story, and while good on it’s own, this film making tool only becomes complete once you add the Follow Focus.
Then it truly transforms the use and with a bit of practice the DJI RSC 2 is one of the best single-handed gimbal stabalisers out there.