With a built-in gimbal and LIDAR focusing, the DJI Ronin 4D cinema camera has some innovations of drone!

Drone-maker DJI has announced a cinema camera that comes with a built-in gimbal, can shoot at up to 8K resolution, and uses a LIDAR rangefinder that promises a “sharper, faster, and more reliable focusing experience,” even in low light. It’s called the Ronin 4D, and while it’s aimed squarely at professionals, it’s loaded with interesting features and shows that DJI is continuing to develop its camera tech outside of drones.

The Ronin 4D’s camera is called the Zenmuse X9, and it’s full-frame, has interchangeable lens mounts for DJI’s DL and Leica’s M systems, and includes nine (nine!) built-in ND filters for controlling your exposure in the sun. The 6K model can do 6K at 60fps and 4K120, and the 8K model can do 75fps at its max resolution. The X9 can shoot in RAW or 422HQ flavors of ProRes, or H.264 if you’re trying to keep file sizes in check, or need a fast turnaround for your footage. Until this point, DJI’s Zenmuse cameras have mostly been designed to fly on its drones, but (unfortunately for drone enthusiasts) the company tells me that the X9 is meant specifically for the Ronin 4D.

LiDAR focus in DJI Ronin 4D

Though DJI doesn’t specify the maker of its cinema camera’s LiDAR Range Finder, it’s worth noting that the tech giant has a subsidiary called Livox that builds LiDAR units for its drones. DJI’s Zenmuse L1 payload for commercial drones also integrates a Livox LiDAR module.

In Ronin 4D, the LiDAR Range Finder simultaneously casts over 43,200 ranging points reaching as far as 10 meters, to locate subjects quickly and accurately even in low-light environments. There are three focusing modes to choose from: manual focus, autofocus, and DJI’s unique Automated Manual Focus (AMF).

Subject tracking

The cinema camera uses the “ActiveTrack Pro” feature to track subjects, which is a variant of the AI tracking tech first seen in the DJI Phantom 4 drone.

Self-heating intelligent batteries

Like DJI’s Inspire 2 drone and Ronin 2 stabilization system, the new Ronin 4D uses the TB50 Intelligent Battery, which not only offers an enviable shooting time of 2.5 hours, but comes with an auto-heating technology to operate in extreme weather conditions.