How We Shoot The Lights Out

Hand Held Ronin Gimbal

In the last three years hi-tech drones have become an integral part of our video and photographic offering, and our clients love the new perspectives these amazing machines allow us to create. One of the most important requirements from a drone filming or photographic platform is to achieve rock steady video and pin sharp stills. The secret to that, apart from using experienced and creative pilots, is a 3 axis electronic gimbal system that holds the camera’s position incredibly stable and allows the camera operator to compose and shoot beautiful, crisp, pin sharp detail from the latest in camera technology.

The new arrow in our quiver is a hand-held 3 axis gimbal platform known as a Ronin, recently released by DJI, the same company that produces our drones. This facilitates stable, smooth and pin sharp ground-based video, even if the camera operator is running and jumping around. It’s a much larger version of the gimbal that we use on our drones, in this case to mount our bigger, more cumbersome video rigs on whilst filming on terra firma. The flexible technology allows us to choose from a myriad of settings and options to achieve the responsiveness required for the specific shoot we’re executing. Pan, tilt and roll speeds, smoothness of movement and movement limits are all programmable.

An added bonus is that we have two remote controls that we can use to accurately track the required path and positioning of the camera in the scene being filmed. An interesting feature that the designers have included is the option to select which remote is to have priority of camera control and movement. This means that the cameraman steering the Ronin may elect to give the camera’s directional control to a remote assistant cameraman, who stands in an appropriate position to allow him to track and control the movement of the camera on the gimbal, using a remote monitor to ensure that the composition of the shot is exactly what the director wants.

This enables the gimbal operator to focus on moving through the planned route of the scene without having to worry about where the camera is pointing. If the gimbal operator wants to have control of the camera and gimbal, he can designate the Thumb Control on the gimbal as the primary remote. The cameraman with the secondary remote can then also make adjustments to the position and attitude of the camera, but he needs to bear in mind that the primary remote will override any inputs he may make, avoiding confusion during the shoot. The opposite remote control designation is also possible.

In a nutshell, the DJI Ronin is an exciting new hi-tech tool, which allows us even more creative options to exceed the expectations of our clients and to produce world-class videos for them. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you “shoot the lights out” in terms of maximizing the power of your marketing by harnessing the accuracy and skill of superb photography and videography, then please contact us today. We’ll be happy to help.