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The 5 Most Innovative Gimbals For Your 2021 Projects

The 5 Most Innovative Gimbals For Your 2021 Projects

Give your projects a professional edge with these next-level gimbals.

From high-end filmmaking to video production that fits in the palm of your hand, we're covering the whole spectrum by looking at five of the most innovative gimbals you can pick up in 2020.

While 2020 was incredibly challenging for the filmmaking industry (as well as the entire globe), it didn't stop some of the most popular gimbal manufacturers from releasing their latest gear.

We've already covered some of the most exciting cameras to release in 2020, and now we're taking a look at the top five gimbals available right now!

There have actually been several creative breakthroughs in each one, so we're going to look at some of the differences to help you find out which camera gimbal might suit you best.

1. DJI Ronin S2 | $849 Standalone, $999 Pro Combo

DJI Ronin S2 Gimbal
Source: DJI

Without a doubt, the king of this list is the Ronin S2. Following several massively successful gimbals after the Ronin S, the eagerly-awaited Ronin S2 packs in too many exciting improvements to ignore. 

It doesn't just iterate on a previous version, this is practically an entirely new system that can revolutionize how you use a cinema camera on a gimbal.

With many filmmakers opting for smaller cinema camera rigs for the Red Komodo or Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, the Ronin S2 opens a world of possibilities by adding the ability to have incredibly impressive autofocus for any lens you want, powered by the magic of DJI’s new 3D LiDAR sensor.

3D Focus is available as a $129 accessory, and when the S2 is armed with the 3D focus module, it essentially turns any manual focus cinema lens into an auto-focusing beast that can rival even Sony's industry-leading autofocus technology.

Check it out in action below!
Beyond the amazing 3D Focus system, the Ronin S2 has several massive features that bring tremendous value to an already reasonably-priced gimbal. It’s not exactly cheap, but the Ronin S2’s cost is certainly justified in light of what it brings to the table.

+New RavenEye Wireless Transmission System
+Improved Titan Stabilizing Algorithm Ensuring Optimum Stabilization
+Supports Payloads up to 10 lbs.
+Best-in-Class Weight-to-Payload Ratio at Just 2.3 lbs.
+ActiveTrack 3.0 Control via Touchscreen
+Up to 12 Hours of Battery Life
+Add 2 Hours of Battery Life in a Single 15-Minute Recharge
+NATO-Compatibility for Limitless Mounting Options
+DJI App Functionality

2. Ronin SC2 | $499 Standalone, $739 Pro Combo

DJI Ronin SC2
Source: DJI

If you shoot with a lightweight mirrorless or small full-frame camera and are looking for a cheaper alternative than the Ronin S2, the Ronin SC2 may be just what you need.

While it lacks some obvious features (such as the 3D Focus compatibility), the Ronin SC2 is capable of achieving amazing results in the right conditions.

It still includes ActiveTrack 3.0, along with the RavenEye wireless transmission system, features Titan stabilization, and is adjustable in up to six unique configurations to afford you maximum versatility on set.

Here’s an example of how mind-bending your footage can be with the RSC2.
The RSC2 is designed to be much more compact than the RS2, and boasts a foldable frame that makes it much more portable.

+Nearly Identical Experience to the RS2 for Less
+Supports Payloads up to 6.6 lbs.
+Lightweight at 2.64 lbs.
+Up to 14 Hour Battery Life
+Foldable for Easy Transport
+DJI App Functionality

3. DJI Pocket 2 | $349 Standalone, $499 Creator Combo

DJI Pocket 2
Source: DJI

Next on our list is the DJI Pocket 2, the follow-up to the famous Osmo Pocket from 2018.

The Pocket 2 is a beautiful 4K camera that's integrated into a tiny gimbal body that fits in the palm of your hand.

Not only is the pocket a perfect all-in-one solution for content creators, but it makes a great BTS camera for filmmakers, and can be mounted just about anywhere.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the pocket too is how it has the ability to replace a lot of gear on set for small-scale productions. 

Its high-quality microphone array can replace a small field recorder, and can even connect to a special wireless transmitter for lavalier like functionality, without the need for a separate receiver. 

When connected to DJI's extension rod accessory, the Pocket 2 can be used as a small camera crane to achieve shots that emulate the look of a low-altitude drone or a much more expensive camera jib.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out our full dive into how amazing this tiny little camera gimbal combination is, and why we think it belongs in the gear bag of every filmmaker and content creator.

+4K Recording in a Compact Body
+Mobile Recording Without Filling up Your Phone's Storage
+Works with a Ton of Accessories
+Surround Sound Audio Mics
+Long Battery Life at up to 140 Minutes
+Eliminates the Need for a Separate Camera AND Gimbal
+DJI App Functionality

4. DJI OM4 | $149

Source: DJI

The OM4 is the latest take on DJI's Osmo Mobile series of phone gimbals.

If you've ever used a mobile phone gimbal in the past, you'll know that it can be a little tricky to get your phone properly mounted, especially when you're on the go.

DJI has sought to remove the cumbersome nature of fitting your phone into a mobile gimbal by integrating a magnetic system into the OM4, making the once-tedious job of setting up your phone in a mobile gimbal cradle as easy as snapping it on to the magnetic phone mount.
This works in a similar way to Apple's new MagSafe accessories, and the convenience of simply popping out the gimbal and snapping your phone in place couldn't be any more useful for mobile creators.

+Best for Mobile Camera Creators
+Magnetic Lock Simplifies Setup
+Folds Down for Portability
+DJI App Functionality

5. Zhiyun Smooth X | $59 Standalone, $69 Combo Kit

Zhiyun Smooth X
Source: Zhiyun

Last up is the most affordable gimbal on this list, which is really one of its strong suits.  Ringing in at just 59 US dollars, The Zhiyun Smooth X gimbal foregoes traditional three-axis gimbal stabilization for a two-axis stabilization that allows for a much lighter and cheaper option when tilt control isn't a major need.
Most gimbal operators probably find themselves using the pan function far more than tilt, so this is a sensible option for those who want gimbal-like smoothness in their mobile videos without spending a lot of money.

+Cheapest Option for a Mobile Camera Gimbal
+App Control
+Telescopic Handle for Unique Angles
+Surprisingly Good On-Board Controls

In case you hadn't noticed, four of the five gimbals we listed were from DJI. 

There have been several other gimbals released by different companies this year, but DJI continues to dominate this space with their commitment to innovation and engineering, and the outstanding new features they've brought to the market are incredibly significant.

From producing short films and feature-length projects to creating engaging content for YouTube and social media, gimbals are the key to achieving complex camera movements with professional stabilization.

As new technologies continue to widen the range of gimbals on the market, there are more options than ever before for filmmakers and content creators of all skill levels.

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