DJI Ronin 4D-8K Review: The Ultimate All-In-One Cinema Camera

EDITORS' RATING : 9 / 10
Pros
  • Cinema-grade image quality
  • Integrated 4-axis gimbal stabilization delivers amazing results
  • Relatively affordable compared to other cinema cameras
  • Integrated ND filters
  • Apple ProRes RAW recording capability
  • LiDar focus system
  • Long range wireless remote monitoring system
  • Good battery life
  • Rock-solid build quality
Cons
  • Costs almost as much as a new car
  • Large and heavy
  • Not water resistant

Capturing smooth, movie-quality footage can be a real challenge when you're operating without the advantages of a Hollywood budget, but the DJI Ronin 4D-8K might just be the ultimate solution to this conundrum. In addition to the typical 3-axis stabilization mechanism common to gimbal stabilizers, the Ronin 4D-8K adds a fourth axis which should help smooth out those pesky bumps in your footage incurred by walking or running.

As the name implies, the Ronin 4D-8K is capable of filming high-resolution 8K footage and has a whole bag of tricks under the hood which, at least on paper, makes this the perfect video creation tool for any filmmaker who can afford it. However, we have to take it out in the field and put the Ronin 4D-8K to the test to see if it lives up to the hype, and whether or not this is the camera for you.

DJI provided us with a sample of the DJI Ronin 4D-8K for this review.

Cinema quality video capture

It's quite impossible to say anything negative about the quality of video captured by the Ronin 4D-8K. You can shoot up to 8K 60fps in ProRes RAW format, or up to 4K 120fps and 8K 75fps in ProRes 422 HQ for slow motion, all using the entire full-frame sensor. A number of other file formats and crop options such as Super35 are also available, and we found the availability of the lightweight H.264 to be a convenient option, though we found that ProRes 422 HQ offered a nice middle ground for file size, dynamic range, and useability.

The Ronin 4D-8K features a dual native ISO of 320 and 1600, which can be expanded to a native 800 and 4000 ISO, alongside an increase of 12-bit to 14-bit recording when you engage Dynamic Range Expansion. In terms of low-light capabilities, the Ronin 4D-8K delivered excellent low-noise results, even when shooting at expanded ISO levels beyond the upper level of its dual native bases.

The DJI Cinema Color Science (DCCS) featured in the Ronin 4D-8K is excellent, and it's easy to grade the footage from this camera to achieve amazing results. The integrated ND filters were designed specifically to work with DCCS.

Between the great performance in low light, and the advantages of integrated neutral density filters during the day, paired with the high 14.7 stop dynamic range and the post-processing benefits of RAW recording, the DJI Ronin 4D-8K can deliver superb results in just about any circumstance.