Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K paired with the DJI Ronin-S

UPDATE : JULY 23rd 2018

Now I’ve got my hands on a Ronin-S it quickly became clear that there is no easy way to flip the orientation of the tilt arm as suggested in this article. The arms are locked in place, so without dissembling the latch mechanism on the roll motor, it’s not happening.

No drama, there will be numerous ways to attach the wider BMPCC4K to the Ronin-S. The solution I’ve come up with is to fit this £10 Fotomate Macro Focus Slider Plate which will provide plenty of room for the camera.

Balancing this setup should be fine. These slider plates are horizontally adjustable, which is useful to get the camera as close to the tilt motor as possible. If required, a counterweight could be always be added underneath.

  • Macro Plate
  • Macro Plate Top

BMPCC4K and the Ronin-S

One of the hottest bits of news from NAB 2018 was the surprise Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K reveal. This camera packs some outstanding features for the price.

Already teased at CES, the DJI Ronin-S handheld gimbal series is another exciting product. Given DJI’s proven track record for motion control systems, the latest version, shown at NAB, has been further tweaked based on beta testing feedback.

Pairing these new filmmaking tools will make a powerful system for self-shooters and the like.

Will they pair?

The overall width of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is wider than most cameras in this class. At 178.1mm / 7″ it really is a wide boy and will require deep pockets, well, physically speaking!

Compared to the current Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, it’s apx. 51mm / 2″ wider. And 26mm / 1″ wider than a Canon 5D Mk.3 shown on the Ronin-S product page.

Keen to see how this may work, I’ve done some calculations and accurately mocked-up the setup*. The good news is it will fit, providing the Ronin-S is setup with its tilt motor on the left.

This will allow the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K to fit with plenty of room between the left of its body and roll axis motor. Adjustments can be made to the handle’s position which will aid balancing.

As you can see from the second mockup below, it appears that the camera will not physically fit with the tilt motor on the right due to; the camera’s tripod mounting point clearance and the gimbal being at, or close to, its max position.

  • Left aligned tilt motor
  • Right aligned tilt motor

Powerhouse…

With the obstruction free roll axis on the Ronin-S allowing full view of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s beautiful 5″ screen, this image gives you a feel of just how awesome this setup will be!

*Please note: All calculations / mockups are based on; the DJI Ronin-S website image (DSLR version) with its pictured Canon 5D Mk.3; and dimensions provided by Blackmagic Design. These are speculative mockups but product specifications can always change.

Technical Specifications

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

ISO / Dynamic Range Dual native ISO up to 25,600 / 13 Stops
Sensor 18.96mm x 10mm (Four Thirds). Rumoured to be the SONY IMX294CJK.
Shooting Resolutions 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI), 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD), 1920 x 1080 (HD).
Frame Rates Project frame rates of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps supported.
Off-speed frame rates up to 60 fps in 4K DCI, 120 fps in HD windowed.
Codecs CinemaDNG RAW, CinemaDNG RAW 3:1, CinemaDNG RAW 4:1, ProRes 422 HQ QuickTime, ProRes 422 QuickTime, ProRes 422 LT QuickTime, ProRes 422 Proxy QuickTime.
Data Rates 5.6 MB/s (Apple ProRes Proxy) up to 270 MB/s (Lossless CinemaDNG RAW)
Storage 1 x CFast 2.0, 1 x SD UHS-II card, External SSD via USB-C
I/O 1 x HDMI Type A, 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1 x 3.5mm Stereo Input, 1 x mini XLR analog switchable between mic with phantom power support and line level (up to +14dBu), USB Type-C
Screen Type 5” 1920 x 1080 LCD capacitive touchscreen
Battery / Life LP-E6 / 60mins. (apx.)
Lens Control Iris, focus and zoom on supported lenses.
Dimensions W: 177.8mm / 7″ H: 96.52mm / 3.8″ D: 86.36mm / 3.4″
Weight Not known at this time
Price $1,295 / £1,170 (inc.VAT)

DJI Ronin-S

Control: rec. start / stop + stills Canon, Panasonic, Nikon, Sony, Hasselblad. more info
Control: pull focus Canon, Panasonic, Nikon more info
Control: adjust camera params. Canon, Panasonic, Nikon more info
Tested Payload Capacity 3.6 kg
Max Operating Speed 75 kph
Battery / Life BG37 Grip Battery / 12hrs. (apx.)
Dimensions 202×185×486 mm (apx.)
Weight 1.5 kg (gimbal only) / 1.85 kg w/gimbal and grip included (apx.)
Price $669 / £669 (inc.VAT)

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25 Responses

  1. Not sure why you wasted your time with this. There’s already pictures of the Ronin S being paired with the Pocket 4K at NAB.

    Reply
    • I didn’t consider it a waste of time. Interested to see your source, the only pictures I saw (after I wrote this) were of the camera attached to the gimbal hanging by the hot shoe mount, which partially obstructed the screen.

  2. John, There are better ways of making comments without the negative conutations. People can be so rude these days, cowardly without feelings. I have searched everywhere for this information. There is regarding other models, but not the s. Thanks for spending your time in providing.

    Reply
  3. Great info my friend. Thanks for taking the time to create this content for us. I definitely found this useful bro. Would you happen to know if the ronin s is compatible with the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5k ef mount?

    Reply
  4. This is cool, and will be an awesome setup. Was trying to find info about whether you could align the motor to the left and it seems you can based one what you have here. I have a hand strap I want to keep on my camera, so we will see how it goes. Thanks for your work on this.

    Reply
  5. Stanly, Thanks so much, this is great. This is why we should always keep asking questions, someone most likely has the answer.

    Thanks for this page, JB; keep up the great work. Brent

    Reply
    • Blackmagic are spot on with their software and already have developer API’s for controlling the URSA Mini.

      As I understand it, the BMPCC 4K uses the same software as the URSA Mini. So as long as DJI are up for it, it should be a breeze to sort out.

    • No it’s not mandatory buddy, this is just a suggestion of one way to attach the camera. There will no doubt be other options, but it needs something as the camera is just too wide to mount naturally (that’s what she said).

    • It’s possible yes. DJI are trying to cater for as many cameras as possible. Blackmagic have stated the following on the tech specs:

      Lens Control
      Iris, focus and zoom on supported lenses.

      Meaning native MFT lenses (non-manual) will be more likely to work.

  6. Do you know if the Ronin S and Blackmagic pocket camera 4k will be compatible for accessing the gimbal app. Right now it does not show Blackmagic as on the compatibility list.

    Reply
    • If you mean camera control from the gimbal (rec start/stop, focus pull, etc.) I’m sure as soon as DJI get a Pocket 4k production unit they will do all they can to support it.

    • Yes, I wasn’t sure if it was the camera system or the lens that has to be specific. Anyhow, great, I appreciate it!

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