DJI’s Ronin Stabilizer (RS) line of camera stabilizers is widely-known as some of the best in the industry for consumer and prosumer use. Their newest RS stabilizer, the DJI RS 3 Mini, brings the powerful stabilization of its siblings into a much more handheld and portable package. In fact, the DJI RS 3 Mini weighs a “whopping” 1.8 lbs! That is in contrast to the DJI RS 3 which weighs 2.2 lbs but is larger to hold. The DJI RS 3 Mini can carry a payload of up to 4.4 lbs which should be enough for most APS-C, mirrorless, and micro four-thirds cameras. Of course, your mileage may vary as you can add a lot to most cameras these days. Thankfully, the DJI RS 3 Mini has a a NATO mount on its side for any additional accessories you want to mount. Personally, I put an adjustable grip with cold shoe mounts on it for additional flexibility. The DJI RS 3 Mini feels like a professional level stabilizer as its build quality is top notch.
The first step when setting up a gimbal is to balance the camera you plan to use on the stabilizers axis of movement. This part of stabilizer ownership has always been difficult for me, as I seem to unbalance one axis when balancing another – it’s frustrating. DJI has provided a very handy YouTube video on this topic though – its about 10 minutes long and is extremely informative. I followed along while balancing my Canon M6 Mark II and, before I knew it, the camera was balanced. With my Canon M6 Mark II, I had to use one of the included cables to connect it to the DJI RS 3 Mini. However, it should be known that the DJI RS 3 Mini is able to wirelessly connect to compatible cameras via Bluetooth. Via the cable, however, I was able to control the shutter, aperture, as well as starting and stopping recording. Controlling the DJI RS 3 Mini is simple thanks to its 1.4 inch color screen where you can easily see which stabilizer mode you’re currently in. Speaking of modes, the DJI RS 3 Mini features the usual suspects: The default Pan Follow (PF) to a Pan Tilt Follow (PTF) or First Person View (FPV). The control wheel in the front of the DJI RS 3 Mini can be used to focus the camera and the stabilizer’s trigger can reset the view, spin the camera around into a selfie mode, and also lock the target of the gimbal to stay looking at it as you move around. You can also control the stabilizer via the DJI Ronin app on your iOS device which is awesome if you are a one-person crew and need to operate the camera remotely.
One feature of the DJI RS 3 Mini which is being touted a lot is its ability to function with the camera in vertical orientation. While this is nothing new, it is implemented in a very simple way with the RS 3 Mini. Simply remove the horizontal arm of the stabilizer and attach the camera mount in the vertical position. You still have to re-balance if transforming from horizontal shooting mode but that’s not too bad once you get the hang of it.
Overall, the DJI RS 3 Mini is an excellent camera stabilizer for those needing to carry a mirrorless camera in a portable way. It’s a step up from the Osmo smartphone stabilizer line and a great way to implement video stabilization for your content creation needs. The one caveat I would add is that you need to take your time and follow along with the DJI tutorial videos in setting up and using the DJI RS 3 Mini.