DJI has emerged in recent years as one of the most innovative UAV developers, and their groundbreaking products have allowed the company to carve out the largest market share out of any civilian or commercial manufacturer. Innovation has been at the forefront of DJI’s success, allowing the company to appeal to both an enthusiast and professional market. Their latest platform, the Ronin-MX, further cements their market presence and signals their intent as a company that won’t be slowing down.
The Ronin MX gimbal has most recently been combined with a Hasselblad H6D-100c camera, allowing for top of the line professional photography from a medium format camera. The increase in image size allows for unparalleled detail and image quality in aerial shots. Control of the camera comes from DJI’s familiar Go app, allowing for easy control for anyone who is familiar with DJI drones and accessories. The company has promoted the new setup as essential for landscape photography and artistic travel shots, as well as for civil surveying, map production, and any other scenario where no-compromise aerial photography is required.
The Ronin-MX in itself is not a standalone system, but is instead a gimbal and camera setup that can be mounted on existing M600 UAVs. The M600 (Matrice 600) is already an industry leader in terms of performance and features. The drone is a significant step up from standard civilian devices, and distances itself from DJIs popular Phantom line. The UAV is foldable for portability, it has special dust-proof propellers, and the motors used for drive are designed for long life, and even self-cool while in operation. Six rotors allow for maximum stability, and individual batteries ensure safe recovery of the drone, even if an individual rotor fails or runs out of charge.
A focus on commercial use is illustrated by compatibility with the D-RTK GNSS system that is used for navigation. The system is highly resilient to RF and magnetic interference, and provides stability when other drones simply wouldn’t be able to perform. The increase in stability is an important development, because this is exactly what has allowed for the use of the medium format Hasselblad H6D-100C camera.
Market observers will remember that DJI previously acquired a partial stake in Hasselblad, which provided the framework for closer collaborations between the two companies. DJI is known for quality optics on the consumer and mid-level drones, but when using devices like the M600, operators are expected to bring their own equipment. Choosing the H6D-100c paired with the Ronin MX gimbal means that operators can gain superior image quality from a sensor that measures at a large 53.4 x 40 mm. The larger sensor ensures better color accuracy, increased overall detail, and the increased sensor size also ensures that high quality images can be produced in low light conditions. The stabilization system of both the drone and the gimbal can even allow for longer exposures that wouldn’t be possible with less capable drone / camera / gimbal combinations.
Other Camera Options for M600 Owners
The M600 platform can make for a compelling foundation for any professional photographer or videographer looking to expand their capabilities with a UAV. The Red Epic camera is one notable example that has been used successfully with the M600. Although the Red camera doesn’t provide the same high resolution as the Hasselblad (35.4 Megapixel vs 100 Megapixel), it does come with the advantage of incredible dynamic range and up to 8K resolution video running at 30 fps. A Red camera combined with the M600 platform would make for an excellent solution for commercial video production for film, online content creation, advertising, and wedding or events videography.
Full Pricing to Be Announced in the Coming Months
DJI and Hasselblad made a huge impression when demoing their M600/Ronin MX platform at the recent NAB show in Las Vegas, and are expected to announce complete pricing for the system, including the H6D-100c, in the coming months.