DJI has just announced the release of a brand new camera stabilizer, the RSC2, to add to an already impressive range of stabilizers. The RSC2 is set to take over from the Ronin SC as DJI’s entry-level stabilizer.
The RSC2 has a unique folding design which allows it to transform into one of six different configurations to provide a huge variety of shooting options. The RSC2 can also fold down to a very manageable size for storage, no bigger than a sheet of A5 paper. My first impressions of the RSC2 were very positive—the build quality is excellent and inspires confidence the moment you pick it up. The handgrip fits my hand beautifully, which is important because operating a stabilizer relies on a good grip. The RSC2 comes with an additional, detachable grip which you can easily and quickly screw into the bottom of the main handgrip. This additional grip also doubles as a tripod which is super handy when you’re setting up your camera on the stabilizer, or shooting a timelapse, or simply resting your arms after a long shoot.
Balancing your camera on the RSC2
The first thing you need to do before shooting with any stabilizer is mount and balance your camera. This can be a tricky process when you first start to work with any stabilizer, but the more you do it the easier it gets. One of the features of the RSC2 that I really appreciated when balancing my camera is the axis arm locks. There are three axis arms that you need to balance and each one has a lock which means that you can isolate each arm in order to balance it individually. The locks are easy to access and operate, and they come in very handy when transporting and storing the RSC2.
The downside of a metallic finish
One of the downsides of the RSC2 I discovered when balancing my camera is a slight stickiness that occurs when you need to reposition one of the arms by sliding it through it’s mount. And often you need to make minute adjustments which makes the issue even more obvious. The matte metallic finish looks beautiful (and photographs beautifully as you can see), but it’s not ideal for parts that need to move over each other. Maybe with use those contact points will smooth out, or perhaps there’s a suitable lubricant that could be added.
The six modes of the RSC2
As I mentioned before, the RSC2 has six different shooting configurations, which makes it an incredibly versatile stabilizer. Aside from the standard Upright mode, there is also Underslung mode which allows you to shoot close to the ground. I initially just flipped the whole unit upside down, which kind of worked, except that the footage was also upside down. I later realized that there is a way to invert the unit and keep the camera upright. From Upright mode you can move to Portrait mode with just two taps of the M button. A lot of content is being shot in portrait mode for social media nowadays so it’s great to have that option at your fingertips.
Flashlight mode is really easy to transition to, although I would definitely recommend using the additional handgrip, as two hands make this mode much easier to use. This is a great mode for shooting dolly shots where you just want to push in or pull out from your subject. You’re probably not going to shoot for an extended period in flashlight mode however, as it’s a little tough on the arms. From Flashlight mode you can to transition to 360 mode with three taps of the M button. This is kind of a headline mode that allows you to shoot super cool rotating shots. Be sure to check out the video to see it in action. The final mode is Briefcase mode, which is sort of a modified Underslung mode, and one of my favourite ways to use the RSC2. It distributes the weight of the camera plus stabilizer really nicely.
Shooting with the RSC2
Overall, I have to say that shooting with the RSC2 was very enjoyable. There are a number of controls on the handgrip of the RSC2 that give you greater control over your shots, and also ways to access your camera settings. The trigger button at the front of the handgrip is used to reset the stabilizer, which invariably goes off-kilter from time to time. Two taps and it re-centers with a really satisfying movement. There is also a dial on the front which allows you to control your exposure (via the ISO setting), or pull focus if you have the focus motor accessory (sold separately). I was testing the RSC2 with the brand new Sony A7C, which isn’t supported yet, so I wasn’t able to connect it and take advantage of the onboard controls, which include a record button. I could use the joystick however, which allows you to pan and tilt your camera independently of your hand movements. This is a great way to get more dynamic shots, for example by walking and panning or tilting at the same time. It can be a little tricky to get this just right, as the speed of the pan or tilt varies based on the extent to which you move the joystick. You can change this, and a number of other parameters, in the settings, which allows you to fine tune the way the stabilizer responds.
I really, really enjoyed shooting with the RSC2 Camera Gimbal Stabilizer. I found the build quality and overall handling to be excellent. It is pretty intuitive to use, although I have to say that struggled to find good, concise instructions from DJI. The RSC2 is one of those review items that I wanted to spend much more time playing with, and it was with a tinge of regret that I passed it on to the next lucky soul to review.