DJI RS3 mini experience: Smaller, lighter and cheaper RS3, purer stabilizer

On January 10, 2023, DJI brought the third member of the RS series of stabilizers.

I thought that DJI was adding a youth version called SC to the RS3 series this time, making a more affordable choice for entry-level users than buying the previous generation of SC models.

In fact, DJI did it too.

As DJI's first product priced at less than 2,000 yuan, this new RS3 series has sufficient cost performance and popularity.

But on the basis of a very friendly price, DJI has also made some upgrades in terms of light weight, load bearing, and performance.

Let everyone think of the DJI RS3 SC as the current DJI RS3 mini.

simpler, more plain

In terms of appearance design, RS3 Mini is much simpler and simpler than the other two RS3s.

The RS3 Mini is still dominated by black, with a smooth matte coating added to the metal body, but the iconic red line design on the RS3 and RS3 Pro is missing. There is skin-friendly anti-slip rubber on the handshake area. The visual perception of the two materials is very similar. With the one-piece design body, the integrity of RS3 Mini will be stronger.

The screen of the fuselage uses the touch screen design of the RS3 series, and the user can directly change the settings on the screen. The screen size is 1.4 inches, which is a bit smaller than the RS3's 1.8 inches.

The button layout on the handle is almost the same as that of RS3. Below the screen are the joystick, M button and recording button, and the power button and USB-C interface for charging are placed on the right side of the fuselage.

The NATO interface of the DJI RS series is retained on the left, but the fast mode switch that appeared on the RS3 is gone.

The scroll wheel and the trigger for Selfie mode switching and quick return are placed on the front side of the fuselage. The scroll wheel retains the red line mark, and the smoothness is the same as that of RS3.

When it comes to fixing the camera, the RS3 Mini comes with a horizontal shooting module by default, as long as the attached horizontal shooting module is removed, it can switch to the vertical shooting mode.

The quick release plate of the RS3 Mini is designed in a small size, and its shape is a bit like a raised Aka quick release plate. The front end of the quick release plate has a concave structure, which is used to fix the body in vertical shooting mode, so as to avoid the body from shaking back and forth and affect the shooting stability.

The screws used for the quick release plate have handles, which can be assembled and disassembled by hand without carrying devices such as coins with you.

For external devices, there is only one USB-C port on the top of the RS3 Mini. Users can connect the camera and stabilizer through the included L-port straight USB-C to C data cable, or connect wirelessly through the built-in Bluetooth .

There is DJI's iconic quick lock on the fuselage, which is convenient for users to quickly level and correct. The operating logic of the RS3 system is followed, and users who have used the same series of products before should be able to get started quickly.

The body shape of wrist strength, the performance of heroism

As you can tell from the name, DJI RS3 Mini is the smallest stabilizer in the DJI RS series, and it is also the smallest and lightest among DJI’s camera stabilizers.

▲ Left: RS3 Mini with horizontal shooting module Right: Ronin SC

The default DJI RS3 Mini weighs 850g, which is lighter than DJI RS3 and the earliest "Youth Edition" DJI Ronin SC, and is currently the lightest RS series gimbal.

▲ From left to right are the RS3 Mini body, bottom tripod, and horizontal shooting kit

If the user uses the gimbal for vertical shooting, the horizontal shooting module weighing 55g can be removed, and the weight can be reduced to 795g. According to DJI officials, the DJI RS3 Mini in vertical mode is 47% lighter than the RS3 Pro, and the storage volume is reduced by about 50%.

Compared with the RS3 and RS3 Pro, which still need to prepare a suitcase or backpack, the RS3 Mini is much more convenient to store and move, and it is also very simple to put it in the notebook compartment of the shoulder camera bag.

In terms of weight, it’s meaningless to compare the RS3 Mini, which is the lightest in the series, with its old products at the same price, and it’s also meaningless to compare it with the RS3 Pro, which has a larger positioning and load-bearing capacity than your own. Let’s take a look at your friends opponent.

When I first thought that DJI would release a mini-level camera stabilizer, I first thought of the Zhiyun Yunhe M series.

This series is also a small and lightweight gimbal to cope with the stabilization of mobile phones, compact cameras and small mirrorless cameras. Now update to Crane M3, use the latest lightweight design, and also update the body support to support a slightly larger full-frame mirrorless camera, and the positioning is similar to RS3 Mini.

But in terms of lightweight, Yunhe M3 has done a more thorough job.

It supports horizontal and vertical shooting mode switching design, no need to use a kit to change the form. It weighs 700g without the quick release plate and the bottom tripod, which is similar to the RS3 mini in vertical mode.

However, the RS3 mini needs to be assembled and disassembled to switch between horizontal and vertical shooting modes, which is a little more troublesome than the one-key switching mode. In addition, after installing the horizontal shooting kit, it will be 140g heavier than Crane M3.

For users who need to use a camera to shoot videos, the weight of about 100g will not have much impact.

And users who often use stabilizers know that there are two key indicators to look at the stabilizer – maximum load-bearing and lens support.

Compared with Crane M and M2, which were only compatible with mobile phones, card players, and micro-single cameras, M3 has upgraded the body support to Sony α7 third and fourth generation bodies, Canon EOS R, and Nikon Z full-frame cameras model and the main model of Fuji's XT series. However, due to the design, it is not possible to use too long lenses, so when the official shows, most of them use the α7 series with fixed-focus lenses.

On the contrary, RS3 Mini is much more aggressive in terms of load bearing and support.

The self-load can reach 2kg, and it is compatible with most full-frame mirrorless bodies on the market without any major problems. In addition, DJI has added a long-lens support similar to RS3 in RS3 Mini, so that it can support a Sony α7 third-generation and fourth-generation body with SEL2470GM support.

Compared with the M3, which can only use the combination of α7 and fixed-focus lenses, the RS3 Mini, which only has a weight difference of 10-140g, is compatible with zoom lenses of similar size to the SEL2470GM, and its maximum load-bearing capacity has reached 2kg.

▲ RS3 Mini (left), Ronin SC (right)

Putting it into the DJI RS system, the load-bearing capacity of RS3 Mini has reached the same level as Ronin SC, and the lens support capability has been improved. It is no problem to handle some simple routine shooting work alone.

If you use Pokémon as a metaphor, the RS3 series is like the evolution system of "wrist power-monster power".

The most professional RS3 series with the most complete performance and configuration is Guaili. The previous works such as Ronin SC and RSC2, which are in the middle in size and performance, are the previous generation Haoli. The newly launched RS3 Mini is:

The body shape of wrist strength, the performance of heroism.

The trade-offs that come with the mini

There is no doubt that DJI has added all the skill points of the RS3 Mini to the portability and basic performance this time. The functions and designs of the RS3 series can be transferred to the RS3 Mini, and DJI has released them.

For example, in the connection mode mentioned in the appearance section, DJI has added a Bluetooth module to the RS3 Mini. As long as the body lens has been officially adapted by DJI, it can be recorded and controlled on the gimbal after connecting wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Although the screen size is small, the touch mode of the RS3 system is also used, which is much more intuitive and efficient than the black and white screen plus joystick control in the RSC2 era.

These are combined with the light body, which are the progressive and unique features of RS3 Mini.

However, under the joint effect of lightweight and price reduction, RS3 Mini also needs to face many trade-offs. These are not necessarily the result of lightweight, but as long as you choose RS3 Mini, you have to face the difference in experience caused by trade-offs.

First of all, let’s go back to the appearance design part. The quick mode switching switch on the RS3 has been canceled on the RS3 Mini body, and the M key needs to be used to select the mode. The top structure is simpler and more compact than that of RS3. The multiple USB-C connectors that appeared in RS3 before can only keep one.

Although the RS3 Mini can connect to the camera via Bluetooth to control the shooting, cameras without Bluetooth can use the USB-C connection. If it is connected via USB-C, the electronic follow focus or the zoom of the electric zoom lens can be realized through the front scroll wheel.

But because there is only a single interface, RS3 Mini cannot have multiple external modules like RS3.

The one-piece body gives up the detachable battery design. If you encounter it during shooting, you can only continue to work through the USB-C interface.

Fortunately, in our test, there is a built-in 2450mAh battery, and the officially marked battery life is 10 hours. When using the RS3 Mini, there is basically no need to worry about battery life. The stabilizer will not work full-time in a single shooting of non-activity recording nature. The RS3 Mini can easily handle regular product shooting and daily Vlog selfies while walking. There is no big problem in shooting for the next day.

The USB-C charging of the machine supports a maximum of 5V 2A charging, and the official said that it takes 2.5 hours to fully charge from 0-100.

Although it does not support 18W fast charging on RS3, it is compatible with charging heads with PD, and charging will not be so troublesome.

In terms of stability performance, DJI RS3 Mini uses DJI's third-generation RS stabilization algorithm. The stability in daily mode is basically the same as that of RS3, and it performs well on flat ground and up and down stairs.

However, the RS3 Mini does not support the Hyper Smooth super stabilization function. In more extreme environments, it will be inferior to the RS3 that supports super stabilization. However, for the daily land use environment, the RS3 Mini is still very easy to use.

In terms of user experience, RS3 Mini performs well in a single mode of horizontal or vertical shooting. The combination of a lightweight body and a small lens can reduce the burden on the arm, and the stabilizer can reflect good flexibility. Coupled with the convenient storage design, if you are faced with some unified modes and only need to ensure the stability of mobile shooting, the RS3 Mini can easily solve it.

If you use a long and heavy lens like the SEL2470GM in vertical shooting mode, the small quick release plate of the RS3 Mini alone is not enough to support it.

Although there is a concave structure on the front side of the quick-release plate to help fix the camera body, but because the lens is too heavy, the support effect is not obvious. When using it, the quick-release plate will become loose due to the “top-heavy” effect, which will affect the stability when shooting. It's not so obvious when you shoot.

In addition, RS3 Mini's horizontal and vertical shooting mode switching is also troublesome.

Switching between horizontal and vertical shooting modes involves the disassembly and installation of the horizontal shooting module. It takes multiple steps to switch from the horizontal shooting mode of the mounted camera to the vertical shooting mode. Although the gimbal has a design to improve the leveling efficiency, the assembly and disassembly structure is still very complicated. trouble.

Although it is rare for a single project to have mixed shooting of both horizontal and vertical modes, if we only talk about mode switching, the RS3 Mini is slower than the RS3 stabilizer that can switch to vertical shooting mode with one button.

lighter, more convenient, simpler

There is no doubt that the DJI RS3 Mini is the lightest and cheapest option in the DJI gimbal system.

After being lightweight, it can reach a body of 795g, with a load capacity of 2kg and the support of zoom lenses such as SEL2470GM. It is equipped with RS third-generation stabilization algorithm, full-color touch screen and Bluetooth connection function, as well as DJI's own application software support, RS3 Mini is more competitive than small handheld gimbals that are only compatible with mobile phones, card cameras, and micro cameras.

At the same time, the load-bearing and equipment support of RS3 Mini also liberates the user's restrictions on camera lens combinations.

In the past, for the sake of portability, small gimbals could only be used with small bodies such as the α6X00 series and ZV-1 for daily shooting. Now, with the slightly larger weight and volume of the RS3 Mini, you can use the standard zoom of the α7 and GM series. work.

However, the RS3 Mini discards the electric lock module, quick switch mode switch and detachable battery on the RS3. It does not have the support of professional accessories such as fast charging, super stabilization and DJI image transmission. It is also relatively cumbersome… These are the trade-offs made by DJI after focusing on the RS3 Mini's skill points in light weight and basic cost performance, and it is also something you need to overcome when using it.

But in actual use, RS3 Mini is not so difficult to adapt:

  • Although the battery is not detachable, the battery life of the RS3 Mini is not bad, enough for a day of shooting;
  • Although it is cumbersome to switch between horizontal and vertical shooting modes, in reality, it is not necessary to quickly switch back and forth between horizontal and vertical shooting environments. It is possible to group the shooting of horizontal and vertical scenes as much as possible through preliminary planning to reduce the number of switching modes;

There are many methods and entry points, as long as they are optimized according to the environment and mode when used.

As for the lack of support for professional equipment such as DJI image transmission, I personally think it is still based on positioning considerations.

For DJI, the RS3 Mini is still a stable device with pure attributes for ordinary bloggers and small teams. In addition to being lightweight and easy to carry, the only thing RS3 Mini needs to do well is "stable shooting". This is why DJI can achieve precise knife skills on the RS3 Mini.

For more professional and multi-person collaborative shooting needs, leave it to RS3 and RS3 Pro.

If you are a blogger who needs to shoot alone, or a small team whose main business is event shooting and needs to lower the cost of a single camera, it is a good choice to purchase RS3 Mini as the main force or supplement the RS3 series gimbal.

"Buy it, it's not expensive."

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