DJI RS3 Mini Review: A Lightweight Gimbal For Mirrorless Cameras

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Last year, the Chinese tech giant DJI released  RS3, which made some sacrifices in terms of “functionality” and “load bearing”, in exchange for a harmonious “price”, and has become my most recommended camera stabilizer. Recently, the company announced another  3-axis gimbal stabilizer called DJI RS3 Mini, and today I received this gimbal that comes with a lower price and lower weight. The DJI RS3 Mini once again refreshed my knowledge of gimbals. So, let’s talk about some of my views on this new stabilizer.

DJI RS3 Mini Review

Unboxing

Like many new products of DJI this year, the packaging box of gimble is quite simple at first glance. The first impression when opening the box is that it is too small, overall it looks like a downsized DJI RS3. However, there are still some differences at first glance, that is, the battery does not have a split design.

DJI RS3 Mini Review

Except for the stabilizer body, other accessories are concentrated in the side box, and there are not many accessories. It is worth noting that this time DJI RS3 Mini does not provide a storage bag, and the tripod also provides a short version for lightweight, and there is also a very environmentally friendly charger configuration.

In fact, we still keep DJI’s earliest entry-level camera stabilizer product Ronin SC, which is a product with a self-weight of about 1.2KG and a load-bearing level of 2KG. Obviously, the RS3 Mini is significantly smaller in product size, and the leveling space of the gimbal can also surpass its predecessors.

It is worth noting that although it is a previous-generation product, Ronin SC can still be bought in the DJI Mall, and the price is very low. If the budget is really very limited, Ronin SC is a cheaper choice.

Features

Although it is a weight-saving and simple product, DJI RS3 Mini still provides a front dial, a 1.4-inch screen, and a NATO interface. This means that DJI RS3 Mini is not only the same as the previous DJI stabilizer products in terms of product interaction, but also most of the accessories on the market can be used in common.

For example, the jug accessories can be seamlessly used on the DJI RS3 Mini.

Next, let’s talk about leveling. This time, in order to solve the problem of leveling space, the DJI RS3 Mini arranges the adjustment of the pitch axis at the pitch axis motor. Although the storage volume will be slightly larger, the difficulty of leveling is reduced and the leveling range is greatly increased.

We first tried the combination of the Fuji X-H2 and the recently popular fried chicken Viltros AF 75/1.2 XF lens. The self-weight of this combination is already at the “competition full-frame” level, reaching 1.5 kg. In fact, DJI RS3 Mini still has a large enough leveling space when the leveling is completed, which can be easily solved.

Then we switched to the Tamron 18-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di III-A VC VXD and pulled the focal length directly to 300mm. Although this usage combination is quite exaggerated, the DJI RS3 Mini still hasn’t reached its leveling limit, and the EVF eyecup will not hit the shaft arm.

Next, we tried to install the Sony Alpha 7S III + Tamron 35-150mm F/2-2.8 Di III VXD on the DJI RS3 Mini that our colleague Fenghuo usually installs on the DJI RS3 Pro. This combination weighing just over 2KG cannot level the roll axis without dismantling the rabbit cage. However, the DJI RS3 Mini can easily move the mirror by relying on brute force, but it will overload and strike at the limit of the pitch.

So if you really want to use this “super ternary” combination or honestly use the DJI RS3 Pro, I believe that users with such needs will definitely not be short of the price of the stabilizer~

We continued to increase the difficulty to test the limit of DJI RS3 Mini and replaced it with the combination of classic SLR camera Nikon D850+Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8E VR. This combination is much larger in volume and weight than any set of mirrorless body + standard three-element lenses. At this time, the adjustment positions of the three axes are all at the limit value, and the roll axis can no longer be leveled.

However, after turning on the DJI RS3 Mini, it still relies on brute force to achieve a working state, and it is still OK to do some relatively simple, non-extreme camera movements.

Of course, the combination of Nikon D850+Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8E VR has already exceeded the recommended load value provided by DJI, so I think the maximum load weight of DJI RS3 Mini does not exist moisture. By analogy, such as Sony A7M3/M4/S3 plus FE24-70mm F2.8GM, Canon EOS R5+RF24-105mm F4L/RF24-70mm F2.8L, Nikon Z 6 II/Z 7 II+Nikkor Z 24-120mm Both F4/24-70mm F2.8 can be used on DJI RS3 Mini.

But then again, if you buy a portable stabilizer, it is light and compact. If you install this kind of mainstream product, the stabilizer is light, but the camera is still heavy, and it will still hurt your hands after 10 minutes of use. So I recommend you to use a lighter camera with DJI RS3 Mini, such as Sony FX30+ Tamron 11-20mm F/2.8 Di III-A RXD/17-70mm F/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD or Sony Alpha 7C+ A lightweight combination like the Tamron 20-40mm F/2.8 Di III VXD.

At the same time, DJI also thought of a relatively unusual way to solve the problem of vertical shooting, that is, to install the quick-release plate directly on the pitch axis. It is true that this operation is not only intuitive but also can reduce weight, but I think few consumers will realize the realization of this vertical shooting at the first time, which is a bit counter-intuitive.

So how heavy is the DJI RS3 Mini? We also weighed it on the scale. With the same load-bearing capacity of 2KG, the DJI RS3 Mini directly weighs more than 800 grams. If you use the native vertical shooting function, you need to remove one of the shaft arms, and the self-weight will be further reduced to 795 grams. Since the DJI RS3 Mini does not need to consider installing a focus motor/wireless image transmission/laser focus module and does not have an automatic locking arm design, it is quite light and light in weight. However, it is worth noting that although the integrated battery handle seems relatively short, the DJI RS3 Mini still has a battery life of 10 hours.

In addition to weight, the storage volume is also very important. The reason I like the DJI gimbals the most is that the RS series is a split design, which is convenient for me to store. This time, the DJI RS3 Mini uses an integrated battery handle to reduce weight. It seems that it is not as convenient to carry as before, so I specially gathered the DJI RS3 PRO that Fiberhome is using for split comparison. It is worth noting that the connection plate of the DJI RS3 Mini can still be quickly disassembled so that the bag will not be stuck so much, the shaft arm part is indeed a lot smaller, and the battery part is not too big.

If it is compared to the tear of the times Ronin SC, it is even more obvious. At present, there are more and more domestic camera bags/mounting bags, all of which have a compartment specially designed for carrying the camera stabilizer. Because the DJI RS3 Mini is small enough, it can not only be placed in the special compartment, even if it is placed inside the backpack. It’s also easy.

Conclusion

Overall, I think the DJI RS3 Mini was a nice surprise early this year. It does not have a lot of bells and whistles. It simply balances the three elements of “self-weight”, “load-bearing” and “price”, and simply provides consumers with a cheap, easy-to-use stabilizer product. As for the radio, fill light, etc., it is much more reliable to leave it to the accessories than to integrate it on the stabilizer. Therefore, I think it is close to a perfect score in terms of “removing complexity and simplifying”, but it is not enough as a choice for “consumption downgrade”. If there is a real demand, DJI RS3 is still the most worth buying among mid-range stabilizers.

DJI RS3 Mini is more suitable for those who have very simple needs for stabilizers, such as city check-in, the creation of lightweight travel photography subjects, or consumers who want to buy an entry-level micro-single stabilizer product. This simple device can really Avoid many detours. The above is my hands-on experience with the DJI RS3 Mini. I hope you will like it.

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