So you've had your fancy new gimbal for a few years now or maybe a few days. You're probably pretty good at using it now. You've also noticed its sometimes a pain to need the tuning stand with you. I mean, sometimes you just wanna set the thing down but unless you have an assistant or carry a back pack full of stuff that stand might not be nearby.
So by now I'm sure most of you have seen the MoVI by Freefly Systems. Back when they started using the carbon fiber ring in place of the standard crossbar and handles this was a pretty big deal in my eyes. It meant you had more options as far as how to hold the gimbal. Plus, the big part was that you could set it down on the bottom edge of the ring and it was a chance to take a break. The likes of Phillip Bloom and other famous video professionals were sharing them. I saw this as a great option. Ive yet to own a MoVI but once they released their MoVI Pro I took notice again and was impressed by its design. As much as I would love to have one. I can't justify the price currently for my work. Wish I could but I'm not there yet. Having owned a DJI Ronin M though since their initial release it got me thinking. How can I make my current gimbal more of a joy to use? How can I make my Ronin M more like a MoVI Pro? Let me show you what I came up with so far.
DJI released the Accessory Grip Ring for the Ronin M and MX. Shown here below.
As you can see it has an advantage, design-wise compared to offerings from Freefly Systems and others. This is fully collapsible which makes it nice to pack away. It is carbon fiber and has cushion grips. The size is a smaller diameter than the new MoVI Pro ring which is also worth noting. (25mm vs 30mm) The MoVI Pro is designed for larger cameras system in mind; so its built to handle the weight.
The DJI ring grip comes with a nice carrying case, but it lacks a set of feet. With feet, you can rest it on the ground or lean your gimbal up against something to take a break. I looked on DJIs website and they do not offer any sort of feet currently to buy. I found some very well made cnc'd aluminum feet from a company called Cinemilled. I own some of their products already and can say they make quality stuff. They are solid and a great solution if you want the indestructible kind. They also make a heavy duty ring themselves. I decided to check out FreeFly's website to see if they sold the feet from the new MoVI PRO as replacement parts. Sure enough, they did and they only cost around $25 plus shipping. (Price at the time of this article) So, despite really liking the Cinemilled feet, these were about $100 cheaper. They are made out of plastic so they would probably be lighter. If you want feet that will withstand abuse, definitely get the Cinemilled versions. If you want a less expensive solution than maybe you'll go the route I did.
Below you can see the Freefly MoVI Pro feet.
So I knew the ring diameter was different sizes between the DJI and the one for the MoVI Pro. I noticed on my DJI Ring there was rubber sleeves on the bottom and I did some measuring and took a chance that the MoVI Pro feet would fit when attached there. Once the feet arrived I noticed that on the inside edge of the mounting surface had round knobs. These were to keep the feet in the perfect spot on the MoVI Pro ring and to keep it from rotating accidentally on the ring. I got out my Dremel and shaved off those knobs. Once the surface was smooth I took the provided mounting hardware and mounted the feet onto the rubber sleeves on the DJI Ring. To my surprise, they fit perfectly there. I adjusted the angle so the ring leans forward about 10 degrees. This keeps your rig from falling over backwards. So far after a couple months of usage, the feet have not rotated on me. Also the gimbal has never fallen over.
Top Handle Solution ~
Another thing I did to improve the Ronin M was to add a Nato rail on top. This opens up a lot of options for mounting accessories including a top handle. If you don't care about having a handle you can purchase a nato cold shoe mount for a mic or even an LED video light. Here are some links below for what I recommend.
Buy Your Gimbal Here.
Buy the Feet here
Accessory Ring Options
Accessory Mounts for DJI Ronin M & MX
Field Monitor/Recorder Options