I first purchased the DJI Ronin with the hopes of mounting it under a UAV not realizing this wasn’t practical, but empowered by a photo I had seen of someone doing just that. From the image I believe it was mounted to an s1000 but closer analysis determined this was not so. The week after I purchased the price of the MOVI m5 dropped by $1,000.
The Ronin is very well built and I enjoyed the custom, solidly built case, albeit like it’s cargo, quite heavy. If I recall correctly it comes in at just about 50 pounds in the case, so still manageable with airline rules if you don’t add too much. My dream was to eventually get into a RED or another seriously pro camera package. After much deliberation, as I tested my Ronin with my trusty Canon 5d Mark II, I came to realize that at this point, the RED is beyond the scope of my personal kit. I still rent and use it occasionally.
So I sold the Ronin and purchased the MOVI, fortunate to get the holiday deal with controller and custom Pelican case. I picked it up on-site and the guys who handed off the gear were adamant that I contact them with absolutely any questions (pretty cool). Immediately I fell in love. After hoisting the Ronin the MOVI is a feather. The difference in weight is difference in usability.
On test shoots I could only hoist up the Ronin for a minute or two at a time and I workout regularly and keep fairly fit. The MOVI, with a monitor, would allow for much greater mobility.
Another key point is the MOVI rotates a full 360 degrees in pan and tilt and greater roll as well. The Ronin is more restricted from what I recall. I felt immediately the fluidity and concise operation of the MOVI were more in-tune. It felt like a much more precise operational package. The only thing that seems a little cheap are the tool-less, locking tabs, but as long as they hold up, I suppose the reason is that the light plastic adds nominal weight to the package.
Finally the controller uses the vertical movement of the left stick to adjust the pan speed and a dial to adjust tilt speed, while the Ronin has to be adjusted using the app or software. Having that immediate control that can even be adjusted mid-shot is top-notch.