Is “Red” visible to DJI? — Ronin 4D will not support ProRes RAW.

DJI released a specification update for the Ronin 4D in a tweet earlier today. Unlike previously stated (and unlike our evaluation, which used ProRes RAW), the firm claims that the camera system will not have internal ProRes RAW recording functionality at launch. Instead, DJI will add ProRes 4444 XQ to the Ronin 4D-6K with a future firmware upgrade in 2022, and the price will be reduced to $6,799.

We only told you about the two planned firmware updates for the DJI Ronin 4D two days ago (check our review and lab test). The Chinese tech giant’s innovative 4-axis stabilized camera system was unveiled in October of last year, but pre-ordered devices appear to have been delayed. The DJI Ronin 4D with the Zenmuse X9-6K should begin shipping in the coming days, however, there appears to be some bad news on the way: the Ronin 4D will not support internal ProRes RAW recording.

The system’s inbuilt ProRes RAW recording capabilities were one of the most eagerly anticipated features, but it now appears that DJI will not be able to include it in the Ronin 4D package. DJI sent out a tweet today titled “Global Release and Specifications Update.” The Ronin 4D-6K units will begin delivering on February 16, 2022, according to the business.

Although the lack of ProRes RAW is a letdown, let’s focus on the good news first.

Mirror Control Mode, with automated calibration for third-party lenses, is controlled through a remote display.

DJI has stated that the first software upgrade for the Ronin 4D (discussed in this post) will be available at launch, which means that it will be accessible for download on February 16, 2022. The upgrade will enable Mirror Control Mode on the High-Bright remote monitor, as well as a clean video feed through HDMI and SDI ports on the remote monitor expansion plate, as well as automated calibration for select third-party auto lenses to achieve LiDAR focusing system functions. That’s fantastic news, because it means that third-party E-mount lenses will be able to be used “as is” without calibration and still have autofocus.

At launch, Ronin 4D does not support ProRes RAW.

Now comes the scary part: DJI claims that at launch, Ronin 4D will not enable internal compressed raw (Apple ProRes RAW) recording. DJI added the words “upon launch” to the statement, which is unusual. Does this imply that it will be included in a future firmware update? We can only conjecture on the specific cause behind this at this time. The most likely scenario, in my opinion, is that whatever agreement DJI had with RED Digital Cinema (owner of the compressed raw recording patent) became complex or canceled (we previously reported on Apple’s unsuccessful patent challenge). It’s a shame because I’m sure many folks who preordered the Ronin 4D were hoping to capture compressed raw in-camera.

Lower price and ProRes 4444 XQ instead

DJI also stated that a future firmware upgrade in 2022 will bring Apple ProRes 4444 XQ recording to the Ronin 4D. Unfortunately, this codec does not have the same enticing quality/file-size ratio as the newer ProRes RAW. The ProRes 4444 XQ format is much bigger.

The list price of the Ronin 4D with the Zenmuse X9-6K has been reduced to $6,799 to reflect the change in specs. Customers who pre-ordered the camera at the original pricing should contact the dealer for a refund of the difference in price (roughly $400), according to DJI.

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