DJI has announced that its latest cinema camera, DJI Ronin 4D, which is the first endeavour into the world of cinematography cameras for DJI, will now no longer support Apple ProRes RAW, a spec which was highlighted as one of the main features of this new revolutionary product at its announcement.
Statement from DJI reads:
"Ronin 4D will not support internal compressed RAW (Apple ProRes RAW) recording at launch, but Apple ProRes 4444 XQ will be made available through a firmware update later in 2022.
“To reflect this change in specifications, the list price of the Ronin 4D 6K combo is being lowered to $6,800” and “Users who pre-ordered Ronin 4D at the original price, should contact their dealers to receive a refund of the difference”
This is certainly a blow to those filmmakers who have already pledged $6,799 / £4,715 / AU$10,149 to this revolutionary 6K cinema camera, because of its RAW recording capabilities. This is not the first time we have seen Apple ProRes RAW removed from a camera just before its official releases, chinese cinema camera manufacturer Kinefinity announced that were removing the ability of Apple ProRes RAW recording in all of its existing models and that the codec would be removed before launch of its Mavo Edge 8K cinema camera.
Rumor has it that this instance, and quite possibly the same for DJI, is that competitors and global cinema camera giant RED, or Red Digital Cinema as they are officially known, own the patent for compressed onboard RAW video recording.
We know that DJI’s Zenmuse x9, which is the camera used on the DJI Ronin 4D and on their professional cinematic drones, does shoot ProRes RAW internally, but via its crafty CineCore 3.0, which bypasses said patent’s limitations. However, it must be noted that this “patent bypass” does not fix the issue of the new DJI Ronin 4D not being able to record Apple ProRes.
DJI has held its hands up and are offering a reduction in price and has confirmed that Apple ProRes 4444 XQ will be available via a firmware update later in 2022, but it does beg the question… Why do we have to wait for a firmware update later in the year and not have it available on the day of its release?