DJI Master Wheels – “Old Style” Controllers for Gimbal Operation

The DJI MasterWheels which we’ve already covered here aim to provide very precise gimbal control achieved with “old style” motion wheels. A more precise alternative to joysticks and knobs.

The Master Wheels are basically a combination between classic wheels from big camera tripod heads, and a much more sophisticated apparatus which controls the gimbals.

“Old style” motion controllers to get the organic movement

The reason behind DJI designing the Master Wheels is that a lot of DPs and camera operators still prefer to use wheels so they can accomplish more organic and precise camera movement than can be achieved with joysticks.

DJI has made decent efforts to mimic the good old days’ wheels by very carefully designing the look-and-feel and weight distribution in the wheels, in order to elevate the accuracy of the movement and make it more precise, as we can see in the video. The friction of the wheels is adjustable as well. 

The wheels are made of stainless steel, which provides a classic feel, reliable operation and accuracy by using ultra-high-resolution optical encoders to detect subtle movements and transmit them to a connected gimbal system, and can be fully customized by dedicated speed and smoothing adjustment knobs for each individual axis. Furthermore, the Master Wheels own dedicated acceleration dials which allow to control the speed of the movement.

Modular design

The three stainless steel wheels and the control modules have the ability to be swiftly detached from the main console and connected with a wire for space constrained shooting situations (like shooting inside a car or small spaces).

Motion controller – recording the movement 

The motion controller is a cool feature of the Master Wheels that allows you to record the movement so you can repeat complex movements by just pressing a dedicated button.

General specs

  • Wireless Long-Range Gimbal Controller
  • 3 Wheel Control Modules, 1 Per Axis
  • Compatible with DJI Ronin 2 and Ronin-S – Supports 3rd-Party Gimbals via SBUS
  • 1.8 Mile Distance; 10 ms Latency
  • 3-Stop Gimbal Direction Toggle Switches – Speed, Smoothness, and Damping Dials – Savable/Repeatable Moves
  • 2.4 and 5.8 GHz Dual Frequency
  • Up to 18-Hr Operation in as Low as -4°F (powered by an Inspire Ronin battery)

Pricing and availability

The Master Wheels will be shipped on June, and will cost $6000 for the two axis version and $8000 for the three axis version. 

What do you think about the DJI Master Wheels? Do you prefer to control the movement of your gimbal via joystick or via classic movement wheels like in old days cinematography? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 

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