With their onboard camera and gimbal systems many of DJI's high-end consumer drones are perfectly capable of shooting sharp photos and video, but for cinematic quality footage you'll need a machine with a little more grunt. Announced today, the company's Matrice 600 drone is its most powerful yet, and with the ability to carry 6 kg (13.22 lb) is aimed at serious film makers looking to get professional rigs up into the sky.
DJI's Matrice 600 is a six rotor multicopter powered by six batteries and is designed to work with DJI's line of high-end Zenmuse gimbals and cameras, including the X5 and the X5R, which shoot 4K raw video and accommodates Micro Four Thirds lenses. With a Zenmuse X5 in tow, the M600 can fly for an impressive 36 minutes at a time.
Alongside its newest drone, DJI also took the wraps of an updated version of its Ronin stablizing rig, the Ronin MX. Unlike its predecessor, the three-axis Ronin MX can take to the air and was designed to work with the M600. When fitted to the drone, it allows compatibility with third-party cameras including models from RED, Black Magic, Canon, Panasonic Sony and Nikon.
Flight times will vary depending on the camera the Ronin MX is carrying, but the drone features self-adaptive flight systems that make adjustments depending on the payload, allowing for up to 16 minutes of air time with a larger camera such as the Red Epic.
DJI has built a new flight controller for the M600, dubbed the A3. The Pro version of this, available as an optional upgrade, uses three Global Navigation Satellite System units and three inertial measurement units, which when paired with DJI's Real-Time Kinematic technology (another optional upgrade) promises centimeter perfect positioning. The idea behind this to give directors the ability to recreate take after take without diverging from an identical flight path.
The M600 also features Lightbridge 2, an updated version of DJI's video downlink technology that it says allows for live streaming of high frame rates and HD video from up to 5 km (3.1 mi) away. This is accessed through the DJI GO app, which also includes battery monitoring and the ability to configure aperture, shutter speed and video and photo capture when working with any Zenmuse X-series camera. It also allows for remote focus on the Zenmuse X5 and X5R cameras.
The Matrice 600 and Ronin MX are available to buy now, with the drone priced at US$6,000 and the stabilizer at $1,600.
You can watch a promo video for the M600 below.