Hasselblad and DJI team up for 50 megapixel drone setup
Having bought into Hasselblad in October 2015, DJI's partnership with the legendary Swedish brand has finally borne fruit for professionals. The companies have combined the M600 Drone with the Hasselblad A5D, creating the world's first medium format drone package in the process.
The package is built around the Hasselblad A5D, which launched in June last year. It's a camera designed specifically for aerial photography, with no internal moving parts that could be affected by aircraft vibrations. Attached to the 50-megapixel body is a modified version of Hasselblad's HC 3.5/50mm-II lens. Focus is locked on infinity, and the whole rig is attached to a Ronin-MX gimbal.
That's a lot of camera to keep in the air, so DJI has supplied the Matrice 600 for the job. With six independent batteries, six rotors and a maximum payload of 6 kg (13 lb), it's equipped reliably to handle the A5D and gimbal for extended periods of flying.
Accompanying the drone is an A3 flight controller, which launched alongside the M600 earlier this year. In its most basic form, the controller will automatically adjust flight parameters to match the payload attached, but there are more expensive versions available. Jumping up to the Pro controller gives you three GNSS units and there inertial measurement units for more precise positioning, allowing directors to recreate shots with millimeter precision.
Images are streamed back to the DJI GO app, which also serves as a controller for the camera. Apparently, the Lightbridge 2 downlink system can transmit data from up to 5 km (3.1 mi) away, although we'd be a little hesitant to fly that far with such an expensive, heavy setup.
Pricing for the full drone and camera package hasn't been revealed, but rest assured it won't be cheap. The M600 drone costs US$6,000 alone, and you'll pay around $14,500 for an individual 50-megapixel Hasselblad A5D. Add the $1,600 Ronin-MX gimbal to that docket, and you've got a setup that is well beyond the reach of most hobbyists and weekend enthusiasts.
Still, if you're a professional film maker or surveyor, we'd imagine the outlay will be worth every cent.