Just last year, the relationship between DJI and Hasselblad led to the creation of the world's first medium-format drone package. Not content with their 50-megapixel creation, the companies have upped the ante, and the resolution, with the creation of a new 100-MP aerial imaging platform.
Although it looks similar to the drone released last year, both Hasselblad and DJI have slightly improved the components this time around. The camera is hooked up to an M600 Pro, which uses fixed antennas and arms for a shorter setup time compared to the M600 used last year. With six independent batteries, six rotors and a payload rating of 6 kg (13 lb), it should have no trouble keeping its expensive Swedish cargo in the air.
The camera itself is a Hasselblad H6D-100c, with a 53.4 x 40 mm (2.1 x 1.6 in) sensor. The 100-MP sensor has a crazy 15 stops of dynamic range, allowing the camera to capture impressive detail in highlight and shadow areas. A new processor has been fitted, allowing the camera to shoot at 1.5 FPS without buffering for longer than the 50-MP model that preceded it.
The camera is connected via a DJI Ronin-MX three-axis stabilized gimbal, which has been chosen for its ability to maintain stability under high G-force loads. Depending on its intended use, the unit can be controlled using the D-RTK GNSS navigation system, which offers precise positioning for commercial or scientific users.
Alternatively, it can be flown through the DJI GO app, where users can also tweak the full range of camera settings on the fly. Images can be streamed to the app using a Lightbridge 2 downlink system from up to 5 km (3.1 mi) away, although we'd be nervous flying our hyper-expensive Swedish camera beyond our immediate line of sight.
DJI and Hasselblad will be putting their M600/Ronin-MX/H6D-100c platform on sale later this year, but there's no word on price. Bought separately, the DJI M600 Pro is worth US$5,000, the Ronin-MX gimbal costs $1,700 and the Hasselblad H6D-100c retails for more than $30,000. In other words? It's not going to be cheap.
Then again, if you're a professional surveyor or videographer, we suspect the steep price will be worth it.