DJI's latest cinema drone flies 8K full-frame gimbal camera
Camera drone specialist DJI has announced the launch of the successor to 2016's pro-grade Inspire 2 all-in-one cinema drone. The latest model comes with a full-frame gimbal camera capable of 8K video, more accurate positioning tech and improved obstacle detection.
"The Inspire 3 is the professional-level aerial platform all filmmakers have been waiting for," said DJI's Creative Director, Ferdinand Wolf. "It empowers users to fully maximize the potential of any shot as they can record in cinematic-grade image quality previously only available with large and clunky camera systems. We are looking forward to seeing how the Inspire 3 will push aerial cinematography to a completely new level."
The new Inspire hauls a lightweight Zenmuse X9-8K Air Gimbal Camera that's built around a full-frame CMOS image sensor and is paired with DJI's CineCore 3.0 image processing engine. The camera module is designed for DL-mount lenses and is capable of 8,192 x 4,320-resolution video capture at 25 frames per second in CinemaDNG or 75 fps in ProRes RAW formats to the included 1-TB SSD – which can write at 1,100 MB/s and read at 900 MB/s and can be cabled straight to computer over USB-C to transfer footage.
Up to 120 fps uncropped 4K slow-motion footage is also possible in ProRes RAW, and the camera can snap 8,192 x 5,456-pixel photos too. Low-light performance comes courtesy of dual native ISO of EI 800/4,000 full-frame capture at 30 frames per second or below, or EI 320/1,600 above 30 fps, and the setup offers 14+ stops of dynamic range.
The Inspire 3 comes packing RTK (Real-Time Kinematic) positioning tech for centimeter-level accuracy, which not only allows for improved flight stability but also powers a new Waypoint Pro feature to help with custom route and shot planning, and includes a nifty 3D Dolly function that simulates a crane, cable cam or dolly. The built-in GNSS positioning system also relies on dual-layered ceramic RTK antennas.
The cinema drone makes use of nine visual sensors for all-around obstacle detection, with pilots given the option to disable active avoidance and rely on audio/visual prompts for more creative possibilities. And the new Spotlight Pro feature can track single objects so that the pilot can focus on flying the drone.
The company's O3 Pro transmission technology is onboard, which doubles the transmission range of the Inspire 2 for control from up to 15 km (over 9 miles) away when using a single remote or up to 12 km (~7.5 miles) when in dual-control mode.
The Inspire 3 ships with a RC Plus remote running the DJI Pilot 2 app and rocking a 7-inch, 1,200-nit display and enough battery life for 3.3 hours of operation per charge. Pilots can look forward to a Full HD/60p live feed from the integrated night-vision FPV camera boasting a 161-degree field of view and a transmission latency of 90 milliseconds for "a clear, stabilized, ultra-low latency view for situational awareness and additional flight safety, day and night." The new O3 Pro tech also allows for 4K live feeds at 30 fps, though the transmission range is reduced to 5 km (3.1 miles).
Elsewhere, the Inspire 2 is reported capable of a top speed of 94 km/h (58.4 mph), can achieve smooth ascent/descent at up to 8 m/s and can undertake dramatic quick dives at 10 m/s. New hot-swap Li-ion batteries keep the drone stay in the air for up to 28 minutes per charge.
A package that includes the Inspire 3 drone, Zenmuse X9-8K gimbal camera, RC Plus remote and carry strap, six TB51 batteries plus a charging hub, 1 TB ProSSD storage, three pairs of foldable quick-release props, a lens carry box, and a trolley case is priced at US$16,499. It goes on sale from June.
Optional accessories include a new $1,299 DL 18 mm F2.8 ASPH Lens along with a DL 24/35 mm F2.8 LS ASPH Lens for $1,299 and a $1,199 DL 50 mm F2.8 LS ASPH Lens, spare props, an extra battery and charging hub, additional storage, and a $3,600 D-RTK 2 Mobile Station. The video below has more.
Product page: DJI Inspire 3