After a long wait, DJI has finally announced the new one DJI Inspire 3. The Inspire 2 has been available since November 2016, which is almost 6.5 years! I think many Inspire 2 owners were starting to think the Inspire 3 would never come, especially since leaked images of a possible replacement have been circulating for years with no announcement in sight.
The Inspire 3 was envisioned as a high-end drone that sits between a Mavic 3 Cine and more expensive dedicated platforms capable of carrying large digital cine cameras.
DJI claims the Inspire 3 is DJI's only cinematic-grade drone, which supports both Waypoint Pro with RTK and omnidirectional sensing.
- Zenmuse X9 Full Frame 8K Camera
- 161° night FPV with ultra-wide FOV
- O3 Pro transmission and control system
- Full Pro ecosystem
While drones like the Mavic 3 Cine offer incredible results for their size and price, for many serious drone operators the inability to switch lenses has made them a bit of a workhorse. While there's nothing wrong with a wide angle, some of the most dynamic shots from a drone are achieved using longer prime lenses. While the zoom lenses on some models in the Mavic series have improved over the years, optically they still fall short of dedicated optics.
So let's take a more detailed look at what the Inspire 3 has to offer.
Camera and sensor
The Inspire 3 uses a full-frame Zenmuse X9 camera that DJI calls the X9-8K Air. This appears to be essentially very similar to the camera found in DJI's Ronin 4D 4-Axis Cinema Camera 8K Combo Kit. The Zenmuse X9 features a 35.4 Megapixel full-frame sensor.
DJI's latest image processing system, CineCore 3.0, supports internal recording of up to 8K/25fps CinemaDNG video and 8K/75fps ProRes RAW (8K/75fps shooting video requires full-frame 2.4:1 format and Apple ProRes RAW in S&Q mode). In S&Q mode, the X9-8K Air supports internal recording of full-frame ProRes RAW video up to 4K/120fps without cropping.
The camera has dual native ISO EI 800/4000 when recording in full frame at up to 29.97p. Dual native ISO switches to EI 320/1600 when shooting full-frame at speeds above 29.97p. The available EI range is from EI 200 to 12800 and the Inspire 3 has a claimed dynamic range of over 14 stops.
It would have been nice to see an interchangeable camera system that allowed you to take the module from the Ronin 4D and put it on the Inspire 3 or vice versa. It's also a bit strange that the X9-8K Air camera doesn't come with built-in ND filters like the Ronin 4D. There must be a reason for this.
The Inspire 3's DL lens mount supports DJI's current selection of 16, 24, 35, and 50mm lightweight carbon fiber lenses. You can capture full-frame with all DL lenses except the 16mm. Only DL 18 mm F2.8 ASPH, DL 24 mm F2.8 LS ASPH, DL 35 mm F2.8 LS ASPH and 50 mm F2.8 LS ASPH lenses are compatible. It is not possible to mount other lenses as in the case of the Ronin 4D.
Lenses like the DJI 17-28mm T3.0 ASPH PZ Lens (DL) would probably have worked fine on the Inspire 3, but alas it doesn't seem to be compatible. The built-in zoom servo could have been controlled from the ground, allowing for very interesting shots in combination with the movement of the drone. I guess the weight was an issue with this lens not being compatible.
The X9-8K Air is also compatible with an ultra-wide 18mm F2.8 full-frame lens and a new telephoto lens made specifically for 8K aerial cinematography.
The Zenmuse X9, DJI's full-frame camera, uses a proprietary chip for advanced processing and high-performance computing. The Inspire 3 uses the CineCore 3.0 system to support internal recording of Cinema DNG, ProRes RAW, ProRes 422 HQ and H.264 footage. To record in Cinema DNG or ProRes RAW you need to purchase an additional license key.
The DJI Cinema Color System (DCCS) allows the X9-8K Air to maintain authentic colors that redefine the look of aerial cinematography. This applies to natural settings and urban landscapes, as well as accurately capturing skin tones in different environments and lighting conditions. The DCCS system enables effortless color matching between the X9-8K Air and cinematic ground cameras, such as the DJI Ronin 4D, delivering a consistent color style from air to ground to meet the needs of workflows of post-editing of film productions.
The Inspire 3 has been completely redesigned and features a lightweight, integrated body with a rigid, rugged, transformable chassis.
The Inspire 3 weighs approximately 3,995g (includes gimbal camera, two batteries, lens, PROSSD, and propellers). Maximum take-off weight is 4.31 kg.
The FPV camera, vision sensors, positioning antennas and memory card slot are integrated into the airframe for a minimalist look and modern industrial aesthetic.
Fully advanced design supports new Tilt Boost and 360° Pan structures. When the landing gear is down, the gimbal supports unobstructed shooting at an 80° upward angle.
Battery and flight time
The Inspire 2 has a takeoff weight of approximately 4KG with a camera attached. It requires two lithium-ion batteries to power it, and the flight time is just 23 minutes (with an X7 camera). If 23 minutes was fine in 2016, it won't be enough in 2023.
The flight time of the Inspire 3 with its new hot-swappable TB51 Dual Intelligent Batteries is approximately 28 minutes. 28 minutes is still not a lot, but I think most people will be happy with the extra 5 minutes. I don't think DJI could have lengthened flight times if they hadn't significantly reduced payload capacity. The powerful propulsion system allows a flight speed of up to 94 km/h, a climb and descent speed of 8 m/s and a diving speed of up to 10 m/s.
Intelligent modes with high mobility precision flight system
The Inspire 3 integrates high-precision RTK positioning technology, already used in industries such as architecture and surveying, to deliver centimeter-level accuracy. RTK not only makes flight more stable, but also makes flight route planning more accurate, significantly improving creative efficiency.
The integrated 3 GNSS system (GPS + Galileo + BeiDou) is powered by dual layer ceramic RTK antennas and ensures precise flight maneuvers even in harsh environments. By activating the RTK network or configuring a D-RTK 2 mobile station, users can achieve extremely precise positioning without installing additional modules. These also provide the Inspire 3 with internal orientation, eliminating the need to calibrate the compass in most scenarios.
Additionally, this feature enables the all-new Waypoint Pro feature, which allows you to plan flight routes and footage with a wide range of custom settings. Whether shooting solo or with a professional crew, Waypoint Pro can handle even the most complex scenes.
The Inspire 3 offers the following Waypoint Pro options:
Repeatable Routes : This allows pilots to have full control of precisely repeatable flight routes and maintain all preset parameters such as altitude, speed, gimbal angle and camera settings. Repeating the same flight mission allows cameramen to effortlessly take difficult single shots or fly at different times to the same location to easily create long-form timelapses that capture transitions such as day to night or season to season.
3D Dolly : This mode can simulate a crane, a cable camera or a dolly, going far beyond the limits of these devices. This feature allows users to create an aerial motion path where the pilot can move back and forth along the path with adjustable speed and full gimbal control according to shooting needs. In this way, complicated cinematic-grade camera movements become easier and more efficient and can offer better visual effects.
The new Spotlight Pro feature is based on powerful machine learning algorithms and offers pilots single object recognition and tracking, allowing them to concentrate entirely on flying while the gimbal camera automatically remains focused on the subject. This allows for complex shooting, even in single-pilot mode.
The most advanced omnidirectional sensing system ever built
The Inspire 3 is equipped with nine vision sensors, providing a robust omni-directional sensing system that can detect obstacles in all directions and provide comprehensive protection for flight.
In addition, the Inspire 3 features a new customizable function to ensure greater flight safety and greater creative freedom. Horizontal, upward and downward obstacle detection can be independently enabled or disabled, and the obstacle warning range can be set manually to suit different scenarios.
When active avoidance is disabled, users can still view the real-time distance to an obstacle on the navigation display and receive an audible warning when an obstacle is within a pre-set range, without the aircraft performing an automatic avoidance move . This opens up new possibilities for professional aircraft teams who want to achieve a more complex shooting language.
Ultra-wide night vision FPV
The Inspire 3 features an all-new 161° FOV ultra-wide-angle FPV lens with a 1/1.8-inch night vision sensor with 3μm pixels and up to 1080p/60fps live feed for clear, stabilized vision. and ultra-low latency for situational awareness and enhanced flight safety, day or night.
Multi-camera timecode synchronization
Through the aircraft's 3.5mm port, timecode can be synchronized between in-flight and ground equipment. When dealing with a lot of footage from multiple cameras, timecode sync makes the editing process much easier and more efficient.
O3 Pro transmission
With a generational leap in transmission distance, latency and overall stability compared to its predecessor, the Inspire 3's new O3 Pro transmission enables a transmission range of up to 15km with a single controller and up to 12km in dual mode. double check. The high-quality, reliable live feed up to 1080p/60fps has ultra-low latency of 90ms. For the first time, 4K/30fps live feeds are also supported with a transmission range reduced to 5km to meet the need for ultra-HD output and on-set livestreaming.
With the improved dual control mode, two remote controllers can now receive transmit and control links from the drone independently, so the pilot and gimbal operator can be in different positions on set.
The Inspire 3 is equipped with DJI RC Plus with a 7-inch 1,200-nit high-brightness screen to operate even in strong sunlight. The internal battery provides 3.3 hours of runtime and 6 hours with a hot-swappable WB37 external battery. It also features an HDMI port and customizable buttons and dials on the front, back and top, allowing for quick and intuitive operation. The DJI Pilot 2 application installed for the Inspire offers users a quick start-up time and an intuitive user interface with easily accessible features such as the integrated health management system.
The Inspire 3 is certainly not intended for casual drone users. This is a drone primarily intended for high-end owner/operators and companies offering drone services.
The Inspire 3 is available for pre-order on dji-store.it and in the DJI Stores in Rome and Milan and should be available at the end of May.
Combo includes DJI Inspire 3 Aircraft, Zenmuse X9-8K Air Gimbal Camera, RC Plus Remote Controller, TB51 6x Intelligent Battery, Charging Hub, PROSSD 1TB Drive, Trolley Case, 3 x Foldable Propellers quick release (pair), the lens carrying case, the RC Plus strap and more.