DJI Inspire 2 Review – The Drone that Rivals ARRI Alexa Image Quality?

December 19th, 2016

Many people were thoroughly impressed when the new DJI Inspire 2 drone was announced. And rightfully so, as it features a 5.2K RAW camera, Apple ProRes, obstacle avoidance, redundancy systems and double the flying power of its predecessor – all at a fairly reasonable price.

I spent a week testing the drone in the field and I’ve seen what the camera is capable of after testing it in our lab. In this  DJI Inspire 2 review I will show you how the drone performs and what kind of image quality you can expect. Stay tuned for part II of our  DJI Inspire 2 review.

If you are interested in our DJI Inspire 2 LUT and Inspire 2 RAW to LOG converter, please see this article.

Please note: I abided by all laws to make this video. Due to concerns of some viewers I would like to point out that flight safety is very important. You should at all times see your drone. My night shots were filmed at dawn and I did not fly above people, buildings or streets for them. I flew slightly next to the highway, not above it, the church shots were filmed from above the yard and not above people and the shot inside the fog has an invisible cut, so I myself was positioned above and below fog for a clear sight of the drone at all times. Determine all risks carefully. Achieving many of these shots is much more work than it might appear.

DJI Inspire 2 Review – The Next Generation

This video review was my most extensive and time-consuming ever, but the more I worked with the DJI Inspire 2, the more I found that there is no way around creating an in-depth hands-on piece which I hope you will enjoy and find useful. As the successor to the Inspire 1, the DJI Inspire 2 really marks the next generation of drone flying for me. I was already impressed with the Inspire 1 RAW, but the 2 is a much more serious cinematography tool as the images it can produce are truly remarkable.

Please note that the YouTube/Vimeo compression, even in 4K is very strong. If you want to see how the actual image quality is in 4K, make sure you download the source file and watch it on a 4K screen before giving your final judgement to the image.

DJI Inspire 2 Flying

Photos shot by Gavin Fürst

I don’t want to repeat myself too much, as I mention most of what I found important in my hands-on video. In this written DJI Inspire 2 review, I want first of all to simply give you “the list”:

PROs

  • The X5S camera quality
  • 5.2K clean image quality – depth and resolution is amazing
  • Apple ProRes Codec integration is very handy
  • The overall ergonomics (case, battery, setup time, charger, etc…)
  • The extended flying time of up to 25 minutes (I think I managed to get 20)
  • Improved flying stability for smoother shots
  • Improved flying speed, ideal for aerial cinematography
  • SSD workflow
  • Safety features (redundant batteries and IMU)
  • Wider viewing angle
  • Acceptable low-light capabilities

CONs

  • ProRes color always defaults to “none” and burns in a “bad look” when not changed manually
  • Obstacle avoidance triggers too quickly and ruins my “flyby” shots
  • The DJI Go App is too crowded, some buttons are too small and popups are unorganised
  • The image transmission often broke up too quickly, at a distance of around 800m
  • Every second shot had a bad horizon, although this can be fixed in post easily
  • Focusing is still horrible. You tap to auto-focus but never know if you’re in focus or not until after the shoot.

DJI Inspire 2 Review - Seb and the remote

It is clear that DJI had been working on further improving the ergonomics of the drone, which is very nice to see. Small things like the remote control automatically charging your phone or tablet, the inclusion of an automatic landing gear, self-heating batteries, dual charging – all of these all make your life easier, especially as a one-man operator. It’s easier and safer to fly the DJI Inspire 2 than any other drone before.

DJI inspire 2 Review - dual batteries

I’m sure DJI will be working on future updates to address some of the issues I encountered. One should keep in mind that the first DJI Inspire 2 units are only just starting to ship to a few testers, and that the software for this complex machine is still in its early stages. In my correspondence with DJI, however, I did feel that the company took my feedback seriously.

dji-inspire-2-review-dji-go-4-app

DJI Go 4 App. The Color of ProRes recordings right now s defaults back to “none” whenever you change format.

The Camera – Zenmuse X5S

At the time of this review, I still couldn’t get the more affordable Zenmuse X4S camera to work, so I was only looking at the higher-priced Zenmuse X5S. The perfomance of the Zenmuse X4S will be, among other things, one of the points we will look at in Part II of our  DJI Inspire 2 Review.

DJI Inspire 2 Review - Zenmuse X5S Camera

DJI Zenmuse X5S Camera – Gives you RAW and ProRes recording options.

As mentioned in the video, the results I got from the Zenmuse X5S are truly remarkable. Not only could I match it pretty closely to the the colors of the ARRI Alexa, but the 5.2K resolution for me is rather mind-blowing. This kind of frame size is very useful, especially on aerial shots. That said, the dynamic range is not quite up there with the Alexa, and the colors of the Alexa are a tad smoother and more accurate out of the box.

DJI Inspire 2 review - flying in the church

You should also know that the Zenmuse X5S has a micro four-thirds sensor, while the Alexa shines in super35. During my skintone test with our model, I used the 45mm Olympus lens, which I believe would be a 60mm equivalent on a super35 size. I used the Zeiss 50mm Cp2 macro lens on the Alexa.

I don’t intend to suggest that you should shoot your whole movie with a drone, even though DJI tried that in their promo video, but I do think the Inspire 2 can be used in high-budget movie productions mixed with ARRI Alexa footage. It is nice to see how powerful the DJI Inspire 2 RAW files really are, coming out of such a small and ergonomic single-operator drone.

DJI Inspire 2 - 5.2K RAW file, converted to LOG

DJI Inspire 2 – 5.2K RAW file, converted to LOG (right-click open for full size)

And then there is the Apple ProRes codec, although please note that it is limited to 4K UHD. In my tests, I found that 4K ProRes gives you nicer results than using 4K RAW, because the 4K RAW files have some aliasing distortion. Instead, you should shoot 5.2K RAW and convert to 4K later for the best possible quality in 4K.

DJI Inspire 2 Flying in Church

I took night shots for the beginning of my film by intention, in order to see how the camera performs in lowlight. The compressed YouTube film looks rather noise, but the actual footage had less grain and was clean, so shooting a lit city at night is very much possble with the Inspire 2 Zenmuse X5S camera. I shot at around ISO 400, though it is hard to determine exactly as the source was RAW.

We will do further tests and present the results in my  DJI Inspire 2 Review Part II that is coming soon.

Inspire RAW to LOG Conversion

During my analysis, I found that the best workflow for .cdng RAW from both the Inspire 1 and Inspire 2 is a little complicated, so I made a separate article and video that describes the process in detail. There you will also find a download to conversion presets and LUTs that can be used to improve and optimize the post production workflow of Inspire 2 Raw and ProRes D-Log files. In particular I tried to come close to Arri Alexa Log C gamma and colors.

DJI Inspire 2 Review - RAW to LOG flat gamma

In the test lab, the colors coming from the X5S and X5R (Inspire) cameras appeared to be off by quite a bit in comparison to an Arri ALEXA. The idea behind the workflow and presets/LUTs was to convert Inspire 2 Raw (Or Inspire 1 for that matter) to a well-preserving video format in order to edit and colorize later (without having to go back to Raw). And furthermore to match and get a neutral Gamma on all my video files, ideally right while transcoding, so I can apply LUTs and grade easily.

Go HERE for the workflow tutorial

DJI Inspire 2 Review - Front

DJI Inspire 2 Package – What else do I need?

If you’re going for the high end DJI Inspire 2 Premium model with the Zenmuse X5S camera, here’s what I’d recommend you get:

The X5S package comes with most of what you need to fly professionally. Some kits come without the 15mm lens. You can either get that or any other of the recommended MFT lenses.

The drone comes with 2 batteries. These will let you fly for about 20-25 minutes. If you want more fly-time, get more batteries. I’d get 3 more sets, for a total of 8. This means I can spend about 2-3 hours in the field. I’d also recommend you get another charging hub and power adaptor, because the included one only charges 2 of the batteries at once, which takes about 90 minutes.

If you want to pilot and have someone else operate the drone, this can be achieved with a second remote. And another set of propellers might come in handy in case one of them breaks for some reason, although it is better to stay safe and never let that happen.

Ah yes, the Inspire 2 bundle will ship without SSDs, so if you plan to record anything you’ll have to get those as well. If you want to save money, you could go for two 120GB SSDs and only record ProRes 422 HQ in 4K UHD. If you want to do 5.2K, then two 480GB SSDs would be useful. In any case, I’d recommend to get two, because you can’t delete individual clips and transferring files takes ages, but also because if you lose or break one it would mean you can’t film anymore. Don’t forget the SSD Reader.

The minimum complete package is a little bit more expensive than expected, costing about $8,000. Considering the package DJI promotes costs $6,000, that’s a large extra and reminds me of the experience of getting a RED camera. But considering what you get, $8,000 is a well-deserved price, and in comparison to any other drone + camera that achieves this kind of quality, you could even consider this affordable.

Conclusion

There is no question about it, the DJI Inspire 2 is an impressive drone and a testament to the irritatingly fast pace at which DJI is advancing drone technology way beyond the competition. If you are a single operator and you are looking for a drone with great ergonomics and flying power, as well as the best possible cinema-worthy image quality in a small package, then look no further. There is nothing comparable out there, as any large drone will only outperform this if it is equipped with an ARRI Alexa. Even then, the resolution of the DJI Inspire 2 has no match. Maybe the RED Helium 8K could compete, but we hear the color science is not quite ready yet.

5.2K on a 4K screen is really, really impressive, the ProRes integration is a big improvement and the intelligent features this drone brings to the table will be a great help on any shoot. I hope DJI can work out some of the issues I have pointed out, especially the default color on ProRes and the horrible focusing limitations, but overall, the Inspire 2 is a great step up from the Inspire 1. Now all we need is this camera on a shoulder mount, but I have a feeling this is exactly what DJI will have in store for us soon.

What option would this leave the rest of the camera manufacturers? I have no clue.

DJI Inspire 2 Seb flying

We hope you liked our DJI Inspire 2 Review and camera analysis. If you have any questions or thoughts please let us know in the comments.

Special Thanks

To musicbed.com for providing the song.
Stray Theories – “We Never Left”
www.straytheoriesmusic.com

Skintone model – Ieva Pocytė

Big thanks to Gavin Fürst for his help flying the drone, photos and navigating the city!!!

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Bjorn Amundsen
Guest
November 9th, 2018

wow dude. really beautiful. best application of a drone I’ve seen. colors are gorgeous.

 Pablo Juarez
Pablo Juarez
Member
July 11th, 2017

Hey Sebastian, great video with great information. I just wanted to know: Is the X5S a better image quality overall than the X5R? I’ve noticed that the X5R camera alone is actually more expensive than the X5S. And the X5S is obviously better than the X5 and other cameras that DJI has ever produced, right? Thanks!

 Martin Lisius
Martin Lisius
Member
July 11th, 2017
Reply to  Pablo Juarez

Hi Pablo. I can answer that. The X5S is DJI’s best camera, so yes it is better than the X5R. I have filmed with several DJI cameras, including the X5S on the Inspire 2 which I own, and my opinion is you should purchase their very best camera for professional work, if that’s what you are using it for. That’s because their cameras are not really professional when compared to real pro cameras. The X5S is borderline professional. I think if you work within its limitations, you can get pro quality results. As far as I know, the X5S is the best integrated drone camera to date. I think for DJI to truly reach pro quality, they’ll need a Super 35 sensor, or S35 from a APS-C sensor like Sony does with the a6500, but without the rolling shutter issue that camera has. I know larger sensors require larger/heavier lenses, but there are several small lens options for S35/APS-C cameras. I hope this helps.

 Pablo Juarez
Pablo Juarez
Member
July 12th, 2017
Reply to  Martin Lisius

Thank you so much, Martin! That was very helpful and I feel more assured now. If you don’t me asking more questions, I would like to know, how do I know what is the right lens for the job? I’m very novice in the lens world and I prefer a lens that will do pretty much an “all-around” work. Would I be fine to film just with the X5S for distances and close-ups and just everything in general? Or would I be needing particular lenses?

 Martin Lisius
Martin Lisius
Member
July 18th, 2017
Reply to  Pablo Juarez

Hi Pablo. I think the DJI 17mm lens that comes with Inspire 2 Premium Combo is an all around good option (FF 34mm). I also like the Olympus 12mm.

 Zilvinas Zusinas
Member
March 20th, 2017

Dear, Sebastian, thank you so much for all of your work. I have 5 questions about DJI Inspire 2:
1. Is the X5S camera fully working, while motors are off?

2. If yes, does stabilization work with motors off then?

3. Is it possible to use Inspire 2 in the studio with motors off?

4. Is it possible to change focus, aperture direclty in iOS, during the flight?

5. Can two iOS devices be connected to one drone?

 Martin Lisius
Martin Lisius
Member
July 11th, 2017

Hi Zilvinas. I have an Inspire 2 with the X5S camera and can answer your questions.I have copied and pasted your questions below.

1. Is the X5S camera fully working, while motors are off?
Yes. We often test lenses, exposure, etc. with the Inspire 2 on, but motors off in our office.

2. If yes, does stabilization work with motors off then?
Yes. The stabilization activates as soon as the Inspire 2 is turned on.

3. Is it possible to use Inspire 2 in the studio with motors off?
Yes. You can use it like a gimbal if you want and actually shoot that way. You may want to remove the props first in case someone accidentally starts the motors.

4. Is it possible to change focus, aperture direclty in iOS, during the flight?
Yes. You have control over focus and exposure while flying which is very nice. You’ll want to use only a DJI supported lens. I have the DJI 15mm and the Olympus 12mm lens. Both work well. The DJI 15mm looks exactly like the Panasonic 15mm to me, so I’m guessing it was just re-branded.

5. Can two iOS devices be connected to one drone?
Yes. You can have two devices for one drone so you can use one to pilot, and one to film (two person operation).

 LAWRENCE WYMAN
LAWRENCE WYMAN
Member
March 1st, 2017

So many videographers can’t make up their mind whether they want to produce a music video or an informational review. Please lower the music track so we can hear what you are saying. It is intolerable to me and I refuse to suffer such conflict.

 Martin Lisius
Martin Lisius
Member
January 26th, 2017

Guten morgan, Sebastian! Excellent review on the Inspire 2 X5S combo. It’s nice to finally find a review of this system created by a professional cinematographer. Your insight is thorough and valuable. Thank you for taking the time. I recently purchased the Phantom 4 Pro. It’s a very easy to deploy and fly aircraft. However, despite the big improvement in the camera, over the P4, it’s still pretty rough as a “pro” camera at times. It has difficulty resolving fine textures like trees and grass. I am not sure if this is the camera itself, or the recording system which is H264/H265 at 100 mbps. I have tried both of the codecs, different frame rates, and different shutter speeds, but still cannot correct this. The drone did go back to DJI and they installed a new camera board, they said. Still getting the issue. Is this just a limitation of the system? I would love to use one of my pro cameras, but would need a heavy lift drone which would be cumbersome. Perhaps the Inspire 2 X5S is the best solution for a “quick deploy and fly” system. You can see the blurry texture video I’m getting at https://vimeo.com/196755368 If you get time (in your busy schedule), let me know what you think. You can comment here or on the above Vimeo page. Danke!

 Martin Lisius
Martin Lisius
Member
July 11th, 2017
Reply to  Martin Lisius

I have since resolved this issue by selling the DJI P4 Pro and replacing it with an Inspire 2/X5S.

 Patrick Taylor
Patrick Taylor
Member
January 3rd, 2017

Great review. Very informational. Thanks for posting.
Question – with 2 sections of your article concentrating on converting footage to LOG, are we to assume that the X5S system does not shoot RAW LOG files internally?
And, why would we want to immediately convert RAW CDNG files to Prores? I’m a colorist by trade and I always prefer grading RAW files when possible. Am I missing something about how DJI delivers recorded media?

Thanks again for the great article.

 Patrick Taylor
Patrick Taylor
Member
January 3rd, 2017

Hey Sebastian,
My bad. I read your post too quickly and too late at night and did not realize your conversion advice was specifically directed at Raw footage. I also neglected to add the word “or” between RAW and LOG, wondering why you weren’t informing people to shoot D-Log when shooting non-raw. This comes from my confusion regarding the X5S camera and not realizing then, as I do now, that this camera can indeed shoot raw internally after a separate license is purchased from DJI which enables this functionality.
That said, I still wonder why you’re asking folks to export their raw footage with a flat profile attached (BMD color space and gamma), directly from Resolve to a compressed format. This will both add a generation to your files as well as limit the dynamic range of your footage, which is the whole point of shooting raw. If you’re going to go to the trouble of bringing your raw footage into Resolve, you may as well grade it in Resolve, using a LUT if you prefer, and maintain all that beautiful data and dynamic range. If you shoot raw, grade raw. Just my 2 pennies.

 Tom Waugh
Tom Waugh
Member
January 3rd, 2017

Hi Sebastian,

This is my first ever comment on Cinema5D but really wanted to congratulate you on a great film and great review. Your footage is awesome!
Just wondering if you have any examples of the 4K RAW 10 bit 60fps? Any issues you noticed with banding or anything? Or was it not enabled yet?

Cheers,
Tom

 Tom Waugh
Tom Waugh
Member
January 3rd, 2017

Ah! Thanks Sebastian. So much great info!

Do you think the 10 bit vs. 12 bit will have any noticeable effect?

Cheers,
Tom

Member
December 26th, 2016

Until we get accustomed to the quality and disdain it like we do other, inferior devices that would have blown us away just a decade ago. Such is the nature of our highly spoiled age.

P/S That bulky controller needs to take a note from the Mavic and get out of the 90s.

Beautiful machine, nonetheless.

 Benny Baa
Benny Baa
Member
December 24th, 2016

will dji provide an osmo handle for the Zenmuse X5s camera for ground use?

 Dmitry Bystritsky
Dmitry Bystritsky
Member
December 24th, 2016

Great review, Sebastian! Thank you very much. Just want more video from this drone. Have you filmed something more? With your editing and colorcor.

 gildas Boclé
gildas Boclé
Member
December 23rd, 2016

Great review and amazing footage

Einar Davíðsson
Einar Davíðsson
Member
December 23rd, 2016

Tremendous review and footage. If one were to get this setup – which three lenses should you choose? And which of the two 15mm lenses is better? Can you operate the Zoom from the air on the zoom lenses? These are periphery questions I wouldn’t have minded a bit of info on.

Member
December 23rd, 2016

The stock 15mm lens is ok, but not really that sharp and has less corner sharpness that others.
The available zoom lens is even less sharp, not a constant aperture and zooming is far from smooth and shifts sharpness.

12mm the work horse for most of my video jobs
25mm nice and sharp lense
45mm nice and sharp lense but hard to get stable footage. I use it mostly for photography
14-42mm lense I bought, tested and sold it again after 2 days. Best use would be for Inspection pictures and search and rescue jobs
The 9-18mm is also not an constant aperture etc. like the 14-42 plus it has a lot of distortion

Not all of these lenses use the same thread diameter. So you’ll need different filters or some stepup rings. Using different filters will require manual rebalancing with weights to get best results. Not all lenses support a sun hoods. And flying in higher speeds can make troubles when using a sunhood.

Be aware that longer focal lenses will also require to an camera operator with good trained skills.

If you fly single operator, which is not allowed in many countries because you’ll have to watch the screen and take your eyes from the drone, I’d suggest a Phantom 4 Pro, which works up to most jobs, except if ProRes 422 or better is required by the client.
The 100Mbps h265 looks great from that P4P 1″ sensor (its the same as you’ll get with the X4S camera on a I2). Be aware to change from the .mov to the .mp4 container in the Go App4 settings, so you can edit in the current Premiere CC. The DJI h265 .mov file is currently not supported, only the h265 mp4 one is.

 Duane Abler
Duane Abler
Member
December 22nd, 2016

Thanks for the thorough and detailed review. Excellent work, very clear and helpful. Cheers!

Member
December 21st, 2016

Great article/review and even better film! Thanks Sebastian.

 Per Sjöborg
Member
December 21st, 2016

one of the finest reviews i have ever seen! excellent work! And super information! =)

 Markus Magnon
Markus Magnon
Member
December 20th, 2016

I am not even into drones. But this was a very good review.

James Beer
Guest
December 20th, 2016

Fantastic review Sebastian. Now I have to get one in 2017!

 Momir Alvirovic
Momir Alvirovic
Member
December 20th, 2016

Thank you Sebastian for first pro analysis of I2 and X5S… After watching complete review I have some notes and questions:

1. by looking at presented examples it is obvious that CinemaDNG shold be used exclusicely for 5.2K – presented 4K CinemadDNG is so messy downscaled that it is questionable why they put that option anyway (it is far below quality of Sony 4K XAVC)
1B. as there is potential downscaling issues, did you compare 4K PRORES from DJI SSD to the 4K produced by downscaling 5.2K CinemaDNG in post – if DJI CineCore downscaling is good then 4K PRORES from SSD should match quality of 4K PRORES produced in post?

2. What was the ISO of X5S and Alexa in your examples? Have you done any sensivity tests – how bad is the X5S noise and color reproduction at ISO 800 or 1600 (not to mention 3200 ;)?

3. Are there any real focusing aids for manual focusing, which work in full res on camera (real focus magnification or focus peaking, not in-app magnification of fixed 1080p signal)? As noted in Cons: Focusing is still horrible. You tap to auto-focus but never know if you’re in focus or not until after the shoot…

 Ian Swarbrick
Ian Swarbrick
Member
December 20th, 2016

Brilliant review, so eloquently presented, and English is not even your native tongue.
You`ve left me sorely tempted. But my software upgrade path stopped at After Effects CS5.5. Would I need to cough up for the Creative Cloud subscription to work these files?

 Ian Swarbrick
Ian Swarbrick
Member
December 20th, 2016

Thanks Sebastian.
The dng opens in CS5.5, thanks.

I had less success with the preset when trying to open it in ACR7. On my PC in ACR I got the message “the selected settings use Process 2012 which is not supported by this version of Camera Raw”

 Ian Swarbrick
Ian Swarbrick
Member
December 20th, 2016
Reply to  Ian Swarbrick

sorry ACR 6.7

 Wynand Cillie
Wynand Cillie
Member
December 20th, 2016

A great and very informative review. I have the latest Phantom 4 Pro and have ordered the Inspire 2 Combo… Very expensive as I’m a amateur – doing only videos for fun. Having said that I’m also full of nonsense when it comes to video quality. I was impressed by the P4 P’s new 1″ sensor camera and hope the X5S will blow me away. I have not much knowledge of ProRes etc. Have been doing normal stuff with Adobe Premier CC (2016) and hope to learn a lot more here…

Jimmy Pitts
Guest
December 20th, 2016

Great review.

 David Piccinelli
Member
December 20th, 2016

Hey Sebastian! Excellent review! 2 hours to empty the 480gb ssd seems too much, so I’m wondering, did you transfer to an other ssd? or a hard disk drive? Also, are you sure your usb3 port was working right? I don’t understand how 480gb on a very fast ssd could take 2h

 Jonathan Barker
Member
December 20th, 2016

Great article. I have been thinking about upgrading from the Inspire 1 Pro, or getting the Mavic Pro for convenience. Perhaps I will consider the Inspire 2 for 2017. However, I wonder…how many batteries do you take for ‘a day’s work’?

Member
December 20th, 2016

A full day job does require at least 16 batteries (8 flights) and a generator or other power supply to recharge on location or on the go.

Member
December 20th, 2016
Reply to  Mathias Häcki

The upcomming charger case will come in handy.
Or you’ll go with more batteries.
We usually bring batteries for 10 to 15 flights and recharge if needed.
You can’t count 20min per flight. As you should replace batteries at bellow 50% for safety reasons. Plus usually you need to fly out and wait for the action to happen, which can also take a couple of minutes on each take.

Simon Roberts
Guest
December 20th, 2016

Nice vid. Thanks

 paolo baroni
paolo baroni
Guest
December 20th, 2016

clouded morning sooooo goooood!! congrats

Member
December 19th, 2016

even when the rules for flying are very free in switzerland, nightflights in europe are only allowed with correct lights following the SERA – Rules, which no DJI-Drone provides… and especially the rules for flying a drone is always to see the drone direction what limits how far away you can fly with such a little drone… your flights are much to fare away to see whats going on, when you loose the video connection…. then your assurance will not pay if anything happens, also not if you fly over highways or over crowds like the Christmas market … also flying through the clouds is not allowed, cause you loose line of sight, and even flying through clouds (or fog, what is the same) while it is so cold is highest risk to crash the drone…. caused by ice on the propellers, so this video shows many people what can be done and they will try to follow and do the same, but it is a shame for any professional drone operator, cause so many rules are broken!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i really recommend you try to get certified by the austrocontrol for drone-operating and do some other trainings for learning how to fly safe

 T S
T S
Member
December 20th, 2016
Reply to  Michael Radeck

my thoughts exactly, plus this is a beta unit from Dji…everybody who has that much trust in a drone has never crashed one before because of technical failure

 Philippe Clairo
Member
December 19th, 2016

The package that DJI has put together include the licenses for Cinema DNG and ProRes. I own FCP X (ProRes included) and DaVinci (CineDNG included) is obviously “free”, so why would I bother with a license package that is $1500?

Eric Darling
Member
December 19th, 2016

The availability of the recording format on the DJI unit is what the license covers. You would bother with the license, because it allows you to record ProRes and Cinema DNG on the drone, which has nothing to do with your computer or your editing software. This license is not unlike what Convergent Design or Atomos offer with their external recording devices, where you may or may not have a choice to license the codec separately from the hardware purchase.

Sergio
Sergio
Member
December 19th, 2016

Nice work! DJI should really consider making standalone cameras. Wonder if the sensor is comparable to Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II spec?

Tim OBrien
Guest
December 19th, 2016

Was at the NYC DJI store yesterday. It was great to see all of the fun “tools”. Picked up another spare Mavic battery while there.

 leo dickinson
leo dickinson
Member
December 19th, 2016

Really helpful review – well balanced pros & cons – a question… have you any idea how idea how high it could fly (obviously in a safe area) – like could it climb from 4000ft to 10,000ft a vertical climb of 6000ft?

 Bo Lorentzen
Bo Lorentzen
Member
December 19th, 2016
Reply to  leo dickinson

Technically “probably” keep in mind there are special high-altitude props for the inspire2 and you will need them at 10,000 feet.. flying with the low-altitude props will drain more energy.
… however wind at 10k is generally significantly higher than at ground-level, thermal activity, wave etc. flying 2km up from the surface is a bit of a dicy proposition as you will be dealing with much bigger forces than you are in stable ground air.
That said, yes 6000 feet climbs have already been done by drones. and the inspire2 is definitely competent. odly it feels quieter than the i1, but once you punch it you realize how much more powerful it is.

Member
December 20th, 2016
Reply to  Bo Lorentzen

The aircraft limits 500m raise from the starting point. So to answer you question.: NO not possible.
Its never smart to fly out of line of sight and forbidden in most countries around the globe anyway due of good reasons.

Flying out of line of sight is only a thing to consider in special locations. Probably no one cares if you loose your drone far out in the desert. But loosing it nearby any place with people can be very dangerous.
Also be aware that a crashed drones can catch fire. So even flying out in the woods needs some consideration.
And last but not least air space regulations. Never fly without prior check of daily current air map to check which parameters are open to your operation on your location.

Yes, flight preparations are time consuming and are part of the cost of a professional pilot.

 Carlos Bento
Carlos Bento
Member
January 13th, 2017
Reply to  Mathias Häcki

Which makes me wonder if the software restricts movement inside an airport 5 mile radius (like the phantom) or since is professional grade does not have restrictions.

Eric Darling
Member
December 19th, 2016
Reply to  leo dickinson

It should go without saying for commercial operators, but depending on the country where you are operating, you are probably bound to a certain height AGL. In the USA, that’s 400 ft., which is an important rule. Also, depending on location, you may unwittingly be entering airspace other than Class G, which would require clearance from ATC. There is no naturally “safe area,” and you should be careful to know the airspace rules and how the location where you’re flying fits into them.

 Bo Lorentzen
Bo Lorentzen
Member
December 19th, 2016
Reply to  Eric Darling

LOL Eric, thats a very good point.. one would assume anyone considering a 6000 feet climb with a $5k camera system.. hopefully have the required aeronautical knowledge, and in the USA a part107 with the required waivers. (Altitude for starters and FPV comes to mind)

 leo dickinson
leo dickinson
Member
December 20th, 2016
Reply to  Bo Lorentzen

thanks guys – yes I thoroughly understand the restrictions in certain countries and would not wish to do anything outside these perameters – my question was could it climb that far – presumably out of eyesight range but I assume not out of FPV range.
I saw a video clip in the Karakorum taken at 20,000ft next to some climbers – I assume they took off and landed at altitude. But there are places where such a shot would be safe and allowed. North Pole ? we once skydived onto this with some Russians – very cold – loads of fun and yes I know a drone GPS would not work so well

Member
December 20th, 2016
Reply to  leo dickinson

As said. The Go App limits you to max. 500m altitude gain from the starting point.
You’ll need to build a drone with a different flight control if you need flights higher that this. Friends of mine did some base camp to climbers in the Himalaya. But that’s not possible with any current DJI drone due of app limitations.

 leo dickinson
leo dickinson
Member
December 21st, 2016
Reply to  Mathias Häcki

Hi – in the Himalayas what height gain did you achieve ? and was the drone alway in sight?

Member
December 21st, 2016
Reply to  leo dickinson

I had to look up the project, as it was a while since they did it.
The flight was in Pakistan back in 2012. 4300m up to 6251m
Here’s a video from that project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7BHo66hVnk

 leo dickinson
leo dickinson
Member
December 22nd, 2016
Reply to  Mathias Häcki

Thanks for that – it was the film I saw at a film festival, So how or where did you land it? You may have seen the film I shot of two Australians BASE Jumping off Gt Trango back in 1993(?) – having a drone then would have been wonderful but I think we made a good film anyway. I also made the film of Reinhold Messner & Peter Habeler making the first ascent of Everest without oxygen back in 1978. Again if drone technology had been available then it would have saved Reinhold carrying a Super 8mm film camera. Before proper video too !

 carl Olson
carl Olson
Member
December 19th, 2016

Fantastic review. While it’s not quite an apples to apples comparison (Alexa vs X5S), it’s very intriguing how good the X5S is in comparison. While I loved flying the Inspire 1, the stability and fine control improvements in the I2 are most welcome.

Ferdinand Wolf
Guest
December 19th, 2016

Hi Sebastian. The Unit you had for testing did not have the final firmware yet that will be available when the Inspire 2 ships. The final firmware and DJI Go 4 App will fix the problem with the camera settings switching to auto when going into a autonomous tracking mode like active track and spotlight. The Colour Profile will also be saved and stick when you switch to different resolutions and codecs. If you like to see the colour profile on your phone you just have to change the colour profile for the SD card recording as well. This influences the HD Downlink picture and you will be able to see the effect of flat picture profiles directly on the screen of your mobile device. The Image transmission quality/range will be improved on the final Units as well.

Christopher von Krogh
Guest
December 19th, 2016

Shut up and take my money NOW!!!

Nino Leitner
Guest
December 19th, 2016

I’ll PN you my bank account details ;-)

Christopher von Krogh
Guest
December 19th, 2016

I just spent it all on a new drone!

Oscar Stefan Majoros
Guest
December 19th, 2016

Gh5 sensor

Joseph Schindler
Guest
December 19th, 2016

And there’s evidence supporting this claim…..

Oscar Stefan Majoros
Guest
December 19th, 2016

No. Just a question. Specs looks like it could be the same.

 the SUBVERSIVE
the SUBVERSIVE
Member
December 20th, 2016

The GH4 is a 16MP, just like the X5R and the X5S is 20MP.

 Eric Turner
Eric Turner
Member
December 19th, 2016

Fantastic Review Sebastian. Great work!

Peter Nevill
Guest
December 19th, 2016

seriously

Adam J. Boyer
Guest
December 19th, 2016

those dual controllers alone are worth it

Adam J. Boyer
Guest
December 19th, 2016

“…5.2k…”
*starts saving dimes and quarters*

Adam J. Boyer
Guest
December 19th, 2016

That case is serious..

Adam J. Boyer
Guest
December 19th, 2016

*starts video*
Hears European accent..
“SOLD!”

Peter Nevill
Guest
December 19th, 2016

Adam J. Boyer we’ll get a jar and label it DJI. All spare change goes into it.

Adam J. Boyer
Guest
December 19th, 2016

*starts saving pennies*

Adam J. Boyer
Guest
December 19th, 2016

bold words… bold words.

Furkan Başer
Guest
December 19th, 2016

alexa using about over as 50.000 $ prices lenses and you’re making comparsion like that just comedy! ahahah

cinema5D
Guest
December 19th, 2016
Reply to  Furkan Başer

Just watch the video.

Gabriel Manz
Guest
December 19th, 2016
Reply to  Furkan Başer

And click the cvp and B+h links of course ;)

cinema5D
Guest
December 19th, 2016
Reply to  Furkan Başer

Gabriel Manz If you want to support what we are doing, yes. If you don’t care about our reviews and wouldn’t mind them disappearing, then don’t.

Nino Iasc
Guest
December 19th, 2016
Reply to  Furkan Başer

If you think something is better because it’s more expensive, you probably did a lot of wrong decisions in your carreer

Oscar Stegland
Guest
December 19th, 2016
Reply to  Furkan Başer

Lol, the first Inspire Raw intercuts beautifully with Alexa. What exactly are you saying?

 the SUBVERSIVE
the SUBVERSIVE
Member
December 19th, 2016

Could you share a picture of the sensor shot looking straight at it? I wanted to compare it with the X5R and other Micro4/3 sensor. In the X5S page there is a picture but it seems just illustrative and not a picture of the actual sensor.

 the SUBVERSIVE
the SUBVERSIVE
Member
December 20th, 2016

You mentioned that the FOV is slightly different so maybe the X5R crops a bit like the Panasonic cameras but I know that the X5S does full sensor readout in 5.2K and it crops in 4K. What I really wanted to know is if the sensor of the X5S is exactly the same dimension or if it’s slightly wider. Thanks!

 the SUBVERSIVE
the SUBVERSIVE
Member
December 20th, 2016

Oh, only in 4K 60fps, in normal 4K it downsamples.

Member
December 19th, 2016

Nice review
I got a few more points from my experience with the I2.
iPad Tablets didn’t get charged from the controller on our commercial shoot last week.
This might have changed, as we used pre production firm-/ and hardware.
The power gain is nice, but its acceleration curve is progressive and not linear. So getting fast altitude raises is still similar to the I1.
I would have loved the 0-60km/h in 4 second acceleration which has been lowerd to 5 Seconds by DJI.
The new front facing fpv cam is also a big plus and can getting the shoot easier an safer.
We had to fast lead flight a SUV on a mountain road in the alps. Due the fpv cam the pilot could fully concentrate on following the road and avoiding rocks and gates, while the camera operator could concentrate on the framing of the very near by car.
I go along with the guide and avoidance sensors. I’d love to get rid of them to safe weight and power consumption. I don’t need them. Anyone flying a 10k+ Setup should be able to fly decently ;)
Cost wise a single and decent setup will be closer to 15k as you’ll also need 2 extra rc (1 spare), lots of batteries, chargers and ssd’s to work commercialy. A backup bird not calculated in ;)

Michael Tranchitella
Guest
December 19th, 2016

Definitely drooling! I’ll give it a few months for them to iron out all the bugs!

Joelle Mcneil
Guest
December 19th, 2016

Bold statement

 John Eleazar
John Eleazar
Member
December 19th, 2016

That quality is jaw-dropping and excellent review as always. I’m wondering how were you guys able to secure a flying permit/license in Vienna? I’ve heard Vienna City is declared “no fly zone” by the authorities. Would love to know if there are ways to get the license for the Inspire 2.

Member
December 19th, 2016
Reply to  John Eleazar

I’m also curious to know since I would love to buy a drone but the regulations are so prohibitive where I live. How do you get permission to fly over busy roads and cities?

 T S
T S
Member
December 20th, 2016
Reply to  Myles Thompson

Just go to Switzerland ,which has one one of the most liberal laws about drones in the world and try to stretch theses rules as much as you can before they adapt it to silly rules like in Austria

 Henry Gretzinger
Henry Gretzinger
Member
May 10th, 2017
Reply to  John Eleazar

The city is Basel, CH, and I can confirm the Swiss have an exceptionally lax attitude towards aerial filming. Sebastian, beautifully composed shots and a fantastic review.

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