DJI Inspire 3 review: A Revolutionary Aerial Cinematography Drone 26 June 2023
DJI has today released the new professional aerial cinematography drone, Inspire 3. The full-frame 8K cinema drone comes with a host of powerful, exclusive features, and a price tag to match.
DJI’s Inspire drone line is aimed at filmmakers and production houses. The latest product in this series, Inspire 3, takes aerial cinematography to a completely new level while ensuring that the drone flies more safely and with higher precision than ever before. Here are 15 things to know about this incredible piece of technology:
1. Design changes
The Inspire 3 has been completely redesigned to provide a highly portable form factor with a lightweight, integrated body. The FPV camera, visual sensors, positioning antennas, and storage card slot are seamlessly integrated into the airframe for a minimalist look.
With this new design, when the landing gear is lowered, the gimbal supports obstruction-free 80-degree upward-angle shooting, which would allow cinematographers to capture strikingly innovative shots. DJI has also designed new foldable quick-release propellers that are easy to store and don’t require reinstallation before each flight.
2. Flight time
Inspire 3’s all-new hot-swappable TB51 intelligent dual batteries provide a flight time of up to 28 minutes.
3. Flying speeds
The drone is equipped with a powerful propulsion system that allows a flight speed of up to 94km/h. The ascent and descent speed has been capped at 8m/s, while you also get a dive speed of up to 10m/s.
4. Full-frame 8K camera
The Inspire 3 ships with the lightest ever full-frame Zenmuse X9-8K Air gimbal camera, which features DJI’s latest image processing system, CineCore 3.0. The camera supports internal recording of up to 8K/25fps CinemaDNG video as well as 8K/75fps Apple ProRes RAW video. In slow and quick (S&Q) mode, the X9-8K Air supports internal recording of up to full-frame 4K/120fps ProRes RAW video without cropping, providing more creative editing options.
The X9-8K Air supports dual native ISO. At full-frame 30fps and below, it offers EI 800/4000, supporting the 24fps commonly seen in film productions and the 25fps used in commercial and television productions. At above 30fps, EI 320/1600 is available. This delivers ultra-clear footage for low-light scenes with rich details.
In addition, the camera covers 14+ stops of dynamic range, which captures rich highlight and shadow details in complex lighting scenarios like sunrises and sunsets. High dynamic range also brings more possibilities for post-editing, retaining genuine colors even after significant exposure adjustments.
5. Storage solution
The Inspire 3 comes with the DJI PROSSD 1TB included, offering up to 1,100MBps write speed and up to 900MBps read speed. The SSD can be connected directly to a computer via USB-C cable for easy file sharing and seamless workflows.
6. Precision flying system with RTK positioning technology
Inspire 3 integrates high-precision RTK positioning technology, which is typically deployed in industries such as architecture and surveying to achieve centimeter-level accuracy. RTK not only makes flying more stable, but also flight-route planning more accurate, significantly improving creative efficiency.
The integrated triple GNSS system (GPS + Galileo + BeiDou) is powered by built-in dual-layered ceramic RTK antennas, which ensure precise flight maneuvers even in challenging environments. Moreover, by activating the RTK network or setting up a D-RTK 2 Mobile Station users can achieve highly accurate positioning without mounting any additional modules. These also provide the Inspire 3 with internal orientation, which eliminates the need for compass calibration in many scenarios.
7. New Waypoint Pro intelligent flight modes
The Waypoint Pro function enables flight-route and shot planning with a wide range of customized settings. These are the available options:
Repeatable Routes: Pilots have full control of precisely repeatable flight routes while maintaining all preset parameters such as altitude, speed, gimbal angle, and camera settings. Repeating the same flight mission allows cinematographers to effortlessly perform difficult one-takes, or to fly at different times in the same place to easily create long-duration time-lapses. 3D Dolly: The new Inspire 3 drone can simulate a crane, cable cam, or dolly while going far beyond the limitations of those devices. Pilots can create an aerial motion path while moving back and forward along the path with adjustable speed and full gimbal control according to the needs of the shot.
8. Spotlight Pro subject-tracking
The new Spotlight Pro feature uses powerful machine-learning algorithms to offer cinematographers single-object recognition and tracking. Pilots can focus solely on the flight while the gimbal camera stays automatically focused on the subject.
9. Omnidirectional obstacle avoidance
The Inspire 3 is equipped with nine visual sensors. Meaning, its sensing system can detect obstacles in all directions and provide comprehensive protection for flying. But for more creative freedom, horizontal, upward, and downward obstacle sensing can be enabled or disabled independently. Plus, an obstacle alert range can also be set manually to suit different scenarios.
And even when active avoidance is turned off, pilots can view the distance from an obstacle on the navigation display in real time and receive an audio alert when an obstacle is within a set range without the aircraft performing an automatic avoidance movement.
10. Ultra-wide night vision FPV
The Inspire 3 offers an all-new 161° FOV ultra wide-angle FPV lens with a 1/1.8-inch night-vision sensor with 3μm pixel size and up to 1080p/60fps live feed that ensures a clear, stabilized, ultra-low latency view for situational awareness and additional flight safety, both during the day and at night.
11. Inspire 3 remote controller
The Inspire 3 comes with the DJI RC Plus remote controller, which boasts a 7-inch 1,200-nit high-brightness screen to operate even in strong sunlight. The internal battery provides up to 3.3 hours of operation time and extends to six hours with an external hot-swappable WB37 battery. It also features an HDMI out port, along with customizable buttons and dials on the front, back, and top, which enable fast operation. The installed DJI Pilot 2 app for Inspire ensures quick startup time.
12. Dual-control mode
Now, two remote controllers can receive transmission and control links from the drone independently, meaning the pilot and gimbal operator can be at different positions on set.
13. O3 Pro video transmission
DJI’s new filmmaking drone is miles ahead of its predecessor when it comes to the transmission distance, latency, and overall stability of the aircraft. Inspire 3’s new O3 Pro transmission system enables a video transmission range of up to 15 km with one controller and up to 12 km in dual-control mode. The live feed of up to 1080p/60fps has ultra-low latency of 90 ms. And for the first time, the 4K/30fps live feeds are also supported with a reduced 5km transmission range to satisfy the need for an ultra-HD output and livestreaming on set.
14. Timesync support and DJI Pro integration
A major focus of DJI with the new Inspire 3 is its seamless integration into professional film sets. This is why the drone features Timesync support through a 3.5mm jack. When filmmakers are dealing with a variety of footage from multiple cameras, timecode sync makes the editing process significantly more simplified and efficient.
At the same time, the Inspire 3 can be paired with one RC Plus and one High-Bright Remote Monitor. The monitor becomes a link to the DJI Pro Ecosystem, offering compatibility with products such as the DJI 4D Hand Grips and DJI Master Wheels. In addition, the DJI Three-Channel Follow Focus can also be connected to the RC Plus to enable Remote Focus and Iris Control on the Zenmuse X9-Air camera.
15. DJI Inspire 3 price and availability
The DJI Inspire 3 is priced at $16,499 and will be available for purchase from DJI store and authorized retail partners by the end of June. The package includes the DJI Inspire 3 Aircraft, Zenmuse X9-8K Air gimbal camera, RC Plus remote controller, 6x TB51 Intelligent Battery, Charging Hub, PROSSD 1TB, Trolley Case, 3x Foldable Quick-Release Propellers (Pair), Lens Carrying Box, RC Plus Strap, and other accessories.
With the launch of the DJI Inspire 3, DJI has brought a revolutionary aerial cinematography drone to the market. With its full-frame 8K camera, improved flight performance, precision flying system, and numerous intelligent features, this drone empowers filmmakers and production houses to capture breathtaking aerial shots with unmatched quality and creative possibilities.
The Inspire 3 marks a new milestone in the drone industry and promises to become an indispensable tool for professionals aiming for high-quality aerial cinematography.
You can order this drone from our partner Droneshop.nl