It has barely been a couple of month since DJI released the Inspire 1 “prosumer” quadcopter back in November and the manufacturer is releasing a new addition to the rig.
The new 4K drone barely started shipping back in December, so there are not too many hands on reviews available yet. Some users reported jello appearing in the shots and spotted some wobbling while the unit “retracts” to get the landing gear out of the way to keep them outside the camera’s view. All and all, the Inspire 1 seems to be a pretty awesome quadcopter that is almost ready for professional use, though Hollywood productions will still probably opt for an octocopter that can carry enough payload to lift a Red Epic or similar camera. But it’s surely great for a smaller, semi-professional camera crew on a more modest budget not being able to fork out five figure amounts for an octocopter platform.
The 4K Camera
The camera introduced on the Inspire 1 let’s you shoot up to 4K video and capture 12 megapixel photos. The lens consists of 9 seperate elements, including an aspherical one for extreme clarity. It also supports Adobe DNG RAW resulting in pretty professional shots if you are not aiming for theater quality.
Another important characteristic of the new camera is that it is fully modular, so you are not stuck with the same camera for the life span of the quadcopter as was the case with the Phantom Vision and Vision+.
Vision Positioning – Flying Indoors
A new feature called the Vision Positioning System makes the Inspire 1 a lot more feasible for indoor flights. It is an ingenious solution to avoid flyaways previously characteristic of early Phantom models. The new Optical Flow technology uses a specially designed camera as well as sonic waves to bring simplicity to flying indoors. This technology allows the the DJI Inspire 1 to hold its position, stop when the controls are released, and respond to your commands even when GPS is unavailable.
The New DJI Inspire 1 Mount
And indoor use is where the new mount – that was first available for review at CES 2015 starting Yesterday – comes in handy. It basically puts the same brushless gimbal stabilization technology that makes the footage coming out of the quad buttery smooth right into your hands. DJI is clearly the market leader in consumer grade quadcopters, but also supplies a very popular line of Ronin brushless gimbals to the film industry. If you are looking for indoor or outdoor handheld shot stabilization, the new mount provides you with two modes. One that tracks your movement, and another one that keeps the camera focused an a certain area. So if you don’t like the shaky footage coming out of a GoPro – and own and Inspire 1 -, you now have the chance to create those shots in a stabilized way by attaching your smartphone to serve as a monitor. The new DJI Inspire 1 mount also features a microphone and an option to connect an external one since the original camera does not record sound.
Pricing is not available yet, but Inspire 1 owners will have the chance to put their hands on the new mount as of the second quarter of this year.
Ben Popper at The Verge has the first video report on the DJI Inspire 1 Mount which seems to be pretty cool and right within the alley of DJI so it probably works just perfect.