On November 15th, DJI launched the new Inspire 2 professional quadcopter for aerial cinematography. The Inspire 2 appears to have nearly the same look as the Inspire 1, the companies first version of the professional camera-equipped drone; however, it is clearly a totally different aircraft. The shell among other components are produced using magnalium, which DJI says improves flight by lowering the weight of the unit. Battery life is the main benefit of the lower weight. The Inspire 2 has dual sensors in front for obstacle avoidance as well as a couple on the bottom of the aircraft. Additionally, there are infrared sensors on top of the unit for indoor/enclosed space operation.

The controls are indistinguishable to those on the Inspire and DJI’s more moderate Phantom series of drones. With previous experience flying the Inspire, users will have no difficulty with usability. For those new to flying, the drone has an incredible amount of power but still comes with a number of safety and ease-of-use features that are in all DJI products. The controller is similar though now can switch between 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz for greater signal stability. There’s also a broadcast mode which allows for a dedicated 1080i50 and 720p60 transmission signal.

On the Inspire 1, operating the master and slave controllers together requires the pilot to operate utilizing the live video from the camera, which may not generally be pointed forward. The Inspire 2 includes an FPV camera, giving pilots an ideal view while flying, while permitting the camera operator to set the perfect shot. The Inspire 2 also allows the master and slave controllers to operate at distances of up to 100m apart, a large increase from the Inspire 1.

DJI also announced the Zenmuse X4S and X5S cameras. The X4S features a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor with a f2.8 24mm focal point (35mm identical) and a mechanical shutter. The X5S is a 20-megapixel micro four-thirds sensor that can shoot up to 5.2K at 30 fps and 4K at 60 fps. It can also shoot in CinemaDNG, Apple ProRes 422 HQ, H.264, and H.265. It’s just as simple to swap out the lens on the X5S as it is on any typical DSLR, allowing for various focal lengths. Like the first model, the Inspire 2 has an exchangeable camera mount so you can switch cameras according to your needs.

The battery framework is self-warming, so it will still perform in temperatures down to negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s more, with optional high-elevation propellers comes the capacity to fly it up to 16,404 feet above sea level. Double batteries give up to 27-minutes of flight time and redundancy in the event that one of the batteries fails in flight.

Along with DJI’s Phantom line and new Mavic Pro, DJI’s complete aerial line is now updated from consumer to professional. It will be exciting to see what people do with this new technology as they take to the skies.

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