New DJI Inspire 3 Drone – A Photographer & Cinematographer’s Dream!
As a FAA certified remote drone pilot and professional photographic equipment specialist for over 40 years, I was very excited about the recent launch of the new DJI Inspire 3 drone. A lot of photographers & cinematographers have been waiting for 7 years for this exciting replacement of the DJI Inspire 2 drone.
I decide to write this blog post because with my many years of experience as a remote pilot and photographer, I can offer a distinct perspective on which DJI drones would be a great fit, depending on a photographer or cinematographer’s needs.
Before looking specifically at the new DJI Inspire 3, I think it is important to look at the different series of DJI drones that contain drones for photographers and cinematographers. DJI has a consumer series of drones, a photographic series of drones and an enterprise series of drones. The high end of the enterprise series also has a hybrid model that incorporates a Phase One medium format aerial camera.
The consumer line of drones contains several drones that photographers use for certain jobs like home roof inspections or for solar planning for home roofs etc. However, the best drone in the consumer series for photographers & cinematographers is the DJI Mavic 3 Cine version. This drone is the high end of the consumer series. One note I would make is, don’t let the term consumer turn you off. DJI breaks their drones into various series according to certain features of the drones.
I won’t go into all the specifications of this drone, as that will be for a separate blog post. It is a compact and very stable drone that can be carried in a photography backpack. It has a 4/3 sensor that utilizes the Hasselblad Natural Color Solution color engine. It also has a ½ inch sensor. The 4/3 sensor is 1x power that digital zooms up to 7x power. At that point the ½ 7x sensor jumps in. It then digital zooms to 23x. This drone come with a RC Pro remote with a very bright 1000 nit built in screen. The two features that make this the Cine version is the built in one terabyte internal storage for doing videos. It also come with Apple ProRes.
The DJI photographic series of drones includes only the Inspire 3 now that the Inspire 2 has been discontinued. It is a very capable drone for filmmaking, but also for photography. They have added safety features to it like the enterprise series of drones, like an omnidirectional sensing system with 9 obstacle avoidance senses, making it very safe to fly. For me one of the other key safety features is the extremely low light built in FPV camera. When cinematographers are flying at night, the pilot still has an extremely bright wide-angle camera for flying in the dark. Combine the obstacle avoidance sensors and the bright low light FPV camera and you have a very safe drone to fly during the day or at night.
The camera has a full frame sensor with 8K making it very appealing to those wanting a similar quality as their full frame camera systems they currently own. It also has 14+ stops of dynamic range. One of the appeals of the Inspire 2 was that the landing gear could rise during flight and the gimbal could then pan 360 degrees. The Inspire 3 has that feature also, but you can also lower the landing gear during flight, since the new gimbal can also pan up 80 degrees which is a unique feature that many photographers have asked for.
The camera also takes DJI DL mount lenses including the existing 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm. DJI has also announced a new 18mm and a new telephoto coming out with an undisclosed focal length.
The other piece of hardware I would like to mention, (again, I am trying to look at the features that appeal to photographers, and not provide all the feature in this blog post), is the DJI RC Plus. This is the flagship of DJI controllers and comes with some of their enterprise drones also.
It is a very robust 7-inch 1200 nit bright screen. It has soft keys that change according to the screen you are on. That way you do not always have to touch the screen. It has three roller wheels on it as to be able to use one to zoom and the other two to work the gimbal. The Inspire 3 also allows the use of two controllers. One can be for the pilot and one for the photographer.
The Inspire 3 comes with many flight modes. One of notable importance is the Repeatable Route mode. Filmmakers can fly a route once and have it programed. The drone will then fly the same route as many times as needed. It will keep the preset parameters such as altitude, speed, gimbal angel and camera settings. Many other modes are also included.
There are many, many more features of this drone and I would be happy to spend time with you individually, going over them and how they relate to your business. I also spend time with photographers who are trying to get into the drone business. I am happy to go over things like:
- Which drone is best for your business?
- How to register a drone with the FAA.
- How to prepare for getting a part 107 remote pilot certificate.
- Ins & outs of the testing procedure.
- How to unlock a DJI drone in controlled airspace.
- How to get a LANCE authorization.
Before closing this blog post, I would like to talk briefly about the DJI enterprise series of drones, especially the M300RTK with an integrated Phase One iXM 100mp aerial camera.
The enterprise series of drones are specialized drones for inspection, mapping, lidar, public safety etc. If you are looking at getting into these types of photography, I am happy to discuss them with you. Some come with thermal, some come with removable payloads and can have multiple payloads such as spotlight, speakers at the same time.
DJI M3T Drone
DJI M30T Drone
DJI M300RTK Drone
The highest end in the enterprise line is the M300RTK. It has removable payloads, is very stable and is the most versatile in the DJI line. For the photographer wanting to have the highest quality aerial photography, Phase One has worked with DJI for many years incorporating the Phase One iXM 100mp aerial camera into the M300RTK. I will cover this combination in more detail in another blog post soon.
I would love to share my experience as a remote pilot and photography equipment expert to help you on starting a drone business or upgrading your current drone as well as any other photographic needs you may have.
Take care and stay safe.