Drone maker DJI announces new product — and it’s not a drone
The next step in the evolution of drones may not be about the actual vehicle; it may be more about the attached camera.
At least that’s what the latest news from the world’s largest drone manufacturer, DJI, indicates.
DJI on Thursday announced two new interchangeable-lens cameras designed for the company’s Inspire 1 professional model drone: the X5 ($4,499) and X5R ($7,999). Both prices include the camera and Inspire 1 drone.
The cameras make DJI’s Inspire 1 the first commercially available drone featuring a micro four thirds sensor, which will allow for much higher resolution imagery. Specifically, the larger sensor will allow aerial photographers the ability to capture up to 13 stops, making high-resolution 4K video in low-light environments possible.
The new cameras will mean a huge leap forward in image quality for those using drones for professional videography and for enterprise customers who require a drone to show thermal imaging or generate 3D maps.
“Big pixels are important because there’s more surface area to collect photons,” said Eric Cheng, DJI’s director of aerial imaging, during the announcement at InterDrone in Las Vegas. “That means you get higher dynamic range.”
The more advanced X5R model will record video to both a microSD card and a solid-state disk to record CinemaDNG (RAW) video, allowing for higher-quality video.
The cameras are set to ship this month.
“The professional applications of the Zenmuse X5 are almost endless,” Cheng said. “In addition to shooting professional-quality photos and 4K video, the new camera can be used to create high-quality aerial maps and 3D models and can also help industrial teams get even more detail from their aerial imaging pursuits — for example, in utility inspection — using a drone.”