Enter into the world of professional videography with the DJI Inspire, a drone which is without doubt ‘inspirational’ in every aspect and it doesn’t take a lot of working out where it got its name from.
This is a different world of drones as there is no question that this is a remarkable drone to fly, but that is not what this drone is about. This is a drone, or quadcopter, that is simply a flying 12-megapixel camera and video camera, plain and simple. From the video we have included it is impossible not to be left with a sense that the aerial imagery was of a professional standard.
This comes not just from the smoothness of the imagery, but the exceptional quality as well. There are several purchasing options for the DJI Inspire and we have chosen to take the basic version, the T600 with a single remote controller and one battery. After all, if there was a ‘one size fits all’ model then there would only be one to choose from. With upgrades to the Inspire, don’t get caught out with what appear to be bargain prices. We would recommend you do not buy anything under v2.0. as it has improved motors, a bigger gimbal plate and redesigned landing gear arms. This goes to show you that DJI aren’t resting on their laurels, as the 1.0 version was spectacular in the first place.
At this stage if we were to make one recommendation, it would be to invest in extra batteries. Also make sure that the batteries you get are the TB48 and not the TB47. The TB47 is a 4500mAh battery which gives approximately 17 to 18 minutes’ flight time, while the TB48 is a 5700mAh battery which offers 22 minutes of flight time. Double that up and with two TB48 batteries you will get an extra 10 minutes’ flight time, which is a noticeable difference. There is now a 600mAh battery out, so keep an eye on those as well. Like anything new to market, the price will be high, but after six months that can all change.
The other recommendation we would make is learn to fly a cheaper drone before advancing to this model. For sure it is not difficult to fly, but you still need to have the basic drone skills and reactions in order to make the most of this flying camera. That being said, it seems that the more money you spend on a drone the more they want you to keep it in one piece. The Inspire has a ‘Return to Home’ button which does exactly what it says, returns the drone to where you are, and lands it perfectly for you every time. additionally, while the remote operator will always display battery level, you will also get an audible waring when the batter life drops to a certain level, ensuring you will always have time to bring it back safely.
Now here we have to be careful what we say, as this is a drone which, because of its weight – 2935g or 6.5lbs in old money – must be registered with the FAA along with yourself, the pilot, and anyone else piloting the drone. However, while road speed limits may restrict you to 70mph, that doesn’t stop you buying a Ferrari that can do the best part of 200mph. The same may apply here as one of the FAA drone regulations is that you must always have direct line of sight when piloting a drone. Having FPV or first person view is not the same as line of sight, so don’t get confused. The reason why we bring this up is because of what is unique to the DJI Inspire, and that is the Lightbridge App. Not only does it allow you to live stream to a tablet, but it increases the remote control rang up to a staggering 5km. Maybe now you will understand why we brought up the subject of line of sight.
What we also like about the Inspire is the option to have a second controller. Now this may seem strange to those of you who are used to just passing the one controller between you when flying a drone, but that would probably be a hobby drone. Here the huge benefit of having a second controller is that one person can pilot the Inspire, while a second person can concentrate on photography. This is especially useful in tight situations where there are obstructions in the flightpath.
From an aesthetical point of view, we think the Inspire is stunning in its simplicity. This is not a ‘flash piece of kit’ but more a Rolls-Royce of the drone world where you need loads of flashing LEDs and go faster stripes. Black and white is cool, the design is precise and the actual drone itself precisely engineered where it needs to be. While one might be tempted to think of it as a gimmick, it is a remarkably practical and intelligent feature where the camera and body of the drone drop down in flight. Not only does this give you 360o field of vision for the rotating camera, but it also lowers the center of gravity, thus making the Inspire even more stable in flight.
When you get into the realms of spending thousands of dollars as opposed to tens or hundreds, you are going to demand quality, and that is precisely what you get with the Inspire. Much of the expense is tied up in the camera and gimbal. Where the gimbal is concerned, according to the DJI website:
“The 3-axis gimbal constantly draws on data fed by the intelligent flight controller, so it knows the aircraft’s flight parameters and computes the proper motion correction every millisecond. Angular velocity, momentum, inertial force and even GPS data allows the gimbal to apply countering power and force, keeping the camera perfectly level no matter how you fly.
Such precision is only possible because of the ultra-fast, custom-made processor that is unique to DJI gimbals. Operating at speeds that allow the gimbal to compensate for motion and tilt in real-time, this processor controls motors on all three axes: yaw, tilt, and roll.”
Pioneering brushless motors for increased power and efficiency
13” ‘Z-Blaze ’ rotors with carbon fiber for extra strength and stability
Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC) with sinusoidal drive
Intelligent GLONASS + GPS system for more accurate positioning
An IMU with 6-axis gyroscope and an accelerometer monitors miniscule changes in tilt and movement
Take off and land at the press of a button
Full 360⁰ rotation
12 megapixel photos
Live HD view
Easy video editor
Built-in flight simulator for practice
In truth we would probably give it 10/10 but you have to leave room for improvement!
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