Short Review

The DJI Inspire 1 just proved why DJI is so far ahead of its competition. It is a drone made for professional photographers and solidifies DJI’s dominance in the consumer drone market. With its 4k camera, you will be able to take professional grade video footage and it is compatible with 4 other cameras. This includes the Zenmuse XT, a thermal imaging camera that is perfect for commercial applications. It is a drone that exemplifies what DJI is capable of.

Key Features

  • 4K Camera
  • 18 minutes flight time
  • Obstacle avoidance technology
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • 1.2-mile range
  • Retractable carbon fibre arms

 

Welcome to my review of DJI’s latest release, the Inspire 1, and their full on assault to dominate the consumer drone market.

The world of aerial photography is changing fast primarily because of the continuous rise of consumer and commercial drones. In the world of consumer drones, DJI leads the pack and with the release of their latest model, the Inspire 1, they look to increase their market share in the world of consumer drones.

The Inspire 1 is a remarkable drone that comes with very advanced features. It looks futuristic and its main feature, the 4k camera, can be upgraded. The drone comes with many other features that will help drone photographers and continue DJI’s dominance in the consumer drone market.

From the many drones in the market especially those used for aerial photography, DJI Inspire 1 stands out as one of the best DJI must offer.

There are others that I have reviewed on this website like the 3DR solo and the Phantom 3 pro. However, I think the Inspire 1 beats them in every department especially in aerial photography.

The DJI Inspire 1 is equipped with some of the latest features and specs that make it one of the best model for quality drone aerial photography. In the following review, I’ll be outlining its most innovative features and other specs that you get for this stunning drone.

Inside the package

  • Carry case
  • Inspire drone
  • 8 propellers
  • Remote controller
  • Camera and gimbal
  • 16 GB SD card
  • ND filter
  • Intelligent flight battery
  • Battery charger

DJI Inspire 1 Review

DJI Inspire 1 is made of the toughest material that finds great application in the modern-day aviation industry. The body and the rotors sport a tough carbon fibre that has the capacity to withstand the harsh outdoor weather.

It doesn’t rust, scratch or corrode when exposed to the elements. With such heavy-duty construction, this drone comes up as one of the heaviest on the market weighing in at 6.5 pounds. Its size and design along with its wingspan of 22 inches make it look like something out of a science fiction movie ready to blast laser beams at us mortals.

Its size and design along with its wingspan of 22 inches make it look like something out of a science fiction movie ready to blast laser beams at us mortals.

Still, aesthiticallyDJI have done a great job of designing a drone that is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

Remote Controller

Inspire 1 controller

This drone comes with a long-range controller that boasts an industry-leading range of around 3 miles when unobstructed and with no interference.

Although, you should expect slightly less than this as companies sometimes overstate these features. However even if it slightly lower than what has officially been stated it is more than what is currently in the market.

The controller can be paired with a phone/tablet equipped with iOS 8.0/Android 4.1.2 or more. To get started, just download the DJI GO App on your device and you are good to go.

The controller also boasts other features like a button to take pictures and videos, the ability to control the camera and a button that will return the drone from where it took off. As the controller can be linked up with HDMI device, you can live stream HD footage from the camera straight to your tablet or phone.

The Inspire 1 is also installed with DJI’s lightbridge technology streaming HD footage is made easier. This also lets you live stream to youtube. This technology is also responsible for its long range transmission capability.

Inspire 1 – Design

 

DJI Inspire 1 is specially designed to easily slice through the wind using the least power. The drone is pretty fast, attaining a horizontal speed of around 50 mph with no wind. It has a maximum ascent speed of 5 m/s and a maximum descent speed of 4 m/s. The drone is designed such a way that when it takes off, the landing legs and propellers are raised up.

This makes aerial photography that much better because there is no obstruction. The drone can pitch 300 degrees and can be tilted to a maximum of 30 degrees.

Such excellent aerodynamic qualities enable the drone to attain a maximum flying altitude of 4,500 meters above sea level. DJI Inspire 1 can fly in extreme conditions where temperatures range from -10 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius. This great for aerial photographers who shoot in rough conditions.

High Payload Capacity    

This drone sports a payload that is above the average capacity. In addition to its bulk, the drone can carry 3.75 pounds. With such a payload, the drone possesses a flight time is reduced to around 18 minutes. This is much isn’t much different than the other drones in its class. The flight time gradually decreases as more weight is added.

Interchangeable 4k Camera

Inspire 1 camera

The camera and its features are the main attraction of this high-end drone. The drone is equipped with an HD camera that boasts a maximum resolution of 12 megapixels. The powerful lens captures high-quality images that are second to none. Its 4K video resolution makes it an excellent choice for those that desire to capture professional-quality video.

The camera records video in UHD (4096x2160p, 3840x2160p), FHD (1920x1080p) and HD (1280x720p). It supports JPEG and raw (DNG) Photo formats and is compatible with MP4 and MPEG-4 video formats. The lens has a great field of view that covers 94 degrees. The camera comes with a 16GB SD card however, you can purchase with memory up to 128 GB.

Purchasing memory cards is recommended and especially if you do a lot of photography/videography as the 16 GB card will fill to capacity pretty quickly.

With its Lightbridge technology, it can also stream HD video straight to your tablet, phone or any other device with HDMI connectivity. The live feed does get choppy when you fly the drone in harsh conditions and when it starts to reach its maximum transmission range

One other great feature about this drone is that the camera can be upgraded, which is a welcome change to other DJI drones. One of the few criticisms of DJI was that they made drones that had fixed cameras that couldn’t be upgraded. They have changed this with the Inspire 1 and now offer the following cameras that are compatible with this drone:

  • Zenmuse X5
  • Zenmuse X5R
  • Zenmuse XT – This is for thermal imaging and is only available to commercial customers
  • Zenmuse Z3

All the cameras are professional grade and they all come features that is expected of such high-end cameras. They are also stabilised with DJI’s advanced gimbal technology so all your images and video footage will be smooth and distortion free.

Check out the stunning footage below.

 

Flight

To fly the drone, all that is required is to attach the propellers and the camera and gimbal. Also, the battery may require charging and the drone may need calibrating. Other than that, its straight out of the large suitcase-like package and ready to fly. You will have to download the DJI GO App from either the Apple store or Google play.

The App is one of the most intuitive and feature rich drone apps there is. DJI are always updating it with more and more features. Along with live HD feed, you get a host of data displayed on the screen and you can set the altitude your drone can go to.

There are options that you can use to find out if you are in a no-fly zone and for photography/videography you have a in-app editor that lets you edit the images/footage you have taken.

Flight times have been recorded at around 15 minutes, although the official time is around 18 minutes. If you make heavy use of the cameras or fly it in windy conditions, the flight time will be reduced.

Fortunately, the intelligent power management means you get live data on your screen to see how much charge is left on the battery and how far away the drone is. These advanced features can calculate how long it will take to return home, if you fail to bring it back, its automatic return home feature will be activated. 15 minutes of flying time isn’t much for a drone as advanced as the Inspire 1, that is why it’s always recommended to purchase extra batteries.

Intelligent flight modes

Like most drones in DJI’s ever expanding range, the Inspire 1 comes with a few intelligent flight modes. You have follow me, point of interest, waypoint and return home.

Follow me – The drone will follow the person who hold the remote, in this mode you have full control of the camera, so all you have to concentrate on is taking awesome images.

Point of interest – Make the drone orbit a specific target, it could be anything or anyone, you just set the Hight and radius and the drone will circle that target.

Waypoint – Map multiple points on your DJI GO app and the drone will follow that route.

Return home – There is three ways the drone will return home, if you press the return home button on the controller, if your remote loses connection with drone and when the battery starts to dwindle.

All these flight modes make the drone fun and safe, they give you more time to take the perfect photo or shoot an awesome video. DJI are always upgrading their app, so more features should be added in the future making drone flying much easier.

Conclusion

DJI Inspire 1 is one of the best drones for aerial photography. It sports a perfect balance of power, flexibility, and stability. The drone provides ease-of-use for photo and video capture to provide professional quality footage and images. It boasts of a great aerodynamic design that enables it to fly in extreme conditions and venture into those hard-to-reach places. Its retractable legs also mean that they will never get in the way when you are taking photos or shooting videos.

If you have the money to spare for such an expensive drone than the Inspire 1 is definitely one you should consider. The Inspire 1 is an all-in-one flying platform that provides an unforgettable flying experience that will also take stunning aerial images. For professional photographers/videographers there is also the added benefit of upgrading your cameras should you wish. Purchasing this drone will set you back a few dollars, however, if you are serious about drone photography, then it will be worth it.

Pros
  • Provides Live HD view straight to your HDMI device
  • Long operating range
  • Tough and durable construction
  • One of the fastest drones on the market
  • Can have two people operating the drone
  • Compatible with multiple high-end cameras

Cons
  • Expensive
  • Large drone -not suitable to carry around