DJI Inspire 1 Review Summary
The DJI Inspire 1 was a stunning drone when it was first released back in 2015 (wow), the specs on this drone are still impressive and the fact that you can attach different types of cameras makes it a very versatile drone. It is a well-built drone with a good flight time (depending on its payload), is durable and can be operated in tough weather conditions, although it is not waterproof. However, like many of DJI’s early drones, the Inspire 1 has been discontinued, although, you can still find people selling refurbished models on online reatailers like eBay & Amazon. Since DJI has stopped providing support for this drone, it is best to look for alternatives. If you are in search of a good drone for photography, click on the button below.
Key Features (With X5R Camera)
- MFT sensor with 30mm lens & 72° FOV
- f/1.7-f/16 aperture
- 16MP images
- 12-bit RAW images
- Single, burst, AEB, interval & time-lapse photography modes
- 12.8 stops of dynamic range
- HDR support for images and videos
- Records videos in 4k at 30fps
- Maximum video bitrate of 2.4Gbps
- ISO – 100-25600
- Also compatible with the Zenmuse X3, X5, XT & Z3
- Autonomous flight modes
- 18 minutes of flight time
- 5km transmission range
The DJI Inspire 1 is an exceptional drone that comes with many advanced features which include being able to carry different types of cameras, autonomous flight mode and is suitable for a range of applications.
DJI Inspire 1 Review
The Inspire one is a robustly built drone that has a modular design with retractable arms, making it easy to store away in your truck. It’s one of DJI’s largest drones measuring over 22-inches diagonally and weighing over 3kg with the Zenmuse X5R camera.
This is a nice looking controller with an ergonomic design, its curved shape makes it comfortable to hold and it is powered by an internal battery. There are some LED lights on the from the indicate battery level and a smartphone holder on top that cam hold a large phone or tablet.
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 an 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
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.
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 is always updating it with more and more features. Along with an HD video 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, 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.
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 are 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 is always upgrading their app, so more features should be added in the future making drone flying much easier.
The drone can be used for photography, videography, photogrammetry, inspection and even search & rescue operations.
DJI Inspire 1 is was one of DJI’s flagship dr0nes, as you have seen from this review, it truly is an impressive drone, unfortunately, since DJI stopped production, there is very little support for this drone hence why I would advise against purchasing one from a third party seller. However, there are many good alternatives, most of them from DJI, the main one would be the Inspire 2, which comes with many upgrades, which includes being compatible with the Zenmuse X7, L1 & P1. Alternatively, click on the button below for the best drones for photography.