Short Review

The DJI Inspire 2 is a drone made for professionals,it truly is an awesome piece of equipment and if you are in the field of cinematography or any other kind of filmmaking,this would be perfect for your aerial videography needs. It is built to fly in rough weathers and is fast for a quite a large drone. There are three compatible cameras that can be fitted onto this drone including the Zenmuse X7 which can soot in 5.2 K Apple ProRess and 6K CinemaDNG along with 24 MP stills.

Key Features

  • 3 Compatible Cameras 
  • Zenmuse X7 Camera capable of shooting in 6K CinemaDNG
  • Advanced Obstacle avoidance system
  • Robust Build
  • Top speed of 58 mph
  • 27 minutes flight time
  • 4.3 Miles transmission range
  • Dual Redundancy features

Welcome to another drone review,today I will be reviewing the extraordinary DJI Inspire 2,a drone that will cement DJI’s dominance of the consumer drone market.

Who are DJI’s competitors? Looking at the latest market share for the consumer drone market, it would seem DJI are competing against themselves. In the fast growing and ever changing world of drones, that is a mighty awesome position to be in. Whilst Yuneec are trying (and they do have a range of awesome drones) they are getting left in DJI’s wake and depressingly for other drone manufacturers, Yuneec are DJI’s closest competition. I bring this up because, as you can see from the title, this will be a review of the Inspire 2, a drone that blurs the line between consumer and commercial drones. And initial tests are proving that DJI will once again leave its competitors fighting over scraps.

Whilst the likes of 3DR and GoPro (whose Karma drone was recently pulled) re-asses their options after their drones failed to take off, DJI are churning out winner’s year after year. Why did I say that the Inspire 2 blurs the line between consumer and commercial drones? Well because it has many of the features of commercial drones but isn’t nearly as expensive. The Inspire 2 is gorgeous, feature rich and ready to dominate the marketplace.

So where do I start with the Inspire 2? Well, let’s begin with the packaging, it comes in a massive black Styrofoam case with latches on each side to open it up. The outer shell of the drone is made from magnesium aluminum whilst its arm and frame is composed of hardened carbon fibre and weighs around 3.2 kg (without the camera and gimbal). This is pretty light for an aircraft that is quite large and has dual redundancy capability for key components inside the drone.

DJI Inspire 2 Review – What You Get

  • Inspire 2
  • Remote control
  • 2 smart batteries
  • 8 propeller blades
  • A charging hub
  • Battery charger
  • Power cable
  • Gimbal damper
  • Propeller mounting plates
  • Micro SD Card (16 GB)
  • USB Cable
  • Calibration plate
  • 4 Battery insulation stickers
  • Carry case.

DJI Inspire 2 – Design

DJI Inspire 2 design

The design of the Inspire 2 looks similar to the Inspire 1 but the feel is much more different, its diagonal wingspan (not including the propellers) is 23.8 inches, its silver/gray shell is aesthetically pleasing and its arms are more sturdy. The motors are much larger and the silver buttons on its side lock and releases the propellers very quickly.

At the front of the drone is a gimbal stabilised 2-axis fpv camera, which provides a live feed to the DJI Go App, the camera feed can be transmitted to both the master controller and the slave controller. Being a drone that is advertised towards cinematographers, the choice to have two controllers connected to the drone will be appealing to that section of the consumer market.

Originally the drone was expected to reach speeds of up to 67mph but after optimisation tests, the speed has been reduced to 58mph. This still makes it one of the fastest drone currently on the market and will be perfect for shooting fast moving scenes in films.

The drone can fly above sea level at height of around 2000m although this can be increased to 5000m if you purchase high altitude propellers.

DJI Inspire 2 – Safety features

The Inspire 2 comes with dual redundancy for key systems within the drone, this gives more reassurance that the drone will not fail during mid-flight. There are two intelligent batteries that are located at its rear, the batteries are self-heating so they will not fail in extremely cold conditions. If one fails, the other will keep the drone in the air and activate its return home function.

There are also similar safety measures in place for the barometer, the propulsion system and IMU. DJI have also made an upgrade to the obstacle avoidance system, there are now sensors at the front, bottom, and top for the drone to calculate if there are obstacles nearby. 

The front and bottom sensors have a wide-angle view and can detect obstacles from 30 meters away. This gives the drone the ability to fly around 34mph without compromising the obstacle avoidance system. Its top sensor has a detecting field of 5 meters, all these new technology add-ons make for a truly remarkable drone that is safe to fly indoors and outdoors. The only way to damage this drone is if you hated it and decided to take a hammer to it!

Remote Controller

The remote control looks like that of the Inspire 1 but its range is longer and has 3 flight modes. P-mode is for normal flight and is the easiest of the three. This mode is best utilised when there is a strong GPS signal, the vision system (which control the obstacle avoidance technology) is active in this mode. Also, the advanced smart features such as ActiveTrack™ TapFly™, Waypoint (waypoint has not et been added) are enabled in this mode.

S-mode is for more advanced pilots, the controls are far more sensitive and the vision system is disabled, so only use this mode if you are an experienced drone pilot. Finally, A-mode, this is utilised when neither the GPS or the vision system is available, the drone will use the barometer to maintain its altitude.

The remote control uses DJI’s Lightbridge technology for superior range and amazing HD video streaming. Its range is approximately 4.3 miles (with no obstruction) and the live video is streamed to your smartphone or tablet via the DJI GO™4 app. As well as its two control sticks to manoeuvre the drone it has a host of other buttons that provide you with a lot more control and functionality.

One button that you will use frequently is the return to home (RTH) button. Return to home can be activated manually by pressing the button or the drone will activate the return home function automatically in a couple of situations. If the battery is running low or the remote-control signal is lost the drone will return home automatically, it’s near impossible to lose smart drones with today’s technology!

Personally, one issue I still have with the DJI controllers is that only the phantom 4 Pro has a dedicated touchscreen controller but the rest do not. Using your smartphone or tablet for controlling the drone is all well and good but it also means you will not be able to use it for any other means.

True some people may have multiple of these devices just lying around but that is not the case with most people. It would be nice to see DJI produce a remote control like the ones used for the Yuneec typhoon range.

Having said that, DJI does have their own standalone tablet-like device called the CrystalSky, you will be able to control the drone in a similar fashion as you would with a smartphone or tablet and it is compatible with all DJI drones.

DJI GO 4 App

The DJI GO 4 app is very easy to use and it comes with a host of files with tutorials, troubleshooting and general advice about flight safety. Through this app, you can control speed and altitude and how sensitive the controls are (generally the control sensitivity should only be altered if you are an experienced pilot).

With the app, you can seamlessly live stream video to your choice of video-sharing networks such as Facebook live and YouTube. The app also lets you edit your videos and photos and even has music tracks in the editor that you can use for video uploads. Also, supported in this app is PIP (Picture in picture) transmission, DJI are letting no stones unturned to give customers the best drone experience and therefore they are so far ahead of their competitors.

They are constantly updating their apps and introducing new features. It should be noted for drone operators who are also software developers, DJI gives access to their own SDK so you can produce apps of your own.

DJI Inspire 2 – Camera

This is the main attraction of this awesome drone; the drone has a 2-axis camera attached at the front but for the sheer awesomeness, you can attach another camera at the bottom which will be mounted on a 3-axis gimbal.

For now, there three cameras that are compatible with this drone although DJI have stated more are on the way. Both cameras will have their own live video feed, you will be able to switch between feeds or you can connect two controllers to the drone, one will control the drone while the other controls the second camera.

Zenmuse X4S

zenmuse x4s

This is the cheaper of the two cameras available for the Inspire 2. It still costs quite a sum but it is one of the best camera drones on the market. It features a 20 megapixel 1- inch sensor along with a maximum ISO range of12800 for stills and 6400 for video. It has 84° field of view and with its DJI designed lens, it captures stunning aerial imagery. Along with the inspire 2’s extremely powerful image processing system, the CineCore 2.0 (more on this later) the camera’s capabilities are even more enhanced. It can record video footage at 4k/60 MPEG-4 and 4k/30 HEVC at 100Mbps that will impress even professional cinematographers.

Zenmuse X5S

zenmuse x5s

This camera is what really tips the Inspire 2 into Hollywood territory, along with the CineCore 2.0 processor it can produce video footage that would rival the best cameras used for high-budget films.

The X5S comes with an upgraded micro 4/3 with much-improved colour sensitivity. The camera supports up to eight standard M4/3 lenses with each focal length ranging from 9mm- 45mm. This is the drone camera that will give professional cinematographers who want high-quality aerial footage but are on a low budget, access to professional level equipment at an affordable price.

The CineCore 2.0 processor will allow this camera to record video footage in 5.2k 30fps CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes. Still, images can be captured in 20.8 megapixels at either 14fps or 20fps and the camera has the technology to capture photos whilst taking video footage. The highly-optimised gimbal allows for 360° rotation so you never miss a shot and it’s been designed to eliminate distortion and vibration.

CineCore 2.0

This is the new image processor that makes taking professional grade video footage all possible. The processor has been cleverly attached to the nose of the drone instead of the camera. As mentioned there are two cameras compatible with the drone and processor, but DJI have indicated more will be made.

Smart features

As is the case with all DJI Drones,the Inspire 2 comes with intelligent flight modes,these flight modes make it easier and more fun to fly drones.

Currently, this drone supports three intelligent flight modes with a couple more expected to be added. Two of these you may recognise if you are familiar with the Phantom range series, they are ActiveTrack and TapFly. 

ActiveTrack allows the inspire 2 to track any subject whether it be humans, animals, cars or any other moving objects. TapFly lets you set a path on the screen and the drone will fly through that path whilst you can concentrate on controlling the second camera.

SpotLight Pro is a new smart tracking feature exclusive to the Inspire 2. It uses advanced tracking code to track subjects regardless of which way the drone is flying. If the gimbal reaches its rotational limit the drone itself will adjust to keep track of the subject. As of this moment, Waypoint and point of interest are not currently supported but DJI have indicated they will soon be added.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that DJI have once again raised the bar, the Inspire 2 is a major improvement from the Inspire 1 and that says a lot about DJI’s continued quest for complete market domination. This drone will attract professional cinematographers and those serious about aerial photography as a career. Its image processing unit along with the Zenmuse X4S and X5S will provide image quality that rivals the cameras used for high budget films. It’s range of safety features and stable construction means that the drone will be relatively safe from being damaged. There is really no fault with this drone other than its price tag, which is expected because it combines innovative technology with modern engineering to give you the ultimate drone.

Pros
  • 2 cameras
  • Can record in 5.2k
  • CineCore 2.0 image processing system
  • Dual batteries
  • Advanced safety features
  • Made for Professional cinematographers

Cons
  • Really expensive

 

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