We enjoy people being minimal and creative like Joshua Morin for his trip to Colombia. As technology continues to shrink we should expect even better capabilities from these collections of small gear.
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the first drone in this price range that we find has adequate image quality for our needs. Ming Thein has clarified:
At base ISO, we have a solid 11.5-12 stops of usable DR; a bit more if you are careful with exposure and post processing. This is a noticeable improvement over the original Mavic, and given the way highlight rolloff has been tuned, quite close to what M4/3 delivers in practice.
This should be an interesting drone camera. The $2700 price tag isn’t cheap (and $1300 per lens or $4300 for all 4) but it will potentially serve the prosumer and low-end pro market well. However, it appears the effective sensor size when shooting video is 23.5 x 12.5mm which is different from super 35 and a bit of a let down.
October 11, 2017 – DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, today introduced the Zenmuse X7, the world’s first Super 35 digital film camera optimized for professional aerial cinematography. Designed to work seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone, the Zenmuse X7 delivers superior image quality, interchangeable lenses, and a new DJI Cinema Color System for post-production to give film and video professionals more creative freedom.
“The Zenmuse X7 offers everything professional content creators need to make their aerial footage as stunning and vivid as they demand,” said Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI. “From the large Super 35 sensor to a new mount, lenses, and color system, the Zenmuse X7 gives cinematographers and professional photographers an unmatched set of tools that work seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone to capture high-quality footage that is easily integrated into projects shot with industry-leading handheld cameras.”
Greater Expressive Freedom
The Zenmuse X7 is equipped with a Super 35 video sensor featuring 14 stops of dynamic range for more detail in low-light conditions. Its low-noise image capture enhances grading flexibility by preserving details in both highlight and dark areas while enabling a shallow cinematic depth of field.
To meet the rigorous requirements of filmmakers and television production professionals, the Zenmuse X7 captures the highest image resolutions ever for an integrated drone camera. It is capable of shooting 6K CinemaDNG RAW or 5.2K Apple ProRes at up to 30 FPS, as well as 3.9K CinemaDNG RAW or 2.7K ProRes at up to 59.94 FPS to integrate seamlessly into industry-standard post-production workflows.
Enhanced Imaging Potential
The Zenmuse X7 uses a dedicated aerial mount system, the DJI DL-Mount, featuring an ultra-short flange focal distance to carry prime lenses optimally. Available with focal lengths of 16 mm, 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm, each lens has a maximum aperture of F/2.8 and is crafted out of carbon fiber, making them durable and lightweight for high-performance aerial cinematography with the DJI Inspire 2 drone.
To allow for advanced setting adjustment and fine-tuning, the 16mm lens is equipped with a built-in ND 4 filter, and the 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm lenses feature a mechanical shutter.
Higher Flexibility in Post-Production
DJI has also introduced a new DJI Cinema Color System (DCCS) making the Zenmuse X7 an asset on every film set for movies, TV series, commercials, documentaries, and more.
“For the Zenmuse X7, we took our color science to the next level,” continued Pan. “We consulted the world leading authorities in color science, Technicolor. With their guidance, our engineers developed an optimized gamma curve for the X7 allowing more latitude without sacrificing image quality.”
DCCS features a new D-Log Curve and D-Gamut RGB color space to give more flexibility and color options during the post-production process. The D-Log further extends the dynamic range, while the D-Gamut RGB color space preserves more color information to support the most demanding filmmaking scenarios, providing accurate color for quick and easy post-processing.
The new EI Mode mimics the way a film camera works to help cinematographers capture as much information as possible in every scene while balancing the dynamic range and noise with different log curves for more flexibility during the post-production process.
The Zenmuse X7 gimbal system weighs just 631 grams with the 16 mm lens. The DJI Inspire 2 has a flight time of up to 23 minutes with the Zenmuse X7. For more info about the Zenmuse X7, visit www.dji.com/zenmuse-x7.
Price and Availability
The Zenmuse X7 camera is priced at $2,699 USD. The 16 mm, 24 mm and 35 mm lenses will be available for $1,299 each, and the 50 mm for $1,199. Customers can purchase the Zenmuse X7 prime lens combo including all 4 lenses for $4,299. The Zenmuse X7 will start shipping in early November 2017 from store.dji.com, in DJI Flagship Stores and through DJI Authorized Dealers worldwide.
DJI Care Refresh will be available for the Zenmuse X7 camera gimbal system as well as for the Inspire 2 drone. For more info, visit http://www.dji.com/service/djicare-refresh.
We are very surprised by this product by DJI. This will take away sales from their other, more expensive lines. This looks really great and we will likely be grabbing one. A portable, affordable, 4K drone.
At $3200 for the Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal, this kit is not a budget option. But for what you’re getting the price is very reasonable. RAW is a cumbersome workflow but offers the best options for image quality and latitude in editing.
We continue to be impressed by the quality out of the DJI Phantom 4. The following video is a good example. Also note that we see a lot of drones for sale on the used boards, so try and test out or rent a drone if you can before you’re sure it’s something you want to invest in.
Now that the weather is nicer we expect to see more drone footage and more drone products. This short video shows the capabilities of the DJI Phantom 3:
See his post My DJI OSMO fairground shoot – plus a mini-review for the complete article.
Image quality in 4K with the flat picture profile though is only mediocre by cinema standards, if I were serious I would get the X5 gimbal & MFT sensor, add in the DJI follow focus and put the tiny Panasonic Leica 15mm F1.7 on it.
The DJI Zenmuse X5 video camera and 3 Axis Gimbal with 15mm lens sells for $2,199. Compared to what an equivalent system would cost just a few years ago, this is a reasonable price. There are cheaper systems available. We are awaiting reviews on some of the lesser known Chinese brands to see whether they are a value or a bust.
The DJI Osmo will set you back $649 but it appears a better value than a GoPro for some applications. We have never been satisfied with the lack of optical stabilization in the GoPros and preferred the Sony units for that reason. Thus we are excited for the DJI Osmo as it’s a complete unit. Let’s hope the bit rates and codecs are adequate.
You can see more information about the OSMO at the DJI website.