Pros and Cons of DJI's New Inspire 2
Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Many of you know me from my celebratory fame of crashing one of the very first Inspires into a garage door due to the first firmware being corrupt.
So why am I writing this blog - it is well know that I am a DJI Fan boy and our company's fleet is large and predominantly DJI.
Well I think it's important that you guys know the pros and cons especially when running a business, and trying to chase the latest and greatest - also there is a propensity to promise clients product and deliverables that may or may not appear, that you need to avoid when pitching clients for example the new CrystalSky monitors vs SmallHD monitors
So lets go over the Con's first as we all love the Pro's and for anyone reading this you kinda know them already.
$1500 Special Software license - CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes License Key only usable on the X5S cameras and most importantly without this license package you cant go from 14fps burst to 20fps - and you cant shoot 5.2k without it and only on the 5xs but it seems like you can on the 4xs camera - not the case!
$900 SSID Cards - Yes you will need 2 after you get the licenses - because the microSD can only record in non Apple ProRes or CinemaDNG and a slower burst rate
SO GUESS WHAT? I JUST REALIZED NON OF MY X5R GEAR WORKS EXCEPT FOR MY LENSES
$549 DUAL OP REMOTE - But wait I have a spare remote from my 5 other Inspires we have - NOPE SORRY they aren't backwards compatible - best we have been told!
$159 TB50 Intelligent Flight Battery - Yes you need 2 - thats okay but lets be honest 27 mins max time using the x4s camera - we all know these times are rarely achieved. 20 mins will be fine but if you are on location you need at least 4 sets that's $1272 and the new 800w multi charger with no price disclosed that isn't ready and no release date yet rumored at $1000.
Intelligent flight modes - well while these are cool. Now every gaffer who had a fogger rc car as a kid, is going to think they can fly up against the guys who do these moves manually and have spent years perfecting the oblique jib move - In my opinion I'd rather have someone pay for these features for a $1000 bucks to unlock them and let us who can do these moves impress the clients and save the money so we can pay for the CineDNG licenses.
Did I mention - nothing we have is backwards compatible, batteries, battery charges, remotes, filters, wait surely the props right.....oh no NOT! Hey but we now have high altitude props - but the app doesn't let you fly more than 500agl - I am sure we will have to pay 5 bucks a flight to unlock this feature like the NFZ's. Oh wait the neck strap is backwards compatible right? Yep just checked!
DJI Inspire 2 travel Case: Hey if you are gonna spend this amount of cash give us a pelican for the price - I know we all bashed the zipper quality and handles on the last case - but come on DJI hook us up last week you had us buying one from you as part of the pro bundle!
Can we say bad ass design still? - Magnesium Aluminum alloy shell - yummy, real carbon fiber arms not faux carbon wrap on aluminum rrrr rr rrrr grrr in my best Tim Allen voice!
FPV Front facing camera and split display in the DJI GO App - Awesome and exactly what we needed - you guys remember the DSLR Pro's rigs where they converted the nose cones on the Inspires?
67mph top speed - and it gets there in 5+secs. (zero to 50 in 4 secs) I know we will use this to increase the intensity of filming the car chases we do. And I love the new vertical acceleration so we can get out of the way so much faster. It will help reduce those all too familiar "close calls". But again team please note all specs are published referencing the X4S! What will the maxed out X5S set up yield? Once we get one we will let ya know.
New Lightbridge tech - this is cool but flying further when we can only commercialy fly within Line of Sight not a bg deal to us - However on a busy set maybe having extra bandwidth to punch through all the noise will be useful. Time will tell so far our X5r's no issue!
Sensor updates - very welcome update, huge in fact, especially the upward sensors. Many a time in a heavily tree lined street or bridge underpass having these sensors will be invaluable especially at the end of the shot trying to clear out and not hit the underpass or trees this will be handy. However using the P4 most of the time to get that tight shot we do need to turn the sensors off - but I love the safety aspect of it, especially when pitching the FAA.
Smart Return to Home - now I love this I have had 2 major crashes due to signal loss and the Inspire trying to return home without my knowledge and hitting an obstacle so well done DJI!
More sensitivity in the Controller - Booyah DJI I always dislikes the slop in the controller versus my Futuba 14SG or DX9 trusty remotes, so to hear more finite control is available I am so happy, You just might get me to buy a second remote!
In-built Battery Warmers - good call even though I live in Arizona I always forget my battery warmers when on set elsewhere and look like a dumbass holding the batteries to the heater vents of the crew truck - saying "it'll be ready soon I promise" just as we loose the light for the shot!
Upgraded cameras - this is welcome but most production houses are very happy with the X5R and a good color grader can always make it match to a RED or ARRI in post. Anytime we can raise dynamic range and sensor capabilities we will have improvements to our finished product - I am very happy all the lenses we have will work on the X5S - I was getting worried with all the changes they would have also changed the lens mounting plates - so I am excited about the new finished results we can achieve from the cameras- check out the DJI movie The Circle behind the scenes filmed entirely on an Inspire 2
Improved GPS - combined with the dual imu and barometers will enable more precision flying and less drift we see combined with the more sensitive remote means flying in a perfect straight line down the center of the road should be easier now. Interesting to note is a coming soon extra GPS module for the TX - to help the inspire locate it better?
TRIPOD Mode - now this is slick if it is half as decent on the Inspire as the mavic this will be cool
4k 60fps - nuff sed!
So will I buy one? - OF COURSE I have to I'm hooked, there is no 12 step program to get off DJI that I am aware of "Welcome to DJIAnonymous it's been 3 days since my last flight!" So I'm stuck with them happily kinda sorta?
But, just because I have a client next year that already wants to "try it out" doesn't mean you should go out and buy one immediately - yes its cool but is it necessary? NO
It is clearly skewed to the production houses who hire us and you, and could do more damage than good in terms of eliminating the need for the good pilots who have jumped through all the wrangling with the FAA etc etc. and made themselves indispensable skill wise to the production industry. Flying these drones isn't as easy as DJI makes out, and I really can't get away from the feeling that the pitch isn't for us to buy the drones but the studios and let the other guys like us fly the P4 pro - maybe that's the cynic in me, but hey, what do you think?
Is it a nice to have YES - but at this time most clients don't need this caliber of camera, or have the resources for the workflow etc. Nor do I believe they will pay the extra for the quality due to shrinking budgets...But time will tell.
One thing's for sure the $10,000 I have to drop is becoming very difficult to justify. Let's just hope the product difference when I get mine is so alarmingly brilliant I have to rush out and replace all my units! So DJI prove to me it's worth it! Hurry up and ship my order!