It wasn’t that long ago that we were complaining about a lack of innovation in the consumer drone space. With the main revelations in the second half of 2017 revolving around old consumer drones being painted black (we’re looking at you DJI and Parrot), that was probably fair enough. But that complaint came with a caveat. There was always a chance that DJI would come up with something new before the year was out.
It’s good news for professional aerial cinematographers. DJI has today unveiled a new Zenmsue camera, the X7, that is, in simple terms, an absolute monster. No, it’s not a new drone. But it’s still impressive and certainly stands to benefit top-end aerial photographers. Let’s take a closer look.
A lightweight aerial camera for professional applications
Hollywood filming might soon be transformed with DJI’s new Zenmuse X7, a 449-gram camera that can fly for 23 minutes on a single charge with the Inspire 2. The Zenmuse X7 is equipped with a 35mm video sensor and a whopping 14 stops of dynamic range. DJI also disclosed an in-development solution, Project Vertex – software capable of automated modelling for location scouts.
#DJI #X7 is equipped with a Super 35mm video sensor featuring 14 stops of dynamic range for more detail in low light. pic.twitter.com/aosRp4s4bk
— DJI (@DJIGlobal) October 12, 2017
“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.”
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But don’t let the light weight fool you. The X7 is capable of shooting 6K CinemaDNG RAW at 30fps. Alternatively, it can shoot Apple 5.2K at 30fps and 3.9K CinemaDNG Raw/2.7K ProRes up to 59.94 fps.
Read more: DJI Hints at New Product Launch on October 11
An upgrade for the Inspire 2
To handle the power of the new Zenmuse X7, the DJI Inspire 2 is getting an upgrade to its image processing system:
To unleash #X7’s full potential, the Image Processing System on #DJI Inspire 2 has been upgraded to CineCore 2.1. pic.twitter.com/5AIV7fcLG1
— DJI (@DJIGlobal) October 12, 2017
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.
DJI has also introduced a new DJI Cinema Color System (DCCS), making the Zenmuse X7 versatile enough on shoots 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.”
Price and Availability of the Zenmuse X7
The Zenmuse X7 camera is available for $2,699. 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 the DJI store.