Meet DJI’s new Inspire 1 Drone: It’s not cheap but it comes with a 4K Camera

by on November 13, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – November 13, 2014

The world of small aerial drones is growing just as intensely as the 4K TV and camera market place. It may end up occupying a much smaller niche than TVs and conventional cameras take up but there is a lot of potential use for these little flying machines.

One of these uses involves aerial surveillance and for that to be effective from the higher altitudes that drones are capable of today, the more camera resolution the better.

This is where the DJI Inspire 1 drone comes into the picture. This is a not so cheap $2,900 aerial mini-drone that comes with its own built-in 4K ultra HD video shooting system that can take some truly professional looking video footage from the skies.

The DJI Inspire 1 comes with a built in Ultra HD camera that sports a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution; it comes with a built-in image stabilizing system, retractable landing gear and also features one truly awesome, futuristic looking black and white design.

The Inspire is a major upgrade in both video quality and price from lesser DJI drones like the Phantom 2 Vision. In fact, it’s thanks in large part to its 4k video gear that it costs nearly twice as much as its Full HD counterpart.

However, the 4K, landing gear and camera stabilization aren’t the only enhanced features of the Inspire 1. DJI has packed a lot of other extras into it as well. These include a three axis gimbal mounting for the 4K Ultra HD camera, which, in addition to shooting 4K video at either 30, 25 and 24 frames per second, can also take 12 megapixel still shots. Furthermore, the camera comes with a default 94 degree field of viewing which can be modified for wider range once the drone is out of the box. In fact, the camera is completely modular and can be taken off just as easily as installed.

This is a useful feature for when newer camera units from DJI or drone cameras from other brands come out, thus making them easy to install individually.

The DJI Inspire 1 has many of the features of some more professional drones but with a much more reasonable price tag

The DJI Inspire 1 has many of the features of some more professional drones but with a much more reasonable price tag

The Inspire 1 also uses a stereoscopic optic flow camera technology to stabilize the video shooting without the use of GPS. This is useful for situations where users forget to get a GPS lock before letting the drone fly. In terms of flight time, the Inspire 1 can also manage to stay aloft for between 18 and 20 minutes on its 6-cell battery pack.

In terms of its controls, the Inspire 1 also really shines. It comes with a dual stick remote that also has enough toggles, switches and buttons to independently control all of the gimbal, camera and flight settings during mid-flight without problems. And to make things even more interesting, there is the “Lightbridge” technology onboard the little drone, which allows the pilot down on the ground to maintain a constant HD live transmitter feed of what the camera is seeing for more accurate navigation.

The feed can also be viewed from a smartphone or tablet via a USB attachment as well as being viewable on the controller itself.

The DJI Inspire 1 isn’t quite yet available on sale but after a few more tweaks, it should very shortly be available to amateur pilots who want a drone that comes with quite a few professional features without costing several thousand dollars.

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