TESTING THE NEW DJI INSPIRE 3
Kiwi flew the DJI Inspire 3 and Zenmuse X9 in Jan 2023
The DJI Inspire 3 drone is now an important part of our drone fleet. Our certified Dutch drone teams fly this drone for various film productions like corporate videos and commercials. We are a European-certified drone company and can fly the INSPIRE 3 in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and near Schiphol Airport. Contact us if you want to know more about our Inspire 3 aerial shot services.
The new DJI Inspire 3
We can tell you about the shoot itself, the great team, production, the shotlist, and the AMAZON series we filmed for but that’s not why you are here. Besides that, we are not allowed to share anything about the shoot so let’s get into our experience flying the brand-new DJI Inspire 3 drone.
At first sight, the DJI Inspire 3 doesn’t even look that different from its predecessor the Inspire 2. But as soon as you take a closer look it’s actually a completely different build. This new professional DJI drone is a bit bigger, the propellers are foldable, and the main body has a different angle compared to the Inspire 2 and that’s because the new Zenmuse X9 camera that goes underneath is bigger and needs more room to fit. One big disappointment that hits us right at first sight is that the new drone also uses new batteries. Not the TB50 that we have tons of and are used on the Inspire 2.Not something we expected as the TB50 is commonly used these days in the film industry so for us it seemed logical to keep using those. A new battery type means buying a whole lot of new battery sets, new chargers, new cases, etc. A positive note was that the Zenmuse X9 camera uses the same lenses as the Zenmuse X7 camera so we can keep using the same lenses, thanks for that DJI! Only the 16mm won’t cover the whole sensor and can not be used.
The new DJI Inspire 3 drone & Zenmuse X9 camera
Jan 2023: Certified drone pilot Kim Hoogervorst flying the new DJI Inspire 3
DJI Inspire 3 drone with SD and SSD slots on top of the drone and new upgrades batteries of its TB50 predecessor
What’s really nice bout the new DJI Inspire 3 drone is that it works smoothly with the new DJI Transmission hardware. This makes it easier for the director, DOP, or clients, to watch the drone shot being made. It could be possible that this aspect comes with an extra needed license and so with an extra cost but we have to wait and see for that.
DJI Inspire 3 pilot controler
DJI Inspire 3 camera operator
During this film production and test phase of the Inspire 3 we were using the DJI plus remote of the Matrice 30. This remote has an extended battery life and a good clear screen. This can be used to check the FPV feed that the Inspire 3 has. If you use it like this you can check the camera feed on an extra external monitor although we are not a big fan of that as the pilot always moves around on a shoot to keep the drone in sight and a tripod is not ideal. The FPV camera on the drone is pretty similar to that DJI uses on its DJI AVATA FPV drone. It has a good resolution and gives a good reference for the pilot even at night with low light.
The Inspire 3 remote also has a button to transfer the pilot control to a second pilot. This way more extended drone flights can be made without going to the EASA BVLOS regulations, we assume ;-). Another cool function the DJI Inspire 3 drone has, is that you can see all other airplanes around in the FPV feed. With the ADS-B sensor, every nearby airplane is shown in a small square with distance information. During our test, we could not change the settings regarding this information so we had information on every airplane within 200 kilometers. An overload of information as you can imagine flying near our national airport Schiphol so hopefully this is fixed in the latest Inspire 3 version that comes out.
DJI Inspire 3 drone with landing gear up
Airtime and flight characteristics
The airtime of the new DJI Inspire 3 is definitely extended compared to the Inspire 2. Of course, it all depends on the shots you make and the amount of wind, and how long exactly the flight time is that DJI will communicate but you won’t be disappointed. Another big difference is the MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight) of the Inspire 3. This is pushed up to 8KG so it has definitely some stronger engines than its predecessor. On the bottom of the drone the Inspire 3 has LIDAR sensors but we were told it was not clear yet if the final version will get these sensors as well. As told the propellers of the Inspire 3 were foldable and are made in a way that makes the Inspire 3 a bit more silent than the Inspire 2, something we definitely welcome! The reason it’s more silent also has to do with the bigger and stronger engines the Inspire 3 has and the fact it’s not flying to its MTOW flying only the Zenmuse X9 camera. A great feature we, unfortunately, did not have a chance to test was its function to record the flight path of the drone. By doing this the exact same route can be flown again and again even with the option to change velocity while doing so. This can be useful for making VFX plates or making special time lapses that extended multiple days or even months.
In general, it was clear that the flight characteristics of the Inspire 3 we flew were not completely tuned yet and clearly a test drone. Everything felt a bit loose when it came to controlling and PID tuning.
Some behind the scene shots of the Inspire 3 in action
DJI promotion video of the Inspire 3
Zenmuse X9-AIR camera underneath the new DJI Inspire 3
CAMERA: DJI ZENMUSE X9
During the shoot, we used the Zenmuse X9 air camera. This test camera had a Sony sensor with dual iso and was compatible with the same (24-35-50mm) lenses we use now on our Zenmuse X7 cameras. The sensor of the X9 is a good upgrade from the Zenmuse X7 sensor which made the night shots, even with an f2.8 camera really good! During our shoot, we heard about a possible new Inspire 3 camera with even more lens options but we have no further information regarding this. We suspect it will be hard for DJI to make this carefree as the balance of the camera with the lens in the air is quite essential and more difficult in terms of vibrations and resistance than it is on the Ronin 4d.
DJI Inspire 3 drone with landing gear down
Kiwi Aerial Shots verdict
We are really looking forward to having the new DJI Inspire 3 next to our heavy-lift drones. The new and upgraded FPV camera, Zenmuse X9 and enhanced reach of the drone are true upgrades for a professional Dutch drone company like us. We can’t wait to really push this new drone, flying it with heavy wind conditions but also on the other hand experiencing stability with slow speeds. Something the Inspire 2 is not that good at and we could not test properly with the not fine-tuned flight characteristics.And although the we were clearly flying a BETA version of the Inspire 3 the software seemed to work fine.
MOST IMPORTANT SPECS
The DJI Inspire 3 is clearly made for professional cinamatograpic use. Of course it’s not an ARRI Alexa or RED camera that you are filming with so no Anamorphic options here but the new Inspire 3 camera has some great specs and the drone itself has some increadable features. Below a short summary for the directors, DoP’s and producers who are interested in working with the new DJI Isnpire 3.
- Zenmuse X9-8K Air camera with fullframe 35mm sensor for videos in 8K RAW-resolution (8192×4320) Dynamisch reach 14+ stops.
- Dual native ISO technology for more details in low light situations (EI 800-4000 EI 200-6400)
- CinemaDNG and ProRes RAW
- Video resolution: 8K/75fps ProRes RAW and 8K/25fps CinemaDNG
- Fotoresolution: 8192 x 5456 pixels in JPG and DNG RAW
- Maximum of 28 minutes of airtime
- Top speeds off 94 km/h
- Intiligent flight mode: Waypoint Pro and Spotlight Pro to give input for an exact fly-path
lLet us know if you are looking for professional aerial shots!
Kiwi Aerial Shots is a fully EASA-certified drone company for cinematographic drone footage. We fly heavy-lift drones for our ARRI and RED cameras and hopefully, we can offer aerial productions using the Inspire 3 as soon as possible! Check our contact details through the red contact button below!
The Inspire 2 and shortly Inspire 3 with Zenmuse X7 and X9 camera are mostly used for smaller film productions like corporate videos and TV commercials. It's also a great piece of equipment when we need to fly at hard to reach locations for example for nature documentaires.
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