DJI Inspire 1 Drone Review 2019 – is the DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter worth the money? Review of features, pricing, flight duration, battery, camera and more.
- Perfect for high-level shoots and professional sets
- Live, wireless HD video transmission via DJI Lightbridge
- Included professional 4k camera and 3-axis stabilization gimbal
- Ready-to-fly aerial system
- Unobstructed 360° shooting
Although lots of commercially available drones are intended for people who wish to shoot cute Facebook photographs of different scenery’s, or long distance selfies, the line of UVA products from DJI are a bit more heavy duty. These drones are meant for serious operators, who desire flawless images and clear four K aerial videos – and they are priced in a way that reflects that. The DJI Inspire 1 Drone is actually quite old — having been initially launched in 2014 — however, it still ranks among the most capable and powerful drones on the market, with a sturdy construction, an amazing degree of control, and the option to update specific elements like the battery, propellers and camera.
The Product Design
The Inspire 1 has an intimidating appearance, even if you are used to operating these types of drones. A mixture of carbon fiber, plastic and metal; its’ mobile arms lift up when the device is airborne, to allow the camera an entirely unobstructed view of the landscape. Unlike many of the small UVAs that are available for sale right now, the Inspire 1 sports impressive dimensions — and even comes with a huge flight container for storage and transportation.
The Availability and Pricing
As already stated, DJI does not produce bargain basement drones and the Inspire 1 is no exception. Notwithstanding, the price has dropped since its’ release several years ago, and it is now available to buy from the manufacturer directly for $1999. The DJI Inspire 1 Drone is sold by numerous specialist vendors across the world as well.
The Flying Features
As with all drones that are GPS enabled, the Inspire 1 boasts features like ‘return to home’ and automatic landing and take off. The transmitter on the device also allows it to have a Dynamic Home Location, which informs it where the user is situated. Therefore, it is possible to set the drone off at one location, drive or walk to somewhere else several miles away, and it can still determine your new location using its’ Dynamic Home Point technology. Activating this feature will instruct the drone to come back to your present location, rather than to where you set it off previously.
The Camera Gimbal Unit
The DJI Inspire 1 Drone’s camera gimbal unit is arguably the product’s most impressive feature. The Zenmuse X3 camera has a f2.8 rectilinear twenty millimeter lens, comprised of nine elements boasting a ninety-four degree viewing field. Because of its’ rectilinear lens, the camera doesn’t produce any of the ‘fisheye’ effects that often occur in commercial drones like the Phantom 2. The camera also has a neutral density filter and filter thread, so this can be screwed onto the device to avoid any ‘wobbly’ footage. Additional filters, like polarizers or UV filters, can be attached to the filter thread as well.
Users are able to manually set the camera’s shutter speed and ISO. This feature is not normally included on less expensive commercial drones, which tend to do all these things automatically. Being able to program the camera manually is essential for people who want complete creative control over their pictures.
The X3 camera can record sixty fps video at 1080 P, and four K video at thirty fps. It can take twelve MP still photographs in DNG and RAW formats too. Four K video is helpful for people who do lots of video post processing. People who output at 1080 P will find that the additional resolution provides ample space for editing and cropping.
The DJI Inspire 1 Drone has dual transmitter capability, so one person can be the pilot while another deals with the gimbal settings and camera. This is extremely useful for anyone who records more complex aerial footage, where the camera is angled in a different direction to the path of the drone. A detachable, three axis gimbal – with a 0.03 degree sensitivity – stabilizes the images effectively. This degree of sensitivity enables the X3 to create seamless aerial footage, even if the weather is windy. The line of Zenmuse gimbals from DJI have a reputation for producing fantastic aerial footage, and the X3 certainly justifies this reputation.
Recently, in a move that obviously took its’ inspiration from the Yuneec Q500, DJI introduced a hand grip which enables users to operate the X3 by hand and shoot video footage from the ground. This makes the Zenmuse X3 camera a value for money product. It can be changed to a handheld device easily, by taking it off the Inspire 1 then reattaching it to the hand grip. After this, it is ready to take photos.
The DJI Inspire 1 Drone has huge thirteen inch propellers that are reinforced with carbon fiber. These are coupled with sturdy 350 kV 3510 motors that provide lots of torque. This combination of motors and propellers, along with a 4500 mAh six cell battery, gives the Inspire 1 ample propulsion capabilities. With a large propeller thrust reaching a speed of roughly eighty km/h (twenty-two m/s), this device can carry out quick and intricate maneuvers just as easily as regular flyovers.
These fast speeds also make the DJI Inspire 1 Drone ideal for filming car chases through winding, narrow roads. This is something that the more basic and less equipped aerial photography devices, like the Phantom 3, can’t do so well. The propellers on the Inspire 1 are so strong that the drone maintains its’ position effectively, even in hostile filming conditions.
The Vision Position Unit
The Vision Position Unit on the Inspire 1 is another notable feature. This consists of an optical flow camera and network of sonar sensors, which allow the drone to determine its’ position in relation to the ground, if a GPS signal is unavailable. This means that, when flying indoors, the drone can remain at a set altitude and position.
The Pilot App
DJI offer a free Pilot App with both the IOS and Android versions of the Inspire 1. This is an essential feature when operating the drone. After this App has been installed on a smartphone or tablet, it can be placed in the transmitter’s inbuilt tablet/smartphone holder.
The Pilot App enables users to control camera and flight settings and functions as a type of instrument reading display. In addition, it delivers a live video stream, along with other telemetry data like map view, GPS status and battery status, etc. DJI’s fantastic Lightbridge transmitter performs the live video streaming. This transmitter can broadcast 720 P High Definition video footage up to two kilometers away.
The Inspire 1 boasts superb handling, and comes with a range of really helpful options. Above all else though, it can capture professional standard photographs and video footage. Thanks to its’ modular design, features such as the camera, battery and propellers are replaceable. These can be updated to prolong the unit’s lifespan, and the removable memory storage ensures that there’s no limitations on the number of photographs or video recordings. Better still, the drone has a user friendly remote, so it is easy to control.
The Inspire 1’s battery life is not as long as it could be. Therefore, in all likelihood, users will have to keep some spare batteries with them. The large price tag and physical dimensions of the drone are possible obstacles as well — this device is purely intended for serious photographers and film makers, and it will be too ‘hardcore’ for lots of customers. Moreover, even customers who have the budget to buy the drone could cause some major harm with it, if they lack experience, because of its’ sheer size, weight and top speed.
The DJI Inspire 1 Drone Versus Other Models
The Phantom 2 Vision Plus
The Phantom 2, which is also manufactured by DJI, is one of many less expensive alternative options to the Inspire 1. The motor power on both models is similar, and the Phantom 2 is suitable for people who lack much technical expertise. However, the platform on this model is closed, which is a big downside because it makes future extensions difficult.
The Walker Voyager 3
This drone was only launched quite recently, however its’ design reflects that of the Inspire 1 model to a large extent. It is priced slightly higher than the DJI Inspire 1 Drone and — in contrast to the Inspire 1 — the arms on this model can not be moved down or up. Instead, the legs retract and the camera gimbal system moves.
The Yuneec Typhoon G
At first glance, it would seem that the Yuneec Typhoon is just a disposable drone model, making it polar opposite to the high quality, professional Inspire 1 drone. Nonetheless, the Yuneec has several selling points, such as a sun protection feature, a three axis gimbal, ‘Watch me’, ‘Follow me’, geo fencing navigation mode, and a LiPo 5400 mAh battery. All of this costs a mere $500, so the Yuneec Typhoon is a quadcopter that is worthy of serious consideration.
Consumers who want a drone with great stability, excellent range and a variety of options and features, will find the DJI Inspire 1 Drone to be a sensible pick — if they have the budget to pay for it. Of course, with a four figure price tag, this quadcopter will be out of the reach of many. However, it still ranks among the top drones available for sale at the moment.