[Editor's Note: This 4-part series, introducing you to the flexibility and workflow of the Inspire 2, is sponsored by DJI.]
The first project shot entirely on the Inspire 2 has been released, filmed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda. It's a depression-set short about father-son relationships and the balance between art and commerce, with every single shot captured on the new Inspire 2.
DJI has focused on the needs of the independent filmmaker, working to create studio quality footage at low cost by focusing heavily on ease of use and durability. This is evidenced by some of the new features in the Inspire 2: dual batteries double flight time, additional sensors have been added for object avoidance forward, down and up, and the selection of lenses available for the X4 and X5S camera bodies is now up to eight, giving us a wide variety of choices.
DJI also has a new, brighter monitor available for operating use called CrystalSky, which allows for safe operation even in broad daylight. This was clearly beneficial to the production of The Circle, which had numerous scenes shot in direct sun—a notoriously difficult situation for drone operators.
DJI Inspire 2 with X5SCredit: DJIYou can really see the benefits of raw recording with the X5S camera in the short, where it is frequently able to handle a wide range of highlights and deep shadows in sequences shot overlooking dusty fields, or when holding detail outside a window while also showing faces inside a car—a difficult situation considering how limited the options are for controlling light in that type of scene.
If you have attempted similar shots with narrower latitude cameras, you know the frustration of trying to bring up enough light for exposure inside the car to hold detail outside the window, and the twelve stops of latitude offered by the X5S will be very useful in these cases. Director Sheldon Schwartz and cinematographer Claudio Miranda found several ways to show off everything the Inspire 2 is capable of in The Circle, including high control scenes, elaborate moves going inside and outside, and subtle moves in small spaces.
Wide Latitude Imagery with the X5SCredit: DJI
An interesting development is DJI moving the image processing inside the airframe with the new CineCore 2.0 system. Traditionally, drones have kept the camera system outside the airframe, which requires stabilizing not just the lens and sensor, but also the processing hardware and recording material. This has made it easy to interchange systems, but it has also limited the hardware available for image processing, which can sometimes lead to artifacting. By moving image processing inside the airframe, DJI is able to offer both more sophisticated recording formats, and better realtime processing.
This also enables the user to record to CineSSD drives instead of the traditional microSD card. The Inspire 2 natively allows recording in H.264 or H.265, and allows for ProRes or DNxHD recording for a small license fee.
DJI Inspire 2Credit: DJI
- 50mph top speed
- five second acceleration to 50mph
- 16,404 feet service ceiling
- Dual battery system gives 27 minute flight time
- New forward-facing airframe camera
- Stereo vision both front facing and facing for impact collision
- Upward facing infrared camera for indoor flight ceiling avoidance
- CineCore 2.0 in the airframe records to CineSSD
- 5.2K max video resolution
- H.264 and H.265 support native, max 100mbps bitrate
- Optional upgrade license for RAW Cinema DNG, DNxHD, or ProRes 4444 XQ
- X5S camera has 12.8 stops of dynamic range, 20.8 megapixel stills,
- 8 lenses now available for Zenmuse X5S camera system
- Optional 5.5" or 7.85" Crystalsky high brightness IPS monitor with ultrabright screen
Check out all the posts in this series:
Watch: The First DJI Inspire 2 Short Film is Here
4 Creative Ways to Use Your Inspire 2 On Set
Introducing the DJI X5S
DJI Inspire 2 & Zenmuse X5S Camera are Designed to Ease Post-Production