October 11, 2017

DJI Releases the Highest Resolution Drone Cinema Camera Ever

Zenmuse X7 Camera Gimbal
The Zenmuse X7 Captures the highest image resolutions ever for an integrated drone camera.

Lately, the rumor mill has been buzzing with theory and speculation as to what DJI's new announcement would be. The mystery ended this evening when DJI announced the world's first Super 35mm digital camera designed for professional aerial cinematographers to use seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone. In its announcement, DJI heralded the arrival of the Zenmuse X7 which boasts up to 6K video recording at 30fps, a Super 35mm sensor, compatibility with 4 DL-Mount lenses (16mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm), and a brand new DJI Cinema Color System to allow for greater freedom in post-production.

The Zenmuse X7 integrates with the CineCore 2.1 Image Processing System. It is currently only compatible with the Inspire 2 platform though DJI promises future compatibility with other products. The Zenmuse X7 is the highest resolution camera in the DJI / Zenmuse catalog and offers filmmakers cinematic image resolution and quality that previously required larger airframes capable of lifting larger, heavier cameras. 

“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.”

Zenmuse X7 vs. Zenmuse X5S

With its release of the DJI Inspire 2, DJI introduced the Zenmuse X5S camera gimbal with a micro four-thirds sensor that provided 5.2K video resolution and offered Cinema DNG / Apple ProRes processing with the purchase of an optional license key. That level of resolution and image quality in the relatively small form-factor of the Inspire 2 was revolutionary.

The larger sensor in the X7 provides up to 14 stops dynamic range.  

The Zenmuse X7 takes that further by providing a Super 35mm (23.5×15.7 mm) sensor, and increasing the single-pixel size to 3.91 micrometers. It captures RAW videos at up to 6K/30 fps or 3.9K/59.94 fps and photos with a resolution up to 24 MP. The larger sensor in the X7 not only delivers excellent photo and video quality but also provides up to 14 stops dynamic range.  Image processing for Cinema DNG / Apple ProRes takes place in the CineCore 2.1 Image Processing System just like the Zenmuse X5S, so for current Inspire 2 owners, the X7 is a nice camera upgrade. 

DJI Releases Zenmuse X7
DJI Releases Zenmuse X7 Credit: DJI

In order to make the Zenmuse X7 more compact and stable for aerial shooting, DJI integrated a DL lens mount which shortens the X7's focal distance to only 16.84mm. The DL-Mount significantly cuts the size and weight of a camera while retaining cinema-grade image quality. 

Currently, the Zenmuse X7 is compatible with four DL mount prime lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. The 16mm lens comes equipped with a built-in ND filter and the 24, 35, and 50mm lenses are equipped with leaf shutters (available in single shot mode) that support shutter speeds up to 1/1000s and are designed to reduce or eliminate rolling shutter effects and banding when shooting in artificial lighting. Each lens is made of carbon fiber to reduce weight and increase durability making them ideal for aerial cinematography with the DJI Inspire 2

"Our engineers developed an optimized gamma curve for the X7 allowing more latitude without sacrificing image quality.”

Workflow

For current Inspire 2 owners, the workflow will be familiar. Videos that are recorded in h.264/h.265 along with JPEG and DNG still images will be recorded on a Micro SD card inserted directly into the camera. For those with the appropriate activation key, Cinema DNG / Apple ProRes RAW video will be recorded and saved on the DJI CineSSD. Video recording capacity is dependent on the size of the CineSSD being used. However, DJI has introduced a new DJI Cinema Color System (DCCS) which allows more freedom in post-production for working with color. 

“For the Zenmuse X7, we took our color science to the next level,” Pan claimed. “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.”

The DCCS relies on a new D-Log Curve and a D-Gamut RGB color space which helps extend dynamic range while preserving more color information. New El Mode has been introduced in order to help balance dynamic range and noise with various log curves providing even more flexibility in post. 

Flight Time

The Zenmuse X7 gimbal system weighs just 631 grams with the 16 mm lens. The DJI Inspire 2 has a flight time of up to 23 minutes with the Zenmuse X7. 

Pricing & Availability

The Zenmuse X7 camera is priced at $2,699 USD. 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 store.dji.com, in DJI Flagship Stores and through DJI Authorized Dealers worldwide. 

Tech Specs

Sensor:

  • Effective Sensor size:
    • Still: 23.5*15.7mm(APS-C mode)
    • Video: 23.5*12.5mm (S35mm mode)
  • 3.91um
  •  14 f-stops
  • 2. DJI DL-Mount (flange distance: 16.84mm, diameter: 58mm) and 4 prime lenses;
  • 3. 6K RAW and 5.2K Apple ProRes
  • 4. CineCore 2.1
  • 5. DJI Cinema Color System
  • Sensor Size:
    • Still: 23.5*15.7mm, diagonal 28.3mm, 3:2, 3.91um, CF=1.5
    • Video: 23.5*12.5mm, diagonal 26.6mm, 16:9, CF=1.6
    • 2. 3.91um, 14 stops dynamic range;

Lens:

  • 1. DJI DL-Mount (flange distance: 16.84mm, diameter: 58mm);
  • 2. 4 prime lenses:
  •   Still(CF=1.5):
  • DJI DL-S 16mm F2.8 ND ASPH 24mm(eq.)
  • DJI DL 24mm F2.8 LS ASPH 36mm(eq.)
  • DJI DL 35mm F2.8 LS ASPH 53mm(eq.)
  • DJI DL 50mm F2.8 LS ASPH 75mm(eq.)
  • Video(CF=1.6):
  • 16mm/2.8 26mm(eq.)
  • 24mm/2.8 38mm(eq.)
  • 35mm/2.8 56mm(eq.)
  • 50mm/2.8 80mm(eq.)
  • - Excellent MTF
  • - Ultra-light carbon fiber
  • - Lens shutter: 24mm, 35mm, & 50mm models
  • - Built-in ND filter: 16mm model

Cine Core2.1

  • 1. 6K CinemaDNG
  • 2. 59.94 FPS Apple ProRes
  • 3. Great Details
  • 4. Less artifacts and noises
  • 5. DJI Cinema Color System
  • 6. Support EI Mode
  • 7. Seperated Looks for recording and monitor
  • 8. Improved Dark Level Correction

DJI Cinema Color System

  • 1. A new D-Log curve
  • 2. D-Gamut RGB Color Space
  • 3. Available on X5S, X7

Your Comment

13 Comments

Sky drone cinema camera only 14 stops. No 8k version?

October 11, 2017 at 10:27PM

0
Reply
Wayne M
Director of a Life
284

Is there a better camera at $2,700 ?

October 12, 2017 at 10:54AM

15
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32635

I hate to say this, because we should be talking about what they should offer, rather than what BM and Red will offer next year, but the GH5. Just better can be done, just a shame that $600 raw drone camera didn't get funded for last year. Not to mention the 4k mini.

Being a drone camera HDR (16 stop+) video offers you more flexibility to counter challenging lighting that comes up. 8k allows as you to.massively overshoot and then select new framing in 2k-4k.

October 12, 2017 at 1:11PM

0
Reply
Wayne M
Director of a Life
284

...But high end features are always tied to price, and right now I don't think there is a better camera at this price point, so why talk about features that are WAY beyond the $2,700 price tag ?

October 13, 2017 at 11:44AM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32635

Woww... This is stunning.

October 12, 2017 at 4:20AM

2
Reply
avatar
Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
727

This could actually be interesting for 'on the ground' applications as well. Name another camera that shoots 6k raw and 4k 60fps with a super 35 sensor, that comes with 4 prime lenses, for less than $4300. Oh, and also has a built in gimbal.

October 12, 2017 at 5:29AM

0
Reply
avatar
Sam Gordon
Moving Picture Maker Man
87

That's just the price of the lens combo.

October 12, 2017 at 11:08AM

3
Reply

Tell you one that is easier to shoot with professionally without 6k, you could get an adaptor and put some cheap lens into Mini 4.6..

October 12, 2017 at 1:13PM

0
Reply
Wayne M
Director of a Life
284

The camera with four lenses is $7000 dollars, dude.

October 13, 2017 at 5:50PM

0
Reply

Can't wait to see comparisons with the older X5R camera to see how much better this new camera really is.

October 12, 2017 at 10:56AM, Edited October 12, 10:56AM

0
Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32635

The price of the X7 with lens package is unfortunately $6,998 - the 4 lenses alone cost $4,299

https://store.dji.com/product/zenmuse-x7-lens-excluded/extra-accessories

October 12, 2017 at 1:57PM, Edited October 12, 1:57PM

2
Reply

Such amazing resolution so hackers can know every last detail about you!

https://www.wired.com/story/army-dji-drone-ban/

October 13, 2017 at 3:48AM

4
Reply
K W
341

Totally amazed! Thank you for sharing the details of the product.
http://fashionphotographersmumbai.com/

October 13, 2017 at 6:17AM

4
Reply
krutika Palav
intern
72