Last week, DJI unveiled the revolutionary Zenmuse X7, a first-of-its-kind cinema grade Super 35mm camera designed specifically for aerial cinematography. Today, we go behind the scenes with DJI and the making of the movie Riders. The goal of the project was to challenge the visual quality of the Zenmuse X7 by using it in production alongside a high-end cinema camera.
As the final product below shows, the integration was virtually seamless.
Creative director Ferdinand Wolf describes in the BTS video how the Super 35mm sensor provided beautifully shallow depth of field and high dynamic range even in challenging low-light situations. For smaller sensors, shooting in low light at ISO 1600 can produce noisy images but, as Wolf states in the video, the team at DJI was able to produce clean, sharp images shooting in low light at ISO 1600 at f/2.8.
The Riders production team shot in Cinema DNG RAW and utilized all four of the DL Mount prime lenses (16mm - 50mm) that were developed alongside the X7 camera. By doing so, they were able to get footage that integrated seamlessly in post with the footage shot by the high-end cinema camera they used for ground shots.
“I can’t tell the difference between the X7 and the camera they used for the whole movie in general which is amazing for a drone camera.”
According to Senior Colorist Stephen Nakamura, “The X7 camera is fantastic. I’ve seen that [footage] cut into one of the movies that I’ve worked on. I can’t tell the difference between that and the camera they used for the whole movie in general which is amazing for a drone camera.”
The DL Mount on the Zenmuse X7 made switching focal lengths quick and easy and the internal focus motors in the lenses made it possible to use a remote focus puller for critical close-ups at wide-open apertures.
Wolf remarks that, “The Inspire 2 platform in combination with the X7 camera was the key factor in completing this project fast and efficiently.”
Take a look at the behind-the-scenes video here to see how all the advanced features of the Zenmuse X7 were utilized to create Riders, and to see for yourself just what the camera is capable of.