In what looks to be perhaps the best epitome of a new direction for the drone and camera manufacturing company DJI, this latest drone system isn’t really a video recording play at all—but a data one.

This new DJI Zenmuse L2 is less like a Mavic camera drone system and more akin to the eye-in-the-sky weaponized space station in The Creator (if you’ve seen the movie, you know what we’re talking about).

While equipped with a camera per se, it’s not designed for video at all. The Zenmuse L2 is here to unleash the full power of DJI’s LiDAR technology to scan for 3D data and enable high-precision point results with one-stop post-processing.

Let’s take a look at this bold new direction for DJI and explore what the Zenmuse L2 has to offer.

The DJI Zenmuse L2

Supported by its new, and more powerful hardware, the Zenmuse L2 is an upgrade of the previous L1 model which paved the way for DJI’s new side-direction focused on accurate ground and structure measurements.

The Zenmuse L2 was built to allow for a precise scan of complex subjects within an extended range and with faster point cloud acquisition. When in operation, users will be able to preview, playback, and process these point cloud models on-site with full Task Quality Reports generated by DJI Terra.

Overall, the L2 model will reflect up to a 30% detection range increase over the previous model with smaller laser spots and denser point clouds which can detect from 250 meters at 10% reflectivity (and up to 450 meters at 50% reflectivity).

4/3 CMOS RGB Mapping Camera

Like always though, there’s still a camera at the heart of the DJI Zenmuse L2. Although, unlike the 4K+ capable video cameras of some of the other DJI systems, this Zenmuse L2 integrates a 4/3 CMOS RGB mapping camera which makes use of a Livox LiDAR module and a high-accuracy IMU, all housed on a 3-axis stabilized gimbal.

The Zenmuse L2 is set to support up to five returns when flying with an enhanced capability to collect bare earth data. Plus, with two scanning models, it should be even more ideal for precise topographical survey scans. The IMU also requires no warm-up time, which should allow users the ability to capture data immediately after powering on.

Another cool update is that the Zenmuse L2 will be able to capture LiDAR and photogrammetry data simultaneously while maintaining True Color LiDAR data. In addition, with its frame-based design, the L2 should deliver an effective point cloud data rate of up to 100%.

\u200bA look at the DJI Zenmuse L2

A look at the DJI Zenmuse L2

Credit: DJI

Price and Availability

Overall, the Zenmuse L2 is a significant upgrade from the L1 and should be a great tool for professionals in various industries including surveying and mapping, energy, forestry, and construction.

As for video-adjacent industries though, if you’re simply looking for a drone video system, this isn’t the DJI you're looking for.

However, if any of these 3D mapping abilities seem appealing to any sort of data processing or post-processing work that you might do in addition to your video work, the Zenmuse L2 should be a top option for its LiDAR-based solutions.

A Worry-Free Basic Zenmuse L2 Combo is available to reserve now for $13,560.