DJI Inspire 1 – Creativity Unleashed (Finally)

side_viewThe Inspire 1 was officially announced last night in a fashion that even Apple would be jealous of; Along with the live announcement a highly polished and well directed video was released featuring DJI’s Director of Photography. As much as we were disappointed by the fact the Inspire 1 doesn’t seem to be a direct replacement for the Phantom nor does it feature a solid-state (digitally stabilised) camera we are none-the-less blown away by its new features!

Continuing the Apple style leaks and scheduled official announcement Philip Bloom (DJI’s Director of Photography) must have recently graduated from the Apple school of Official Product Releases because if I hadn’t known any better I’d think I was watching the release of a new “i” product.

Inspire 1 – Overview of features

  • All new carbon ‘H’ frame with retracting booms/arms.
  • New self-tightening props that appear to be a larger version of the successful Phantom design.
  • 3-Axis integrated camera gimbal with 360 degree rotation and 125 degree tilt.
  • 4k Camera with a 90 degree lens (1080p 60fps, 4k 30fps, and still @ 12MP).
  • All new Android / iOS app.
  • Camera settings and position can be controlled from the app.
  • Camera detachable and upgradable/replaceable.
  • Optical flow sensor for low-altitude and indoor stabilisation.
  • Up-to 18 minutes of flight-time on the new 6S smart batteries.
  • The RRP is set to be around $2,800 USD (The UK RRP is said to be £2,380GBP with one transmitter).

New Transmitter Features

  • Centred control sticks (just like the Phantom).
  • Extra controls for gimbal tilt & rotation plus a button for instant photo capture.
  • Integrated DJI Lightbridge (HD video down-link).
  • Option for slave transmitter to control camera positioning & settings.

Unique retracting booms & “H” design.

Instead of cumbersome additional retracting landing-gear the Inspire one literally alters its own centre-of-gravity by lifting its side booms so that the fuselage (and camera) are significantly lowered.

Not only does this method prevent the arms, props and legs from obscuring the camera the lower centre-of-gravity also makes the craft more stable.

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360 Degree 3-axis gimbal

The Inspire 1 features an all new ‘bespoke’ 4K camera with integrated 3-axis gimbal that allows for a full 360 degree rotation and a 125 degree tilt. The gimbal can be controlled directly from the transmitter via additional ergonomic sliders (and shutter button for instant photo capture) or via the new app.

Inspire 1 also allows an additional slave transmitter to be connected allowing for a dedicated camera operator so the pilot can concentrate on flying.

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Note: The camera & gimbal can easily be removed for upgrades or replacement.

ALL NEW Android & iOS App

DJI have clearly been working on this app for some time: it allows the pilot or camera operator to not only control the craft but adjust and tweak the camera and gimbal settings.

There are several video modes including 1080p@60fps, 4K@30fps and a 12MP photo capture which can be used while recording.

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ALL NEW Transmitter

The Inspire 1 features an all new ergonomic transmitter with integrated DJI Lightbridge (HD video down-link) which once attached to a screen or goggles will allow you to view your video feed from a kilometre or more away (You can also view the video feed on the app).

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Connectors (left to right): USB A, CANBUS, Micro USB, HDMI.

Optical Flow Sensor

Now this is something a little bit special.. Before the advent of cheap GPS systems many flight controllers relied on optical flow sensors to determine the position of the craft in relation to objects on the ground; while this feature is great at low altitude its not very good at higher-altitudes because the details are not as clear. However if you mix the two technologies together (GPS & Optical flow) you end up with a craft that can utilise position hold at low-altitude (where there may be an obscured GPS signal) or even in-doors (with no GPS).

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Here is some footage of the Inspire 1 being flown in-doors using the Optical Flow Sensors (shot by Richard Whelan / ThatHPIGuy who was invited to the official release).:

DJI Inspire 1 Live Launch

The recorded live launch is still available on YouTube and well worth a watch:

On a side note you can see Adam Savage & Jamie Hyneman of Mythbusters fame in the front row; we wonder if they are AP or FPV fans? 🙂

DJI Inspire 1 product page: http://www.dji.com/product/inspire-1

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