DJI has unveiled two new cameras for its Inspire 1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV): the Zenmuse X5 and X5R.
According to DJI, the Zenmuse X5 is the first commercially available Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) camera designed specifically for aerial use. With a large sensor, the camera can capture up to 13 stops of dynamic range – making it easy for users to take high-resolution 16 mp photos or 4k, 24 fps and 30 fps video in complex lighting environments.
At the time of launch, the Zenmuse X5 will support four interchangeable lenses, including the DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH lens, Panasonic Lumix 15mm G Leica DG Summilux f/1.7 ASPH lens, Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f/2.0 lens, and Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 lens.
While the Zenmuse X5 is in flight, UAV pilots can adjust both focus and aperture via the DJI GO app or through DJI’s previously announced Follow Focus system.
The camera’s lightweight, 340 gram (0.75 lb.) body integrates with DJI’s signature three-axis Zenmuse gimbal technology, creating smooth video and stabilized, long-exposure photos (up to eight seconds).
“The professional applications of the Zenmuse X5 are almost endless,” comments Eric Cheng, DJI’s director of aerial imaging. “In addition to shooting professional-quality photos and 4K video, the new camera can be used to create high-quality aerial maps and 3D models and can also help industrial teams get even more detail from their aerial imaging pursuits – for example, in utility inspection using a drone.”
The new Zenmuse X5R camera has the same sensor and lens compatibility as the X5 but records video to an onboard microSD card and to a removable 512 GB solid state disk (SSD) on the gimbal’s top plate. The Zenmuse X5R records CinemaDNG (RAW) video to the SSD and opens up lossless 4k video recording in a groundbreaking, compact form factor with video bitrates averaging 1.7Gbps (with a maximum of 2.4Gbps), according to DJI.
The Zenmuse X5R also offers a brand-new D-LOG mode that offers a broader array of color-correction options in post production.
To support the management of Zenmuse X5R Cinema DNG files, DJI will release software to edit and convert RAW camera footage. CineLight, which will be available when the Zenmuse X5R camera is released later this year, simplifies users’ workflows by offering offline proxy editing before converting the CinemaDNG files to ProRes.
“In order to achieve the quality of video produced by Zenmuse X5 and X5R, pilots used to have to spend many thousands of dollars for large, complicated aerial equipment,” adds Frank Wang, CEO and founder of DJI. “Now, pilots can simply mount the Zenmuse X5 series cameras to their Inspire 1, put on their props, get up in the air and have full control of their shot while in flight. This saves valuable time on film sets and makes high-quality imaging for industrial applications smaller, lighter and easier to manage.”
By mounting a small, easy-to-install bracket, the Zenmuse X5 series cameras are fully compatible with existing DJI Inspire 1 platforms as an interchangeable option for the Inspire 1’s standard Zenmuse X3 camera.
The Zenmuse X5 is available for pre-order at store.dji.com for $4,499, including a DJI Inspire 1 and DJI’s MFT 15mm F1.7 ASPH lens, and will begin shipping before the end of September.