The Zenmuse X7 and Zenmuse X5S are two high performing cameras for DJI Inspire 2 drones. At first glance both appear to be very similar. However, we have dug deeper to find out the crucial differences. This will assure that you make the right decision without paying a hefty price tag for a camera that doesn’t suit your needs.

Weight

The Zenmuse X7 weighs roughly 449 grams while the Zenmuse X5S weighs 461 grams. Weight will vary slightly depending on which lens is selected.

Overall no real difference here. While weight variations can have a big effect on a drone’s flight time, when it comes to 12 grams you’re not going to be able to notice the difference.

Sensor Size

The Zenmuse X7 uses an APS-C sensor while the X5S uses a Micro 4/3 sensor. What’s the difference? Mainly the size. The Zenmuse X7 has a 23.5×15.7 mm size for stills and a 23.5×12.5 mm size for recording video. The Zenmuse X5S uses a 17.3 mm x 9.7 mm sensor.

This puts the Zenmuse X7 sensor at about 1.5 times the size of that of the Zenmuse X5S. This gives a better low light performance, wider images, and a greater depth of field.

+1 for the Zenmuse X7

Recording Video

Both cameras can film in ultra-high definition, but it is the Zenmuse X7 that wins out with the ability to film in 6K. This gives comaprable video to what’s produced in the movie industry. Basically, you’re getting a camera that can film to a professional level.

Of course, that’s not to say that the Zenmuse X5S is sub-standard. It is still one of the most powerful drone cameras on the market and can take some amazing aerial footage. It’s just that the Zenmuse X7 is slightly ahead.

Zenmuse X7 Video ModesZenmuse X5S Video Modes
4K at 60fps
5.2K at 30fps
6K at 30fps
4k at 60fps

5.2K at 30fps

Now there are a few issues to be aware of when attempting to film in 5.2K or 6K. First off is that you will need A LOT of storage space. These recording modes are incredibly data heavy, and you will definitely be filling up SD cards and hard drives. In fact, you’re likely to only be able to film in these modes for a few minutes before your SD card is full. Furthermore, you will need a powerful computer to playback and edit video of this quality.

Let’s not forget that you will have to cough up an additional $1,000 to purchase a CinemaDNG license from DJI. This license is required to film in 5.2K or 6K.

Regardless of these negative, the Zenmuse X7 is the most powerful at recording video.

+1 for the Zenmuse X7

Taking Still-Shots

For those unaware, one megapixel is one million pixels. Each pixel is a tiny square of data and the more squares you have, the more information dense and high quality your photo is. Now, imagine looking at an image the size of a standard photograph. It might look high-quality but if you were to increase it to poster size you are likely to start noticing the lines between each pixel and other distortions. However, the more pixels an image has, the larger it can be increased before these distortions become visible to the eye.

Therefore, to snap the best aerial photos, it’s important to have a high megapixel value. The Zenmuse X7 has 24 megapixels while the Zenmuse X5S has 20.8 megapixels. This makes them both exceptionally powerful cameras. However, the Zenmuse X7 is still ahead.

+1 for the Zenmuse X7

Lens Selection

Each camera allows users to select from a range of lens types. The lenses compatible with the Zenmuse X7 are shown below.

Lens TypeMaximum ApertureWeight (grams)
DL-S 16 mm Lens1:2.8178
DL 24 mm Lens1:2.8178
DL 35 mm Lens1:2.8179
DL 50 mm lens1:2.8132

And now for the Zenmuse X5S lenses.

Lens TypeMaximum ApertureWeight (grams)
Olympus 45 mm Lens1:1.8116
Olympus 25 mm Lens1:1.8136
Olympus 17 mm M.ZUIKO Digital Lens1:1.8120
Olympus 9-18 mm M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED Lens1:4.0 / 1:5.6155
Olympus 12 mm f2 M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED Lens1:2.0130
DJI MFT 15 mm Lens1:1.6115
Panasonic 14-44 mm1:3.5 / 1:5.6110

The number displayed in millimeters refers to each lenses’ focal length. The higher this number is, the greater the zoom. Lower numbers mean less zoom but wider images. Also, if there are two numbers, it means the lens is adjustable throughout that range.

The maximum aperture lets users know how much light the lens can store. Just remember a higher number means less light can be stored and vice versa. This reading is important for photographers operating in low light conditions.

Lastly, we have mentioned the weight. While we don’t think the weight of a lens is a big issue, just remember any additional grams can affect a drone’s flight time.

Overall no winner in this category. Each camera has a range of lenses to suit the needs of different photographers and filmmakers.

Price

Current Amazon prices put the Zenmuse X5S at $1,900. A DJI MFT 15 mm lens is included.

The Zenmuse X7 is priced at $2,700 without a lens. A lens can be purchased separately for around $1,000 – $1,400. You can also purchase a Zenmuse X7 for $7,000 with a four-lens set.

Prices can change suddenly so have a quick look at Amazon for the latest figures.

The Zenmuse X5S is much more affordable for the typical consumer.

+1 for the Zenmuse X5S

Score

Check out the scores below.

Zenmuse X7Zenmuse X5S
3 (Megapixels, recording video, sensor size)1 (Price)

Also, check out this side-by-side comparison

FeatureZenmuse X7Zenmuse X5S
Sensor Size23.5×15.7mm (stills)
23.5×12.5mm (video)
17.3 mm x 9.7 mm
Video4K at 60fps
5.2K at 30fps
6K at 30fps
4k at 60fps
5.2K at 30fps
Megapixels2420.8
Weight449g461g
Price$2,700 + lens$1,900

Which One Should I Get?

The Zenmuse X7 is obviously the better camera. However, it does have a whopping price tag. If you do plan to film in 5.2K or 6K on your Inspire then you will need to pay:

$2,700 (Camera) + $1,000 (One Lens) + $1,000 (CinemaDNG license) = $4,700

This isn’t cheap, and if you don’t consider yourself a serious filmmaker or don’t have the computer hardware necessary for 5.2K or 6K video, then it really isn’t worth getting the Zenmuse X7. You’re better off just paying $1,900 for the Zenmuse X5S. It is still a darn powerful camera, with the ability to film 4K at 60fps and take 20.8-megapixel shots.