CinemaDNG vs ProRes: 5.2k Video License Options

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If you currently own a DJI Inspire 2 drone, then you will likely be spending a lot of time recording videos of your flights. For those that purchased a Zenmuse X5S or Zenmuse X7 camera with your drone, then you have the option of filming in 5.2K.

5.2K is one of the highest definitions available, and equivalent to that used by professional filmmakers. However, to record 5.2K footage you will need to purchase a license upgrade. This can either be in the form of a CinemaDNG or ProRes license.

CinemaDNG is open source software developed by Adobe. It allows users to record unedited, uncompressed video in RAW format. While it is free for some uses, you are going to require a license to film in 5.2K.

ProRes is a video compression format developed by Apple, which supports video up to 8K. Again, you will need a license to film in 5.2K using the Inspire 2 camera.

The question is how well each video format works and which license should you get. Considering how much you will have already spent on your Inspire 2 drone, you probably want to know if it is worth forking over even more cash. That’s why we have analyzed both to help you make an informed decision and not waste money on a license that isn’t beneficial.


Both licenses can be used to film 5.2K video at:

  • 97624fps
  • 24fps
  • 25fps
  • 97fps

The ProRes license also gives you more options when shooting in 4K. Of course, it is already free to shoot in 4K. However, with a license you can now record footage using the 422 HQ and 4444XQ codecs. These formats are considered to be of professional standard.

CinemaDNG produces RAW footage, which gives the greatest amount of options for color grading, formatting, and other editing work. The license also gives you more resolution options.

Overall, if you are trying to create Hollywood level footage, then the CinemaDNG is the best option. If you’re just trying to create extremely high-quality videos that meet professional standards, then the ProRes will do the job.

+1 for CinemaDNG


You can purchase a CinemaDNG activation key from the DJI store for $1,000. A ProRes activation key costs $500. You can also purchase both keys for $1,300.

You will also need a CINESSD storage device for the footage because the Inspire 2’s SSD cannot store the footage. The current Amazon prices are:

We recommend checking Amazon yourself to see the latest deals.

ProRes is $500 cheaper than CinemaDNG.

+1 for ProRes


Start getting some terabyte hard drives ready because you are going to need them. CinemaDNG footage is massive, and you are going to need a ton of storage space. When recording in 5.2K, you can fill up a 240G drive in about 8 minutes

ProRes footage is produced in a compressed format. It still requires a ton of space but not as much as CinemaDNG footage. It will take you around 26 minutes to fill up the same 240G drive when recording in 5.2K.

+1 for ProRes

Processing Power

CinemaDNG footage is RAW (unedited) footage. To handle these files you are going to require a top of the line computer. You will really want 12+ gigabytes of RAM, an i7 processor, and a powerful graphics card. Even then, you are likely to run into problems when editing 5.2K footage. Don’t make the mistake of purchasing a license and finding out you still need to overhaul your computer.

ProRes doesn’t produce RAW footage. Your videos will be churned out in an already playable format. Of course, they will still need editing but a lot of the work will have been done for you, and you will be able to get away with lower system specs.

+1 for ProRes

Overall Scores

We have tallied up the points below.

1 (Quality)3 (More affordable, Footage requires less storage space, Footage requires less processing power)

CinemaDNG gives more options when recording video and produces RAW footage that can then be edited to Hollywood standard. Of course, this takes a lot of work.

ProRes is a lot more user-friendly. The license is more affordable and the footage produced is smaller and requires less effort to edit.

Which One Should You Get?

For most people, the ProRes license is more than enough. This tool allows you to capture 5.2K video, which is exceptionally high quality. You will be filming just like a professional and find that the files produced are smaller and easier to manage than those produced using CinemaDNG. You will also be able to save time during the editing process.

For those that want to record in RAW format and have the hardware to edit the footage, then the CinemaDNG license may be a viable option. If you consider yourself a serious filmmaker and know what you are doing then pay the extra $500 and get the license. Just remember, you will be in for a lot of work editing the RAW footage so make sure you are undertaking a worthy project.

The final option is to purchase both licenses for $1,300. We reckon this is overkill and simply not necessary. Just get one or the other.

Don’t forget about purchasing a CINESSD. You will require one to store your CinemaDNG or ProRes footage.