Update: The DJI Mavic 2 has been released on August 23rd, 2018. It has a 20MP camera that may be suitable for professional applications. Learn more about it here.
We will update this page as new information comes out on the Inspire 3. Right now, we are not expecting an imminent launch. The Inspire 1 was launched in November 2014. The Inspire 1 Pro followed in September 2015. A year later, DJI released the Inspire 2 in November 2016. It’s possible that an Inspire 2 Pro version will come before an Inspire 3.
DJI drone pilots love to hate a good rumor. They love it because it’s always exciting to hear whispers about a new product in the pipeline. They hate it because of the uncertainty of not knowing if there’s any truth in the word on the street. The latest buzz surrounds leaked images of alleged test flights of a brand new drone. This time it’s thought to be a DJI Inspire 3, sporting a 6K RAW resolution camera.
You can almost envisage the tech heads poised over their keyboards in eager anticipation. I don’t think we can expect to see any Inspire 3 in-depth reviews anytime soon though. It’s true that technology changes fast. But new drone launches only arrive when the time is right—when the demand is there.
The problem with rumors is that fake news can and usually does run riot. Before you know it everyone’s talking about something as though it already exists even though it may never materialize.
Filmmakers & Videographer’s Dream Craft
DJI is a market leader in easy-to-fly unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs. They’re the ones who set the standards that all other camera drone makers have to compete with. We get excited about rumors because they are the company that produces aerial photography systems that are second to none. Filmmakers and videographers can expect something very special if a DJI Inspire 3 is in the pipeline.
So Many Assume, Yet So Few Know
You may wonder how these rumors all began. Well, DJI leaked some less than clear images just ahead of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. To add further fuel to this speculation their booth at the MWC was set against an imposing close-up image of an all-black drone motor and propeller.
On closer inspection there were more questions than answers:
- It wasn’t a close-up of the Inspire 2 (see below)
- It might—just might—be a new Inspire Black Version 2
- It could also be a totally new class of DJI UAV
- The image suggested a drone from the commercial family
Because DJI remained tight-lipped rumors started to circulate and that’s how it all began.
Not the DJI Inspire 2, But…
It was easy to think the booth’s background image was an artistic shot of the DJI Inspire 2 at first glance. It wasn’t. We know this because on closer inspection the differences became obvious.
Here were the three key differences found on that poster:
- The LED light has a different design and color to the Inspire 2
- The Inspire 2’s motor tilts off axis slightly; this one didn’t
- The entire finish is matte black; the Inspire 2 has a light/dark finish
People thought it could be the first peek at an all-new Inspire 3. It could also be an Inspire 2 PRO version as some suggested, but no one really knew. Whatever’s it was drone enthusiasts started to speculate about a potential new UAV launch by DJI. An Inspire 3 seemed to fit the bill at that time.
Alas, everyone was barking up the wrong tree. What people saw at the MWC was, in fact, a sneak peak of the Matrice 200 which the company introduced later that year.
Why so Many New Camera Drones
The thing about drone technology and features is that there’s always room for improvements. Just when we think things couldn’t possibly get any better—they always do. There still remain some common gripes with almost all modern drones though.
Here are eight shared areas where all drone pilots hope for improvements:
- Extended flying time or battery life
- Flight range: distance the drone can fly from the controller
- Flight speed
- Advanced aerial stability and maneuverability
- Flight modes and other useful features
- Higher resolution cameras, better gimbals, improved FPV capability
- Get props out of frames
- Lighter weight, more compact or foldable designs (more of an issue with larger drones)
What to Expect with a DJI Inspire 3
If a DJI Inspire 3 does materialize we can expect some exciting advances. I would imagine the main upgrade would be in the camera and recording technology. Shooting aerial footage in amazing 6K RAW resolution would be one. Imagine that. Filming in 6K resolution down-converted to 4K is no minor detail. It would put the Inspire up there with the likes of the high-end Red or Alexa camera systems.
The downside of such a system would be the increase in price. Nevertheless, being a commercial camera drone rather than a consumer UAV would more than justify its higher price tag.
I could go on and speculate further on the details but I won’t bother. It would just mean clutching at straws and to list personal hopes and expectations. All we can do for now is WATCH THIS SPACE.
The New ZENMUSE X7 Camera
It would make perfect sense if a new Inspire 3 came equipped with a DJI Zenmuse X7 camera. It’s an incredibly compact Super 35 light-tight box that sports an in-body gimbal. High-end filmmakers could go on to produce amazing quality footage with breathtaking resolution. Right now the only drone compatible with the Zenmuse X7 is the Inspire 2.
Any Inspire upgrade—or a new family of high-end camera drones—would have to include the X7. Either that or be compatible so that professional aerial photographers and cinematographers have the choice.
I won’t get into a review of the Zenmuse X7 here, but I will highlight a few of its key features:
- 2K Apple ProRes
- Continuous RAW burst shooting at 20fps
- 24 MP stills
- DL-Mount allows switching between four prime lenses (first of its kind)
- New DJI Cinema Color System makes post-processing easier and quicker
It’s impossible not to get excited about the potential of a DJI Inspire 3 with Zenmuse X7 camera.
Great Things Take Time
Prepare to be surprised if DJI introduces an Inspire 3 to the family. For now, though, the whispers have died down. That doesn’t mean the DJI software and hardware engineers are resting on their laurels. This is one company that never fails to innovate, amaze, and excel beyond all expectations. If the demand is there for an Inspire 3—and I think it is—it’s just a case of when not if.