Inspire 1 Pro Review
After shooting on an Inspire 1 for nearly a year, we were extremely excited to hear when DJI announced an Inspire 1 Pro version with an upgraded camera. We received the drone upgrade just in time to shoot for our two-week adventure in Hawaii.
The first thing you’ll notice about the new kit is the Zenmuse X5 sensor and attached 15mm f/1.7 lens. This is bigger than the original X3, and it’s not difficult to recognize the great build quality. After holding it in your hands, you’ll be able to tell that it is made for professional use. This camera has a micro four-thirds sensor, which boasts an impressive 16 mega pixels. Because the sensor size and quality have increased, you can expect greater pixel clarity and 12.8 stops of dynamic range. From a practical perspective, this means that the photos can blend seamlessly with shots taken from professional DSLRs, and the footage can be intertwined easily with video from higher end cinema cameras. The ISO sensitivity has also increased, enabling use from 100-25600. Also, the MFT lens mount allows for a variation of lenses to be used for production flexibility. Another upgrade is that you now have complete control over the exposure triangle, whereas on the previous model, aperture was automatic. Also, this can be paired with the DJI focus system to capture extremely dynamic shots.
After our first flight of the Inspire 1 Pro, we reviewed footage and were honestly blown away. The X5 sensor is very sharp, and we were able to see details in the clouds that previously were lost. While in Hawaii, we shot footage on Maui, Kauai, and Oahu. Our days were filled with finding countless beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, and other scenic locations to film in. A sight we often found was bright ocean water conjoined with dark trees on the side. Because these locations had such variance in exposure, the X5’s increased dynamic range via LOG and Cine-D really were lifesavers.
Beyond new physical features, the Inspire 1 Pro is absolutely packed with innovate software options within the DJI GO app. Although this drone is not made for beginners or hobbyists, it is comforting to have a “beginner mode” which provides safe limitations for you first flights. The intelligent flight modes include point of interest, waypoints, course lock, home lock, and follow me. The follow me mode really came in handy when tracking our truck while driving the winding roads in Maui. We also tested this feature while off-roading in Kauai, and while taking raptors out at Kualoa Ranch in Oahu. Kualoa Ranch is famous for being where films like Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, and 50 First Dates were shot. This being said, it was the perfect location to grab some breathtaking shots on the Inspire 1 Pro.
As adventure filmmakers, being flexible is a priority for us. We are constantly on the move chasing that perfect sunset, rainbow, car, or boat. The Inspire 1 Pro is something we’re really excited about because it combines the quality and features you’d expect on a full out production with the mobility, simplicity, and price range that a small crew would dream of. We honestly mean it when we say this drone is unrivaled in the space of budget filmmaking for the value it provides.
We are beyond excited to use this drone on future productions, as well as to see what boundaries content creators will redefine with this powerful tool!