Hands on with the DJI Zenmuse Z30

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The Heliguy team recently had the opportunity to test out the DJI Zenmuse Z30 in our test field. Our technicians used this powerful zoom camera to get detailed shots of various subjects such as power lines and distant structures.

We were very impressed by this enterprise tool from DJI and can see it becoming hugely popular for companies in a wide variety of sectors, most notably aerial inspections.

Before we delve into our time with the Z30, here are all the key details you need to know:

 

Key Features

  • 30x optical and 6x digital zoom for a total of 180x magnification
  • Featuring precise stabilisation within 0.01°
  • Compatible with the DJI Matrice range
  • TapZoom allows for rapid, accurate zoom with precise auto-focus
  • Robust design aimed at professional users
  • CMOS, 1/2.8″ Sensor with F1.6 (Wide) – F4.7 (Tele) Lens

 

Specifications

See below for all of the specifications for DJI’s Zenmuse Z30 zoom camera.

GENERAL

Name –

Zenmuse Z30

Dimensions

152×137×61 mm

Weight

556 g

CAMERA

Sensor

CMOS, 1/2.8″
Effective Pixels: 2.13 M

Lens Spec

30x Optical Zoom
F1.6 (Wide) – F4.7 (Tele)
Zoom Movement Speed:
– Optical Wide – Optical Tele: 4.6 sec
– Optical Wide – Digital Tele: 6.2 sec
– Digital Wide – Digital Tele : 1.8 sec
Focus Movement Time:
∞ – near: 1.1 sec

Field Of View

63.7°(Wide) – 2.3°(Tele)

Digital Zoom

6x zoom

Min. Working Distance

10 mm (Wide) – 1200 mm (Tele)

Photo Formats

JPEGs

Video Formats

MOV, MP4

Working Modes

Capture, Record, Playback

Still Photography Modes

Single shot, Burst shooting: 3/5 frames, Timelapse (2/3/4/7/10/15/20/30 sec)

Exposure Mode

Auto, Manual, Shutter

Exposure Compensation

±3.0 (1/3 increments)

Metering Mode

Center-weighted metering, Spot metering (Area option 12×8)

AE Lock

Supported

Electronic Shutter Speed

1/1 – 1/6000 s

White Balance

Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Custom (2000K – 10000K)

Video Captions

Supported

TapZoom

Supported

TapZoom Range

1 – 5

Defog

Supported

One Key to 1x Image

Supported

Anti-flicker

Auto, 50 Hz, 60 Hz

PAL/NTSC

Supported

Supported SD Cards

MicroSD (SD / SDHC / SDXC)
Max. Capacity: 64 GB, Class 10 or UHS-1

Supported File Systems

FAT32 (≤ 32 GB)
exFAT (> 32 GB)

GIMBAL

Angular Vibration Range

±0.01°

Mount

Detachable

Controllable Range

Tilt: +30° to -90°, Pan: ±320°

Mechanical Range

Tilt: +50° to -140°, Pan: ±330°, Roll: +90° to -50°

Max Controllable Speed

Tilt: 120°/s, Pan: 180°/s

ENVIRONMENTAL

Operating Temperature

14° to 113° F (-10° to 45° C)

Non-Operating Temperature

-4° to 140° F (-20° to 60° C)

 


Zenmuse Z30 In Action

This industrial Zenmuse model is easy to set up and, as we found during our tests, works flawlessly with the Matrice 600.

 

ZoomOutGif

 

Despite initial concerns regarding the 2MP stills capture, when it is being used correctly i.e. for video footage – we were able to capture some great aerial shots that have enough sharpness for inspection work both zoomed in and out.

 

 

It’s also easy to control as a single operator, with the option to ‘tap zoom’ on a subject making use of an impressive auto-focus and intuitive display courtesy of the DJI GO app.

 

PowerLineGif

 

As you can see below, the level of detail retained at the peak of its zoom capability is ideal for surveys, inspections and even security use cases such as license plate or suspect identification.

 

AttachGif

 


VIDEO

Now that you’ve read our opinions on our time with the Zenmuse Z30 industrial zoom camera, you can see the full results of our tests in the video below:


GALLERY

Take a closer look at the Zenmuse Z30 camera in our gallery:

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Heliguy Interviews Harbour Media

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Background Image Courtesy of Harbour Media

Here at Heliguy, we like to stay in touch with our customers and develop a lasting relationship based on exemplary support and superior products. Recently we had a chance to catch up with Justin Glynn of Harbour Media – an aerial filmmaker who has purchased a number of aircraft from us and used them to create some spectacular reels.

We asked him about the gear he uses, what his thoughts are on current regulations as well as what advice he would give to aspiring drone filmmakers.


The Interview

Read on to find out more about the ins and outs of aerial filmmaking and what type of work you can expect as a qualified drone pilot.

 

What inspired you to use drones in your filmmaking?

JG: I was being asked by clients if I could provide aerial work, so it seemed like a logical thing to qualify in and add to my existing business as a filmmaker.

 

What are the main advantages to using UAVs when filming?

JG: For me, it’s all about adding that different perspective. We currently use the drones for commercial and wedding videography, so adding a nice establishing shot makes all the difference to a film.

 


Footage Courtesy of Harbour Media – Featuring Shots Taken Using a Phantom 4 Pro from Heliguy


 

What sectors do you work within?

JG: The drone side of things is relatively new to us, but we work for many different clients, so it’s tough to single out one specific style of work. We mainly work on short promo films for companies, but we also film the odd wedding.

 

Is there a job that stands out as your favourite?

JG: This is a tough one for me because we get to shoot a lot of cool stuff, but using the drone, I would say that Autosport international was a firm favourite for me. They were tough flights, but I learned a lot from doing them. Every day is a school day!

 


Footage Courtesy of Harbour Media & Jam Creative Consultancy – Filmed on a Phantom 4 Pro & Ronin-MX from Heliguy 


 

What are your favourite rigs?

JG: We currently have a Matrice 600 & Phantom 4 Pro. We used to own an Inspire 1 RAW, but the Phantom 4 Pro is my new favourite. It’s so quick and simple to setup, which means I have to carry less kit to jobs. Obviously, the Matrice will allow me to shoot with my own camera, but it’s quite restrictive with distances, so it’s reserved for more specialist projects.

All of our drone equipment was purchased from Heliguy. We even have the Ronin-MX to fly on the Matrice 600 and it’s brilliant. I have had a few teething problems with the gear, but the tech support from Heliguy is second to none and we resolved everything either via phone or email.

 

What equipment is essential for a successful shoot?

JG: I wouldn’t say it’s the equipment that’s essential. The most important thing, commercially, is having a decent well thought out plan of what you want to shoot. However, plenty of batteries and some ND filters certainly help the cause.

 


Footage Courtesy of Harbour Media – Filmed on an Inspire 1 RAW from Heliguy


 

As a professional operator, do you believe drones are given a hard time in the press?

JG: Yes, I do think the media like to give the bad publicity on them and you seldom here a positive attitude toward them. I guess this is down to people being able to purchase drones without any type of training whatsoever.

 

How much do existing regulations affect your work?

JG: Because of the nature of my job, the regulations don’t hinder me at the moment with sub 7kg. But waiting for the governing body to update permissions is a little frustrating.

 


FIND OUT HOW TO BECOME A QUALIFIED DRONE PILOT


 

Do you have any advice for aspiring aerial filmmakers?

JG: Most people see drones as an easy way to make money, it’s not quite as simple as buying a drone and then expecting the work to come in. My advice is to get a decent reel together and learn to fly the craft in a decent open area, and then move onto to more tricky flights.

Speed isn’t key either, most cinematic looking shots are slower and create a nice reveal etc. So many people fly way too fast and stick jerky movements into the drone, which makes the shot look terrible.

Last but not least, set your goals and go and get them. – Fly safe!

 


Find Out More

Aerial filmography is a nascent but rapidly developing field and Heliguy is perfectly placed to help you accomplish your ambitions in this space. We deal with a number of high-profile operators including Philip Bloom on a regular basis so we understand how to support professionals and their businesses. Just starting out? We offer courses that enable you to fly professionally as well as a specialised drone video editing course to help you develop a stand-out showreel.

Now that you’ve seen the level of quality possible from our airframes thanks to Harbour Media’s fantastic examples above, learn what Heliguy can offer you in terms of equipment, support and advice by contacting us via the details below:

 

Email

info@heliguy.com

Call

0191 296 1024

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for more insights from industry professionals, in-depth product information and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

 

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/01/24/heliguy-interviews-harbour-media/

The Drone Training Landscape 2017

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Here at Heliguy, we’ve been providing holistic, machine-specific drone training courses since 2015 and have already seen the market change rapidly. Wider awareness of drones as a commercial tool has created more demand for training and, as businesses discover the true value of aerial services, the type of enquiries we receive have also evolved.

With a greater knowledge of drone services proliferated by the media and savvy online marketing comes the likelihood that 2017 will be a big year for innovation as companies try to carve themselves a niche in this increasingly lucrative market.

We’ve previously covered the steps being taken by household names such as Amazon and Google to implement unmanned aircraft into their business models. However, it isn’t only marquee brands with infinite budgets who are flocking towards the potential of UAVs; companies and individuals from across the vast and varied commercial and industrial landscape are developing intriguing use cases and, in turn, increasing the viability of drones as profitable assets.

One of the latest changes to training queries we have noticed is that mid-to-large companies are looking to send multiple employees on courses to develop targeted drone provision into their business model. These larger clients have done their homework and want to build lasting relationships with a licensed NQE to maintain their operators’ skill, receive technical support and also have access to consultancy services for the crucial documentation which must be renewed annually with the CAA.

Read on to see our infographic which details how to become a professional operator and also to find out how Heliguy’s training courses and services are developing alongside these new demands.


Want to be a Pro? Here’s What You Need to Know

So, you’re looking to become a qualified commercial drone operator in the UK? We’ve put together a step by step graphic to show you the process that must be followed to receive your permissions from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Heliguy-10_Steps_Becoming_Professional_Drone_Pilot

This is a basic guide outlining the key steps to becoming a recognised commercial operator. Inevitably, different trainees and business clients will need to cater courses to their individual needs. At Heliguy, we understand this and are available to discuss your requirements. Don’t hesitate to contact us using the details at the bottom of this article.


How We’re Adapting

We have always prided ourselves on being at the forefront of an industry in constant flux, keeping up with fast-paced regulatory shifts and market trends. With this as a core principal of our business, it should come as no surprise that moving into 2017, we’ve updated our courses and the services available to those looking at becoming professional operators.

 


HELIGUY PfCO TRAINING – FIND OUT MORE 


 

Having listened to our previous trainees, we’ve implemented changes in line with their feedback. Our full PfCO course has been condensed into a 3-day intensive Ground School and Theory Exam followed by a separate Flight Test. These training events run from Tuesday to Thursday throughout the year in three UK locations: Newcastle, Manchester and Farnborough.

trainingdates2017graphic

 

After a very positive response, we’re also continuing our Drone Video Editing Course (which you can read more about HERE) to address the skill gap present between image capture and a polished showreel for businesses to present to clients. Our course leader is a professional filmmaker with years of experience including aerial filmmaking and post production. For those taking our Newcastle course, there’s an option to add this on as an extra day.

Additionally, we run Bespoke Training for industrial and emergency services clients, leading trainees through real world scenarios catered to their operational environment. You can find out what Cumbria Police thought of our training in our Insider interview. This ability to cater courses to individual business needs has also led us to offer more specific aircraft-based courses as well as the opportunity for people unsatisfied with their current NQE provider to complete their training with Heliguy’s team of experts.

 


LOOKING FOR A BESPOKE COURSE? WE CAN HELP


 

Heliguy is also looking to expand our long-term support for trainees with consultancy services and ongoing query resolution. For instance, one of the core aspects of any PfCO course is the creation of a detailed Operations Manual which must be renewed year on year and approved by the CAA. We’re currently rolling out a service which will guide you through the renewal process, ensure that you fully understand any changes to regulation and that it is of a standard that will achieve approval.

Further drone courses are in the development stage this year with a focus on specific enterprise sectors and more information on these exciting new additions to our training programme will follow in the coming months.


Get in Touch

Want to find out more? We’re available to discuss all aspects of the drone industry and what steps you need to take to become a commercial operator. Our dedicated UK team are in the office from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

 

Email: info@heliguy.com

Call: 0191 296 1024

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for more insights into advances being made in the UAV ecosystem, thorough explanations of our services and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

 

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/01/20/the-drone-training-landscape-2017/

DJI Discontinues Three Phantom Quadcopters

quadcopterdiscontinuenewsbanner

It may have been a busy end to 2016 for DJI but they’re showing no signs of letting off with the news that some popular products will no longer be supported. Following on closely from their announcement that the Phantom 3 Professional and Advanced are being discontinued, DJI has dropped the bombshell that the Phantom 4 will be facing a similar fate.

After only 10 months on the market and gaining a huge following from both consumers and professional videographers, the Phantom 4 is being phased out in favour of the next generation of DJI’s products.

Explaining the future of their quadcopter range, an email from DJI to dealers which has been doing the rounds online (see source: sUAS News) explains that:

 


“Consumer drones will be limited to the Mavic Pro, the Phantom 4 Pro and Phantom 4 Pro Plus.”


 

This is an inevitable consequence of the tireless production cycle that DJI operates on. Rapid innovation and new products released on an almost bi-monthly basis necessitate the discontinuation of products to ensure support services aren’t stretched by older models.

You can learn more about the models DJI has now designated as its consumer range by following the links below:

The Phantom 3 Professional, Phantom 3 Advanced and Phantom 4 gradually introduced the smart features we now expect as standard from the above products. The quickened pace of progress and leap forward from the original Phantom 4 to the Pro as well as their movement into camera technology act as a good indicator of the company’s trajectory and will likely cement DJI as a household name in 2017.

In other news, Mavic Pro delays continue as DJI’s decision to ship direct has negatively affected their dealer network and left many customers with pre-orders waiting. With Chinese New Year approaching and a factory shutdown looming, it’s likely that this saga will continue until early March.

Our team are available to discuss these developments via info@heliguy.com or you can call 0191 296 1024.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/01/19/dji-discontinues-three-phantom-quadcopters/

Inspire 2 Aircraft – Part 4 Of Our In Depth Series

Inspire-2-In-Depth-Banner-Aircraft

The fourth and final part of our In-Depth series on the DJI Inspire 2 quadcopter focuses on the aircraft itself. It’s safe to say that professional operators have a new go-to drone. The Inspire 2 is an exceptional filmmaking tool with the potential for a range of additional industrial applications.



There’s no denying that the DJI Inspire 2 is an impressive looking aircraft. The metallic exterior (a magnesium aluminium composite) is in-keeping with its no-nonsense, performance-first designation. Retaining the beloved transformable construction as the Inspire 1 but improving on almost every other aspect, if you’re serious about purchasing a drone for commercial use – the Inspire 2 is an essential consideration.

There are clear differences from its predecessor, the Inspire 1, such as the improved motors which are almost double the size. It also stands approximately and inch wider and taller than the previous range and offers much more stability in heavy winds which, alongside the addition of the X5S and X4S cameras, ensures the footage you capture will be of much higher quality.

Inspire 2 & Inspire 1

The DJI Inspire 2 next to an Inspire 1

This article covers the set-up of your Inspire 2 aircraft from software installation to your first flight. Read on to learn more about DJI’s new flagship professional quadcopter.


FIRST STEPS

So, you’ve just received your Inspire 2. The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure that everything has been included. The standard pack comes with the following items:

 

 

Note: This doesn’t include your choice of the X5S or X4S camera which must be purchased separately or as part of a combo. The same is true for the CINESSD system and cards which allow you to record in Apple ProRes and CinemaDNG.

The next thing to do will be to install the DJI GO 4.0 app to your choice of mobile device which will control the majority of the Inspire 2’s features.

Once you’re happy that everything’s in order, it’s time to get all your batteries charged up. This includes the Remote Controller (via the included charging cable) and, of course, the TB50 Intelligent Flight Batteries which can be charged two at a time using the DJI Inspire 2 Charging Hub. After, inserting the TB50s, you can check battery levels with a single press of the power button on both the aircraft (this method is also viable with the controller).

Inspire 2 Battery Power LEDs

The DJI Inspire 2’s power button and LEDs

Now that you know the Inspire 2 is charged and ready, it’s time to activate the trademark transform functionality. To achieve this, DJI recommends pressing the power button a minimum of 5 times in quick succession; you will know when it has worked as the quadcopter’s arms will lower and enter take-off mode.

The next stage is to attach your choice of camera and gimbal to the Inspire 2. For anyone familiar with DJI’s aircraft, there’s no change – it’s a simple twist and lock mechanism. When removing the gimbal, ensure that the aircraft is powered off and that you do this before entering travel mode.

Top Tip: To adjust the Inspire 2’s FPV camera, hold down the C2 button and rotate the camera control dial.


CALIBRATION

Before you take off and put the Inspire 2 through its paces, it’s recommended that you calibrate its compass to ensure a safe, accurate flight.

The process for calibration is as follows:

  1. With your mobile device running the DJI GO 4.0 app, select the ‘Aircraft Status Bar’ in the app and then “Calibrate” and follow the instructions
  2. Once this is done, you will be asked to hold the aircraft horizontally and slowly rotate 360° – if this has been done correctly, a solid green light will appear
  3. Now it’s time to hold the Inspire 2 vertically (nose down) and, once again, rotate 360°

After this simple procedure, your aircraft should be calibrated successfully – it’s best to carry out this process away from large metallic objects (i.e. structures or vehicles) that could cause interference.

Your Visual Positioning Sensors should be calibrated on arrival, however, if you do find the need to go through the process yourself, this can be achieved by connecting your Inspire 2 to your computer via a USB cable and following the steps outlined in the DJI Assistant 2 software.


FINAL SET-UP & PRE-FLIGHT CHECKS

Now that your batteries are fully charged, the camera is ready and connected through the DJI GO app and the aircraft is successfully calibrated, it’s almost time to get your Inspire 2 airborne.

Inspire 2 In The Box

The Inspire 2’s main components laid out (includes an X5S)

The final practical step is attaching your propellers which, in typical intuitive DJI fashion, are colour coordinated (red and white arrows) and fitted to their respective motors via a simple push and twist mechanism. The basic Inspire 2 propellers should be sufficient for flying in everything but the most challenging conditions or higher altitudes where more heavy-duty parts are required.

 

Pre-Flight Checklist

With this sorted, it’s always a smart move to review your pre-flight checklist.

  1. Make sure everything is fully charged (i.e. Remote Controller, battery & mobile device)
  2. Double check that your propellers are attached correctly and securely
  3. The 16GB Micro-SD or CINESSD card should be inserted and have plenty of free space
  4. Using the DJI GO 4.0 app and controller, check that the integrated gimbal is functioning properly
  5. Finally, test the Inspire 2’s motors to ensure that they start and function normally

 

Environmental Factors

  • Don’t attempt to fly in adverse weather conditions including heavy winds, snow, rain and fog
  • If possible, fly in open areas as large structures may affect the accuracy of the compass and GPS
  • Amongst other hazards, take care to avoid power lines, large crowds, trees and bodies of water
  • Avoid areas with high electromagnetic levels including i.e. radio transmission towers to minimise interference
  • Remember that the performance of both the aircraft and the battery depends on environmental factors like temperature and air density
  • The Inspire 2’s Intelligent Flight Modes cannot function within the polar areas

 

Flight Limitations & No-Fly Zones

All drone pilots must follow all regulations put in place by governmental and regulatory bodies i.e. the CAA. To ensure safety, flights with the Inspire 2 have been limited by default, helping users to operate the aircraft safely and within the confines of the law. These limitations include height, distance and specific No-Fly Zones.

When operating in P-mode, all limits and No-Fly Zones function simultaneously to manage flight safety. In A-mode, only height limits are in effect, which by prevents the aircraft from exceeding the max flight altitude.


GETTING AIRBORNE

Now that you’ve got everything in order, it’s time to get your Inspire 2 up and running. To fire up the motors you will need to execute a CSC (Combination Stick Command) which is essentially a case of moving the Remote Controller’s sticks downwards and towards each other.

Once you’ve set the propellers spinning it’s just a case of moving the left stick upwards to throttle the aircraft upwards. For more on how to use the Inspire 2’s Remote Controller – take a look at Part 2 of this series.

The arms are designed to raise and lower themselves based on the whether you’re taking off or landing. You can also manually control the landing gear with a switch situated just to one side of the Return to Home button.

Inspire-2-In-Flight

The Inspire 2 mid flight

There’s also the option to use the ‘Auto Take-off’ functionality in the DJI GO 4.0 app. This will raise the Inspire 2 off the ground and automatically raise its landing gear into the flight position.


KEY FEATURES

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of the Inspire 2, let’s explore some of the core features that make it such an impressive product. Read on for information on the quadcopter’s specifications, intelligent functionality and flight modes.

 

Model

DJI Inspire 2 (T650)

Weight

7.25 lbs (3290 g, including two batteries, without gimbal and camera)

Diagonal Distance(propeller excluded)

18 inch (605 mm, Landing Mode)

Max Takeoff Weight

8.82 lbs (4000 g)

Max Takeoff Sea Level

1.55 mi (2500 m); 3.1 mi (5000 m with specially-designed propeller)

Max Flight Time

Approx. 27 min (with Zenmuse X4S)

Max Tilt Angle

P-mode: 35° (Forward Vision System enabled: 25°); A-mode: 35°; S-mode: 40°

Max Ascent Speed

P-mode/A-mode: 16.4 ft/s (5 m/s); S-mode: 19.7 ft/s (6 m/s)

Max Descent Speed

Vertical: 13.1 ft/s (4 m/s); Tilt: 13.1-29.5 ft/s (4-9 m/s) Default tilt is 13.1 ft/s (4 m/s), can be set in-app.

Max Speed

58mph

GPS Hovering Accuracy

Vertical: ±1.64 feet (0.5 m) or ±0.33 feet (0.1 m, Downward Vision System enabled) Horizontal: ±4.92 feet (1.5 m) or ±0.98 feet (0.3 m, Downward Vision System enabled)

Operating Temperature

14° to 104° F (-10° to 40° C)

 

Flight Modes

Previous users of DJI products will be familiar with the three modes available on the Inspire 2 quadcopter: Positioning, Sport and Attitude. For those of you who are uninitiated, here is a rundown of what you can expect.

  • Positioning (P): This is probably the mode that you will get the most use out of as it allows you to take advantage of the Inspire 2’s huge array of intelligent flight modes including TapFly and ActiveTrack. You’re going to want to ensure that there’s a solid GPS signal, as this will offer pinpoint accuracy and hover stability using both satellite connectivity and the Inspire 2’s Vision Positioning system.
  • Sport Mode (S): For when you really want to see what the Inspire 2 is made of, Sport mode allows you to reach a maximum speed of 58mph. This makes it ideal for follow shots of fast-moving subjects as well as just being a lot of fun to operate. There are a few caveats to using the Sport mode, however, as the Vision Positioning system is disabled and you’re going to need a braking distance of around 50m if you want to push the quadcopter to its limit. Always be sure to monitor your stick movements in this mode as the slightest push will have more of an impact due to the heightened responsiveness it activates.
  • Attitude (A): In this mode, you’re in complete control. The Inspire 2 will only use its barometer to gauge its position and all Intelligent Flight Modes are unavailable. For difficult shots and to avoid the risk of camera jolting in automated modes, Attitude is for experienced pilots who want to command every nuance of their aerial camera’s movement.

 

Flight Controller

The Inspire 2’s Flight Controller has undergone a number of improvements when compared to that of the DJI Inspire 1 range. The main upgrades focus on increasing safety in the form of a Failsafe mode and the Return to Home functionality. These features ensure that, even if you lose signal connection with your aircraft, it will safely return to its home point.

Its other function is to save critical flight data into an on-board storage device so that any problems can be identified quickly and accurately. Finally, the Inspire 2’s Flight Controller also offers improved stability in the air and operates an innovative air braking feature.

 

New Features

The Inspire 2 features familiar mode such as Return to Home (with the familiar failsafe, low battery and intelligent variations), ActiveTrack and TapFly – but DJI has been hard at work producing some nifty new functionality for this optimised aerial camera rig.

Inspire 2 Close Up

A close up of the Inspire 2

See below for a full description of both the Tripod and Spotlight Pro modes which are now available for use with the DJI Inspire 2 and what the addition of these features means for users.

 

Tripod

If you’re looking to capture impeccably smooth shots with the Inspire 2, Tripod mode is an indispensable new addition to your filming arsenal. Easily accessed through the DJI GO 4.0 app, this setting reduces the max speed of the aircraft and fixes its height to offer more control to the operator.

Practically eliminating joystick jittering, Tripod mode is intended as an alternative to slider shots. This further broadens the range of footage you can capture using the Inspire 2 and provides you with sharper, smoother shots.

Note: The maximum speed of this mode can be amended in the DJI GO 4.0 app’s settings and requires a stable GPS connection to function correctly.

 

Spotlight Pro

Another addition to the Inspire 2’s capture modes is the Spotlight Pro function which allows a single operator to capture complex shots of a selected subject. Using the DJI GO 4.0 app you’re able to select a target and, once this has been locked in, the gimbal will automatically move to ensure that your subject remains in view regardless of flight direction.

There are a few modes available within this function which are detailed below.

  • Quick Mode: Simply draw a square over your desired target on your mobile device to lock on with your camera.
  • Composition Mode: Follow the same initial step as Quick Mode by drawing a square on your screen, however, this mode allows for greater control and requires you to press the C2 button once your chosen target enters the square. Pressing C2 again will end the tracking.
  • Free Mode: The Inspire 2 will move independently of the camera’s direction.
  • Follow Mode: Your aircraft will always face in the same direction as the camera.

Having looked through the key features of the Inspire 2, take a look below for answers to a range of frequently asked questions to round out your knowledge of this impressive quadcopter.


FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Inspire 2 quadcopter – if you have any further questions after this article you can contact our team via 0191 296 1024 or email into info@heliguy.com.

What is the Inspire 2’s top speed?

  • Max Ascent Speed: 6m/s (Sport Mode)
  • Max Descent Speed: Vertical – 4m/s; Tilt 4-9m/s
  • Default Tilt: 4m/s
  • Max Speed: 58mph (Sport Mode)

What is the maximum flight time for the Inspire 2?

Which cameras and gimbals are compatible?

The Zenmuse X4S and Zenmuse X5S.

Are the camera and gimbal included?

No, you will need to purchase this separately or as part of a combo.

Does the Inspire 2 have Obstacle Avoidance?

Yes. Its Forward Vision System can detect obstacles up to 30m ahead, while the upward facing infrared sensors have a 5m range.

Can I use the Inspire 1 RC with the Inspire 2?

No, there is a dedicated remote controller for the Inspire 2 which is included in the box. Additional units can be purchased here.

Is there support Master and Slave remote controllers?

Yes, you’re able to use a Master and Slave controller at a range of up to 100m. Both controllers receive the same HD live view.

Are older Zenmuse camera gimbals supported?

As of launch, only the Zenmuse X4S and Zenmuse X5S are supported.

Does the Inspire 2 come with a Micro SD card and which models are supported?

Yes, there’s a 16GB Micro SD card included in the box. The Inspire 2 supports SD cards up to a maximum capacity of 128GB. See below for a list of compatible Micro SDs:

  • Sandisk Extreme 32GB UHS-3 V30 MicroSDHC
  • Sandisk Extreme 64GB UHS-3 V30 MicroSDXC
  • Panasonic 32GB UHS-3 MicroSDHC
  • Panasonic 64GB UHS-3 MicroSDXC
  • Samsung PRO 32GB UHS-1 MicroSDHC
  • Samsung PRO 64GB UHS-3 MicroSDXC
  • Samsung PRO 128GB UHS-3 MicroSDXC

What are the core dimensions?

L:42.7cm x H:31.7cm x W:42.5cm without propellers (landing mode).

Which motors and propellers does the Inspire 2 use?

The Inspire 2 uses 3512 motors and 1550T propellers.

Has the Inspire 2’s propulsion improved since the Inspire 1?

Yes, the max thrust for each rotor now reaches up to 2kg.

Can I carry TB50 batteries onto a commercial aeroplane?

TB50s have a capacity of 97.5Wh and most airlines will allow batteries below 100Wh in carry-on luggage. However, regulations will vary between airlines and regions, so ensure that you contact the airline or the regulatory body of your destination in advance.

Is an SSD included with the Inspire 2?

No, the DJI CINESSD and DJI CINESSD Station card reader must be bought separately.

What capacities is the DJI CINESSD available in?

120GB, 240GB and 480GB – Heliguy recommends going for at least the 240GB SSD as the smaller 120GB model severely limits your shooting time and the formats available.

Does Inspire 2 feature redundancies?

Yes, components including the IMU sensors and barometers have been designed with redundancy. The Inspire 2’s flight controller monitors and analyses this data in real time, to ensure that everything is correct.

Does the Inspire 2 have RTH?

Yes, the Inspire 2 collects information about the environment and will automatically plan the optimum path to its home point. With its ability to detect obstacles from 200m away, it can restore communication with the remote controller faster during RTH after losing signal.

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for more In Depth discussions about quadcopters, how-to guides to keep your gear in great shape and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/01/18/inspire-2-aircraft-part-4-of-our-in-depth-series/

Inspire 2 Cameras & Licenses – Part 3 Of Our In Depth Series

Inspire-2-In-Depth-Banner-Camera

The DJI Inspire 2 has, from the moment it was unveiled, been aimed squarely at professional cinematographers and aerial photographers. With a launch event in the Warner Bros lot and its audience demo consisting of live scene shoot, they weren’t exactly being subtle about their target market.

The good news for those considering the Inspire 2 is that DJI can back up their entrance into a challenging market with an exceptional pair of new Zenmuse cameras. The X4S and X5S are both huge steps up in quality from what people have come to expect from drone footage.

Suitable for everything from feature films to live, on-site broadcasting and even industrial use cases; the Inspire 2 has totally reinvented the aerial camera.


The Zenmuse X5S and X4S 

Before we delve into the capabilities of the X4S and X5S and how they stack up against each other, here are the full specifications for both models.

Inspire 2

Zenmuse X4S

Inspire 1 Pro

Zenmuse X5S


Dimensions

125×100×80 mm 140×98×132 mm

Weight

253 g 461 g

Supported Lens

Only Stock Lens Supported
F/2.8-11, 8.8mm (35 mm Equivalent: 24mm)
DJI MFT 15mm/1.7 ASPH (With Balancing Ring and Lens Hood)
Panasonic Lumix 15mm/1.7 (With Balancing Ring and Lens Hood)
Panasonic Lumix 14-42mm/3.5-5.6 HD
Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm/2.0 (With Balancing Ring)
Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm/1.8 (With Balancing Ring)
Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm/1.8
Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm/1.8
Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm/4.0-5.6

Sensor

CMOS, 1″
Effective Pixels: 20 MP
CMOS, 4/3”
Effective Pixels: 20.8MP

F O V

84 ° 72° (with DJI MFT 15mm/1.7 ASPH )

Photo Resolutions

3:2, 5472×3648
4:3, 4864×3648
16:9, 5472×3078
4:3, 5280×3956
16:9, 5280×2970

Video Resolutions

H.264
C4K:4096×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97/47.95/50/59.94p @100Mbps
4K: 3840×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97/47.95/50/59.94p @100Mbps
2.7K: 2720×1530
23.976/24/25/29.97p @80Mbps
47.95/50/59.94p @100Mbps
FHD: 1920×1080
23.976/24/25/29.97p @60Mbps
47.95/50/59.94p @80Mbps
HD: 1280×720
23.976/24/25/29.97p @30Mbps
47.95/50/59.94p @45MbpsH.265
C4K: 4096×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p @100Mbps
4K: 3840×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p @100Mbps
2.7K: 2720×1530
23.976/24/25/29.97p @65Mbps
47.95/50/59.94p @80Mbps
FHD: 1920×1080
23.976/24/25/29.97p @50Mbps
47.95/50/59.94p @65Mbps
HD: 1280×720
23.976/24/25/29.97p @25Mbps
47.95/50/59.94p @35Mbps
CinemaDNG
5.2K: 5280×2970
23.976/24/25/29.97p,12-bit,up to 4.2Gbps
5.2K: 5280×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p,12-bit
4K: 4096×2160,3840×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97/47.95p,12-bit,up to 3.6Gbps
4K: 4096×2160,3840×2160
50/59.94p,10-bitProRes
5.2K: 5280×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p,10-bit,422HQ@1.8Gbps
4K: 3840×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p,10-bit,422HQ@1.3Gbps
4K: 3840×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p,10-bit,444HQ@2.1GbpsH.264
C4K:4096×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97/47.95/50/59.94p @100Mbps
4K: 3840×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97/47.95/50/59.94p @100Mbps
2.7K: 2720×1530
23.976/24/25/29.97p @80Mbps 47.95/50/59.94p @100Mbps
FHD: 1920×1080
23.976/24/25/29.97p @60Mbps 47.95/50/59.94p @80Mbps 119.88p @100MbpsH.265
C4K: 4096×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p @100Mbps
4K: 3840×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p @100Mbps
2.7K: 2720×1530
23.976/24/25/29.97p @65Mbps 47.95/50/59.94p @80Mbps
FHD: 1920×1080
23.976/24/25/29.97p @50Mbps 47.95/50/59.94p @65Mbps 119.88p @100Mbps

Photo Formats

DNG, JPEG, DNG+JPEG DNG, JPEG, DNG+JEPG

Video Formats

MOV, MP4 RAW,ProRes,MOV,MP4

Operation Modes

Capture, Record, Playback Capture, Record, Playback

Still Photography Modes

Single shot, Burst shooting: 3/5/7/10/14 frames, Auto Exposure
Bracketing, 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7EV bias, Interval
Micro SD: Single shot, Burst Shooting:
3/5/7/10/14 frames, Auto Exposure Bracketing, 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7EV bias, Timelapse
SSD: RAW Burst Shooting:
3/5/7/10/14/20/∞ frames

Exposure Mode

Auto, Manual, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority Auto, Manual, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority

Exposure Compensation

±3.0 (1/3 increments) ±3.0 (1/3 increments)

Metering Mode

Center-weighted metering,
Spot metering (area option 12×8)
Center-weighted metering,
Spot metering (area option 12×8)

AE Lock

Supported Supported

Electronic Shutter Speed

Mechanical Shutter: 8 – 1/2000s
Electronic Shutter: 1/2000 – 1/8000s
8-1/8000s

White Balance

Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Neon,
Custom (2000K – 10000K)
Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent,
Neon Custom (2000K–10000K)

ISO Range

100 – 6400 (Video)
100 – 12800 (Stills)
100 – 6400 (Video)
100 – 25600 (Stills)

Video Captions

Supported Supported

Anti-Flicker

Auto, 50Hz, 60Hz Auto, 50Hz, 60Hz

PAL/NTSC

Supported Supported

Angular Vibration Range

±0.01° ±0.01°

Mount

Detachable Detachable

Controllable Range

Tilt: +30°to -90°, Pan: ±320° Tilt: +30°to -90°, Pan: ±320°

Mechanical Range

Tilt: +50°to -140°, Pan: ±330°, Roll: +90° to +50° Tilt: +50°to -140°, Pan: ±330°, Roll: +90° to +30°

Max Controllable Speed

Tilt: 90°/s, Pan: 90°/s Tilt: 90°/s, Pan: 90°/s

Operating Temperature

14°–104°F (-10 to 40℃) 14°–104°F (-10 to 40℃)

Storage Temperature

-4°–140°F (-20 to 60℃) -4°–140°F (-20 to 60℃)

 

Now that you’ve acquainted yourself with the nitty gritty aspects, let’s find out more about each of the new Zenmuse models starting with the X4S.

 


LEARN MORE ABOUT ALL AVAILABLE INSPIRE 2 ACCESSORIES 


 

The Zenmuse X4S

The more affordable companion to DJI’s Inspire 2, the Zenmuse X4S will give you slightly better video and image quality as the Phantom 4 Professional. This isn’t something to sniff at, however, as the P4 Pro has revolutionised consumer quadcopters with a camera able to capture amazing aerial imagery. For those without the need for out and out cinema-quality, this is definitely the option to consider.

x4simg

The X4S is undoubtedly a powerful camera, with a 20MP, 1-inch sensor and ISO of up to 12,800. DJI have improved the dynamic range of the X4S by 1 stop when compared to the X3 and have designed a low distortion lens to bring your aerial shots to the next level. When coupled with the sensor, this 24mm prime lens offers an 84° FOV in high resolution and 11.6 stops of dynamic range.

Fitted with a compact, purpose-built 8.8mm/F2.8-11 lens, the X4S is an impressively powerful camera for its compact size. Solid MTF rating and an absence of low-pass filters make it a great aerial imagery tool, as well as an asset for handheld ground shots.

Operating a ‘leaf shutter’ with speeds of up to 1/2000, the X4S eradicates rolling shutter issues and the distortion that occur due to tracking fast-moving subjects. This is a perfect match for the increased speed of the Inspire 2 and ensures rapid, smooth shots are a breeze to film.

Utilising the Inspire 2’s CineCore 2.0 system, the Zenmuse X4S can record 4K at 60fps using H.264 and 4K at 30fps using H.265 at 100Mbps bitrate. This also enables you to capture JPEG and DNG photos at up to 14fps in Burst Mode and take stills while recording, so you don’t miss out on capturing the ideal shot.

A highly reactive, lightweight integrated gimbal; the X4S has a precision level of ±0.01° and keeps footage smooth with an innovative damping system. Due to its mechanical design and wiring, it is only capable of 320° rotation, but the eerily steady Inspire 2 can make yaw around for the extra 40° if necessary.


ORDER THE ZENMUSE X4S FROM HELIGUY


 

The Zenmuse X5S

Then we come to the pinnacle of aerial imaging quality from DJI, the X5S.

This new Zenmuse camera has an upgraded onboard Micro 4/3 sensor which sets it apart from DJI’s previous models. Boasting 20.8MP quality with a pixel size of 3.4μm and 12.8 stops of dynamic range, this is the undisputed king of the Zenmuse range.

x5simg

Although it has been upgraded, the X5S still uses a standard Micro 4/3 mount allowing support for a range of lenses with a range of focal lengths from 9-45mm. See below for specific models.

  • Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm/2.0
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm/1.8
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm/1.8
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm/1.8
  • Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm/4.0-5.6
  • DJI MFT 15mm/1.7 ASPH
  • Panasonic Lumix 15mm/1.7
  • Panasonic Lumix 14-42mm/3.5-5.6 HD

Note: You will need a balancing ring for some of these lenses, always check before purchasing.

Implementing CineCore 2.0, the X5S is capable of recording footage with resolutions of up to 5.2K at 30fps in CinemaDNG 12bit1 and Apple ProRes 422 HQ as well as 4K at 30fps in Apple ProRes 4444 XQ(no alpha).

You aren’t limited to these two formats, however, as further options include 4K 60fps videos in H.264 or oversampling 4K at 30fps with H.264/H.265. Both options have a bitrate of 100Mbps.

Note: Both CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes require licenses which are further explained in the final section of this article.

There’s also burst mode which offers users the option to take 20.8MP stills at 14fps onto the MicroSD or, when using the CINESSD the same level of image quality at 20fps. This feature can be used as part of a recording, allowing you to capture stills without interrupting the flow of your footage.

To ensure that all this professional-level imagery reaches its full potential, DJI has also upgraded the stabilisation of the X5S gimbal. A 3-axis system powered by a dedicated processor allows for astounding accuracy (±0.01°). The new and improved mechanically limited design and an inbuilt damping system allow for smooth footage with 360° rotation (including aircraft yaw).

Testing by Cinema5D has found that this camera even rivals the ARRI ALEXA MINI, a popular choice of professional cinematographers. In terms of colour and data retention, there’s not a huge gap in quality which is astounding. The X5S might have a bigger price tag than its partner product, the X4S, but the step up in quality justifies every penny.

 


ORDER THE ZENMUSE X5S FROM HELIGUY


 

Key Comparisons: X5S and X4S

Here are a couple of comparative points to take into consideration when choosing the right Zenmuse for you.

  • The Zenmuse X5S offers much sharper still images than the X4S, this is evident when zooming into shots as more quality is maintained in the stills taken by the X5S
  • The X5S’s bigger lens means that there’s likely to be more instances of flaring, however, both cameras are more than capable of taking amazing stills in harsh lighting conditions
  • Both models are capable of a high level of highlight and shadow recovery due to the amount of data taken in by the sensors
  • The X5S performs better than the X4S in challenging low light environments, for instance when capturing a dark environment with isolated instances of harsh lighting

 

As more users get to grips with their Inspire 2 there’s likely to be more points for this list, we’d advise that you scour the web and take in as much information on each sensor as possible before you settle on your preferred option.


Intelligent Sensing Solutions

Thanks to advances driven by the release of the original Phantom 4, obstacle avoidance is now an essential part of DJI’s products. The Inspire 2 is no exception, with an array of sensors ensuring that your aircraft remains safe, even in more challenging filming environments.

The Inspire 2 has forward and downward vision systems which enable the detection of objects at a range of 30m which DJI claim will offer full protection at speeds of up to 34mph. There’s also an upwards facing infrared sensor which can detect obstacles within 5m of the aircraft which is handy if you’re looking to fly in an enclosed space.

These avoidance sensors operate during normal flights, Return to Home and every Intelligent Flight Mode built-in to the aircraft. They aren’t active in Sports Mode, however, so make sure you’re racing around a wide-open space.

See the diagram below for a visual representation of the Inspire 2’s sensor array.

 

Inspire2SensorDiagram

 

Controlling the Camera

It couldn’t be easier to operate the Inspire 2’s camera, whether you’re using the X4S or X5S, DJI have gone to town on ease of use for this quadcopter. Yes, it’s a high-end professional rig but it’s been designed to let you focus on getting your shot, the controls are intuitive and, if you’re more interested in footage than flying, the Inspire 2 does a great job of taking care of the latter for you.

As with the Inspire 1 range, you’re also able to fly with dual operators. One piloting the aircraft while one takes care of the camerawork. While this was, without question, the most effective way to ensure footage quality on the older models, the Inspire 2 also features an option to capture spectacular imagery and footage without the need for a second operator in the form of its new FPV nose camera. This makes simultaneous control of both the aircraft and camera a simple task

For a full explanation of how you can control the camera via the Inspire 2’s Remote Controller, you can find out more in the previous entry in the series.


CINESSD and Licenses

With a new level of quality comes a new level of storage capacity in the form of the Inspire 2 CINESSD range. While you can still record onto a Micro SD card, to truly realise the potential of the Inspire 2’s footage quality, you will need to get yourself a DJI CINESSD.

We would recommend going for at least the 240GB version of the DJI CINESSD (if not, the 480GB) if you really want to get the most out of what your X5S camera can offer. The 120GB version limits not only saving capacity but also the quality you’re able to shoot.

There have been some changes made since the Zenmuse X5 which mean that the CINESSD CineCore 2.0 system is integrated into the aircraft and the SSDs no longer need to be inserted into the gimbal unit. To use your CINESSD with the Inspire 2 aircraft, simply find the slot located at the very rear between the battery housings and insert your card. To export files, you will need the DJI CINESSD Station which acts as an intermediary between the cards and your computer.

Look at the below tables to explore the differences between the Inspire 2 SSDs.

CINESSD-480GB

CINESSD-240GB

As you can see in the above graphics, there are also currently three separate licenses available which allow you access to either CinemaDNG, Apple ProRes or both in a bundle. The table below highlights the key features of each and will help you make a decision based on which workflow best suits your needs.

 

CinemaDNG License Key

Features

– CinemaDNG support
– Accurately records all details of a scene
– Oversampling captures more detail
– Popular workflow support

Specifications

– 3840×2160 12bit 23.976*/24*/25*/29.97*/47.952 fps
– 3840×2160 10bit 50/59.94 fps
– 4096×2160 12bit 23.976*/24*/25*/29.97*/47.952 fps
– 4096×2160 10bit 50/59.94 fps
– 5280×2972 12bit 23.976/24/25/29.97 fps

Apple ProRes License Key

Features

– Apple ProRes 422 HQ and Apple ProRes 4444 XQ (no alpha) support
– Oversampling captures more detail
– Popular workflow support

Specifications

Apple ProRes 422 HQ:
– 3840×2160 23.976*/24*/25*/29.97* fps
– 5280×2160 23.976/24/25/29.97 fpsApple ProRes 4444 XQ(no alpha):
– 3840×2160 23.976*/24*/25*/29.97* fps

CinemaDNG & Apple ProRes License Key

Features

– CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes support
– Oversampling captures more detail
– Popular workflow support

Specifications

CinemaDNG:
– 3840×2160 12bit 23.976*/24*/25*/29.97*/47.952 fps
– 3840×2160 10bit 50/59.94 fps
– 4096×2160 12bit 23.976*/24*/25*/29.97*/47.952 fps
– 4096×2160 10bit 50/59.94 fps
– 5280×2972 12bit 23.976/24/25/29.97 fpsApple ProRes 422 HQ :
– 3840×2160 23.976*/24*/25*/29.97* fps
– 5280×2160 23.976/24/25/29.97 fpsApple ProRes 4444 XQ(no alpha):
– 3840×2160 23.976*/24*/25*/29.97* fps

 

Purchasing Your License

Here are the steps you will need to follow to successfully purchase and register your license with DJI. Before you begin, ensure that you have the DJI software downloaded to your computer and the latest version of the DJI GO 4 app on your mobile device.

  1. Log into your account on the DJI Store
  2. Select the license you wish to purchase
  3. Enter the serial number of your Inspire 2 (this can be found on the side of the aircraft beneath a QR code)
  4. Once this is accepted you will be prompted to enter your payment details
  5. After confirmation of payment, you will receive a verification email with a confirmation code
  6. Open the DJI software on your desktop
  7. Select the ‘Licenses’ tab and verify your purchase with the code found in the email
  8. If every step has been completed you should now be free to operate under your new license

With these steps completed, you will be able to access processing in CinemaDNG, Apple ProRes or both formats – opening up the full functionality of the Inspire 2 and Zenmuse X5S combo.

If you require any further support in purchasing or setting up your license, you can contact our team on 0191 296 1024 and we’ll direct you through the process.


Find Out More

We will be putting the Inspire 2 through its paces at a location close to Heliguy’s Newcastle HQ and will also investigate how well it functions alongside the recently released Ground Station Pro app. Stay tuned for exclusive images, video footage and insider opinions from our technical team. If you want to ask us anything else about this fantastic professional quadcopter, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Email

info@heliguy.com

Call

0191 296 1024

 

… 

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider blog for more in-depth overviews, DJI product information and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/01/13/inspire-2-cameras-licenses-part-3-of-our-in-depth-series/