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,[email protected]
4K: 3840×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p,10-bit,[email protected]
4K: 3840×2160
23.976/24/25/29.97p,10-bit,[email protected]
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

[email protected]

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.

Comments are closed here.