- ln-depth comparison between the DJI Inspire 3 and DJI Inspire 2;
- The DJI Inspire 3 can capture up to 8K/75fps ProRes RAW, compared to 6K/30fps ProRes RAW with Inspire 2 and X7 camera;
- New DJI Inspire 3 has a suite of enhanced intelligent shooting modes to help content creation;
- DJI Inspire 3 has upgraded safety systems and added RTK capabilities for enhanced flight positioning and stability;
- The DJI Inspire 3 features the latest cinema-grade video transmission system, O3 Pro, and is compatible with DJI RC Plus controller with built-in high-bright screen.
For years, the DJI Inspire 2 has been the go-to drone for professional filmmakers.
Yet, despite its capabilities, rumours have long-been circulating about the arrival of its successor.
Now, more than six years since the release of the Inspire 2, DJI has unveiled the Inspire 3.
And it's fair to say that the DJI Inspire 3 packs a significant upgrade - especially with its ability to capture 8K footage.
With this in mind, we'll take a look at the differences between the two drones, and explore the Inspire 3's new key features.
DJI Inspire 3 vs DJI Inspire 2: Key Features
This table provides an overview of some of the key differences between the DJI Inspire 3 and DJI Inspire 2.
|DJI Inspire 3||DJI Inspire 2|
|Gimbal Camera||Full-frame Sensor;
Dual native EI: 800/4000. EI 200-6400
|S35 or M4/3 sensor;
EI 100-1600 (Zenmuse X7)
|Gimbal Camera Compatibility||X9-8K Air (comes with drone)||Zenmuse X7 (optional)
Zenmuse X5S (optional)
Zenmuse X4S (optional)
|Highest Video Specifications||8K/75fps ProRes RAW;
|6K/30fps ProRes RAW & 6K/30fps CinemaDNG (both with X7)|
|FPV Camera||1/1.8-inch CMOS sensor;
|1/7.5-inch CMOS sensor;
|Positioning Accuracy||Centimetre-level (RTK on)||Metre-level (RTK not supported)|
|Sensing System||Omnidirectional obstacle sensing||Tri-directional obstacle sensing|
|Flight Time||Maximum 28 minutes||23 minutes (with Zenmuse X7)|
|Intelligent Flight||Waypoint Pro: Repeatable Routes, 3D Dolly, Spotlight Pro||TapFly, ActiveTrack, Spotlight Pro|
|Video Transmission & Range||O3 Pro: Up to 8km (CE)||Lightbridge: Up to 3.5 km (CE)|
|Storage||PROSSD 1TB (included)||CINESSD 120/240/480/960GB (sold separately)|
Camera And Lenses
The DJI Inspire 3 is compatible with the all-new X9-8K Air gimbal camera, which has been engineered especially for the aircraft.
In contrast, the DJI Inspire 2 can be used with a range of cameras, such as the X7, X5S, and X4S. In this case, the X7 is the most powerful option for filmmakers deploying the Inspire 2.
With this in mind, the X9-8K Air has some major upgrades on the Inspire 2's headline camera, the X7.
Most notably, the Zenmuse X9-8K Air is equipped with a full-frame image sensor that can record video at up to 8K RAW, topping out at 8K/75fps with ProRes RAW licence and 8K/25fps CinemaDNG codec. The licence keys are available separately.
The X9-8K Air also supports 14+ stops of dynamic range and dual native ISO to retain more details, meeting the needs of a wide variety of cinematography scenarios.
In contrast, the X7 can achieve up to 6K/30fps with the ProRes RAW and CinemaDNG licence keys. It has 14 stops of dynamic range.
When it comes to the lenses, the DJI Inspire 3 brings the new DL 18 mm F2.8 ASPH to market, which is compatible with the X9-8K Air and has a full-frame DFOV of 100° and is engineered for 8K content creation.
Both drones can use the DL 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm lenses (Inspire 2 with the X7). But the Inspire 2's 16 mm lens is not compatible with the Inspire 3.
The Inspire 3 and Inspire 2 have a suite of intelligent modes to aid aerial content creation.
These intelligent modes are:
- Inspire 3: Waypoint Pro - Repeatable Routes & 3D Dolly, Upgraded Spotlight Pro.
- Inspire 2: Spotlight Pro, TapFly, ActiveTrack.
While the Inspire 2's intelligent modes are not to be scoffed at, the Inspire 3 takes these functions to the next level - and Waypoint Pro is a quality addition which helps flight route and shot planning, which is particularly ideal for capturing complex scenes. This mode consists of Repeatable Routes and 3D Dolly.
|Repeatable Routes||The Inspire 3 will automatically fly on the same route and maintain all preset parameters such as altitude, speed, gimbal angle, and camera settings. This is perfect for performing tricky one-takes or creating long-duration timelapses.|
|3D Dolly||This mode simulates a crane, cablecam, or dolly on film sets. After planning a flight route, the cinematographer can manually control the aircraft to move along the route back and forth while adjusting parameters such as speed, gimbal angle, and more according to the needs of the shot.|
The Spotlight Pro functionality on the Inspire 3 is upgraded from that on the Inspire 2, which further enables solo creators with more shot possibilities.
It supports automated subject recognition and locking for people, vehicles, and boats with greater accuracy than Spotlight Pro on the Inspire 2.
The Inspire 3's Spotlight Pro has Follow and Free mode.
- Follow Mode: The aircraft and gimbal camera orient toward the same direction and remain locked on the subject so that the pilot can get circling shots without manual framing adjustments.
- Free Mode: In Free mode, thanks to the 360° gimbal pan of Inspire 3, the gimbal camera can stay locked on a subject, while a solo pilot uses the FPV camera to check their surroundings and control the flight route more responsively to achieve complex camera movements more easily.
In contrast, the table below highlights the intelligent modes on the Inspire 2.
|Spotlight Pro||Spotlight Pro has two shooting modes: In Quick Mode, select an object to begin tracking. In Composition Mode, select the subject and the tracking position. When the subject enters the preset tracking position, press the shortcut to begin tracking. The gimbal can be moved during shooting for composition adjustments.|
|TapFly||The 2-axis onboard FPV camera separates the flight view from the main camera view, effectively giving the Inspire 2 a dedicated TapFly camera. Tap a point onscreen in the FPV view to set a flight route and the Inspire 2 will automatically fly along that route, leaving the pilot to focus on gimbal movement.|
|ActiveTrack||The ActiveTrack Mode allows the Inspire 2 to recognise a range of objects, from people to bikes to cars to boats. Tracking profiles that can be adjusted based on the subject being tracked means greater tracking precision.|
Design And Performance
The DJI Inspire 3 features an all-new design to improve its mobility and the control experience.
Both drones can reach speeds of around 58 mph, but the Inspire 3 has improved agility.
The maximum dive speed has increased from the 9 m/s of Inspire 2 to 10 m/s, while vertical ascend/descend speed has increased from 6 m/s and 4 m/s to 8 m/s.
The Inspire 3 has a maximum flight time of 28 minutes, while the Inspire 2 can achieve 23 minutes with the X7, or 27 minutes with the less powerful X4S camera.
The Inspire 3 is aided by its compatibility with the new TB51 dual-battery system. These batteries are smaller, lighter, more streamlined and higher voltage compared to the Inspire 2's TB50 batteries.
In terms of weight, the Inspire 3 tips the scales at 3,995g (including gimbal camera, two batteries, lens, PROSSD, and propellers) and has a maximum take-off weight of around 4,310g.
In contrast, the DJI Inspire 2 weighs 3,440g (including props and batteries, but without gimbal and camera), while its max take-off weight is 4,250g.
Both drones are hardy performers, able to handle temperatures from -20°C to 40°C, but the Inspire 3 has stronger wind-speed resistance of 12 m/s (take-off/landing) and 14m/s (in-flight), compared to the Inspire 2's 10m/s.
Inheriting the classic transformable configuration of the Inspire series, Inspire 3 uses an all-new design that supports 360° Pan and Tilt Boost structures. When the landing gear is lowered, the gimbal supports obstruction-free 80° upward-angle shooting, enabling cinematographers to capture strikingly innovative shots.
The DJI Inspire 3 features new foldable quick-release propellers which are easy to store and don’t require re-installation before each flight.
Control And Transmission
The DJI Inspire 3 has enhanced control and transmission compared to the DJI Inspire 2.
First, let's start with the controller.
The DJI Inspire 3 is compatible with the DJI RC Plus. This controller provides an awesome viewing experience, thanks to its built-in screen, which is 7-inches in size and has a brightness of 1,200 nits.
The controller has a battery life of just over three hours when using the built-in battery, but this can be extended to six hours with an external WB37 battery. The controller also support battery hot-swapping.
The controller features the DJI Pilot 2 app with a revamped interface designed especially for content creators, with streamlined capabilities for checking details such as camera exposure, video specs, focal length and gimbal angle.
In contrast, the DJI Inspire 2 is compatible with the Cendence RC or the Inspire RC. Both of these controllers require a separate screen, such as the Crystalsky monitor.
Neither of these controllers have external battery or hot-swapping capabilities.
The Inspire 3 is equipped with O3 Pro - DJI's latest cinema-grade video transmission system.
This upgraded system provides a major leap in transmission distance, latency and overall stability compared to the Lightbridge video transmission system of the Inspire 2.
In terms of transmission distance, the Inspire 3 can reach up to 8km (CE), compared to the 3.5km (CE) on the Inspire 2.
For the first time, when using the Inspire 3, 4K/30fps live feeds are supported with a max 5km transmission distance to meet the needs of UHD monitoring and livestreaming on set.
This is compared to the Inspire 2's 720p/30fps maximum live-feed resolution.
And when it comes to the maximum live feed frame rate, the Inspire 3 can achieve 1080p/60fps, while the Inspire 2 tops out at 720p/30fps.
Compared with the Inspire 2, the dual-control experience of the Inspire 3 has been significantly upgraded.
Two remote controllers can receive live feeds and control the drone independently, so the pilot and gimbal operator can be at different positions on set. This breaks Inspire 2's limitations of binding the primary and secondary control links.
If the pilot loses aircraft signal, the gimbal operator is now able to take control of the aircraft to safely return to home or land directly.
Flight Safety And Stability
The DJI Inspire 3 enhances flight safety and stability with a catalogue of upgraded features.
For instance, the Inspire 3 boasts omnidirectional obstacle sensing, including a new customisable function which enables users to enable or disable horizontal, upward, and downward obstacle sensing.
And for the first time, a fisheye camera has been added to each of the four landing arms - enabling horizontal obstacle sensing when the landing gear is lowered.
In contrast, the Inspire 2 features forward and downward vision system and an upward-facing infrared sensors.
Both drones have an FPV camera, but the Inspire 3 has a new and upgraded version which doubles the DFOV compared to the FPV sensor on the Inspire 2. The enhanced FPV camera on the Inspire 3 delivers more impressive light-sensing capability, allowing pilots to observe their surroundings vividly and clearly - even at night.
The table below shows the difference between the FPV camera on the Inspire 3 and Inspire 2.
|Inspire 3||Inspire 2|
|Live Feed Quality||1080p/60fps||480p/30fps|
Interestingly, the Inspire 3 also boasts RTK capability, designed to improve flight stability and positioning. When enabled, this delivers centimetre-level accuracy, compared to traditional metre-level positioning supported by the GNSS found on the Inspire 2.
And RTK means that the Inspire 3 can complete repeated footage which previously would have required a cable cam system or jibs.
Some accessories are cross-compatible with the Inspire 3 and Inspire 2, but some are not.
The table below provides an overview of these compatibilities.
|Inspire 3||Inspire 2|
|TB51 Intelligent Battery||✓||X|
|Inspire 2 PART17 TB50 Intelligent Flight Battery||X||✓|
|Inspire 3 Foldable Quick-Release Propellers (Pair)||✓||X|
|Inspire 3 Foldable Quick-Release Propellers for High Altitude (Pair)||✓||X|
|RC Plus Strap and Waist Support Kit||✓||X|
|RC Plus Height Adjustable Control Sticks||✓||X|
|TB51 Intelligent Battery Hub||✓||X|
|DJI RC Plus (Inspire 3)||✓||X|
|DL 18mm F2.8 ASPH Lens||✓||X|
|Zenmuse X5S Part 1 Gimbal and Camera(Lens Excluded)||X||✓|
|Zenmuse X7(Lens Excluded)(RH)||X||✓|
|Zenmuse X7 PART1 DJI DL-S 16mm F2.8 ND ASPH||X||✓|
|Zenmuse X7 PART2 DJI DL 24mm F2.8 LS ASPH Lens||✓||✓|
|Zenmuse X7 PART3 DJI DL 35mm F2.8 LS ASPH Lens||✓||✓|
|Zenmuse X7 PART4 DJI DL 50mm F2.8 LS ASPH Lens||✓||✓|
|Zenmuse X7 Part16 DJI DL/DL-S Lens Filter Set (DLX series)||✓||✓|
|WB37 Intelligent Battery||✓||✓|
|DJI WB37 Battery Charging Hub (USB-C)||✓||✓|
|DJI Battery Safe Bag ( Large Size)||✓||✓|
|DJI Battery Safe Bag ( Small Size )||✓||✓|
|DJI PROSSD 1TB||✓||X|
|Inspire 2 CINESSD||X||✓|
DJI Inspire 3 vs DJI Inspire 2: Summary
There's been a gap of more than six years between the release of the Inspire 2 and the unveiling of the Inspire 3.
In the fast-moving and quickly-evolving world of tech, this is quite a substantial timeframe.
So, has that wait been worth it?
In a word, yes. The Inspire 2 set a high standard, but the Inspire 3 has built on this and raised the bar.
Its ability to capture beautiful 8K footage, combined with upgraded intelligent shooting modes, enhanced safety features and flight stability through RTK positioning, RC Plus compatibility, and revised dual-control experience makes it a seriously attractive proposition for pro-level content creators.
Contact heliguy™ to discuss the DJI Inspire 3 and to add it to your content creation workflows.