A major issue with the drone cameras currently is that they lack the resolution and image quality to qualify as pro movie cameras. DJI, which seems to be aware of this issue, has now come up with the Zenmuse X7, which is the world’s first Super 35mm camera optimized for aerial cinematography.
DJI Zenmuse X7 is designed to work with the Inspire 2 drone. The company will start shipping it to buyers in November, and at about the same time it will be available for purchase in the DJI stores worldwide as well. In the U.S., it will cost $2,699, while the lenses are priced at $1,299 each ($1,199 for 50mm lens). A bundle with the prime lens kit will sell for $4,299. With the 16mm lens, the Zenmuse X7 system weighs about 631 grams. Also, with the Zenmuse X7, the DJI Inspire 2 has a flight time of up to 23 minutes.
The lenses, made of carbon fiber, are available with focal lengths of 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm, and each has a maximum aperture of F/2.8. A 16mm lens would give a user access to an integrated ND 4 filter, while other lenses feature a mechanical shutter. The pro camera comes with interchangeable lenses and a new DJI Cinema Color system (DCCS) to give more creative freedom in cinematography.
The DCCS includes the new D-Log Curve and D-Gamut RGB color space giving users more color options during the post-production process. The camera is perfect for shooting high contrast scenes, thanks to the 14-stops of dynamic range accompanied with low-noise capabilities for low-light scenarios. DJI has also introduced a new EI Mode with DJI Zenmuse X7, which is similar to how a film camera works. The new mode will assist cinematographers to capture “as much information as possible” in a scene.
DJI Zenmuse X7, which is claimed to offer the “highest image resolutions ever for an integrated drone camera,” shoots 6K CinemaDNG RAW or 5.2K Apple ProRes footage at up to 30 fps. The camera can also be tuned to shoot 3.9K CinemaDNG RAW or 2.7K ProRes at up to 59.94 fps. Further, there is a dedicated aerial mount system for the camera featuring an ultra-short flange focal distance. The Zenmuse X5 series, the previous model, was based on a Micro Four Thirds mount and featured a Panasonic-like 15mm F1.7 lens, notes DPReview.
“From the large Super 35 sensor to a new mount, lenses, and color system, the Zenmuse X7 gives cinematographers and professional photographers an unmatched set of tools that work seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone to capture high-quality footage that is easily integrated into projects shot with industry-leading handheld cameras,” said Senior Product Manager at DJI, Paul Pan, in a press release.
Separately, DJI updated their Android app, adding features to the Spark and Mavic drones. With the update, both drones now have Dynamic Home Point updating, meaning that while tracking a person in ActiveTrack mode, the drones will be able to continuously update the home point of its current position. The update also gives Quickshot mode to Mavic. The feature until now was exclusive to the Spark. In addition to these major changes, the update tweaks a few other things.