Update: This post was originally published on April 7, 2023. On April 13, the DJI Inspire 3 was officially released. Get a full breakdown of the specs, comparisons between the Inspire 3 versus other camera drones and more in my preliminary review of the DJI Inspire 3.
- Pre-order the DJI Inspire 3 now from Adorama.
- Pre-order the DJI Inspire 3 now from B&H Photo.
- Pre-order the DJI Inspire 3 now from GetFPV.
It’s all but guaranteed that DJI will release an all-new drone, the DJI Inspire 3, less than a week from now.
DJI this week released a notice of a product drop, as it usually does whenever it’s about to debut something new. DJI typically gives each debut a clever name, accompanied by a vague image, plus a date and time of the launch.
A 2018 campaign called “Because Life Is Big” featured an abstract image of people jumping into a pool teased what turned out to be the ironically tiny DJI Osmo Pocket. An image of mysterious layers of glass to promote a campaign called “A Twist in the Plot” turned out to be the DJI Mini 3 Pro. A slightly-less mysterious campaign called “Born to Fly” clearly indicated a drone, but the shadowy form made it tough to tell what was coming (that was for the DJI Avata drone).
But in its latest product launch teaser, DJI has not held back in obscuring the product to launch. It’s called “Inspiration Arrives” which couldn’t possibly mean a DJI Mavic 4. You don’t need Nancy Drew to help uncover that ‘Inspiration’ must mean a new Inspire, in this case the Inspire 3.
And if the wording wasn’t evident enough, DJI didn’t try to disguise the object in the photo. It’s a drone, and its mold follows the shape of the DJI Inspire and the DJI Inspire 2.
It’s all but a certain that the DJI Inspire 3 is coming.
But what’s less certain is what new features the DJI Inspire 3 will hold. Here are some of my guesses and wishful hopes. I’m pretty confident that with the official launch, which is set for Thursday, April 13 at 9 a.m. ET, we’ll see at least some of these things:
Full-frame 8K Zenmuse X9 gimbal camera
DJI wowed cinematographers in October 2021 when it launched its full-frame Zenmuse X9 gimbal camera on a 4-axis stabilization system as part of its Ronin 4D.
That camera means the highest image quality offered through DJI, and many folks compare its quality to that of the top-of-the-line, full-frame Sony Alpha series mirrorless cameras, which can be mounted to drones such as the Sony Airpeak S1.
Some of the specs on the Zenmuse X9 include:
- Dual-native EI of 800/5,000
- Over 14 stops of dynamic range
- Built-in, nine-stop physical ND filters
- DJI Cinema Color System
- Interchangeable lens mount design allowing connection to DJI’s proprietary DL mount, Leica M mount, and other mounts with short-flange focal distances
It seems likely that DJI make the Zenmuse X9 would be used in multiple places — not just the Ronin 4D but also in a DJI drone.
Apple ProRes RAW
DJI only last month made Apple ProRes RAW accessible to users of Ronin 4D, after months of delays and disappointment (or anticipation, for the glass-half-full folk). Now you can purchase an activation license key for the Apple ProRes RAW codec on Ronin 4D at the DJI Store for $979.
If we get a Zenmuse X9 gimbal, then it feels all but certain that it would come with similar Apple Pro Res RAW capabilities.
Apple ProRes is a video compression format developed by Apple for use in post-production allowing you to import, edit, and grade video with RAW data straight from your camera sensor — in theory speeding up edits. Among its greatest value is in offering better color reproduction, given how it delays the debayering process to the post-production stage, and it’s ideal for high-dynamic-range (HDR) content creation.
O3+ video transmission system
Video transmission has come a long way since the DJI Inspire 2 launched in November 2016. DJI’s newest drone, the DJI Avata, offers DJI’s flagship O3+ video transmission, allowing for a max transmission range of 15 km and a more stable signal. Surely the Avata won’t have spiffier tech than the Inspire 3 — so it feels likely we’ll see this in DJI’s most premier drone.
Multi-directional obstacle avoidance
Another feature that was only just coming to the forefront in the days of the Inspire 2 launch: DJI’s obstacle avoidance. The DJI Phantom 4 launched in 2016 with a single side of obstacle avoidance (the front only). Then, the Inspire 2 did one better with upward obstacle avoidance as well, allowing it to detect obstacles not just up to 30 meters ahead but also 5 meters above.
But given even $1,000 consumer drones like the Skydio 2+ have sensors to detect obstacles on all sides, forward and upward is no longer enough. Expect far more powerful obstacle avoidance with the Inspire 3.
The DJI Inspire 2 uses 1550T propellers. These quick release propellers measure 38 cm in diameter. Simply for ease of use, the Inspire 3 propellers should be foldable.
What single feature do you want to see most in a DJI Inspire 3?
Now comes the fun part! It’s time for you to be an armchair engineer!
If you could pick only one new feature in a new DJI Inspire 3, which would it be? Vote in the poll below!
If your feature isn’t listed in the poll, leave a comment with your idea instead!
Come back here next week! The Drone Girl will be keeping sharp eyes on DJI, and we’ll have details on the DJI Inspire 3 published here as soon as we get them. at 9 a.m. ET next Thursday. Don’t forget to follow TheDroneGirl on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to ensure you don’t miss any of the news.