DJI Inspire 3 professional filmmaking drone review – it’s called Inspire for a reason
If you’ve seen a movie lately which included an aerial shot or a tracking shot of a person or a vehicle – there’s a good chance that shot was captured with a professional film-making drone like the DJI Inspire 3.
That shot which can capture a speeding car from behind, the side and then from the front could only be achieved with a drone.
Until the recent release of DJI Inspire 3, filmmakers were using the DJI Inspire 2 which had a camera system with interchangeable lenses and the ability for one person to control the drone and its flight path and for a second person to just control the camera.
The DJI Inspire 3 takes that even further – it is a huge improvement.
Now in terms of this review – on my own I can’t begin test the Inspire 3 to its full potential, so this is more of an appreciation of its power and capabilities.
I hold a drone licence and I actually own the Inspire 2 so I can clearly see the massive enhancements and new features.
It’s been more than six years since the release of the Inspire 2 so to say this has been a long awaited release is a massive understatement.
There are two parts to this product – the actual drone itself and the camera system.
To enable the stunning shots that are possible, the Inspire 3 is a more than capable drone that can handle even the toughest and windiest conditions.
Like the Inspire 2, the Inspire 3 has landing gear that will lift out of the way to give the camera a full 360-degree view.
And when it’s time to land, the landing gear gracefully descends to return safely.
The drone has folding detachable rotor blades and, despite its 4kg weight and larger size, it is remarkably manoeuvrable and agile for you to maximise the potential of your shot.
It can reach speeds of up to 94km/h and has an ascent/’descent speed of 8m/s and a dive speed of 10m/s.
The drone is more complex and harder to fly than DJI’s smaller drones. We found the remote to be a lot more sensitive and less forgiving than DJI’s consumer drones.
The controls are a lot more precise so wrong-sticking it with the Inspire 3 could end disastrously.
That’s one of the reasons why it really needs to be in the hands of a professional.
The Inspire 3 runs on dual TB51 batteries which offer up to 28 minutes of flying time.
Also included is the DJI RC Plus remote control which has a 7-inch display with 1200nit high brightness so it’s still really easy to view even in direct sunlight. It is also powered by a hot swappable battery as well so you’re never left short of a charge.
On the photography side, the DJI Inspire 3 really does take things to another level.
In the right hands, a creative filmmaker can really come up with some spectacular shots and break the shackles of traditional filmmaking.
This professional level aerial platform can record with cinematic-grade quality that was only previously available with large and clunky camera systems.
Included with the drone is the Zenmuse X9 8K Air Gimbal camera which can shoot 8K 75fps ProRes RAW and 4K 120fps ProRes RAW.
Images and videos are captured and stored on the 1TB DJI PROSSD which slots inside the middle of the drone under a small hatch.
Footage can be downloaded directly from the SSD to a computer with the included USB-C cable
But it’s not just the quality of the camera that’s impressive it’s what you can do with it.
The Inspire 3 has advanced positioning technology so cinematographers can accurately plan their shooting routes and save production time.
One new function is Waypoint Pro which allows pilots to set flight routes for shot planning.
On a film set, it’s not unusual to do take after take and the Inspire 3 can do just that with a feature called Repeatable Routes so pilots can precisely fly the same route and even remember settings like speed, altitude, gimbal angle and all the camera settings.
This means it’s possible to perform difficult single shots and fly the same location at different times of the day for long time lapses and other transitions.
Another feature is 3D Dolly which gives the Inspire 3 the ability to imitate cranes, cable cams and a dolly without the limits those traditional tools usually impose.
A pilot can also create an aerial motion path so they can move backwards and forwards along that path at different speeds and different gimbal settings.
When it comes to safety, the Inspire 3 has a number of sensors that can detect obstacles in all directions.
And even when this active avoidance is turned off, the drone will still tell you the distance from an obstacle on the navigation display.
Also onboard is a small FPV camera so the drone operator can still clearly see where the drone is going while the camera might be pointed in a completely different direction.
The DJI Inspire 3 professional filmmaking drone comes with a DJI RC Plus controller, Zenmuse X9-8K camera, DJI PROSSD 1TB, six batteries, a charging station, foldable props, a shoulder strap and other accessories. It is priced at $20,469.
The DJI Inspire 3 is the go-to flying camera for filmmakers to achieve shots only possible with a drone. It is a safe and steady and dynamic drone that can capture jaw-dropping cinematic-grade video that have to be seen to be believed. It’s called Inspire for a reason.