Getting to see the DJI Inspire take it’s maiden voyage was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time. My good friends Sam & Will of WillCallCinematic.com just purchased a new DJI Inspire drone after using it for a shoot up in Santa Cruz, CA. While I was too terrified to actually get my hands on the flight joysticks, I was able to control the camera gimbal for a few minutes. And let me tell you – it was awesome!
Flying over the rocky ocean didn’t seem like the brightest idea, but the controls were rather intuitive. Sam was soaring, gliding, and diving within minutes of take-off. As you can see from the footage in the DJI Inspire Drone | 4k Flight Test, it came out rather amazing for us first time pilots.
The DJI Inspire kit that we used came in just under $4,000 for the entire package. It includes the drone, two remote controls (one to control the drone, one to control the camera), batteries, cables, and a case. To control the flight and the camera, you use the DJI application on your phone or tablet. Surprisingly, it was quite seamless. The connection was strong even with the drone hundreds of feet away. The live-view of the camera was spectacular. You can track the entire flight on a map. You can even draw out a flight path that the drone will repeat. Basically, you can do everything you can think of.
There are some safety features like how the drone can’t just ‘fly away.’ If it gets to a certain distance, it will just stop. You also have a ‘return’ button that will bring the drone back to you. If you let go of the controls, the drone will basically stay where it is (it won’t drop). The only thing to keep in mind is wind, which Sam dealt with beautifully.
On the other hand, the drone isn’t indestructible. It’s not waterproof. It doesn’t automatically land. It doesn’t know how to avoid objects in it’s path. So you have to be careful around trees, people, power lines, and anything else in the sky. The drone is light enough to carry down a cliff. But it’s also heavy enough to do some major damage if it hit something. So you have to be careful.
Looking at the footage makes me a drone-believer. It truly takes your production value to a different level. Never before has a small production company (or an individual) been able to easily purchase and pilot a flying craft that will get crystal clear footage (4k!). My prediction is that drones will continue to get more and more popular. Every small production company will have one. And just like DSLR cameras change the production quality of video with their interchangeable lenses and easy-to-use HD quality, drones will also improve the quality of videos made by professionals and amateurs around the world.
I can’t wait to get my hands on it again!