We recently got our hands on the DJI Inspire 1 – a multirotor drone of incredible power and magnitude. This beast is the most advanced video drone currently available. The Phantom 2 Vision + was the most advanced piece of technology out, until it’s big brother came out – the DJI Phantom 3. Now it’s a close race between the Phantom 3 and the Inspire 1. So how do you know which one is right for you? Well, keep reading our DJI Inspire 1 review and you might figure that out.
The Inspire 1 is large; actually a lot larger than the Phantom 3. To get sense of how large, it weighs almost twice as much. With that weight comes an immense amount of power. The Inspire 1 can pump its propellers to reach speeds of nearly 50 miles per hour. That’s 15 miles per hour faster than the Phantom series, which tops out at 35 MPH. Its maximum speed makes it capable to enter into a new era of drone filming. Feel free to explore what it’s like to follow that speed boat or truck while grabbing your aerial shots. Be careful though, this is a machine for experienced operators. Operate it without knowing what you’re doing and you’ll likely get yourself in trouble and break your $2,900 piece of equipment.
The Inspire 1 has a special set of sensors located under its belly. These 2 sensors and an optical camera point downwards and help it to “see” the ground. The sensors are supposed to keep stability on an XY plane, especially when GPS is available, but there have been considerable problems when this has been tested. The Inspire drifted throughout while hovering and even after further calibration it wasn’t easily fixed. The only thing notable was that because of the sheer size and weight of the Inspire 1, there was very little influence by slight to mild winds. Check out Freeway Productions’ video of flight below.
When the Inspire 1 actually takes off, the arms with the attached landing gear on them are raised up so that the camera is lowered. The Phantom models always had the annoying habit of propellers intruding on videos. The raising of the arms completely eliminates this problem. The ultrasonic sensors underneath also provide a reading that the Inspire 1 uses to decide when to lower its landing gear. This transformation takes about three seconds and occurs about three feet off the ground, so don’t come down too quickly or the camera will easily take damage as it is completely exposed after the arms have been raised.
The Inspire 1 streams video back from the drone in stunning 720p high definition to its Lightbridge transmitter, a feature you might be familiar with if you’re a fan of the Phantom series. The Lightbridge transmitter works up to 1.25 miles away, an impressive distance for anyone looking to survey an area or explore a mountainside. This feature connects to an iOS or Android device with a USB cable. Even though you might have the system to run it, some devices capable of streaming video simply won’t produce the quality your videos deserve. The Lightbridge system works best on tablets and high-res smart phones.
Following in the footsteps of other DJI models, the Inspire 1 is a full system, ready to fly out of the box drone. It’s no surprise coming from the billion dollar aviation company leading the field in providing drones to anyone willing to learn. Even 50 Cent has one and although he probably didn’t read our Inspire 1 review, I’m sure he agrees this thing is incredible.
Things We Like
Camera: The DJI Inspire One shoots 4k professional footage that absolutely crushes the previous Phantom models. The camera also rotates 320 degrees and tilts more than 90 degrees. Another unique feature of the Inspire 1 is the ability to connect a second transmitter and separate camera control and flight control. If you have a friend who doesn’t know how to fly but knows how to film, they can operate the camera seamlessly while you enjoy focusing on the actual flight.
Speed: This guy gets up to 50 miles per hour, meaning you can chase trains and planes alike. Overall flight control and stability aren’t sacrificed by increased speed either. Even during sharp turns the Inspire 1 maintains strong agility and as a pilot you rarely feel out of control.
Flight time: For such a large piece of equipment, with a 5700 mAh battery the Inspire 1 can stay in the air for up to twenty minutes. That’s a relatively standard time in comparison to other DJI models, but with the size, weight, and payload of the Inspire, we were impressed.
Things We Don’t Like
Poor transportation: Unlike some other models out there, the DJI Inspire 1 doesn’t break down well. It has to be carried “as is.” With a drone that has such a wide wingspan it can be a pain to get it in and out in one piece. Not to mention the repairs for such a complicated machine may be nearly impossible for anyone short of a mechanical engineer.
Ground sensor performance: The Inspire struggled to maintain a steady position when above certain surfaces. The ground needs to be virtually completely flat and be sure to avoid anything shiny or surfaces that can catch the light.
Lightbridge lag: The video might stream seamlessly, or it might lag. It really depends on what device you’re using and there’s no way to know until you test it. Others have found that smaller tablets work better, as the video becomes strained across a larger screen.
The DJI Inspire 1 is a powerhouse of a drone meant for advanced aerial photography and video. With unparalleled speed and a hefty increase in weight, this drone can handle high winds and cut corners with the best of them. Currently retailing at $2,900 make sure you know what you’re doing before thinking you’re the next Top Gun. You won’t last long in the air trying to fly something meant for a professional.
As always, if you have any questions after you’ve finished reading our DJI Inspire 1 review feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.