If Samsung is the juggernaut of the electronics industry, then we supposed DJI would be the equivalent in the drone industry. I am not kidding. The rate the outfit is rolling out drones is mind-boggling. Just this year alone, there are already three new drones and mind you, those are just what we have covered and not including the variety of accessories it has introduced. With so many drones for 2016, you may thought the drone maker would have chilled out for the end of the year and dig more into marketing for the holiday season. But no. They are far from done yet. In fact, the outfit has just announced two new drones: the ‘Pro’ version of the Phantom 4 introduced in March, Phantom 4 Pro, and a second-generation Inspire, dubbed Inspire 2, of course.
Kicking off the dual announcement is the Phantom 4 Pro which, in a nutshell, is an improved version over the 4, boasting features like improved collision avoidance system provided by additional sensors, a new more capable 1-inch 20MP camera, a more robust airframe – thanks to the adoption of titanium and magnesium alloy, a tad higher capacity battery that affords up to 30 minutes of flight time, and a new remote control with an integrated 5.5-inch 1080p screen. The latter is used to display the DJI GO app which you can use to edit images and share them right there and then. Also packed into the controller are HDMI port, microSD card slot, built-in microphone and loudspeaker, WiFi connectivity, and a battery pack to provide it with five hours of use.
Aesthetically, Phantom 4 Pro shares pretty much the same chassis as the non-Pro, which is basically a more refined version of the much-copied iconic airframe DJI made its name on. You can pick up the Phantom 4 Pro over at DJI website for $1,499 that comes with a standard controller, or $1,799 if you fancy the controller with the FHD screen. And so, yes, the fancy controller turns out to be an option and cost a good 300 dollars more, or you could stick with your mobile device. Your choice.
The Inspire 2 is, on the other hand, is a more sophisticated rig. Like its predecessor, it looks pretty much like an alien craft with the transforming form, but that’s where the similarity ends. Touted as a professional filmmaking drone like its forebear, Inspire 2 features an all-new image processing system capable of up to 5.2K recording in CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes and more. If those formats sound alien to you (like it did for me), then Inspire 2 is probably not the rig you need. Even price tag tells us so, which happens to start at $2,999.
Imaging prowess aside, Inspire 2 is fast too, like pretty damn fast, capable of rocketing from zero to 50 mph (80 km/h) in mere 4 seconds and hitting an exhilarating terminal speed of 67 mph (108 km/h), along with an insane climb rate of 19.7 ft/s (6 m/s). In addition to a dual battery system that offers up to 27 minutes of flight time, Inspire 2 also touts a self-heating technology that will allow it to fly in low temperatures. Inspire 2 also touts a magnesium aluminum composite shell, a transforming design, carbon fiber arms, quad rotor setup with 4.4 lbs of thrust per rotor, vision sensing, a dedicated 2-axis FPV camera for piloting the craft in first-person, and for video storage, an Integrated DJI CINESSD because microSD just won’t be enough for what it can roll in.
Inspire 2 also comes with its own controller, though unlike the Phantom 4 Pro, it does not has an integrated screen. However, the controller is still Lightbridge enabled, offers dual band frequency with a range of up 4.3 miles (7 km) and equipped with extension port, HDMI port, as well as USB port.