- Magnesium alloy body.
- Interchangeable cameras.
- 5.2K video.
- CinemaDNG and ProRes recording.
- High-speed Sport mode.
- Obstacle detection and avoidance.
- Retractable landing gear and 360-degree camera rotation.
- Dual-operator control with FPV pilot camera.
- Intelligent flight modes.
- High-performance computer required for video editing.
- Adobe Premiere CC bug hampers CinemaDNG workflow.
DJI’s pro-grade Inspire 1 drone has enjoyed some upgrades over its lifespan. Its modular camera design made that possible, with the standard 1/2.3-inch X3 4K camera giving way to Micro Four Thirds X5 and X5 Raw variations. But now it’s time for an all new airframe with two new camera options, significantly improved speed, and an obstacle avoidance system. The Inspire 2 ($6,198 as reviewed) is sure to be the darling drone of pro filmmakers, local news stations, and deep-pocketed enthusiasts, as it supports features that demanding aerial videographers require, including dual-operator control and pro-grade video compression. It’s our Editors’ Choice for high-end drones.
The Inspire 2 ($3,295.00 at Amazon) is a big drone. It’s powered by just four rotors, so it’s actually smaller than the competing pro-grade Yuneec Tornado H920. The aircraft’s dimensions change slightly based on the position of its landing gear. When set to take off there’s about 1.2 feet between each motor. Switching to travel mode, which lets you stow the drone in the included carrying case, widens its footprint, while at the same time reducing its height. Without a camera installed it weighs about 7.3 pounds, so you’ll most certainly have to register with the FAA before outdoor flight.
The landing gear blocks the left and right views of the camera when the Inspire is on the ground, but it rises up once the drone is airborne, allowing camera to look left, right, backward, and any direction in between, with an unobstructed view. Its body is now magnesium alloy, in contrast to the plastic shell that protects the internals of the Inspire 1. The landing gear retains its carbon fiber construction.