As 2019 draws to a close, let us pause for a bit and reflect on the year gone by. 2019 was a difficult year for the drone industry. US-China trade wars, the ensuing tariff hikes, and data security issues has marred the growth prospects of the entire industry and particularly the industry leader, DJI.
In fact, just prior to publishing this article, a memorandum “Operational Risks With Regards to DJI Family of Products” by US Navy was released in the media. This memo highlighted how the data link between a DJI drone and ground station can be hacked to access data.
As DJI is dealing with these difficult business conditions, the competition, sensing a market opportunity, is hoping to entice buyers by introducing technologically superior products.
After the phenomenal Skydio 2 which released in October 2019, Autel Robotics is planning on releasing the Autel Evo 2 in January 2020.
Recent Developments that Indicate a 2020 DJI Inspire 3 Release
In our comprehensive Skydio 2 review, we had discussed the Skydio 2’s superior AI-powered obstacle avoidance capabilities. And as per FCC filings, the Autel Evo 2 will come with interchangeable sensors that allow you to shoot in 8K, 6K, and thermal. In fact, the Autel Evo 2’s specs are more impressive than not only the Mavic 2 Pro but also larger, more expensive drones like the DJI Inspire.
Considering these developments, it is hardly surprising that DJI is gearing up for a spate of new releases. As per industry reports, DJI shall be releasing a DJI Mavic 3 in January 2020 followed by a DJI Inspire 3 in mid-2020.
DJI Inspire 3 Rumors First Surfaced in March 2018
We first heard news of the DJI Inspire 3 in March, 2018 when the now-famous OsitaLV shared renderings and rumoured specs for this new DJI drone.
These are the rumured specs for the DJI Inspire 3:
- 8k video @ 30 fps
- 6K video @ 30fps
- Apple ProRes
- H.265/H.264 @ 200Mbps
- 3DNR (3D Noise Reduction)
- PIV (particle image velocimetry)
- 20 fps continuous burst
- IVVMe SSD
- PCIe 3.0/4.0
- EI Mode
Fujifilm Corporation Announces Collaboration with DJI
These rumors gained further credence when Fujifilm announced their collaboration with DJI through this news release. This release indicates that Fujifilm and DJI are working on a solution which will enable DJI drones to carry mirror-less cameras like the X-T3 and X-T30.
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) plans to release a series of firmware updates for the FUJIFILM X-T3 (hereinafter “X-T3”), starting in mid-December 2019. The updates reflect requests of additional features and operability improvement, received from users of the X Series of mirrorless digital cameras.
The upcoming update will enable controls for video recording from Gimbal / Drone via USB communications. You can combine the X-T3 with a Gimbal / Drone that supports this function to significantly broaden your shooting options. FUJIFILM is in communication with Shenzhen Gudsen Technology Co., Ltd.*, SZ DJI Technology Col, Ltd.** and ZHIYUN*** (listed in the alphabetical order) about their plan to release compatible products. Fujifilm also plans to deploy this function to the FUJIFILM X-T30 and other models. Further firmware updates in the future will bring autofocus enhancement and other improvements to the X-T3.
But, how does this press release hint at a DJI Inspire 3 release? DJI drones like the Mavic 2 are too small to carry a heavy payload like the X-T3. The only logical conclusion is this development indicates that a DJI Inspire 3 is in the works.
Will the DJI Inspire 3 Be Significantly Better than its Predecessor, the DJI Inspire 2?
So, should you wait for the DJI Inspire 3?
Here, we give you 3 good reasons why it is worth waiting for the DJI Inspire 3:
1. Ability to Fly Mirrorless Cameras Will Greatly Enhance Flexibility
The ability to fly mirrorless cameras like the X-T3 and X-T30 is certainly a huge deal for professional aerial photographers and videographers. The X-T3, for instance has a 4’, 26 MP sensor which allows you to shoot 10-bit videos.
You can check out our previous blog post, “DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Zoom, DJI Mavic Mini, DJI Mavic 3 Drone Comparison” to learn about the advantages of shooting in 10 bits versus 8 bits.
2. You Will Be Able to Record 8K Video
Another reason to wait for the DJI Inspire 3 is that you can upgrade from 6K to 8K. The DJI Inspire 2 is capable of recording 6K in CinemaDNG/RAW. While the current standard in professional aerial photography and videography is 4K, we are slowly but slowly gravitating towards higher-resolution formats. [A 4K video will approximately have 4,000 pixels whereas an 8K videos will have 8,000 pixels. Higher pixels will result in sharper and more detailed images]
Netflix production House of Cards has been filmed in 6K. And so have blockbusters like Avengers and Transformers. In fact, ‘Prairie Wind’ by director Martin Lisius is perhaps the first short film to be shot in 16K. Check it now:
3. Better AI and Obstacle-Avoidance Capabilities
While we do not have any specific information about the DJI Inspire 3’s AI capabilities, we can surely make some assumptions.
As per industry rumors, we do know that the DJI Mavic 3 will have enhanced AI capabilities powered by 10 cameras that utilize 64 MegaPixels of data. Certainly, we can expect a more powerful and expensive drone like the DJI Inspire to have similar or more enhanced capabilities.
Also, with Skydio 2 changing the rules of the game, you can expect the DJI Inspire 3 to have superior obstacle avoidance capabilities.
DJI Inspire 3 Price – What can You Expect?
According to industry reports, the DJI Inspire 3 will be priced at $3,500. Of course, these price predictions can go awry if US-China trade wars further intensify in 2020.
Recently, the US and China announced a preliminary trade agreement which will result in billions of dollars in tariffs removed or delayed. Certainly, DJI and its consumers will be hoping for more such positive news in 2020.
If you found this information useful, you might want to check out other blog posts as well. Watch this space for the latest and most exciting drone news and updates!