What You Should Know About the New DJI Inspire 1


This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series,  which profiles interesting information, thoughts and research into using  drones, UAVs or remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels.

The Inspire 1 is an elegant and ready-to-fly aerial filmmaking platform. Powerful, yet lightweight, it has the potential of bringing you up into the sky within minutes. I like the strength of the carbon fiber arms and their ability to move out of the way from an unobstructed view, by just clicking a switch.

Using  its own new flight controller, 3510 motors and 1345 propellers, the beautiful futuristic design of the Inspire 1 has captured the attention of a sector of the photography and filming industry that wants to produce high quality aerial footage. On this article I will try to answer some of the most common questions readers have about this platform. They will bring light to your doubts, but as I always say, any platform should be treated and operated as an aircraft. Do not run into a top of the line product. Everyone crashes. We have and we probably always will. Minimize your risks by learning from good resources and start slow. My new book on Drones is about to come out, and I hope it will help many of you in your transition to become efficient aerial photographers using drones. Until then, you can look cool wearing one of my Drone and Aerial Photography UAV Expert T-Shirts. I know, I know… but I couldn’t resist.

Inspire1 on KIKE CALVO Drone Blog

One of the first things people wonder about the Inspire 1 its how big is this platform. Without the propellers attached, it measures 17.3 x 11.8 x 17.7 as in  Length x Height x Width. This is about 44 x 30 x 45cm.

Many of us haven been upgrading Phantoms from professional like DSLRPros to add little payloads like a Go Pro Camera and other useful features. The Inspire 1 does not support GoPro attachments. The gimbal is designed to hold DJI cameras only.

The Inspire 1 Camera:
• Video: 4K @ 24-30 fps, or 1080p @ 24-60fps,
• Photos: 12 Megapixels
• Lens: 9 elements in 9 groups including an aspherical element
• 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor
• 94⁰ wide-angle FOV
• 3-axis, 360⁰ rotating gimbal

Like you will expect from a professional product like this one, the camera exposure can be set to Auto or Manual. And yes, there are some cool hard cases for it already like the one made by Go Professional with a Free 64 MB SD Card and a drone lanyard.

As many of you may know, I belong to the Sandisk Extreme Team. So as soon as I discovered that it only works with DJI cameras as of now, I wanted to know what type of SD cards could someone use. It supports SD cards up to 64GB and comes with a 16GB micro-SD card.


The time it will take to charge a 4500mAh battery using the standard TB47 100W charger  is about one hour and half (85 minutes). Of course, anyone flying this type of units should have more that one battery available and even extra chargers. Never leave a Lipo battery charging unattended and add a few Lipo Guard Bags to your gear bag.

It may be a good idea to start with a more simple platform, specially if you are new to aerial photography using drones. The fact that you are a good filmmaker or photographer will not automatically turn you into a good pilot. There is no trainer port on the remote controller for the Inspire 1.

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All machines work best with certain gadgets. The Iris+ (which I love by the way) needs an Android Tablet, being the Google Nexus a perfect choice. The Inspire 1 will not  support ground station. DJI recommends a tablet for the best experience. The following are good choices and have been tested to run the application correctly:

iPhone 6 Plus . iPhone 6 .  iPhone 5S . iPad Air 2 . iPad Mini 3 . iPad Air
iPad Mini 2 . iPad 4
( Running iOS v7.1 or later)

Samsung Note 4 . Samsung Note . Samsung S5 . Sony Z3 EXPERIA
(Running Android v4.1.2 or later)

Pilots who may want to venture indoors will really appreciate the use of sonic waves, that allows the Inspire to hold its position, stop when the controls are released, and respond to your commands even when GPS is unavailable.

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DJI Inspire 1 - Professional Aerials for Everyone

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