Just two years ago (it feels like an eternity now) I was deciding what drone to buy. I had ambitions to use drones for aerial videography in journalism — capturing stories of protests, fires or sporting events from above.
The options were limited. Like, 2 options limited. Option 1: scary alien hunk of metal flying the sky. Probably built myself. Therefore likely wouldn’t even get up in the air. Option 2: Toy drones. Shoots video that isn’t exactly broadcast quality. Is more shaky, rolling shutter than video. Probably purchased from Sharper Image (does that store still exist?)
Followers of my blog know that I bought and love my original Phantom (my avatar girl is flying a knock-off Phantom). But it also just never quite did the trick.
Enter: The Inspire 1.
DJI’s newest drone goes beyond the hobbyist market and into enterprise uses including search and rescue and humanitarian efforts. And of course, journalism.
Priced at $3,399, it’s a big step above toy, but still affordable enough that small businesses could have a better shot at affording a tool that could completely change the way they operate.
“We’re taking really complex technology and now we’re making it more accessible,” DJI spokesman Michael Perry said. “Lightbridge used to be $1,000. Now it’s integrated into the system. We’ve grow up to keep up with demand.”
What’s the big selling point for journalists? The new camera and gimbal system. Finally, the built-in camera shoots up to 4k video and captures 12 megapixel photos. This will eliminate the monotonous wide angle shots and produce broadcast quality footage.
Many say the drone resembles the USS Enterprise.
“Sci-fi movies were the inspiration for the designers. It’s like this came right out of a sci-fi movie,” Perry said.
Though he is quick to note, “it’s like a Utopia, not a Dystopia.”
That’s not to say this drone is a perfect must-buy product. I haven’t even flown it.
One reader makes a good point.
@TheDroneGirl Love the look, hate the fact that most users will be oblivious to basic tech inside. It’s like the iPhone of drones.
— Esa Ezzy Edvik (@HiredCam) November 13, 2014
Pre-ordered units will begin shipping on approximately 01 December 14.
Oh, and if I may point out one more downfall of this product that even Perry agreed with me on. “It’s not as cute as the Phantom 2,” Perry said.