We flew the DJI Inspire 1 for 3 days – what we think

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We took the Inspire 1 out and had a great time for 3 days and posted briefly on what we felt in the middle of May 2015.

 

Thanks to @camerarental for the #dji #inspire1. It’s been a great 3 days. Our thoughts, it’s stable but has hidden costs, you can’t fly with just any Android device. It must be an iPhone or iPad of certain version eg ios 8, iPad mini2. If you started out with nothing or if you were DIYing your tri or quad or hex or octo…. It may not be for you but if all you care is getting footage, 4k footage that is, this totally rocks. Repairs is something we’re concern, it’s a whole lot proprietary. . There is of course mention on #flitetest that it may not be a bad thing. Dji has engineered their inspire and phantoms to work efficiently, with their props, motors, Lipo etc etc at an engineered weight, matching apps etc etc. So there’s always 2 sides to a coin. You gotta know what you want and how much you are willing to spend. . – Battery life gotta be longer – Hidden cost, you need almost the latest ipad or iphone to run their app – Android is buggy, does not run on all Android devices/ android tablets or android phones. – For a few thousand dollars, we expected a camera record button god-damn-it! Anyway, you can start recording using the remote button if you are not using the DJI pilot app and fly the a inspire line of sight. – the arms that moves out of the way is simply engineering marvels. The inspire 1 is available for rental at Camera Rental center. Check them out. They have the Phantom range too. Of course, don’t forget they have Canon, Nixon and a whole range of video cameras for all your needs in Singapore. #dji #camerarental #inspire1 #phantom #dji pilot #4k #🚀 #✈ *opinions are our own.

 

A video posted by =In The Course Of Work= (@itcow) on

 

Here’s a more detailed write up of the experience.

We were excited in trying out the Inspire 1. It has been about a year since we’ve flown our DJI Phantom FC40, totally trashed it and migrated it’s parts to a few frames and now on a Xugong Pro V2. We thought, it’ll be nice for a change to not worry about motors KV, lipo mAh, prop size and all the other mambo jumbo, FPV, fiddling with the gimbal setup, tweaking our FPV.

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Apart from the launch video of the Inspire 1, we have never flown or seen one before. Before receiving it, we downloaded the manuals, went through it on paper first. The documentations are awesome. They are clear with diagrams and clear warning when they want your attention on certain aspect in that section (eg a 2.4Ghz warning telling you not to use similiar equipment near the Inspire 1).


 After collecting the Inspire 1 from the kind folks at Camera Rental Center (CRC), we went cracking.

CRC always provide their equipment checked and fully charged. We were immediately ready to fly.

We tried out 3 x Android handphones, all of them do not work then an iPad 2 that told us to upgrade to iOS8, ok, we did then installing it again, app store told us that the app is not compatible. It should have told us straight it’s not compatible from the start. Does app store only check the OS version and can’t tell the hardware version? Maybe.

We noted:

– An iPhone 6 or iPad Mini 2 is required. From what we think, it could be fair to say, DJI want you to have a good experience flying the Inspire 1 with new-er hardware, faster processor and faster video displaying with a iPhone 6. Thus no support for older iPhones or iPads even if they are upgradable to current iOS version. The built in lightbridge transmission of course, will require some kind of image/ video processing to be displayed either via the DJI Pilot app or using the HDMI out. We however, never managed to got it working in time and flew line of sight for all 3 days.

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– Battery life need to be extended somehow. The slot for the Inspire 1 is fixed. Lipo size grows as the capacity goes up. Fitting other lipos in future may be not possible without affecting the looks of the whole craft. Technologies improved, maybe someone will be able to shrink lipo size.

– Repairs is something we’re concern, it’s a whole lot proprietary. There is of course mention on Flitetest that it may not be a bad thing. DJI has engineered their inspire and phantoms to work efficiently, with their props, motors, Lipo etc etc at an engineered weight, matching apps etc

– No camera record button and no indicator led on the camera. You won’t know if the camera is recording, turned on or doing nothing if you are flying line of sight. DJI has made it compulsory to fly with their app installed and running. You will know the camera was running after landing and touching it. It feels hot, not warm, it is hot when we recorded for a whole time it took off for one single lipo. You can however, use the record button on the transmitter (top left) to start recording.

– The arms that moves out of the way is simply engineering marvels. Seeing it “transform” when in the air is awesome!

– The included bag that holds the Inspire 1, spare propellers, transmitter, 4 batteries etc etc seriously need to come with WHEELS options.


 

There are of course some great things about the Inspire 1.

 – Footage are rock stable even when we try “crazy” flying. Straight flight at full speed then sudden and aggressive yaw or 360 spins, continuously. No problems for the Inspire 1.

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– Some do not like the included bag, we love it. It’s sturdy and packs the Inspire 1 in nicely. When at home, it’s good for storage of the Inspire 1 as well.

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The Sonar sensors/ Optical Flow baby!

– Sonar is magic. We flew it indoors and the sonar works really well. The Inspire 1 hovers and the footage is as if the camera was on a tripod. yes, it was THAT stable indoors.

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The Inspire 1 – before transforming/ arms are in down position.

 – Looks. We buy and fly a lot of quads based on looks, no matter what function it has, if it can make coffee in the air or shoot fireworks…if it looks ugly, no one will buy one. The Inspire 1 looks great.

Repairs is something we’re concern, it’s a whole lot proprietary. . There is of course mention on #flitetest that it may not be a bad thing. Dji has engineered their inspire and phantoms to work efficiently, with their props, motors, Lipo etc etc at an engineered weight, matching apps etc etc. So there’s always 2 sides to a coin. You gotta know what you want and how much you are willing to spend. . – Battery life gotta be longer – Hidden cost, you need almost the latest ipad or iphone to run their app – Android is buggy, does not run on all Android devices/ android tablets or android phones. – For a few thousand dollars, we expected a camera record button god-damn-it! Anyway, you can start recording using the remote button if you are not using the DJI pilot app and fly the a inspire line of sight.    Remember…The inspire 1 is available for rental at Camera Rental Center. Check them out. They have the Phantom range too. Of course, don’t forget they have Canon, Nixon and a whole range of video cameras for all your needs in Singapore. Follow us, on Instagram.  

 

Footage

Last Words:

The Inspire 1 is not cheap. It’s about the price of a Canon 5DMK3. It takes 4k video, it’s rock stable in the air. Made us not worry about all the tech stuffs and just enjoy flying it after installing the propellors and waiting for the GPS signal(s).

Cost:

Minus the cost of say a Hero 4 that does 4k video now at around SGD $750.00, the Inspire is “only”, “actually”, SGD $3700.00 with dual remotes or $3080.00 for a single remote system.

ATTI:

The flight of it feels “locked in”. It’s not that manoeuvrable even in ATTI mode but in ATTI mode, it does gain quite a bit more speed. It depends on the kind of footage required anyway. We won’t be speeding up and down a strip of road to get good footage. Usually slow (or slower) pan or even yaw-ing the whole craft produce most production/ good shots.

Links:

Available for rental at Camera Rental Center Singapore
Flitetest’s review of the Inspire 1
DJI

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