Great New DJI Model Announced + FAA Regulations Are Completely Backwards

November 13th, 2014

DJIinspire1Great New DJI version: Thanks to Tony Boros for pointing out today that there’s a new DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter with 4K Camera and 3-axis gimbal that was announced yesterday. The launch video narrated by Philip Bloom shows what video from the Inspire 1 looks like.

Ben Popper over at the Verge says:

The drone game has changed. That may sound like hyperbole, but that was my first impression when experiencing the DJI Inspire One. This is a unit that anyone could pick up and learn to fly quickly, just as you could with our top ranking drone, the DJI Phantom. But it offers a ton of powerful new features that were previously only available in units too big, dangerous, and expensive for the average consumer to own.

Watching the Inspire One take off and land is exciting, because it transforms mid-flight, with the legs folding up after takeoff so you can shoot 360 degrees of unobstructed video. The unit also has a ground-facing camera that can track what’s below and keep the unit stabilized, even when there is no GPS signal, making it much easier to fly indoors.

OMG! I want one! And just in time for Christmas. The Amazon and B&H price is $2899 USD.

FAA Regulations Are completely Backwards: The article I almost killed someone with a drone, also by Ben Popper is a very compelling argument that the FAA has it’s logic completely upside down on what kind of drone flying should be illegal. Ben says:

When it comes to commercial drone flights, on the other hand, the FAA has made them completely illegal in the US. It’s taken years to develop new rules for companies, during which time other countries have forged ahead. And now it’s saying it will miss the deadline set by Congress to get commercial drones flying over American skies in 2015.

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12 Responses to “Great New DJI Model Announced + FAA Regulations Are Completely Backwards”

  • I think this is “the one”…

  • This review shows the software features:

  • When it comes to the government and making rules what would you expect. If the rules made sense it wouldn’t be the government. Eventually they will have enough committees dedicated to fixing the problems with the dumb laws they made in the first place.

  • Now before all you drone heads run out and throw down $3,000 for 4k images, keep in mind that drones are expendable. Sure they are easy to fly but they are also easy to crash. These are not failsafe. Search Youtube for “vortex ring state” or “fly-away.” Drones are great and super fun but can also be costly if you’re not fully aware of the unpredictable nature of flying a drone.

  • Re: DJI Inspire 1
    As predicted the thrust of innovation appears heading to smaller drones. Love it. Safer and less expensive. We have 4 units ranging from 550 mm to 1200 mm.
    Initially we thought bigger would be better….but this logic has reversed. Would love to add an Inspire to the fleet.

    Re: FAA
    Big surprise here?!?!

  • This appears to be just an upgraded phantom with some new bells and whistles, just in time too as people are starting to lose interest in the over promised and under delivered phantom which is really just a toy.

    They market this like an entry pro level package. Before we know it the iPhone is going to come with a clip on set of rotors and shoot in 4K haha. We also have to ask ourselves, how is this little camera gathering the same detail and information of a cinema camera sensor? I kind of doubt it is, but there’s some work-around that allows these manufacturers to get away with marketing it as such and who really cares because not many people have either a 4K television or computer monitor yet to verify and compare the quality. I guess video is no different than the megapixel marketing buzz in still cameras.

    Speaking of 4K in small cameras, I would like to know why DJI would not join forces with GoPro (THE experts in small cameras), especially since the camera is removable and reportedly interchangeable as technology progresses with their camera. You don’t see GoPro making Mountain bikes, skis, surf boards, race cars etc, no they just make the cameras adapt to mount on these devices. DJI is trying to be experts in both fields and I think it could hurt them. By joining with the GoPro they would increase sales, because this camera is only useful on the device, whereas the GoPro can be mounted everywhere and most people in the industry are now going to have to pay for two small cameras, one which is useless anywhere other than on the DJI. At least they should have come out with a line of attachments to compete with the GoPro as they already are without realizing it and eliminating a lot of sales because of it.

    I’m personally going to keep farming out my aerial work to a reliable pilot with an Evo 800 and GH4. This way I have no maintenance fees, no insurance costs, no RISKS or Transport Canada issues, my clients are happy with the footage and that is all that matters to me for the few jobs that warrant aerial footage.

    Interesting enough as of December 1st Transport Canada just made it easier for personal and business use of these crafts. No longer is a special licence required for crafts under 2 kilograms and only certain restrictions on crafts under 25kg which is very interesting. Link is here

    In the end is the cost worth it? If you have the time and ability to fly it, charge for it and make a profit, then of course, but if you’re too busy as it is, farm it out to the pros. By trying to do everything we are no different than the realtors (that use point and shoot cameras for their listings), that we’re trying to convince to use our professional services.

  • The thing that interests me most about the Inspire 1 is the camera. They advertise it as a rectilinear 4K (1080p) 12 megapixel still camera. No more fish-eye but straight lines! SO now shooting in 1080 (or 4K) or taking still images, you have a camera that does not have the GoPro fish-eye look. For architectural and real estate photographers, this should be a big big deal. And a very welcome one, I should think!

    Now all we have to do is wait for a less expensive model with this camera and for the FAA to get it’s act together (I should live so long).

  • @Chet – The GoPro has settings that you can change from Wide angle to Regular depending on what you’re shooting, plus captures full 4k at 30fps 2.7K at 50fps as well as 1080p at 120fps. It also captures 12mp stills at speeds of up to 30fps. The cameras just don’t even compare, it’s just a very limiting design…IMO

  • Matt. I have a GoPro Black 3+ and the 4 is the same as far as the lens. I’m very familiar with the GoPro settings regarding field of view (Wide/Narrow etc). It’s still a fisheye style lens. That’s the only real advantage to the new Inspire lens it’s of a regular wide angle design. Otherwise, I agree the GoPro is a better overall camera. No need to run the Inspire footage through post to remove the fisheye effect. I’m sure they will release an Inspire with the ZenMuse mount for a GoPro at some point.

  • I had a ‘fly-away’ incident. Luckily it was the original Parrot AR drone, about $300. I have flown it many times with success. This time the IPhone app crashed right after launching. The copter flew to fifty foot high and headed north at high speed over the nearby neighborhood.. All i could do was watch and hope no person or property was damaged. I drove through the area for a while but saw nothing in any front yards. I was not about to ask anyone for obvious reasons. “Did my r.c helicopter crash into your expensive window or perhaps injure your child or pet with its high speed blades?” Or to be accused of perverted spying . It is quite a risk to consider.

  • That DJI is an absolute piece of crap for the price. it’s just a marketing gimmick. for that kind of money you can get an high end hexa with way much more stability, payload capacity, flight time.

  • The new Canadian Transport Canada exemption requires that the drone not be operated commercially within 5km from any “built-up” area, i.e., a town, village, hamlet, city, etc. This exemption alone makes drone photography/videography virtually impossible in Canada. Here is the rule and it’s rationale taken from Transport Canada site:

    26. The pilot operating under this exemption shall only operate a UAV at least five (5) nautical miles away from a built-up area.

    Note: UAVs operated under these exemptions are not required to meet any technical airworthiness standards meaning that there is no assurance of the airworthiness or capabilities of the UAV system. This increases the risks to persons and property on the ground, therefore, UAVs must not be operated near populated areas. Built-up areas are considered areas with groups of buildings or dwellings including anything from small hamlets to major cities. Anything larger than a farmstead should be considered a built up area.

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