Comparing lenses on DJI Inspire 2 with X5S


The DJI Inspire 2 is still one of the leading commercial drones today for aerial cinematography. While other larger drones are around that can fly bigger payloads, the Inspire 2 provides a more versatile filming experience.

I bought the Inspire 2 in January 2017 mainly because I saw potential in the purchase. I was very used to having one choice for a lens but really wanted some more creative freedom. So what better choice than an Inspire 2?

I knew I could use this drone for different projects down the road and there was plenty of room to upgrade it over the years. In fact, I still use this drone almost every day and I am still learning to push it! In the video below, you will hear Vin DeMilio from Simply Visual Productions briefly explain the different lenses while providing examples of how they look.

The DJI Inspire 2 is an amazing drone because you can swap the lenses. In the video, you see a 15mm, 25mm and 45mm which all technically double with the micro 4/3 mount. Having the ability to use a variety of lenses provides you, a director or a client with different “looks” from different lenses.

What’s the catch?

Each lens is really double the focal length in 35mm-equivalent mentioned above because of the micro 4/3 mount. With a typical DJI drone, your focal length will be anywhere between 24-28mm (disregarding Mavic 2 Zoom). Comparing to the standard 35mm perspective, the 15mm would be 30mm, the 25mm would be 50mm and the 45mm would be 90mm.

15mm (or 30mm in 35mm-equivalent)

This provides for a nice wide shot and is a common focal length for many drones on the market. When people hear the words “drone footage” they may link back to these wider aerial shots that are also commonly shared.

25mm (or 50mm in 35mm-equivalent)

At this point, we are flying the drone the same distance from the subject but the lens is almost 2x as tight as the 15mm. This helps us focus more on the subject rather than focus on both the subject and background.

45mm (or 90mm in 35mm-equivalent)

Things change a lot with 3x the crop from the 15mm and almost 2x crop from the 25mm. If you are flying this lens alone, you will probably need a good amount of practice with it. This lens is certainly manageable for a solo pilot who is willing to learn how to use it but can be used to its fullest potential when used flying dual op.

The catch here is being able to see the potential in how this equipment can benefit you. Being able to shoot micro 4/3 quality while flying real lenses can help boost the production quality immediately. With that, the Inspire 2 can also shoot 5.2k raw with the Zenmuse X5S when upgraded. There are also available options for the Zenmuse X7 which is a super 35 sensor capable of shooting 6k.

With the ability for dual op, it is easier than ever to execute some of these complex shots as long as the pilot and camera op work together. While single-opping the DJI Inspire 2 is quite fun and unique, you really open up the capabilities of it when you have two pilots, multiple lenses and experience flying.

Shot with Olympus 45mm

For those who are price-sensitive but want a taste of what it’s like to fly “different lenses,” the Mavic 2 Zoom is the perfect drone to try with an optical zoom that ranges from 24-48mm. It is almost the equivalent of the Inspire 2 with the 15mm and 25mm plus a little space between. One of the biggest reasons for any upgrade should be because you see potential in what you can do with the new option/object you have.

Would you ever consider using the Inspire 2 for filming? Do you think any other brands will come out with similar models in the future?

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