DJI Inspire 3
14 'DJI Inspire 3' stories
February 2018 - January 2023
While there’s no denying that Inspire 2 boasted a host of groundbreaking features when it was first launched in November 2016, DJI’s professional aerial cinematography drone line is well due for a refresh. And finally, finally, the first real evidence that the long-awaited Inspire 3 drone is actually in development has emerged, fueling speculation that an official launch announcement could come later this year.
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Early rumors circa 2018
Notable leaker OsitaLV shared concept sketches of the Inspire 3 way back in 2018, suggesting possible specs the drone could feature. All the information at the time was focused on the photo/video specs of the drone, but they were quite a step up from the Inspire 2 in terms of image quality and processing power.
But the powerhouse that the Inspire 2 is, the drone was quietly amassing its own fan following. A lot of cinematographers consider it an iconic device, offering plenty in terms of value even today.
And perhaps that, along with an unprecedented global pandemic that has disrupted tech supply chains like never before, dissuaded DJI from working on a successor sooner. So much so, a lot of people were convinced that DJI had abandoned the Inspire series altogether.
Inspire 2 product discontinuation notice
Then, earlier this year, the tech giant sent what looks like a product discontinuation notice to its dealers in China. That communication indicated that once the current Inspire 2 inventory is exhausted, new stock would not be provided for sale. The dealers should instead expect a strategy for new product switchover. That rekindled hopes that Inspire 3 was in development.
Photos of crashed Inspire 3 prototype
More positive news came in April when a test unit of the rumored drone apparently crashed during a test flight and was picked up by someone other than DJI personnel. From there, it didn’t take long for leakers to get their hands on the pictures of the prototype.
The one detail that immediately stands out from the crash photos is that the Inspire 3 drone will come with foldable propellers – a first for this series. The retractable landing gear, meanwhile, has been retained from the earlier generation.
The crashed drone, sadly, wasn’t retrieved with a sensor, but it’s highly likely that the Zenmuse X9 – which was first introduced with DJI Ronin 4D cinema camera – would be compatible with the Inspire 3.
DJI RC Plus compatibility
The RC Plus, as you may recall, is DJI’s new flagship remote controller. It officially supports the DJI Agras T40 and T20P drones as well as the new enterprise offering, the M30. However, if longtime DJI leaker OsitaLV is to be believed, the RC Plus should be compatible with the new Inspire 3 as well.
Possible new specs for Inspire 3
In the meantime, OsitaLV has revised his predictions for the professional drone. His list of possible specs now include:
- New O4 video transmission with dual RC
- CineCore 3.1
- Super 35 or large format CMOS sensor
- 8K 75fps, 6K 100fps, 4K 200fps
- No crop in every framerate
- RAW 12 bit / ProRes 4444XQ / 422HQ
- Time code sync
- Omni-directional obstacle avoidance
- APAS Pro
- High accuracy maneuvering
- Somatosensory gimbal control
- Portable video receiver for director
- Stepless iris adjustment
DJI Inspire 3 cost
If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that this drone will not be cheap. Just look at the price hike on the Mavic 3 series. OsitaLV believes the DJI Inspire 3 will cost at least 1.5 times as much as the Ronin 8K, which can be pre-ordered for $11,499. Other industry experts also agree that the drone can easily stretch past $10,000, depending on the camera payload.
However, this kind of price tag shouldn’t bother professional users for whom this drone is intended. They would likely recover the cost of the product within days of its arrival.