Stunning aerial imagery in a compact and powerful camera is the best way to describe DJI's Zenmuse line of cameras, a series designed to capture cinema-quality footage that can be taken to the skies, or held in the palm of your hand.
Zenmuse cameras are specially designed to be attached to a drone to capture stunning footage from the air, as well as shoot stabilized handheld footage via the DJI Osmo series. Stand-outs in the series include the Zenmuse X3, Z3, X5, X5R, and XT, each built with unique features to fit a wide range of usages from photography to professional industrial inspections.
The DJI ZENMUSE X3
The Zenmuse X3 was the first aerial camera released in the DJI Zenmuse line, capable of shooting high-quality HD 4K video and 12 megapixel stills to provide users with clear and crisp footage from the air.
The X3 camera is able to record video at 4096 x 2160 (25 Frames Per Second) or 1920 x 1080 (60fps) in MP4/MOV format. Video footage shot by the X3 is stored on a Micro SD card. Users can also shoot smooth and stable footage in any direction thanks to the X3's 3-Axis 360 degree turning gimbal.
The sensor on the camera can determine how much light the camera uses to create an image, therefore the larger the sensor is, the more details the camera will be able to collect. The X3 features a 1/2.3" CMOS sensor that is 6.17 x 4.55 in size with a 94 degree field of view. The X3 additionally comes with a 100-3200 ISO Range.
The type of lens you use is important to the overall quality and outcome of the shot you are looking to achieve. The X3 features a rectilinear, curved 9-layer lens design to eliminate distortion, and its 20mm focal length gives shots a wider shooting angle that avoids the fish-eye look. The lens has a distortion of 0.90% compared to the X5 and X5R cameras which only have a distortion of 0.40% and features a f/2.8 focus.
The X3 is compatible with all three versions of the Inspire 1, the Matrice 100, the Matrice 600 and the Osmo series. Flight times with the Zenmuse X3 camera attached will vary depending on which drone the X3 is attached to.
The DJI ZENMUSE Z3
The Zenmuse Z3 is DJI's first ever aerial zoom camera that is optimized for still photography and capable of shooting 7x zoom without sacrificing image quality.
The camera is capable of shooting at 3.5x optical zoom and 2x digital lossless zoom to create a combined zoom range of 7x. The Z3 has a focal range of 22mm to 77mm. Additionally, an adjustable field of view and adjustable focal point making it the ideal camera for industrial applications.
The Z3 features the same sensor as the Sony 1/2.3 inch sensor. The camera can shoot 30 frames per second in 4K resolution as well as shoot 12 megapixel stills. Adobe DNG Raw additionally supports advanced image editing in post-production. The camera also has a maximum aperture of F2.8 and F5.2.
The Z3 camera is compatible withe the DJI Inspire 1, the Matrice 100 and the Matrice 600. Flight times will vary depending on which drone the camera is attached to. With the Z3 the Inspire 1 can fly for 19 minutes, equipped with dual batteries the Matrice 100 can fly for approximately 30 minutes, and approximately 40 minutes attached to the Matrice 600.
The DJI Zenmuse X5
As one of the most powerful cameras in the Zenmuse line, the X5 camera is powerful, compact and the first aerial Micro Four Thirds cinematic camera specifically designed for aerial photography.
The Zenmuse X5 is capable of shooting professional, high-quality video footage. The X5 camera can shoot 4K (3840 x 2160) at up to 30fps, 2.7k (2704x1520) at up to 30fps, and Full HD (1920x 1080) at up to 60fps in MP4/MOV format. Footage can be captured directly to a Micro SD Card to enable users to easily edit and colour grade footage.
As a Micro Four Thirds camera, the X5 functions without a focusing screen, mirror, or prism to create a comprehensive camera system that is small and compact. The MFT sensor is eight times larger then the Zenmuse X3.
The X5 also features a MFT mount to give users the ability to easily change lenses. The X5 comes with a 15mm f1/1.7 lens but is also currently compatible with a large range of lenses to provide users with the freedom to choose the exact lens that fits the job. Currently, there are three Micro Four Thirds lenses that are compatible with the Zenmuse X5 including the Panasonic Lumix 15mm, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12mm and DJI MFT 15mm.
The X5 comes with a 4/3-inch CMOS sensor of the X5 and has an ISO range of 100-25600 enabling the camera to capture highly detailed video and still footage.
The distortion of the camera is only 0.40% compared to the X3. On the Inspire 1 Pro the X5 can stay in flight for approximately 15-18 minutes. Lastly, the X5 features SRGB, colour looks, log, and Cine-D modes.
The DJI ZENMUSE X5R
The Zenmuse X5R is a Micro Four Thirds camera designed for aerial photography that can shoot 16 megapixel stills, 4K footage, all in a RAW lossless format to preserve detail and give users ultimate creative control in post-production.
The X5R camera is capable of recording 3840 x 2160 video in RAW at 30fps, keeping all of the original information recorded to give the user complete control when it comes to editing. For capturing stills the large Micro Four Thirds sensor enables the X5R to capture 16 MP stills in both JPEG and RAW. The extra pixels give operators highly detailed images, with 25% more pixels than the Zenmuse X3. The X5R also has a maximum bitrate of 2.4Gbps.
With the option of interchangeable lenses, the X5R itself comes with a 15mm f/1.7 lens. With the MFT mount, the X5R can be changed to a variety of major lens manufacturers. The X5R also features a CMOS 17.3 x 13 size sensor and has an ISO range of 100-25600.
Since the Zenmuse X5R captures footage that is lossless and uncompressed, the camera requires an SSD card for a large amount of memory storage. There is only a 0.40% distortion with the X5R and the camera shoots in SRGB, Colour Looks, CIne-D, and D-Log for extra adjustability and full control of colour grading.
The X5R can be attached to the Inspire 1, the Matrice 100, and the Matrice 600. Flight times will vary depending on which drone the X5R is attached to.
The DJI Zenmuse XT
DJI partnered with leading thermal imagery company FLIR to revolutionize aerial thermal imaging. The Zenmuse XT combines DJI's advanced camera stabilization system with FLIR's state of the art thermal imagery technology. The XT camera can provide highly sensitive 50mK infrared scanning for extremely precise footage.
The camera can provide users with infrared scanning at 640/30fps or 335/fps depending on the camera modes. Each model comes with a choice of four lenses including 7.5mm, 9mm, 13mm, and 19mm. With the XT, there are also two different models to choose from with two different resolutions including 640 x 512 and 336 x 256.
With the XT thermal camera users can detect information unseen by the naked eye. Through the technology, many different industries can utilized the data collected by a thermal camera including search and rescue, agriculture, firefighting, power line inspections and surveying. With the technology users can better detect damaged equipment, assess plant health, or spot the location of a lost victim.
The Zenmuse XT can be attached to both the Inspire 1 Pro and the Matrice 100. The Inspire 1 Pro can keep the XT in the air for 22 minutes, and with the Matrice 100 for 35 minutes.
REady To Shoot
When it comes to the DJI Zenmuse line of cameras, there is no doubt that DJI rules the skies of aerial imaging. Each camera comes with different features to ensure anyone can capture the shot they envision at the right price point. Whether your aim is to shoot professional quality RAW footage or if you are preparing to inspect a wind farm, there is a Zenmuse camera that can take your footage to new heights.