Tech

DJI Announces Drone-Ready Micro Four Thirds Cameras

Micro Four Thirds finally takes flight.

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Leading drone manufacturer DJI announced two new cameras for its DJI Inspire 1 professional aerial camera platform today, the Zenmuse X5 and the Zenmuse X5R. Both are Micro Four Thirds cameras that are designed to work with existing DJI Inspire 1 drones, giving users an interchangeable alternative to the Inspire 1’s standard Zenmuse X3 camera.

DJI says the new Zenmuse X5 is the world’s first commercially-available Micro Four Thirds camera designed specifically for aerial use. Users will be able to control both focus and aperture wirelessly with the "DJI GO" app or with DJI’s "Follow Focus" system.

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DJI claims that the 16-megapixel Four-Thirds sensor is capable of capturing up to 13 stops of dynamic range while shooting stills or capturing 4k footage at 24fps or 30fps. At launch, the X5 will support four interchangeable lenses: the DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH lens, Panasonic Lumix 15mm G Leica DG Summilux f/1.7 ASPH lens, Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f/2.0 lens, and Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 lens.

The X5R shares the same sensor and lens compatibility with the X5, but can simultaneously record video to an onboard microSD card as well as to a removable 512GB solid state disk (SSD) on the gimbal’s top plate. The footage recorded to the SSD is in the CinemaDNG (RAW) format, which allows users to capture lossless 4k video with bitrates averaging 1.7Gbps (with a maximum of 2.4Gbps).

The X5R also offers what DJI is calling "D-LOG mode" which it says will offer a broader array of color correction options in post production. DJI will also be releasing software, called CineLight, to edit and convert the RAW camera footage later this year.

Both the X5 and X5R can be purchased as standalone cameras with or without lens. You can preorder the Zenmuse X5 for $4,499 when packaged with a DJI Inspire 1 and DJI’s MFT 15mm F1.7 ASPH lens. These are said to begin shipping before the end of September. The Zenmuse X5R will be available later in 2015 for $7,999, which we assume will also include an Inspire 1 and a lens. More information can be found at DJI.com.