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Inspire 1 Pro with X5 - Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'Zenmuse X5' started by herein2015, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. herein2015

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    I thought I would provide my initial impressions of the Inspire 1 Pro with the Zenmuse X5 now that I've flown it a total of two times. This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive review since there are plenty of those out there for the Inspire 1 itself, nor have I gotten to really dive into the camera's endless settings.

    Background

    This is my first Inspire 1, I also have a P3P which I fly daily to film construction sites, real estate listings, commercials for local businesses etc. I upgraded to the Inspire 1 solely because of the X5. My only reason for either is for aerial photography, so for me this is not just a hobby.

    The Good

    The usual stuff - HD downlink, familiar app and interface similar to the P3, nearly excellent build quailty, etc.

    Zenmuse X5 - The Zenmuse X5 and gimbal appear to be well built some of my pre-order concerns have been greatly alleviated after the second flight.

    Focus - One of my main concerns was how to maintain focus while flying especially since DJI just released a focus control. I don't have the luxury for most jobs to have a camera operator and a focus puller and DJI's documentation was pretty vague about what AF means to them. Well turns out it appears to be similar to Nikon's AF-S or Canon's AI-Servo settings where it maintains focus even as you get closer or farther away from an object. You can even do infinity focus lock, simply focus on the horizon in AF mode then switch to Manual and it will focus lock to infinity.

    Pictures - Phenomenal dynamic range, I've only begun to scratch the surface of testing F stops and shutter speeds. But so far the pictures are turning out great.

    Video - Video of course was one of my main concerns considering the 60Mbs bitrate and DJI's notoriously bad implementation of H.264 compression. I am pleased to say that my first video footage far exceeds my expectations, and the X5 is a phenomenal step above the P3P. I shot in 1080P@29.97FPS at dusk and the quality is awesome; no artifacts while flying over water, grass, or trees, no stuttering.

    The Bad

    Unfortunately its not all perfect, and the list may grow in the coming days but I definitely found a few problems within the first 2 flights:

    Rolling Shutter - My biggest enemy "rolling shutter" made a very slight appearance in the maiden flight. I never had a single hint of rolling shutter in the P3P, but the first flight out the I1 had a tiny bit for a brief second. I truly hope the craft just has to settle down a bit and break in.

    Non-Level Gimbal - I did not do a gimbal calibration but the gimbal was not perfectly level after sharp maneuvers. It usually slowly returned back to level but most of the footage has a slight tilt.

    Ribbon Cable - I posted about the exposed ribbon cable here: Zenmuse X5 Ribbon Cable Major Problem Area | DJI Inspire Forum make sure you wrap the exposed portion with tape and modify the carrying case if necessary to prevent it from being damaged.

    Other

    The foam cutouts that are in Inspire 1 cases do not fit the Inspire Pro. The gimbal is too big and so is the box for the camera. I will have to send back the GPC case that I had ordered for it and wait for vendors to offer Inspire Pro cases.

    Battery life is about 16 minutes with the TB48 batteries. I got about 11 minutes of useable flight before landing with 30% remaining.

    I first color graded the footage in Corel VideoStudio and the results were terrible; the footage looked no better than the P3P footage. Also there were compression artifacts, stuttering, and other problems. I then dropped the source footage into DaVinci Resolve 12 and all I can say is wow; within minutes I had better looking footage than anything the GoPro or P3P could ever produce. So if you get the X5, make sure you are familiar with how to properly set up the camera and color grading or you will be disappointed.
     
  2. ianwood

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    Let's see some footage!
     
  3. Mark C

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    Thanks for the review, interesting reading, looking forward to seeing some footage.
     
  4. tweaker

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    herein 2015.
    Yes similar to what I have found.
    Ok if you have a camera background but a video tut how to focus/etc (ala Ralphs Photo Bude Tutorial) would be good for guys coming from a non /real camera camera background.

    I think the X5 once people understand it and how to operate it via the app it will really be up there and hold its own against the competition.

    I think a lot of people do not understand(due to lack of detailed manual from DJI)its strengths weakness quirks etc.

    I love DJI products but I do not get why they do not show the novice end user how to operate the top products they produce.

    Once this knowledge is passed on (due to forums such as this) there is going to be some top notch video/photographs getting produced.

    Until then its going to be over and over again "slightly blurred,not crisp ,not impressed etc etc"
     
  5. ianwood

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    You've got some very seasoned camera folks producing blurry mush while one or two others are putting out crisp footage so I'm not sure this is down to inexperience.
     
  6. herein2015

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    It will take me a couple of weeks to find the time to do a proper demo reel and to find some landmarks worth taking pictures of, I don't want to put out my testing flights where I am still fine tuning the camera settings and tuning the I1 so that it is not so jumpy. The gains and gimbal speed need to be toned down quite a bit, right now my footage isn't worth posting.
     
  7. tweaker

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    Ok then.

    Time will tell.

    On a side note is there a firmware upgrade out already for the X5?

    Its not even been a month.....
     
  8. Quadpilot

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    Yes, found on the X5 download page, not the Inspire 1 download page.
     
  9. Figbar

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    Really great review...sounds like the Good heavily outweighs the bad. Very encouraging. Thanks!
     
  10. InterMurph

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    Where? The only firmware I see on the X5 downloads page is 1.0.0.30, which is dated September 30th, 2015. Is that newer than what is on my Inspire 1 Pro?

    In the About page of the app, it says "Unknown" for Aircraft version.
     
  11. herein2015

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    My app keeps saying the firmware is out of date. I have not updated it yet but I did get the notification. You may have to upgrade to the latest version of the DJI GO app to see the notification.


    I may have another entry to add to the bad column.....today I took it out over water and attempted to catch a boat to film a boat scene. The I1 topped out at 35mph and I was unable to catch the boat; most boats at WOT run around 43-46mph.

    I was under the impression that the I1 usually tops out at 50mph, so either I have not yet found the setting to unlock the higher speed, the I1 doesn't actually fly 50mph, or the X5 made the top end take a serious nose dive.

    Can someone with the I1 confirm that it does in fact usually top out at 50mph?
     
  12. johnmont250

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    when i put the x5 on mine, it was slow and sluggish. remember 50mph is in atti mode. i raised all my gains by 10 across the board,(from 100 to 110) and it flys great now. i could still raise them up, and im sure it will do close to 50mph.
     
  13. InterMurph

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    I tried to install the Inspire 1 PRO Firmware v1.0.0.30 from the DJI web site, but nothing happened. Afterwards, the text file on the SD card said:
    So apparently my Inspire 1 Pro came with the latest firmware.
     
  14. Quadpilot

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    Ground speed is affected by wind: while airspeed may be 50, if it's going into the wind, the effect is to have a lower ground speed.

    I don't do speed checks on my bird, but it doesn't feel slower than my classic Inspire. Check the gain settings and sensitivity. Fly it in Attitude to see if it's faster, especially downwind
     
  15. likeaninja

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    'Classic inspire' - I love it!


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