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DJI Inspire 1, What's the Verdict?

Discussion in 'DJI Inspire RTF Multimedia Quad' started by Bartman, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Jan 30, 2015 #1
    Was just wondering what the verdict is on the Inspire 1 as a RTF aerial photo/video helicopter.

    They've been out there for a while, we've seen the crash videos and have heard about the software updates but is the heli providing good media from the camera? Are the mechanicals holding up? Is the flying time as advertised? Are replacement parts reasonably priced?

    We've been trying to get one for a product review but DJI hasn't been very responsive, maybe due to the issues they've been dealing with since launch, maybe not.

    Would love to hear first hand what you guys have to say about them.

    Bart
     
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  2. cootertwo

    cootertwo Member

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    Posted by cootertwo, Jan 31, 2015 #2
    I believe those that shelled out all that money, might be reluctant to voice their disappointments. I was looking at the videos, and really didn't see any dramatic difference, than what is already available. Then noticed DJI was releasing firmware upgrades while just beginning to ship orders. Now I see their Chinese buddies have copied it, almost exactly, and I'm sure the prices will drop dramatically, one the market is flooded, a-la Phantom. The want of money is the root of all evil, and our communist friends are raking it in with both arms, at the moment. Not trying to get political, just making a factual statement.
     
  3. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Jan 31, 2015 #3
    OK, wasn't exactly what I was looking for but I can't fault you if that's how you feel!

    Was looking more for operating testimonials to see if it's living up to the Pro-Multi-Media grade billing it was given when it was announced.

    We here at multirotorforums.com can't commit $3000 to buy a helicopter for testing and DJI doesn't seem interested in getting our take on it even though we've tried to be fair with everything we've done related to DJI and even though we have as much experience here as anyone to make an informed report on the equipment.

    We'll see what happens and where it takes us!
    Bart
     
  4. jfro

    jfro Aerial Fun

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    Posted by jfro, Feb 1, 2015 #4
    I have been following the Inspire 1 owners thread on another forum. Very active with fanboys, haters, and just peeps trying to get em working or figure things out. They have 973 pages so far, so I'd call it pretty active, even with all the crud that's there.

    From reading only, no experience, and also looking at some of the YouTube footage, there are some success stories out there with some hiccups along the way. I think it's a bit more or at least new work to set it up and get flying with some DJI proprietary steps to be taken as well as get a lot of things working together.

    I'm a bit surprised at some of the footage I've seen off their new camera. It's pretty decent, for what it is. Horizon seems to hold nicely and I've seen some decent sunset / sunrises that I could never get out of my Gopro black 3. It's not a good dslr or Epic or anything like that, but it's pleasing video that the majority of people would be OK with. I probably should take that back till I see the original footage. I have seen some little vibrations here and there and I've heard 1 owner talk about not all his footage is usable, but he said he could say the same about his Red Epic rig...

    All in all, my take is it's pretty much what one would expect as an interested observer. It works, but there are some "be care-fulls" , "change this", firmware updates, and some "add on or replacement parts".

    From some of the video's I've seen, if it turn out to be reliable and there aren't the dreaded "fly aways" or "why the heck did it go bonkers and crash" in significant numbers. I'm guessing it will be a good setup for those who don't mind a 100% proprietary setup. Most reports are it fly's well and records well in wind, which IMO, is a pretty big plus for that small a MR.
     
  5. Quinton

    Quinton Active Member

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    Posted by Quinton, Feb 2, 2015 #5
    I bit the bullet and have one arriving tomorrow here in the UK
    Also just read that LOG has been added as an option to the camera settings which will hopefully make it even more worth while.
    Will try and give my opinion once its up and going.
     
  6. econfly

    econfly Member

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    Posted by econfly, Feb 2, 2015 #6
    Mine should be here this week. From what I've seen, the footage is better than (I) expected, but still just OK. It's not up to GoPro standards but is very close and given that the Inspire lens is not a fish-eye, the end result is pretty much GoPro comparable (after a de-fisheye or shooting medium or narrow). The max data rate is 60Mbits/sec for 4K (equivalent to 15 Mbits/sec at 1080p). That's comparable to the quality of a cable TV HD feed, and that means it's fine if you like it, but it won't hold up well to editing in 4K. So, personally, I don't expect much at all from the thing in 4K. Where I do think this makes sense is either shooting in 4K with the intent to downscale to 1080p or just shooting in 1080p in the first place (don't know which is going to yield the best results yet). For that use, the Inspire looks pretty promising and offers very nice portability, 720p video link to your tablet/phone, etc. I'm hopeful that I will like it for the price, and my expectation is that it will be a go-to choice for quick flights and good aerials with minimal fuss. If I'm interested in art then my preference remains the Blackmagic BMPCC. It, however, is a real pain to get in the air just due to its terrible battery life alone.

    We'll see. One problem with the Inspire is that there are some real fanboy types who have either no objectivity or experience. A good number of posts over on another forum contain misinformation, silly claims of how the Inspire will kill anything else (it's 4k!), etc. There are some serious and objective posts and the DJI support guys are doing their best to keep information accurate. It's a tough demo to manage because the ease of use out of the box is drawing in all sorts of diverse buyers.
     
  7. Bartman

    Bartman Welcome to MultiRotorForums.com!!

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    Posted by Bartman, Feb 2, 2015 #7
    OK guys, thanks for the updates. Please let us know how things go and sample footage still stands above all else when justifying any claims! :)

    Bart
     
  8. FerdinandK

    FerdinandK Member

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    Posted by FerdinandK, Feb 2, 2015 #8
    I´ve build really a lot of copter until now (from 10" to 30" propeller), but the Inspire is somewhat relaxing. Take it out of the box, nothing to tinker just flying, battery recharging and flying again. What time you spend in video-edition is up to you.

    I had to balance my cam (needed 2 washers) but with them, all of the footage I take is perfectly stabilized, no jello, no jerks, just perfect. That stabilization is better than anything else I hold in my hands (much better than e.g. the Zenmuse for the BMPCC). You can really do smooth pan and tilt, as the minimal speed of the gimbal really really low.

    The copter itself is quite agile, 15m/s in GPS-mode, 20m/s in Atti-mode a bit more if legs are not raised. The position hold if also above what I knew from wkm or Naza, and the sonar offers exact heigt below 3m. Indoor the optical flow is a nice feature as you can leave the copter in PH as outdoor with GPS (when below 3m). As a measure of the stability in GPS mode you can possibly see, that already some people made night shoots with 2s, and the picture is perfectly sharp.

    The downlink has 0,25s lag (with my Androd Tab) and a bit less with the cinemizers, and it is quite a new experience to be able to "tabletize" all options during the flight. Here the real advantage is, that it is simple, you take the copter, and you take the rc and you fly, no ground-station, no extra monitor, no extra battery, everything in one piece. I also did a mod adding a 5,8Ghz FPV-cam, but to be honest I already removed it, since I didn´t like the extra stuff to carry with me and the extra batteries to recharge after the flight.

    My frame is perfect, although I would never build such a copter, as I am used to really stiff frames, but as long as it works I do not care. To me this copter brought back the fun and simplicity in making short clips, which I lost somewhere between Alexmos parameters, jello-dampening of the H2D3, and endless tinkering and optimization of my copter. Also I am not able to build a comparable system (e.g H3D3+GoPro, Lightbridge, Copter with retracts) at a comparable price.

    Another + for me is that I can do EV-bracketing to do HDR, and here the cam is pretty fast, 5 shots with a base shutter-speed of 1/100s take about 0,1s so this gives also in windy conditions good pictures with no need for deghosting.

    Also I should mention that I have flown in really hard wind of 30km/h average an the footage is still perfect (and here I am pretty picky watching at 65")

    here some pics:
    mod for Aeronaut Propeller:
    [​IMG]

    balance of the cam
    [​IMG]

    FPV mod (did only one one flight and removed it already):
    [​IMG]

    RC
    [​IMG]

    Here some videos:

    Playing with the sonar:


    Plaing with optical flow:


    Yet another areal:


    I have no other purpose for this copter than fun, but it is really a lot of fun flying this copter. Is this copter for pros? I don´t care, as the pros should know themselve.

    best regards
    Ferdinand
     
    2 people like this.
  9. Tahoe Ed

    Tahoe Ed Active Member

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    Posted by Tahoe Ed, Feb 2, 2015 #9
    Ferdinand, it is nice to see you here. Your opinions are always welcome. Thank you!
     
  10. Quinton

    Quinton Active Member

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    Posted by Quinton, Feb 3, 2015 #10
    Typical UPS wont deliever now until tomorrow, however I was just reading through the manual and it said that it took 85mins to charge a battery?
    Thats nearly as slow as UPS
    Any way of hooking these batteries up to a proper charger, as it does say that the lipos have a safety cut off up to 10A charge?
     
  11. FerdinandK

    FerdinandK Member

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    Posted by FerdinandK, Feb 3, 2015 #11
    You can reload them with a powersupply where you can adjust voltage an limit current. DJI says 120W ist the limit that is about 7A, here it takes about 45min. But you need to be precise about the voltage (26,3V)



    best regards
    Ferdinand
     
  12. Quinton

    Quinton Active Member

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    Posted by Quinton, Feb 3, 2015 #12
    I have no idea what the Inspire lipo connections look like.
    That one you seemed to be holding at the start, was that a home made one you had?
    When you say you have to be precise with the voltage @26.3V I didn't fully understand what you meant, is it possible you can explain a bit further?

    Page 19 in the manual..
    7. Over Current Protection: Battery stops charging when high amperage (more than 10A) is detected.
     
  13. FerdinandK

    FerdinandK Member

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    Posted by FerdinandK, Feb 3, 2015 #13
    The connector is the one the battery comes with, there is a extra wire that comes with the Inspire which is meant to charge the RC-TX from the Battery, so I just cut this one.

    The "charger" that comes with the Inspire outputs the 26,3V (which is 4,383V a cell) so it is natural to use that voltage.

    I tried to charge with 8A, here the battery heats already up from 23°C to 29°C so this seems too much. Using 7A the temperature reaches 25°max when starting with 23°. With 10A you possibly can already roast a beef-steak.

    best regards
    Ferdinand
     
  14. Quinton

    Quinton Active Member

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    Posted by Quinton, Feb 3, 2015 #14
    Thank you for this information, it is very helpful and I follow all your videos.
    Don't want to drag on or look too stupid, but why would voltage actually matter as you can charge things with a power supply and charger at 7A with any voltage. Why would it have to be 26.3v as its not even so easy to get an adjustable power supply that can output that.
    What am I missing?
     
  15. FerdinandK

    FerdinandK Member

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    Posted by FerdinandK, Feb 3, 2015 #15
    If the voltage is too low, the battery will not get full, if the voltage is too high the battery will burn.

    Also charger use CCCV (Constant Current and if the target voltage is reached Constant Coltage), you just the the voltage via selecting the number of cells. This battery has just a sightly higher voltage per cell, which most chargers will not be able to supply in their programs.
    It is just, if you are not sure what is behind, use the charger it comes with.

    best regards
    Ferdinand
     
    2 people like this.
  16. Quinton

    Quinton Active Member

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    Posted by Quinton, Feb 3, 2015 #16
    OK I think I am getting it now, I thought that was a charger you were using, but its just a power supply isn't it ?
    What got me is what made it go down at the end, what is balancing the cells, is the balancing built into the battery.

    I am looking at a close up of the original charger, and indeed see the output is 26.3V with 3.83A which isnt anywhere near 1C even for the 4700 mAh, never mind the 5700mAh larger one that I also have coming..so I definitely need to look at alterative charging.
     
    2 people like this.
  17. Quinton

    Quinton Active Member

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    Posted by Quinton, Feb 4, 2015 #17
    Got mine today, but seem to have a problem and have contacted DJI regarding it.
    I went to charge my battery with the charger it came with and it only seemed to charge for 5 mins before all the lights went out, which I think means its fully charged.
    Problem is when I put it into the Inspire I get a flash from the back light only once/twice then like 10 quick clicking noises, then the battery seems to turn off all the time.



    Then battery seems to freeze, and the only way to get rid of the orange light is to plug it back into charger.
     
  18. jfro

    jfro Aerial Fun

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    Posted by jfro, Feb 4, 2015 #18
    FerdinandK, your post from the first page makes a lot of sense. I have more MR's than I need, but looking at the ease of transporting the Inspire around and all the controls both for flying and filming, is inviting . You might have influenced me into selling off some toys so I can buy one. It usually goes against my nature to buy a closed system for equipment or toys, but it looks like this is fun and has so many advanced features. I realize the quality of the video may not be as good as some of the high end dslr's and higher end cameras, but some of the footage looks pleasing enough as to be usable on the internet and low budget productions.

    Wondering if you'd comment on the following:

    1 Radio based unit with 3-4 total batteries and 2-3 chargers if using there's. Would this be enough to stay in the air for a day of flying assuming a source for plugging the charges was available? It seems 45-50 minutes is the time to charge a depleted 70% or so battery?
    Does this include when you have to charge the Radio battery?
    Does the radio battery have to be in the Radio to charge with the DJI charger?

    2. Tablet. Lots of talk on the other forums. Did you use an iPad or Droid based tablet? They talk about the Droid based tablet not having as many features and not as quick. Any idea what features are missing on the Droid and what they mean by issues that the have aboutr droids not keeping up? Is this video? Is this downloaded data from FC?

    3. 1 man op. It appears to me, that an experienced pilot should be able to do a pretty good job framing shots as long as one is not flying at a high speed?

    I appreciate any comments and opinions on these 3 points.





     
  19. econfly

    econfly Member

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    Posted by econfly, Feb 4, 2015 #19
    Mine arrived today. So far, just one flight to get the feel of it.

    I can't say there is anything about the flight capability that is blowing me away so far. It's fine. Winds here were a little gusty today and it handles that well enough, but not like a big heavy rig. It feels like a small quad (which it is). No opinion so far on GPS hold -- too much tree cover here at home to get a good read on that.

    Controls out of the box are a little twitchy for my tastes. Need to experiment with lowered gains.

    Initial impressions of photo and video quality are confirming what I've seen elsewhere: Good enough, and about like a GoPro without the fisheye. The included ND filter is a little light for snow cover and I wish I had a stronger ND option. Reports are that the filter threads are non-standard (don't know yet), but I can say the included filters are extremely light compared to a B+W or Hoya filter of the same size, and I wonder about whether a typical filter would throw off balance.

    What blew me away (and I didn't expect this) is the fit / finish in person combined with DJI's amazing use of the tablet app.

    The quad is very nicely constructed with very impressive fit / finish. It's a very high-end looking piece of hardware. Little nit picky stuff would be the battery charger (typical AC/DC brick, one plug type for the radio, another for the flight battery --- why not use a common plug?) and the awkward "prop locks".

    As for the software and app experience: This is far beyond anything I've ever used and it's extremely impressive. I'm using the Nvidia Shield tablet and it's just terrific with this Inspire app. Beautiful on-screen image from the camera, tons of functionality in the app (adjustments for camera exposure, radio controls, flight mode, and tons more) -- just amazing. There is a little bit of hunting in sub menus for things, but nothing terrible. DJI is way way out in front here.

    So, as of day 1, I would say the software/app are way beyond expectations, the hardware is very nicely finished, flight feels about like what I've experienced with similar sized craft and maybe a little twitchy in the stock gains, and the camera output quality is nothing special but perfectly fine for what it is. The included case is nice and just adds to the convenience and ease of getting the rig in the air. Overall, so far so good.
     
  20. FerdinandK

    FerdinandK Member

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    Posted by FerdinandK, Feb 4, 2015 #20
    @Quinton@Quinton,
    There is something wrong with your battery, you will have to contact your dealer/support. Really sorry to read that.

    And yes what I use is a power supply where you can adjust the voltage and limit the current. If you recharge with the charger it comes with it is about 75min, with "other" methods you can reach 45min, just the question if this 30min are worth the hassle.

    @jfro@jfro
    I think 3-4 batteries should be enough. The radio lasts really long (several hours) but also takes quite some time to recharge, but you can apply also an external power source (with a wide voltage spectrum) similar to the lightbridge. So the radio should not be the limiting factor.

    As I have not comparison to apple-tabs, I simply do not know what I should miss. I am happy with my Android. (But to be honest I do like most to fly with the cinemizers on).

    To me this is the perfect 1-man bird, you can do a lot of stuff with it. Of course also flying at high speed. Just the coordination needs training.

    But I do see this from a fun, hobby perspective. So if I spend a day on a airfield (or some other location) I can have quite a number of flights (with my two batteries) and some access to the power net. But things possibly are different when you "have to fly".

    best regards
    Ferdinand
     
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