Aerial Cinematography with DJI Zenmuse X7

I’ve been waiting for this news to drop and now expect to see even more cinematic mountain bike edits deep in the British Columbia loam. It’s a aerial cinematography platform from DJI and spec’d with Super 35, 6K, and shallow depth of field lenses. And, the high-rez video evolution that was expected when DJI bought a majority stake in Hasselblad.

Next up, expect a medium format drone too.

But who knows when.

For now, considering new form factors, like the small cubes I’m shooting with from Sony, high-res bodies hanging from a drone, are going to open up even more creative avenues. Check the showreel below and this behind the scenes look.

All I know so far is what’s in the pre-release, but expect insight from my colleagues at HD Video Pro and Digital Photo Pro when it ships.

In the press release, Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI, said

“The Zenmuse X7 offers everything professional content creators need to make their aerial footage as stunning and vivid as they demand.”

“From the large Super 35 sensor to a new mount, lenses, and color system, the Zenmuse X7 gives cinematographers and professional photographers an unmatched set of tools that work seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone to capture high-quality footage that is easily integrated into projects shot with industry-leading handheld cameras.

The Specs

Equipped with a Super 35, the Zenmuse X7 sensor features 14 stops of dynamic range promising more detail in low-light conditions and low-noise with a shallow cinematic depth of field. The X7 is capable of shooting 6K CinemaDNG RAW or 5.2K Apple ProRes at up to 30 FPS, as well as 3.9K CinemaDNG RAW or 2.7K ProRes at up to 59.94 FPS. And, integrate seamlessly into industry-standard post-production workflows.

Mount System

The DJI DL-Mount is an ultra-short flange focal distance to carry prime lenses optimally. Those are f/2.8s at 16 mm, 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm, is crafted out of carbon fiber.

The 16mm lens is equipped with a built-in ND 4 filter, and the 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm lenses feature a mechanical shutter.

Post-Production

DJI also introduce a new Cinema Color System (DCCS) working with Technicolor and said,

With their guidance, our engineers developed an optimized gamma curve for the X7 allowing more latitude without sacrificing image quality.

So that’s a D-Log Curve and D-Gamut RGB color space to give more flexibility and color options during the post-production process. The D-Log further extends the dynamic range, while the D-Gamut RGB color space preserves more color information to support the most demanding filmmaking scenarios, providing accurate color for quick and easy post-processing.

Reassuring filmmakers, there’s an EI Mode that mimics film with detail in the dynamic range and noise. Different log curves in the EI Mode also offer flexibility during the post-production process.

The Zenmuse X7 gimbal system weighs 631 grams with the 16 mm lens. Attached to a DJI Inspire 2 the flight time is up to 23 minutes.

Price and Availability

The Zenmuse X7 camera is priced at $2,699 USD and ships next month. The 16 mm, 24 mm and 35 mm lenses will be available for $1,299 each, and the 50 mm for $1,199. There is a prime lens bundle of all 4 lenses for $4,299.