DJI announces major update for Inspire 1 and Phantom 3

I’ve been sitting on the fence deciding on the best time to purchase an Inspire 1 from DJI. The drone manufacturer  announced Intelligent Flight Modes for the Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 today, so the time to purchase might be right now.

I purchased the DJI Bluetooth Datalink system for my Phantom 2 drone just over a year ago.  The system allows me to set waypoints (flight paths) for my drone, so I can focus on controlling the camera, while the GPS and Datalink system take care of the flying.

All well and good, but I don’t have the ability to pan the camera with this setup, and even though I can mount a 2K GoPro on the gimbal, I’m not able to get all of the images I want without the props or landing gear getting in the way.

That’s why I was super excited about the Inspire 1 when it was initially introduced. The Inspire 1’s legs rise above the view of the built-in camera, and allows the user to get the best shot possible  This can be done with one or two users – the dual control support allows one person to focus on flying, while the other can concentrate on getting the perfect shot. Unfortunately, the Inspire 1 (and Phantom 3) drones did not include any way of using Datalink, which in my mind, is a critical feature of these drones for ariel photography and filmmaking.

Today, DJI announced free updates to the firmware for the Inspire 1 and the Phantom 3 that allows for Waypoints, Point of Interest, and a Follow Me Mode (Phantom 3 only).



Record a flight path, then tell your Phantom 3 or Inspire 1 to fly along the same path repeatedly while you control the camera and orientation. Save your favorite missions, customize speed, and more.


Point of Interest

Tell your Phantom 3 or Inspire 1 to automatically revolve around a designated object, person, or place in a perfect circle. Automatic and customizable, get shots that only experts could before.


Follow Me
(Phantom 3 series only)

Tell your Phantom 3 to follow you, and it automatically flies and keeps you in the camera’s view wherever you go.

Though the addition of the Waypoints and POI modes for the Inspire 1 really tip the scale on me dropping nearly $4,000 on the drone, I’m now wondering if Follow Me would be useful for the Inspire 1 as well. A major project I’ve been holding off on for years could really benefit from a Follow Me mode on the Inspire 1, as I could drive my Jeep cross-country while the drone captures the shot above.

With NAB just around the corner, it is time to watch the sites that sell DJI drones for price drops. If new systems are set to be announced, expect to see stores drop their prices drastically to reduce stock so they have room for new models.  If this happens, I’ll definitely be waiting for the Inspire 2 to roll out in April.

via DJI


Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher is one of those guys that has always loved comics but never got into them until really late in life - like high school in the 80s. He just missed the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but has been around for every major crossover since. Stephen knows his way around video and film production having been a director, producer, editor, and motion graphics artist for projects ranging from small promotional pieces for Wachovia all the way up to regional videos for the Division of Emergency Management. As a prolific writer, Stephen began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen also freelances for the Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog. When not writing, Stephen shares his knowledge as a tenured faculty member at Fort Hays State University. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. Favorite Writers: Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, Paul Dini, Adam Beechen, Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges Favorite Artists: Dan Jurgens, Alex Ross, Adam Hughes, Freddie Williams III

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