DJI's New Zenmuse X7 Camera Targets Drone-Curious Filmmakers

DJI's new Super 35 digital film camera is compatible with all DJI drones and looks mighty appealing to professional filmmakers interested in aerial cinematography.

DJI

DJI is introducing the Zenmuse X7 Super 35 digital film camera to be compatible with the Shenzhen-based drone manufacturer’s unmanned aerial vehicles—in particular, its Inspire 2 Flyer drone. Apparently, this is a “world first,” as the Super 35 digital film camera is specifically designed for aerial cinematography. 

The camera will support interchangeable lenses, which is a definite requirement to offer professional filmmakers interested in aerial shots—you want different focal lengths, and not be relegated to the same lens, limiting the wide variety of possible aesthetics. According to TechCrunch, the Zenmuse X7 shoots up to 6K in CinemaDNG RAW format and can capture footage in 5.2K Apple ProRes at up to 30 frames per second (fps), or 2.7K ProRes at 59.94 fps. That’s some serious fidelity, which anyone with serious intentions of capturing Hollywood-level quality is probably pretty curious about right now.

Reportedly, this new DJI camera hooks right into the DJI’s DL-Mount system and uses prime lenses with fixed focal lengths of 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm. Those each have a maximum f-stop of 2.8 and are all constructed out of carbon fiber to decrease the overall weight as much as possible. All in all, the complete rig clocks in at a mere 631 grams with the 16mm lens attached—a stunning achievement in shaving off weight to alleviate the drone’s payload. 

Where’s the catch, you ask? Well, naturally the only unfortunate feature here is the price tag. The camera will cost you $2,699, with three of the lenses (16mm, 24mm, 35mm) each costing $1,299, while the 50mm lens will run you $1,199. Of course, DJI is kind enough to provide consumers with a combination which includes the camera and all lenses for $4,299. All of this will be available at retailers in November or for pre-order at DJI.

While this may not interest most of DJI’s customers, as the majority are simply interested in flying drones and recording 1080p footage, this is a hugely appealing device for professional filmmakers. These prices may immediately turn away casual onlookers, but for those in the business, for whom this is an actual tool, the Zenmuse X7 is probably looking very interesting.

Here’s DJI's promotional video which showcases the camera.