DJI Announces the Zenmuse X5 and X5R - Advanced Micro Four Thirds Cameras for Aerial Photography

DJI is a familiar name if you are interested in Aerial Photography, as they are the Premiere Manufacturer of Drones like the Phantom line that many photographers rely on to get photos and videos of their subjects from the air.

x5_drone1.jpegDJI currently offers a camera known as their X3 for their flagship Inspire 1 drone, which uses a 12-Megapixel Sensor, offering similar features to GoPro's Hero line of cameras. While it has proven itself to be a great camera for capturing 4K video, it still leaves many wanting more when it comes to still photos. It looks like DJI wants to change that and make sure they offer the Highest Quality Cameras that can meet the most demanding needs of Professional Photographers, as they've just announced the Zenmuse X5 and X5R; two new Interchangeable Lens Cameras with Micro Four Thirds Sensors and MFT mounts that DJI says are the first commercially available models designed for Aerial Photography featuring that type of imaging sensor, for much better image quality compared to competing Aerial Cameras using much smaller sensors.

The Micro Four Thirds Sensors in the new X5 and X5R can capture 16-Megapixel Still photos, as well as 4K video, and offer a Dynamic Range of up to 12.8 Stops, so that you can capture more highlight and shadow detail in demanding lighting conditions, with DJI offering a stabilized 3-axis gimbal that is designed to integrate with their Inspire 1.

x5_camera1.jpegDJI will include a DJI branded 15mm f/1.7 Aspherical Lens with 9 elements in 7 groups, including 3 Aspherical Elements, with the X5 and X5R also supporting 3 other lenses from Panasonic and Olympus in similar focal lengths, including an Olympus M. Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7, and Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm f/2.0. When used with any of those 4 lenses, these cameras will offer remote controllable focus and aperture for the flexibility that Photographers want, in order to capture the desired still photos and video in a variety of conditions.

x5_lens1.jpegBoth cameras will offer similar features for still and video capture, along with excellent bit rates for higher quality 4K video capture, using a sensor that is capable of superb Dynamic Range. But, the X5R will also offer a lossless Cinema DNG (RAW) video format, that is able to capture bit rates up to 2.4 Gigabits per Second to an SSD (Solid State Drive). DJI says that the X5R is the world's smallest lossless 4K camera.

The new Zenmuse X5 camera can be purchased as an upgrade for existing Inspire 1 owners, for $2,199, which includes the new X5 camera, Zenmuse gimbal and their DJI branded MFT 15mm f/1.7 lens. Those upgrading will also need to purchase the X5 Vibration Adsorbing Board for $99 (Note: the X5 Vibration Absorbing Board is backwards compatible with the X3 gimbal and camera system that is currently in use on the Inspire 1). The Zenmuse X5 camera/gimbal only setup will run $1,699, without a lens. The lens itself is priced at $599.

They also note that they will be offering an entire kit, which includes an Inspire 1, the new Zenmuse X5 system, and their DJI lens, for $4,499. This is being dubbed the Inspire 1 Pro. You can pre-order at, with DJI noting that shipments will start in late September.

The X5R camera will come later, sometime in Q4, with a MSRP of $7,999. They are not clear on whether that's the price for the entire kit with the Inspire 1 and DJI MFT lens, or just the camera itself. We're speculating that it's the former. More information can be found at

DJI has a video introducing  the new Zenmuse X5 line here:

See the below press release for more detail about the new DJI Zenmuse X5 and X5R; and stay tuned to our news feed for more even information about these exciting new cameras. Our EIC, Will Chambers, has an Inspire 1 and plans to test the X5 as soon as he can get his hands on one.


DJI Announces New Micro Four Thirds Aerial Cameras Designed for Professionals

Zenmuse X5 and X5R cameras bring unprecedented quality and ease-of-use to aerial imaging

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

  • First commercially available aerial cameras featuring Micro Four Thirds sensors

  • Each camera offers 16 megapixel stills and 4k video on a stabilized 3-axis gimbal that integrates with the Inspire 1

  • Interchangeable lens options with remotely controllable focus and aperture

  • Zenmuse X5R records lossless CinemaDNG files to a solid state drive (SSD) and is the world's smallest lossless 4k camera

DJI, the world leader in creative aerial imaging technology, today announced two new cameras for its industry-leading DJI Inspire 1 professional aerial camera platform.

The new Zenmuse X5 represents the world's first commercially-available micro four thirds (M4/3) camera designed specifically for aerial use. With a large sensor, aerial image makers will be able to capture up to 13 stops of dynamic range, making it easy to capture high-resolution 16 megapixel photos or 4k, 24fps and 30fps videos in complex lighting environments.

Zenmuse X5 users will have even more options for capturing images in the sky through additional supported lenses and full wireless aperture and focus control. At the time of launch, the Zenmuse X5 will support 4 interchangeable lenses, including the DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH lens, Panasonic Lumix 15mm G Leica DG Summilux f/1.7 ASPH lens, Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f/2.0 lens, and Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 lens. While the Zenmuse X5 is in flight, pilots can adjust both focus and aperture via the DJI GO app or through DJI's previously-announced Follow Focus system.

The camera's lightweight 340 gram (0.75 pound) body integrates with DJI's signature 3-axis Zenmuse gimbal technology, creating effortlessly smooth video and stabilized long-exposure photos (up to 8 seconds).

"The professional applications of the Zenmuse X5 are almost endless," said Eric Cheng, DJI's Director of Aerial Imaging. "In addition to shooting professional-quality photos and 4K video, the new camera can be used to create high-quality aerial maps and 3D models, and can also help industrial teams get even more detail from their aerial imaging pursuits, for example, in utility inspection using a drone."

DJI also announced the Zenmuse X5R camera, which shares the same sensor and lens compatibility with the X5, but records video both to an onboard microSD card as well as to a removable 512GB solid state disk (SSD) on the gimbal's top plate. The Zenmuse X5R records CinemaDNG (RAW) video to the SSD, and opens up lossless 4k video recording in a groundbreaking, compact form factor with video bitrates averaging 1.7Gbps (with a maximum of 2.4Gbps).

The Zenmuse X5R also offers a brand-new D-LOG mode that offers a broader array of color correction options in post production.

To support the management of Zenmuse X5R Cinema DNG files, DJI will release software to edit and convert RAW camera footage. CineLight, which will be available when the Zenmuse X5R camera is released later this year, simplifies users' workflows by offering offline proxy editing before converting the CinemaDNG files to ProRes.

"In order to achieve the quality of video produced by Zenmuse X5 and X5R, pilots used to have to spend many thousands of dollars for large, complicated aerial equipment," said Frank Wang, DJI CEO and Founder. "Now, pilots can simply mount the Zenmuse X5 series cameras to their Inspire 1, put on their props, get up in the air, and have full control of their shot while in flight. This saves valuable time on film sets and makes high quality imaging for industrial applications smaller, lighter and easier to manage."

By mounting a small, easy-to-install bracket, the Zenmuse X5 series cameras are fully compatible with existing DJI Inspire 1 platforms as an interchangeable option for the Inspire 1's standard Zenmuse X3 camera.

The Zenmuse X5 is available for pre-order at for $4,499 (EUR4,999), including a DJI Inspire 1 and DJI's MFT 15mm F1.7 ASPH lens, and will begin shipping before the end of September. The Zenmuse X5R will be available in Q4 2015 for $7,999 (EUR8,799). Both can be purchased as stand alone cameras with, or without lens. More information can be found at

Both units are available to view at DJI's booths at IBC in Amsterdam and Interdrone in Las Vegas this week.

About DJI

DJI is a global leader in developing and manufacturing innovative camera technology for commercial and recreational use. DJI was founded and is run by people with a passion for remote-controlled helicopters and experts in flight control technology and camera stabilization. The company is dedicated to making aerial photography and filmmaking more reliable and easier to use for creators and innovators around the world. DJI's global operations currently span North America, Europe and Asia, and its revolutionary products and solutions have been chosen by customers in over 100 countries; for applications in film, advertising, construction, fire fighting, farming, and many other industries.

For more information, visit DJI online: