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DJI Zenmuse X5 VS X3
2015 brought with it the release of DJI’s most versatile, high performance camera drone to date. Mounted with the Zenmuse X3 4k camera and gimbal system, it provided enthusiast and professionals alike, a better way to capture ultra HD photos & video from the sky. Many praised it for innovative features such as the transforming landing gear, and the ability to control the gimbal in a full 360-degree range.
The lightweight Zenmuse X3 was a great camera, but really provided no additional imaging quality improvement over the cheaper Phantom 3 professional. This didn’t really fit with the overall hardware improvements & innovations seen in the rest of the Inspire 1, and it left many wanting more. Fast-forward to the end of 2015, and the brand new Zenmuse X5 was released. The Zenmuse X5 is the first micro four-thirds camera, to be designed specifically for aerial photography & video.
Unlike the original X3, the X5 provides a wide range or benefits. These benefits include: 16MP resolution vs the X3’s 12.4MP, a sensor nearly twice the size of the X3, interchangeable lens options, greater dynamic range, and an unbelievable ISO range of 100 – 25600; making this camera a high performer in low light.
Overall, the new X5 is a whole new class of integrated camera system, and offers very similar performance to that of a Lumix GH4. That said, it also comes at twice the cost of a GH4 but with twice the convenience. The Inspire Pro platform with the X5 camera is in a class of its own, comparable to custom heavy lift units such as the DJI S1000, but at a fraction of the cost, and in a much simpler, portable package.
Long story short, the DJI X3 is a great camera, but it’s nowhere near the level of performance offered by the X5. In the world of aerial imaging, dynamic range and artistic control are everything. With the ability to change lenses, as well as 13 stops of dynamic range, the X5 is the ultimate tool. Highly recommended for the professional aerial photographer who takes his business seriously and values both performance and efficiency.
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