The famed DJI Inspire 2 was released back in 2016, a godsend for filmmakers at the time and a cutting-edge drone.
Yet that was almost six years ago, which is an eternity in the tech space. The DJI Inspire 2 has started to show its age and it’s about time the Inspire line fans got a new upgrade: the new DJI Inspire 3.
After six years, we have solid information that DJI are finally releasing the Inspire 3. In this article I’ll go into its rumored release date, the possible specs and what all of this means for the much-loved Inspire 2 and its enthusiasts.
Some of you may already be aware of this. Still, back in December 2021, DJI insider @dronedeals released a timeline on twitter, basically confirming that the DJI Inspire 3 will be released in September 2022.
He also confirmed the release date of the awaited DJI Mini 3, which I recently wrote an article about.
I know what you’re thinking, the Inspire 3’s release has been rumored on and off since way back in 2018 and most of the rumors back then were just bogus, so how do we know this information is to be trusted?
Well, not only is @dealsdrone known for publishing reliable information and has a track record of doing so, but DJI themselves basically confirmed that the Inspire 3 will release this year, indirectly.
Let me explain…
That’s right. I have solid reason to believe that we may say goodbye to the Inspire 2 this year.
In January 2022, DJI sent a notification to its retailers informing them of their plan to discontinue the Inspire 2 in 2022 once the current stock is sold out.
The notification, which you’ll find below in its original form along with a translation, says that “switching plans will be notified after confirmation”. By which we can assume that DJI has plans to replace the discontinued Inspire 2, which can only be the rumored Inspire 3.
More information about that can be found in this video:
Furthermore, Curran Daly, spokesperson of DJI indicates that multiple new drones will be released this year, adding credibility to the claim that the Inspire 3 is coming out this 2022.
DJI Mavic 3, 2022 Rumors with Curran Daly, DJI Communications Manager - PiXL Drone Show Episode #39
As you already know, the inspire 2 is considered a professional drone, not a consumer one. It ranges from $2,999 to an insane $20,000 with some over-the-top specifications (for those who have need of them).
Knowing the Inspire 3 will be an upgraded version of its predecessor, we can safely assume that its base price will be higher than $2,999. And who knows, with enough top-end accessories, it might even cost well over $20,000.
Some might argue that with the tech leaps made in the past 6 years the price of the Inspire 3 may actually be lower than its predecessor. We’ll have to wait and see.
Let’s talk about the Inspire 2 first and look at some problems it has, because that can give us an idea on what to expect in terms of upgrades for the Inspire 3.
There are many drone enthusiasts that think there is no reason to upgrade the Inspire 2 at all. The whole drone community seems divided on the matter as there are some consumer drones like the Mavic line that are starting to cater to professionals as well.
Such drones are being coined as “prosumer” drones. (Yes, not the most creative of names).
For instance, the recently released Mavic 3 has a camera of 5.1K ProRes @ 50fps, that’s impressive for a consumer drone and can be a viable option for professional filmmakers.
The Inspire 2 is also quite bulky which gives it some legal restrictions. For the Inspire 3 launch to be a success, it needs an advanced camera to justify its price for the filmmakers (its target clientele), and perhaps less physical weight.
Like I said, 6 years is a lot of time in the tech space. Needless to say, the camera system on the Inspire 2 has aged and is considered passé nowadays, meaning the Inspire 3 must come with a new and improved camera.
Remember what we said about the Mavic 3 having a 5.1K 50fps camera? Well, it’s safe to assume the camera on Inspire 3 will exceed those specs. It’ll possibly be a 8K 60fps camera. That’s if they want to continue calling it a professional filmmaking drone.
The inspire 2 has a transmission range of 7 kilometers and is able to transmit a 1080p live feed in that range. That’s great for 2016, but in 2022… That’s just old stuff.
The Mavic 3’s Ocusync 3+ transmission system however is a cutting-edge transmission protocol with a 15km range and 1080p 60fps live feed. The range is twice that of the Inspire 2.
It’s safe to assume that the Inspire 3 will have the same transmission system and range, if not a better and improved one, but I doubt it’ll be better than the Mavic 3.
Note: You might argue that transmission range isn't a huge factor as the law states that you need to maintain visual line of sight, and you’d be right. But the FAA is getting more lenient in that regard.
As you know, the Inspire 2 is a pretty heavy drone weighing almost 4 kilograms, that means even with its 2 Li-ion batteries it only had a 23 flight time.
Compare that with the Mavic 3’s 41 minutes air time and you’ll find the Inspire 2 lacking in that regard. So I’m betting the next Inspire 3 will have a similar flight time to the Mavic 3, or at least close to it.
I’m also expecting the Inspire 3 to be lighter than its predecessor (Like DJI did with its new Matrice 30, making it much lighter than the Matrice 300).
The Inspire 2 already has a good design for a filmmaking-centered drone. The way the arms move upwards when you fly it makes it ideal for filming 360 videos. So I believe there won’t be much change in the design, but maybe the DJI team can impress us with an even better design.
The weight is something that I think will be reduced in the Inspire 3, because like I said, 4 kilograms may have been OK in 2016, but it’s not so great in 2022.
Although there hasn't been a lot of information around regarding the Inspire 3’s controller. There has been a leak suggesting that the Inspire 3 will come out with the new RC plus controller that was introduced with the DJI Matrice 30 Launch.
Which is exciting for the Inspire line fans, as there are a lot of favorable reviews around the new RC plus right now.
Some drone enthusiasts argue that there is no need for an Inspire 3 update thinking that “that boat has already sailed”. They’re not entirely wrong, seeing as how some “prosumer” drones like the Mavic 3 already replaced the inspire 2. But who knows, perhaps the DJI can impress yet again this Septembre.