Welcome to InspirePilots.com

Join the leading DJI Inspire community for free!

Any real-world insight into X5R vs. X5S?

Discussion in 'Zenmuse X5S' started by gruvpix, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. gruvpix

    Aug 26, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Hey guys, looking for some insight from someone who has used both these camera systems. I am still on the Inspire 1 pro and hesitant to get into the Inspire 2 unless the image quality from the X5S is essentially $5000 better than what I could get from the X5R.

    I am familiar with all the specs, seen some test videos good and bad, but I want to know from the pro shooters on here (I know you're out there) if upgrading the whole kit is really necessary.

    Right now we are just using the X5 so either will be a substantial improvement, I just don't necessarily want to go throwing money around when it's not going to get me any further. Regarding the 4k vs. 5.2k etc etc. I really don't care about resolution, I care about having an excellent image to work with that is flexible in post and is suitable for high end production work.
    Highrpm955 likes this.
  2. Alexander098

    Jun 6, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I've used both. Currently flying the I2 with X5S. I haven't looked back after ditching the I1/X5R.

    I'd say if you are doing high end production work, you should spring for the X5S if only for the workflow advantages. Handing off Pro-Res is so easy compared with getting your DIT up to speed with the Cinelight workflow. No transcoding and everyone downstream will be happy. Also, continuing to invest in and fly an outdated aircraft and camera doesn't really make sense to me. If you went X5R, you'd have to buy that camera and SSD cards, and you'd be giving up a lot of advantages the I2 aircraft provides (POV camera, lower latency video feed, more stable video feed, redundant batteries/IMU, etc). By the time you are set up with the I1 and X5R, you're probably approaching the price of an I2/X5S.

    Image quality is pretty similar between the two cameras, but the X5S allows for a few more FOV and framerate options. I'd give the X5S a slight edge in color fidelity over the X5R, but they both deliver an excellent image. I've cut them both with RED and Alexa footage successfully.
    gruvpix and Florida Drone Supply like this.
  3. Florida Drone Supply

    Approved Vendor

    Dec 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Hey Gruvpix...I'll see if I can give you a hand here. He have flown both, filmed with both, demo both and sell both. Before DJI got to the point they are at we have had gimbals in the air under helium balloons and tethered to ATV winches trying to get full frame canon cameras and Canon L glass up in the air to get the best quality we could (at the lowest weight). We feel like we have tried a lot of the options out there.

    Up until the X5R we were flying a 5D Mark III with Magic Lantern to record full frame RAW video at the highest bit depth we could get (14 bit). For stills, we are just starting to come around to the idea of using an X5S for photography instead of a Canon 5D Mark III. We love Canon color science but some of the work we do could compromise a little if everything else performs well. Prior to the X5S we never really considered it. The X5S is a tipping point where ease of use and quality reach a level close enough to make it a real consideration - not the case with the X5R.

    But from the sounds of it you want to compare the 2 for video work right? That being the case, they both are going to record cinema DNGs for you to work with. From a workflow point of view, the X5R is at a big disadvantage. It requires you to use the DJI Cinelight Program for offloading your cards. Its really slow (in general). The X5S lets you drag and drop from the SSD to your editing drive...no extra software required. Huge time saver.

    I think one of the hidden gems (well maybe not so hidden) is the ProRes 4444 support. You get the flexibility of a Raw file without the workflow the RAW file requires. Just drop the ProRes clips right into your editor with the ability to have a lot of latitude in post for grading. A number of our clients who shoot on film sets tell us the big productions use a lot of ProRes 4444 footage. RAW takes time.

    As far as aircraft - do you have any issues with Inspire 1? The X5R adds some weight and depending on if you have a v1 or v2 you may notice some performance issues. The benefits to the I2 over the I1 are extensive and well documented in many places for you.

    Lots of reasons to go to the X5S - but it will definitely cost more money. One thing to remember is that you can purchase it without the lens since you probably have a good mix of lenses for your X5. We stock it with and without.

    If there is anything else we can help with just let us know.

    gruvpix and deltalimatango like this.
  4. gruvpix

    Aug 26, 2013
    Likes Received:
    Thank you so much guys for the detailed responses. I reckon the biggest advantage to me with the X5S would be the ProRes option, although I have heard some rumblings that it does not record in true 4444... We shoot almost extensively in ProRes anyways unless the client demands raw for some reason or we know we will be doing extensive grading on the image, so a ProRes workflow definitely saves us lots of time.
    I have some minor experience with CineLight and you are right, it is crap. We have lots of gigs where we just need to deliver footage right on the spot. The ability to copy it over and off we go instead of coming back to the office, transcoding it all overnight, and then co-ordinating delivery is a big plus.
    I guess I just need to determine if those advantages in workflow are worth the extra dough... Yes there are some additional costs associated with going X5R, but there are many more additional costs going with the Inspire 2. With the new system we'd need new batteries, licenses, hell I would even need to buy a new Pelican case... I wouldn't need to invest in any of that additional gear if I bought the X5R. But then again, why throw good money after bad on an outdated platform?

    EDIT: One more factor to consider, my Osmo handle (which I use a lot) would need the X5R, as of now is there any news of a new Osmo type device for the X5S? Haven't hear anything yet so I would imagine we are at least a few months out...
    #4 gruvpix, Apr 25, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  5. NickU

    Oct 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Silly little island off west coast of Europe
    Given the change of graphics processor (cinecore) out of the camera body and into the aircraft, I think the Osmo-X5S handle wlll be a bit more than a couple of months away! You'll also most likely have to buy another ProRes license for it too given that the licenses are bound to the Cinecore serial number (not the camera s/n) and aren't user transferable :( .

    So, if you've an Osmo Pro/Raw, then hang on to it for now!
    gruvpix likes this.
  6. dougcjohn

    Feb 21, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Adding to a old thread, but new to the X5R and X5S discussion.
    Excluding the I2's flight technology improvements... I'm focused on the camera.

    Read several threads and gained understanding but also confusion.
    The X5R has same RAW, CinemaDNG & ProRes capabilities but requires a lot more post processing or only RAW and not able to do CinemaDNG and ProRes? The X5S requires ProRes & CinemaDNG additional licenses... basically turning on the ProRes & CinemaDNG functions. The X5R doesn't require additional purchase of licenses or doesn't provide the same "turned on" features? Can the I2 with X5S capture Raw or anything to the SSD card without the purchase of the CinemaDNG or ProRes licenses, it seems the licenses turn on the RAW features.

    Sorry for the duplication in other's questions... but so many different threads have their tangents or different opinions that I haven't gotten a clear understanding of the advantages of the X5S over the X5R other than major time saving in download transfers & processing time, with the exception of gaining faster 100mbps speeds. It appears that the I1 X5R comes... for lack of better words... pre-licensed / upgraded for the RAW compared to the X5S.

    Last question area... Still photography. I've read the X5R isn't considered a good Still camera where the X5S is considered a good Still camera. This is normally based on Lens & Sensor, why is one considered "below par" still (X5R) where the other "on par" for still (X5S) photography.
  7. x5yo

    Nov 23, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I somewhat disagree.

    I seen an X5R+SSD+15mm lens go for £1000 the other day.
    Second hand.

    If you're talking new prices then I fully agree, but if you go down the second hand route the Inspire 1 and X5R make a lot of sense.
  8. Mixchief

    Feb 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Got a perfect pre owned X5R with 15 mm lens reader and 2 SSDs for $1600 from a member here. Couldn’t be happier . Granted, I’m not pro with the video so transfer time is not an issue yet, but I really don’ t think is that bad.