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When To Buy an Inspire

pelagic_one

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Hello! I’m newly107-certified, well-versed in flying and capturing images with Mavics, and writing my business plan now. At what point would I consider stepping up to an Inspire? Are there particular job requirements that would rule out being performed with a Mavic 2 Pro?

I‘m still learning about CinemaDNG and ProRes licenses, so I would imagine a job with one of those being required would necessitate an Inspire with appropriate license(s). Of course I want an Inspire...just don’t know if I need it just yet.

Or are Inspires generally best left to broadcasting and the motion picture industry, and that I should be okay with my Mavics for now?
 
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Hello! I’m newly107-certified, well-versed in flying and capturing images with Mavics, and writing my business plan now. At what point would I consider stepping up to an Inspire? Are there particular job requirements that would rule out being performed with a Mavic 2 Pro?

I‘m still learning about CinemaDNG and ProRes licenses, so I would imagine a job with one of those being required would necessitate an Inspire with appropriate license(s). Of course I want an Inspire...just don’t know if I need it just yet.

Or are Inspires generally best left to broadcasting and the motion picture industry, and that I should be okay with my Mavics for now?
Hey @pelagic_one I recognize you from MavicPilots.

You’ll be fine with a Mavic. I see more people going from Inspire to Mavic than the other way around.
 

pelagic_one

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Hey @pelagic_one I recognize you from MavicPilots.

You’ll be fine with a Mavic. I see more people going from Inspire to Mavic than the other way around.
Really glad to see you here, Brett! Great forum members like you helped me to continue my involvement in the hobby, and to pursue taking it to the next step.

I‘ll keep reading the valuable drone industry news here, whether I have an Inspire or not, because this is still an ever-evolving industry that’s uncovering more and more use cases.
 
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From a business perspective, drone photography / cinematography is really not much that much different from ground photography / cinematography. You get into it because you love it. The learned photographer buys better equipment when his skill set outgrows his gear. Based on your post, I'm going to say that you have some time before you outgrow your Mavic 2 Pro.

All that said, you never mentioned which market you are targeting.

D
 

pelagic_one

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All that said, you never mentioned which market you are targeting.
I appreciate your insight and everyone else’s post. I’m still exploring what markets to target. From a property inspection perspective, I’ve already flown pavement, roof and wall mapping missions. My contacts in the local ag and viticulture industries have committed to my doing their vineyard and crop maps. They’re now researching the benefits of thermal mapping of their fields, so I’m researching the sUAS Level 1 Thermography certification.

I’m also well-connected to regional general contractors, and telecom and power company field service directors. Although they have their own small fleets of drones for aerial photography and inspection, they’re also willing to outsource when time dictates.

I‘m keeping my options open, and ensuring I’ve written a DotCom Era startup-quality business plan. I won‘t build-in a multi-million dollar exit strategy. That’s for Frank Wang! :)
 
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Hi there

The Inspire 2 is really DJI's high end filming drone for cinema and high end television work. Some Hollywood type movies still want to use the same camera as they do on the ground (usually the Arri Alexa Mini), but the mechanics of getting one of these in the air, plus the camera control system, follow focus, etc, is a massive operation and really needs an Alta 8 drone. Its also very expensive and the insurance for every flight is huge because you would have in the region of $75,000 in the air. The X5s produces an image of virtually the same quality (check this out of you don't believe me
), but only if you have at least the 240gb SSD drive and Prores Licence. (The Cinema DNG is even better quality but file sizes are gigantic and Prores 4444 looks just as good but is infinitely easier to deal with), so unless you are looking to get into this kind of work you don't need an Inspire 2. I have just got my Inspire 2 after years of flying Phantom 4 Pro's, and I got it now because I got such an amazing deal on eBay that I couldn't pass it up, plus I now have in in with a movie producer and tv companies.

If you are using your drone for real estate work, more regular TV (I shoot for documentaries and news with a P4P), mapping and modelling, still photography etc, the M2P or P4P are more than adequate in terms of the still and video images that they produce, and you don't have your sphincter clenched anything like as tightly in case you crash. In fact for real estate work, where you are often flying at close quarters near trees and phone lines, the P4P is a much better solution. In terms of image quality I personally feel that the P4P video is slightly sharper than the M2P, but this is probably because of built in sharpening, and you can go up to 50fps. The M2P has the advantage of 10 bit colour and better smart modes, but both are great machines.

Without the SSD and Prores licence, The Inspire 2 and X5s shoot 4k video at the same 100mb/s. The quality on the X5s is a little better because of the larger sensor and improved dynamic range, but not $4500 noticeable. Also bear in mind that 100mb/s is not really a high enough bitrate to shoot in log gamma. Heavy colour grading requires a much higher bitrate (Netfix require a minimum of 240mb/s for 24fps 4k). At 100mb/s images can start to look worse because there is not enough info there for heavy colour grading, so you are not really gaining a great deal for the extra outlay, without spending even more.

The biggest advantage of the Inspire 2 X5s (or X7s, but the lenses are really expensive) combo is the ability to change lenses which can really make your images look so different, and putting a 45mm lens on the X5s also gives you a more capable inspection camera. I believe you can also use the various high end zoom and thermal cameras on the Inspire 2 which gets you into the high end inspection game without the outlay on a Matrice 200 or 300 series.

The most obvious thing is when you open the back of the car and get your Inspire out in front of your client, it looks like you really mean business, which something that could not really be said for a Mavic 2 Pro, but in terms of the results that they produce, unless you have a client asking for Prores video, or the ability to use different lenses, my advice would be to use your Mavic to build up your showreel and wait until you get an in with a company that needs and Inspire 2...... or the most amazing deal comes for a second hand one.

Fly safe

Paul
 
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You probably won't need more than the M2P unless you get into production video work. I have an I2 with the X5s and X7 cameras and pro res. Never had the need for cinema DNG. The M2P produces really great video with the H265 codec. I use it for all kinds of projects.
 
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