With the announcement of their New York event on November 28th 2018, Chinese electronics manufacturer DJI has once again set the tech community into a wild routine of speculation and hype that was once reserved for Apple keynotes.
Here in the DGTL office, we have been researching DJI’s dense product history and analysing industry leaks to predict what we might be seeing in two weeks’ time.
With our combined research, we’ve identified three things we expect to see (or not to see!) addressed in the New York conference…
1. DJI Takes Aim At Action Cameras
A recently-leaked memo from DJI’s Chinese regional team has revealed that the manufacturer plans to cease supply of several key products to retailers very soon.
The end of production on the Osmo 1 – DJI’s handheld gimbal for mounting the Inspire range of interchangeable lenses – suggests that we will be seeing a new handheld gimbal range. This is backed up by the now-iconic leaked image of the Mavic 2 Pro, which also showed a Mavic 2 Pro’s beastly 1-inch Hasselblad 4K CMOS camera on a small handheld device.
A recent FCC filing confirms the new DJI Osmo Pocket, which is a fitting name for the product seen in the Mavic leak. This will be a fantastic product for consumers, taking aim at the action-cam market which GoPro has dominated for so long.
DJI’s sensor tech and external stabilisation have eclipsed GoPro’s in recent years, yet they still lack in impact resistance and waterproofing. Unlike the almost bulletproof and weather-sealed GoPro, DJI products have a reputation for being quite unusable in wet conditions. GoPro’s attempts at in-body stabilisation in the Hero 7 were impressive, and DJI is likely to want take a big swing in response.
2. Exciting Developments for DJI’s Modular Ecosystems
It would be a shock to industry users if the company didn’t also announce a professional successor to the Osmo, capable of supporting the X5 cameras and more. Our money is on Osmo 2 for the X5S and X7, with an inbuilt cine-core and interface for cine-SSD, and greater compatibility with other DJI tools and robotics – such as DJI Master Wheels and Force Pro.
Starting in 2012 with their Zenmuse system, and the first Ronin in 2014, DJI has been building their own ecosystem of prosumer and professional cine products and accessories for nearly seven years. Today, we can mount our Inspire 2 with interchangeable cameras and lenses for bespoke aerial solutions for our clients. The X5S and X7 cameras and lenses have so far proved very successful for DJI and they’re not likely to slow down.
A new Zenmuse camera with a full-frame 6K or 8K Hasselblad sensor, alongside a suite of new lenses, would follow similar behaviours seen with the announcement of the DJI M600 and Hasselblad H6D-100C bundle this year.
3. The “No Drone Zone”
DJI seems to be putting a focus (ha!) on cameras in their event marketing material this time. This may mean – sorry drone lovers – that we might not see the Inspire 3, DJI’s speculative new aerial device, this year.
In November 2014 and 2016, DJI released their Inspire and Inspire 2. It might follow logically for DJI to announce the Inspire 3 this year. At 2 years old, however, the Inspire 2 / X7 combo is still on the cutting edge of professional drone cinematography.
We’re far more likely to see an incremental upgrade in the form of an Inspire 2 Pro with a greater array of vision sensors, or a Phantom 5 equipped with a Hasselblad camera.
Whatever DJI unveils at the end of the month, we at DGTL are excited to see how we use their new products to grow our arsenal of filmmaking tools and continue to bring our clients industry-leading aerial solutions.