DJI Announces the Company's First Zoom Camera for Drone Photography and Videography

DJI Announces the Company's First Zoom Camera for Drone Photography and Videography

There have been many times I've wished for a zoom lens on my drone, simply because it wasn't reasonable to fly closer to something to get the shot, whether that was because of airspace, people, or some other reason. DJI has now made that possible with the release of the Zenmuse Z3.

Sporting a 4-14mm (22-77mm equivalent) f/2.8-5.2 lens and the same 1/2.3" Sony EXMOR sensor found in the Phantom 4 and Inspire 1 2.0, the Zenmuse Z3 features 3.5x optical zoom and 2x lossless zoom (when recording at 1080p or less). DJI also infused the Z3 with better yaw stability to counteract magnified movement caused by zooming. Video can be recorded in 4K at 30 fps, and stills are recorded at 12 MP in DNG raw files or JPEG. However, DJI recommends only taking still images when zoomed in at the full 7x, as this magnification may overwhelm the stabilizers' ability to maintain an image that isn't shaky.

The Zenmuse X3 is compatible with the Inspire 1, Matrice 100, and Matrice 600 platforms and takes advantage of the company's Lightbridge 2 technology. I'm definitely excited for it; it should open doors to a lot of new possibilities in aerial imaging. Interested in pre-ordering your own? Get it here.

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6 Comments

Nate Dorsey's picture

"However, DJI recommends only taking still images when zoomed in at the full 7x, as this magnification may overwhelm the stabilizers' ability to maintain an image that isn't shaky."

??

You mean zoomed out?

Alex Cooke's picture

No, I mean zoomed in. The longer the effective focal length, the higher the magnification of motion, and the harder a stabilizer has to work to maintain a steady image.

Nate Dorsey's picture

I see what you're trying to say, still images as opposed to video. Just a confusing sentence, sounded like you were trying to say only to take pictures at 7x and not anywhere else in the zoom range.

Adam Padgett's picture

However, DJI recommends only taking still images when zoomed in at the full 7x, as this magnification may overwhelm the stabilizers' ability to maintain an image that isn't shaky."

I'm confused on this too. Do you mean to say you should NOT take still images zoomed in at 7x?

Oh wait.....do you mean you should do video at 7x zoom and only stills?

Alex Cooke's picture

I mean they recommend not shooting video at 7x.

Sam Adams's picture

I was actually a little disappointed that this didn't come to their X5 platform. The X3's sensor is okay, but no where near as nice as the X5. I am hoping they release zoom lens that X5 can handle sometime soon.