Test Footage From the DJI Zenmuse X7: How Does It Stack Up Against the X5S?

Recently DJI announced the Zenmuse X7 camera which is a Super 35mm equivalent that can shoot in 6K. Just about a year ago DJI also announced the Inspire 2 and the X5S which was a Micro Four-Thirds that could shoot up to 5.2K. With technology advancing faster than ever, drone people have to ask themselves if it is worth it or not to jump the gun and upgrade to this new X7. At a higher cost, you have a Super 35mm sensor on a drone, shooting at a quality comparable to a RED camera.

After a recent trip to Oregon strictly to shoot and test our capabilities of dual op with the Inspire 2, the Zenmuse X7 was announced. We captured tons of footage with the X5S, the Mavic, and even the Spark to put this video together, but how well does the Micro Four-Thirds stack up against the 35mm? In the video above, Devin is shooting in 6K on the all new X7 and talks about how awesome it is to have those 14 stops of dynamic range. I will say that after editing my Oregon video, it was nice to be able to push the files a bit when necessary. I can easily see that the Mavic and Spark have nowhere near as much push as the Inspire 2 and on the Inspire 2 we were mainly shooting in 4K at 24fps. On the X5S, I have 12.8 stops of dynamic range versus 14, which still left me with plenty of room to edit.

Looking at both videos and comparing the quality between them, it seems obvious that the X7 is a better camera overall. However, actually having the ability to edit and work with my own footage from the X5S knowing that it is very good quality, I am curious to see more footage from the X7 to see how these two cameras compare to one another. In a way, I think that the X7 is an upgrade for me at some point, but not for the current work I am doing. I also have not yet gotten the upgrade to be shooting raw video on my X5S, which means that if I think this camera is good now, it will probably only be better with the upgrade to shoot in 5.2K. On the other hand, with the X7 release, it feels good to know that I am able to make that upgrade when necessary and get even better quality than I would with my current setup. When the time comes, I think it will be essential to either upgrade to that or upgrade to the X7 and have the ability to fly a camera with a larger sensor that puts out that much more quality. What are your thoughts on these two cameras?

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1 Comment

Oliver Kmia's picture

First, very nice video of Oregon, congrats. At $4,000 for the X7+lens I wouldn't upgrade from the X5S unless you absolutely need this extra 1.2 stop of DR. For a first time buyer it's a different story.
Of course the 6K on the X7 is nice but it's only available in Cinema DNG which is a pain to handle in terms of storage. The 5.2k in ProRes is easier to manage. Just my two cents.