DJI Inspire Review

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So you wanna get an Inspire eh? And go for the big, scary, looking awesome drone thing? Yeah! It’s time to have fun with these things before they become self-aware and our brutal overloads. Remember, future AI-drone, how nice I was to you in these reviews. Kill the others first and save me for last… or, just don’t kill me at all. How about that…I’ll come up with some fun stuff to do together… we can vacation in Tahiti or something. For other camera/software recommendations, see Trey’s Gear and Tools here on the site.

Common Question 1: Should I get the Phantom or the Inspire?

DJI makes two quadcopter types. You can also check out my DJI Phantom Review. But what people always ask, is, “Which one should I get?”

I generally recommend the Phantom 4 series over the Inspire series. It’s much more convenient, which is a big thing for me. In terms of convenience:

  • The Phantom is smaller and lighter
  • The Phantom fits in a cool hardshell backpack that’s light and easy to travel with
  • The Phantom is quicker to set up and launch. I can get it out of the backpack and into the air in less than 4 minutes. The Inspire can take forever, especially if you have to raise it up and attach the camera.
  • The Phantom is quicker to break down. I can break it down and get it back in the backpack in 2 minutes.
  • The Phantom is easier to travel with, as the Inspire has literally it’s own bulky suitcase (that has no wheels even!)

Okay that’s great Trey, you seem pretty sold on the Phantom 4, eh? Well what are the advantages of the Inspire? Well, here they are, to me:

  • The Inspire can have two controllers, one person to fly and the other to control the camera
  • It is steadier in bigger winds and generally more stable
  • Some models have detachable camera for a new Micro-Four-Thirds interchangeable lens system that has great potential.

Common Question 2: Which flavor of Phantom 4 should I get?

I recommend the Phantom 4 Pro. It has all the latest features like the ability to sense nearby objects and avoid crashing and the camera is a significant upgrade on the older Phantom models.

Okay, that’s all great… but you’re not here to read about the Phantom 4, but these are common questions so I wanted to pop them in here! 🙂

A video review of the DJI Inspire!

Here’s a crazy video I did with Kai in Hong Kong that shows you more about this incredible machine.

DJI Inspire Review

I can’t tell you how much of an improvement this is over the Phantom series. They bill this as the more “professional” one, and it certainly is. However, don’t let that scare you, because it’s actually EASIER to fly and SIMPLER to control than its smaller brother.

Behind the Scenes with the Inspire in London

Here’s a fun video I made with my friend Stu in London! You can see me using it more…

What’s Great about the camera

The camera is amazing! It’s 12.76 Megapixels, shoots RAW files, and is supa-sharp! It’s automatic but also fully modifiable. You can do everything from autobracketing exposures (3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7EV Bias) to burst mode. There’s even a manual mode that lets you adjust the ISO, White Balance, Shutter Speed (8s ? 1/8000s), and more. You control everything through the app… a very slick app… fun and easy to use!

You might be thinking EIGHT SECOND SHUTTER SPEED!?!? Yes! A bit crazy… but, on a relatively windless night, you can hover quite steadily and get a 2 or 4 second exposure with no problem in my experience.

Live Map and Radar

If you have internets while flying, you get all your radar data and Google Maps live. It’s really rad. You also get a full flight path history, not just for the current flight, but for all previous flights as well.

Automatic take-off and fly back home

This is one feature about the Inspire that makes it even easier to operate than its predecessor. On the app, there is an automatic take-off that is very fun to use! I hand the iPad to friends all the time and tell them to take-off. They’re like “No Way!” and I’m like “Way!” Then they can swipe-to-take-off and it’s always a thrill! The quad goes to about 10 feet in the air and then the landing gear retracts… so awesome!

There’s also a fly-to-home and land feature. It knows where it launched from, so it can come right back. If you ended up walking quite a ways, you can also reset the home position to where the controller currently is. Smart!

How long does the battery last?

The battery lasts about 20 minutes. I have 3 of them, and that seems to suit me pretty well. If I have to hit a few locations, that seems to do the trick. The remote control also has a rechargeable battery that seems to last about forever!

The Single or Dual Controller Version?

I have the dual controller version, which allows one person to fly and the other person to shoot video or take photos. Very cool! I’ve only done that a few times… 90% of my flights are with a single controller, and that honestly works just fine.

Video Modes

When you shoot video with the Inspire, you’ll be shocked at the quality. I think it is honestly better than the GoPro I had on the Phantom. I’ve had many friends comment on this as well. What video modes does it have? Here, I will be lazy and just copy/paste the answer.

UHD (4K): 4096x2160p24/25, 3840x2160p24/25/30
FHD: 1920x1080p24/25/30/48/50/60
HD: 1280x720p24/25/30/48/50/60


Here are my suggestions, DJI!

1) I’d like to take RAW photos while recording video.
2) I’d like a mode just to record EVERYTHING during the flight… constant video and shooting RAW photos every 2 seconds
3) I wish that suitcase-thing had wheels on it! For reals!

Sample Photos and Panoramas!

Here’s a pile of photos I’ve taken with the Inspire. You’ll even see some panoramas. This thing is SO stable in the air that it is quite possible to take a photo (or a bracketed series), rotate a bit, take more, etc etc. They are so easy to stitch together… never had a problem. Anyway, enjoy, and I hope this gives you some ideas for taking photos from a new perspective!

from Trey Ratcliff at

from Trey Ratcliff at








Sky Yes


Beyond London

7 Dials

from Trey Ratcliff at

from Trey Ratcliff at

  • Robin

    Excellent still photos with the Inspire. What size files do you get shooting stills in raw? Are they large enough for making prints, or for use in books or magazines where 300 dpi is reguired?

  • Oh yeah – plenty big for prints I think! 🙂 Probably up to 3-4 feet across — it’s a 12 MP camera

  • Abiodun A Damiro

    What do you think of the 3DR Solo coming out soon? Have you had a chance to review it?

  • Jonatha Borzicchi

    what an idiot flying over people in central london, that’s why they are regulating so hard because there are jerk like you around, poor photographer and zero brain. i hope british enforcement law and air controlling law has taken note of your action and next time you come london they present the bill.

  • Chris

    Hi Trey! Could you please tell me, what Smartphone you use in your Inspire1-video? and…is it good to do that kind of work with it?

  • Richard

    Cool photos. Can’t wait to get one myself and shoot those beautiful waterfalls, waterways, harbour, and other natural landscape in Cebu. It’s time to have fun and adventure. Rediscover Cebu.

  • Matthew Levine

    you mad bro?

  • Marco Mazzocchi

    Unfortunately Jonatha is right, I’m a licensed drone pilot and in some of this photos clearly the photographer broke the Law
    1) is FORBIDDEN to flight over people and properties WITHOUT proper securities on ground
    2) all the city o London is R rated flight zone, so is needed a special permit for the flights
    3) the max altitude permitted is between 140 to 150 mt (depend by the Country) and clearly mosto of the pictures are taken from above that
    Regulations are made mainly for safety reasons and so not respect them, a part to represent criminal offence, is a sign irresponsability

  • Brian

    I have a P3P UAV… it’s great (though my lens might be a bit de-centered)… but I am wondering… Trey, what is your typical workflow look like with the DNG raws? I love my DxO but as yet, Optics Pro doesn’t accept DNGs…
    (massive fan of your work, BTW)

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