DJI Zenmuse X7: The First Super 35mm Camera for Aerial Cinematography

DJI just announced the DJI Zenmuse X7, the world’s first Super 35mm camera optimized for aerial cinematography. It’s designed primarily for the DJI Inspire 2 drone and features interchangeable lenses as well as a new DJI Cinema Color system for greater creative freedom in cinematography.

Here’s a 4-minute video introducing the new camera:

With what DJI calls “the highest image resolutions ever for an integrated drone camera,” the Zenmuse X7 utilizes its Super 35mm sensor to shoot 6K CinemaDNG RAW or 5.2K Apple ProRes footage at up to 30 fps. It can also shoot 3.9K CinemaDNG RAW or 2.7K ProRes at up to 59.94 fps.

The new Super 35mm sensor features 14-stops of dynamic range, with low-noise capabilities for low-light scenarios. With such a wide dynamic range, the camera should be perfect for shooting high contrast scenes while retaining detail in the sky (highlights) and the ground (shadows).

“The Zenmuse X7 offers everything professional content creators need to make their aerial footage as stunning and vivid as they demand,” said Paul Pan, DJI’s Senior Product Manager. “From the large Super 35 sensor to a new mount, lenses, and color system, the Zenmuse X7 gives cinematographers and professional photographers an unmatched set of tools that work seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone to capture high-quality footage that is easily integrated into projects shot with industry-leading handheld cameras.”

The new camera makes use of a dedicated aerial mount system, the DJI DL-mount. This mount has an “ultra-short” flange focal distance, designed for use with prime lenses.

Here’s a 2-minute showreel showing what the camera can do:

There are new 16mm, 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm lenses, each with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 and made of carbon fiber so they are durable and lightweight for drone use.

The 16mm lens has a built-in ND 4 filter, and the 24mm, 35mm, and 50mm lenses have a mechanical shutter.

The new DJI Cinema Color system will be a welcome addition for cinematic color grader and will also be available on the DJI X5S camera.

“We took our color science to the next level,” said Paul Pan. “We consulted the world leading authorities in color science, Technicolor. With their guidance, our engineers developed an optimized gamma curve for the X7 allowing more latitude without sacrificing image quality.”

Featuring a new D-Log Curve and D-Gamut RGB color space, the new color system provides greater flexibility during post-production.

There’s also a new EI Mode that mimics the way a film camera works, helping cinematographers to “capture as much information as possible” in each scene, while balancing dynamic range with noise.

The Zenmuse X7 gimbal system weighs 631 grams when the 16mm lens is attached and will have a 23-minute flight time with the DJI Inspire 2.

The Zenmuse X7 camera will be available with a price tag of $2,700. The 16mm, 24mm, and 35mm lenses are available for $1,300, and the 50mm lens for $1,200. There is a combo-package of the camera and all lenses available for $4,300. It is expected to start shipping in early November 2017 and can be ordered from the DJI store.