DJI Inspire 1 - Review

RCGroups editor Matt Gunn takes a comprehensive look at DJI's flagship multirotor, the Inspire 1.

The DJI Inspire One Review


Product:DJI Inspire 1 - T600
Flying weight:2935g (6.47 lb)
Prop size:13x4.5
Camera megapixels:12.4
Video recording modes:4K, 1080p, 720p
Battery:TB47 6s 4700mAh
Hovering Accuracy (GPS):Vertical: 0.5 m - Horizontal: 2.5 m

With close to 1.5 million views and twenty-four thousand posts, the RCGroups Inspire 1 thread is a true testament to the attention this cutting edge quad-rotor has generated since a few innocuous (and slightly grainy) photos were leaked in early November of 2014. There's no denying that the Inspire 1 is DJI's current flagship multirotor; it sports a number of firsts from the company including a sonar positioning system, 4K video camera, optional dual controllers with HD downlink, and a unique transforming frame that raises the carbon arms up and out of the camera's field of view. Together, these features come together in what DJI calls "everything you need for aerial filmmaking, integrated into an elegant, ready-to-fly system."

Welcome to the RCGroups DJI Inspire 1 review. We'll explore all of the features associated with the Inspire 1, it's controller the C1, and the DJI Pilot App specifically designed for the Inspire 1. But before we get started...

Thanks to our sponsor:

I would like to personally thank for making this review possible. stocks hundreds of multirotor aircraft, parts, and aerial video/photography items and has a stellar customer service and shipping record. I ordered my single-transmitter Inspire from and received it in 5 days from China. Click the URL listed above or click the logo and check them out.

The Video Review:

In addition to the written review, I've also put together a full video review:

The Case and What's Inside

In what seems to be an industry-first scenario, DJI has included a hard case with the Inspire 1. While the case falls short of being high-impact, it does a great job of protecting it's precious cargo from damage. The case is constructed of two layers of plastic - the inner layer is white molded plastic while the outer layer is a hard, black textured plastic that can shrug off most impacts. The case opens and closes with a pair of zippers, just like a travel suitcase. Inside, the foam is contoured to fit the Inspire 1 in travel mode, and has plenty of slots for up to 6 batteries. There are two transmitter locations as well as room for your flight propellers and a spare set. The battery charger fits underneath the Inspire's frame and there's a spot for the camera gimble case as well. Absent is a dedicated tablet storage slot and storage areas for your USB cables; you have to fit them wherever there's room.

The Inspire 1's center fuselage is constructed of hard composite plastic and aluminum with carbon fiber arms. There are two main boom tubes that attach to the fuselage along with two smaller booms below them. Together, they assist in rotating the entire boom system up and down for landing, flight, and storage modes. A dedicated servo is used to rotate a worm gear to raise and lower the booms, much like electric retract systems on rc airplanes.

Clamps at the end of the inner arms allow the outer arms to rotate freely when transforming the Inspire 1. You may notice that there is a slight bit of play between the boom clamps and the outside arms. This is normal and allows for smooth rotation without binding.

At the end of each outside arm is a motor, esc, and landing leg. Each leg contains an antenna and navigation light; the legs are sprung to reduce shock when landing. DJI designates the motors only as 3510 and does not specify a kv rating in the specs, but a little digging on the internet confirms they are 350kv motors. This is the same as the DJI E800 Tuned Propulsion System.

A single battery is included with the Inspire 1 called the TB47. Its a 6s 4700mAh Lipo that's a step above your standard LiPo pack. Dubbed a "smart pack" this LiPo has the ability to discharge to storage capacity if it sits unused for a specified amount of time. Clicking the battery icon in the DJI Pilot App will bring up the battery function page. From this page you can specify voltage warning levels, view cell voltages, number of charge cycles, and specify the length of time before the battery auto-discharges to storage voltage.

The Vision Positioning System

DJI has included a sonar-based position hold called the Vision Positioning System with the Inspire. In essence, it distinguishes between patterns on the ground and allows for safe auto-takeoff and auto-land as well as position hold, even when in flight and the sticks are released. Looking at the photo of the Vision Positioning System above, you'll see two small sensors and one large sensor. The pair of smaller ones are sonar-based sensors, while the larger one is a monocular camera.

The Vision Positioning System activated on power-on, and no action is required to utilize it. However, it only works in P flight mode, and not in Atti or Function modes. The system works up to a height of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet). The Inspire's manual states that if you're flying in P-mode and utilizing the sensor, the aircraft will automatically switch to Atti flight mode if the sensor cannot determine the height or distinguish patterns on the ground effectively.

The C1 Transmitter

The Inspire 1 ships with a single transmitter called the C1. This unit features an integrated DJI Lightbridge HD downlink for sharp and accurate camera viewing on your tablet monitor. Inside the C1 is a non-removable 6000mAh 2s LiPo for extended usage; a 4-LED battery meter on the front face of the transmitter keeps the pilot up-to-date on the transmitter's remaining battery life.

Because a tablet or smartphone is required to run the Inspire's software app, a tablet mount is integrated into the C1. To adjust the mount for different tablets, press the button on the top right and it will release the spring-loaded clamp. A pair of smaller tabs can be opened to fit a smartphone easily.

There's plenty of buttons, scroll wheels, and switches on the C1 transmitter, so take the time to familiarize yourself with each one before the maiden flight. Starting on the top left, you have a gimbal tilt wheel, video record button, and a flight-mode switch. On the top right, you have the gimbal mode scroll wheel which also functions as a photo/video browser, photo shutter button, and a button to enter the photo/video library. On the back of the unit are a pair of index finger buttons labeled C1 and C2. Both of them can be assigned to different functions such as gimbal centering and gimbal type, to name a few. On the front face of the transmitter are the power button, the return to home button, and the landing-gear cycling switch.

C1 Operating Frequency:

  • 922.7~927.7 MHz (Japan Only)
  • 5.725~5.825 GHz
  • 2.400~2.483 GHz

The Zenmuse X3 Gimbal and Camera

Another industry first for a ready-to-fly platform is a 4K video camera and gimbal system. Designated the Zenmuse X3 gimbal and camera, DJI went all-out to create a powerful camera and gimbal combo with very acceptable image quality for the price.

The X3 camera, also called Model FC350, is a 12.4 effective megapixel video and still camera tht utilizes a Sony EXMOR 1/2.3 CMOS sensor. It has a 20mm lens with 9 glass elements for distortion reduction and clarity.

Still Photography modes:

  • Single shoot
  • Burst shooting: 3/5/7 frames
  • Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3/5 bracketed frames at 0.7EV Bias
  • Time-lapse

Video Recording Modes:

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

The DJI Pilot App

The DJI Pilot App is free to download from iTunes or Google Play and is required to operate the Inspire 1. It's a powerful app that performs a number of functions during flight such as monitoring and displaying pertinent aircraft data, displaying the camera feed via HD downlink, and providing a slew of commands at your fingertips to control the Inspire 1, the X3 camera and Zenmuse gimbal.

If you are planning on purchasing an Inspire 1, go ahead and download the DJI Pilot App and take the time to familiarize yourself with it; there are many pages and options in the app to learn. Luckily, a tutorial feature allows you to see what each and every button and non-button display does on the main page and maps page. To activate the tutorial, click the options gear in the top right corner of the main page, scroll down to the bottom, and activate Tutorial. Upon exiting the options page, graphic indicators will show you the button functions. Tap the screen to advance to the next button function. After all functions have been shown, the tutorial feature will close.

From the main screen you can click the mini-map in the bottom right corner to maximize it. The camera live feed will take the mini-map's place. Click the camera-feed thumbnail to return.

Last edited by Matt Gunn; Feb 22, 2016 at 08:51 PM..
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Mar 23, 2015, 09:53 AM
God is Good
TMAC4123's Avatar
This thing is just incredible! Great review Matt!

Mar 23, 2015, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the Fish
Nicely done Matt. I will note that there is a slot for a tablet in the right front of the case. It is not large enough for an iPad Air2 but others will fit without modification.
Mar 23, 2015, 10:54 AM
Registered User
Great review ... thanks ..
Need to knwo more on camera ..
Its a same gopro ..i guess its only a replacement for phantom 2 + gopro
Mar 23, 2015, 11:12 AM
Thanks for the Fish
Originally Posted by seethalmj
Great review ... thanks ..
Need to knwo more on camera ..
Its a same gopro ..i guess its only a replacement for phantom 2 + gopro
No it uses the same sensor as the GoPro Hero 4. The specifications are different. Also note that the Inspire camera has a rectilinear lens that produces less fisheye effect than the GP. You cannot compare a P2 with an Inspire totally different class of quads.
Mar 23, 2015, 01:27 PM
Registered User
Matt Gunn's Avatar
Originally Posted by Tahoe Ed
Nicely done Matt. I will note that there is a slot for a tablet in the right front of the case. It is not large enough for an iPad Air2 but others will fit without modification.
You're right, looks like it will fit a few types of tablets. I did try my Nexus 7 in there and it's a bit too lose without stuffing some soft foam between the pad and the gimbal case; it rattles around a little without some extra padding. Still works as a spot though, so thanks for the correction.
Mar 23, 2015, 08:16 PM
kiwi power!
jameschen072's Avatar
Great review Matt! Very informative! Keep up the great work
Latest blog entry: MN90 1/12 Defender Review
Mar 23, 2015, 11:25 PM
Registered User
Had one of these at the Patch the other day- it is fantastic!
Thanks Matt, great read and looking forward to the next installment.

Interesting retailer; I have never heard of them before.
Mar 24, 2015, 08:33 PM
Registered User
Very informative review!
Love it very much, but ....expensive.
Mar 24, 2015, 09:00 PM
1Corinthians 13:1-8
DWA's Avatar
Just got mine last week. I love it!

((Short 1 min video.)) No post processing, I just shortened it added some music.

I did not edit or do post processing so you could see what it is capable of straight off the card. could be even better if shot in 4K
This video is shot in 1080P at 60fsp, all auto setting and no ND filter.
Latest blog entry: Flying Log Book
Mar 24, 2015, 09:03 PM
1Corinthians 13:1-8
DWA's Avatar
A few pics.
Latest blog entry: Flying Log Book
Mar 25, 2015, 07:13 AM
Registered User
Matt Gunn's Avatar
I saw your photos, Dave, in the Inspire megathread. I really love your flying location, thanks for posting!
Mar 25, 2015, 11:25 PM
"Because I was pǝʇɹǝʌuı"
bighead93's Avatar
Nice review! Got a chance to take a quick video of my friends Inspire

DJI Inspire in Slow Motion (1 min 2 sec)
Mar 26, 2015, 09:32 AM
Registered User
mine should be here Monday!!! Just can't wait I tell Ya.. Amazing engineering. If u consider all that's included on this innovative machine.. One can argue it's well worth the money!
Mar 27, 2015, 01:37 PM
Registered User
Looks like an impressive review. I haven't had a chance to read/watch it but I will.
Thank you!

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