DJI Zenmuse Z3 7x Zoom Camera and Gimbal
Drone maker DJI has launched a new aerial camera for its range of UAVs — the first from the company to offer a built-in optical zoom. The Zenmuse Z3, weighs 262 grams, and has the same Sony-built 1/2.3-inch camera sensor found in DJI's Inspire 1 and Phantom 4. It can shoot video at 4K at up to 30 frames per second and captures images at a resolution of 12-megapixels. And, of course, there's that zoom.
The Zenmuse Z3 gimbal and camera features an optical zoom lens. It provides a 3.5 optical zoom and 2x digital zoom. The Type 1/2.3 CMOS sensor supports 4K video recording and 12MP still photos. As with other DJI 3-axis gimbal systems, the Zenmuse Z3 can be mounted onto a DJI aircraft* and stream live HD video to the DJI GO app.
The Z3 has up to 7x zoom, combining a 3.5x optical zoom and a 2x digital zoom. DJI is positioning the Z3 primarily as a tool for "industrial applications." If you use a drone for surveillance or surveying, then normally the only way to get a closer look is to physically fly closer. "Now," says DJI senior product manager Paul Pan, "pilots in a search-and-rescue situation, or conducting surveys or inspections, can maintain distance and still zoom in for sharp, detailed images."
* Currently supports the Inspire 1 series, Inspire 1 v2.0, Matrice 100 and Matrice 600.
Note: Video shot at 7x zoom could be shaky. This is the result of the extended focal length, which magnifies the image, reducing the performance of stabilization systems. This shake does not affect still image capture. Still image capture is recommended when zoomed in.
Get Closer, See More
When shooting aerial, getting closer to your subject meant flying nearer, but no more. The DJI Zenmuse Z3 is an integrated aerial zoom camera based on DJI’s class leading Zenmuse X3 and optimized for still photography. A 7× zoom, made up of 3.5× optical and 2× digital lossless zoom, gives it a focal length ranging from 22mm to 77mm, making it ideal for industrial applications.
Real-Time Zoom View
When shooting at the highest possible resolution, i.e. 4K video or 12 megapixel photos, optical zoom can be used, and the zoomed image is instantly visible in the DJI GO live feed. If shooting in 1080p, lossless zoom allows the full 7× of zoom without without sacrificing full-HD image quality.
Enhanced Yaw Stability
When a camera is zoomed in the smallest movements are magnified. Adding an additional layer of control to the Z3’s yaw is a custom designed reaction wheel. This works in tandem with the normal yaw motor to allow for more refined and controlled movement.
High Quality Imaging
Featuring the same highly refined Sony 1/2.3 inch sensor found on the DJI Inspire 1 2.0 and DJI Phantom 4, image quality is class leading. Still images can be captured at a resolution of 12 megapixels, while Adobe DNG RAW support allows for advanced image editing. Video can be captured at up to 30 frames per second in crisp 4K.
The ability to zoom in the air creates many new opportunities to streamline and enhance industrial and commercial drone use, from power line inspection to search and rescue. It also provides aerial photographers with greater control over composition.
Flying with the Zenmuse Z3 is as simple as attaching it to the DJI Inspire 1, Matrice 100 or Matrice 600. Once connected, it works seamlessly with the integrated DJI Lightbridge and Lightbridge 2 found on these platforms to provide 3.1mi (5km) of HD transmission range. Aircraft setup can be further accelerated using the DJI SDK to create industry specific aircraft automation protocols that maximize aircraft efficiency.
Powerful App Control
DJI’s GO app is tightly integrated with the Z3, acting as both a live feed to see the camera’s image and the primary control system for the camera. It can be used to change camera settings, swipe to zoom in and out, capture photo or video, and activate Intelligent Flight Modes. Photo and video capture as well as zoom can also be controlled through dedicated controls on the Remote Controller.
Flight times when used with a DJI Inspire 1 reach up to 19 minutes, and can even reach 30 minutes when flying a dual-battery equipped Matrice 100 and 39 minutes using the Matrice 600. Longer flight times maximize airtime, increasing the efficiency of industrial and commercial projects while providing photographers with additional time to wait for the right light, compose and capture the perfect shot.
All flight times vary based on payload and flight conditions. Maximum flight times are tested with maximum capacity batteries and no additional payload.