DJI made some important announcements today for professional cinematographers at NAB 2017. I was supposed to be at the introduction event but due to plane delays, I had to get my intel remotely through colleagues who were able to attend. Here’s what went down:
Official Press Release:
23 April, 2017 – Las Vegas, NV – NAB 2017
DJI, the world’s leader in creative camera technology, today introduced new high-performance hardware and a premium customer support program to help professional customers get the most out of their aerial and handheld imaging equipment. The new Cendence remote controller, DJI Tracktenna high-gain antenna and CrystalSky monitor provide personalized controls and better performance for the most demanding uses, while DJI Circle delivers a new premium tier of support for DJI products and the people who rely on them to do their jobs.
“From rescue crews to software developers, from filmmakers to contractors, DJI’s professional customers demand the highest performance from our aerial platforms and handheld stabilizers,” said Paul Pan, DJI Senior Product Manager. “We are committed to giving them the tools they need to do their jobs right, so they can accomplish their goals with more power, precision and control than ever before.”
Customizable Remote Control
The new Cendence remote controller is DJI’s first multi-platform controller for professionals who need versatility, efficiency and personalization at their fingertips. Its intuitive ergonomic design fits perfectly in your hands, allowing easy access to programmable function buttons and dials.
Users can program and store customized button configurations for different flight and shooting options, and can use two dials to adjust the pitch and yaw of the gimbal at the same time. With Cendence, pilots have instant access to functions like ISO, sharpness, shutter speed, focus and more, without navigating the touch menu settings on their mobile device. Cendence features built-in SDI and HDMI video transmission ports for live HD broadcast and streaming applications, and can be easily adapted to use DJI’s Lightbridge or WiFi video transmission technology.
The controller mounts smartphones, tablets and DJI’s high-brightness CrystalSky monitors, and also features a smaller secondary screen to display critical telemetry data. Long battery life of up to 4 hours and the ability to easily exchange batteries make power management easier and longer flights possible. Cendence is compatible with DJI’s Matrice 200 and Inspire 2 drones. Cendence will be available later this year, priced at $999 (USD).
Improved Flight and Data Communication
DJI Tracktenna is a high-gain antenna that ushers in a new era of remote wireless communication by improving signal reliability over long distances and resisting interference. Its built-in sensors and two-axis gimbal automatically point the antenna to the aircraft at all times, bolstering the connection even while the operator is in motion or on a vehicle.
When installed on the new Cendence controller in optimal conditions, DJI Tracktenna can boost signal transmission to over 6.2 miles (10 km), giving professionals increased responsiveness and confidence when performing complex flights like search and rescue missions, power line inspections, pipeline inspections, live HD broadcasting, filmmaking and more. Pilots should always understand and follow any applicable laws and regulations regarding flight distance.
DJI Tracktenna supports transmission speeds of up to 10 Mbps within 1.24 miles (2 km) for data-intensive applications. It supports both 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands, giving it greater signal stability. Pricing and availability for DJI Tracktenna will be announced at a later date.
Brighter Dedicated Monitors
The CrystalSky family of dedicated monitors offers a brighter and more reliable display screen for pilots, photographers and filmmakers who need more robust visual information than is available on smartphones and tablets. The CrystalSky series features displays up to 2000 cd/m2, which is four times brighter than a typical smartphone or tablet, allowing clear screen visibility even in full daylight.
CrystalSky monitors are available in 5.5-inch and 7.85-inch sizes. They attach directly to the new Cendence controller, and use a new dedicated mounting bracket to attach to other DJI controllers. They are designed to operate in temperature ranges from -4 to +104 degrees Fahrenheit, and can operate for up to 6 hours in ideal conditions using a secondary external battery.
CrystalSky runs optimized versions of the DJI GO, DJI GO 4 and DJI Pilot apps, and includes two microSD card slots for rapid storage and playback of encoded 4K video. CrystalSky will be available soon in three configurations: a 5.5-inch, 1000 cd/m2version for $469 (USD); a 7.85-inch, 1000 cd/m2 version for $699 (USD); and a 7.85-inch, 2000 cd/m2 version for $999 (USD).
Premium Customer Service
For professional and advanced customers with demanding needs, the new DJI Circle program delivers a premium customer support program dedicated to ensuring world-class service whenever help is needed. The program offers broad coverage over a twelve-month period for up to five DJI products, including the Inspire, M600, Mavic Pro and Phantom drone series, and the Ronin and Osmo series of handheld stabilizers.
Each DJI Circle member receives the services of a personal DJI concierge to guide them through the many benefits of the program, and to ensure they can take advantage of those features easily and efficiently. The concierge can manage expedited battery rentals, prioritize product shipments, field technical support questions, provide information tailored to members’ particular needs, and invite them to exclusive DJI events where they can network with both DJI product managers and industry experts. With one single point of contact from around the world – including backup concierges available around the clock, every day of the year – DJI Circle members are free to focus on their creative needs.
DJI Circle benefits include:
- Battery Rental Service –Upon request, batteries will be delivered to ensure your DJI devices always have as much power as needed to get you through your project. This service also helps avoid air travel restrictions associated with some DJI battery technology.
- Device Repair and Backup Service – Receive coverage for repair of accidental damage to DJI products, up to $15,000 (USD) annually. When sending a product to DJI for repair you will receive a temporary replacement device to use until the repair is complete, minimizing delays so you can meet project deadlines.
- Global SOS Service – Gain access to emergency medical services in the event you become ill or injured while traveling, letting you confidently take on projects in remote locations around the world.
- Exclusive Membership Benefits – Be among the first to receive new DJI products, plus gain exclusive access to DJI events and networking opportunities, helping you stay connected and at the forefront of aerial imaging technology.
- Airport Lounge Access – Travel in comfort with free access to more than 850 airport lounges across the globe.
To ensure premium service quality, DJI Circle will first be available starting in May by invitation only to customers in the United States and mainland China, starting at $4,699 (USD) for a 12-month period. To request an invitation for future opportunities to become a DJI Circle member, email email@example.com.
DJI Ronin 2
DJI also introduced the Ronin 2, the three-axis camera stabilizer redesigned to give filmmakers the freedom to capture any scene they can imagine. Based on DJI’s transformative gimbal technology, Ronin 2 has more power and torque to carry larger cameras, is more versatile to be used in every situation, and has more intelligent features to allow for unprecedented camera moves that help realize every creative vision.
“Ronin 2 dramatically improves every aspect of the camera operating experience and is the best stabilizer we have ever made,” said Paul Pan, DJI Senior Product Manager. “Completely redesigned to meet the needs of today’s camera professionals, Ronin 2 makes it easier than ever to capture stunning cinematic footage under the widest variety of situations.”
A Powerful Platform For Creative Freedom
Ronin 2 gives filmmakers complete freedom to select the right camera for the shot. An enlarged camera cage and 50mm extendable arms support everything from DSLRs to full cinematic cameras and lenses. Powerful gimbal motors ensure sufficient torque to handle payloads up to 30 pounds. Aided by onboard GPS, the powerful encoded motors let Ronin 2 travel at speeds of up to 75 mph while delivering the same 0.02 degrees of sub-pixel level precision that Ronin users have come to expect.
Versatile Mounts and Movements
With a new design and detachable Grip, Ronin 2 brings custom stabilization to the full range of camera mounts that directors rely on. From basic handheld and jib configurations to Ready Rig, plus cable cams, vehicles and drones, Ronin 2 provides a wide range of creative flexibility. A new two-axis operation mode for mounting to Steadicams offers unique and creative movements that were once impossible to perform. The quick release mount makes it easy to transfer seamlessly from one scene to the next, giving filmmakers new freedom to explore every perspective with stability and control. A redesigned dual band 2.4/5.8 GHz remote allows minimized interference for full control during remote and two-person operation at a range of nearly 1.5 kilometers.
Faster To Set Up and Easier To Use
Every detail of Ronin 2 has been improved for quick setup and easy operation. New axis locking levers and fine tuning knobs deliver faster and more precise balancing, while the Auto Tune Stability feature intelligently adjusts motor parameters for optimal use in seconds. A new integrated touch screen with 1,000 nits of brightness lets professionals directly configure the gimbal settings for on-the-fly adjustments and for full control of mounted RED cameras.
Redesigned Frame with Centralized Power
Ronin 2 features a redesigned carbon fiber monocoque style frame, providing the highest quality manufacturing ever in a handheld stabilized camera rig while making the platform durable, lightweight and easy to carry. New fold-away feet enable the operator to set the platform down during handheld filming without the need for a separate stand. A splash-proof enclosed motor design with internally routed power, SDI and data cabling enables worry-free shooting in the most demanding environments.
Integrated power and data ports make Ronin 2 a centralized system for cameras and all accessories without the need for multiple power systems. It features four 14.4-volt (8 amps total) ports near the camera cage, two 12.6-volt (4 amps total) ports near the pan motor, and one P-Tap 12.6-volt (4 amps) outlet on the battery mount.
Dual hot-swappable batteries provide continuous uptime without ever powering down. They are capable of operating simultaneously and independently to provide 2.5 hours of runtime to power the gimbal and a RED Dragon camera. Ronin 2 uses the same ultra-fast charging, high-capacity, self-heating batteries as the DJI Inspire 2, simplifying battery management and guaranteeing reliable power in extreme cold temperatures down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit. The battery system is fully detachable to provide a portable power supply for any 12-volt P-Tap powered camera or accessory.
Enhanced Intelligent Features
The completely updated DJI gimbal assistant mobile app provides a more intuitive and easier-to-use interface for bringing a cinematic vision to life. It includes new studio-oriented functions to easily capture complicated camera moves that once required specialized expertise or additional equipment.
The new Panorama mode automatically controls Ronin 2 to create still image panoramas that account for the camera sensor type and lens focal length as well as the user-defined overlap rate. Its new Timelapse mode can program multiple movements and camera actions at different points along a route, and view progress in real time. And the new CamAnchor mode lets operators quickly record a preferred gimbal orientation at particular locations, then revisit them with a simple touch as the camera moves from point to point.
The intelligent SmoothTrack system that provides stable images while the camera is on the move has been enhanced with an updated algorithm for keeping Ronin 2 in sync with the operator’s movements. For every scenario encountered by a professional camera, Ronin 2 users can fine-tune how their rig responds to new movements along all three axes.
Ronin 2 will be available in the second quarter of 2017 from dji.com, DJI Flagship Stores, DJI Authorized Retail Stores, and DJI Resellers worldwide. Pricing will be announced prior to availability.
Cendence, DJI Tracktenna and CrystalSky are on display at the DJI booth at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 24-27, alongside the new Ronin 2 professional stabilizer and the entire DJI product line of creative camera technology. Conference attendees should visit DJI booth #C2807 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.