The film and television industry are gathered in Las Vegas this week for the National Association of Broadcasters' annual summit, and this evening DJI showed off two new products aimed at the big budget productions rolling out of Hollywood. Claudio Miranda, the Academy Award-winning director of photography on Life of Pi, was on hand to help unveil the Matrice 600 (M600), a $4,599 drone with a laundry list of cutting-edge capabilities onboard. The main pitch: this is the heavy lifter you want to get your fancy cinema camera in the air.
The M600 has a new video downlink, LightBridge 2, which can stream in 1080p at 60 frames per second from a distance of up to three miles. It has a new flight controller called the A3, and is available with three GPS units and three IMUs, allowing it to precisely determine its position and repeat a flight path for a specific shot with centimeter precision. This kind of flight is also something DJI believes will appeal to industrial-grade customers looking to execute high-risk work like inspecting offshore oil rigs. The M600 is available now.
DJI's Ronin series has long been a favorite among cinema professionals looking for handheld stabilizers. Tonight it also announced the release of the $1,599 Ronin-MX, the first universal aerial gimbal the company has made. It allows pros to attach a wide range of compatible cameras from Black Magic, Canon, Panasonic, RED, Sony, and Nikon. The MX can fly for 15 minutes with a 13.2-pound payload. Like the Inspire 1, the MX allows the camera to rotate 360 degrees; unlike the Inspire 1, however, the MX won't lock in place after a full rotation but can continue spinning endlessly.
The M600 also works with DJI's high-end Zenmuse camera line. Carrying one of these lighter units, the drone can stay in the air for a whopping 35 minutes. The company also announced tonight that it's bringing these more expensive, professional grade cameras to its handheld stabilizer, the Osmo.