Zenmuse Z3, first drone with optical zoom
The camera incorporates DJI's gimbal technology, which has been upgraded to work optimally with its zoom capabilities. The zoom camera is aimed at providing new capabilities for industrial applications, such as inspection and surveying. The Zenmuse Z3 is compatible with the Inspire 1, Matrice 100 and Matrice 600 drones and uses the company's dedicated HD video downlink, Lightbridge and Lightbridge 2, providing up to 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) of HD transmission range.
The Zenmuse Z3 weighs 262-gram and achieves up to a 7x zoom via a 3.5x optical zoom, combined with a 2x digital zoom. This gives the Zenmuse Z3 an effective zoom range of 22 millimeters to 77 millimeters. It has a maximum aperture of F2.8 and F5.2 at 22 millimeters and 77 millimeters, respectively. When the camera zooms in, the smallest movements are magnified. Adding an additional layer of fine-tuning to the yaw control of the Z3 is a custom-designed reaction wheel.
This works in tandem with the normal yaw motor to allow for more refined and controlled movement and greater stability.
The Zenmuse Z3 is fully integrated into the DJI GO app and provides a seamless user experience, including a live feed from the camera and the ability to change camera settings, swipe to zoom in and out, capture photos or video and to activate intelligent flight modes. Users may also choose to employ camera controls, such as capturing photos and video and zoom, through their drone's remote controller. The Zenmuse Z3 features the same Sony 1/2.3-inch sensor that is found on the Inspire 1 and the Phantom 4.
It can shoot still images at 12 megapixels with additional Adobe DNG Raw Support for maximum editing options in post-production. The camera also shoots video at up to 30 FPS in 4k resolution. Flight time with the Zenmuse Z3 is up to 19 minutes on the Inspire 1. Pilots can extend flight time up to 30 minutes with the dual-battery-equipped M100 and up to 39 minutes with the M600. The Zenmuse Z3 is priced at $899 and will start shipping after July 28, 2016. ■