DJI launches Zenmuse X7 Super 35mm camera module with Raw video capture

DJI has launched the Zenmuse X7, a Raw video capable Super 35 camera module. The camera/gimbal system, which is compatible with DJI’s Inspire 2 drone, also features a new, proprietary lens mount. We were at the launch event in Hollywood and had a chance to get up close and personal with the X7.

The camera can shoot 6K CinemaDNG Raw or 5.2K Apple ProRes footage at up to 30p or 3.9K CinemaDNG and 2.7K ProRes at up to 59.94p. The company claims 14 stops of dynamic range but, like all video manufacturers, doesn’t specify how this is assessed.

To improve its color science, DJI worked with Technicolor to develop the new ‘DJI Cinema Color System’, which includes a new D-Log gamma curve that preserves more dynamic range, and a new D-Gamut color space designed to match industry standard cinema cameras while delivering more neutral colors. The result, according to DJI, is that it will be possible to apply LUTs designed for industry standard cinema cameras and achieve very good results, though DJI will provide its own LUTs as well.

The Zenmuse X7 is built around a Super 35 camera module and includes an all new ‘DL-mount’ lens system.

The camera includes two exposure modes, one that varies amplification gain and an “EI” mode that always uses minimal amplification (~base ISO) with metadata tags to denote the intended final brightness, to preserve DR. This is increasingly common practice in the video sphere but has yet to make its way across to stills photography.

The previous model (the Zenmuse X5 series) was based around a Micro Four Thirds mount and came with a distinctly Panasonic-like 15mm F1.7 lens. In contrast, the Zenmuse X7 is based around an entirely new lens mount. The ‘DL-mount’ has a very short flange distance of 16.84mm, allowing lenses to be extremely compact while maintaining high image quality.

Despite having a Super 35 sensor, the X7 camera is only slightly larger, and only 170g heavier, than the Micro Four Thirds-based X5 camera series.

Alongside the camera, the company is releasing 16mm, 24mm, 35mm and 50mm F2.8 lenses, the longest three of which will include mechanical shutters. The carbon fiber bodied lenses have no moving parts on the outside to increase durability, and all have similar size and weight to eliminate the need to rebalance or recalibrate the gimbal when changing lenses. Additionally, the entire set is designed to handle 8K resolution.

Photographers will be happy to hear that the X7 can also capture still photos at 24MP resolution, including Raw image support, on an APS-C sized sensor.

Owners of the X5S camera system will also get a bonus: the new Cinema Color System, including the improved D-Log gamma curve and D-Gamut color space, will be added to the X5S in the next firmware upgrade.

The Zenmuse X7 camera with 16mm lens mounted on a DJI Inspire 2 drone.

The camera on its own will cost $ 2,699 and will be ship in early November. Each lens will cost $ 1,299, with the exception of the 50mm, which is $ 100 cheaper, though the prime lens combo including all four lenses will cost just $ 4,299.

Press Release:

DJI Reveals Zenmuse X7, The World’s First Super 35 Digital Film Camera Optimized for Professional Aerial Cinematography

October 11, 2017 – DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, today introduced the Zenmuse X7, the world’s first Super 35 digital film camera optimized for professional aerial cinematography. Designed to work seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone, the Zenmuse X7 delivers superior image quality, interchangeable lenses, and a new DJI Cinema Color System for post-production to give film and video professionals more creative freedom.

“The Zenmuse X7 offers everything professional content creators need to make their aerial footage as stunning and vivid as they demand,” said Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI. “From the large Super 35 sensor to a new mount, lenses, and color system, the Zenmuse X7 gives cinematographers and professional photographers an unmatched set of tools that work seamlessly with the DJI Inspire 2 drone to capture high-quality footage that is easily integrated into projects shot with industry-leading handheld cameras.”

Greater Expressive Freedom

The Zenmuse X7 is equipped with a Super 35 video sensor featuring 14 stops of dynamic range for more detail in low-light conditions. Its low-noise image capture enhances grading flexibility by preserving details in both highlight and dark areas while enabling a shallow cinematic depth of field.

To meet the rigorous requirements of filmmakers and television production professionals, the Zenmuse X7 captures the highest image resolutions ever for an integrated drone camera. It is capable of shooting 6K CinemaDNG RAW or 5.2K Apple ProRes at up to 30 FPS, as well as 3.9K CinemaDNG RAW or 2.7K ProRes at up to 59.94 FPS to integrate seamlessly into industry-standard post-production workflows.

Enhanced Imaging Potential

The Zenmuse X7 uses a dedicated aerial mount system, the DJI DL-Mount, featuring an ultra-short flange focal distance to carry prime lenses optimally. Available with focal lengths of 16 mm, 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm, each lens has a maximum aperture of F/2.8 and is crafted out of carbon fiber, making them durable and lightweight for high-performance aerial cinematography with the DJI Inspire 2 drone.

To allow for advanced setting adjustment and fine-tuning, the 16mm lens is equipped with a built-in ND 4 filter, and the 24 mm, 35 mm, and 50 mm lenses feature a mechanical shutter.

Higher Flexibility in Post-Production

DJI has also introduced a new DJI Cinema Color System (DCCS) making the Zenmuse X7 an asset on every film set for movies, TV series, commercials, documentaries, and more.

“For the Zenmuse X7, we took our color science to the next level,” continued Pan. “We consulted the world leading authorities in color science, Technicolor. With their guidance, our engineers developed an optimized gamma curve for the X7 allowing more latitude without sacrificing image quality.”

DCCS features a new D-Log Curve and D-Gamut RGB color space to give more flexibility and color options during the post-production process. The D-Log further extends the dynamic range, while the D-Gamut RGB color space preserves more color information to support the most demanding filmmaking scenarios, providing accurate color for quick and easy post-processing.

The new EI Mode mimics the way a film camera works to help cinematographers capture as much information as possible in every scene while balancing the dynamic range and noise with different log curves for more flexibility during the post-production process.

The Zenmuse X7 gimbal system weighs just 631 grams with the 16 mm lens. The DJI Inspire 2 has a flight time of up to 23 minutes with the Zenmuse X7. For more info about the Zenmuse X7, visit www.dji.com/zenmuse-x7.

Price and Availability

The Zenmuse X7 camera is priced at $ 2,699 USD. The 16 mm, 24 mm and 35 mm lenses will be available for $ 1,299 each, and the 50 mm for $ 1,199. Customers can purchase the Zenmuse X7 prime lens combo including all 4 lenses for $ 4,299. The Zenmuse X7 will start shipping in early November 2017 from store.dji.com, in DJI Flagship Stores and through DJI Authorized Dealers worldwide.

DJI Care Refresh will be available for the Zenmuse X7 camera gimbal system as well as for the Inspire 2 drone. For more info, visit www.dji.com/service/djicare-refresh.

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