DJI today announced the Zenmuse Z3, the company’s first aerial zoom camera and one that’s geared toward still photography.
The 262-gram camera can achieve a total 7x zoom thanks to a combination of 3.5x optical zoom and 2x digital zoom. The 35mm equivalent of this lens is 22-77mm f/2.8-5.2.
DJI says its stabilization technologies has been updated to work nicely with the introducing of zooming, since tiny movements are magnified when zoomed into a scene.
“The Zenmuse Z3 pushes the possibilities of use for industrial applications,” says DJI product manager Paul Pan. “Before this camera, the only way to zoom in on a subject or object was to fly closer to it. Now, pilots in a search-and-rescue situation, or conducting surveys or inspections, can maintain distance and still zoom in for sharp, detailed images.”
Here’s what no zoom (top) looks like compared to 7x zoom (bottom):
Photographers can shoot with a Zenmuse Z3 on an Inspire 1, Matrice 100, or Matrice 600 drone and use DJI’s dedicated HD video downlink to receive transmissions from 3.1 miles (5km) away.
Zooming in and out with the camera involves swiping while framing shots with the DJI GO app or using the drone’s remote control.
Inside the Zenmuse Z3 is the same 1/2.3-inch Sony sensor that’s found in the Inspire 1 and Phantom 4 cameras. It can shoot 12 megapixel photos (including in Adobe DNG raw) and 4K video at 30fps.
The Zenmuze Z3 will hit store shelves on July 28th, 2016, with a price tag of $899.