DJI Inspire 1 review

A professional drone with a price tag to match

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Video capture

In case you were in any doubt about which end of the market the DJI Inspire 1 is aimed at, it can shoot video at a pin-sharp 4K. Video recording is excellent; footage is rich with detail, and the intelligent design means the motion of the drone itself – which can become quite aggressive at times, especially when moving at speed – doesn't impact the stability of the video.

Lower resolutions are also available, and still photos look fantastic too. During flight it's possible to change elements such as the white balance, ISO and exposure – things that industry professionals are almost certain going to want to do, as even when set to automatic mode the Inspire 1 sometimes doesn't pick the best settings for every situation.

Recorded videos can be downloaded directly to your smartphone in 720p resolution for easy editing and sharing, but the raw video files and photos are stored on a microSD card that's housed in the removable camera. The review unit we had came with a 16GB card, which fills up pretty quickly when shooting lots of 4K video; thankfully, it's possible to upgrade to a higher capacity card for not much cash.

We liked

The DJI Inspire 1 is, in many respects, an almost perfect drone. It handles superbly, is armed with a host of genuinely useful options and features and – perhaps most importantly of all – is capable of capturing professional-quality videos and photos.

Its modular nature means elements like the propellers, camera and battery can be replaced and upgraded, prolonging the lifespan of the unit, while the use of removable memory for storage means you're never limited when it comes to how much you want to record or photograph. To top it all off, the Inspire 1 is bundled with an excellent remote which makes controlling the drone a breeze.

We disliked

While it's certainly not the worst we've ever seen, the battery life of the DJI Inspire 1 could be better – if you're serious about flying one of these things then you'll almost certainly need to keep a spare with you. The sheer size and astronomical cost are also potential stumbling blocks – this drone is aimed squarely at those working in the film and photography industries, and is going to be out of reach of many consumers.

And if you're a complete newcomer to the concept of drones then this isn't a wise choice, even if you can afford it – inexperienced users could do some serious damage with this device due to its top speed, size and weight.


If you're looking for a drone which has great range, excellent stability and a raft of features and options, the DJI Inspire 1 is a solid choice – assuming you can afford the entry cost. With a price tag in the thousands rather than the hundreds, this isn't going to be within everyone's budget, but that doesn't alter the fact that it's one of the best drones on the market right now.