Update 9/27. And here it is.
Well now. DJI has decided to jump GoPro’s Karma event with one hell of a teaser video. The September 27th event is now promising to have hype levels for drone enthusiasts that rival the Apple events of days past. It’s damn good to be a drone nut. The technology keeps pushing the envelope and the FAA is staying reasonable. Christmas is coming early…
First up, the video.
Oh hell yes. It beats the GoPro digital Bigfoot hunt we’ve been on. For all the rumors surrounding the DJI Mavic, I wonder if we are being led down a path where we see a multi-drone announcement. The Mavic with the rumors of ultimate portability and then a complete refresh of the Inspire line and possibly a Phantom 4 Pro.
Here’s my reasoning. One, a cheaper drone isn’t going to have a teaser with such a wide array of locales being shown off. And the video can be viewed in 4K. The leaks on the Mavic promise a two-axis gimbal versus the three we are used to on the Phantom’s and Inspire lines.
Then the price cuts. The Phantom 4 is now sitting at $1100. That’s a hell of a discount from the $1400 starting price when it released earlier this year.
The Inspire has seen incredible discounts over the past few months, fueling speculation that a refresh is imminent. And of course, sources in the company have been giving the wink/nod ‘stay tuned’ response.
Its teaser video today will only pour gas on the rumor fires. “We take all of what you think you know and reshape it” is a quote people will be hanging their rumor hats on for the next couple of weeks. And the triangle overlays throughout the video.
Yes, the video is sped up for a cinematic feel. It doesn’t strike me as something that is going against the Yuneec Breeze. Yes, images have leaked of a foldable drone, but the teaser is a little too damn slick to be placed in the realm of a selfie drone to occupy a sub-$500 price point.
Sure, it can be portable, and the Inspire series could stand that. And so could the Phantom series.
DJI Mavic Line?
The flipside of the multi-drone refresh announcement is the DJI Mavic is something new. Why does it have to be one drone? Look at the Phantom 3. 4 SKUs in that series. The Inspire has multiple SKUs. The Phantom 4 is getting a Pro model. It’s a matter of time.
DJI Mavic? It could be both. The leaked images have that triangle feel.
It also looks damn close to the what we see in the teaser. But maybe we are looking at it wrong. The only drone DJI has one SKU of is the Phantom 4 because it’s new. Could we be looking at an entry-level foldable drone and a higher priced Mavic Advanced?
Take a look at the image again. The 4K camera and gimbal are protected by a tinted spherical shell. That’s pure protection for a drone that seemingly promises a lot of speed and greater weather capability. Nice shot at GoPro, DJI.
It would explain a lot in the teaser video about the ability of the drone to whip through canyons and low flying under trees. The altitude it has speaks to a battery life and power that makes sense on something foldable but not necessarily destined for bargain pricing.
Something is definitely brewing, and it seems the era of smart drones is upon us. What does that mean for the Phantom? For now, I think we can count on a Pro series and Phantom 5. Miniaturization only goes so far, and I doubt DJI wants to cannibalize a drone released to the public earlier this year.
Plus, the rapid advancement of the Zenmuse cameras and the deal with Hasselblad. The professional and prosumer market will be taken care of. The profit margins on the high end are too great to ignore. And we may have been duped by thinking DJI wanted to go low-end when the GoPro Karma can’t be under $500. The $1000-mark will be hard for it judging by recent teasers.
Regardless, September 19th will be fun with the reveal of the Karam Drone. And then September 27th with the DJI Mavic or whatever they are cooking up. Yeah, everyone can enjoy going full CSI on the teaser.