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DJI Readies Micro Four Thirds Drone Cameras for Liftoff

While the potential for drones seems to be nearly limitless, our robotic future overlords have already demonstrated an amazing capacity for aerial photography. Now DJI is hoping to make those photos and movies even better with its two new Micro Four Thirds cameras, the first of their kind when it comes to commercial aerial imaging.

The Zenmuse X5 and X5R cameras have 16-megapixel sensors with the ability to record 4K video at 24 and 30 fps; they also support interchangeable lenses from makers such as Panasonic and Olympus. Aside from price, the difference between the $4,499 X5 and $7,999 X5R (with DJI’s 15mm f/1.7 ASPH lens) is that the latter can record video to both the onboard microSD card and a removable 512GB SSD, which is located on the gimbal’s top plate.

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This gives the X5R the power to shoot lossless RAW Cinema DNG video, which DJI says it will support through its upcoming Cinelight editing and file conversion software. The X5R also features an impressive maximum video bitrate of 2.4 Gbps and includes a new D-LOG mode, which the company claims will offer users a wider range of color-correction options when editing.

The cameras weigh in at just 0.75 pounds (body only) and are designed to work seamlessly with DJI’s 3-axis Zenmuse gimbal to create shake-free videos and sharp long exposure photos. All four of the currently supported lens options also include full wireless controls, which means users can adjust things like aperture and focus wirelessly during flight.

The X5 and X5R should be available sometime before the end of the year and will include options both kit and body only packages.