This Week’s Top 10 Deals for Filmmakers – Canon 1DX Mark II, ZEISS Lens, Litepanels and more

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Nov 112018

There are a couple of new interesting deals for filmmakers available. We selected the best 10 offers of filmmaking gear from our partners’ online shops for this week. Including the Canon 1DX Mark II, a ZEISS ultra wide-angle lens, Litepanels LED lights, a case for the DJI Ronin-S, a Dell Alienware laptop and more.

I went through the current deals on our partners’ websites and selected the top 10 offers currently available, which I think could be interesting for you. First, there are B&H offers listed for our readers based in North and South America and then a couple of deals from our European partner CVP. By shopping at our affiliate partners’ stores you are supporting cinema5D through our buy links, as we get a small affiliate commission when a purchase is completed.

Now, let’s take a look at this week’s top 10 deals for filmmakers:

B&H: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR Body – $500 Discount

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro & Mavic 2 Zoom Announced – Plenty of Improvements

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Aug 232018

Finally – today is the release day for the new DJI Mavic 2 drones. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro with integrated 1″ sensor Hasselblad camera and Mavic 2 Zoom, the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capability. Both drones offer lots of smart features, flight time of up to 31 minutes and a more stable video transmission system.

The new DJI Mavic 2 Drones. Source: DJI

Every drone enthusiast was waiting for this. The day when DJI releases their new Mavic 2 drone. That day is today! As we already know since a month ago – DJI is not revealing one new drone, but two new drones. Number one: Mavic 2 Pro, the world’s first drone with an integrated Hasselblad camera. Number two: Mavic 2 Zoom, the world’s first foldable consumer drone with optical zoom capability. Both drones share the same foldable body design and offer a flight time of up to 31 minutes as well as a more stable video transmission system.

Brief History of the Mavic

When the original DJI Mavic Pro (our review here) came out in 2016, it caused a small revolution in the drone world – it featured an unprecedented combination of portability and image quality. With its foldable design it fitted in every bag and made drone shooting accessible to masses. Even despite its low bitrate of 60Mbps, and therefore not so great dynamic range, it carried much more strengths and is still a very popular product, to this day.

New DJI Mavic 2 Series Drones. Source: DJI

In january 2018 DJI presented Mavic Pro’s smaller brother – the DJI Mavic Air (hands-on video here, Mavic Pro comparison here). It featured a higher bitrate of 100Mbps in a smaller, lighter and more affordable body. There were, however, some trade-offs when compared to the older Mavic Pro. For instance, the lower range due to different wireless technology used (OcuSync in Pro vs Extended Wifi in Air).

Both the Mavic Pro and the Mavic Air shared the same 1/2.3″ sensor. The field-of-view of the lens was 26mm (full frame equivalent) with the Pro and 24mm (full frame equivalent) with the Air.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Image Quality is Everything

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro features the brand-new camera module which DJI co-engineered with Hasselblad. The partnership with the medium format photography pioneer is very clear, as the Mavic 2 Pro proudly carries the Hasselblad logo right above the lens.

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DJI Mavic 2 Is Coming – Leaks Reveal Not Just One, but Two New Drones

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Aug 012018

If you’re like us here at cinema5D eagerly waiting for some news on the anticipated DJI Mavic 2 drone, Well, here’s some solid information for you: British digital retailer Argos issued their latest (print) catalogue and in it, alert readers found two brand-new drone models : The Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom.

Cinema5D HQ actually received an invitation for an official event that should have taken place during July but this event has been postponed without any alternative date so far. So, now with everybody on the edges of their seats, let’s have a look at what surfaced in that aforementioned catalogue:

There will be not one but two models of the upcoming Mavic 2 drone and the difference lies within the actual camera gimbal. The so-called Mavic 2 Zoom will sport a 2x optical zoom (24mm – 48mm) while the Mavic 2 Pro will feature a Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch sensor but no zoom. You will have to decide whether Pro image quality or the flexibility of a zoom lens is your thing.

There’s no word on video recording capabilities. I assume 4K (UHD) recording but the amount of compression and the quality of the codec deployed are yet to be revealed. The gimbal itself doesn’t seem to be detachable, which is unfortunate but since we’re talking about a drone listed in the consumer section of the company’s lineup, it’s not surprising, really.

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Mounting a 70-200mm Lens on the Ronin S

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Jul 162018

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to mount a longer lens like an 85-200mm on to a gimbal and get footage with it. I feel like a lot of video we see shot on a gimbal is from a wide angle lens, but in this video we see something a little more interesting.

My curiosity about mounting a telephoto lens to a gimbal came from a while ago when I saw that the Inspire could mount different lenses. Being so into drones, I really wanted to have that ability and create this new look from the sky. Once I ended up with my Inspire 2, I began to learn how to fly a 25mm and 45mm lens which both double in focal length because of the micro 4/3 sensor. After a good amount of practice flying, I was finally able to achieve the shots I wanted and have been using this for a lot of my work ever since.

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DJI Mavic Air vs. Mavic Pro Footage Comparison

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May 282018

After our hands-on with the Mavic Air in Monaco earlier this year, it was time to put the Mavic Air up against its older brother, the Mavic Pro, and compare the footage. Which footage holds up better?

Does the Mavic Air Make Superior Images?

The irony about new technology is often that newer generations are simply better, even in a model that sits in a lower price bracket than a predecessor that is still in the market. And this is exactly what we are seeing with the new Mavic Air, which I took for a hands-on spin at their press event in Monaco earlier this year (watch the video here). The Mavic Air is a classic example for this conundrum that many manufacturers face, unless they want to artificially strip newer technology off of some of the features of older, but “higher end” version of their products (C200, cough-cough!).

Transform Your DJI Drone in a Handheld Gimbal With This Accessory by PolarPro

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Apr 122018

Everyone I know who shoots video dreams to own a gimbal if they don’t already. But did you know that if you have a drone, you actually already own a gimbal that you can use to shoot anything?

The role of the gimbal is to keep something horizontal no matter what. When flying a drone, it’s quite essential to maintain the camera stable and avoid any movement due to external elements or when flying it aggressively. However, a drone can also record videos and take pictures while on the ground. This means you can use it as a camera and take advantage of its gimbal to make super steady shots even if you don’t own a stabilizer for your bigger DSLR.

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Fstoppers’ First Hands-On Look at the DJI Mavic Air

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Jan 232018

Today, Fstoppers was at the DJI Event in NYC where they announced the Mavic Air. After learning about this drone and seeing examples of photo and video it had produced, I knew that I had to get my hands on one of them to try out. As a current owner of a Mavic Pro, there is no doubt that I questioned whether or not I should get one of these drones. So I went and flew them around a bit and got a little taste of what’s to come.


Like most DJI products, this drone has a really sturdy build. I have to say that it actually feels a bit more durable than the Mavic Pro, especially when it comes to the folding parts on the drone. To me, everything just felt more intact and sturdier when I went to fold the legs in and out. I was shocked to see that they got rid of the foldable props, but I also think that in some way it is better for flying overall. I have never had an issue with the folding props on the Mavic Pro, but if I had to be honest, they do get annoying when I go to pack the drone up and put it back into its case.

The controller was also felt better than I thought and more well built than previous controllers from DJI. It is more like the Spark’s controller; it does not have a screen on it, but it gets hooked up directly to your phone just like the Mavic Pro. The coolest feature about the remote is that the joysticks can be removed and stored in the controller. Whenever you want to spark up a conversation about portability, don’t hesitate to bring up this sleek new controller!

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DJI Reveals New Handheld Stabilizers at CES 2018 – Osmo Mobile 2 and Ronin-S

 Gear  Comments Off on DJI Reveals New Handheld Stabilizers at CES 2018 – Osmo Mobile 2 and Ronin-S
Jan 072018

DJI is aiming straight at the mobile & DSLR/mirrorless market with two new single-handed stabilizers. Meet Osmo Mobile 2 and Ronin-S, both of which will be presented at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

Osmo Mobile 2 – an improved handheld smartphone camera stabilizer

The Osmo Mobile 2 has a lightweight design, a built-in three-axis gimbal and supports pivoting between landscape and portrait orientation (by the two-way mobile clamp). DJI’s SmoothTrack technology detects how you are moving the camera and compensates, so it becomes a smoother, more “cinematic” shot. On top of that, user experience has been improved and all the controls where simplified, DJI claims it’s now more similar to operating “a professional camera”.

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DJI AeroScope is Designed to Track Down Your Drone While Airborne

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Oct 262017

DJI has unveiled a new tool designed to increase safety and security in a world of crowded air space. AeroScope can identify and track any DJI drone by using the existing link between the drone itself and the controller on the ground. A bold move, you might think. Certainly, but also a necessary one!

Security is always an issue, and it’s always about keeping a balance. Surveillance, incapacitation and big brother authorities on the one hand, privacy and freedom on the other.

Photograph credit: Bertrand Bouchez |

We need regulation for the increasing air traffic caused by affordable drones, sure. But we also need to avoid a surveillance state in order to enforce these regulations. In comes DJI AeroScope, a tool which tries to satisfy both sides.

DJI AeroScope

This upcoming technology won’t be available for everybody. It’s designed to be used by authorized parties like police or aviation authorities only. AeroScope has been installed at two international airports since April, and DJI is continuing to test the system in other environments.

Basically AeroScope is a receiver that can detect any drones within its range once that drone is powered on. Before it’s even airborne, AeroScope can already know its location and its unique registration number, which relates it directly to its registered owner.

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How to Maximize Your DJI Spark Dynamic Range in Postproduction

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Aug 172017

Amongst the drones available on the market in 2017, the DJI Spark is surely not amongst the top ones in terms of files quality. The sequences it creates are quite difficult to color grade in postproduction and thus it makes it hard for videographers to mix the clips with footage from another camera. However, there are ways to improve what you can get out of Spark’s videos. Casey Faris gives us one of the tricks he uses to maximize the dynamic range of the images.

The DJI Spark is without a doubt an incredibly attractive product to get into aerial photography and videography. But its price comes at the cost of more advanced features found on the Phantom and Mavic, such as log footage. The sequences produced by the Spark are very contrasty, sharp, and quite saturated. It’s not a bad thing for average users, but it’s far from ideal for those who want to color grade their footage.

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DJI Spark Review – Is it Really Suitable For Professionals?

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Aug 012017

As a professional filmmaker and DJI Mavic shooter, Tamás Kiss wanted to test the capabilities of the tiny new DJI Spark drone, so he took it to the challenging Icelandic climate to put it through its paces. Here’s his DJI Spark Review, that confirms a lot of the observations I made during my hands-on session with the tiny new drone. – Introduction by Sebastian Wöber.

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DJI announces the M600 Pro drone for payloads up to 6kg

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Nov 162016

DJI has announced yet another drone, but this time it is a lot larger than the Mavic Pro. The Matrice 600 Pro inherits everything from the M600 with the addition of improved flight performance and better loading capacity. The M600 now comes with pre-installed arms and antennas to help reduce the setup time. This is perhaps the biggest improvement over the older M600.


The airframe is equipped with the A3 Pro flight controller, Lightbridge 2 HD transmission system, intelligent batteries and battery management system. All Zenmuse cameras and gimbals are natively compatible and there is full integration with third party software and hardware.

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DJI’s New Mavic Pro Has All the Smarts of the P4, None of the Bulk

 Action cams, Gear  Comments Off on DJI’s New Mavic Pro Has All the Smarts of the P4, None of the Bulk
Sep 282016

While drones can navigate pretty freely in the air, they’re still a hassle to port around on the ground. DJI’s newest aerial camera, the Mavic Pro, looks to change that. It boasts a foldable design that shrinks the drone down to a device that basically fits into the palm of your hand and slips easily into a backpack or purse.

The Mavic Pro may be far more compact than DJI’s Phantom models, but it doesn’t skimp on features. It features a 4K camera that can record at up to 3o (full HD at 96p) and snap 12-megapixel still images in the DNG or JPEG format. The lens has a 78-degree field of view and you’ll enjoy about 27 minutes of flight time with a top speed of 40 miles per hour in sport mode.

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DJI Announce the First Drone Zoom Camera – Zenmuse Z3

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Jul 142016

DJI just announced the introduction of a drone zoom camera called the DJI Zenmuse Z3. It is an upgrade to the popular Zenmuse X3, which is their entry level integrated drone camera used on the DJI Inspire 1 and DJI Osmo.

The Zenmuse Z3 will offer a zoom of up to 7x. That is a 3.5x optical zoom with a digital scaler doing the rest. Although the press release indicates this zoom camera is aimed mainly at industrial applications such as inspection and surveying, it certainly also gives filmmakers interesting new possibilities. A different focal length can come in handy in many filming situations.

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New DJI Phantom 4 with sonar and A.I. can track moving objects, fly automatically

 Action cams, Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on New DJI Phantom 4 with sonar and A.I. can track moving objects, fly automatically
Mar 132016

DJI have updated their consumer Phantom drone today, which will be priced at $1400.

It contains some serious AI.

The DJI Phantom 4 features sonar with collision detection.

TapFly now allows the drone to fly itself via waypoints tapped in via an iPhone app – in realtime whilst the drone is in flight.

ActiveTrack allows a rectangular box to be drawn around a target (human or otherwise), then the drone will follow and shoot them. Hang on that sounds a little sinister, how about “film them”.

Flight time on one charge has been increased to 28 minutes and the 4K camera has also had an upgrade.

Although it is the same 4K Sony sensor as before (also seen on the DJI OSMO) slow-motion has been given a boost to full 1080/120fps.

The lens is improved and so is the stabilisation offered by the re-designed gimbal. Of course the camera is bundled with the drone and doesn’t cost extra.

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Jan 122016

Yuneec Typhoon H: A true Contender

This is a serious contender to DJI’s Prosumer lineup. The Yuneec Typhoon H comes equipped with a 360-degree gimbal camera that can take 4K videos and 12-megapixel stills, and its rotor arms are made of lightweight carbon fiber. DJI now sells the Zenmuse, which can be attached to the Inspire, shoots micro 4/3 and RAW footage, and allows for more fine-grained tuning of color and focus while in the air. The Typhoon H, like the Inspire 1, has retractable landing gear and a camera which can pan a full 360 degrees.

Unlike the Inspire 1, the new unit has six rotors instead of four. According to Yuneec this will allow the craft to remain stable and land in the event it loses one or two motors.

Hollywood Welcomes the DJI S900

DJI also has a six-rotor craft aimed at Hollywood professionals, the DJI S900, which will set you back over $4,000 when equipped with a camera. The new Typhoon H also has a full suite of autonomous features, such as Orbit, Point of Interest, Curved Cable, and something called Journey. It has basic sense and avoid technology on board, using “ultrasonic proximity detection” to automatically dodge large obstacles.

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Oct 092015


The company that has made its name putting cameras in the air is bringing them back to the ground.DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, announced today at the London Film Festival a new product called Osmo, which isn’t intended for drones at all. It’s a tiny, hand-held device (what’s known as a “three-axis gimbal” in videography) that integrates with cameras made by DJI and allows for video shot by people on the ground to have the smooth, gliding look of footage shot by an airborne drone. An Osmo costs $649, and also comes with a 4K, 12-megapixel camera.

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Sep 112015

DJI have announced two replacement cameras for their Inspire 1 UAV. The ZenMuse X5 and X5R replace the stock Zenmuse X3 camera with a Micro Four Thirds 4K camera, fully controllable from the ground via DJI’s GO app. The system uses standard interchangeable MFT lenses and can take 16MP stills or video. Updateable colour profiles will also offer the ability to shoot flat images to maximise the benefit of a claimed 13 stops of dynamic range. A complete Inspire 1 and X5 system will cost $4,499US; a camera-only upgrade for existing owners is also planned for $2,199US. The X5R, a Cinema DNG RAW capable version of the camera, will be available as a complete package for $7,999. Thanks to Matt at


May 082015


The world’s largest drone maker is quickly becoming one of China’s most powerful homegrown companies. DJI announced today that it has raised another $75 million in venture capital funding, and recent talks with investors have reportedly pegged the value of the company at a whopping $10 billion.

The Verge reports that this latest infusion of cash comes from Accel Partners, a Silicon Valley firm that’s well known for its early investments in companies such as Facebook and Dropbox.

DJI says it’s on track to double sales this year and generate around $1 billion in revenue from drone sales around the world. Not bad for a company that was founded in 2006 by then-26-year-old engineer Frank Wang, who has now become the world’s first drone billionaire (he owns about 45% of the company).


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Apr 292015

This short subject is the best in terms of aerial drone photography that I have yet seen. Have a look!

“This movie was shot during our 20 days trip to Antarctica in December 2014 to January 2015.
We started from Ushuaia in Argentina and went to Port Williams in Chile, rounded Cape Horn and crossed the Drake Passage towards the Melchior Islands in Antarctica. We spent 16 days in the Antarctic and got to experience the most amazing scenery and wildlife before we returned back to Ushuaia.
Filmed with GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition and DJI Phantom 2, edited with Final Cut Pro X.”