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DJI Zenmuse X5 Series Lens Comparison
17153 31 2016-6-20 02:32:33
DJI-Ranen
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There are several large commercial drone producers, but only DJI offers an integrated gimbal camera with a number of compatible lenses. In this post, we’ll show you what lenses are available for the DJI Zenmuse X5 camera and how they work.
  
To start, let’s talk about the relationship between focal length and angle of view.

Lenses.png

Take a look at the pictures above.

A shorter focal length indicates a broader angle of view. However, remember that with a greater angle of view comes greater image distortion. This is sometimes desireable, and wide lenses are often suitable for aerial photography. But if you want to focus on a particular object (use the red tower in this image), a longer lens may be desireable. During a shoot, having access to a number of lenses allows you to capture more or less of your environment from one spot. As such, when choosing a camera, the number of lenses supported by the camera should be taken into consideration along with image quality.

Many Inspire 1 users choose the drone for this very reason. Gimbal cameras supported by the Inspire 1 include the X3, X5 and X5R. X3 has a fixed lens (the equivalent of a 35mm lens), while X5 and X5R cameras support a number of micro four-thirds lenses. Here are the lenses officially approved by DJI:

DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH *
Panasonic Lumix 15mm f/1.7 *
Olympus M. ED 12mm f/2.0
Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 *
Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ *
Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8
Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8
(*Require a balancing ring)

When using the seven lenses mentioned above, a user can focus by tapping on screen in the DJI Go app and adjust aperture. Used along with DJI Focus, users can pull focus and change aperture in real time without using the app. The X5R comes with a built-in solid state hard drive and can shoot in RAW, which gives extra options for post-production.

To ensure stability, some lenses require a camera balancing ring to be installed before shooting, because the performance of the gimbal is affected by the weight of the lens.


The figure below contains balancing ring specifications for all approved X5 lenses:

Table.png

A balancing ring’s name indicates its thread size and weight. For example, the BR-Φ46-10 balancing ring has a thread size of 46mm and a weight of 10g.


Now let’s take a closer look at 6 of these lenses.

1.png
2.png

These 6:
DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH *
Olympus M. ED 12mm f/2.0
Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8
Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8
Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 *
Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ *
(*Require a balancing ring)

The Zenmuse X5 has a 4/3-inch CMOS sensor. It’s a cropped sensor, so the effective focal length for a given lens used with the X5 is lens’ actual focal length multiplied by 2.


For example, the effective focal length of a 15 mm lens is 30 mm. What would be a fisheye lens on a full-frame camera looks much less distorted on a micro 4/3s camera.

3.png

Thanks to the Inspire 1’s excellent performance in high-wind conditions, Inspire 1 pilots can capture beautiful, sea-side shots like these. The image quality you can get with micro 4/3 lenses is truly exceptional.


Let’s take a closer look at some supported lenses, starting with the DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH.

4.png

This lens needs to be used with its official DJI balancing ring.

5.png
This is the Inspire Pro’s kit lens. It’s a small, wide-angle lens with a 15mm focal length (times 2 = 30mm effective focal length). It’s designed specifically for the Inspire, so it’s guaranteed to be well-balanced. It captures wide-angle, natural-looking images without much distortion.

The image below was taken with this lens.

6.png
ISO: 100 Shutter Speed Speed: 1/240 second Aperture: f/6.3

Not bad, eh?


Now let’s look at the Olympus M. ED 12mm f/2.0.

7.png
This lens also needs to be used with a DJI balancing ring.
8.png

This lens is wider than the previous lens with a 12 mm focal length and 24 mm effective focal length, which is suitable for shooting landscapes and insituations where you want to get a wider angle of view. If your battery level is low, the 12 mm lens allows the aircraft to capture good-looking landscape shots without flying very far away. You can pop up in the air and frame a broad shot quickly. The quality of this lens has gained wide-spread recognition in the industry. You certainly get what you pay for!

A reference image is shown below.

9.png
ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/240 second f/8

Next let’s check out the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8.

10.png

This lens has a 25 mm focal length and 50 mm effective focal length. This lens is longer than the last two we profiled. This lens compresses images and offers a shallower depth of field and angle of view. While wider lenses are better for shooting landscapes, this 25mm lens most suitable for medium and close shots.


Check out the image below.

11.png
ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/200 second f/8

You can really see the detail in the waves!

Forth, let's look at the Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8.

12.png

This lens has a 45 mm focal length and 90 mm effective focal length. Pilots, especially new ones, just fly at high altitudes and try to get as much stuff as they can in the frame. But shooting with this lens gives you a whole different perspective on aerial photography. With such a long lens, the aircraft can take detailed photographs of a target area without getting too close, which allows you to stay safe and focus on a particular region or object. That being said, the images are much more compressed, so you’ll need to make sure your focus is set correctly.


A reference image is shown below.

13.png
ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/240 second f/6.3

Our fifth lens is the Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8.

17.png
This lens also requires a DJI balancing ring.
18.png

This one has 17 mm focal length and 34 mm effective focal length. This makes it a little longer than the kit lens. It’s an ideal choice when you want a narrower angle of view and a little less distortion.


There’s a reference image below.

16.png
ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/240 second f/6.3

Finally, let’s look at the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ *.

This lens needs to be used with a DJI balancing ring.

This lens is a wide to medium length zoom lens. Often times, it’s more convenient to use a zoom lens than a prime lens. You can save time by not having to constantly change lenses. However, the image quality of a zoom lens is poorer than that of a prime length. Also, with a small aperture, it’s hard to get a shallow depth of field. So, do you want a prime lens with excellent image quality, or a zoom lens that will allow you more flexibility? It’s up to you.

19.png

The following six images were taken with the six lens we just discussed at the same altitude and from the same angle.

21.png
Olympus M. ED 12mm f/2.0 ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/125 second f/8

20.png
DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH * ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/125 second f/8

22.png
Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 * ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/125 second f/8

23.png
Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8  ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/125 second f/8

24.png
Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/125 second f/8

25.png
Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ * ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: 1/125 second f/8 Focal Length: 16 mm

They’re all pretty impressive, and when used together, they certainly make the make the X5 a versatile camera. Mounted to the Inspire 1 and equipped with Focus, you can take beautiful aerial photos with incredible accuracy, even when seaside winds are strong.

2016-6-20 02:32:33
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Henry Mo-Yung
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Hi Ranen,

Thanks for the detailed lens comparison.

To my understanding, the lenses suffixed with an asterisk (*) in supported lens list in the fifth paragraph of your post are required to be mounted with suitable balancing ring for proper balancing when mounted to X5 or X5R gimbal. The bracketed statement following the said lenses list appears not correctly stated.
[Quote]
Many Inspire 1 users choose the drone for this very reason. Gimbal cameras supported by the Inspire 1 include the X3, X5 and X5R. X3 has a fixed lens (the equivalent of a 35mm lens), while X5 and X5R cameras support a number of micro four-thirds lenses. Here are the lenses officially approved by DJI:

DJI MFT 15mm f/1.7 ASPH *
Panasonic Lumix 15mm f/1.7 *
Olympus M. ED 12mm f/2.0
Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 *
Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ *
Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8
Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8
(*Only support photography)
[End of Quote]

Henry

2016-6-20 05:08:10
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kwaw3104
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The  * seems misleading as it seems to imply that it only supports photography. For instance, I'm pretty sure the stock DJI l JS can support video too right?
2016-6-20 13:17:14
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WorldOfRusty
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Really great post!
2016-6-20 15:26:04
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Aeromirage
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Very informative. Nice presentation.
But.... Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ is a terrible fit. On the X5 anyway.

I don't know if it fits the X5R any better, but I had one and got rid of it because I was concerned that it would eventually damage the x5 camera.
When mounted, it put heavy stress / pressure on the lens mount and the side cover to the tilt motor.

20160309_210157.jpg 20160309_210259.jpg
2016-6-20 18:18:46
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Mike-the-cat
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This was an informative post. However, the original author should have had someone check the facts and figure captions.

Two errors:
1. In the listing of 'photography only' lenses, only the 45mm and possibly the 14-42 mm qualify
2. The erroneous '*' most likely arose from a cut an paste from the list of lenses where a balancing filter is recommended.
3. In the series of comparison shots of a coastal scene, it is obvious that the 15mm and 12mm photos were swapped (assuming that both were taken from the same elevation)



2016-6-20 20:32:40
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DJI-Ranen
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Thanks for the corrections guys, I've edited the post.
2016-6-21 19:40:14
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Mike-the-cat
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DJI-Ranen Posted at 2016-6-22 11:40
Thanks for the corrections guys, I've edited the post.

Almost there now. Check the 15 and 17mm lens pix. They are duplicates. Kindly replace the erroneous photo....
2016-6-22 00:39:54
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RichJ53
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Wow this is a lot of great information with photos showing the results. Thank you for sharing this with us and look forward for more tips you can share in the future

Rich
2016-6-24 21:59:41
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Swedrone
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Excellent post! However the X3 is 20mm (35mm format equivalent) and the X5 (with shipped lens) is 30 mm.
2016-6-25 02:10:01
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alan
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I like to shoot architectural exteriors at dusk. Are there any examples of using the 12mm and 15mm lenses wide open at slow shutter speeds?

So while the X5 camera and lenses may be better than the X3. Are they better wide open?

And in particular since platform stability is key in getting sharp images at low shutter speeds, does the added size of the X5 camera and lens lead to better or worse longish shutter speed performance? I am able to use the X3 as low as 1/2 second. I am concerned that if platform movement is the limiting factor in sharpness, then using the X5 may not be worth it.  The X3 lens is a 20mm equivalent compared to the 12mm's 24mm equivalent. The wider lens of the X3 has less magnification and thus should also allow for lower shutter speeds... assuming I am getting the same coverage by being a little closer to the subject when using it compared to the the 12mm/X5.

I guess the other aspect of the M4/3rds format is that the larger sensor allows for less noise at higher ISOs thus allowing for higher shutter speeds or lower light shooting.  Any still photography dusk X5 experts out there?   

2016-7-1 18:00:22
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info.alain
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Mike-the-cat Posted at 2016-6-21 06:32
This was an informative post. However, the original author should have had someone check the facts a ...

I am getting confused now, I want to buy the 45 mm but according to your information I will not be able to film with it? just photography?
2016-7-13 05:55:11
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Mike-the-cat
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info.alain Posted at 2016-7-13 21:55
I am getting confused now, I want to buy the 45 mm but according to your information I will not be ...

That's not correct. DJI doesn't recommend videography with the 45mm but there are lots of pilots who get great shots with it. You have to use that lens with care as the long focal length 1) exaggerates any vibrations present and 2) it can be difficult keeping the subject in focus while moving/ turning etc.
2016-7-13 08:07:27
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Morrisson
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I appreciate that you guys take the time to put this up!

I did have a question: On your website is shows the 45mm is only approved for still photography. Why is that?

I'm a videographer as well and would like to purchase it for video!

Thanks!

Best,
Gavin
2016-7-13 14:48:54
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saipanphotograp
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Not that it matters, but the H920 with the CGO4 uses the same lenses so your very first sentence is incorrect which doesn't bode well for trusting the rest of your info. The H920 drone works great with the Panny 12-32, 20 f1.7 and Panny 42.5 f1.7 for both stills and video and comes with the Panny 14-42 power zoom, so I am hoping this one will as well. The Panny 42.5 is sharper than the Oly 45 and has OIS so the video is amazing from it. I know the 20 is too fat for the gimble, but the others should fit.
2016-7-28 12:58:57
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shkong78
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Will Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 work with X5?


The weight of the lens is 0.34 lb(152g).
If zoom out can cause balancing problem, then I may be willing to use just 9mm for wide angle shot.
I had also considered 8mm fisheyelens but that is with more distortion
I would appreciate very much if anyone can give input to this,

Thomas
2016-7-29 12:48:39
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str1776
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Thank you Ranen great material the info will keep me busy and eager to learn more
thanks so much
Steve
2016-8-2 20:18:25
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HermosaDrones
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thanks for the info.
2016-8-24 21:49:08
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Movin on
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Very helpful.  Thank you for your effort and generosity in sharing this information.
2016-8-30 09:24:25
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Morrisson
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shkong78 Posted at 2016-7-29 16:48
Will Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 work with X5?

I have this same question...
2016-8-31 18:47:10
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WillBapta
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Absolutely incredible write up. Really puts things into perspective. Thanks for sharing..
2016-9-12 08:21:22
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Hi-FlyFoto
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Hi Ranen,

thanks for your write-up. Looks like you have some experience with the X5 (and also quite a few lenses!).

I use the X5 with the original DJI 15mm and the Olympus 12mm.
What I have found, is that in DNG photos with the Olympus the barrel distortion is not corrected by my RAW converter (Adobe Camera Raw).
JPG photos are corrected.
However, the distortion is corrected with the DJI 15mm. The Olympus on a Panasonic GH4 is corrected. To clarify, I have made some test shots:
Photos with X5 drone camera

I strongly suspect this is an issue with the X5 firmware. It seems that the lens profile built into all MFT lenses is only included in the DNG file for the DJI lens.

Have you also seen this? Does this also appear with other lenses?
I am especially interested in the Olympus 14-42mm, since I am thinking of buying this for special assignments.

Thank you for your advice
2016-10-10 06:11:54
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dcchavez
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Morrisson Posted at 2016-7-14 06:48
I appreciate that you guys take the time to put this up!

I did have a question: On your website is  ...

My experience with the 45mm Zuiko lens has been a good one as long as you understand its limitations.  

1. I have find that the jello effect is reduced dramatically if you film while flying backwards, or strafing side to side.

2. When the lens is attached and gimbal off, it is very back heavy.  I added a filter with a pad of gaff tape on top of the lens to balance it well.

3. Here is a shot showing the 45,, in use- I was filming in Granada, Spain and was able to stay far outside the city to capture this shot of the city-
2016-11-15 12:22:19
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fansbbd45b06
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I get a feeling dji is going to forget about the demise x5 pro. And I just spent 2,000 bucks that took me so long to save -____-
2016-11-15 12:34:10
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Morrisson
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dcchavez Posted at 2016-11-16 04:22
My experience with the 45mm Zuiko lens has been a good one as long as you understand its limitatio ...

Wow...this is beautiful!

What did you shoot it all on?

Best,
Gavin
2016-11-17 14:13:44
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Morrisson
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fansbbd45b06 Posted at 2016-11-16 04:34
I get a feeling dji is going to forget about the demise x5 pro. And I just spent 2,000 bucks that to ...

Very possibly...and I just saved over $6,000 for my X5R...it's technology...it changes quickly. They need to make more sales to stay ahead of Yuneec and the other guys! Make more money with your drone and keep buying (or start making money!)
2016-11-17 14:14:50
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fansa0db5acd
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Morrisson Posted at 2016-11-18 06:13
Wow...this is beautiful!

What did you shoot it all on?

Thanks Morrison.. Shot primarily on a RED Epic Dragon, with a few shots on the Inspire with 15mm and 45mm lens...  A few shots with the Epic Dragon on the Ronin-M gimbal.
2016-11-18 13:01:34
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DJI_Gerry
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Hi Pilot,

i have inspire 1 V2 with X3, need to change with X5, but X5 can not turn on.
what should i do?

BR
Gerry
2016-11-28 04:28:03
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GeorgeR
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To confirm, the Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 does not require a balancing ring but does require a 14g filter in order to properly balance on an Inspire 2 with Zenmuse X5S?
  
  
If that is the case, I am having a difficult time identifying filter weight on filter manufacturer web sites. BH Photo shows filter package weight in the specs but that doesn’t help me.
  
  
What are some UV or Skylight filter options that weigh 14 grams?
  
  
Thank you.

2017-1-21 10:31:11
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Aeromirage
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I have that lens and use a Poloroid 37mm MC Fader ND filter plus an empty ring from a FLD filter to balance it. (Minus the glass)
I think the Poloroid weighs 11.8 gm and the empty ring 2.1gm. This setup balances the lens perfectly.
I just need to make sure where it is set so my pictures aren't too dark. Usually keep it at zero.
  
HERE is a link to one on eBay
The one drawback is that your lens cap will not fit any longer. You will need to get a 40.5mm lens cap.
xxxfb.jpg
2017-1-21 14:55:32
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Coigreach
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dcchavez Posted at 2016-11-15 12:22
My experience with the 45mm Zuiko lens has been a good one as long as you understand its limitations.  

1. I have find that the jello effect is reduced dramatically if you film while flying backwards, or strafing side to side.

Awesome Video "Bravo" well put together!!! could watch it again and again
2017-1-25 21:27:11
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fans170685c9
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Vietnam
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would you like to tell me i can use lens panasonic leica 25mm f1.4 with r5 on inspire 1 v2? all lens of panasonic and olympus must use balacing ring?
2017-3-12 03:35:13
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