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DJI’s cinematic drone gets more precise flight controls with new Pro version

DJI’s cinematic video drone is getting a boost. DJI recently announced the Matrice 600 Pro, adding that “Pro” name and bumping up a few features from the company’s cinema drone announced in April.

The DJI Matrice 600 Pro shares much of the original Matrice 600’s features, but the biggest addition is that the A3 Pro controller is now built-in, instead of being sold as an add-on. The A3 Pro’s strengths arise from a system designed to compare data from three sets of sensors. That controller system enhances the drone’s precision in flight while also offering a safety boost through a triple redundant system.

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DJI says that the A3 Pro also reduces camera shake and noise, thanks to balls inside the controller designed to absorb vibration.

The Pro version carries a capacity of 13.2 pounds (6 kg), similar to that of the previous option that allows the system to handle a variety of different camera systems from Micro Four Thirds to the Red Epic cinema camera. While the capacity is similar, the Pro version is also more compact, thanks to a new folding platform.

The update also improves the drone’s six battery system — not by extending the drone’s flight time, but by allowing all six batteries to be charged at once, so the drone can get back in the air faster.

The Matrice 600 Pro — and the regular 600 before it — is designed for cinema and industrial applications since it boasts a larger load capacity allowing it to carry more than a small action camera. That expanded capacity also opens up the range of accessories — including gimbals and the DJI Focus system. With a full load, the drone has a 16-minute flight time, though users that don’t need to load the drone to the max can expect up to 30 minutes with a smaller camera system like the Zenmuse XT.

With the original Matrice 600 listing at $4,599, the Pro sits at $4,999. Considering the A3 Pro controller is a $1,499 upgrade, the latest pro cinema and high-end industrial option is essentially a price drop for users needing that upgraded controller for enhanced precision, and tosses in a few extra perks like a better charger and a smaller folded profile.