Skip to main content

DJI’s eye in the sky gets closer to land with optical zoom

dji zenmuse z3 has optical zoom djiz3
DJI
One of the biggest players in the drone photography industry today announced a big first: an optical zoom. The DJI Zenmuse Z3 camera is the company’s first camera to include a zoom lens with a 3.5x optical zoom alongside 4K footage.

The Z3 isn’t the first aerial camera to include zoom (with one of the most notable options being the Aeryon HDZoom30 with a 30x zoom) but it is a first for DJI’s wide range of products. The Z3 is compatible with the Inspire 1 and both the Matrice 100 and 600.

Alongside the 3.5x optical zoom, the camera includes a 2x digital zoom — combining the two brings up the total to 7x, or the equivalent to a 22-77mm lens on a DSLR. While digital zoom just crops the footage, with 4K quality, losing a bit to digital zoom won’t be such a big loss. The zoom, along with the camera’s other settings, can be controlled by swiping within the DJI Go app.

The camera is designed with a 12 megapixel 1/2.3 inch Sony sensor. And along with that zoom, the Z3 adds a reaction wheel that works alongside the motorized yaw control for more stable shots.

While the zoom could be a handy tool simply for aerial photography, the Z3 is designed more for industrial and commercial use. Thanks to the zoom, the drone can fly at a safer distance from obstacles as well as fly a little farther from disasters in search and rescue applications.

“Before this camera, the only way to zoom in on a subject or object was to fly closer to it,” said Paul Pan, senior product manager. “Now, pilots in a search-and-rescue situation, or conducting surveys or inspections, can maintain distance and still zoom in for sharp, detailed images.”

The DJI Zenmuse Z3 will start shipping at the end of the month with a $899 price tag.

[amz_nsa_keyword keyword=”DJI accessories”]
Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
Can a $500 Pixel phone beat a $1,000 iPhone in a camera test? I found out
iPhone 15 Pro (left) and Google Pixel 8a camera modules.

Right before Google I/O 2024, Google showed off the latest Pixel device, the Google Pixel 8a. This is the latest offering from the Pixel A-series, which is a more budget-friendly Pixel for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles of the flagship Pixel 8 or 8 Pro.

The Pixel 8a features a new design with more rounded corners and a matte-finish back. It packs Google’s latest silicon, the Tensor G3, but the camera hardware remains unchanged from its predecessor, the Pixel 7a.

Read more
Flash deal drops the price of the DJI Mini 3 Drone to just $550
A DJI Mini 3 Drone in the air.

Over at Best Buy today, there’s a fantastic deal on the DJI Mini 3 drone which is perfect for anyone waiting for great drone deals. Currently, you can buy the DJI Mini 3 drone for $550, meaning you save $60 off the regular price of $610. A decent discount of just under 10% on a highly sought after drone, this is perfect for anyone keen to see more of the world. If you want to learn more, keep reading -- or you can simply tap the buy button.

Why you should buy the DJI Mini 3 drone
DJI makes some of the best drones around and the DJI Mini 3 drone is a great example of what it does well. When we tried out the DJI Mini 3 drone, we described it as a game changer. It’s incredibly lightweight, weighing just 249g so it’s perfect for taking on your travels without being too heavy to take around.

Read more
Hurry! This GoPro HERO12 bundle has a rare price cut right now
GoPro HERO12 Black Action Camera Bundle

If you're thinking about buying an action camera, there's no better option out there right now than the GoPro HERO12 Black. It's the brand's latest model so you may not think that you can get one with savings, but there's a rare discount from Best Buy right now. A bundle that includes the action camera and some useful accessories is currently $50 off, bringing its price down to $400 from $450 originally. We're not sure how much time is remaining before this offer expires though, so if you want to take advantage of it, you're going to have to complete the purchase immediately.

Why you should buy the GoPro HERO12 Black action camera bundle
The GoPro HERO12 Black is a lightweight but durable action camera that you can on any outdoor adventure. It's capable of recording footage at up to 5.3K resolution with 60 frames per second, and its extra-large 8:7 aspect ratio gives you a bigger canvas for your creativity. The action camera also features the brand's HyperSmooth 6.0 stabilization technology that fixes even the shakiest videos, and Horizon Lock that keeps the video steady even if it rotates 360 degrees while you're recording.

Read more