You'd think DJI would make a lot of noise about an exciting new drone – especially one that comes with its own production truck and film crew. The DJI Storm, however, has literally and figuratively flown out completely under the radar.
This is probably to do with the fact that the DJI Storm isn't actually something you can buy; rather, it's part of the company's new (and similarly under-publicized) DJI Studio service.
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DJI describes Studio as "a customized flight platform tailored for professional film and television aerial photography", which appears to come with a full production crew and autonomously powered truck, and is available by direct enquiry only.
While the service seems to have been operating in Asia for a while, it is so boutique that even DJI's US representatives had no knowledge of it when contacted for information by outlets like Drone DJ (opens in new tab).
As for the DJI Storm itself, it's an octocopter with integrated Ronin 2 PTZ gimbal that possesses a maximum speed of 37.2mph in GPS mode and 49.7mph in Sport mode.
It has a maximum payload of 18.5kg / 40.8lbs (which is triple that of the DJI Matrice 600), with a hover time of 15 minutes with a 12kg / 26.5lbs load, or 25 minutes with no load. That means it can handle heavy duty cinema cameras and lenses from the likes of Red and Arri,
In addition to carrying the heaviest and most advanced payload yet, being a professional-grade drone it can operate in temperatures as low as -10°C / 14°F and as high as 40°C / 104°F.
As Drone DJ points out, the fact that the DJI Storm is only available as part of the DJI Studio service puts the manufacturer in direct competition with many of its clients – namely film production companies that sell their own services to Hollywood. Only now they no longer have access to the best DJI drone (opens in new tab) for professionals.
Perhaps this is why DJI Studio seems to be exclusive to Asian territories, at least for now. However, with the company's numerous financial issues – including $147 million losses (opens in new tab) from employee fraud this year – perhaps it is looking to cut out the middle man and sell its premium services directly from source.