DJI STORM: The Coolest Drone You’ve Never Heard Of
BY Zacc Dukowitz13 June 2019
Drone giant DJI usually makes a huge deal about their releases, putting out teaser videos and counting down the time to the big reveal on their website.
But their latest release was done quietly, with zero promotion behind it.
The DJI STORM, a big rig drone made just for aerial cinematography.
What We Know about the DJI STORM
Although DJI hasn’t released much information about the STORM yet, here is what we know:
- It has eight rotors
- It can carry a payload of up to 40.8lb (18.5kg)—enough for a filmmaker’s rig, including a heavy camera, lense, DJI wireless follow focus system, and a Ronin gimbal for stabilization
- It can go up to 50mph
- It has a battery life of 8—25 minutes, depending on the payload
- It can operate in a huge range of temperatures, from -10 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius
- It can be used with DJI’s high-end Master Wheels and Force Pro remote control systems
- It doesn’t seem to be for sale—from what we’ve found, the STORM is only available for use through DJI Studio, a new high-end production offering from DJI that was released along with the STORM
[Want to learn more about working with big rig drones on movie sets? Check out these nine important factors to consider.]
Basically, the STORM is a monster among monsters. Compare it to DJI’s Matrice 200, for example—the M200 can carry a payload of 4.4 pounds, while the STORM can carry almost ten times that.
Of all the professional drones out there, the STORM seems like a standout when it comes to big rigs made just for moviemaking.
Photo credit: DJI
Why the Secrecy?
The only information DJI has released about the STORM that we’re aware of is the YouTube video featured above.
In fact, there’s almost no information available about it on DJI’s website:
(When you search on the Chinese version of their site, you do find this page devoted to the STORM and DJI Studio.)
So why all the secrecy?
One reason could be that the STORM is super high end, and is part of DJI’s new DJI Studio offering, a high-end production service that includes use of the STORM, a production crew, and a van to transport the crew and the drone.
In other words, it’s not for everyday use.
Here’s that van that comes with the STORM
Another reason for DJI’s secrecy could be that their new Studio service directly competes with DJI customers and partners who work in high-end aerial cinematography, which could make the company reluctant to advertise its existence too broadly.
And yet another reason for the secrecy could simply be that it’s cool to keep things under your hat now and then—for all we know, the quiet release of that YouTube video may ultimately help DJI generate more buzz in the places where they want it than any big marketing initiative ever would have.
What have you heard about the DJI STORM? Chime in on this thread in the UAV Coach community forum to share what you know.