DJI's Matrice 30 is an enterprise-class drone with all the bells and whistles

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,149   +155
Staff member
In a nutshell: Aerial drones are available across a range of price points, from cheap stocking stuffers to serious budget busters. DJI's latest flagship squarely fits into the latter category, despite being compact enough to fit into a backpack.

The DJI Matrice 30 drone is a professional piece of kit through and through. The standard M30 features a 48-megapixel 1/2" CMOS sensor camera with 5x-16x optical zoom, a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera and support for 8K photo 4K/30FPS video resolution. There's also a laser rangefinder that can supply precise coordinates of objects up to 1,200 meters away. The M30T variant adds a radiometric thermal camera to the mix.

IP55 protection enables the M30 to operate in harsh environments including high winds, heavy rain, high altitudes and extreme temperatures ranging from -20C to 50C. Six-way obstacle avoidance sensors help cut down on crashes while the three-propeller emergency landing mode can bring the unit down safely even if one motor completely fails.

Battery life is rated at 41 minutes of flight time. It also supports battery hot swapping, and the smart charging case allows charging from 20 percent to 90 percent in just half an hour. The new DJI RC Plus remote controller, meanwhile, packs a 7-inch HD screen and is IP54 certified against dust and water splashes.

Perhaps the most impressive component is the DJI Dock. This autonomous takeoff, landing and charging station allows for fully automatic, programmed flights. The dock is IP55 rated and the core components are IP67 rated, allowing for continuous operation with minimal maintenance. It even features an integrated weather station, wide-angle surveillance cameras, built-in antennas, a port for an external 4G dongle and an internal battery should the dock lose power.

DJI M30 pricing starts at $9,999, and the drone will be available to purchase from DJI's online store and through enterprise dealers. The DJI Dock is being tested with select users and will launch sometime in Q4 2022.

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Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Damn... while I love the idea of the dock, I wonder how it will fare in reality... $10k is a LOT of money considering their Phantom 4 Pro was about $2k and sported the same camera....

I wonder if their VR Goggles will be compatible...
 

waclark

Posts: 352   +240
Damn... while I love the idea of the dock, I wonder how it will fare in reality... $10k is a LOT of money considering their Phantom 4 Pro was about $2k and sported the same camera....

I wonder if their VR Goggles will be compatible...
Really? Because this drone seems so much more capable than the Phantom 4. 48 Mpixel cam, 12 Mpix wide angle cam, weatherproofing, high altitude capable, extreme temperature capable, full autonomous flight, LRF and more.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Really? Because this drone seems so much more capable than the Phantom 4. 48 Mpixel cam, 12 Mpix wide angle cam, weatherproofing, high altitude capable, extreme temperature capable, full autonomous flight, LRF and more.
Yes... it's also several years newer... but the Phantom 4 Pro still has a 20Mpixel 4k Camera... object avoidance, etc... obviously not quite as good... it's the Dock (and it's autonomous flight) that adds $8k to the price.... would have to see how well it works for it to be worth the upgrade.
 

waclark

Posts: 352   +240
Yes... it's also several years newer... but the Phantom 4 Pro still has a 20Mpixel 4k Camera... object avoidance, etc... obviously not quite as good... it's the Dock (and it's autonomous flight) that adds $8k to the price.... would have to see how well it works for it to be worth the upgrade.
For most of us the temp/altitude capabilities are likely not all that useful, but, to some it might be. I'm sure those will add a ton of cost, especially getting near-military grade electronics to handle the temps.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
For most of us the temp/altitude capabilities are likely not all that useful, but, to some it might be. I'm sure those will add a ton of cost, especially getting near-military grade electronics to handle the temps.
Yeah... but an extra EIGHT THOUSAND?

Seems like quite the price jump...
 

waclark

Posts: 352   +240
Yeah... but an extra EIGHT THOUSAND?

Seems like quite the price jump...
Have you ever worked with mil-grade electronics? They are mucho expensive. I used to design military computing gear for battlefield use. Not only are the electronics more expensive but you also have additional cost in coating the PCBs and sealing up the enclosure to prevent water intrusion. Not to mention having to use different plastics that can withstand -4 to +122F temps. I'm sure it's not the only thing that added cost, but it wouldn't surprise me if it doubled the base cost of the drone.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
Have you ever worked with mil-grade electronics? They are mucho expensive. I used to design military computing gear for battlefield use. Not only are the electronics more expensive but you also have additional cost in coating the PCBs and sealing up the enclosure to prevent water intrusion. Not to mention having to use different plastics that can withstand -4 to +122F temps. I'm sure it's not the only thing that added cost, but it wouldn't surprise me if it doubled the base cost of the drone.
Oh I understand... the thing is, this is taking the place of their previous top-of-the-line drone... which cost about 2k... Yes, this is better... but once again, is it EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS better?

 

waclark

Posts: 352   +240
Oh I understand... the thing is, this is taking the place of their previous top-of-the-line drone... which cost about 2k... Yes, this is better... but once again, is it EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS better?
Only the buyer can answer that question. For me, no, it's not. But, if I were a commercial enterprise that had a need for something like this, then maybe. For example, I know there are drone systems that can help farmers map fields and do other surveying type work. In that case the autonomous flight capability might easily justify the cost.