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Swift Films: Using the Inspire 2 for Video Production

Last updated on

April 25, 2018


    The COPTRZ team recently had the pleasure of catching up with Richard Nicholls of Swift Films. Richard recently invested in a DJI Inspire 2 to help add another dimension to his already thriving video production company.

    Read on to find out what Richard told us about his company, how they are using the Inspire 2, and their experience working alongside COPTRZ.

    Swift Films: An Introduction

    Swift Films is an independent video production company based in Edinburgh. They help businesses and organisations communicate more effectively by harnessing the power of storytelling. Since its inception, Swift Films has focussed primarily on independent films and broadcast documentaries. They have an exceptional showreel and some highly-regarded clients including AXA, The Discovery Channel, ITV and Sky Arts.

    The Inspire 2

    It’s understandable why Swift Films chose the Inspire 2. It’s one of DJI’s finest releases and is an outstanding aerial cinematography quadcopter. It has a CineCore 2.1 system, and records at up to 5.2 in DNG/RAW. It offers an incredibly high image quality and is DJI’s standout solution for professional photographers and videographers.

    The Inspire 2 is also compatible with the Zenmuse X4S, the Zenmuse X5S and the Zenmuse X7.

    “For a drone which is less than 7Kg in weight, there is simply nothing better than the DJI Inspire 2. Combined with the Zenmuse X7 camera, the results are in a league of their own.” – Swift Films on the Inspire 2


    The Interview

    How are you guys using drones at Swift Films? 

    “We had been interested in aerial filming for a long time and we had worked with a few qualified pilots over the years. The technology, image quality and [crucially] the stability kept improving. There came a point where we decided that we needed to move into this market.

    We wanted aerial filming to be an additional service that we could offer to our clients in-house. This would provide us with greater flexibility and would allow us to be more cost-effective.

    We tend to use drones to complement the videos that we produce for clients. The additional production value that aerial footage can provide is something that our clients really appreciate. We love having the flexibility to offer aerial filming on any project that we undertake.

    Flying drones is something that we really enjoy. It’s incredibly addictive! Outside of paid commercial work, we also use drones for creating independent films and we have really got into aerial photography over the past couple of years.”

    Sunrise over Edinburgh Castle, taken with the Inspire 2.


    What are your plans moving forward using the Inspire 2?

    “We were keen to upgrade to the Inspire 2 for two main reasons. Firstly, the Zenmuse X7 camera had just come out and we wanted to be able to offer our aerial filming services with this new improved sensor and range of lenses.

    Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the Inspire 2 is a much more capable drone. The range of flight modes makes it very useful for our needs, enabling us to get slow, smooth and cinematic footage, whilst shooting in ProRes or Cinema DNG. Despite the large file sizes, the log footage works seamlessly with our other footage and the quality is second to none.

    We will continue to take aerial photographs (shooting in raw) on the Inspire 2, but the Zenmuse X7 camera allows us to create breathtaking aerial footage with unrivalled quality.”

    What is the best feature for you on the Inspire 2?

    “Tripod mode. This has revolutionised how we are able to shoot smooth, cinematic aerial footage.”

    Side note: Tripod mode is a very slow and stable mode on the Inspire 2, ideal for shooting low to the ground, close-up action shots. It’s a very precise style of filming and is used frequently by cinematographers and photographers in their work.


    How has the Inspire 2 enhanced your filming capabilities?

    “We now have a drone with interchangeable lenses that can shoot up to 6k Cinema DNG. All of this can fit into a rucksack, thus be taken with us on any shoot that we go on. This is mind-blowing!

    Similarly, with the recent news that the Zenmuse X7 camera will be able to support the new Apple ProRes RAW format. Our workflow will become more streamlined without sacrificing the very best quality.

    These are very exciting times to be flying the DJI Inspire 2 with the Zenmuse X7 camera. We are thrilled to be able to offer this to our clients.”

    What made you choose COPTRZ as your drone strategy partner?

    “The COPTRZ support and recovery provided peace of mind in case of any problems with the drone.

    The extra incentives that COPTRZ provided helped us decide that they were the company to use. We used this to meet someone from COPTRZ local to us and they helped us set up the DJI Inspire 2 for the first time.

    This involved updating the firmware and preparing the batteries, lenses and aircraft for flight. Also, we used this time to ask lots of questions and run through all of the little nuances of the Inspire 2. This was hugely beneficial.”


    As Richard mentioned, the Inspire 2 is an outstanding drone for anyone looking to acquire high-quality aerial footage. It really is hard to look beyond the Inspire 2 for this sort of work, particularly when you take into account the variety of cameras and lenses available. With the popular pairing of the Zenmuse X7 and Inspire 2 delivering 6K footage, you now have access to an aerial solution that doesn’t compromise on quality.

    To read our full review of the Inspire 2, head over to our page here.

    Speak to the commercial drone experts

    If you’re in the process of starting to use drones in your photography business, speak to COPTRZ and our friendly team can point you in the right direction when it comes to training, hardware and software. Contact us or call 0330 111 7177.

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