DJI Matrice 600 Review: One of the Highest Spec’d Commercial Drones

Last updated February 13th, 2020
DJI Matrice Pro 600

Are you by chance, a professional filmmaker who wants to up the game with stellar aerial shots without the need for excessive spending on logistics and manpower, or some heir to an oil tycoon’s fortune and want to spice up your lazy afternoons with bleeding-edge technology?

Well, DJI has something in store for you.

Enter the DJI Matrice 600, the leader of the pack, the ultimate alpha of artificial birds, and probably the lovechild of Skynet and an Apache attack helicopter.

Humor aside, the DJI Matrice 600 might be the most advanced drone in the professional consumer (pro-sumer, if we might) market today. Boasting some of the latest and greatest in intuitive flight controller technology, and paired with cutting-edge engineering and design – not to mention compatibility with the high-end Zenmuse optic arsenal, along with third-party support – the DJI Matrice 600 doesn’t mess around.

The question now is who can actually utilize this kind of firepower in a professional-grade drone. Read on for a rundown of the beast in this DJI Matrice 600 review.

Quick Specs

WeightUnloaded: 9.6 kg
SizeLength: 65.7 in
Width: 59.8 in
Height: 29.9 in
SpeedMax: 44.7 mph
SignalRange: ~5 km
Operating Frequency: 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz
BatteryFlight time: ~35 minutes
Capacity: 4500 mAh
RecordingCompatible with Zenmuse, RED cameras

Check out the latest price of this huge drone on the DJI website here.

DJI Matrice 600 Features

A3 Flight Controller (Upgradable)

The DJI Matrice 600 has the A3 Flight controller system at the helm to take care of the hefty drone’s sense of balance and intuition, featuring an autonomous adaptive system to automatically tweak its performance based on the payload and flight conditions.

Additionally, the A3 Flight controller can be upgraded with the A3 Pro, which features a triple-redundant design and advanced diagnostic algorithms that ensure a lightning-fast data comparison from over 3 separate GNSS units.

Furthermore, the A3 Pro has a new dampening feature that lets you have more accurate control over the individual rotors of the craft, immediately translating the data into real-time performance adjustments.

Stepping it up another level is the capability to add the D-RTK GNSS module on the DJI Matrice 600, giving you further accuracy in terms of positioning and location down to centimeter levels. Using dual antennas, the D-RTK GNSS module can provide accuracy without being compromised by magnetic interference present in metal-dominated structures and environments, making the DJI Matrice 600 viable for industrial applications.

Lightbridge 2

The DJI Matrice 600 is equipped with DJI’s innovative transmission technology, Lightbridge 2. This offers the pilot a seamless, low-latency live video feed of up to 1080p at 60fps at over 3 miles of transmission range. While significantly lower than the actual recording quality of the commercial camera of your choice, 1080p is still a powerful middle-ground for monitoring and piloting purposes, ensuring that you see everything that the DJI Matrice 600 captures with its camera in tow.

App Integrity and Customization

Manual control of the DJI Matrice 600 is taken care of by the DJI Go app and the newer DJI Assistant 2.

With the Go app, you get a comprehensive stat readout: battery levels, FPV access, system redundancy status, and signal strength, among other crucial flight telemetry data. It also opens up the options for your camera and recording settings, like shutter speed, ISO, photo and video capture, remote focus, aperture and more. The DJI Assistant 2 takes care of firmware updates, including the new Ground Station, and features a native flight simulator with it.

Furthermore, industrial and enterprise applications can write their own programs and applications with the DJI Onboard SDK and Mobile SDK, allowing these bodies to customize their own software for specific applications.

Battery Life

The DJI Matrice 600 uses six battery packs of 4500 mAh each. While this might seem like a gigantic amount of power, the hefty weight of the drone, not to mention its processing power demands, drain the battery packs quite rapidly. While DJI advertises 30 to 35 minutes of flight time, this is solely dependent on the weight of the camera you will be using, with the heaviest payload netting you around half of that flight time.

DJI does allows you to charge all six battery packs at the same time, which saves you the hassle of having to manually replace each pack after charging. These batteries fully replenish their energy levels by an hour and 30 minutes of charging time as well, allowing you to maximize your filming output, though you should probably purchase extra battery packs if you can already afford the craft’s premium price.

Camera

Though the DJI Matrice 600 doesn’t natively ship with a camera, it offers extended compatibility with DJI’s trusted Zenmuse camera series, from the Zenmuse XT for industrial thermal applications, up to the Zenmuse Z15, which ramps up for professional filmmaking purposes. Furthermore, third-party camera and gimbal support allow compatibility with the universal Ronin-MX gimbal, opening possibilities to mix and match camera setups with brands like Arri, Blackmagic, and RED.

It can accommodate even the loaded Red Epic unit, which boosts your shooting capabilities up to 8K resolution, at a smooth 60 frames per second.

Ease Of Use

The DJI Matrice 600 A3 flight controller takes the cake when it comes to fail-safe and redundancy features, giving you a headache-free experience when controlling the drone. Payload management is automatically adjusted in real-time, tweaking accordingly to the weight carried by the drone. Motor failures are also insured, with the drone automatically activating its Return to Home function while compensating for the dead motor’s performance. This isn’t limited to that, however, as the RTH function can activate in low battery levels or signal transmission loss scenarios.

The remote controller has a professional design that does away with gaming console inspirations and instead comes in a rounded polygon format, sporting a dual joystick layout and just a bare button designation populating its face.

Being a professional filmmaker’s drone, the DJI Matrice 600 gives you the option to split piloting and filming responsibilities altogether, giving the cameraman the freedom to compose his shots, while the pilot takes care of the drone’s optimal positioning for key framing and consistent tracking.

Design and Build Quality

For maximum stability, the DJI Matrice 600 adapts a hexacopter design which enforces a more balanced stance while in the air. Most recreational drones are quadcopters; they feature only four rotors.

Comprised of a mix of aluminum, carbon fiber, and durable plastic parts, the premium craft’s durability is ensured, without compromising its weight profile drastically.

Though the DJI Matrice 600 may look like a complicated bird to set up, it only takes minor installations steps and preparation to fly it out of the box. Its large footprint doesn’t limit in a major way though, as some of its parts are modular or retractable, which is better than a fixed body configuration.

One of the best design selling points of the DJI Matrice 600 is its almost-limitless customizability, as mentioned earlier.

Native DJI gimbal and Zenmuse camera support already makes the craft an appealing offer, and the drone even goes well with the famed Ronin-MX gimbal unit, giving you a lot of camera options with its universal compatibility.

While the DJI Matrice 600 already weighs 9.6 kilos on its lonesome, it can load up to an additional 6 kilograms for camera gear, thanks to its six powerful and robust motors, which are actively cooled when in operation.

Performance

For a drone this price, responsiveness should be seamless, which the DJI Matrice 600 displays impressively. Despite the bulky weight of the craft, it manages to respond to your control inputs in real-time — without hiccups — accurately. Balance is also perfected in this craft, making it easy to maneuver like its consumer-grade counterparts.

Its custom-tuned E2000 propulsion system boasts six 6010 brushless motors that are feature active cooling for better efficiency and a longer service lifespan. These impressive motors can get the DJI Matrice 600 in up to 44 mph, with a maximum horizontal range of 5 km and almost 2.5 km of an altitude ceiling.

What’s amazing about the redundancy offered by the DJI Matrice 600 is that up to 3 motors can fail on the drone without crippling its Return To Home function whatsoever, ensuring your pricey investment can continue its journey home unscathed.

Final Thoughts

The DJI Matrice 600 surely isn’t for those who are just seeking new thrills in the drone scene, considering the premium you’d have to pay for it. With that being said, this heavyweight bird has all the bells and whistles to be a professional filmmaker drone, and industrial pioneers can fully utilize it in their applications.

Featuring top of the line intuitive functions and fail-safe, redundant systems, the DJI Matrice 600 makes sure to deliver you pro-grade footage, without sacrificing its own safety. We rated it as the best hexacopter of the year.

Customizability has become the DJI Matrice 600’s biggest ally in terms of design, giving the owner a variety of options to choose from, allowing it to load up the proper optics and accessory arsenal whenever needed. Its adaptive software solution also leaves the user at full control in weaving their very own programs and applications to suit their needs.

For those who want the best of the best in terms of capabilities and flexibility, the DJI Matrice 600 has every other enterprise drone running for cover.

You can find the latest price of the Matrice 600 right here.

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