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DJI Zenmuse L2 LiDAR Vs. DJI L1 - Is it really better?

DJI Zenmuse L2 LiDAR Vs. DJI L1 - Is it really better?

On October 10, 2023, DJI unveiled the highly anticipated DJI L2 LiDAR system, setting a new standard for accuracy and efficiency in the realm of LiDAR technology. If you're in the market for a LiDAR drone system, the DJI L2, in conjunction with the Matrice 350, offers an integrated and user-friendly LiDAR solution that competes head-to-head with systems priced much higher. In this blog post, we'll delve into a detailed comparison between the DJI L2 and its predecessor, the DJI L1, shedding light on the remarkable advancements that have been made in LiDAR technology.


dji l2 canada


  1. DJI Zenmuse L2 Pricing and Warranty

The DJI Zenmuse L2 enters the market with a competitive starting price of $13,560 USD ($16,659 CAD). What's more, it offers a worry-free basic combo that includes up to two paid ($899 USD) replacements within the first year from activation. For added peace of mind, users can opt for the worry-free plus combo, providing coverage equivalent to the product's value with unlimited free repairs within that coverage amount. This comprehensive coverage instills confidence, especially when investing in a high-value item like the L2.

DJI Zenmuse L2 Technical Specifications:

Let's compare the technical specifications of the DJI L2 and L1:

  • System Accuracy: The L2 boasts an impressive 4cm vertical accuracy and 5cm horizontal accuracy, while the L1 offers 5cm vertical accuracy and 10cm horizontal accuracy. An improvement of 1cm vertically and 5 cm horizontally.

  • LiDAR Module Accuracy: The L2 shines with 2cm accuracy at a distance of 150 meters, whereas the L1 achieves 3cm accuracy at 100 meters. The L2 improves with increased range and accuracy.

  • Maximum Returns: The L2 supports up to 5 maximum returns, a substantial improvement over the L1's 3 maximum returns. The L2 can penetrate vegetation deeper to get more ground points with the increased number of returns.

  • INS Accuracy: Real-time INS accuracy for the L2 is 0.2° (YAW) and post-processing accuracy is 0.05° (YAW) and 0.05° (Pitch/roll). In contrast, the L1's real-time INS accuracy is 0.3° (YAW) and post-processing accuracy is 0.15° (YAW) and 0.025° (Pitch/roll). The L2 has a new IMU that increases the overall accuracy of your data.

  • Dimensions and Weight: The L2 is slightly larger but lighter, measuring 155 x 128 x 176 mm and weighing 905±5 g, while the L1 measures 152 x 110 x 169 mm and weighs 930±10 g.

  • IP Rating: Both systems maintain an IP54 rating, but it's essential to note that LiDAR technology can be affected by rain particles, causing interference.

  • Compatibility: The L2 and L1 are backwards compatible with the M350 and M300 but you will need the RC Plus controller for it to work with the M300.

  • Mapping Coverage: The L2 can cover up to a 2.5 km² area in a single flight, given specific conditions and parameters. In contrast, the L1 covers 2 km² of point cloud data in a single flight with different settings. It's important to consider local regulations that often restrict flight altitude to 120m without special permits. The L2 also benefits from an increased flight speed during data acquisition.

  • Point Rate: The L2 supports 5 returns at a remarkable 1.2 million points per second, outclassing the L1's 3 returns at 480,000 points per second.

  • Detection Range: The L2 excels with a detection range of 450m at 50% reflectivity, with the potential to reach 500m under optimal conditions. In contrast, the L1 offers a detection range of 450m at 80% reflectivity and 190m at 10% reflectivity under 100 klx lighting conditions. The L2's increased reflectance sensitivity is a clear advantage.

DJI L2 5 returns

  • Enhanced Beam Divergence: The L2 stands out with a beam divergence that is 1/5th the size of the L1's, enabling users to capture data with more defined details. At a distance of 100m, the L2's beam size is a mere 120mm40mm, compared to the L1's 500mm50mm. This significant improvement ensures that you can detect and capture more intricate details.

Zenmuse L2 ground points
  • More Ground Points: With its support for 5 returns, a feature typically found in high-end systems, the L2 can penetrate deeper through vegetation, capturing more ground points. In comparison, the L1's 3 returns capability has limitations in this regard.

  • Faster Surveys: Unlike the L1, which required a 5-minute warm-up period for the IMU to stabilize and calibrate, the L2 is ready to capture data upon startup. This reduces the time spent in the field. Additionally, the L2 boasts increased range and flight speed.

  • Inclusive Processing Software: DJI Terra, a one-click processing and post-processing software, is included with the L2. Users won't have to worry about recurring fees for processing their data, and new functions will be added throughout the product's lifecycle, ensuring that you always have access to the latest features.

Download DJI official user manual for the Zenmuse L2 HERE

Other independent testing of the L2 Data:

DJI Zenmuse L2 vs Zenmuse L1: A Detailed Comparison by Sphere Drones Published by Josh Spires on 17 October, 2023

Sphere Drones conducted a hands-on comparison between the DJI Zenmuse L2 and Zenmuse L1 payloads. The testing took place at an agricultural property in NSW, Australia, chosen for its dense tree canopy and creek.

Key Findings:

  1. Workflow: Universal settings were maintained for both payloads to ensure accuracy in comparison. Notable differences included the L2's penta return mode (as opposed to the L1's dual return) and the absence of IMU warm-up time for the L2.
  2. Vegetation Penetration: The L2 showcased superior vegetation penetration, with a denser point cloud below the canopy and finer details. The L2's data was clearer, allowing for better quantification of biomass and topography.
  3. Returns: The L1 offers two returns, providing insight into different vegetation levels. In contrast, the L2, with its five returns, offers a more comprehensive coverage of vegetation layers down to the ground level.
  4. Colourisation: The L2's improved precision results in superior point cloud colorization compared to the L1.
  5. Error Data: Using DJI Terra for data processing, the L2 demonstrated an RMS Z-accuracy of 7.3cm, an improvement over the L1's 10.9cm.
  6. Benefits of DJI Zenmuse L2: The L2 is more accurate and precise than the L1, with better vegetation penetration and data quality. It can fly faster (15m/s) without compromising data quality and does not require an IMU warm-up period.

Conclusion: The DJI Zenmuse L2 offers several advancements over the L1, making it a more efficient and accurate choice for LiDAR data capture.

Read the full article on Sphere Drones

DJI Zenmuse L2 vs DJI Zenmuse L1: A comparison by HeliGuy

In a detailed comparison conducted by heliguy™, the DJI Zenmuse L2 sensor was found to have several enhanced capabilities over its predecessor, the L1:

  • Finer Detail Capture: The L2 excels in capturing intricate details, especially powerlines.
  • Accuracy: At a flight altitude of 50 meters, the L2 showcased an absolute vertical error of 44mm, outperforming the L1 which had an error of 51mm.
  • Efficiency: Unlike the L1, which requires up to 10 minutes for IMU warm-up, the L2 is ready to go without any pre-flight warm-up.
  • Advanced Specifications: The L2 boasts a larger RGB sensor, a superior sampling rate, and can fly at faster speeds to collect data.

During tests at two distinct sites, the L2 consistently demonstrated its superior capabilities, especially in areas with dense vegetation, powerlines, and stockpiles. The data from the L2 was more defined, had better vegetation penetration, and resulted in a more robust colorized point cloud compared to the L1.

For those utilizing DJI Terra and the DJI Pilot app, the L2 offers enhanced features, including quick point cloud quality viewing.

In conclusion, while the L1, released in 2020, was groundbreaking in its own right, the L2 brings forth significant advancements that promise to revolutionize surveying accuracy, efficiency, and point-cloud generation.

The release of the DJI L2 LiDAR system is a game-changer in the world of LiDAR technology. With substantial improvements in accuracy, coverage, point rate, and a range of innovative features, it offers a compelling alternative to much more expensive LiDAR systems. If you're looking for an efficient and cost-effective solution for your LiDAR needs, the DJI L2 is a clear standout in the field.


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