GearComments Off on How to Maximize Your DJI Spark Dynamic Range in Postproduction
Amongst the drones available on the market in 2017, the DJI Spark is surely not amongst the top ones in terms of files quality. The sequences it creates are quite difficult to color grade in postproduction and thus it makes it hard for videographers to mix the clips with footage from another camera. However, there are ways to improve what you can get out of Spark’s videos. Casey Faris gives us one of the tricks he uses to maximize the dynamic range of the images.
The DJI Spark is without a doubt an incredibly attractive product to get into aerial photography and videography. But its price comes at the cost of more advanced features found on the Phantom and Mavic, such as log footage. The sequences produced by the Spark are very contrasty, sharp, and quite saturated. It’s not a bad thing for average users, but it’s far from ideal for those who want to color grade their footage.
GearComments Off on DJI Spark Review – Is it Really Suitable For Professionals?
As a professional filmmaker and DJI Mavic shooter, Tamás Kiss wanted to test the capabilities of the tiny new DJI Spark drone, so he took it to the challenging Icelandic climate to put it through its paces. Here’s his DJI Spark Review, that confirms a lot of the observations I made during my hands-on session with the tiny new drone. – Introduction by Sebastian Wöber.
DJI has released many drones over the past few years. The different models may seem similar to a newcomer, but each one actually addresses a different need. In the end, it all boils down to size and portability versus image quality and performance. Here we’ll analyze the main differences between the DJI drones to help you determine which one is the right fit for you.
Price: The price point is an obvious criteria, but one must not forget all the associated costs of ownership, especially spare batteries which can run up to $169 each.
Portability: The drone size and weight will often dictate which model to buy. While the DJI Mavic won’t take more space than a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens in your bag, the mighty DJI Inspire requires a dedicated case for transportation. If you travel frequently, you may prefer a smaller model that fits in the plane’s carry-on compartment. The size also plays a role in public perception. Larger drones look more intimidating to the public and attract more attention (visibility and noise). Also, in some countries the applicable regulation on drones is based on weight threshold. The heavier it gets, the more constraints you will face (registration, mandatory parachute, and flight restrictions to name a few).
Image quality: Larger drones tend to carry better sensors and lenses. Entry-level models can only film in 1080p while the Inspire 2 can shoot up to 5.2K raw video. The Inspire 2 is also the only one to offer an interchangeable lens system while other models come with fixed focal length.
Action cams, GearComments Off on DJI announces the M600 Pro drone for payloads up to 6kg
DJI has announced yet another drone, but this time it is a lot larger than the Mavic Pro. The Matrice 600 Proinherits everything from the M600 with the addition of improved flight performance and better loading capacity. The M600 now comes with pre-installed arms and antennas to help reduce the setup time. This is perhaps the biggest improvement over the older M600.
The airframe is equipped with the A3 Pro flight controller, Lightbridge 2 HD transmission system, intelligent batteries and battery management system. All Zenmuse cameras and gimbals are natively compatible and there is full integration with third party software and hardware.
Action cams, GearComments Off on GoPro Karma: Foldable, Removable Stabilizer, ‘More than a Drone’
GoPro finally revealed their Karma Drone, but in CEO Nick Woodman’s words: It’s so much more than a drone. Foldable, easy-to-use, and equipped with a removable stabilizer that you can use hand-held or mounted to something else, this is an incredibly impressive all-around machine.
Announced during this morning’s live stream, Karma is a big deal for GoPro. Not only does it let you take your Hero 5 Black, Hero 4 Black, or Hero 5 Session to the skies, the attached stabilization system can be removed and inserted into the included “Karma Grip” that lets you use it handheld or mount it to your helmet, bike, car, or self.
Combine that with GoPro’s built in digital stabilization and the stabilizer allows users to create buttery smooth footage never before possible with any action cam.
Details like controller range, flight time, and other details that you would expect GoPro to mention right away were left out of the announcement.
Woodman, and by extension GoPro, instead focused on the experience of the thing. Like how easy it is to fly using the “game-style flight and camera control, how portable it is all folded up and packed in the Karma Case, and how cool it is that the stabilizer is removable.
Not to mention the The GoPro Passenger App, that lets a friend control your camera and see what you’re capturing using an iPad or iPhone while you pilot the drone itself.
If you dig into the landing page, you’ll find some details though. For instance, you’ll find out that that the Karma drone features built-in “No-Fly Zones” to keep you out of trouble, and a simple land button that brings the Karma drone back to you or the launch location, no matter where you’ve flown it to.
Battery wise, Karma will run for 20 minutes on a 1-hour charge, and GoPro has gone out of its way to make the drone easy to repair. Not just the “efficient” and “quiet” propellers that allegedly generate more lift with less noise, but the arms themselves can be replaced, and replacement arms come with all the tools you’ll need to do it yourself.
Here are some video intros to the Karma Drone, Karma Grip, and Karma Controller, along with product shots of the drone from all angles:
Ever wanted to really fly your own drone, well Chinese company Ehang have shown the Ehang 184 AAV, a low altitude autonomous aerial vehicle, designed to be a medium to short distance transportation solution. The 184 can carry a single passenger, and has a flight time of 23 minutes at a speed of up to 60MPH. This would theoretically give the 184 a flying range of around 25 miles. It can fly at heights of up to 300 meters (984ft). The AAV weighs in at 440lb (200kg) and can carry a payload of up to 100kg (including the passenger).
The PD-100 Black Hornet 2 is a high-tech camera drone that’s currently being tested by the US military. Unlike consumer drones used by photographers, such as the DJI Phantom or Inspire, the PD-100 is designed to be extremely stealthy: it fits in the palm of your hand, and weighs just 18 grams — about the same as 3 to 4 sheets of ordinary printer paper.
Oh, and they cost $40,000 each.
Developed by the Norwegian companyProx Dynamics, the tiny drone looks like a small buzzing insect while it’s in use. It can fly for up to 25 minutes with a range of 2 miles, and it packs both ordinary and thermal cameras for still photos and live video.
“The Black Hornet’s small size and electric motors makes it virtually inaudible and invisible beyond short distances,” Prox Dynamics says.
Sebastian Wöber at Cinema5D has created a terrific tutorial that will be of great interest to those aspiring to film great drone footage:
“Drones. An intriguing new technology for cinematographers! But how do you shoot aerial video with professional aesthetics on a low cost drone? This was the question I asked myself and spent a week attempting to capture cinematic drone footage with a DJI Inspire 1.”“I learned a lot in the process and decided to share some valuable tips. Here’s the first part of my 3-part video tutorial series on mastering drone footage.”Part II – Working with Drone Footage – will be released Wednesday, Oct. 14thPart III – Grading Drone Footage – will be released on Friday, Oct. 16th
DJI have announced two replacement cameras for their Inspire 1 UAV. The ZenMuse X5 and X5R replace the stock Zenmuse X3 camera with a Micro Four Thirds 4K camera, fully controllable from the ground via DJI’s GO app. The system uses standard interchangeable MFT lenses and can take 16MP stills or video. Updateable colour profiles will also offer the ability to shoot flat images to maximise the benefit of a claimed 13 stops of dynamic range. A complete Inspire 1 and X5 system will cost $4,499US; a camera-only upgrade for existing owners is also planned for $2,199US. The X5R, a Cinema DNG RAW capable version of the camera, will be available as a complete package for $7,999. Thanks to Matt at Newsshooter.com.
The new Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter looks largely the same as its predecessors, aside from some new gold trim intended to make it stand out from the lower-end model. But the star of the show on the drone itself is the all-new 4K video camera, capable of capturing super smooth, ultra-high resolution video footage from the skies.
The 4K camera is attached to the same style of gimbal found on the previous-generation Phantom 2 Vision+. But the lens on the new camera is larger, though the camera unit itself remains relatively small.
The rest of the upgrades to the drone itself are internal. The device has an improved 23 minutes of flying time, it’s faster, and it also includes a vision sensor for indoor flight.
Filmmaker Sebastian Solberghas compiled 10 important drone filmmaking tips for anyone new to the increasingly popular method. Watch his video above and read his tips below to learn more about drone safety and how to use drones to their full potential.
Apparently, posting your drone footage to YouTube could constitute flying them commercially, at least if the experience of Jayson Hanes is any indication of the FAA’s thoughts.
According to a report over on Motherboard, Hanes has been notified that his aerial drone footage on YouTube constitutes commercial use, and thus, he now finds himself at the mercy of the FAA’s new commercial use regulations.
The issue comes down to the ads on YouTube. If a user uploads their videos with the monetization settings turned on, then money can be earned via YouTube – and if you want to get technical – that means you are using your footage for commercial use. The interesting twist here is that Hanes contends that he has not made any money – or even tried to – off the drone footage; he is just an amateur hobbyist who enjoys putting his videos up on the popular video sharing website.
It would seem that the FAA needs to step back and take another look at their drone regulations, as the line between what constitutes commercial and non-commercial use is still as fuzzy as ever.
Flying your camera with an RC helicopter is not as easy as it seems. it normally requires a lot of expertise and practice. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is easy or inexpensive. It’s not! DJI has great products as you may know and now here comes Plexidrone with some amazing new features.
This is some truly impressive footage of the recent eruption of Bardabunga volcano in Iceland. Hot stuff! The footage was created by Eric Cheng using the DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter and a GoPro Hero camera. Thanks Eric for creating this spectacular footage!
DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter with Zenmuse H3-3D 3-Axis Gimbal and Transmitter, 20.7 ft/s (6 m/s) Speed, 2.4GHz Frequency, Up to 22 Minutes Flying Time, GPS Autopilot