Buying a drone: how cheap should you go?

By Paul Archer, Dronesgator.com

Considering the range of prices for a drone these days, the decision is sometimes as hard as buying a car.

However, quadcopters can also get cheap and still deliver what you’re looking for at most. Here’s a list of the best drones under $200 where you can learn more about potential choices.

Just as with most technology equipment, after a certain price, the additional functions get more expensive and become more of a gimmick than real useful things.

This is why we’re going to do an overview on what are the most important aspects you should look for in a drone.

Camera

You might think a camera is totally necessary to have on a drone, but you might be wrong.
There are many situations where a camera on the drone will just drain the battery faster and increase the price a lot without serving the original purpose.

dji spark

Does a beginner drone need a camera?

If you want to learn how to fly a drone for the first time and want something to play around and maybe break without a sweat, you might not want a camera.

There are quite a few drones around $20 that are so cheap you can buy a bunch of them and become an expert at drone flying.

There’s also the fact that a cheap drone camera will suck big time. Most cameras on drones under $100 are low quality, usually under 720p and definitely not stabilized by a gimbal.

Can I get a good go pro drone for under $100?

It’s 2017 and yes, you can! There is a specific drone I’m thinking about. It’s called MJX Bugs 3 and not only can it carry a go pro, but also has very good battery life and powerful motors.

Using your action camera along with a drone will be the cheapest way to go, provided you already have an action camera beforehand.

How much does a gimbal stabilized camera drone cost?

Usually the cost of a motorized gimbal that can hold your action camera and can be mounted on a drone is over $70 by itself. But make no mistake, by having a gimbal stabilized camera you’ll get way better footage.

So if you’re a professional trying to shoot smooth cinematic video, you better buy something well done and spend more. But I don’t see the point of getting more than a DJI Mavic or Phantom 4 Pro. The new DJI Spark also has a very good gimbal for $500.
Motors

There’s two types of motors that are VERY different from each other.
Well… they both do the same thing but in different ways.

Brushless motors vs Brushed motors

Brushless motors are pretty much the better ones, by far. However, they are considerably more expensive than brushed ones. This makes the drone price raise a lot.

Why would you want brushless?
• they last longer in time (at least 10 times as long)
• they are more powerful (you’ll be able to fly faster and carry more weight)

Why would you want brushed motors?
• makes the drone price go down (you’ll only find these on cheap beginner drones under $100)
• because they are cheap, they are also easy to replace, so if you buy a few spare ones you’ll be able to prolong the drone life more.

GPS and sensors

As you may know, some drones have GPS inside them that allow these quadcopters to fly very precisely and maintain a certain fixed spot.
Not only that, more expensive drones also have return to home technology. There are drones like the Hubsan 501s and Bugs 2 that have both GPS and return to home for around $200.

How about other functions?

DJI is the biggest drone company on the market and there’s no denying the fact that their drones are very advanced.

Most of their quadcopters have forward facing sensors that can detect obstacles and make the drone stop in time. They also have bottom sonar and cameras to be able to fly inside and land in proper places. The bottom sensors are also found in very good drones like the Xiaomi 4k drone and Phantom 3 series.

bugs drone

If you consider these sensors to be gimmicks to you, then stick to the points I made before and you’ll still have a rock solid drone.

Most drones that are over $500 tend to have different modes that will make life easier for you. Before buying a drone you should first think if setting waypoints ahead of time and planning your flight is of any help, and also if other modes like automatic circle flight around objects can be used to improve the quality of your videos.

Range and battery life

This is pretty straight forward.
If you’re getting a drone camera over $200 you should have at least over 500m range, and it goes up to 7 km for drones like Mavic Pro from DJI.

If you want to just play around, do some tricks and maybe get some video in a park, then a standard 100 m range should be good.
Battery life is more important than you may think, but the thing is that even if you’re low on it you can compensate by getting additional spare batteries.

I like to usually have over 10 minutes at drones that are over $60 and more on more expensive ones.

There are many things you can nitpick for drones in general, but we’ll cover that in another article.

So stay tuned for more.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

Parrot Bluegrass, the multipurpose quadcopter solution for agriculture

Press release by Parrot  through realwire

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Parrot Bluegrass The Multipurpose Quadcopter Solution For Agriculture

Parrot Bluegrass is the first Parrot quadcopter specifically designed for agriculture, and is the latest Business Solution from Parrot joining and complementing the Parrot Professional range. This includes the Parrot Disco-Pro AG & Parrot Bebop Pro-3D Modeling, which launched earlier this year, and more recently – Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal.

Parrot Bluegrass

2017 has been a significant and busy year for Parrot, with the launch of the company’s Parrot Professional range in Q2 2017. The new solutions combine Parrot’s consumer and commercial technologies and provide access to drone intelligence for small business and independent users. Just last month (September), Parrot also announced the global launch of two new additions to its consumer range – Parrot Mambo FPV and Parrot Bebop 2 Power.

 With the launch of Parrot Bluegrass, Parrot is once again affirming its commitment to innovating new solutions that benefit businesses with UAVs, sensors and software that embeds a new level of precision data, and can be plugged into existing industry workflows. Parrot Business Solutions is changing the way a large number of industries work and helps to improve ROI, efficiency and productivity.   

Parrot Bluegrass is a multipurpose quadcopter designed for agriculture professionals, and helps farmers improve their ROI, using its two embedded cameras; video camera and multispectral sensor. With its front Full HD video camera, this solution lets users visually monitor the farm’s infrastructure, land and herds. It also enables farmers to get a full overview and detect problem areas in all types of crop fields quickly and efficiently, thanks to its multispectral sensor designed for Precision Agriculture, Parrot Sequoia, and the easy to use processing cloud platform – AIRINOV FIRST+.

Parrot Bluegrass can automatically cover up to 30 hectares at 70 m / 230 ft. flight altitude per battery use. It can also fly at low altitudes, optimising crops that may require precise mapping. 

Parrot Bluegrass

Parrot Bluegrass is a user friendly integrated solution especially designed for farmers. It is easy to set up, easy to fly with its Pix4Dcapture autonomous flight capability, easy to process data with AIRINOV FIRST+, and easy to maintain and repair.

Parrot Bluegrass Agricultural Solution includes:

·         A powerful and easy to handle quadcopter equipped with a full HD front camera and embedded Parrot Sequoia advanced multispectral sensor.

·         Flight planning mobile application with Pix4Dcapture

·         Data processing with AIRINOV FIRST+ cloud platform

·         A long range remote control Parrot Skycontroller 2 

Parrot Bluegrass: The quadcopter designed for agriculture

·         Precision Agriculture

Parrot Bluegrass is a robust quadcopter weighing just 1.9 kg. It is fully-equipped with a powerful, on-board computing system, as well as embedding the Parrot Sequoia – an advanced multispectral sensor for Precision Agricultural solutions facilitating crop analysis. 

·         Autonomous flight and mapping

Parrot Bluegrass includes Pix4Dcapture, the world’s first planning app that enables farmers to precisely define the specific plot they want to map. 

The user adapts the flight parameters according to the precision needed and the type of crops. 

The entire flight, from take-off to landing[1], is automated by the quadcopter and the images captured by its frontal Full HD 14MP camera are streamed live on the screen of a connected tablet. 

·         Manual observation flight

As a multipurpose tool, Parrot Bluegrass can also be piloted manually using the included Parrot Skycontroller 2 Wi-Fi remote control, which provides a 2km range, with the capability to statically hover and inspect 

The solution lets farmers observe their crops from new heights and capture video footage of their land, infrastructure or livestock thanks to the drone’s HD frontal camera. Users can also inspect areas that are invisible at eye-level, identify suffering parcels or potential issues that are often missed on the ground. 

Parrot Sequoia, a miniaturized multispectral solution made for drones

Parrot Sequoia embedded in Parrot Bluegrass provides a complete and accurate multispectral imagery solution for drones that captures images of crops in both visible and invisible spectrums.

The solution consists of:

·         A multispectral sensor with GPS, that automatically records images of crops in four distinct spectral bands: green (500nm Bandwidth 40nm), red (660nm Bandwidth 40nm), red-Edge (735nm Bandwidth 10nm) and near Infrared (790nm Bandwidth 40nm).

·         A sensor equipped with a RGB camera (16 MP)

·         An internal 64GB memory to store captured images

·         A luminosity sensor (‘sunshine’ sensor) that detects lighting conditions and automatically calibrates collected data with the multispectral sensor data during the computer processing phase.

AIRINOV FIRST+, the mapping and analysing platform for multispectral images

AIRINOV FIRST+ online platform enables users to process and analyse the data and images captured by Parrot Sequoia. 

In just a few hours, the farmer receives a turnkey report composed of orthomosaic NDVI maps (absolute and adjusted) and zoning (simple and detailed). This provides a precise view of the biomass (density of vegetation) and relative health of the crops, helping professionals to determine which areas need specific attention. Professionals can use these insights to understand which areas require the most maintenance and track the effects and evolution of the farm with high precision. 

With Parrot Bluegrass, farmers and agriculture cooperatives keep the control of the data captured by the quadcopter and the analysis of these data is directly delivered to them, with no intermediary.

Who is the Parrot Bluegrass designed for?

Parrot Bluegrass is a multi-purpose business solution to help agriculture and horticulture professionals, farmers and independents make informed decisions.

With the embedded Parrot Sequoia advanced multispectral sensor enables Precision Agriculture mapping and data analysis of crops, combined with Parrot Bluegrass’s ability to fly at low altitude gives optimization for fruit crops.

Its front camera, together with the possibility to do static flights, facilitate the observation of livestock or specific areas of land or terrain. 

Parrot Bluegrass will be available in November 2017 at drone resellers, farming outlets, agricultural technology specialists and www.parrot.com  

MAP: £4.500ex VAT

Parrot Bluegrass pack content:

·         1 Parrot Bluegrass quadcopter

·         1 Parrot Sequoia

·         1 Parrot Skycontroller 2

·         1 Backpack

·         3 Batteries Lithium Polymer (25min per battery)

·         2 Chargers

·         1 Year license to AIRINOV FIRST+

·         1 Month access to Pix4Dag

[1]Please check local regulations before flying.

About Parrot Drones

Parrot Drones is a subsidiary of Parrot, founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux.

Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals. The company builds on a common technological expertise to innovate and develop in three primary markets:

·         Civil drones: With recreational drones and solutions for professional use.

·         Connected objects: With a focus on audio and gardening.

·         Automotive: With the most extensive range of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for vehicles on the market.

Headquartered in Paris, Parrot currently employs more than 700 people worldwide and generates the majority of its sales overseas.

Parrot has been listed on Euronext Paris since 2006. (FR0004038263 – PARRO)

For more information, please visit www.parrot.com

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal, the all-in-one drone solution for thermal imaging

Press release by Parrot  through realwire

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Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is an all-in-one quadcopter thermal imaging solution specifically designed for small construction businesses, thermal inspection professionals and public safety services.

Parrot Bebop-pro thermal

This solution enhances Parrot’s Professional range of business solutions, which launched earlier this year with Parrot Disco-Pro AG, Parrot Bebop-Pro 3D Modeling and, more recently, Parrot Bluegrass.

2017 has been a significant and busy year for Parrot, with the launch of the company’s Parrot Professional Range in Q2 2017. The new solutions combine Parrot’s consumer and commercial technologies and provide access to drone intelligence for small businesses and independent users. Just last month (September), Parrot also announced the global launch of two new additions to its consumer range – Parrot Mambo FPV and Parrot Bebop 2 Power.

With Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal, Parrot is once again affirming its commitment to innovating new solutions that benefit businesses with UAVs, sensors and software that embeds a new level of precision data, and can be plugged into existing industry workflows. Parrot Business Solutions is changing the way a large number of industries work and helps to improve ROI, efficiency and productivity.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is a multipurpose quadcopter that allows construction and rescue services to safely carry out inspections, with its two embedded cameras: a full HD video camera and thermal imaging camera. 

With its front full HD video camera, this solution helps construction professionals or rescue services to visually monitor a structure or a specific area of a building, while the thermal camera captures precise and detailed thermal images – thanks to the dedicated FreeFlight Thermal app.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is a compact user friendly integrated solution. It is easy to set up, easy to fly and easy to repair. It lets the user live stream, record videos and take pictures of buildings, roofs, solar panels or specific areas in visual or thermal image mode. It quickly and safely provides highly accurate information and data to identify thermal loss or thermal activity, and can be used to support key decision making. 

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal solution includes:

·         A compact quadcopter with a Full HD stabilized front facing camera, a FLIR ONE® Pro thermal camera and a 32Gb memory

·         Parrot FreeFlight Thermal app, which innovatively transmits and analyses images captured by the quadcopter’s cameras

·         A long range remote control Parrot Skycontroller 2

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal: a reliable and powerful quadcopter

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is based on the all new Parrot Bebop 2 Power quadcopter, which has been modified to benefit industry professionals.

Lightweight and compact, the quadcopter can be easily carried on any site, and is ready to operate in just minutes. Thanks to the Parrot Skycontroller 2’s long range, the pilot can control the drone with precision from a safe distance from a hot spot without any risk[1]. 

Images are captured by the Parrot Bebop-Pro’s Full HD 14MP front camera and the thermal camera positioned in a dedicated module at the back of the drone. 

Parrot FreeFlight Thermal: Analyses and reveals thermal contrasts

In addition to the Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal settings and flight parameters, the FreeFlight Thermal app streams images from both cameras on the quadcopter (front and thermal) directly to a connected tablet. At any time during flight, the pilot can switch from a thermal image to a HD image, record video footage, and store captured content directly to the drone’s 32GB memory.

·         Thermal imaging

Lightweight (36.5 gr) and compact, the thermal camera is equipped with two sensors. This includes a RGB sensor (1440x1080p), capturing exactly what the drone can see, and a thermal sensor (160x120p), which measures temperature differences.

Data from both sensors are combined by the FreeFlight Thermal app to create precise and detailed images. Edge surrounding details are highlighted in the image, and areas with thermal loss or hot spots can be immediately identified. Touching one part of the connected tablet’s screen will show the estimated thermal temperature captured by the sensors.

3 imaging thermal setting modes* are available:

·         Standard: Thermal images, from red (160°) to blue (10°) scale are displayed, for quick identification of thermal losses.

·         Dynamic: The thermal colour scale is adapted to the ambient temperature. This allows the user to benefit from an accurate view of the thermal losses. High temperatures are highlighted in red, and cooler temperatures are displayed in blue.

·         Hotspot: This mode is adapted for fire safety professionals and emergency search and rescue specialists. Only the highest temperatures recorded are highlighted and combined with the RGB image.

*Users can play video recorded using another colour scale setting and export them in a standard video format.

·         Visual inspection

The Full HD 14MPx front facing stabilised camera of the Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal enables a visual inspection of a building, and lets the pilot to obtain videos and pictures to understand the condition of a building. Files can be saved and used to provide evidence of a building’s damage and estimate costs. 

Who is the Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal designed for?

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is a complete and multipurpose solution perfectly adapted for building professionals (roofers, insulation or thermal inspection specialists’), photovoltaic panel installers, and civil public safety services – such as firefighters or search & rescue. 

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal enables users to obtain an overview of the thermal losses of a building’s facade, roof or solar panels quickly and efficiently, without the need for complex and expensive material installation (ladders, scaffolding, etc.) 

Public Safety Services will be able to monitor a hot spot and, depending on results obtained, send a rescue team and materials required on site, and minimise risk.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal pack is available to purchase in November 2017 from professional drone resellers, specialist construction resellers and at www.parrot.com.

MAP.1.350£ ex. VAT

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal pack includes:

·         1 Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal drone

·         1 FLIR ONE® Pro thermal camera

·         FreeFlight Thermal* app

·         1 Parrot Skycontroller 2, long range remote control

·         3 Lithium Polymer batteries (25 minute flight time per battery[2])

·         2 chargers

·         1 back pack

* App compatible with tablets running on Android. iOS version of the app available soon. 

[1] Please check local regulations before flying.

[2] Flight time depends on weather conditions and manoeuvers.

For more info, please visit www.Parrot.com.

About Parrot Drones

Parrot Drones is a subsidiary of Parrot, founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux. 

Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals. The company builds on a common technological expertise to innovate and develop in three primary markets:

·         Civil drones: With recreational drones and solutions for professional use.

·         Connected objects: With a focus on audio and gardening.

·         Automotive: With the most extensive range of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for vehicles on the market.

 Headquartered in Paris, Parrot currently employs more than 700 people worldwide and generates the majority of its sales overseas.

 Parrot has been listed on Euronext Paris since 2006. (FR0004038263 – PARRO)

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

DroneVideos.com Shoots High-Quality, Low-Cost Aerial Videos Nationwide

We are glad to publish the following press release by our sponsor dronevideos.com

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Summary: Launching the first nationwide network of licensed drone video operators, dronevideos.com offers 4K Ultra HD aerial videography at affordable prices for a variety of commercial and personal uses, orderable online and shot within 24 hours notice.

Gainesville, VA— DroneVideos.com, the first nationwide network of drone video operators, debuts to make aerial video and still photography available to everyone at affordable prices. All drone packages can be ordered online, and include a fully edited and color corrected 1:00-1:30 video shot in 4K Ultra HD to the customer’s specifications, 10-20 high-resolution still photographs, 48-hour turnaround and a 100% money-back guarantee.

Serving virtually the entire US, DroneVideos.com uses expert drone videographers who are fully insured, licensed and certified, background checked, and conform to all rules and regulations.

Purchasers can order aerial footage and photos for a variety of commercial and personal uses, including

  • dramatic perspectives of real estate for sale
  • mapping or inspection of farms and landscapes
  • panoramas of golf courses and travel destinations
  • roof inspections
  • many other applications

“For the first time, businesses and individuals can get the cinema quality videos they want, without the high cost and difficulty in finding someone they can trust to do it right,” says Chris Jesuele, CEO of DroneVideos.com. “The quality of our drone videos is our utmost priority, which is why I personally oversee and approve each finished video to ensure it’s the best it can be.”

Jesuele stresses the convenience of the DroneVideos.com fully automated website, where visitors can order customized video packages within five minutes, without having to wait for a quote or requiring any technical knowledge, or even having to be present at the shoot. One price covers everything, with never any additional or hidden fees.

Finished videos and photos are presented on a SEO friendly webpage, which can be easily shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social media with a click of a button. No technical skills required.

For more information, or to order aerial video packages, visit DroneVideos.com, where stock video footage can also be purchased. For media inquires, or to inquire about becoming a DroneVideos.com network videographer, call 1-800-303-1783 or email info@dronevideos.com

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

What Hurdles Will Amazon Prime Air Need to Overcome?

By Victoria Greene – @vickyecommerce

At the beginning of December, it will have been 5 years since Amazon kingpin Jeff Bezos announced plans for Amazon Prime Air. Initially mocked in popular culture, everyone soon realized that it’s precisely the sort of thing Amazon could and would do, and settled back to see where the chips would fall.

Today, the dream has yet to come to fruition — and other companies have followed suit in betting big on drone delivery hardware and systems — yet the smart money remains on Amazon being the big beneficiary of this automated revolution, especially since it has put so much time and money into getting it right.

amazon prime air drone
Credits: Amazon Prime Air

However, by the time Amazon’s Prime Air drone fleet goes live (whether in 2019 or much later), it will need to have overcome some major hurdles that currently face all drone delivery systems. What hurdles are those? Let’s go through them.

Legally using airspace

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is still in the early stages of figuring out how it’s going to handle approval for drone fleets, and thus far its regulations have focussed on manned personal drones. To this point its limitations have been based on maintaining the privacy of citizens and protecting airspace required for other things (such as planes).

Add Prime Air to the mix and you get a tremendously complex situation. Who will be monitoring the drones, and how? How will Amazon avoid drones getting in the way of planes, particularly in busy urban areas? Presumably there will need to be an overarching cross-system network to keep everything neatly synched, but that will increase the complexity.

And in the event of something going wrong, who will ultimately hold responsibility? How will anyone know for sure? If a Prime Air drone crashes into a drone from a rival shipping company (and self-destructs, apparently), each company might claim the fault must have been with the other. It’s certainly understandable that authorities would want to take a lot of time to figure out how everything is going to work before opening the floodgates.

Public distaste for automated transport

On the topic of responsibility, there remains a lot of antipathy towards automated transport systems and smart technology in general. For better or worse, people like to feel that cars, buses, bikes, planes, trains, and, yes, drones are manually controlled. When something goes wrong, there’s someone to blame — someone to hate (and to sue if needed).

When you take the manual control away — or move it back several levels to a position of limited oversight — you attract pushback. Not only do people not want to entrust shadowy automated systems with important tasks (and even their fates), but they also don’t like the consequences in the world of employment.

Just think about what will happen if Prime Air becomes a roaring success and the drone delivery system becomes an ecommerce staple. Heavy things will still need to be shipped by road, naturally, but that will be cold comfort to the many delivery drivers likely to be pushed elsewhere to work for smaller and cheaper companies that can’t afford or justify drones.

The world of technology may have greatly expanded the business opportunities for entrepreneurial types (with a laptop and an internet connection you can take courses, start a store and sell your small business for a tidy profit), but not everyone wants to learn tech. They want to preserve their careers, and drones will prevent them from doing so. The antipathy will eventually fade, but there will be many bitter pills to swallow first.

Keeping communications secure

Amazon Prime Air will invariably have manual oversight (if only to keep investors happy and placate the public), but secure communication will be essential regardless. The more drones are in the air at any time, the more carefully they will need to be arranged to avoid clashes. But the networking demands go past that.

When you establish a high-profile network of any kind, you inevitably attract attempts to hack it: to shut it down, draw data from it, or alter its protocols somehow. Each drone will need to be able to send and receive data to and from the main Amazon system, so people will no doubt attempt to seize drones and analyze them to find a way to break into it.

Could people find ways to locate drones holding expensive items and reroute them? It’s plausible. Very unlikely, I’d say, since I don’t think Amazon would go live without being very confident in its ability to keep its software secure, but this is certainly an obstacle that will need to be completely overcome before getting anywhere.

Establishing enough fulfilment centers

Drone fleets (using today’s technology, at least) will offer incredible flexibility and convenience at the cost of range. When Prime Air was announced, it was noted that a drone delivery must be within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfilment center, which means that Amazon will need a lot more fulfilment centers if it hopes to ever make Prime Air a default delivery option.

And even if it manages to get that many fulfilment centers set up, how will stock levels be handled? The level of complexity will go through the roof. Might we see complex chains of drone deliveries, with one transporting an item to another fulfilment center to be picked up and carried along by another drone? Or will Amazon simply rely on demand prediction models and keep Prime Air as an occasional delivery method?

I don’t anticipate it replacing next-day (or even same-day) standard delivery, but I can certainly see it becoming a very common option. It won’t happen until Amazon gets the infrastructure in place, though, so let’s see how things proceed.

Amazon Prime Air has a lot of promise, but there are many challenges for it to pass before any of that promise can be fulfilled. Thankfully, once it does pass those challenges, there will be a convenient fulfilment system available to make it happen.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant

Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert and freelance writer who can’t wait to jump on the drone delivery bandwagon. You can read more of her work at her blog Victoria Ecommerce.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

DJI Osmo pocket – the vlogging camera you’ve been waiting for

By Paul Archer, Dronesgator.com

A new recent release from DJI makes its way in 2019 with what seems to be a very unique approach to personal consumer cameras.
DJI has quite some history when it comes to gimbal stabilized cameras, both for their drones and for their Osmo line and this makes them quite the expert in the domain.

Osmo Pocket
Osmo Pocket

I know that at a first glance this device didn’t seem like it had much potential. However, the moment I took it into my own hands I’ve been quite amazed by what it can do.

It’s called the Osmo pocket and I’m completely amazed by how far technology has moved in the recent years. Having such a small yet capable device is something that no one would have dreamt of just a year ago.

Is it a vlogging camera or an action cam?

It has been released some time after the latest gopro hero 7 and people, including me, have compared the two on equal footing because of their bragging about stabilization.

However, the Osmo is more than an action cam, it definitely isn’t as sturdy as the latest GoPro hero, but It holds its own with some very good materials and a very good build.

GoPro vs Osmo Pocket

However, the osmo does have the considerable advantage of permanent 3 axis gimbal stabilization, which means it isn’t limited with electronic stabilization that can fail in poor lighting conditions.

Why is the Osmo pocket a great contender for being one of the top vlogging cameras in the future?

  • Super portable (no need to carry a big camera around you all the time)
  • Incredibly well stabilized video
  • Records in 4k 60p and even slow motion up to 120fps
  • Has the option to easily change the camera orientation towards you or in front by the press of a button
  • Has automatic tracking options
  • Good close up focus
  • More professional, cinematic look thanks to the shorter field of view compared to the fisheye of a goopro for example.

How does it face off against a gopro?

They’re not exactly competing in the same category as I mentioned before, but the new osmo pocket does actually take away some of the market from any action camera.

For more casual recordings, vlogging and whatever scenario that requires a tiny stabilized camera, besides extreme sports.

GoPro Hero7 vs Panasonic G7 vs Osmo Pocket
GoPro Hero7 vs Panasonic G7 vs Osmo Pocket

Bellow there’s my video comparison to the GoPro Hero 7 black where I also tested the stability on rough terrain, different resolutions side by side, slow motion and more!

What are some specs and is the price worth it?

When it comes to the price, the DJI Osmo pocket is just under the price of the latest Gopro. Now, you decide if it’s justified for your own needs to spend $350 on a multifunctional camera like this.

However, I could argue that if this manages to replace an expensive DSLR camera for video that you used to barely carry around and shoot shaky videos with… it’s totally worth it.

And the quality is up there, with a nice field of view and blurred background when in selfie mode.

Here are some of the more important specs I felt like people would need to know:

  • 12mp camera
  • 1/2.3-inch sensor
  • 80 degree FOV
  • 100Mbits
  • F/2.0 apperture
  • 4k 60fps
  • 1080p 120p
  • Supports micro sd card of up to 256gb
  • Comes with multiple accessories

How about the accessories?

Well, DJI is already selling quite a lot of those on their site and they seem to be quite useful, even though they have a long way to catch GOPro from behind.

The overall package is super tiny, but if you do indeed decide to attach the phone, maybe because you find the screen too small, it’s going to be less easy to hold in only one hand.

So if you were looking for a new camera and a gimbal for it, the new Osmo pocket might make your life better with a more complete, smaller and quite capable package for the price of an action camera.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

Natural Power acquires drone software specialist Ascent Technologies

Press release: Natural Power acquires Ascent Technologies

Leading renewable energy consultancy and service provider, Natural Power, has acquired the Texas-based firm Ascent Technologies – a developer of software for commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations.

The specialist software, which has been developed by Ascent Technologies during the course of the past two years, will enable Natural Power to automate drone flights, thus increasing speed, consistency and quality of the data gathered during wind turbine blade inspections.

Watch Natural Power’s drone video here

https://vimeo.com/315845975

natural_power_Drone
Natural Power Drone

The automation enabled by this new software means that the drone system calculates and manages the optimal flight along the surfaces of the blades without pilot intervention, as well as constantly monitoring, adjusting and optimising camera angles, exposure, focal distance and timing of the image acquisition. This ensures excellent data quality capture during the inspection process, whilst also enabling a much quicker inspection process that reduces the turbine’s downtime and associated loss of revenue. The cost to undertake the inspections are lowered and the images obtained during the process are of consistently high quality.

Craig Gordon, Global Head of Inspections at Natural Power, said: “Our blade inspections business continues to gather pace and we have invested in a number of drones that will complement our existing blade inspection services. The acquisition of Ascent will enable us to deliver a step change in the wider inspections service that we offer to clients, and coupled with our expert analysis, ensures we deliver a consistently high quality service.”

Stephen Trotter, Managing Director at Natural Power commented: “We continue to invest in key technologies and skills to deliver improved quality and value to our customers. The acquisition of Ascent accelerates this for our inspections business which plays a key role both as a standalone service and as a complement to our analytics, due diligence, operational and asset management services.”

Natural Power is recognised across the renewables sector for its proven track record across the full scope of inspection services, and has worked across various turbine types including, but not limited to, Siemens, Vestas, Senvion, GE, Enercon and Nordex. This has included work in Europe and The Americas. The team uniquely understands the need to achieve best quality data, combined with efficiency in order to maximise the uptime of turbine fleets whilst verifying their condition and integrity. Find out more here https://www.naturalpower.com/our-services/inspections/.

About Natural Power

Natural Power is a leading independent renewable energy consultancy and service provider that employs 360 staff globally. The company offers proactive and integrated consultancy, construction and operational management and due diligence services, backed by an innovative product range, across the onshore wind, offshore wind, solar pv and energy storage and renewable heat sectors as well as other emerging renewable energy technologies.

https://www.naturalpower.com
https://twitter.com/Natural_Power
https://www.linkedin.com/company/natural-power

Contact details:

Jane Maher, PR and Media
Natural Power
T: 07887 995 589
E: janem@naturalpower.com

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SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

10 Effective ways to make your drone footage more natural

By John O. Brooks

Drone Footage have become famous and popular on the internet nowadays. It’s very normal to see the footage from all over the world whilst more and more people entering the world of drones. Drones are affordable and accessible these days and nearly anyone can be able to manage to fly one.

However, flying a drone is one thing while shooting good quality footage with it is completely a different thing.

To impress your viewers with your Drone Shots, your shooting should be on a top level. After watching your Drone Footage, it becomes clear in your viewer’s eyes in seconds whether you actually know what you are doing or not. There is no doubt that using a Drone needs enough practice and some skills and planning to
make the best out of it. The more you practice flying your Drone, the more you become better on it.
So, here I am sharing with you a bunch of tips that will hopefully help you to make your drone footage more natural and realistic.

1. Plan your entire shot

You should always plan your shot before starting to fly. What do you want to get from the video, or which angle you are going to capture, everything should be planned. I know it is very tough work to plan everything from the ground as you don’t get the whole picture from the above but trust me, at least trying to have some ideas about your path and lines helps you to get better footage. Picture your
expected movements in your head and start practicing them. It’s impossible to get that flawless and perfect view, but by practicing them you can have a nice, smooth and steady result in the end.

phantom drone

2. Slow and steady wins the race

The best footage comes then when you start shooting by flying slow. It allows you to capture the footage vividly. By flying slow, you’re giving some time to your viewer to understand the whole scenario and dig into it. It creates a cinematic feeling in your video which should be your main target.

3. Fly low

As an aerial videographer, you should always keep in mind that flying high endangers your drone and your footage, especially when the wind speed is high.
Flying high is good but it doesn’t mean that you should do it all the time. It’s very risky if the wind is around 15-20 mph, it could probably damage your drone. Thus, to capture some nice and steady footage, I recommend flying lower, where the wind speed is not that high, the drone will be more controllable.

4. Fly backward

Flying backward is one of the cool techniques to make your drone footage more natural and cinematic. When you move forward, you’re focusing only on one specific detail. But when you’re flying backward, it reveals more details in your footage such as
trees, lakes, buildings, hills, people, etc.
Though to some of you, flying backward might seem difficult, which is totally okay. You can use the speed duration tool in your video editor to reverse your footage.

5. Avoid rough movements

You can’t just move your camera here and there to bring the cinematic feeling to your footage. Jerky movements are really disturbing to the viewers and it kill the liveliness of the footage. They make the video look robotic. I recommend you not to switch your speed and angles constantly but rather keep your position steady and use controlled and smooth movements as much as possible. By doing so, the video will feel natural and cinematic.

6. Don’t rush to the main object

It is a common rookie mistake to start shooting your main object at first sight. You must always keep a storyline in your footage. Add some contexts first, it brings excitement to the viewer’s eyes. Build up your shot, and slowly fly over your object and reveal it.

7. Golden hour light

The term Golden Hour refers to the period before the sunset and after the sunrise, when the sunlight is warmer and softer than the usual. Using the camera in the afternoon can damage the exposure because of the bright harsh light of the sun. Thus, I highly recommend that you shoot right before or after the sunset. It
will make your landscape shot look professional and beautiful.

9. Add a zoom

Adding a zoom is an easy way to create that nice and cinematic atmosphere to your shot. Keep it small and smooth, don’t make it too clear-cut or too obvious. This way, the viewer gets carried in really slow. The dolly zoom effect can also be a very cool technique, it is very effective for 4k footage which is outputed at 1080p for
the final video.

8. Add a sound clip

Music is like wings to the viewer’s mind. A piece of perfect matching music with your footage could help making your video popular. It beautifies your footage and brings the natural feeling in the video. Do not add music which doesn’t suit to your video, your video
might end up being weird in the end. It’s difficult but there are a million of audios on the Internet, get one with the permission and add it to your video.

10. Edit your video

To get the best out of your shots, you need to know how to edit your drone footage. It is one of the most important post-production processes. It manipulates and rearranges your shots for your the final product. Titling, color grading, sound mixing are very important tasks for aerial videography. Remove the unwanted footages, pick the best ones, create a flow, add effect, graphic, and music and you’re ready to shine.

Always bear in mind that, safety first. Drones are tools. You can’t treat them as toys.

Launch the drone into the sky within the law in your area and within your limits.

I hope with these quick tips you can explore and generate some cool content.

If you have more tips or ideas on how to make cool and professional videos please post them below!

Thanks!

Author Bio

John O. Brooks is a photographer, videographer, and a technology freak. He loves to live in the camera world. His camera is the best friend of him in this world, he says. He finds peace sharing his knowledge through developing contents about
photography and videography.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.