by Graham Sheldon | 27th February 2017
DJI announced a new drone over the weekend: the M200. Aimed at the industrial side of the drone market, its ability to handle rough weather may make it ideal for filmmakers as well. All the details on the new DJI M200 series below: Image Credit: DJI According to manufacturer DJI, the new Matrice 200 series is equipped for a variety of applications including search and rescue, power line inspection, and wind turbine and bridge inspection. For those of you out there that don’t read cinema5D for wind turbine inspection solutions, the drone can fly in inclement weather and is protected by its closed shell from dust, cold, water and particles. Most importantly for filmmakers, it can carry the Zenmuse X4S, Zenmuse X5S, Zenmuse Z30, Zenmuse XT (FLIR Thermal) gimbals mounted on the top and/or bottom of the airframe. You can also mount two forward/bottom-facing cameras adjacent to one another on the M200 as illustrated in the image above, allowing for a thermal view to be available at the same time as your normal camera view. While not designed for 3D, the ability to mount two cameras in close proximity on an aerial platform does present interesting creative possibilities for filmmakers. Image Credit: DJI Its dual-battery system allows for flight times of up to 32 minutes with a single gimbal payload and the battery department will even heat itself in freezing temperatures. If one battery fails, the other battery will take over to allow the drone to safely land. Watch the Matrice 200 in action in the below video: Obstacle-avoidance features have been improved in the M200 and it can now detect objects above, below and in front while flying. When it reaches an obstacle the drone will hover in place and there is an audio indicator to warn the pilot of a possible impending collision. The M200 is available in both a pro and standard version, with the standard version allowing for only one downward facing gimbal mount. There is also another version, dubbed the M200 RTK, that is equipped with a D-RTK module for “centimeter precision navigation”. If you are a professional drone operator in the market for a UAV that can withstand the elements then the M200 might be for you. While certainly not a go-to drone for all situations, I can see the Matrice 200 being used in a wide variety of wildlife projects, such as Planet Earth II, where you might want a little more protection for your pricey flying investment. Availability: Q2 2017 Price: TBD Technical Highlights: Flight Time: Up to 32 minutes (with single gimbal) Built for adverse weather conditions (dust, rain, particles, cold) Dual-battery power redundancy Self-heating batteries Three different camera payload configurations Onboard FPV camera Resistant to magnetic interference Three versions available: M200 (Standard), M200 RTK (Precision Navigation), M210 (Pro) For more information on the M200 series visit HERE. What do you think? Does the M200 have a place in your future rough weather productions? Or should it be relegated purely for industrial use? Comment below!Read more
by Graham Sheldon | 16th November 2016
While slightly overshadowed by the release of the great looking DJI Inspire 2, the newly introduced DJI Phantom 4 Pro still shoots fantastic images for the more budget-minded pro pilots out there. With 4K resolution up to 60fps, the Phantom 4 Pro boasts an impressive 12 stops of dynamic range out of its small and newly designed onboard camera. Find out all the details, including pricing and availability, below: Credit: DJI Global Jump back in time with me to January, 2013. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters had just hit the movie theaters and the DJI Phantom 1 had just been released with a grand total of ten minutes of available flight time, and the GoPro mount still needed a fair bit of work to remove vibrations. Suddenly, everyone had access to helicopter-style shots in their videos for a fraction of the cost. In the capable hands of market leader DJI, drones – or UAVs – have come a long way since. To really see just how far we have come give Sebastian Wöber’s article on the new DJI Inspire 2 a read. For those of us without the change to put down on a DJI Inspire 2 ($3,000 – $6,000), we have the next best thing: the new DJI Phantom 4 Pro. The camera on the drone comes equipped with a new 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor and roughly 12 stops of dynamic range. It is 4K-capable up to 60fps with a maximum bitrate of 100 mbps in H.265 compression, and it has a mechanical shutter, so no more skewed rolling shutter videos. The Phantom 4 Pro can fly for 30 minutes on a single battery and has a top speed of 41 miles per hour when sport mode is engaged. Personally, I’m not at the skill level where flying at 41 miles per hour seems like a safe use of my investment, but for those of you with a need for speed, you have that option. You can also limit the device to a still very speedy 31 mph by flying in “P-Mode”. Active Track Mode: Select moving subject and the DJI Phantom 4 will track the object in motion. Picture: DJI Global Active Track mode is here again with the ability to track a single moving object such as a runner, bicycles and faster vehicles. Three new options in active track mode are: circle, spotlight and profile. Obstacle avoidance software returns in the Phantom 4 Pro. While not quite perfect, this software is infinitely better than the alternative (i.e. a broken drone). Trees and other pesky obstacles are avoided in flight with the inclusion of five sensors facing outwards from the drone. It doesn’t provide perfect peace of mind, but it will watch your back during those unexpected wind gusts. High luminance display controller. Credit: DJI Global A brand new controller comes equipped with onboard GPS, Micro-SD slot and HDMI port. For an additional $300, you can upgrade your controller to a built-in “high luminance display”, with a bright, clean image — even in direct sunlight. With competition even more slim now with the recent recall of the GoPro Karma, DJI remains the go to drone provider for professionals and hobbyists alike. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro takes its place as the flagship of the Phantom line, providing a 4K shooting, more mobile, more affordable alternative to its big brother: the DJI Inspire 2. The perfect travel drone — it fits in the overhead of most regional and all international aircraft and gives you access to great looking shots with minimal setup time once on location. Price: Phantom 4 Pro w/standard controller: $1,499.00 Phantom 4 Pro + w/high luminance display remote controller: $1,799.00 What do you think? Will you be picking up the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, or springing for the 5K RAW DJI Inspire 2? Comment below!Read more
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