DJI has released the DJI Phantom 4, a drone that marks the next step in aerial technology. The new drone is equipped with intelligent sensors that provide collision detection for safer flight and upgrades that make it faster and better. DJI also announced an exclusive sales partnership with Apple. cinema5D is here in New York at the launch event of the new DJI Phantom 4 drone. DJI has been pushing the boundaries of drone development in the last years and today they have upgraded their consumer Phantom line yet again and it’s exciting to see how this technology evolves. Many drone enthusiasts have been looking forward to this event, but also video and cinema people like us are keen to find out what’s new in aerial cinematography as we know from our own tests that these flying machines have a huge potential for filmmakers. The New DJI Phantom 4 So here’s all you need to know about the new drone feature by feature: Anti-Collision Sensors The most intriguing feature about the new DJI Phantom 4 is certainly that DJI have now incorporated their obstacle avoidance alogrorhythms that they have been developing over the last years. We know it isn’t easy to fly a drone, it needs practice and things can sometimes go horribly wrong. The new technology allows the Phantom 4 to detect obstacles with visual anti-collision sensors and evade them, much like anti crash systems of newer cars, certainly making the new Phantom 4 a safer drone. Faster, Better Battery Life The drone has been improved from top to bottom. With a more aerodynamic design, up to 25% faster speeds and a better battery life that lets you fly up to 28 minutes on a single charge. This of course is very nice to see as it makes the whole experience more convenient and ergonomic. More Stability and Precision The body is now made of magnesium, reducing vibrations that the previously used plastic materials have caused. The propellers are moved higher, so they are not visible in the picture anymore (which has sometimes been a problem on other models). And the gimbal now holds the camera with two arms instead of one for more image stability and precision. Improved Vision Positioning Like the Phantom 3, the new drone has two cameras on the bottom for “vision position”, that let it fly steadily even without a GPS connection and improve overall flight precision. The Phantom 4 vision positioning system has been improved. 120fps Slow Motion The camera used on the new Phantom 4 drone is still a 4K camera, but now features a slow motion mode in 1080p HD with 120fps. For certain action shots this is certainly a great new feature that sports enthusiasts will welcome. Sports Mode The new controller also offers a “sports mode” that gives you the fasts speeds and maneuverability for those interested in fast flying. New Intelligent Flight Modes DJI has also been working on improving the intelligence of their flight processors. The new Phantom 4 can now detect objects and detect people. With a simple tap on your smartphone screen the drone will track and follow a person around without the need for any additional physical trackers. The system is solely visual. There are several other movement features like circling and following an object at the same time, making movements possible that couldn’t easily be achieved manually. Last but not least DJI also announced an exclusive sales partnership with tech giant Apple. Right now the new Phantom 4 is available only through the DJI website and through Apple exclusively (shipping starts on March 15th) and become part of Apple’s store inventory. From April 1st the Phantom 4 will be available everywhere else. [UPDATE: The Phantom 4 is now also available at other retailers.] More intelligent sensors, better processing and less reliability on GPS signals make this drone safer, more ergonomic and easier to fly. While many had hoped for a better image quality, the new features seem like a powerful upgrade for better flying and filming with this new generation of drones. For more information see the DJI website.Read more
Drones give us stunning new perspectives for our films, but the video look they produce is often quite unsexy. So how do you grade and perfect aerial video from a low cost drone camera to make the low-bitrate footage look awesome? This was the question I asked myself when I finished my footage from the DJI Inspire 1. I spent a week filming with an entry level drone to create a stunning drone film. After many hours figuring out how to make the best of the footage I had, I created this 3-part video tutorial on mastering drone footage. In PART I I talked about How to Shoot Aerial Video Like a Pro. In PART II I talked about Improving Aerial Video in Post. Here is PART III, where I’ll show you how I graded and perfected the film with compositing. Part I – Shoot Aerial Video Like a Pro Part II – Improve Aerial Video in Post These are the tips I would have needed when I started shooting. I wanted to get the best out of my drone footage and I didn’t find this knowledge elsewhere. As discussed in the tutorials, the footage from low-cost drones come with a lot of drawbacks, very highly compressed codecs and low bitrates that make grading very difficult. In my tutorial I’m showing you how to make aerial video look and feel cinematic, how to raise the production value of your project with a few simple steps from shooting to final grading and compositing. I hope you’ll enjoy these tutorials and they’ll help you get started. All 3 parts of the video series have some essential points I think anyone serious about aerial video can take something away from. Equipment used In part I and part II talked about why the DJI Inspire 1 for me is the best value for money low cost drone right now with the upgrade options to the new Zenmuse X5 and X5R cameras for better quality. The video above was shot without the upgrades on the normal DJI Inspire 1. I recommend this package: DJI Inspire 1 (with 2 Remotes) At least 4-5 Additonal Batteries 4-battery charging station 2 smartphones or tablets compatible with the Inspire 1 practice I do not recommend the hardcase version unless you use this for rental or a large production. The shell-case is perfect, lightweight and roomy and can hold both remotes and 9 batteries! (I got this wrong in my video, there are hidden compartments). I did not have the high capacity batteries as mentioned above. It must be awesome to have those though. How many should you get? It really depends on how much you’ll shoot in a day. I did not have the 4-battery charging station. It must be awesome to have it. It will charge one battery at a time overnight. If charging times are the same as the single chargers then it will probably take about 6 hours to charge 4 batteries. Remember, practice is part of the package. Fly safely, edit tirelessly and grade meticulously. Then let us know what you learned in the process. If you are interested in my LUT you can download it here. Helpful Links: Understanding Lumetri Color in Premiere Pro After Effects Motion Tracking Tutorial Music by musicbed.com Salomon Ligthelm – BonesRead more
Low cost drones have revolutionized the way we think about aerial video, but often the results are easily distinguishable from professional aerial shots. So how do you improve aerial video coming from a low cost drone camera? This was the question I asked myself when I edited my footage from the DJI Inspire 1. I spent a week filming with an entry level drone and I spent a lot of time figuring out how to make the best out of the footage I had. Here’s the second part of my 3-part video tutorial on mastering drone footage. Also check out: Part I – Shoot Aerial Video Like a Pro Part III – Grade Low-Cost Aerial Video These are the tips I would have needed when I started shooting. I wanted to get the best out of my drone footage and I didn’t find this knowledge elsewhere. Here’s how to make aerial video look and feel cinematic, how to raise the production value of your project with a few simple steps. I hope you’ll enjoy these tutorials and they’ll help you get started. All 3 parts of the video series have some essential points I think anyone serious about aerial video can take something away from. DJI Inspire 1 compared to Sony FS7 high resolution screenshot Working with the Inspire 1 drone I already explained this in part I of the series, the possibilities of the DJI Inspire 1 were really impressive for me, very easy to use, very affordable and very powerful in terms of its ergonomics and the intelligent flight modes. I highly recommend using this drone if you consider going into aerial videography. The screenshot above shows you the drawbacks of the DJI Inspire 1 camera in terms of image quality in comparison to a Sony FS7 4K image (click open link in new window to see full resolution) as discussed in the video. Fortunately the Inspire 1 camera is upgradable so you can improve it with proper Micro Four Thirds cameras, the new Zenmuse X5 and X5R cameras produce much better quality. As you can see though, just using the built-in 4K camera opens up a lot of possibilities for low cost shooters. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Fly safely, edit tirelessly and let us know what you learned in the process. Best wishes from Seb at cinema5D. Helpful Links: adobe.com on CC Force Motion Blur adobe.com on Time Remapping animation in Premiere CC Music by musicbed.com Salomon Ligthelm – BonesRead more
Drones. An intriguing new technology for cinematographers! But how do you shoot aerial video with professional aesthetics on a low cost drone and how do you finish the footage? 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 from shoot to grade. Here are all 3 parts of my video tutorial series on mastering drone footage. Related article: After the videos Related article: Part II – Working with Drone Footage Related article: Part III – Grade Low-Cost Aerial Video Why another drone shooting tutorial? Because these are the tips I would have needed when I started shooting. I wanted to get the best out of my drone footage and I didn’t find this knowledge elsewhere. There are lots of technical tutorials out there, but none of them cover how to make aerial video look and feel truly cinematic. And this is exactly what raises the production value of your project and I think really the biggest plus drones offer. I hope you’ll enjoy these tutorials and they’ll help you get started. All 3 parts of the video series have some essential points I think anyone serious about aerial video can take something away from. DJI Inspire 1 Drone with Zenmuse X3 Gimbal & 4K Camera A few words on the Inspire 1 drone As mentioned in the video the DJI Inspire 1 is really an impressive drone, very easy to use, very affordable and very powerful in terms of its ergonomics and the intelligent flight modes. I highly recommend using this drone if you consider going into aerial videography as it is now also upgradable with the new Zenmuse X5 and X5R cameras that produce much better quality. I think this is really the best value for money right now. As you can see in my video, just using the built-in camera opens up a lot of stunning possibilities. If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. And now fly safely and then let us know what you learned in the process. Best wishes from Seb at cinema5D. Helpful Links: inspirepilots.com flysafe.dji.com Music by musicbed.com Salomon Ligthelm – BonesRead more
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