We’ve reported about several interesting inventions by Korean manufacturer Varavon before. This time around at Photokina 2016, Varavon introduced their new 3-Axis VR Drone for the first time. The Varavon 3-Axis VR Drone is a large virtual reality camera platform with a special gimbal design that holds the camera array steady even during fast movements and strong wind. At their booth at Photokina, the guys from Varavon showed us how the gimbal stabilization works. Unfortunately, they were not allowed to fly the drone in the convention center halls or even outside due to drone laws in Germany. At the moment, the VR Drone market seems very limited. A quick Google search results in several custom built VR Drone setups, but besides one manufacturer there were no other large and commercially available flying platforms with a gimbal like the one Varavon displayed. According to the sales rep at Photokina 2016, the Varavon 3-Axis VR Drone can take a payload of up to 12kg and has a flying time between 12 and 15 minutes. The cost of $27,000 seems quite high, considering that the M600 is available at under $5k and has a similar size, but with no special VR gimbal, of course. But since this is probably the first drone of its kind, I suppose a higher price is acceptable for those looking to create an aerial VR array with so many cameras. According to Charlie from Varavon, the drone is “ready to sell now”. The fact that it does not show up on the Varavon website yet might indicate that you have to contact them directly if you’re interested in purchasing this flying crazyness.Read more
Leading drone manufacturer DJI just pushed the aerial market to the next level once again. The new DJI Mavic Pro is their first compact drone that folds away to fit inside a standard-sized backpack, and it looks amazing. Just last week GoPro announced what seemed like their greatest achievement in product design yet: Their GoPro Karma drone is foldable, compact and incorporates their new GoPro HERO 5 camera. But today, the Karma already looks a little obsolete as the DJI Mavic Pro rises to the challenge. Read all about the new DJI Mavic here. Be among the first to try the DJI Mavic. It is available for pre-order now. EU Pre-Order at CVP: LINK DJI Mavic Pro – Small Size, Foldable Design DJI Mavic Pro Drone folded to become ultra compact There had been rumours about a new compact drone by DJI for a while, but now the DJI Mavic Pro is real. In short, DJI put their experience and technology with unmanned aerial vehicles into a sleek, foldable package that opens up new possibilities for videographers and drone enthusiasts wherever they go. At a first glance, the strength of the DJI Mavic Pro is already apparent: this drone features an impressive design that takes “folding away” to the next level. The package has the size of a water bottle, with four folding arms and propellers tucked snugly against its body. In fact, all elements of the drone are protected, as even the camera and gimbal are surrounded by a transparent cone, so it can certainly be tossed into a bag to be launched quickly whenever the time and place are right. DJI has spent a decade making it easier for anyone to fly, and by rethinking everything about how a drone looks, we have created an entirely new type of aerial platform for anyone to explore their creativity,” – Frank Wang, CEO and founder of DJI In comparison to the GoPro Karma, the DJI Mavic Pro is a lot more compact and doesn’t need a special case like its competitor: DJI Mavic vs GoPro Karma comparison in folded away state (the size differences are not accurate) The DJI Mavic Pro Controller The DJI Mavic Drone can be controlled from a smartphone, or from the dedicated new remote controller. According to DJI, it can be set up and ready to fly in less than a minute after calibration. The controller features control sticks that provide tactile feedback to warn the user about obstacles. The Mavic remote controller has its own screen, but can also be mounted together with a smartphone to provide a better viewing experience. The controller is compact and unfolds just like the drone itself. Full of Sensors and Aware of its Surroundings With the introduction of the DJI Phantom 4 in March of this year, DJI also introduced spacial awareness into their drones for the first time. The same technology is also packed into the small DJI Mavic Pro. It features obstacle avoidance and a new Flight Autonomy guidance system, which combines dual-band satellite navigation, redundant sensors, ultrasonic range finders, five vision-positioning cameras and deep learning processors for intelligent flying modes. DJI’s Active Track recognizes common subjects such as people, cars, bicyclists, boats or animals, and then sends Mavic Pro to follow behind, lead in front, track alongside or even circle the subject. You can also keep the camera focused on the subject while controlling Mavic Pro’s movements. There is also a new Terrain Follow mode to race up a slope behind a subject while remaining at a constant height between 1 ft (0.3 m) to 33 ft (10 m). It also uses downward-facing sensors and barometric readings to detect a rising slope on the ground beneath the drone and automatically move it to a safer height. 3-Axis Gimbal and Camera System Of course, the DJI Mavic Pro also includes a three-axis gimbal for shake-free video and aerial photography. This system is the smallest DJI has built so far, and features a camera that shoots 4K video at 30 fps and 1080p HD video at 96 fps, with a minimum focusing distance of just 19 in (0.5 m). The new minimum focus distance is great, as this has been a problem with previous DJI drones and especially the DJI Osmo. The 12-megapixel camera shoots photos in the Adobe DNG RAW and can be flipped 90 degrees to a new portrait mode to shoot vertical photos. [UPDATE:] According to early user reports, the 4K camera found on the DJI Mavic offers a little less resolution than the DJI Phantom 4. Considering the new drone has half price, weight and size of the Phantom 4, the mediocre image quality will probably be an acceptable downside for most consumers, but might be a less positive aspect for those looking for a more professional look. DJI is also introducing a new OcuSync encrypted transmission system that has a range up to 4.3 miles (7 km) and can reach 1080p video resolution for live streaming to Facebook Live, Periscope and YouTube through the DJI GO app. The drone can fly up to 27 minutes on one Intelligent Flight Battery, which is similar to the flying time of the DJI Phantom 4, but 7 minutes longer than the GoPro Karma. Other Features of the DJI Mavic Pro Mavic Pro’s Sport Mode allows speeds of up to 40 mph (64.8 km/h). There is also a new Tripod Mode that drops Mavic Pro’s maximum speed to just 2.2 mph (3.6 km/h) and reduces the sensitivity of the control inputs, to allow precision positioning for photography as well as to make it easier to fly indoors or in other confined spaces. The DJI Mavic Pro also pairs with new DJI Goggles, displaying a 90-degree view from the drone in 1080p for a true bird’s-eye view. The goggles use OcuSync to display video directly from Mavic Pro, not the controller, reducing lag to 120 milliseconds. You can direct Mavic Pro through the sky while wearing the goggles – looking down will tilt the camera down, while looking left or right will change the direction of flight. Mavic Pro is available for pre-order now for $1199. It will begin shipping in mid-October.Read more
GoPro announced their first drone, the GoPro Karma, at Photokina 2016. We get hands on with this highly-anticipated foldable drone right here at the show. GoPro Karma – The Foldable Drone The GoPro Karma has been designed to make it as easy as possible to use and fly straight out of the box, whether just using the stabilizer or for aerial filming. Within a few minutes, the foldable drone can be unfolded, powered up and linked to the remote that conveniently includes a screen. It has a number of automated features including auto shoot paths where the GoPro Karma will orbit between two points, a reveal path, flying up or away from the start point, and cable camera mode. The controller has a built-in touchscreen, and has been simplified to make it as easy as possible to fly straight out of the case. Simulation tutorials will be available soon to aid in learning to fly the drone. In terms of batteries, the GoPro Karma has a plug and play style removable battery that allows for 20 minutes of flying time, while the remote battery lasts for 4 hours and can be charged on the go. Learn more about the GoPro Karma, GoPro HERO 5 and the new GoPro eco system in our launch article. The GoPro Karma will be available form the 23rd of October, with the full package including the drone, GoPro Hero5 camera, stabilizer, grip, controller and batteries for $1099. For the GoPro Karma foldable drone alone, the pricing will be around $700.Read more
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