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Buyer’s Brief: Drones and UAVs

With this month’s Buyer’s Guide we examine the emergence of drone cinematography technologies and applications. As we see the many possibilities for these remote-controlled camera systems in professional video production, it’s clear drones and UAVs are on their way to becoming a standard tool for image capture, whether you’re looking for a different angle on a chase scene, following wildlife from a distance or getting a smooth, sweeping shot of a coastline.

Amimon

CONNEX

CONNEX, Amimon’s zero-latency HD wireless video link, is a unique plug-and-fly solution specifically designed for the fast-growing drone platform. With full HD video quality and zero-latency transmission, CONNEX is ideal for broadcast, inspection, aerial photography, crowd control and other applications requiring control of camera and drone in real time. CONNEX’s robust, sophisticated 5 GHz radio and automatic channel selection ensures resilient connectivity at all times, free from interference from UAV controls and other 2.4 GHz radio links. A multicasting feature supports four screens simultaneously while maintaining excellent HD video. The CONNEX kit includes all antennas, cables and connectors required for link setup.

DJI

Inspire 1

Inspire 1 is a flying 4K camera platform with a built-in wireless HD video transmitter and battery technology that allows up to 18 minutes of flight. Inspire 1 offers midair transformation for added flexibility: in the V position, pilots can capture images from any angle, regardless of the direction of motion. The integrated CMOS camera has a 94° field of view and is capable of shooting 4K up to 30 fps or 1080p up to 60 fps. The camera maintains stability even in strong wind conditions via an integrated 3-axis gimbal. The unit comes with a mobile app that runs across both iOS and Android devices, broadcasting 1080p video at a distance of 1.7 km. 

3D Robotics

IRIS+

The IRIS+ drone by 3D Robotics offers up to 20 minutes of flight time. Optimized to capture GoPro aerial images right out of the box, IRIS+ comes with an integrated GoPro camera mount with a vibration dampener. Users may optionally purchase a Tarot T-2D brushless gimbal with custom IRIS+ mounting kit for greater control. IRIS+ may be operated with the included remote control or autonomously with a Mac, PC, Linux or Android device. Another optional component from 3D Robotics is the LiveView Kit for GoPro, which allows live video streaming from a GoPro HERO onto a wireless monitor attached to the IRIS+ controller. IRIS+ starts at $750, with optional gimbal for $210. 

Dynamic Perspective

Dyna X5

Dyna X5 is a lightweight, 5-axis gyro-stabilized camera gimbal optimized for film/television productions with ultra lights, UAVs/drones, cable cams, helicopters and light aircraft. The innovative design allows for easy exchange of cameras, supporting a wide range of professional cameras (including Sony HDC, Grass Valley LDX, RED EPIC, ARRI Alexa and Canon EOS C300) and lenses (including Fujinon HA23x7.6, Canon KJ22ex7.6B, Canon CN-E30-105 and ARRI Alura Zoom 30-80). The 5-axis stabilization provides steady images with professional cine or broadcast cameras with up to 40x zoom. 

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