In the not-too-distant future, when Cinderella looks out her castle window she may spot a drone flying by.
The Walt Disney Co. has taken the next step in integrating drones into its fireworks shows at Disneyland and Walt Disney World: it has applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for what’s called a Section 333 exemption, which allows a company to legally operate drones commercially. Currently, it is otherwise illegal to operate a drone for commercial purposes, though that’s expected to change in 2016.
The drones would fly preprogrammed flight paths and emit LED lights at various intervals, lighting up the sky. Up to 50 drones at one time might be used for nightly firework shows, according to details included in the Section 333 exemption request.
The International Consumer Electronics Show in 2015 may have been the year of the drones, but this year the drone industry is only getting bigger.
CES in 2015 was about the funky accessories (including a parachute for drones) and quirky aesthetics (like a wearable bracelet drone released by Intel called “Nixie”). But this year, the drones are all about efficiency, from longer flight times to lower price tags — an indication that the technology is only just now taking off.
Drones are huge at the Consumer Electronics Show this year — there’s an entire section dedicated to more than a dozen exhibits from drone makers and others getting into the drone game. But the most important announcement to come out of the show so far isn’t a drone. It’s a chip.
Chip maker Ambarella, Inc. today introduced the H2 and H12 camera chips, intended to allow drones to capture more powerful video than ever. The new chips mean that the next generation of drones will be able to function much better in low-light or high-contrast situations, and will produce much smoother video. They potentially eliminate the need for mechanical gimbals, pivoted support systems that can be costly and cumbersome on drones, but have so far been necessary for anyone looking to shoot high-quality, smooth footage.
That may not sound particularly sexy, but the chips are our first clue into what drones in 2017 and beyond might be capable of doing.
The H2 chip targets high-end camera models, while the H12 targets mainstream cameras.
DJI’s announcement for CES this year: the Phantom 3 4K and the Inspire 1 Pro Black Edition.
The $799 Phantom 3 4K comes with an integrated, gimbal-stabilized 4K camera and has remote-control buttons for playback, video recording and camera shutter. Instead of DJI’s Lightbridge video-transmission system, the Phantom 3 4K uses built-in WiFi to transmit the video downlink and on-screen data. The drone’s WiFi video downlink is effective up to a distance of 1.2 km and will stay aloft for 25 minutes on a full battery charge.
The Inspire 1 news is simply cosmetic. The Inspire 1 Pro Black Edition comes with a black controller, battery and a shell with a matte finish. It also comes with DJI’s Micro Four Thirds camera, the Zenmuse X5. The original Inspire 1 Pro, with a white shell, battery case and controller, will continue to be sold alongside the new model. The Inspire 1 Pro Black Edition is expected to sell for around $4,799.
It may be the dead of winter and freezing outside, but this video of Budapest, Hungary covered in snow should make it better.
You don’t even need to go outside to see it. Just grab a glass of Palinka (for warmth, of course) and watch this video:
The footage was documented on Jan. 5, when Budapest was coated in snow. Shot by Budapest-based Drone Media Studio the video includes footage of the river Danube, which splits the city into Buda and Pest. Buda Castle is seen to the east of the river, and the Hungarian Parliament Building and St. Matthias Church are to the west.
The video does though overlook my favorite place in Budapest, the ruin pub Szimpla Kert. I’ll be looking forward to the next one. Happy flying, Budapest! Szia!
The following article is written by Thomas Foster who is an owner of website bestquadwithcamera.com and a quadcopter enthusiast.
So you have a drone, and now you want to make better pictures? Here are 6 tips to get started:
•Choose the right time: The landscape can change dramatically over the year, and even through a day. Try shooting the same spot at different times to see the differences, or if there’s one specific shot you want, pay attention to where the sun will be to avoid unwanted shadows.
Some photographers swear by shooting at “The Golden Hour,” which is generally the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset. The sun is low in the sky, producing a diffused soft light that provides the opposite effect to harsh midday sun shadows.
ISO: indicates the level of sensitivity of your camera to light. A low ISO number (ie. 100 or 200) indicates low sensitivity to available light. Photographers on a bright, sunny day would want a low ISO. A high ISO number indicates high sensitivity to light, which you would want if you were shooting indoors or at night. The higher the ISO, the more grain you will see in your images.
Shutter Speed: This is the amount of time a camera shutter is open to allow light into the sensor. Slow shutter speeds allow more light in and are ideal for shooting at night, but could also cause more blur. High shutter speeds allow less time for light to enter the sensor, meaning your picture could turn out darker. The photo above has a relatively slow shutter speed to show the motion of the cars. Continue reading 6 tips for better aerial photography with a drone→