Quadcopter First Flight
A few weeks ago, I took delivery of the Phantom 2 Sundance Cinema kit from DSLRPros. It consists of the DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter aerial filming platform, a First-Person-View video uplink system, the Zenmuse 3D-HD 3-axis gimbal, an upgraded transmitter, a few extra batteries, and a very nice hardshell case.
It sat around the office for a little while, BEGGING me to fly it, but I wanted to make sure I stayed caught up on my current projects, and had done plenty of research on how to fly it before I took it out for a test run.
After wrapping up some work, and spending A LOT of time online, reading up on safety procedures, and best practices for small-platform aerial cinematography, I charged up the batteries, prepped my new GoPro Hero4 camera, and headed out to a local park with my great friend, and fellow cinematographer, Tage Plantell.
We had a BLAST. This thing is RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME.
I didn’t have the gimbal attached to the quadcopter, as I didn’t want to risk breaking it in a crash while I’m learning, but even so, I think we got some pretty great results for my first time out!
Take a look and judge for yourself!
Oh… and about that “crashing” business… turns out I was smart not to hook up the expensive, fragile gimbal on my first flight. I had a harmless, but thoroughly hilarious low-velocity run-in with a pine tree that I captured at the end of the video.
I have a LONG way to go, in terms of mastering flight mechanics, and dialing in the best aerial image, but I cannot tell you how excited I am about the creative filming possibilities this rig opens up. I think once I’ve got some more flight hours under my belt, this set-up will yield some pretty spectacular footage!