BEST 4K VIDEO DRONES OPTIONS
By Ro Leon
4k Aerial Video
This past June the FAA finally released rules for UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) also know as drones that take effect August 1st, 2016. Currently, only hobbyist and very limited per use waiver holders are able to fly drones. These new rules pave the way for many video production companies to be able to add aerial video as part of their services.
So what are some options when looking at buying a drone for 4k aerial video footage? Some of the bigger professional aerial rigs can consist of an 8 blade aerial platform, a gimbal camera mount, a DSLR or even Red camera and lens all sold separately. This type of aerial video drone solutions can cost $10,000 to $20,000 (or more). For hobbyists or video production companies looking to make a smaller investment an all-in-one aerial video drone might make the most sense. At Blare Films we see that the next standard in video resolution is 4k (UHD). With that in mind, here are the best all-in-one 4k options available.
DJI Inspire 1 Pro Carbon Fiber Zenmuse X5
With Inspire 1 PRO, DJI’s quadcopter line was introduced to a Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor with 4k image capturing. It contains Zenmuse X5 camera with a 15mm f/1.7 lens along with gimbal system. Like many earlier quadcopters, Inspire 1 features a fixed landing gear design. It has a retractable arm system – each prop motor has a foot underneath that performs as a landing pod when the arms are lowered. During the flight, these arms will lift up so that the camera has an unobstructed 360-degree view. The flight is internally recorded by the camera to micro SDHC/SDXC memory cards. It is also capable of beaming a live 720p feed to a monitor, a mobile device running the DJI GO app, or FPV glasses with an HDMI input. One radio controller is already included in the drone while another can be added. This is helpful so that one operator can concentrate on piloting the drone while the other one focuses on capturing images.
· Wireless, live HD video transmission
· Ready-to-fly aerial system
· Useful app to edit videos, adjust camera settings,etc.
· Dedicated transmitter with camera and flight controls
DJI Phantom 4
Before the Inspire DJI released the Phantom 1. Generations later you have the Phantom 4 and has this drone grown in it’s offering. One if the best new feature is the ActiveTrak that allow you to select on object and track it. It also added an object avoidance feature with two forward facing autonomous cameras. The TapFly is another feature that allows you to smooth chart a path on you smart phone or device. The camera is held by an upgraded gimbal and comes with a FOV 94 Degree 20 mm lens (35 mm format equivalent). It records up to 4096×2160 resolution at 24/25p and offers a 720p live view to your device.
· Gimbal-Stabilized 4K / 12MP Camera
· Visual Sensor for Obstacle Avoidance
· ActiveTrak and TapFly Features
· Streamlined Shell / Magnesium Unibody
· Top Speed of 44.7mph in Sport Mode
Autel Robotics XSTAR 4K Camera Drone
The X-Star Premium by Autel Robotics enables you to shoot UHD and DCI 4K videos and capture 12 megapixels still photos. The drone’s smart system for flight control allows different flight modes such as Orbit, GoHome, Follow, and Waypoints. GPS isused to administer positional data. In cases where GPS satellites are unreachable, the Starpoint Positioning System tracks position optically. Additionally, a mobile device can also be wirelessly connected with the X-Star Premium for a 720p high definition live feed from the camera, and access other advanced features as well.
· 720p HD monitoring via app
· Gimbal-stabilized 4K camera
· 12MP clear images
· GPS navigation and Starpoint positioning
Price: $699.00 to $899.00 (Depending on radio remote range)
Chroma Flight-Ready Drone with Stabilized CGO3 Camera
This drone is the Ready-to-Fly variant of Blade’s Chroma Camera Drone. It features a ST-10+ transmitter to control the aircraft, display telemetry data and monitor live video feed. An Android mobile device with 5.5” screen is imbedded in the transmitter. Being a 400-sized X-configuration quad, Chroma is made to satisfy a range of people; it can capture aerial angles while providing a good experience to hobby fliers. It features the CGO3-GB, which captures 1080p video at around 120 fps and 4K video, and shoots images at 12MP.
· Easy and simple to use, does not require and experience
· 30 minute flight times
· Captures aerial video in 4K definition with a smooth and steady result
· Fisheye effect is eliminated by the no-distortion camera.
· Compact, everything comes in one box.
To summarize, when looking for 4k aerial video, the DJI Inspire 1 is a great drone for professional use. The Phantom 4 can also be used professionally, but like the others on this list, it’s probably better suited for hobbyists.
For FAA information: click here
For Arizona Drone Legislation: click here