Lily Is a Camera Drone That Wants to Make Shooting Fun

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At the latest NAB we saw a big surge of Camera Drone interest. (it was sliders three years ago, Jibs two years, Gibmbals last year and now Drones). Most of the drones (or drone upgrades) introduced were focused on providing a smooth run or more range. Lily is a new players and it is focused on making it FUN.

Lily is a camera drone aimed at extreme sports enthusiasts and as such it features some innovative features.

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Breathtaking Footage Taken Inside Hang Son Doong, The World’s Largest Cave

Imagine if you could put a drone inside a 5.5 miles long cave that is as tall as a 40-story skyscraper. Plus it has a river flowing through it. Hang Sơn Đoòng (or mountain river cave) is the largest cave known to mankind and the mere fact that they allowed a crew along with a drone to shoot inside is not trivial at all.

Photographer and cave explorer Ryan Deboodt spent some time in the cave along with a Canon 6D, a 16-35mm f4 lens, a DJI Phantom 2 and a GoPro Hero 4 Black edition to give a glorious view of the cave. It is breath taking.

It is amazing that footage like this can be taken with less than $4K worth of gear.

[via huffingtonpost]

New Bird-inspired Design May Help Drones With Collision Recovery

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If you’ve been following the drones vs. things saga here on the blog, you know that drones are almost losing the fight when they stumble into things (or mad chimps). A new technology developed in Stanford university aims at changing this and allowing drones to keep flying even after they collide with a solid object (Or Kangaroo).

The general form factor that drones are built with today, are stiff and cannot sustain mid-air impact. They rely on collision avoidance at best, flying at high altitude as a failsafe or having no collision control at worst.

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Blackmagic’s New Micro Camera is the GoPro of Cinema Cameras

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The newly announced Micro Cinema Camera seems to be following in the footsteps of the popular action cameras, with Blackmagic advertising it as a multi-purpose camera that can be taken almost anywhere (which makes sense considering yesterday’s leaked poster).

Touted as the world’s smallest digital film camera, the camera is advertized as a being perfect for drones, as a crash cam, mounted to a helmet or the side of a car or hidden on the set for reality TV.

Along with its compact size, it is the advanced camera features, interchangeable lenses, remote operation and monitoring, expandable connections and professional recording formats that make this a great camera for high-end products.

The ease of use, reasonable price and wide flexibility, however, mean this camera will not be used only in Hollywood.

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3D Robotics’ Smart Drone Uses Computers to Control Flight; Allows Artists to Focus on the Footage

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Just days after industry leader DJI announced the 4K Phantom 3 drone, 3D Robotics presented its own advancements with the Solo – a ready-to-fly drone made specifically for the GoPro.

The ‘smart’ drone uses two computers in order to allow unique features and have the drone fly autonomously according to a predetermined path or pattern. This allows you to focus on operating the camera rather than have to worry about flying the drone.

The Solo will soon hit the stores and is expected to be available in 2,000 physical locations.

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Chimpanzee Uses Found Branch To Knock A Camera Drone Out Of The Sky

Chimpanzees are one of the cleverest animals in existence, it is not for nothing that they are called our relatives. (Then again, octopi are quite clever too) They are considered one of the first animals to use tools. The Royal Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem, Netherlands just reinforced that about them as one of the Chimpanzees in the zoo used a stick to knock a camera drone out of the sky.

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More Drones: DJI Announces The Phantom 3 Drone

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If I had to pick one topic that I get pitched about the most with regards to NAB, it will have to be DRONES. With a Capital D. And it does seem that they will be a hot topic during 2015.

One of the first birds to arrive is the new DJI Phantom 3 announced today from Chinese company DJI.

Unlike their GoPro line, this Drone from DJI comes with its own integrated camera. There are two versions to this new drone: The Professional version showing off golden stripes, which shoot up to 4K at 30 fps, and an Advanced version (silver striped) that shoots at 1920 x 1080 resolution at up to 60 fps.

The price tag of both will not make you drop, and range between $999 (advanced) to $1,259 (pro).

Features wise, it seems like this drone is a natural evolution from the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ with a similar 3 axis integrated gimbal.

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CNN Partners With FAA To Establish New Protocol For Drone Usage By Photojournalists

8746586571_1ea6d66c3d_kIn a statement issued on January 12th, from CNN, the news agency revealed it has teamed up with the FAA in an effort to experiment with various UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles). CNN reports the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) between them and the FAA will serve as a means to establish new regulations and a framework regarding the safe integration of drones into news gathering practices.

CNN also stated they and the FAA will combine it’s study with Georgia Tech Research Institute, with whom CNN had partnered with in the summer of 2014 to conduct similar research. In the statement found on CNN’s website, FAA Administrator, Michael Huerta, explained the partnership:

“Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities. We hope this agreement with CNN and the work we are doing with other news organizations and associations will help safely integrate unmanned newsgathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System.”

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