We’ve all experienced how sensationalism can sometimes mire legitimate news stories, and we have plenty of examples out there. Just yesterday, there was a news segment on Today that showed just how easy it is for people to spy on you in your own house using “peeping drones.” Although the reporter offers some legitimate points, should we really be that worried about our privacy when it comes to drones?
People have been hoping for an update to DJI’s Phantom line for a little while now. Many thought the next announcement we’d see would be a Phantom 5, but it turns out that it’s not. It’s the Phantom 4 Pro v2.0. It packs all of the features of the old Phantom 4 Pro, but with a couple of nice updates.
The P4P V2 is more of an incremental upgrade than a replacement model, but it boasts improved image quality, reduced noise output and 6-camera navigation with new infrared obstacle sensors. There’s also a new remote option with integrated display.
DJI has announced that they’re partnering up with Microsoft to announce new developer tools for Windows. The tools are designed to enable real-time AI and machine learning for drones. This, DJI says, will help businesses “harness the power of commercial drone technology and edge cloud computing”. It all sounds very cool, but I’m having some pretty serious Terminator 3 flashbacks.
At The Photography Show, there are many big extravagant stands. But there are also many smaller stands, too, that don’t really need a huge stand. One such stand which caught my eye at the show this year was Hoodman. They’ve updated their drone accessories with some new sizes of launchpad, and they were also showing off their range of Aviator tablet hoods.
It appears that YI Technology are about to finally release a drone. Although it’s not the one we’ve all been waiting over 18 months for. There’s still no word on what’s happening with the YI Erida, but what is coming is a new tiny Spark-like drone. The Pixie. Unlike the DJI Spark, though, this one will shoot 4K video.
While this is technically a rumour, there is a complete user manual online. It seems unlikely to go to all the trouble of creating that if the drone itself weren’t real. According to specs, it’ll shoot 4K, 1080p and 720p video with timelapse and burst mode 15MP photo features. It operates on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz WiFi, with a suggested range of 100 metres.
Announced last month, the Mavic Air is the newest drone from DJI. It fits in between the Spark and the Mavic Pro in DJI’s lineup, but what are its key selling points? We had the chance to speak with DJI about the new drone this week at The Photography Show. We chat about its key features, saw how it performs first hand, and there might be a hint as to what may be coming in the future.
Demands on technology companies these days are pretty intense. It used to be that a company released a product, customers either loved it or hated it, and then a new model came out in 5 or so years to replace it. Today, it’s very different. No sooner had the Sony A7III been announced, for example, than wishlists appeared for a theoretical Sony A7IV. People want to see new camera kit far more often than they used to.
When it comes to drones, the “upgrade cycle” is even shorter, with people expecting new and upgraded models on an annual basis. Lately, there’ve been a number of rumours surrounding several new possible models from drone leaders DJI. The Mavic Pro 2, the Phantom 5, the Inspire 3 and a new fixed-wing drone, the DJI VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing). The “leaks” on specs so far look quite exciting, but can they really be believed?
After a drone collides with a US Army Black Hawk helicopter just last month, we’re already hearing about another incident involving a helicopter and a drone. This time, though, the helicopter was forced to make a crash landing. The incident is currently being investigated and if proven to be true would mark the first drone-related crash of an aircraft in the USA.
According to Bloomberg, during a flight last week involving a student pilot and instructor, a drone was spotted in front of their Robinson R22 helicopter during a flight. This forced the instructor to take over and take corrective action to avoid the collision, hitting the tail of the helicopter into a tree and causing a crash landing.
With the recent announcement from DJI about the Mavic air, DJI now has a drone at each $200/$300 step (give or take) from the $499 Spark*, through the $799 Mavic Air ending with the $999 Mavic pro (or $1,100 for the Platinum Pro).
But which is the drone you
want need? With the steps being so small it is tempting to jump to the next level for just a few more dollars, but should you? Here is a breakdown on what each of those drones will do for you and which is better for each of their intended uses.