The great slow motion YouTube channel Warped Perception has created what will probably be the best new high-speed video of the decade. By marrying what looks to be a Vision Research Phantom Flex 4k with a Canon 600mm F4 L lens for a killer and expensive combination, they have been able to show things rarely seen in regular footage like stress on the fuselage and air dynamics impacting the aircraft as they cross paths. Congratulations to WP for creating such an awe-inspiring video!
It seems DJI is doing the impossible these days to make the competition look bad. They are executing on all cylinders by releasing industry leading products every couple of months now. The latest DJI Phantom 4 Pro and DJI Inspire 2 are so advanced compared to the competition that it really starts to become a monopolistic playing field.
The DJI Mavic Pro is already the most impressive drone when it comes to portability and now the new drones fill the gaps in image quality and performance where the Mavic Pro simply can’t compete. GoPro has already recalled the GoPro Karma Drone due to loosing power while hovering without warning posing a risk down below. If these DJI drones are solid, then other makers have to step up their game fast.
There has been extreme excitement over the last month for both the GoPro Karma Drone and the DJI Mavic Pro being the first truly portable and collapsible drones that offer professional features and a quality camera. However when we focus on the video quality it is clear that by several measures the Mavic Pro seems to be a step down compared to the DJI Phantom 4 and here lies the main issue between these two competing platforms.
GoPro has not been a quality champ ever since the DJI Phantom 3 came out. The Hero Camera with much more wide angle distortion and less sharpness was a letdown by being pretty much the same since the last refresh of the GoPro Hero 3+ several years ago. The GoPro way has been footprint reduction and feature addition instead of image quality hikes.
DJI the maker of the Phantom drone has answered GoPro back with a direct competitor to the Karma drone announced last week. The new DJI Mavic Pro drone is extremely portable; even more so than the Karma and has obstacle avoidance technology along with ground awareness which is missing from the GoPro completely. It also has the follow me feature in more modes than ever which makes shooting with it a breeze.
The Drone market has started to heat up when it comes to professional features in the mid range pricing space. The Phantom 4 by DJI showed us that collision avoidance and obstacle awareness as a built in feature can stay within the realm of fairly priced drones.
Now the Typhoon H Drone by Yuneec an established electric aviation company with it’s 4k camera capable of slow motion 120fps at 1080p which is competitive with DJI’s is trying to compete head to head with some great technologies that the Phantom does not offer like a 6 rotor design that gives redundancy if one of the propellers should fail mid flight.
Aalborg University’s Drone Research Lab based in Denmark has tested a catapult contraption with a Drone rotor and propeller against pig flesh. The results seem to be as you would expect even before you attempt the experiment. A given hypothesis is that a high speed propeller can cause some damage to skin or flesh as any sharp object would.
It is interesting as an experiment but there seems to be a lot of negative press about this from several news and tabloid sources. Drones get a bad rap and continue to be a favorite of regulation advocates for privacy and security. There will be more experiments made with larger and diverse drones as time progresses.