Drone filming has evolved hugely in the last ten years. Much like the diversity of filmmaking, flying cameras now come in all shapes and sizes. Still, we can categorise drones into two main groups: flying styles. →
DRONE FILMING SERVICES
TRADITIONAL LINE-OF-SIGHT DRONES
Line-of-sight drones are flown with an operator on the ground whilst keeping an unobstructed view of the drone in the sky. The smaller drones in this class are typically flown with just one operator and lend themselves to establishing shots, big wides and basic tracking.
Larger systems such as the Inspire 2 or when flying custom camera packages on a heavy lift drone are usually operated by the pilot and camera operator. The camera operator has 360° control with autonomy from the pilot, which makes it great for tracking subjects at speed. However, many years of practice are required for the pilot and camera operators to work in unison and understand how the aircraft’s movement, speed and orientation affect the camera framing whilst in the air.
FPV (FIRST-PERSON VIEW) DRONES
FPV puts the pilot’s eyes on the front of the drone. A low latency HD feed is relayed from a small dedicated camera on the drone back to a set of goggles. This enables incredibly agile movement with a fast, acrobatic style of flying or a slow, steady flow, depending on the system.
Like traditional drones, FPV drones vary in size and weight, each having its use case from small ‘cinewhoops’ to ‘cinelifters’; you can read more on our dedicated FPV page.
We’ll focus on the traditional drones on this page, so keep reading below! If you already know what you’re looking for, Get in touch now to discuss your shoot.
HEAVY-LIFT DRONE FILMING
The pinnacle of drone filming is taking the cameras, usually operated on the ground, into the air on a stable remote head with lens control and a clear monitor feed. Therefore, we have opted for the Freefly ecosystem for our heavy-lift drone platforms.
The Alta 8 & Alta X provide a solid, robust system that can carry the Mōvi Pro or Ronin 2 with almost any camera/lens package. Built around the drone and gimbal, we use FIZ control motors, HD downlinks and Ignite-Digi accessories.
We have enhanced flight permissions (OSC) from the CAA, enabling our team to fly down to as little as 10m from the public and extended heights.
Whether it’s a simple small drone with a built-in camera, LED array or a full-spec cinema camera package, we have you covered.
HD Video Downlink
We have two downlinks for different uses—the Vaxis 3000, capable of 3000ft range and the DJI Transmission, with a mind-boggling 6km reach.
Complete lens control on the ground. Focus, Iris (aperture) and Zoom. Pull focus, adjust exposure and reframe in the air.
DJI INSPIRE 3
The eagerly awaited Inspire 3 is here and this bit of kit packs a punch. We have our units dialled in and ready for set.
Everything has received an upgrade but the biggest change for us is the flight performance and it flies like it’s on rails!
Some other key features are the new full-frame X9 8K-Air sensor boasting up to 8K/75fps in ProRes Raw with 800 & 4000 base ISO’s, a hugely improved FPV system, tilt-boost – offering obstruction-free 80° upward-angle shooting and RTK Support, among many others.
THE INSPIRE 2
Released in late 2017, the Inspire 2 has been a solid workhorse ever since. Boasting long flight times, different sensor/lens combinations, a top speed of 67mph and high-quality Apple ProRes codec or Cinema DNG RAW recording, it’s become the go-to tool for productions across the globe. Having bought into the system on release, we have 5+ years of operating it commercially and know it like the back of our hands. We’ve had it out in sub-zero temperatures to 40°C+, performing brilliantly.
We always arrive at our shoots with back-ups of everything to ensure there’s no downtime between shooting in case of any technical issues or mishaps – which can happen when pushing the limits!
Although we have updated to the new Inspire 3 system, we will still be offering the Inspire 2 for 2023.