Airpeak by Sony

A patent application from Sony was granted in January 2020

Sony has indicated her intention to enter the UAV filming industry, going to compete with DJI directly. Sony has traditionally been supplying imaging sensors to DJI’s camera, and now she has decided to make her own flying camera. Will Sony be successful or will she crash and burn like GoPro?

Personally, I am really excited and believe that Sony has the ability to make their own UAV and also to make their own processor and sensors without relying on a 3rd party. If Sony can bring their industry leading camera technology to their flying cameras, it may potentially bite off a big chunk of business from DJI. Now filmmakers can shoot with the same color profile from their ground cameras to their flying cameras.

Beating DJI in this industry is not going to be easy. DJI has already deeply captured the market and has many years of experience in making the world best gimbal. Can Sony create the same or better gimbal?

This is going to be exciting. Competition in the market is always good for consumers. It will bring about new innovation! Let’s see what Sony can offer in Spring 2021! Check out: https://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/airpeak/ for more details.

DJI Mini 2 Launch

There are lots of leaks online about the DJI Mini 2 already. There are also some people in the USA who manage to buy it from BestBuy ahead of the launch. How did that happen? Nobody knows.

Here are the key features of the DJI Mini 2:

  1. OcuSync 2.0 up to 10 km (Significantly more reliable control compare the version 1 of the mini using wifi signal)
  2. 4K 30P video recording (Up from 2.7K of version 1)
  3. RAW DNG Still photo
  4. Intelligent Flight Mode (Rumoured to have similar features as Spark)

Are these features enough to make owners of version 1 upgrade to version 2? Will you buy it for US$585(Fly more combo)?

UPDATES:

Specs

Aircraft

  • Takeoff Weight [1]: < 249 g
  • Dimensions
    • Folded: 138×81×58 mm (L×W×H)
      Unfolded: 159×203×56 mm (L×W×H)
      Unfolded (with propellers): 245×289×56 mm (L×W×H)
  • Diagonal Distance: 213 mm
  • Max Ascent Speed
    • 5 m/s (S Mode)
      3 m/s (N Mode)
      2 m/s (C Mode)
  • Max Descent Speed
    • 3.5 m/s (S Mode)
      3 m/s (N Mode)
      1.5 m/s (C Mode)
  • Max Speed (near sea level, no wind)
    • 16 m/s (S Mode)
      10 m/s (N Mode)
      6 m/s (C Mode)
  • Max Service Ceiling Above Sea Level
    • 4000 m
      (2000 m when taking off with propeller guard)
  • Max Flight Time: 31 mins (measured while flying at 4.7 m/s in windless conditions)
  • Max Wind Speed Resistance: 8.5-10.5 m/s (Scale 5)
  • Max Tilt Angle
    • 40° (S Mode)
      25° (N Mode)*
      25° (C Mode)*
      * Up to 40° under strong winds
  • Max Angular Velocity (by default)*
    • 130°/s (S Mode)
      60°/s (N Mode)
      30°/s (C Mode)
      * Can be adjusted to 250°/s with the DJI Fly app
  • Operating Temperature: 0° to 40°C (32° to 104°F)
  • Operating Frequency [2]: 2.400-2.4835 GHz, 5.725-5.850 GHz
  • Transmitter Power (EIRP)
    • 2.400-2.4835 GHz
      FCC ≤ 26 dBm
      CE ≤ 20 dBm
      SRRC ≤ 20 dBm
      5.725-5.850 GHz
      FCC ≤ 26 dBm
      CE ≤ 14 dBm
      SRRC ≤ 26 dBm
  • Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS): GPS+GLONASS+GALILEO
  • Hovering Accuracy Range
    • Vertical: ±0.1 m (with Vision Positioning), ±0.5 m (with GPS Positioning)
      Horizontal: ±0.3 m (with Vision Positioning), ±1.5 m (with GPS Positioning)

Gimbal

  • Mechanical Range
    • Tilt: -110° to 35°
      Roll: -35° to 35°
      Pan: -20° to 20°
  • Controllable Range: Tilt: -90° to 0° (default setting) -90° to +20° (extended)
  • Stabilization: 3-axis (tilt, roll, pan)
  • Max Control Speed (tilt): 100°/s
  • Angular Vibration Range: ±0.01°

Sensing System

  • Downward: Hovering Range: 0.5-10 m
  • Operating Environment
    • Non-reflective, discernable surfaces
      Diffuse reflectivity (> 20%,such as cement pavement)
      Adequate lighting (lux > 15, Normal exposure environment of indoor fluorescent lamp)

Camera

  • Sensor
    • 1/2.3” CMOS
      Effective Pixels: 12 MP
  • Lens
    • FOV: 83°
      35 mm format equivalent: 24 mm
      Aperture: f/2.8
      Focus range: 1 m to ∞
  • ISO
    • Video:
      100-3200 (Auto)
      100-3200 (Manual)
      Photos:
      100-3200 (Auto)
      100-3200 (Manual)
  • Shutter Speed: Electronic Shutter: 4-1/8000 s
  • Max Image Size
    • 4:3: 4000×3000
      16:9: 4000×2250
  • Still Photography Modes
    • Single Shot
      Interval: JPEG: 2/3/5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
      JPEG+RAW: 5/7/10/15/20/30/60 s
      Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): 3 bracketed frames at 2/3 EV Bias
      Panorama: Sphere, 180°, and Wide
  • Video Resolution
    • 4K: 3840×2160 @ 24/25/30fps
      2.7K: 2720×1530 @ 24/25/30fps
      FHD: 1920×1080 @ 24/25/30/48/50/60fps
  • Max Video Bitrate: 100 Mbps
  • Zoom Range
    • 4K: 2x
      2.7K: 3x
      FHD: 4x
  • QuickShot Modes
    • Dronie,
      Helix,
      Rocket,
      Circle,
      Boomerang
  • Supported File Formats
    • FAT32 (≤ 32 GB)
      exFAT (> 32 GB)
  • Photo Formats: JPEG/DNG (RAW)
  • Video Formats: MP4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC)

Remote Controller & Video Transmission

  • Operating Frequency: 2.400-2.4835 GHz, 5.725-5.850 GHz
  • Max Transmission Distance (unobstructed, free of interference) [3]
    • 10 km (FCC)
      6 km (CE)
      6 km (SRRC)
      6 km (MIC)
  • Signal Transmission Ranges (FCC) [4]
    • Strong Interference (urban landscape, limited line of sight, many competing signals): Approx. 3 km
      Medium Interference (suburban landscape, open line of sight, some competing signals): Approx. 6 km
      Low Interference (open landscape abundant line of sight, few competing signals): Approx. 10 km
  • Operating Temperature: 10° to 40° C (14° to 104° F)
  • Transmission Power (EIRP):
    • 2.400-2.4835 GHz
      FCC ≤ 26 dBm
      CE ≤ 20 dBm
      SRRC ≤ 20 dBm
      MIC ≤ 20 dBm
      5.725-5.850 GHz
      FCC ≤ 26 dBm
      CE ≤ 14 dBm
      SRRC ≤ 26 dBm
  • Battery Capacity: 5200 mAh
  • Voltage: 1200 mA 3.7 V (Android)
    700 mA 3.7 V (iOS)
  • Supported Mobile Device Size: Max length: 92 mm
  • Supported USB Port Types: LightningMicro USB (Type-B) USB-C
  • Video Transmission System: OcuSync 2.0
  • Live View Quality: Remote Controller: 720p/30fps
  • Max Bitrate: 8 Mbps
  • Latency (depending on environmental conditions and mobile device): About 200 ms

Charger

  • Input: 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz, 0.5 A
  • Output: 12V 1.5 A / 9V 2A / 5V 3A
  • Rated Power: 18 W

Intelligent Flight Battery

  • Battery Capacity: 2250 mAh
  • Voltage: 7.7 V
  • Charging Voltage Limit: 8.8 V
  • Battery Type: LiPo 2S
  • Energy: 17.32 Wh
  • Weight: 86.2 g
  • Charging Temperature: 5° to 40°C (41° to 104°F)
  • Max Charging Power: 29 W

App

  • Name: DJI Fly
  • Required Operating System: iOS v10.0 or laterAndroid v6.0 or later

Supported SD Cards

  • Supported SD Cards
    • UHS-I Speed Class 3 or above is required. A list of recommended microSD cards can be found below.
  • Recommended microSD Cards
    • 16 GB: SanDisk Extreme
      32 GB: Samsung Pro Endurance, Samsung Evo Plus, SanDisk Industrial, SanDisk Extreme V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme V30 A2, SanDisk Extreme Pro V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme Pro V30 A2, Lexar 633x, Lexar 667x
      64 GB: Samsung Pro Endurance, Samsung Evo Plus, SanDisk Extreme V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme V30 A2, Lexar 633x, Lexar 667x, Lexar 1000x, Lexar High Endurance, Toshiba EXCERIA M303 V30 A1, Netac Pro V30 A1
      128 GB: Samsung Pro Plus, Samsung Evo Plus, SanDisk Extreme V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme V30 A2, SanDisk Extreme Plus V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme Plus V30 A2, Lexar 633x, Lexar 667x, Lexar 1000x, Lexar High Endurance, Toshiba EXCERIA M303 V30 A1, Netac Pro V30 A1
      256 GB: SanDisk Extreme V30 A1, SanDisk Extreme V30 A2

Footnotes

  • Footnotes
    • 1. The standard weight of the aircraft (including battery, propellers, and a microSD card) is 242 grams. Actual poduct weight may vary. Registration is not required in some countries and regions. Check local rules and regulations before use. These specifications have been determined through tests conducted with the latest firmware. Firmware updates can enhance performance, so updating to the latest firmware is highly recommended.
      2. Due to local policy and regulation restrictions, the 5.8 GHz frequency band is currently banned in certain countries, including but not limited to Japan, Russia, Israel, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Please use the 2.4 GHz frequency band when operating in these locations. Always check local rules and regulations before use, as they may change over time.
      3. Maximum flight range specification is a proxy for radio link strength and resilience, not aircraft battery capability. It only refers to the maximum, one-way flight distance. Data was measured in an open environment without interference. Please pay attention to the return prompt on the DJI Fly app during actual flight. Refer to the following applicable standard in different countries and regions:
      FCC: United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Chile, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and other regions;
      SRRC: Mainland China;
      CE: UK, Russia, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Macau, New Zealand, UAE, and other regions;
      MIC: Japan.
      4. Data is tested under different standards in open areas free of interference. It only refers to the maximum, one-way flight distance without considering Return to Home. Please pay attention to RTH prompts in the DJI Fly app during the actual flight.

DJI launches the new Mavic Air 2

Today we have the full specs of that the Mavic Air 2 can do. I believe this is somewhat a response to Skydio R2 with the new FocusTrack which is said to be much more effective than the Mavic 2 active track 2.0. From the demo we can see that the Mavic Air 2 can navigate through a forest trail avoiding the trees and etc. See the video here

Is it worth for owners of Mavic 2 Pro / Zoom to buy the Mavic Air 2?

Well, I must say I was really tempted by the 4K60p video and the 48MP camera. But without the ability to adjust aperture, to do dolly zoom is a huge sacrifice for me. Also, a 1″ sensor vs a 1/2″ sensor is also a big sacrifice for night video. You notice there is no night video of the Mavic Air 2 produced by DJI, except for the hyper-lapse video which is a series of still photos and not video. HDR Video is a plus point if the user wants to use the footage straight out of the drone. However, for most production house they rather shot in D-log and do color grading in post-production.

There are definitely some nice cool features and a huge upgrade from the first Mavic Air, but compared to Mavic 2, it may not be a real upgrade in some sense for the pro videographer who wants more control. But for those who want to have their first UAV, the Mavic Air 2 is a great choice.

DJI launching Mavic Air 2?

https://www.dji.com/sg/teaser?site=brandsite

What is DJI going to show us this time? They have recently introduced the DJI X-Port which can be added onto the Mavic M series UAV. Will this launch be about the new M200 replacement?

Personally, I have been waiting hard for the new Inspire 3 to have a more reliable control signal as compared to the current Inspire 2. Anyway, let’s wait for 27 April to see what DJI has for us.

Let’s look at some leaked photos of the Mavic Air 2. It doesn’t look like it will have a 360 obstacle avoidance like the Mavic 2 series. But does look very similar to Mavic 2 in the shape and design.

Is smaller then Mavic 2
Sensor at the bottom
Sensor behind
No sensor at the side
48 Megapixel camera!

DJI Matrice 300 in late Feb?

Image result for DJI MAtrice 300

Some dealers are said to have already gotten stocks of this new drone and will be ready to sell them when DJI officially release it end of February 2020.

This update is critical as it addresses some of the key problems that the 200 series have. One of which is the transmission and control problem. There are many reports that the 200 series loses control from the pilots very often resulting in crashes. The 300 series will allow 2 pilots to be separated kilometres apart and one pilot can hand over control to another pilot remotely. This is a fascinating idea, it means the drone can fly from point A to B without returning to A to land.

Personally, I do hope that this drone can use the Zenmuse X7 DL lens mount. Then this drone can also be used for filming and not just industrial application. Another feature I will like to see is an all-round obstacle avoidance like the Mavic 2 pro.

What do you hope to see in this new revision?

DJI MAVIC Mini test flight at Danang

Had the chance to have a maiden flight at Banyan tree Lang Co,Vietnam. Like flying all new drones I tend to be a bit more cautious in the beginning. The Mini jitter a bit when it took flight due to the strong wind, but it held it’s position.

Gaining a bit more confident, I started to push the drone forward to fly towards the sea. The image ways surprisingly stable, no drop in signal and etc. (Note that you have to keep the remote controller’s antenna perpendicular and face the mini directly.) I flew for about 1km and decide to turn it around as I am unsure if it can handle the monsoon wind. The speed is significantly slower then Mavic 2 pro but it is very stable.

One thing I notice that is really strange is the mini seems to report different height as it fly level. This is unlike Mavic 2 Pro’s experience. Not sure if this is a bug?

What I missed most from Mavic 2 pro is the ability to shoot panoramic photos, RAW photo and time lapse video.

Click here if you like to purchase the DJI Mini.

DCIM\100MEDIA\DJI_0063.JPG
DCIM\100MEDIA\DJI_0057.JPG
Still photo has little lag between the time the button is press till photo is taken. Much better respond then Mavic 2 Pro

More regulated airspace in Singapore from 2 Jan 2020

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/parliament-compulsory-registration-for-drones-from-jan-2-next-year-penalties-to-be-raised?xtor=CS3-18&utm_source=STiPhone&utm_medium=share&utm_term=2019-11-04%2017%3A11%3A34

This is a welcome move by CAAS to make the airspace of Singapore safer and for drone operator to fly more responsibly. Parents should also understand that UAV more than 250g is not a toy and can kill if not operated with care. It should not be bought as a present for young kids who do not understand what kind of harm it can cause to public. The question now on hand is, how difficult will it be for the general public to register their UAV? How much will it cost? Will this move cause Singapore to slow down in adoption of new technology?

Only time will tell. Let’s wait and see. Mean while, please fly safe!

Mavic Mini

Due to launch 30th October 2019.

This new Mavic mini is meant to replace the spark @US$399. A drone slightly larger then most mobile phone, capable of flying for about 25 to 30min, shoots 4K@30fps, a range of about 4km and weighs only 245g (means can fly leisurely in most places in Singapore without permit).

Will you buy one? Essentially, is a Mavic Pro in a small form factor.

Update:

Video is actually 2.7k@30fps

Still Photo: 12MP

Weight: 249g

pricing: US$375

Skydio R2

Skydio 2 drone

Skydio released their version 2 of their autonomous drone. This drone is priced at US$999 (No controller) to compete with DJI Mavic Pro 2.

The selling point of this drone is in its ability to fly autonomously in a highly cluttered environment like the forest. It has no problem navigating the complicated and narrow flight path through the tree branches.

Quick Specs: (Click here for detailed specs)

Main Camera: 12.3MP 1/2.3″ Sony CMOS sensor, capable of recording 4k/60p @ 100mb/s

Flight Time: 23min

Speed: 36mph

Weight: 775g

Sensor: 6 x 4K 1/3″ 200 degree camera for 360 degree sensing