My friends Marty and Ian from DroneMaui.com invited me and my family out on their boat today to try and observe some humpback whales. We got to see some amazing action and as usual, our boat was able to stay well away from these majestic creatures because of our drones. The day before we went on a Pacific Whale Foundation boat and I am always a bit disturbed by how close the boats get to the whales and their whale babies. If they had drones with HD downlinks the boat would be able to stay farther away and offer the people onboard a better view of the action. Hopefully in the future these boats will incorporate the use of drones just like they use hydrophones. The more respect people have for these creatures the better we will all be able to protect them.
The Inspire 1 reveals its first major flaw
The DJI Inspire 1 will not take off from a small boat on the water because the IMU will not initialize. The Phantom 2 has always flown just fine off of boats, so until this gets fixed this is a major downside for the Inspire 1 for me. If you want to fly off of boats, you should NOT buy the Inspire 1 (yet).
Whale Footage and Adobe PREMIERE
Today I flew my Phantom 2 instead of the Inspire 1 because of an IMU calibration issue while on a moving boat. I set my GoPro 3 black to 2.7k 30fps and got some cool, interesting footage of some amazing humpback whales. This is my first time using the lens correction in Adobe Premiere and it totally fixed the fish, curved horizon. If you follow the blog, you know I used to use Windows Movie Maker but I recently switched to Adobe Premiere pro because I am working with 4k now. This software is more complex but it is able to do much more if you take the time to learn it. If you like this video, feel free to share it!
The FAA has released the rules for commercial drone use for rigs under 55lbs. Here is the link to a summary of the major provisions and here is a link to the release below. It is much easier to read than the following but I will post it anyway. As I work my way through this I will post updates, for now I am just passing along the information. Click Read More below to check out the actual release.
I Love the Hubsan X4
If you follow my blog, you know I am a fan of the Hubsan X4 as the perfect first drone / quadcopter to learn on but it also has another use at my house - it is my dog exerciser. Flying this in my small yard while my 70 pound dog chases after it is a great way to keep my line of sight flying skills sharp!
If you are thinking about getting into drone photography, the Hubsan is a great place to start. People ask me all the time how to get started and this is always my recommendation. Having good line of sight RC skills is an important part of aerial photography so make sure you have a good practice quad like the Hubsan X4 to boost your confidence to fly safely. This thing is also the coolest toy you can buy under $50!! If you want to get the GoPro Fetch Dog Harness, you can get it here.
Making the Video
We had fun making this video, I crashed it way more than normal but that makes for a more entertaining video. A new Hubsan is already on the way so I figured it was worth it. The one I have now has lasted forever, it is amazing it still flies! I have been trying to train Benny to be more gentle with it when he shoots it down, so maybe that is actually working.