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dan.finlondon
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Hi All,
I know a lot has been covered in these forums and most of it sounds quite alarming or negative... I just wanted to chip in and share some happy times.
I recently bought an Inspire 1 and it arrived 2 weeks ago, did'nt have a chance to fly it until yesterday and this was the first time that I've ever flown anything like this but I have to say it performed flawlesly and is a good solid base to work on for filming projects.

It was stable in the gusting wind, It went where you wanted it and most of all it was put back in its box in one piece.

I'm not a quad pilot or do this for a hobby but come here from the world of Film & Television. I'm normally shooting commercials or programmes using some of the most expensive cinema cameras in the world (Which have issues too) with lenses that cost more than cars but I was out with my DOP yesterday afternoon (Who had also never operated this system before) and we managed to go through all our tests and get some really good results from this little sensor beast!


I would just like to say that if you have a basic level of camera skill you could get some great images from this... I put some shots next to some Red Epic footage shot on primes and it did'nt jar at all!


This is a tool, just like any other piece of filming equipment and its up to us to get the best out of it. The Phantom 3 has its place in the world just as the Inspire 1 has... I wouldnt get upset that youve been robbed (This is still a good value piece of kit) as this has the potential to do some wonderful stuff that would be a challenge for the P3.
Even if DJI don't continue to develop this (Which I'm sure they will) I'm sure there will be 3rd party companies which will get licenses to produce new things.


So lets get flying and see what we can get out of this little thing... DJI just gave us a hammer (admittedly with the head a little lose to start with) ... but its up to us to build the house!


Here is a short clip of what we got yesterday... its ungraded, straight out of the camera.. I have to say I was pretty impressed.

Dan

www.finlondon.com







2015-4-9
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CrabHawk
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nice!
2015-4-9
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jon
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Pretty cool Dan, where in London are you based?

I'm out near Heathrow.

Jon
PS, are you using dual controller?
2015-4-9
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dan.finlondon
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jon@thefullers. Posted at 2015-4-10 06:04
Pretty cool Dan, where in London are you based?

I'm out near Heathrow.

We're based in Soho Square but I took a trip out to oxford for the afternoon to do these tests!
Yes its the dual controller... it requires some feedback between both the pilot and the operator to get right but I think after some practice we could get better at it.

There's a compromise in adjusting the speed settings to have it slow enough to achieve the fluid movement you want but then also having the speed to re-frame the shot if you wanted to pick up on something else.

Also found that the sun plays havoc on the screens... so those sunshades are a must!

Dan
2015-4-9
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nilsblix
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First time with the Inspire 1 and you get that video ?
You are GOOD

2015-4-9
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dan.finlondon
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nilsblix@gmail. Posted at 2015-4-10 06:28
First time with the Inspire 1 and you get that video ?
You are GOOD

Hey Nilsblix,

Thanks for your comment... I wouldn't say I was good, It was all pretty straightforward stuff that is really hard to get right, I guess it shows you how forgiving the inspire is because of its larger size.

Flying in a straight line at a constant altitude was one of my big things to try and master. Its the simplest moves that can be the most effective where you let the background do the talking.
I've directed a lot of real helicopter filming projects and just trying to replicate the same kind of passes we do on that for this!

Dan

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nilsblix
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dan.finlondon Posted at 2015-4-10 06:45
Hey Nilsblix,

Thanks for your comment... I wouldn't say I was good, It was all pretty straightfor ...

I can see it at once - it is made by a professional ( thats why you can tell its strait forward )

Please keep posting on this forum as you go ahead - there is a few other professionals here on the forum and they are so kind teaching us amateurs who really want to learn some new skills.
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dan.finlondon
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nilsblix@gmail. Posted at 2015-4-10 06:52
I can see it at once - it is made by a professional ( thats why you can tell its strait forward )
...

Yes I will keep posting...Should have a few interesting projects coming up so I'll let you know how I get on. I'm no teacher but I'm always happy to help share any knowledge I might have tuck away back there!

Dan

2015-4-9
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Farnk666
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Great results Dan, thanks very much and I look forward to reading your future contributions.
As previously mentioned, we are exceedingly fortunate to have the generosity of pro cinematographers sharing their experiences and skills on the forum.

So, can I pls ask a probably silly question?

In the case you mentioned (helicopter based shooting sequence) you presumably have the operator hand holding the camera or using some sort of vibration isolated tripod mount. The bulk of the camera itself is manipulated to the required angles to get the shot. How do they go when transitioning to a remote model where the only tactile input is through the sticks and feedback through the tablet screen?

Is it a significant learning curve, or just a case of practise?
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dan.finlondon
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Farnk666 Posted at 2015-4-10 07:58
Great results Dan, thanks very much and I look forward to reading your future contributions.
As prev ...

Hey Farnk,

Yes there are 2 types of system you generally use, the first is a camera mounted completely outside of the helicopter which has is own anti stabilization system in it.. something like a ciniflex. The operator sits inside with a remote box... not to much unlike the sticks of the inspire remote. He can see the picture and moves the camera to follow the shot as the pilot flies around.

The second option is when you have the side door off and the camera is mounted on a arm or anti-vibration system, this is when the operator is moving the whole camera around plus it all gets a bit noisy!

There's good in both ways, again its what's going to work for the shot you want.

I think there is a little learning curve here to get the camera positioned where you want it but its all about rounding off the shot and keeping the moves fluid. If the positioning of the camera become second nature you can then concentrate on the composition of the image.

Its a little easier with the duel system as long as your in constant contact with the person flying so you can sync up together.

Dan
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jimhare
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Great job Dan.  Yeah, I've been cutting Inspire and Epic footage together as well and surprised how well it works, especially when trying to do the same with a dreaded GoPro!

Would kill to have roads like that to shoot on here in Oz, I still haven't been able to do any car stuff and can't wait!
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leostrat_54
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Very nice Dan and I think your video elegantly made an important statement about the reason the Inspire costs more than the P3. I would like to see a new P3 pilot try to shoot that footage. Thank you for posting.
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kirk.pleasant
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Impressed...
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jon
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dan.finlondon Posted at 2015-4-10 06:19
We're based in Soho Square but I took a trip out to oxford for the afternoon to do these tests!
Ye ...

Dan,
Yeah, i'm using an iPad mini retina, and I find I'm always trying to get the screen in my own shade, so annoying.

I have dual kit too (actually bought two inspires, as the dual kit was very hard to get) and a set of Fat Shark Dominator HD's (FPV headset) for the camera op, but am a bit un-convinced so far with the Fat Sharks. 4:3, not actually HD and comfort/focus issues with the goggles

Got a good few batts, props, chargers etc, so if you ever need helping out of a hole, just shout.

PS. Any connection with The Edge Picture Co? They do quite a bit for one of my clients.

Regards

Jon
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dan.finlondon
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jimhare Posted at 2015-4-10 08:42
Great job Dan.  Yeah, I've been cutting Inspire and Epic footage together as well and surprised how  ...

Hi Jim,

Yes your totally right about the GoPro footage and your camera settings work flow tutorial is spot on.
Its all about the latitude of the picture that's the most important part when your working with this in post.
You want to try and get the most evenly balanced image (milky) that has a lot of "Room" to work with when you come back and start grading the footage up.

I need to put this through our big grading suite and see what I can realistically get out of the images but already in the edit suite I can see that its holding up well on our big monitors.
I've seen Cannon 5D Mark 2 footage literally blow itself to pieces when you start to adjust any colour values or lights and darks, the compression really shows up and you start getting big blocks appearing in the image... it just doesn't have the latitude.
I'll post up my findings and do a side my side comparison when we do some grading tests.

Keep up the good work Jim!

Dan
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stephenbrink62
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dan.finlondon Posted at 2015-4-10 07:01
Yes I will keep posting...Should have a few interesting projects coming up so I'll let you know ho ...


Great video Dan......i'll make a suggestion. Why don't you Professional guys start a filming Forum..showing your skills & then let us know how you are telling the story. Would be great input for us amateur pilot's. Also Dan. what software editor are you using?
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stephenbrink62
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jimhare Posted at 2015-4-10 08:42
Great job Dan.  Yeah, I've been cutting Inspire and Epic footage together as well and surprised how  ...

Hey Jim.....left Dan a message on you Professional guys starting a Filming Forum...what do you think m8?
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dan.finlondon
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leostrat_54@yah Posted at 2015-4-10 11:25
Very nice Dan and I think your video elegantly made an important statement about the reason the Insp ...

Hey Leo,
Yes the inspire is just a more rounded platform which allows you to do so much more. I'm sure a P3 pilot could get near capturing the same type of moves but he/she would have to be constantly flying the bird to keep her in a smooth trajectory whilst trying to also focus on the composition of the image.

I remember a lecturer I one had back many moons ago at film school, he was a DOP on the classic movie Dr Zhivago. He grabbed my camera and put it a head height and proceeded to tell me that this was the view everyone saw everyday, as soon as I moved the camera up higher or lower the image became interesting and held your attention because it wasn't what you saw everyday.

I've always kept that with me and it relates perfectly to all this drone footage as well. You have the advantage of getting shots you don't normally see but once you've viewed a 1000 fly over shots of static landscapes, whats going to make your footage stand out?

I think the inspire is going to allow you to work on those more complex moves and get those "How did he do that" shots that you want to get from this tool.

I welcome the arrival of the waypoints option but I hope they spend the time to get it right and have the right features in it so it can be a helpful way of loosing some of the workload of the shoot.

If I had one chance to comment on this DJI on this... please put some ramping options on the arrival to the waypoints. It would be great to adjust the speed down as your reaching your mark before then slowly moving off and then picking up speed to the next. Simple operations but massive results in capturing a good shot!

Dan
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dan.finlondon
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jon@thefullers. Posted at 2015-4-10 14:47
Dan,
Yeah, i'm using an iPad mini retina, and I find I'm always trying to get the screen in my own  ...

Hi Jon,
Thanks for the offer... I'm sure one day I might need to give you a shout!
We bought double of everything we need just encase but you can never been to careful on a shoot.

Yes the glare is a issue out on the field and the DOP really wanted something a bit bigger to view. We have a blackout tent that we use for our video village (Its where I normally sit so I can see all the feeds from each of the cameras in one place.. oh and the clients of course!) but I'm going to try and hook the image up to one of these and let him sit in the tent whilst I fly.
We'll also have to try out some different hoods for the screen too, I let you know how I get on with that!

Oh and no connection by the way!

Many thanks

Dan
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dan.finlondon
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stephenbrink62@ Posted at 2015-4-10 15:02
Great video Dan......i'll make a suggestion. Why don't you Professional guys start a filming Forum ...

Hey Stephen, we use Avid Media composer as our editing software. Its pretty industry standard and most programs and features are cut on it.

We have about 6 suites running this which is all attached to a big storage array but i think you can download it now and subscribe monthly. It has lots of features which are helpful when your working with lots of rushes and you need to put whole programs together but there are other systems and software which can do just as good a job and probably cheaper if you wanted to just cut together some footage and audio in a pro type sequence.

Dan
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jimhare
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dan.finlondon Posted at 2015-4-10 14:56
Hi Jim,

Yes your totally right about the GoPro footage and your camera settings work flow tutoria ...

Awesome, would love to hear about and see the results from the grading suite.    Would also love to hear if you come up with any magic sauce to minimise the artifacts in fine detail often lurking in the corners of the image!   
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petersilver
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Here is some footage of stuff I shot a couple of days ago - just before I backed the Inspire into a tree.


This is in Oxfordshire near the village where I live just north of Bicester. Still in winter colours!

No luxury of a second controller here. Just getting the hang of tilting the camera whilst reducing height!
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dan.finlondon
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jimhare Posted at 2015-4-10 15:45
Awesome, would love to hear about and see the results from the grading suite.    Would also love t ...

Yes I'll try and do a full report for the grade... the dreaded artifacts are always a problem but there are ways to minimize these but again depends on the shot.

This is where the inspire could really take a big pro leap if we were to gain more access to the compression settings of the camera. I'm flying with a 32gig card at the moment in the camera and I would rather lower the compression on some shots and have a bigger file than longer recording times. If the card is full after 15-18mins then that doesn't matter as I'll have to swap out the battery anyway.

In most digital cinema cameras you can adjust this compression depending on what your shooting. On croma key VFX shots you would drop this as low as you could so you can retain as much information as you could but if its quite a static shot you could afford to dial in a bit more compression if you wanted to save space.

This will depend if the camera hardware can actually transfer the data rate to the card, or if its a simple software configuration setting.
Having a case full of cards is cheap if you can get a good quality picture!

Dan
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jimhare
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dan.finlondon Posted at 2015-4-10 18:30
Yes I'll try and do a full report for the grade... the dreaded artifacts are always a problem but  ...

Exactly right.  I use a 64GB SD which would hold like 2 1/2 hours of Inspire footage!   Would much rather it held 1/2 hour of amazing  stuff.

My guess is there are hardware limitations but they could still optimise what's there.

Also holding onto the hope they'll release a pro camera for the Inspire in coming months.
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dan.finlondon
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petersilver Posted at 2015-4-10 17:55
Here is some footage of stuff I shot a couple of days ago - just before I backed the Inspire into a  ...

Looks good Peter, must be quite tricky doing that all one handed!
Definitely is much easier doing it with a second controller...and when you want you to you can step up!
That's the beauty of the Inspire you see.

Dan
2015-4-10
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Grimtheviking
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Thanks guys for the good footage and information,
this is why I just cannot stay away from this forum.

Regards
Mike.
2015-4-10
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dan.finlondon
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jimhare Posted at 2015-4-10 18:41
Exactly right.  I use a 64GB SD which would hold like 2 1/2 hours of Inspire footage!   Would much ...

Yes a pro camera would be good, even just to step up to a 35mm sensor would be amazing jump.
If they could strip the innards out of a Sony A7S and somehow rehouse it  we would be moving in the right direction, it has a great low light capability for such a small camera.

Its NAB in Vegas next week so that's where all your new cameras, software  and machines get released for the pro world... I know that DJI have got quite  a big stand there so I wouldn't be surprised if we had new information about the inspire release then.

Dan
2015-4-10
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jimhare
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dan.finlondon Posted at 2015-4-11 06:32
Yes a pro camera would be good, even just to step up to a 35mm sensor would be amazing jump.
If th ...

Yeah, wouldn't that be something!  
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petersilver
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dan.finlondon Posted at 2015-4-10 22:56
Looks good Peter, must be quite tricky doing that all one handed!
Definitely is much easier doing  ...

Takes a bit of practise Dan, but not too hard!
Unfortunately after my mishap it's off to DJI for repair. One of the disadvantages of solo flying is lining up a shot whilst staring at the monitor and not looking at what the Inspire is doing!!

Won't do that again!

Peter
2015-4-11
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dan.finlondon
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petersilver Posted at 2015-4-11 17:20
Takes a bit of practise Dan, but not too hard!
Unfortunately after my mishap it's off to DJI for r ...

Well I think you've done well!
Yes you've got to keep eyes on what that Inspire is doing, its all to easy to get caught up in the shot.
I found myself having to constantly work the numbers on the screen on the screen when it started to go into the distance.

It's a bit like instrument flying at night or when your in the clouds in a real plane, you can easily get disorientated. I found myself thinking that it was too low and was going to hit the ground when actually I was still about 20 foot up.

Not that you should ever fly without line of sight but it would be good practice in the sim to hold an altitude whilst you fly away. It would be even better if you could set a low/high bracket in the app that you could flick on to say fly only between 25-40 foot etc,  so you could give yourself a safety corridor in a setup shot!

Dan
2015-4-11
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