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kaylee

Please Help Me Find A Drone For My Short

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Hey internet friends :)

I have a project where I need a drone and i dont know ANYTHIiiiinnggg about them!!! i know that they fly. and that they can be controlled by apps :)  

could you guys help me out? what would you use to execute the following…

 

> i need a shot with vertical camera movement

imagine that this is the beginning of the shot: person in bed, camera looking down, maybe more of a closeup than you see here

DSC01183-1.png

now imagine that the camera moves UP, to the ceiling, lens still pointed down

ill need to repeat that movement several times in different places

since i wont be using sets, ill be in real environments – normal rooms with 8 foot ceilings – the distance of this move is going to be confined to such a space

so, question 1: do drones do that? if so which one(s)?

like imagine a drone is lying on the floor, and you want it to go up to the ceiling, shooting with the camera pointed down – is that a normal thing to ask of a drone? lol i have no idea. id rather that it didnt crash against the ceiling… are drones crashproof now? 

so, thats one thing id like to do with a drone. if thats impossible i can try to figure out how to do it with my 5d3 but id rather not


> the other drone shot i need is from the roof of a building – again shooting down – where the drone goes up, up up… as high as possible~! and thats question 2: what would you recommend there?

 

those are my two purposes! does such a thing exist that will do both?

Please help me and tell me stuff about drones and make suggestions

again,

• i know nothing about drones
• i mean nothing - lenses, focal lengths, sensors, color, dynamic range, raw/log/formats, gotchas, etc.
• and of course like you guys id like this to look as pretty as possible :)

whaddya think pals?? can it be done???

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

It can be done with a Drone and is not that difficult but drones are less stable indoors than outdoor due to the lack of GPS signal. I have flown my DJI P4p many time indoors and if the indoor location is well illuminated is quite stable.
For indoor the smaller the drone the better it is, because it can be more easily maneuvered, make less noise and the most important part they are less dangerous. A smaller drone like DJI Spark (HD only) with propeller guards is probably the best one for the indoor shoot. DJI Mavic would also work but it would be already quite big to maneuver in such small height advantage is that is 4k but also you can buy a full cage for propellers so no risk to cut the face or finger of the actor.
Anyway I would not recommend flying so close over an actor head without a lot of experience. I would not buy a drone just for this shoot even if you need to redo it many times as Grimor said a Crane/JIb is way easier and safer and you can also record audio... drones indoors make tons of noise and some wind.

Outdoor any good drone will do the job but pay attention that every country has its own altitude limits. All DJI drones are capped at max 500m altitude from takeoff point, but in many countries the law limit is way below.

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Depends on your budget on all this. But this is how I would do it.

- DJI Phantom 4 Pro at least (best IQ at affordable price) if you have more $$ then the inspire 2 with X7 is incredible. 

- 8 ft jib 

attach the drone to the jib and use the jib to get the move in the room. The drone will be turned on so the gimbal will be on, but you don’t need to use the blades. You can operate the camera from the app and use the jib to get repeatable motions. 

 

Then for the second shot use the drone like normal. Easy for the P4 Pro. Make sure you change the maximum altitude to maybe like 300 ft or something to get that huge move you want. 

By doing this you keep the image consistent between the indoor stuff and the exterior. 

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good points guys

10 minutes ago, DaveAltizer said:

Depends on your budget on all this. But this is how I would do it.

- DJI Phantom 4 Pro at least (best IQ at affordable price) if you have more $$ then the inspire 2 with X7 is incredible. 

- 8 ft jib 

attach the drone to the jib and use the jib to get the move in the room. The drone will be turned on so the gimbal will be on, but you don’t need to use the blades. You can operate the camera from the app and use the jib to get repeatable motions. 

 

Then for the second shot use the drone like normal. Easy for the P4 Pro. Make sure you change the maximum altitude to maybe like 300 ft or something to get that huge move you want. 

By doing this you keep the image consistent between the indoor stuff and the exterior. 

uhhh YEAH thats just EXACTLY what i want thank u!!!!

sounds p easy, no?

i *think* my friend has a P4 Pro... ill ask him!!! definitely gonna have a pal help or just hire someone with the right drone im not looking to buy one

and i can rent a jib? easy? (tell me mistakes have been made lol)

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2 minutes ago, kaylee said:

good points guys

uhhh YEAH thats just EXACTLY what i want thank u!!!!

sounds p easy, no?

i *think* my friend has a P4 Pro... ill ask him!!! definitely gonna have a pal help or just hire someone with the right drone im not looking to buy one

and i can rent a jib? easy? (tell me mistakes have been made lol)

Cool. Ya you can rent jibs really easy. Look around your local video rental places. If you’re in the USA  Lensrentals.com has some Kessler jibs that I think would work. 

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18 minutes ago, DaveAltizer said:

Cool. Ya you can rent jibs really easy. Look around your local video rental places. If you’re in the USA  Lensrentals.com has some Kessler jibs that I think would work. 

oh yeah im in SoCal! lots of options so if theres any specific place yall know and like let me kno ill go there!

drone on a jib with the blades OFF?

caeaacc2f43795a85f8102aad569929506e96b77

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34 minutes ago, Snowfun said:

just a thought... if you took a high resolution still from the ceiling, could you crop in at the start of the shot and simply zoom out in post to replicate the movement?  It would keep it simple. 

Assuming, of course, there’s no other movement in the shot.

i appreciate the thought

unfortunately there is a little movement of the actor in bed during the shot. i did think about some kind of post zoom tho, and i reallllly like the easiness of it

> oh, also i didnt mention that i dont need to record any audio on the set whatsoever. so thats a non issue

NOTABLE EDIT: Hmmmm looks like im gonna need this guy to go way higher than 400ft... how high CAN a p4 Pro go exactly? i just looked it up and saw something insane like 19,000ft?!??

Quote

The drone can fly miles away (and can fly at an altitude of up to 19,000 feet, but regulations will limit you to 1,640 feet). I flew in the mode where it would only go as far as the remote control connection allowed (between 300 and 400 feet high). Even so, it could fly so high or so far out that I could literally lose sight of it. When this happened and I could not orient myself and it by looking at its view through the app (and the map overlay in the lower left-hand corner), I would just hit the Home button on the app or on the remote to have it return to where I initially launched the drone.

WHAT!! so, the signal will disappear after 300-400ft, but it can keep going waaay higher? but thats illegal? is that whats going on here?

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I've flown both the phantom and the mavic. 

 

@DaveAltizer gave you good advice on P4P (phantom 4 pro or phantom 4 advance as both have the 1" sensors). 

DJI uses a few internal sensors including the GPS for stability. So indoor shooting where is no GPS signal is actually can be a tad tricky. 

 

 in US, you'e under the FAA rules. For safety of other aerial vehicles, they limit you to about 400 feet.  DJI remote (with minimal interference) is about 4 miles. There is a company in Moscow that can hack your remote if you even want to fly a longer range. However, as you fly higher the air density decreases, so it doesn't mean that you can fly 4 miles high, even if there was no restriction. 

 

On P4P the lens on it is equivalent to a 24 mm lens (on full frame 35 SLR). So that might impact the look that you're going for, but at the same time it means you don't have to fly that high to create the perception of a longer camera movement. In other words, you wont this ceiling and still get a wide enough shot. 

 

The other issue is color matching your P4P with your other stuff. Also I don't think DJI is able to get the most out of the 1" sensor out in their video files. So light you shot for iso100 f/2.8 

 

 

Lastly, if the video is used for an actual paid commercial. You're technically suppose to get your FAA certificate (but validate with others here) to shoot it.  

 

One last thing. Jan 23rd DJI is releasing a new product. Wait until then to make your decision. The very least, you might be able to pick up a drone for a great price. 

 

 

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One last thing, the down draft from the drone, will most likely ruffle the blanket and hair on your talent. So you probably wont get the shot you want. 
Remember these drones are very powerful to lift a few pounds into air. So there is a lot of down draft blowing under the drone and it may be distracting to the story you want to tell. 

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4 hours ago, Snowfun said:

just a thought... if you took a high resolution still from the ceiling, could you crop in at the start of the shot and simply zoom out in post to replicate the movement?  It would keep it simple. 


We did exactly some of that post zooming in a little short I did recently. 

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oh, ONE MORE THING: this is a night shot

i figure i can shoot at dusk or dawn, when the city lights are on, and grade things down a bit in post

is there anything im missing about low light drone shooting? based on the videos ive watched so far it seems that the night flights need noise reduction even with the best drones – which isnt a problem, ill use neat video or whatever

is that fair?

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5 hours ago, kaylee said:

oh, ONE MORE THING: this is a night shot

The noise is going to be really bad...almost useless. Unless you use higher end drones. Will the final footage be 4k or 1080 ? With downsampling, you probably can reduce some noise. 

Anything below P4P is useless. I shot Budapest at blue hour. May look passable on small iPhone screen but it's totally crap. 

THEN, there is the bigger issue of focusing. The focusing on these things are pain, specially in low light. 

So, regular P4 has a fixed focus, which is perfect for anything farther than 1-2M. But it only has the small sensor.  Newer drones have a AF. But, they always hunt and it's a pain, especially the kind of shot you described where you want change your distance from your subject and elevate your position. 

My suggestion would be to see if you can rent a Inspire 2 with a X5r camera. This is a m4/3 camera that shoots raw. Use a m4/3 lens and set some kind of hyperlocal length manually on your focus and shoot with that.  

5 hours ago, kaylee said:

oh, ONE MORE THING: this is a night shot

The noise is going to be really bad...almost useless. Unless you use higher end drones. Will the final footage be 4k or 1080 ? With downsampling, you probably can reduce some noise. 

Anything below P4P is useless. I shot Budapest at blue hour. May look passable on small iPhone screen but it's totally crap. 

THEN, there is the bigger issue of focusing. The focusing on these things are pain, specially in low light. 

So, regular P4 has a fixed focus, which is perfect for anything farther than 1-2M. But it only has the small sensor.  Newer drones have a AF. But, they always hunt and it's a pain, especially the kind of shot you described where you want change your distance from your subject and elevate your position. 

My suggestion would be to see if you can rent a Inspire 2 with a X5r camera. This is a m4/3 camera that shoots raw. Use a m4/3 lens and set some kind of hyperlocal length manually on your focus and shoot with that.  

 

 

One correction!  You can use P4P and set manual focus, You can also try to find some kind of a hyperlocal distance that way, but then you wont have as much low light ability as the I2/X5r

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good lord this is getting a bit more complex lol.

what about this? looks ok to me

i honestly dont know, what am i missing here?

10 hours ago, salim said:

Will the final footage be 4k or 1080 ?

more than happy to shoot in 4k and deliver in 1080p – or whatever. doesnt matter

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Definitely a jib for indoors shots.

I have a drone pilots license (technically, a 107 Airman's Certificate for sUAS).

In general, for a rooftop shot, you can fly up to 400 feet ABOVE the structure you are inspecting / working from. But there are all sorts of rules and regulations;

1) Controlled airspace. Are you flying in airspace that is controlled by air traffic control? (Usually airspace near civilian airports is controlled and you need permission from the FAA to fly in that airspace.)

2) Is it restricted airspace? Flying near military bases, certain government buildings, or even national parks has flying restrictions, as does flying near jails.

3) Flying over people: Unless they are part of the DRONE CREW (like a visual spotter or the remote pilot in command), then you are not supposed to fly over them without getting a waiver from the FAA. This means you can't fly over people even if they are your actors. (You can fly over a person in a car, but only if that car is NOT moving and it has a roof that is closed. You cannot fly over a moving vehicle. You will need a waiver to fly over actors out in the open or in moving vehicles. Good luck with that.)

4) The person in charge of the operation will need either an FAA 107 license are an FAA 333 exemption. This is a COMMERCIAL operation. A commercial operating is ANYTHING other than pure hobby / recreational enjoyment. Think of it this way: If you flew over your home to see whether you needed to clean the roof gutters of your house, that we be a commercial operation (even if you plan on cleaning them yourself). If, on the other hand, you cleaned the roof gutters first, and then afterwards flew your drone above your house to admire the awesome job you did cleaning the gutters (because it makes you feel good), then that is a NON-commercial use, and you would not need a drone pilots license.

These are just the FEDERAL regulations. The feds control the airspace. Your local town, county or state can control WHERE YOU CAN STAND when you fly your drone. Some cities allow you to fly while standing on private property WHEN YOU HAVE WRITTEN PERMISSION from the owner.

So in short, if you want to fly LEGALLY, then you should hire a pilot with a 107 certificate or a 333 exemption and make him responsible for doing all the research on federal and local restrictions.

BTW: Flying at night is illegal. You can fly up to 1/2 hour after sunset and up to 1/2 hour before dawn if the drone is equipped with appropriate running lights.

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damn, thanks for the info @Mark Romero 2~! ill keep all that in mind!

17 hours ago, salim said:

My suggestion would be to see if you can rent a Inspire 2 with a X5r camera. This is a m4/3 camera that shoots raw. Use a m4/3 lens and set some kind of hyperlocal length manually on your focus and shoot with that.  

turns out Inspire 2 is the one my friend has!!! so, is that good? lol

my other friend has "a dji phantom 4, dji mavic, dji spark, and dji goggles"

what does that mean?? 🤣 i can use google but what would you guys choose, if i was going to pick one person or another? inspire 2? or the other guy?

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1 minute ago, kaylee said:

damn, thanks for the info @Mark Romero 2~! ill keep all that in mind!

turns out Inspire 2 is the one my friend has!!! so, is that good? lol

my other friend has "a dji phantom 4, dji mavic, dji spark, and dji goggles"

what does that mean?? 🤣 i can use google but what would you guys choose, if i was going to pick one person or another? inspire 2? or the other guy?

Well... too make things even MORE complicated, the inspire 2 is capable of mounting many different cameras. So it might have a good camera or a really good camera!!! :)

Also, kind of depends on which version of the Phantom 4 your other friend has. The phantom 4 pro (often called a P4P) and the Phantom 4 Advanced (called a P4A) have one-inch sensors and variable apertures. I think the Phantom 4 Standard has a smaller sensor with a fixed aperture. Personally, i like the footage I have seen from the Phantom 4 Pro and Phantom 4 Advanced. I am not familiar enough with the different camera options on the inspire to say if they are better (I suspect they are because I know that the inspire can have a m43 sensor camera outfitted to it.)

The Mavic and Spark have lesser cameras than the Phantom 4 Pro or Advanced, and lesser than the inspire.

The googles are NOT supposed to be used by the drone pilot. But they might be helpful for YOU if you will be able to instruct the pilot (move to the left, ok lower, go forward, etc.,) The pilot is required to maintain line of sight (meaning, looking at the drone at all times).

I would agree with Salim above that an inspire with an m43 camera would be great. But again, a P4P or a P4A might do the job... But I hope others will chime in.

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This thread is fascinating. Partly because of the actual issue (although, bizarrely, we do seem to be flying an Inspire 2 in a bedroom at the moment...) but more so because it illustrates the balance between creativity and technology. Kaylee obviously has her ideas and, these being fixed, is addressing the technical question - how do I implement them? A more general question -  is it good to stick precisely to the creative idea and force a solution rather than to modify the idea to better suit an easier technical method? (Eg my solution was to use stills and zoom in post - requiring static shots).  When do we need to compromise our imagination? From a pragmatic perspective, should we be prepared to amend the idea simply in order to actually get it done?  There is a difference between asking the question: “how might ONE do this?” and “how do I do this?” (because I have limited resources whereas the former makes no such restriction).

To some extent (and in no way am I suggesting this applies to Kaylee) the existence of fancy technical solutions might even be restricting our creativity - no longer are we forced to think how best to achieve what we want within certain cost/time/resource parameters. 

“IF I had this, I could achieve that” is no substitute for “I can achieve this with that”.

Tim

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1 hour ago, kaylee said:

urns out Inspire 2 is the one my friend has!!! so, is that good? lol

my other friend has "a dji phantom 4, dji mavic, dji spark, and dji goggles"

 

You don't really need the Goggles, but I believe it can use your head movement to control the camera. I'm not sure how organic that would look, but it might be helpful. 

Ask you friend which camera he has for the Inspire 2. Inspire 2 comes with two independent remote controls. One for the pilot and one for the camera operator. Have your friend pilot the drone and you can manage the camera. I've only crashed my drones on two different occasions. Both of them involving me, flying backwards and putting all my attention on getting  interesting camera movements. Then, it was the moment your heart stops. Because you can see your drone tumbling downwards.  I was lucky to recover my drones both times. The first time, I was in a remote village in the Republic of Georgia. I had no idea how the GPS on app works and I basically failed trying to find drone though the GPS. However, because there is a local cache video footage. I was able to triangulate the last few seconds of my footage and kept hiking uphill through the woods till my eyes were seeing the exact image that my drone last capture and miraculously found my drone in thick forest before it got dark and the storm came in. 

 

Moral of story is, you always need an observer, if you're piloting and shooting yourself. Otherwise if you have a pilot, you can have the pilot focus on flying and you on the shot. Reduces all the potential hazards.  There are also very nice fancy apps. Which I have not learned to use yet. That allow you draw a flight path which avoids hitting the buildings, etc. You can then have the drone fly that path and you can focus on the shot. That way, you can repeat the exact same drone movement without worry of hitting anything on the way. 

 

Inspire 2 also has hot swappable batteries. You basically replace one of the two batteries one by one and the drone does not need to reboot and sync with the GPS. 

 

 

 

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