Introducing The SLANTRANGE 3P NDVI Camera

 

Heliguy is now able to offer professional surveyors the SLANTRANGE 3p NDVI solution for agriculture. Read on to find out how this impressive sensor array can fit into your surveying workflow and also how it integrates with DJI’s product ecosystem.

First off, let’s look at the specifications.

 

Spectral Channels (Vegetation Sensor)

4 Channels

Spectral Channels (Ambient Illumination Sensor)

4 Channels

Processor Type

Qualcomm Snapdragon 801

Processor Speed

Quad-Core 2.26GHz

On-Board RAM

2.0 GB

Detector Type

Si CMOS

Available Spectral Range

410 – 950 nm

Band Positions

Selectable

Shutter Type

Global

Positioning & Pointing

Integrated GPS/IMU with Extended Kalman Filter

GSD @ 120 m AGL

4.8 cm

Recommended Image Overlap

20.0%

Linear Coverage Rate @ 120 m AGL, 20 m/s

1,000 Acres/Hour

160 Acre Survey @ 120 m AGL, 20 m/s

17 Minutes

Available Information Layers

Population Density, Population Size Distributions, Weed Coverage, Stress, Vegetation Fraction, Yield Potential, GNDVI, RNDVI, Red Edge NDVI, Color, User-Defined Smart Detection

On Board Data Storage (Removable)

64 GB (4 hours)

Output Formats

KML, SHP, GeoTIFF

Size (Vegetation Sensor)

14.6 x 6.9 x 5.7 cm

Size (Ambient Illumination Sensor)

8.1 x 3.5 x 1.7 cm

Weight

350 g

Power

11 W @ 9.0-28.0 VDC

 

For more information on pricing or how the SLANTRANGE 3p is applicable to your business – contact the Heliguy team on 0191 296 1024 or email info@heliguy.com.

 


A Powerful Sensor With 4x More Flight Area

The SLANTRANGE 3p was developed around the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor which means that it features powerful on-board image processing and analytic capabilities. Adding to this, SLANTRANGE is aware that costs matter to their customers (drone operators) and, as a result, they have created a multispectral sensor with the ability to survey more acres per flight while maintaining precise results.

 

 

SLANTRANGE 3p’s bespoke algorithms require only 20% image overlap, even when operating in late season row crops. Compare that to 80% overlap required by traditional processing methods and you’re looking at 4x less time and money spent collecting data.

 


Instant Results & Simple Integration

With the SLANTRANGE 3p, there’s no need for network access or high-end computing equipment.

The processing begins onboard, as it carries out its task. Complete, full-product results are available within a just minutes of landing. If your work necessitates operation in areas with minimal network coverage or computing accessibility, or even if you don’t have the time for lengthy data upload processes, the SLANTRANGE 3p is the sensor you’re looking for.

 

 

The SLANTRANGE 3p has also been designed to work seamlessly with a wide range of drones including the industry leading aircraft from DJI. With an integrated sunlight calibration, GPS and inertial measurement units (IMU); the SLANTRANGE 3p can be operated on virtually any SUA. All you need to integrate the camera to your drone is a power source and mounting location. Smart analytics eliminate the need for gimbals or vibration isolation systems meaning that operation is made even more simple.

Please Note: Installation kits are required for certain aircraft – please call us on 0191 296 1024 or email info@heliguy.com to find out more.

 


Always Accurate

When undertaking aerial surveys, accuracy is paramount. It’s the difference between trusting your paid-for measurements left with the worry that subtle changes in the data are actually a result of inaccurate sensors or improperly integrated software. SLANTRANGE has developed a new approach to ensuring measurement accuracy with the introduction of onboard band-matched solar characterization and radiometric calibration.

 

 

The SLANTRANGE 3p‘s design elements run together through its integrated hardware/software architecture to deliver the most accurate measurements available for small aircraft:

  • An integrated solar spectrometer for frame-to-frame radiometrically accurate reflectance measurements
  • Individual lens characterization for precise de-warping and de-vignetting
  • Optimised algorithms for dynamic cross-channel registration
  • Smart Filtering, which selectively samples scene elements to avoid the contaminating effects of background soils, shadows, specular reflections, or other noise sources.

 


Pinpoint Analytics

SlantView is the analytics toolset from SLANTRANGE that analyses raw data from airborne sensors and collates it into valuable information for farmers. SlantView was architected from the start to deliver the highest value information, and that includes two fundamental differences from other analytics packages:

  1. Diverse and customisable information types can be tailored to the user’s immediate needs through advanced computer vision and machine learning techniques
  2. Those information layers can be delivered in a matter of minutes

There are three service levels of SlantView available – see below for what you get with each package:

  • SlantView Lite – (FREE) This default version comes with the 3p as standard with image pre-processing and calibration for analysis with 3rd party applications
  • SlantView Basic – (Contact for Pricing) The basic level comes with all the capabilities of ‘Lite’ plus access to Vegetation Stress maps and multiple NDVI products allowing for as little as 20% overlap and rapid in-field processing
  • SlantView Pro – (Contact for Pricing) This is the complete suite of SlantView analytics tools which combine spectral imaging with powerful computer vision and machine learning tools

 

 

Traditional mapping techniques don’t make sense for agriculture. SLANTRANGE’s algorithms require only 20% overlap, compared to industry standards of 70-80%. That means you can cover a field 4x faster than using similar sensors at similar resolutions. Put another way, your quadcopter system can start competing with fixed wing systems for area coverage.

Uploading gigabytes of your raw data for processing is a costly and sometimes unavailable option. SlantView’s approach to processing is so much more efficient and can be achieved in minutes right in the field. No network connection required. No additional work back at the office. Collect, analyse, and act all in one basic workflow.

SlantView will export your information layers in multiple industry standard formats so you can easily and seamlessly combine all of your data sources in your favourite data management tool for your total field picture (Export formats: GeoTIFF [.tiff], Shapefile [.shp], Google Earth [.kml, .kmz].)

 

For more information on pricing or how the SLANTRANGE 3p is applicable to your business – contact the Heliguy team on 0191 296 1024 or email info@heliguy.com. If you’re interested in reading more about commercial applications for drones and their peripherals, keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for the latest news, reviews and insights.


SLANTRANGE 3p FAQs

See below for a list of FAQs to answer any questions you may have on the SLANTRANGE 3p camera.

 

Sensor

What is the resolution or ground sample distance (GSD) of the sensor?
At 120 m AGL, the resolution is 4.8 cm/pixel. Flying lower provides higher resolution, flying higher provides lower resolution.

What is the pixel resolution of the individual cameras?
1280 (cross-track) x 1024 (along-track), 4.8 micron pixels, global shutter.

Do the sensors have their own GPS and IMU?
Yes. The sensor does not require any communication interfaces with the aircraft. The only required connection is power.

Does the sensor have onboard storage? 
Yes. The sensor includes 64 GB of onboard storage on a removable SD card. This is enough for ~4 hours of flight time.

How do I download imagery from the sensor? 
The SD card can be removed and inserted into a laptop, tablet, or card reader. The images can be transferred and processed using SlantView.

How is the sensor triggered? 
The sensor is internally triggered and does not require a trigger input. The only required connection is power. The trigger rate can be configured using the SLANTRANGE companion mobile app.

What is the size and weight of the sensor? 
3p Size: 14.6 x 6.9 x 5.7 cm
3p Weight: 350g

 

Analytics

Is the SlantView software required? 
Yes. Our sensor and software are tightly coupled to enable the unique capabilities of our system, such as flying at 20% overlap and producing a full suite of maps in a few minutes after completing a flight. However, we provide a variety of export options for both the images and the maps to allow you to use the data in other software tools.

Can you really fly with just 20% overlap? 
Yes! This is our recommended overlap for an average flight; this is not a “best case” or “ideal conditions” recommendation. Overlap can be increased for very windy conditions but 20% should be sufficient for most flights.

How long does it really take to process the data locally in the field? 
The image processing begins on the sensor itself while still in flight. Final processing time on the ground depends on the area coverage of your data set and the processing power of your computer but a typical 160-acre flight will process in approximately 15 minutes on a mid-grade laptop. This is completely local processing with no internet connection or uploads to the cloud required.

Does sunlight calibration really matter? 
Yes! Sunlight calibration allows you to collect accurate, repeatable data under a variety of lighting conditions. Sunlight calibration also allows you to make comparisons of data sets over time, unlocking the true potential of airborne agricultural imagery.

What data products does SlantView provide? 
SlantView provides a suite of customised data products to provide accurate, actionable, information to growers, agronomists, and scouts…much more than just aerial images. The current set of data products includes high-resolution images and maps of Stand Counts, Weed Detections, Stress, Canopy Closure, Yield Potential, Red NDVI, Green NDVI, Red Edge NDVI, Color, and User-Defined Smart Detection.

What are the computer requirements to run SlantView?
The only requirement is 64-bit Windows. As a rule of thumb, we recommend having twice as much RAM as your largest data set; 8 GB should be OK, more is always better.

What types of file output format does SlantView offer?
Both the individual images and the completed maps can be exported as KML (Google Earth), SHP (Shapefile), and GeoTIFF.

Can I use DroneDeploy to share data with my colleagues and clients? 
Yes. Our GeoTIFF exports are fully compatible with DroneDeploy’s map upload tool.

Can the data be imported into farm management software packages? 
Yes. All of the data products can be exported as a shapefile, which is the most common file format for use with farm management software packages.

Can I process the data in a software package I already have? 
Yes, but you’ll need to use SlantView to apply all of the optical and calibration corrections to the imagery. Once complete, you can export the imagery in GeoTIFF format and process the data in any other software package. However, processing in SlantView provides significant advantages, including flying at 20% overlap, rapid offline processing, and access to a unique set of valuable data products.

 

Integration

What drones can I use with SLANTRANGE sensors?
Our sensors are fully self-contained and are designed to be mounted on almost any drone, both multi-rotors and fixed wings. The only requirements are 1) physical space for the Vegetation Sensor and Ambient Illumination Sensor, 2) payload capacity to carry the sensor and 3) input power for the sensor.

How much power does the sensor require? 
The sensor can accept 9 VDC to 36 VDC and typically draws ~11W. Power can be provided directly from the aircraft or with a dedicated battery.

What flight planning software can I use? 
For DJI drones, we recommend DroneDeploy or GS PRO and for PixHawk-based drones, we recommend Mission Planner.

How is the sensor mounted on a drone?
The sensor is typically hard-mounted and does not require a gimbal. For multi-rotors, the sensor should be mounted at an angle to compensate for the pitch of the aircraft while in forwards flight. We sell a variety of simple mounting kits for the most common drone platforms.

Does the sensor require a gimbal?
No. The sensor is designed to look straight down. All of the cameras use global shutters and are thus not sensitive to vibration like rolling shutter cameras. However, you can use a gimbal if you’d like.

What is the recommended flight altitude for the sensor?
It depends on what data you are trying to generate. For early-stage stand counts, you typically need higher resolution and may fly lower than normal. For late-season stress maps, you may not need high resolution and can fly higher to achieve larger area coverage. We provide a flight calculator to determine recommended altitude and flight speed based on the characteristics of the crop you’re flying and the data you’d like to generate. Always check your regional regulations for drone flight rules.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/06/22/introducing-the-slantrange-3p-ndvi-camera/

Introducing The SLANTRANGE 3P NDVI Camera

 

Heliguy is now an official reseller of the SLANTRANGE 3p NDVI solution for agriculture. Read on to find out how this impressive sensor array can fit into your surveying workflow and also how it integrates with DJI’s product ecosystem.

First off, let’s look at the specifications.

 

Spectral Channels (Vegetation Sensor)

4 Channels

Spectral Channels (Ambient Illumination Sensor)

4 Channels

Processor Type

Qualcomm Snapdragon 801

Processor Speed

Quad-Core 2.26GHz

On-Board RAM

2.0 GB

Detector Type

Si CMOS

Available Spectral Range

410 – 950 nm

Band Positions

Selectable

Shutter Type

Global

Positioning & Pointing

Integrated GPS/IMU with Extended Kalman Filter

GSD @ 120 m AGL

4.8 cm

Recommended Image Overlap

20.0%

Linear Coverage Rate @ 120 m AGL, 20 m/s

1,000 Acres/Hour

160 Acre Survey @ 120 m AGL, 20 m/s

17 Minutes

Available Information Layers

Population Density, Population Size Distributions, Weed Coverage, Stress, Vegetation Fraction, Yield Potential, GNDVI, RNDVI, Red Edge NDVI, Color, User-Defined Smart Detection

On Board Data Storage (Removable)

64 GB (4 hours)

Output Formats

KML, SHP, GeoTIFF

Size (Vegetation Sensor)

14.6 x 6.9 x 5.7 cm

Size (Ambient Illumination Sensor)

8.1 x 3.5 x 1.7 cm

Weight

350 g

Power

11 W @ 9.0-28.0 VDC

 

For more information on pricing or how the SLANTRANGE 3p is applicable to your business – contact the Heliguy team on 0191 296 1024 or email info@heliguy.com.

 


A Powerful Sensor With 4x More Flight Area

The SLANTRANGE 3p was developed around the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor which means that it features powerful on-board image processing and analytic capabilities. Adding to this, SLANTRANGE is aware that costs matter to their customers (drone operators) and, as a result, they have created a multispectral sensor with the ability to survey more acres per flight while maintaining precise results.

 

 

SLANTRANGE 3p’s bespoke algorithms require only 20% image overlap, even when operating in late season row crops. Compare that to 80% overlap required by traditional processing methods and you’re looking at 4x less time and money spent collecting data.

 


Instant Results & Simple Integration

With the SLANTRANGE 3p, there’s no need for network access or high-end computing equipment.

The processing begins onboard, as it carries out its task. Complete, full-product results are available within a just minutes of landing. If your work necessitates operation in areas with minimal network coverage or computing accessibility, or even if you don’t have the time for lengthy data upload processes, the SLANTRANGE 3p is the sensor you’re looking for.

 

 

The SLANTRANGE 3p has also been designed to work seamlessly with a wide range of drones including the industry leading aircraft from DJI. With an integrated sunlight calibration, GPS and inertial measurement units (IMU); the SLANTRANGE 3p can be operated on virtually any SUA. All you need to integrate the camera to your drone is a power source and mounting location. Smart analytics eliminate the need for gimbals or vibration isolation systems meaning that operation is made even more simple.

Please Note: Installation kits are required for certain aircraft – please call us on 0191 296 1024 or email info@heliguy.com to find out more.

 


Always Accurate

When undertaking aerial surveys, accuracy is paramount. It’s the difference between trusting your paid-for measurements left with the worry that subtle changes in the data are actually a result of inaccurate sensors or improperly integrated software. SLANTRANGE has developed a new approach to ensuring measurement accuracy with the introduction of onboard band-matched solar characterization and radiometric calibration.

 

 

The SLANTRANGE 3p‘s design elements run together through its integrated hardware/software architecture to deliver the most accurate measurements available for small aircraft:

  • An integrated solar spectrometer for frame-to-frame radiometrically accurate reflectance measurements
  • Individual lens characterization for precise de-warping and de-vignetting
  • Optimised algorithms for dynamic cross-channel registration
  • Smart Filtering, which selectively samples scene elements to avoid the contaminating effects of background soils, shadows, specular reflections, or other noise sources.

 


Pinpoint Analytics

SlantView is the analytics toolset from SLANTRANGE that analyses raw data from airborne sensors and collates it into valuable information for farmers. SlantView was architected from the start to deliver the highest value information, and that includes two fundamental differences from other analytics packages:

  1. Diverse and customisable information types can be tailored to the user’s immediate needs through advanced computer vision and machine learning techniques
  2. Those information layers can be delivered in a matter of minutes

There are three service levels of SlantView available – see below for what you get with each package:

  • SlantView Lite – (FREE) This default version comes with the 3p as standard with image pre-processing and calibration for analysis with 3rd party applications
  • SlantView Basic – (Contact for Pricing) The basic level comes with all the capabilities of ‘Lite’ plus access to Vegetation Stress maps and multiple NDVI products allowing for as little as 20% overlap and rapid in-field processing
  • SlantView Pro – (Contact for Pricing) This is the complete suite of SlantView analytics tools which combine spectral imaging with powerful computer vision and machine learning tools

 

 

Traditional mapping techniques don’t make sense for agriculture. SLANTRANGE’s algorithms require only 20% overlap, compared to industry standards of 70-80%. That means you can cover a field 4x faster than using similar sensors at similar resolutions. Put another way, your quadcopter system can start competing with fixed wing systems for area coverage.

Uploading gigabytes of your raw data for processing is a costly and sometimes unavailable option. SlantView’s approach to processing is so much more efficient and can be achieved in minutes right in the field. No network connection required. No additional work back at the office. Collect, analyse, and act all in one basic workflow.

SlantView will export your information layers in multiple industry standard formats so you can easily and seamlessly combine all of your data sources in your favourite data management tool for your total field picture (Export formats: GeoTIFF [.tiff], Shapefile [.shp], Google Earth [.kml, .kmz].)

 

For more information on pricing or how the SLANTRANGE 3p is applicable to your business – contact the Heliguy team on 0191 296 1024 or email info@heliguy.com. If you’re interested in reading more about commercial applications for drones and their peripherals, keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for the latest news, reviews and insights.


SLANTRANGE 3p FAQs

See below for a list of FAQs to answer any questions you may have on the SLANTRANGE 3p camera.

 

Sensor

What is the resolution or ground sample distance (GSD) of the sensor?
At 120 m AGL, the resolution is 4.8 cm/pixel. Flying lower provides higher resolution, flying higher provides lower resolution.

What is the pixel resolution of the individual cameras?
1280 (cross-track) x 1024 (along-track), 4.8 micron pixels, global shutter.

Do the sensors have their own GPS and IMU?
Yes. The sensor does not require any communication interfaces with the aircraft. The only required connection is power.

Does the sensor have onboard storage? 
Yes. The sensor includes 64 GB of onboard storage on a removable SD card. This is enough for ~4 hours of flight time.

How do I download imagery from the sensor? 
The SD card can be removed and inserted into a laptop, tablet, or card reader. The images can be transferred and processed using SlantView.

How is the sensor triggered? 
The sensor is internally triggered and does not require a trigger input. The only required connection is power. The trigger rate can be configured using the SLANTRANGE companion mobile app.

What is the size and weight of the sensor? 
3p Size: 14.6 x 6.9 x 5.7 cm
3p Weight: 350g

 

Analytics

Is the SlantView software required? 
Yes. Our sensor and software are tightly coupled to enable the unique capabilities of our system, such as flying at 20% overlap and producing a full suite of maps in a few minutes after completing a flight. However, we provide a variety of export options for both the images and the maps to allow you to use the data in other software tools.

Can you really fly with just 20% overlap? 
Yes! This is our recommended overlap for an average flight; this is not a “best case” or “ideal conditions” recommendation. Overlap can be increased for very windy conditions but 20% should be sufficient for most flights.

How long does it really take to process the data locally in the field? 
The image processing begins on the sensor itself while still in flight. Final processing time on the ground depends on the area coverage of your data set and the processing power of your computer but a typical 160-acre flight will process in approximately 15 minutes on a mid-grade laptop. This is completely local processing with no internet connection or uploads to the cloud required.

Does sunlight calibration really matter? 
Yes! Sunlight calibration allows you to collect accurate, repeatable data under a variety of lighting conditions. Sunlight calibration also allows you to make comparisons of data sets over time, unlocking the true potential of airborne agricultural imagery. To learn more, listen to our podcast on AgFlyers.

What data products does SlantView provide? 
SlantView provides a suite of customised data products to provide accurate, actionable, information to growers, agronomists, and scouts…much more than just aerial images. The current set of data products includes high-resolution images and maps of Stand Counts, Weed Detections, Stress, Canopy Closure, Yield Potential, Red NDVI, Green NDVI, Red Edge NDVI, Color, and User-Defined Smart Detection. We are adding new data products on a regular basis based on feedback from our customers.

What are the computer requirements to run SlantView?
The only requirement is 64-bit Windows. As a rule of thumb, we recommend having twice as much RAM as your largest data set; 8 GB should be OK, more is always better.

What types of file output format does SlantView offer?
Both the individual images and the completed maps can be exported as KML (Google Earth), SHP (Shapefile), and GeoTIFF.

Can I use DroneDeploy to share data with my colleagues and clients? 
Yes. Our GeoTIFF exports are fully compatible with DroneDeploy’s map upload tool. Check out our blog post that provides a step-by-step walkthrough of the simple process. We also offer an app in the DroneDeploy App Market that provides additional features.

Can the data be imported into farm management software packages? 
Yes. All of the data products can be exported as a shapefile, which is the most common file format for use with farm management software packages.

Can I process the data in a software package I already have? 
Yes, but you’ll need to use SlantView to apply all of the optical and calibration corrections to the imagery. Once complete, you can export the imagery in GeoTIFF format and process the data in any other software package. However, processing in SlantView provides significant advantages, including flying at 20% overlap, rapid offline processing, and access to a unique set of valuable data products.
Integration

 

Integration

What drones can I use with SLANTRANGE sensors?
Our sensors are fully self-contained and are designed to be mounted on almost any drone, both multi-rotors and fixed wings. The only requirements are 1) physical space for the Vegetation Sensor and Ambient Illumination Sensor, 2) payload capacity to carry the sensor and 3) input power for the sensor.

How much power does the sensor require? 
The sensor can accept 9 VDC to 36 VDC and typically draws ~11W. Power can be provided directly from the aircraft or with a dedicated battery.

What flight planning software can I use? 
For DJI drones, we recommend DroneDeploy or GS PRO and for PixHawk-based drones, we recommend Mission Planner.

How is the sensor mounted on a drone?
The sensor is typically hard-mounted and does not require a gimbal. For multi-rotors, the sensor should be mounted at an angle to compensate for the pitch of the aircraft while in forwards flight. We sell a variety of simple mounting kits for the most common drone platforms.

Does the sensor require a gimbal?
No. The sensor is designed to look straight down. All of the cameras use global shutters and are thus not sensitive to vibration like rolling shutter cameras. However, you can use a gimbal if you’d like.

What is the recommended flight altitude for the sensor?
It depends on what data you are trying to generate. For early-stage stand counts, you typically need higher resolution and may fly lower than normal. For late-season stress maps, you may not need high resolution and can fly higher to achieve larger area coverage. We provide a flight calculator to determine recommended altitude and flight speed based on the characteristics of the crop you’re flying and the data you’d like to generate. Always check your regional regulations for drone flight rules.

What is the recommended flight speed for the sensor? 
It depends on what data you are trying to generate as well as the lighting conditions. Our sensor includes auto-exposure to prevent blurring and will adjust the exposure time based on lighting conditions. Your flight speed also affects the forward overlap of your images. We provide a flight calculator to determine recommended altitude and flight speed based on the characteristics of the crop you’re flying and the data you’d like to generate. Always check your regional regulations for drone flight rules.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/06/22/introducing-the-slantrange-3p-ndvi-camera/

The Ultimate Freefly MoVI Comparison Guide

 

In the professional gimbal market, there are few companies that can rival the output of Freefly. Cornering the filmmaking sector, it’s not uncommon to see one or more of their products make their way onto big budget TV and movie sets.

Their central line of gimbals is the MoVI series which offers versatility and quality through a number of distinct models. Some are primarily handheld whilst others are able to reap the benefits of an aerial view via compatibility with Freefly’s ALTA drone range meaning that whatever your needs as a videographer, the MoVI has you covered.

This article focuses on the MoVI M5, MoVI M10, MoVI M15 and MoVI PRO. The upcoming MoVI XL and Carbon models will be compared to Freefly’s previous stabilisers once there is more information available.

To kick us off, let’s take a look at the specifications of these impressive Freefly gimbals.

Freefly MoVI M5
Freefly MōVI M5
Freefly MoVI M10
Freefly MōVI M10
Freefly MoVI M15
Freefly MōVI M15
Freefly MoVI Pro
Freefly MōVI Pro

Weight

2.15kg 2.2kg 2.47kg 2.65 kg (without batteries)

Camera Cage Dimensions

130 (L) x 180 (W) x 120mm (H) 140 (L) x 200 (W) x 165mm (H) 203 (L) x 200 (W) x 165mm (H) 196 (L) x 200 (W) x 175mm (H)

Maximum Payload

2.27kg 5.44kg 6.8kg 6.80kg

Power Requirements

9 to 18 VDC (3S or 4S LiPo) 9 to 18 VDC (3S or 4S LiPo) 9 to 18 VDC (3S or 4S LiPo) Use 2 batteries @ 1.8Ah; 22.2V

Connections

Bluetooth connection to Windows / Android GUI Bluetooth connection to Windows / Android GUI Wi-Fi pairing to iOS / Android / Windows GUI 2.4GHz Custom FHSS Radio, Bluetooth Low Energy v4.2, USB Type C

Features

Remotely operable either with a dedicated controller or using an RC aircraft transmitter (hand-held radio controller), Stabilized with operator control via gimbal base (Majestic Mode), Kills drive to gimbal axes, uses a GPS-assisted IMU, Live Wireless Tuning and Graphing, Silent Drive, Shot Recorder, Remote Firmware Updatable Stabilized with operator control via gimbal base (Majestic Mode), Stabilized image with no operator input, Stabilized with remote operator, Kills drive to gimbal axes Stabilized with operator control via gimbal base (Majestic Mode), Stabilized image with no operator input, Stabilized with remote operator, Kills drive to gimbal axes Innovative structural design; Dual Hot Swappable Batteries with status indicators; Integrated Focus / Iris / Zoom controller; Embedded screen for tuning / customization; Increased motor torque; 12-14v 6A D-Tap output for camera power; 12V 2A D-Tap output for accessory power; Ultra fast < 2 Second Boot time; Full stiffness and Filter autotune in ˜10 seconds; Majestic Mode; Timelapse; Dual GPS (top and bottom); Full Red RCP integration (Focus, Iris, ISO, Start stop, etc); Internal long range 2.4GHz frequency hopping radio for connection to MIMIC; Multiple handle options; Rugged System (IP52)

Battery

Dimensions

69mm (L) x 34mm (W) x 28mm (H) 100mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 30mm (H) 100mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 30mm (H) N/A

Weight

125g 200g 200g 306g

Capacity

1.3Ah 2.1Ah 2.1Ah 1800 mAh

Voltage

14.8v 14.8v 14.8v 22.2V (Nominal Battery Voltage); 25.2V (Max Battery Voltage)

Max Continuous Discharge

3C (3.9A) 3C (7.8A) 3C (7.8A) 8-10A

Max Burst Discharge

5C (6.5A) 5C (13A) 5C (13A) N/A

Max Charge Voltage

4.2V per cell 4.2V per cell 4.2V per cell N/A

Minimum Discharge Voltage

3.0V per cell 3.0V per cell 3.0V per cell N/A

Working Performance

Operation Modes

Dual operator and Inverted Mode; Can be top and bottom mounted on ALTA; Cranes; Jibs; Steadicams; Vest-Supported Stabilisers; Easyrig Dual operator and Inverted Mode; Can be bottom mounted on ALTA Dual operator and Inverted Mode; Can be top and bottom mounted on ALTA Ring; Skate; Classic; Aerial; Tero

Maximum Controlled Rotation Speed

N/A N/A N/A
Pan axis: 360°/s
Tilt axis: 360°/s

Roll axis: 360°/s

Range of Motion

Pan Range: 360°
Tilt Range: ±180°
Roll Range: ±180°

Slew Rates: 0 to 150°/sec

Pan Range: 360°
Tilt Range: ±180°
Roll Range: ±180°

Slew Rates: 0 to 150°/sec

Pan Range: 360°
Tilt Range: ±180°
Roll Range: ±180°

Slew Rates: 0 to 150°/sec

Pan Range of Motion: Unlimited
Roll Range of Motion: ±60°
Tilt Range of Motion (Normal Mode): +90° above horizontal to -165° below horizontal

Tilt Range of Motion (Inverted Mode): +165° above horizontal to -90° below horizontal


 


Freefly MoVI Series Key Features

Now that you know what’s going on underneath the hood it’s time to compare what you can expect from the MoVI series in practice. As all of these units have differences ranging from subtle to crucial, we recommend that you take the time to familiarise yourself before taking the plunge and committing to your MoVI of choice.

What’s In The Box?

The first thing you should be aware of is what you’ll be getting from each of these gimbals straight out of the box. See below for a full component list for each of the MoVI units.

What’s Included?

Freefly MoVI M5
Freefly MoVI M5
  • MoVI M5 Handheld Stabilizer x 1
  • MoVI Top Handle x 1
  • Stand x 1
  • Freefly 14.8V 1.3Ah MoVI Batteries x 2
  • Freefly LiPo Charger with AC cord and Charge Lead Adapter x 1
  • M2 Hex Driver x 1
  • M2.5 Hex Driver x 1
  • MoVI M10 Handheld Stabilizer x 1
  • MoVI Top Handle x 1
  • Stand x 1
  • Freefly 14.8V 2.6Ah MoVI Batteries x 2
  • Freefly LiPo Charger with AC Cord and Charger Lead Adapter x 1
  • M2.5 Hex Driver x 1
  • M3 Hex Driver x 1
Freefly MoVI M10
Freefly MoVI M10
Freefly MoVI M15
Freefly MoVI M15
  • MoVI M15 Handheld Stabilizer x 1
  • MoVI Top Handle x 1
  • MoVI Dock x 1
  • Freefly 14.8V 2.6Ah MoVI Batteries x 2
  • Freefly LiPo Charger with AC cord and Charge Lead Adapter x 1
  • M3 Hex Driver x 1
  • M2.5 Hex Driver x 1
  • MoVI PRO
  • MoVI PRO Battery Pack 1.8Ah x 2
  • MoVI PRO Battery Charger x 2
  • MoVI PRO Adjustable Camera Plate
  • MoVI Adjustable Top Camera Plate
  • MoVI Hot Shoe Mount
  • COM to MoVI Controller Receiver Cable x 1
  • MoVI Rod Mount Adapter x 1
  • 2 x Bolt 3/8 – 16 x 5/8″
  • 2 x Bolt 1/4 – 20 x 1/2″
  • 2 x Bolt 1/4 – 20 x 3/8″
  • 2.00mm Hex Driver x 1
  • 2.50mm Hex Driver x 1
Freefly MoVI Pro
Freefly MoVI PRO

Appearance

 

For their MoVI gimbals, Freefly settled on a design that was, above all else, functional. Every unit has been built to be as light as possible while still retaining the rigidity to maximise performance. This means you can move the camera exactly as the shot demands, whether that means running full speed or getting aerial footage courtesy of Freefly’s ALTA range.

A spartan construction of metal tubing and robust camera cages comes from years of R&D, learning how to implement enough versatility and quality into a gimbal to make it the perfect tool for professional filmmakers.

The biggest jump in aesthetics has come in the form of the MoVI PRO which has brought with it the ‘Ring’ which gives operators even greater control over their filming and shot framing while also managing to look rather sleek as well.


Performance

The MoVI M5 offers high-performance stabilisation and advanced tuning settings, allowing you to tune your setup with complete flexibility. This unit offers 360° panning as well as 180° tilt and roll. The M5 can also be used in tandem with the Freefly MIMIC and WEDGE.

With Freefly’s ‘HiPer’ functionality, longer focal length lenses can be used without sacrificing stability. Whether it’s used at an ultra low or ultra high angle, the M5 gimbal performs solidly. Switching between modes is simple, letting you focus on the shot.

Freefly‘s M5 has been custom designed and precisely calibrated, coupling the latest in sensor technology with comprehensive calibration to ensure accuracy. The M5’s brushless motors are built to be the perfect blend of performance and weight and the entire 3-axis gimbal rig has the ability to operate in near silence.

After the camera has been configured on the gimbal, Freefly’s no-tools adjustment allows for quick setup and 3-axis balancing. Lens changes and accessory add-ons are rapid, leaving more time for shooting. This allows you to focus on getting shots like the dynamic, customised time lapse sequences MoVI gimbals facilitate. Aerial shots are also possible thanks to compatibility with the ALTA range.

The control algorithms developed for the MoVI M5 stabiliser utilise a very high accuracy locational system. The GPS allows for acceleration correction when the gimbal is used outdoors and has access to a strong signal. This feature is useful when used on vehicle shoots with sustained extreme accelerational forces as non-GPS aided systems have a tendency to drift.

Freefly MoVI M5

The Freefly MoVI M5

The M10 is designed to easily mount to a variety of aircraft, most notably Freefly’s ALTA series. Combining the gimbal with a multi-rotor allows you to capture amazing low-level aerial shots. Combining 360° panning with 180° tilt/roll, users have a great range to work with as well as the option to tap into Freefly’s MIMIC for even more control.

After the camera has been successfully configured to your specifications, the M10’s intuitive ‘no-tools’ adjustment is perfect for rapid setup and balancing. All necessary lens changes and the fitting of additional accessories is a fast process, leaving more time for shooting and more chance to capture your vision.

Offering an added layer of control, the Freefly Movi M10 camera stabiliser comes with the ability to be operated remotely by a second person. This feature allows one user to focus on framing while the other tackles movement, allowing for unrestricted 3-axis camera movement. With both operators focussed on a single task, the resulting shot can reach its full potential.

As with the M5, the MoVI M10’s control algorithms operate via GPS which allows acceleration to be corrected when the M10 has access to a GPS signal. This is massively practical when fast-moving shots with sustained, high levels of accelerational force are required. This would result in other, non-GPS aided systems to undergo some level of drifting.

The Freefly MoVI M10

The MoVI M15 was designed with professional cinematographers in mind as well as to accommodate larger cameras. It’s intended to be used in either normal or inverted mode, which allows for easy integration onto a variety of platforms. Like the M5 and M10, you’re able to utilise a mobility range of 360° pan and 180° tilt/roll.

The M15 is powered by the same stabilisation technology that was created for the M10 giving you the ability to take faultlessly smooth footage in even the most challenging situations – especially true given its compatibility with the MIMIC.

Built as light as possible while retaining its structural soundness and rigidity, the MoVI M15 doesn’t add unnecessary mass to your list of concerns. When you’re carrying a 15-pound payload around a shoot, the last thing you want is more weight. What’s more impressive about this is that there’s also a full camera cage built into the M15 allowing it to take on demanding cinema setups and keep your camera locked on target, ready to capture that perfect take.

The M15 can accommodate a 15-pound payload. Its quick release pan axis has been designed specifically for heavier gear. A simple flip of a lever allows you to switch the M15’s hand grips from low to high mode. This gives you all the control you need to rapidly fine-tune how the gimbal operates and ensure your shot goes exactly to plan. Custom designed and calibrated precisely – the M15 is compatible with a wide range of sensors. Its intuitive calibration ensures accuracy in every use case.

The range of options offered by the MoVI M15 places you in full control. For example, it features the ability to create custom time lapse sequences. Every parameter within a time lapse sequence can be defined from the Freefly app or directly from the MoVI controller. It’s simple to define your desired start and stop positions and select additional frames to create dynamic motion paths.

The Freefly MoVI M15

Then, there’s the MoVI PRO. With twice the continuous pan torque of the original MoVI units and multiple high-quality MEMS sensors with full calibration (e.g. Cross-Axis, Temperature, Scale, Alignment), Freefly’s PRO unit is available as both an aerial and handheld gimbal.

Floating point processors and high-speed sensors enable 60dB performance at 1Hz while an inbuilt barometer and 3-axis compass for accurate heading information provide reliable and precise altitude estimates.

Sporting custom designed direct-drive brushless motors which offer incredible torque in a such a lightweight package the PRO is capable of a 360° pan/tilt/roll rate & 1000° base motion. Silent sine drive technology controls the pan, tilt & roll axis and sine drive motor controls update motor torque at 32KhZ.

The PRO stabiliser has a fast, reliable CAN bus communication protocol and 15 bit, high-resolution encoders which allow for greater stabilisation and motion control while its online temperature estimation allows maximum performance while protecting the motors from overheating

The Freefly MoVI PRO

The MoVI PRO also offers the following shooting modes:

  • Majestic Mode
  • Auto-tune & shot quality indicator
  • Timelapse
  • Motion control & path planning
  • Auto tracking / follow me mode
  • High Bandwidth Data logging / Visualization / Camera sync

 


Battery Life

 

The MoVI M5‘s 1.3Ah LiPo batteries will (each) run the gimbal for approximately 3-4 hours, depending on the setup. The batteries are sold in pairs and can be easily recharged using included Freefly charger.

Both the M10 and M15 use the same type of battery. These 2.1Ah Freefly batteries are high energy density LiPos and each of them will power the M10/M15 gimbal for 2-5 hours although this is dependant on the setup you’re using.

The batteries powering the MoVI PRO have an integrated over-current and battery ‘fuel gauge’ as well as discharge and charge protection. Freefly designed their PRO batteries to live up to the level of quality being set by the gimbal itself.

If you use Freefly’s MoVI PRO with one of its custom-built batteries powering both the gimbal and a larger camera like an Arri or RED, you can expect a runtime of roughly an hour (the gimbal can hold 2 batteries to help swap in and out while working). Once it has been depleted, a PRO battery takes about an hour to fully charge. However, the batteries are hot-swappable so if you ensure you have four to six of them when heading out to a professional engagement.


Camera Specs

The MoVI M5 was built to handle the most popular DSLR packages and keep the camera locked on target. The wide range of sensors it is compatible with includes:

 

  • Blackmagic: Cinema Camera (4K) [requires specific lens combo], Pocket Camera
  • Canon: C100, Rebel T5I, 70D, 1D-C, 5D MK III
  • Nikon: D4, D800
  • Sony Alpha 99, A7S
  • Panasonic GH4

 

The MoVI M10 is designed as the ultimate blend of size and weight and able to take cameras ranging from a small DSLR up to the most professional cinema cameras.

 

  • Blackmagic Cinema Camera 4K
  • Canon: 1D-C, 5D MK III, 70D, C100, C300, C500
  • Nikon: D4, D800
  • Panasonic: GH4
  • RED: Epic, Scarlett
  • Sony: A7S, Alpha 99, FS100, FS700 [specific lens combo]

 

Freefly’s MoVI M15 is compatible with the following cameras:

 

  • RED: Raven, Epic, Scarlett, Weapon, Dragon
  • Blackmagic: Pocket Cinema Camera, Micro Cinema Camera, URSA Mini
  • Canon: 5D MK I-III, 70D Mk I-III, 5Ds, T5i, C100-500 (MkII), 1D C
  • Sony: A7, F5, F55, FS7, FS5, FS100 & 700 [specific lens combo]
  • ARRI: ALEXA M, ALEXA Mini

 

Finally, the MoVI PRO can carry these models:

 

  • RED Epic, Scarlet, Weapon, Dragon, Helium & Raven
  • Canon C100 (Mk I-II), C300 (Mk I-II) & C500 (Mk I-II)
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini, Cinema, Pocket Cinema & Micro Cinema
  • ARRI Alexa Mini & M
  • Sony F5, F55, FS7, FS100, FS700 & FS5

 

…and also the DSLR & Mirrorless sensors listed below…

 

  • Canon 1Dc & 5D Mk I-IV
  • Nikon D810, D800, D500 & D5
  • Sony A7s I-II & A7r I-II
  • Panasonic GH3 & GH45

 

Please Note: These lists of compatible cameras aren’t exhaustive and are subject to change.


Get In Touch

If you want to learn more about the Freefly MoVI series or any of their other products, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via the details listed below.

Call

0191 296 1024

Email

info@heliguy.com

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog to learn more about Freefly’s latest products, read our in-depth VERSUS series and, of course, stay up to date on the goings on in the drone industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/06/16/the-ultimate-freefly-movi-comparison-guide/

Heliguy’s Drone Flight Test: A Visual Guide

 

Heliguy is a CAA approved NQE and runs drone training courses in three UK-locations: Newcastle, Manchester and Farnborough. Our expert in-house training team are there to guide you through every step of the process.

This article takes a look at the final step you’ll take before the CAA submission, a test of your piloting skills and ability to adapt under pressure in real-world scenarios. Read on to get and inside track on our practical drone flight test.

 


Training with Heliguy

There are three main sections to the training you will undergo if you’re looking to gain your Permissions for Commercial Operation (PfCO):

  • The 3-day Ground School
  • The Operations Manual
  • The Practical Flight Test

Once you have passed the Heliguy 3-day ground school and created a fit-for-purpose operations manual, it’s time to showcase your skills in the final practical exam. We receive a lot of enquiries about what this entails and so, to help everyone understand what will be expected, we’ve put together a graphic to walk you through the process.

 

 

This visualisation should provide you with a basic idea of what you’ll be undertaking when it’s time for you to take your practical flight test.

 


Get in Touch

If you want to find out more about Heliguy’s PfCO NQE drone training courses and how you can make money flying drones professionally, our team are available 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday to offer expert advice and dedicated support.

We offer currently offer the following training opportunities:

Started your training elsewhere? No problem, we’re happy to adopt you into the Heliguy training process – enquire here.

You can reach us by phone at 0191 296 1024 or email at info@heliguy.com.

 …

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more information on our training courses, the support we offer and, of course, the latest news from the drone industry.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/06/14/heliguys-flight-test-a-visual-guide/

DJI CrystalSky VERSUS Phantom 4 Pro+ RC, iPad Pro & NVIDIA Shield

Being able to clearly view what your drone’s camera can see from the ground is absolutely essential. Unfortunately, there are many issues that can prevent this from low-quality monitors to overly bright weather conditions. This makes choosing the right device a priority, as a solid monitor can make the difference between capturing great footage or winging it.

This comparison guide takes a look at some of the most popular models of monitors used by drone pilots and seeks to provide you with the information you need to choose the right device for you.

Please Note: This comparison is strictly focused on the aforementioned products’ performance alongside DJI’s product ecosystem. While we will briefly mention the further functionality of the Shield and iPad haven’t written this piece to compare the entire App Store and Google Play marketplace to the DJI GO, GO 4 and Pilot apps.

Before we delve into the functionality, let’s take a look at the specifications:

CrystalSky
DJI CrystalSky
Phantom 4 Pro Plus RC
DJI Phantom 4 Pro+
iPad Pro
Apple iPad Pro 9.7″ & 12.9″
Shield Tablet
NVIDIA Shield

Size

7.85 inches: 208.6 x 147.8 x 17mm (without battery), 208.6 x 147.8 x 34.75mm (with battery)

5.5 inches: 153.76 x 84.94 x 19mm (without battery), 153.76 x 84.94 x 39.6mm (with battery)

N/A
9.7 inches: 240 mm (H) x 169 mm (W) x 6.1 mm (D)

12.9 inches: 305.7 mm (H) x 220.6 mm (W) x 6.9 mm (D)

221 mm (H) x 126 mm (W) x 9.2 mm (D)

Weight

7.85 inches: approx. 425g

5.5 inches: approx. 228g

N/A
9.7 inches: 437 grams (Wi-Fi models), 477 grams (Wi-Fi + Cellular models)

12.9 inches: 713 grams (Wi-Fi models), 723 grams (Wi-Fi + Cellular models)

390g

Battery

7.85 inches: 980mAh 3.7V (built-in battery), 4920mAh 7.6V (detachable external battery)

5.5 inches: 980mAh 3.7V (built-in battery), 4920mAh 7.6V (detachable external battery)

6000mAh LiPo 2S
9.7 inches: built‐in 29.7‐watt‐hour rechargeable lithium‐polymer battery

12.9 inches: built‐in 38.5‐watt‐hour rechargeable lithium‐polymer battery

19.75-watt-hour LiPo battery

Memory

7.85 inches: ROM 64GB + RAM 4GB (High brightness), ROM 128GB + RAM 4GB (Ultra Brightness)

5.5 inches: ROM 32GB + RAM 4GB

4GB RAM +16GB ROM
9.7 inches: 32GB / 128GB / 256GB

12.9 inches: 64GB / 256GB / 512GB

2 GB RAM + 16 GB storage

Processor

N/A N/A A9X chip with 64-bit architecture, Embedded M9 coprocessor NVIDIA Tegra K1 192 core Kepler GPU 2.2 GHz ARM Cortex A15 CPU

Audio

speaker and microphone built-in loudspeaker and microphone Four speaker audio; Dual microphones for calls, video recording, and audio recording Front facing stereo speakers with built-in microphone

Connectors

HDMI, MicroSD card slots,Micro-USB and USB-C, headphone jack HDMI and Micro-SD card slot 3.5mm headphone jack, Nano-SIM tray, Smart Connector, Lightning connector Mini-HDMI with HDCP 1.4 output, Micro-USB 2.0, MicroSD slot, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with microphone support

Sensors

Gyroscope, Compass, Light-sensitive Sensor N/A Touch ID, Three‐axis gyro, Accelerometer, Barometer, Ambient light sensor 3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis compass

Display

Screen Size

5.5 inches and 7.85 inches 5.5 inches 9.7 inches and 12.9 inches 8 inches

Resolution

7.85 inches: 2048×1536

5.5 inches: 1920×1080

1920×1080
9.7 inches: 2048×1536

12.9 inches: 2732×2048

1920×1200

Multi-touch

Multi-touch display with IPS technology N/A LED-backlit Multi-Touch display, Retina display Multi-touch Full-HD display

Video decoding

4K: H.264 4k 30fps / H.265 4k 60fps 1080p display H.264 video up to 4K 4K Ultra-HD Ready

Connectivity

Bluetooth

Not supported Not supported Bluetooth 4.2 technology Bluetooth 4.0 LE

Wireless

WIFI: 2.4G, 5.2G & 5.8G 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n (HT20), 802.11a, 4G dongle support Supports Wi-Fi Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac); dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz); HT80 with MIMO 802.11n 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi

Cellular

N/A N/A
9.7 inches: UMTS / HSPA / HSPA+ / DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM / EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900 MHz), LTE Advanced (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41), Data only, Wi-Fi calling, Embedded Apple SIM

12.9 inches: UMTS / HSPA / HSPA+ / DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), CDMA EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B (800, 1900 MHz), LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 38, 39, 40, 41), Data only, Wi-Fi calling, Includes Apple SIM

N/A

Positioning Systems

GPS/GLONASS GPS/GLONASS
All models: Digital compass, Wi-Fi, iBeacon micro-location

Wi-Fi + Cellular models: Assisted GPS and GLONASS, Cellular

802.11n 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi

Operating System & Apps

Operating System

A customised Android operating system embedded with the DJI GO, DJI GO 4, and DJI Pilot app A customised DJI system (Android system) iOS 10 Android Lollipop OS (Android 6.0 Marshmallow Over-The-Air upgrade available)

Built-in / Preloaded Apps

DJI GO, DJI GO 4, DJI Pilot Popular social media apps and DJI GO 4 Camera, Photos, Messages, FaceTime, Mail, Music, Safari, Maps, Siri, Calendar, iTunes Store, App Store, Notes, Contacts, iBooks, Home, Reminders, Clock, TV, Photo Booth, Podcasts, News, Find My iPhone, Find My Friends, iCloud Drive, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, iTunes U Google Play, NVIDIA SHIELD Hub, Fallout Shelter, NVIDIA Dabbler, Squid, Twitch

Support installing additional third party apps

No No Yes Yes


DJI CrystalSky Vs Phantom 4 Pro+ RC, iPad Pro & NVIDIA Shield: Key Features

There are positive points for each of the above tablet devices. All of them are compatible with either DJI’s GO or Pilot applications and, as mentioned in the introduction, two of them are specifically designed for DJI’s product ecosystem while the other two offer a wide range of functionality beyond piloting a drone.

Exploring the Appearance, Functionality, Screen Performance & Battery Life of these devices, Heliguy’s Insider Blog gives you an insight into which model you should choose.


Appearance

The CrystalSky monitors from DJI are the next level of functional design for piloting drones. Sleek lines and a powerful display screen offer both an aesthetically pleasing and completely intuitive system perfectly suited to DJI’s product range. They have been built to last, designed to be used in challenging conditions and this robustness is evident in their appearance.

DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro+ remote controller will look familiar to anyone who has encountered their previous Phantom range. The key difference is that they have added a 5.5″ integrated monitor which saves you from having to invest in additional peripherals or tablet devices. There is a simplicity to the design of DJI’s products that conveys both practicality and elegance and the Pro+ RC is no exception.

Apple’s eye for design has been part of its products’ major selling points since the launch of the first iPhone. The iPad Pro has continued their march towards thinner, sleeker models offering users the trademark minimalist interface. Available in a choice of a range of colours including the popular Space Grey and Rose Gold varieties, there’s plenty to like about Apple’s industry-leading tablet for those that shop based on looks.

The NVIDIA Shield has been built with functionality in mind. Its standard black casing and reasonably sized inset screen would never be called eye-catching, however, this isn’t the point – NVIDIA’s tablet is an affordable Android alternative to iOS products that does the job. In essence, it looks exactly how you would expect a basic tablet to look.

 


Functionality

The CrystalSky monitors use optimised video decoding to decode video in real-time. An optimised decoder provides smooth, real-time video with minimal latency. Using offline maps, maps can be kept available even if going out of Wi-Fi reach. Equipped with dual Micro SD Card slots, DJI’s CrystalSky monitors’ storage can be extended, or footage recorded on a Micro SD Card can be played back directly on the monitor. It can also be used for footage backups. The CrystalSky series supports H.264 and H.265 video decoding, allowing it to play back these files at 30fps and 60fps respectively. These videos can also be output through its HDMI port.

The CrystalSky monitor’s HDMI port allows up to 4K video to be output to FPV goggles and other display devices. Built-in dual-band Wi-Fi means it can connect to Wi-Fi networks and Wi-Fi hotspots from mobile devices, and it is also compatible with 4G dongles and USB storage through its USB-A port. File sizes are optimised as much as possible to minimise mobile data demands. Onboard Micro USB and USB-C ports make it convenient to connect the CrystalSky series with a remote controller or other devices.

The CrystalSky monitors can quickly connect to the Inspire series, Phantom 4 series, Phantom 3 series (Phantom 3 Professional, Phantom 3 Advanced), Matrice series, and Osmo series (except the Osmo Mobile) over Wi-Fi or via a remote controller USB port, depending on your specific product. Also, CrystalSky easily attaches to the Cendence remote controller without an additional mounting bracket.

Most smart devices are designed to operate in common temperature ranges. The CrystalSky series‘ external battery has been designed for more extreme temperatures. It is able to operate in as low as -4°F (-20°C) and, with its internal cooling system, functions normally in temperatures as high as 104°F (40°C).

The Phantom 4 Pro controller integrates an upgraded Lightbridge HD video transmission system that adds 5.8 GHz transmission support. The ability to choose between 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz allows pilots to cut through interference and eliminates image lag caused when flying in an area with extensive 2.4Ghz frequency use. This ensures the optimum range of a maximum video transmission of 7km.

As the DJI GO app is built into the screen, hardware and software can be fully optimised, further reducing video lag. Integration of an HDMI port, Micro-SD card slot, microphone, embedded loudspeaker, and Wi-Fi connection allow images to be edited inside DJI GO to be shared almost instantly. Lastly, a five-hour battery life makes the Phantom 4 Pro+ RC a complete aerial imaging solution.

The NVIDIA Shield is a reasonably powerful and reasonably priced tablet. Built specifically for tablet-based gaming, the Shield has more than enough power to smoothly process and play back the live video stream from DJI’s line of aircraft which is good news for those looking for a monitor on a budget.

However, despite its ability to smoothly playback and stream your drone’s footage, our technicians have noted that the Shield is quite prone to crashing when using the DJI GO app. When using both DJI GO or Go 4 they have encountered app closures which is worth bearing when choosing to go the NVIDIA route. Mainly to ensure you’re conducting safe flights.

Finally, the iPad Pro is a premium tablet which will cost you around double the price of the NVIDIA Shield. However, if the price isn’t an issue we can confirm that you get a lot more for your money as the iPad Pro in terms of functionality. All in all, it’s a much more reliable tablet for drone use when compared to the NVIDIA model.

App stability on the iPad Pro and iOS ecosystem, in general, is fantastic. We have found, on very rare occasions, that the DJI GO app can crash but this is par for the course due to DJI’s constant flurry of updates and add-ons. There’s also the fact that the iOS version of DJI’s app is also always one version ahead of its Android counterpart and will have access to the latest features first.

 


Screen Performance

1000cd/m² (5.5″ and 7.85″ high) and 2000cd/m² (7.85″ ultra) of brightness means that the premium CrystalSky model is approximately four times as bright as typical mobile devices. On-screen details are clear and sharp, and colours are vibrant, giving the quality needed to fine tune image composition. A dedicated Sunlight Readability Enhancement mode is designed for processing the image in real-time to ensure more comfortable viewing under bright light.

A 5.5in 1080p screen integrated with the Phantom 4 Pro+ RC offers 1000 cd/m2 of brightness, more than twice as bright as conventional smart devices. It makes bright, vivid colours easily visible in direct sunlight. With this screen, a mobile device is not required, simplifying pre-flight preparations.

The NVIDIA Shield’s screen has a brightness rating of 383 nits which means that it struggles in direct sunlight. This can be an issue when out in the field with your drone as it makes it difficult to determine where your camera is pointing which can severely disrupt your shots. You can remedy this issue by using a lens hood such as the Hoodman range which allows you to operate the Shield (and iPad) without glare causing you any issues.

At 511 nits, the iPad Pro’s screen performs better in sunny conditions than that of NVIDIA Shield. It’s also a much more useful tool to compose shots and see smaller details when using out in the field. However, it’s worth noting that at around half the brightness of the standard CrystalSky, the tablet does struggle slightly in direct sunlight.

 


Battery Life

A two cell 4920mAh secondary external battery gives the CrystalSky monitors a longer operating time than comparable mobile devices. It supports rapid charging and controls its discharge rate well even in low temperatures. Used with the 5.5″ screen and 7.85″ screens, it can achieve a maximum operation time of 5-6 hours and 4-5 hours respectively.

The Phantom 4 Pro+ Remote Controller features a 6000mAh LiPo 2S integrated rechargeable battery. This means that you can get up to 5 hours of battery life from the unit with the screen in use.

Depending on whether you’re using the 9.7″ or 12.9″ iPad Pro there is a minor difference in battery specification. The former has a built‐in 29.7‐watt‐hour rechargeable LiPo battery while the latter contains a 41‐watt‐hour LiPo. Despite this, Apple claims you can get up to 10 hours of web browsing on Wi‑Fi, watching videos or listening to music.

The NVIDIA Shield was conceived first and foremost as a gaming tablet so the battery needed to reflect this with a decent amount of run time. The 19.75-watt-hour LiPo battery that comes with the Shield claims to offer 10-hours video playback time, however, in actuality, you’ll likely get less during continuous use with a drone (this is variable).

 


Get In Touch

If you would like more advice on choosing the right monitor for your drone, don’t hesitate to contact our expert UK team. We’re available Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm to answer your questions via phone: 0191 296 1024 or email: info@heliguy.com.

Keep checking back to Heliguy’s Insider Blog for more VERSUS comparison articles, insights into drone peripherals and, of course, the latest industry news.

Full post available at – https://www.heliguy.com/blog/2017/06/09/dji-crystalsky-versus-phantom-4-pro-rc-ipad-pro-nvidia-shield/