CLOSED!! Big Movember Prize added! DJI Inspire One AND Ronin together! Plus my initial thoughts after a week of flying the Inspire One.

Last chance for Movember prizes! from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

My Movember fundraiser is doing incredibly well thanks to you guys and the huge generosity of the companies who have donated prizes! As of the 19th of November 2014 just before midnight the total raised is this:
Screenshot 2014-11-19 23.00.45This is of course brilliant. We have already gone past last year’s total although still shy of the year before.

To understand more about what Movember is how important it is to help in the battle against prostate cancer and more then please visit my main Movember page by clicking this link

So apart from raising money a big part is actually raising awareness of the seriousness of prostate cancer and to remind them of the importance of getting checked. It’s can be beaten if caught early. I lost my grandfather to it and because he died of it my Uncle immediately got checked and found he had it and has now beaten it. He never thought about getting checked until his dad was taken from us by this cancer. So awareness is HUGE!

The fundraising is of course helped by offering a double incentive to people who donate. That’s why for the past few years I have also held a prize draw with loads of gear up for grabs. Think of it as a raffle where you buy a ticket and if your ticket is drawn you win! It’s open to anyone in the world so no restrictions there. You don’t need to join my team, you just need to donate to me at this link:


donate

Once you have donated at least £15 / $25 then please forward your receipt to Movember@PhilipBloom.net so I can put you in the draw, which takes place around mid December. The money goes straight to the charity and not through me. I just need the receipt, as it’s your ticket for the draw.

Hopefully that makes sense! 🙂

So far the prizes are astounding. Amongst the many prizes we have an A7S, Movi M5, F&V EVF, Small HD DP7 Pro, Atomos Shogun, Kessler Second Shooter, Miller LP-54, loads of software, bags, rigs and much much more.

If you have already entered you can enter as many times as you want, as long as you follow the instructions above it will count as a second independent entry!

Check out the full list here!

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To keep up the momentum I am now adding the biggest prize of them all. Call it the grand prize if you will as it’s value is around $6,000! It’s pretty special!!

Announcing the DJI Ground and Air Movember grand prize! Comprising the just launched Inspire 1 quad and the Ronin handheld stabiliser!

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I was hired by DJI to present their launch video for the Inspire 1 (it’s not a review as I am acting only a presenter) I have also been lucky enough to have been using a pre-production version on my recent documentary shoot in Vanuatu in the South Pacific where it has been simply amazing.

I am very new to whole aerial/ drone lark having only started flying early this year and then only a little bit. After making sure I spent proper time in a safe environment (the Nevada desert) in April honing my skills I made a short film in Thailand with my Phantom 2 and GoPro 3+. I was very happy with the end result and it was really well received.

I have found 3rd party first person view systems disappointing, whereas the built in FPS system on the Vision 2 + was wonderful but let down by an average camera. The other issue I have had with the Phantom is it’s a bit too sensitive to the wind, after all it is very light and the motors aren’t that powerful. So when I found out about this I was enormously interested .

Here are some images of it in use on various islands in Vanuatu. From the beautiful beaches of Reef Island to the Volcano on Tanna Island. Pure epicness!!

Photos taken on a loan Pentax 645 Z camera from B&H Photo Video. More info on the greatest stills camera I have ever used here. Written review coming soon!

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Landing gear down, this can be done manually or just leave it and it will do it atomically when coming into land…as long as you bring it down at a normal landing speed!
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Landing gear up

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Temporarily travelling in one of my hard cases. George here helping get it to Rah Island across the water for me!

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George

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The prototype controller is black, the release one is white/ silver. and has a proper iPad holder unlike my crappy clamp system!

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It’s key features and advantages over the Phantom 2 after my week of use on location are as follows, this is all based on a pre-release BETA Inspire one, camera and software.

Much more rigid with carbon fibre arms, bigger props and a body that transforms raising the landing gear to give it a 360 view and make the chances of seeing the blades in shot when moving forward at speed very slim. It also makes it more stable in wind.

I took it up in a couple of places where there was no way i would fly the Phantom and it sat it the sky perfectly. On one occasion the Inspire was tilted to the side by about 45 degrees showing how strong the winds must have been up there so it was effectively hard flying into the wind hence that position but at the perfect speed to keep it static in the air. Quite remarkable!

The FPV system operates through light bridge which I have installed in one of my Phantoms. It’s a fantastic system but not cheap and requires some heavy mods to the Phantom. Here it’s all self contained within the quad and the remote. Both running off of rechargeable batteries. The quad via LiPos which run to around 18 minutes and the internal battery of the remote around 3 hours or so I think! More batteries definitely needed for sure, I don’t know how much they are though but I would like to have 6 in total really.

Screen grab from my iPad mini of the app showing the display from the quad. note the ground station map info isn't there in the bottom right as there was no internet there.
Screen grab from my iPad mini of the app showing the display from the quad. note the ground station map info isn’t there in the bottom right as there was no internet there.

The FPV system is lovely. So good to clearly see what you are doing. It was only an iPad app when I used it but am sure it will come to android and it would also be good with the iphone 6 plus. The problem is glare outside. It really needs a hood!

There are so many controls within the app that before you could only access from a computer connected to it. The best thing for me is full manual control with ISO, white balance and shutter speed. Iris is fixed and the lens is pretty distortion free with a 91 ish degree field of view. The shutter speed  control is with the app or via a very DSLR a-like wheel on the remote. The gimbal tilt it also a similar style wheel on the remote.

You can record from a dedicated record button on the remote and it can take raw stills, just switch between video and stills in the air…in fact you can also playback stuff whilst still in the air. Bit of a waste of the 18 minutes if you ask me!

The camera / gimbal is removable. This is so good so when DJI release a better camera you just switch that part. I know some will be annoyed that its their own camera and you can put a gopro on but then you wouldn’t have all the features like switching between stills/ video but more importantly that full control of manual exposure.

So how does it compare to the GoPro 4? I believe they are the same Sony sensor and to be honest they look quite similar although I have not done any side by sides. I would really like to see the 4K bitrate upped as I think it’s still too low like the GoPro 4 4K…it’s all usable and thats the mode I shot in and the stuff came out great.

One thing the GoPro 4 has over this is the excellent ProTune profile letting you shoot unsharpened flat images. This camera needs it and I understand their own “log style” system will be put into it via firmware. I had to shoot in a quite contrasty too sharpened mode due to the beta nature but I still got some excellent results as you can see from the frames below. I tended to underexpose and in post brought the luma levels right down, used film convert a bit and also soften the image with a fast blur at 2%. I am very happy with the results. Below are some graded frames from video shot in Vanuatu on the Inspire one!

DJI_0003.00_09_55_12.Still006 DJI_0003.00_08_19_11.Still007 DJI_0003.00_07_00_07.Still004 DJI_0003.00_24_16_06.Still001 DJI_0003.00_23_01_08.Still002 DJI_0003.00_21_21_21.Still003 DJI_0003.00_18_44_16.Still009 DJI_0003.00_17_40_15.Still008 DJI_0003.00_11_28_07.Still005

There isn’t much more to add right now. I am expecting new software for it soon so I will be excited to see the improvements. All I can say really is I can’t see me wanting to use my Phantom 2 anymore after using this. It’s night and day. A truly beautiful piece of gear that is a joy to use. A real flying camera.

Just remember this is NOT a toy and in many countries you will need to have a license to fly this for commercial work. Also practice, practice, practice…and do it somewhere with no people around!

This is a corking prize for my Movember fundraiser but to partner it with the Ronin? That’s pretty special. Huge thanks to DJI for this and make sure you enter! You have until 10pm GMT on the 9th of December. The winner for this will receive the prizes most likely sometime after Christmas as the draw itself won’t be until mid next month at the earliest, it all depends where in the world I am and if I have internet!! 🙂

Thanks, don’t forget to check out those over prizes here, get entering and keep those upper lips hair!

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Comments

  1. It really needs a hood like you said, do you know if there is any option on the market right now?
    Thanks so much for this wonderful post. It’s inpiring me. I just bought the Inspire 1 directly from DJI and should get it in about a week in Quebec. The possibility to eventually upgrade the camera on this drone is a + And what a look! Best to you Phil.