This is a brief introductory article to consider some options for people that want to be introduced to aerial photography on a well equipped amateur level.
Let me first point out if you start to look at this area it can quickly escalate into more and more functionality being added to your rig and this is where the price can escalate, so you have to be strict in what you want from an amateur unit. This is the type of unit we would recommend to a business to begin training on and getting used to the flight stabilisation unit that will be used on their larger rig. For a professional company we would say put a Wookong M on it and on for a motivated photographer and filmer we would suggest keeping the price down with a Naza unit.
Let me first show you a basic unit below:
This is a DJI F450 unit, with undercarriage and 2 axis gimbal, it can carry a GoPro or equivalent and has a NAZA OR Wookong M flight control unit with GPS depending on what you might use it for. It can be in the air for £500 ($800) up to £1500 ($2200) depending on what you have added, if you already have a radio and R/C equipment then it will be less.
We recommend an 8 channel or above radio to handle the extra flight controls with a WKM such as altitutde and GPS position hold, return to home, point of interest and a range of other functions a WKM may have depending on your upgrade level.
This is the type of unit that you could use for training with the sole intention of getting to grips with all of the functionality that comes with a DJI WKM control unit. After all crashing a F450 with GoPro on is going to be way cheaper than a SkyJib 8 with DSLR or an equivalent model.
You may think this is more amateur but take a look what a user has done with a simple quad and GoPro Hero 2 here...
You can certainly get some great shots that probably wasn’t possible 3 years ago on such a budget, I believe this video above was post edited using FCPX and Optical flow.
So what’s next after this?*
Smooth camera AND gimbal control (to eliminate post stabilisation software)
First person view (seeing what the camera views utlilising video downlink)
Ground station for your second gimbal/camera operator to get the best shot possible.
Payload and flight time consideration depending on your camera whether it be a Canon 5D, C300, GH2, Panasonic or Red Epic you will have to take into account what can hold it, control and fly with these specific cameras.
*Each one of these areas above has an array of options and variations that you should really approach us for options and advice.
If you are interested in an F450 with Naza see the build link below where you can add all the options at discount to build this unit.