Sony Airpeak Drone REVEALED: Can it beat DJI?
I’M. Going to tell you all about this new drone and how it’s going to take on dji first, i want to thank our sponsor squarespace, no matter what type of website you need. Squarespace is the best place to do it, it’s better than social media, because it doesn’t have any ads. You control the design and the branding and the messaging and it’s the best way to reach out to potential customers or just show your work to the world. Whether it’s a photography portfolio or your drone business it’s the best way to gather clients, even if it’s, a restaurant or a dentist office, whatever you do, squarespace is the best way to show it off. Try it out for free at squarespace.com, tony after 14 days. If you love it use the coupon code tony and get 10 off. I think squarespace first up let’s go over the specs which sony has not released, but i’ve been able to do. Some detective work on obviously it’s a quadcopter, which means it has four props and that’s kind of a big deal, because the main competitor in this market, the dji matrice 600 pro – has six props. In fact, six props have kind of become standard, because, if a prop fails, the drone can continue to stay airborne and does not immediately come crashing to the ground. At least you can do a controlled descent if one of these props were to bump against a building or a tree branch.
Well, this becomes a heavy projectile costing ten thousand dollars. Nonetheless, only having four props does allow it to be what sony claims, as the smallest drone, capable of carrying one of their full frame, video cameras. Looking at the lens and body itself, they weigh about 1.1 kilograms and 2.5 pounds so that’s the minimum payload, not counting the gimbal itself. So it does indeed carry a pretty good package and i would bet it would carry more than that, while the props are not redundant, the batteries are, it does include two batteries now i myself had a battery fail on my phantom 4 pro, like a 1400 1500 Drone and it just immediately sunk like a rock into the thames river, and you would not want that to happen with such an expensive piece of equipment that’s. Why generally they provide dual batteries here? They have nice charge leds, so you can check to make sure they’re fully charged before putting them in and they have these little buttons on the back which snap into place when you pop it in and you can push it to release it. So they are really locked into place. It has a camera attached to it. In addition to the camera, you would carry underneath and we’ll get into that a little more detail a little bit later. It also has stereo front facing obstacle, avoidance cameras and the same obstacle avoidance cameras in the rear, so we’ll be able to detect and avoid obstacles while moving forward or backwards, but not side to side that’s, a real problem with the dji mavic or phantom, but that’s Really not a problem with this type of drone, because you don’t actually ever have to fly it sideways you’re, pretty much always flying forward.
I’Ll talk more about that in a second, it hangs a gimbal underneath it. This is not a sony. Gimbal sony doesn’t yet make gimbals so they’re using the gremze t3 version, 3 3 access, gimbal a big and heavy duty gimbal, which is popular for this type of work. Flying on other drones. It does require a few extra loose cables to be plugged in which is always a concern because cables can’t get caught on something or loose. It would be nice to see a fully integrated cableless system. I noticed that sony is not providing a space for the gimbal in their case, so it makes me think that they’re not going to be selling the gimbal with the drone, but it’ll probably be a bring your own gimbal situation and indeed you’ll be able to substitute It with a different type of gimbal: it has a retractable landing gear. The reason for that is that the camera that’s being carried underneath it can pivot 360 degrees, so the drone can be flying forward and the camera can be filming sideways and, if you’re doing a tracking shot alongside a moving car, that’s really important. You can do that with a mavic or a phantom, but it means that the drone is facing sideways and you’re flying sideways, which means there’s no way to see in the direction that you’re traveling and because those drones don’t have good side obstacle. Detection. That means it’s possible for you to easily crash into something, but with this the pilot flying, it would have a forward facing camera, while the filming camera is facing sideways and because there’s this huge distance between the props and the camera, you should never get props in The shot the software they’re running seems to be built on map box.
Mapbox is a third party company who does things like create augmented reality displays for self driving cars, so it can take the camera from a self driving car and then overlay the path that somebody should drive or draw boxes around. Obstacles like other cars they’re using that to allow you to do flight planning on it. And if you look closely at the screenshot, you can see there’s a little cone that shows what’s being filmed and then the path that’s being drawn around it. And this allows the pilot to know exactly how far and how fast to go. It also eliminates a bit of human error here. It can be very difficult to fly a drone smoothly. Any little twitch on your thumbs will make it jerk to the side. With this sort of flight planning, you can fly on rails. You can tell it just draw a perfect circle here and then just hold the stick forward and control the pace of the drone or be completely hands off, while the drone flies completely automatically. In this case, they’re tracking, a car, so unless the driver is also a robot, they would probably need to control the pace to make sure that they didn’t fall behind or get too far ahead. But it does eliminate the potential for error on the part of the pilot looking at their path. I could see doing the math that the average speed would be 17 miles an hour or 27 kilometers per hour, which gives us a good baseline for its minimum speed.
But i actually think the maximum speed would be more in the range of 45 to 65 miles per hour. The controller itself, not a third party controller sony, made their own controller and you can see the sony branding on it it’s a non integrated controller. It does not seem to have any kind of display on it; instead, you hook it up to an external tablet that i couldn’t identify so i’m. Not maybe sony is making a display for it, but it didn’t have any sony branding on it that i could see. So it’s, probably a third party tablet and the antenna are internal, as opposed to external folding antenna in the majority of filmmaking scenarios. I expect this to be operated by two people. One is the pilot actually controlling the path of the drone, and the second person is the camera operator controlling the angle of the camera using the gimbal to control it. I took a close look over the camera operator’s shoulder to see what they’re looking at, and it was the user interface from the sony a7s mark iii, that was slung underneath it it was not the video output, and that means that the video is being recorded internally To the camera and the user interface is being piped up to the drone through that usbc, cable and then back wirelessly to the camera operator’s controller. One remaining question is whether or not the camera operator can control the camera or not.
They didn’t show that, but i suspect that they probably can, because it is, after all, a sony drone and a sony camera, so hopefully they’ll. Let you adjust the aperture and shutter speed and exposure compensation and things that you really need to be able to determine once you get up in the air, because right now, it’s not uncommon. To have to first do a test flight to determine what your settings should be once you’re airborne and then come back and land and dial in the settings in the camera and then have to take back off again. I would expect that they would get all that integrated smoothly. One thing i noticed is they have a scene where the camera operator seems to have landed it and is adjusting a filter on the front of it. Of course, you’re always going to need a filter because the camera is going to be. You know flying at 45 miles an hour, you don’t want impacts or dust to be scratching the front element, but filmmakers will also be using an nd filter to get that 180. Shutter, you know they want to be the shutter speed to be twice the frame rate and, depending on the amount of sunlight you get, you might not be able to get that without using an nd, filter and it’s such a pain, because, in my experience you have To put the drone up in the air and fly where you’re going to be filming and check your exposure and then land and apply the correct, nd filter, they could put a camera on there that had a variable nd filter that would make life much much easier.
The main competition to this is the dji matrix 600 pro a hexacopter that costs about fifty seven hundred dollars without the gimbal or the camera. The gimbal itself will run you a thousand to two thousand dollars depending on what you get, and this is capable of probably a heavier payload like it can fly a red, epic or a sony camera or something smaller than that. I bring this up because it gives us some sense what the price point of this drone could be. I suspect sony will probably target it at about five thousand dollars. Now they tend to undercut the competition, especially when they want to get their foot in the door. In the market, it’s actually not going to be much of a challenge for sony in this case, because they oh they’re, sony right. They make movies and stuff like they have made entire movies on sony, a7s cameras just for the sake of showing off the camera, not because the filmmaker wanted it. They have a lot of pull here. They can dictate what equipment filmmakers use because they’re literally providing the budget for it. So sony will certainly require some filmmakers to film with this and then use that footage to show off how amazing it can be. So that means they might not have to compete on price, or maybe nobody will even actually just be buying this of their free will for quite some time. This is what i predict.
The road map will be for the air peak line of drones and other aerial filming equipment. This is the air peak. One it’ll be launched spring of 2021 they’re, saying i think in 2022 they’ll actually start to integrate the entire experience. Now sony recently released the a7c, a compact version of their a7 mark iii, camera, and that shows that sony’s willing to do some form factor engineering, they’re willing to take a camera that already exists and just change the shape of it into something a little more specialized. I predict they’ll do this for a aerial camera by releasing the sony a7d, which will be a sony a7s mark iii, stripping out the unnecessary electronic viewfinder stripping out the rear screen, the buttons, the dials, creating something that is the smallest full frame camera ever with absolutely Total weather sealing because, after all, it doesn’t need any buttons or dials, so we can be aerodynamic sealed up. So, if you’re flying through fog it’s not going to be a problem and while they’re at it, why not take some of their current lenses? Use the same optical formulas, but put them in weather, sealed cases that lack things like a focusing ring or a manual autofocus switch since after all, you don’t need that when you’re flying remotely and in fact those only add weight and reduce weatherproofing, the first three lenses. I would choose for this: drone oriented lens lineup would be the 20 millimeter f18, the 16 to 35 f28 and the 50 millimeter f18.
Along with these, i think they’ll create a lighter weight, drone and gimbal specifically to carry this rig. I think this will be the first sony gimbal attached to the air peak 2, something that will compete more directly with the dji inspire 2 that we used to own. I think you’d be able to get a ready to film kit at probably like eight thousand dollars or something along with the camera, the lens and the drone itself and in 2023. I think we’ll see the first high end consumer drone, the air peak 3, something that will compete with the dji mavic pro. I think they’ll use a camera, probably exactly the camera, from the sony, zv1 or the sony rx. I would love it if they made it a full frame. Drone that’d, be a great differentiator and here we’d, be targeting, say real estate, photography and videography professionals, as well as youtubers like myself, not your average consumer. Quite yet. I think they would still be waiting on improving their software and integrating their systems and creating a customer support infrastructure before they got into widespread consumer market. You know billy’s christmas present isn’t going to be the air peak three, but for serious drone professionals. I think sony will want to compete in that space next and then looking forward. I think they would continue to push down until they could finally edge their way into the consumer drone market, but that’s actually a much more fickle market and something dji competes fiercely in so i’m, not sure they can be successful at that, but at the filmmaking stuff They definitely will be successful because they’re sony.
I looked really closely at the clips and i had a concern. None of it is steady. Every single clip i saw had some ugly wavering to the point where, if that had come out of my mavic, i would not have used it like. I wouldn’t consider it to be good enough for my youtube channel it’s hard to see most people wouldn’t notice it because the clips are extremely short, but it’s wandering a lot. There could be a few explanations for that, like the stability part of it is really hard and it took dji more than a decade to get to where they are they’re, also using a really bulky and non aerodynamic camera under there. So as it’s moving it’s creating a lot of wind resistance itself, that could be pushing it around and creating that instability, so hopefully they’ll get it improved before this thing goes to production, but right now it shows sony still has some work to do i’d. Love to hear your thoughts below like, where do you think sony is going? Do you think i’m on the mark? Did you catch any details in their videos that i missed i’d love to hear it also, what do you hope from them and are they actually able to compete against dji thanks to our sponsor squarespace, who makes my website north of photography.com as well as the website? Windowscamera.Com that i set up, they make it so easy to set up just an awesome website that there’s no excuse like if you have a lousy web presence, if you’re, relying on instagram or facebook, no go to squarespace.
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