DJI Mavic Pro gets an upgrade

DJI, a Shenzhen based major manufacturer of cameradrones, announced the Mavic Pro Platinum quadcopter this week. Priced $100 above the Mavic Pro, the Platinum features new ESCs and new propellers. Oh, and the colour of the Mavic Pro Platinum is slightly different. The combination of n

Geofencing and the ongoing effort to protect us from stupidity

Tesla uses geofencing to adjust the car’s suspension to suit driving conditions. Square uses geofencing to simplify use of their digital wallet. Via GPS technology, clever use of knowledge of time and place can add a touch of magic to the products and services we use. Conversely

DJI sets out to design a new aircraft with input from existing drone owners

What would be the ideal drone for you and what would you want to do with it? Hong Kong-based drone design company DJI wants to know, and they are reaching out to existing DJI drone owners for input. The questions they ask give us a hint as to what DJI is considering. This is a smart m

New from DJI: The Inspire 1 quadcopter

After weeks of building up anticipation via cryptic tweets and the occasional leaks to gadget blogs, Hong Kong-based DJI launched a new quadcopter model, the Inspire 1. A sign of how drones are becoming mainstream is that DJI staged, and live-streamed, a US launch. They had the Mythbu

A saunter through Amazon’s Drone Store

Earlier this week, Amazon, the online retailer, launched a “Drone Store“. It is another example of how drones are becoming mainstream consumer devices. The Amazon Drone Store features DJI and Parrot prominently on the main store page. The DJI section offers links to the fo

The civilian drone inflection point is near

People almost always come over and chat when I fly one of my hobby drones. It used to be that I had to explain what the thing was up in the sky and the reaction was almost always oohs and aahs that technology has come that far. That was half a year ago. This past weekend I was in a pa

Something to avoid: Crashing an expensive drone and getting in trouble with the authorities

A DJI S1000 octocopter $4,000 A DJI Zenmuse Z15 gimbal $3,000 A Canon 6D body $1,700 A GoPro $300 Canon lens $? A 6-cell battery pack $400 This appears to be the equipment damaged in a crash on Friday 9 May in Nice, France. The multi-rotor copter crashed on a beach then burst into fla

An in-app reminder of geopolitics

Utter the word ‘drone’ and some may immediately think of geopolitics and extrajudicial reach. There are other ways the two topics are connected. The smartphone app that comes with a DJI Phantom has a nifty feature that allows you to see a map of where you have flown and th

Updated comparison of “the phantoms” from DJI, including the Phantom 2 Vision+

DJI Innovations, based in Hong Kong, started shipping the newest addition to their Phantom line of quadcopter drones this month. The new model is the most advanced yet. The Phantom 2 Vision+ (note the plus) builds on the Phantom 2 Vision from November 2013, adding a 3-axis gimbal to a

Mac support for DJI Phantom 2 Vision but no DNG format capture yet

DJI released a Mac version of the Assist software that is used for adjusting settings for the Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter and upgrading firmware. Previously, Mac users had to run the Windows-only software in a virtual machine (I used Oracle’s Virtualbox with a temporary Windows

Comparing the DJI Phantoms

As previously announced, Hong-Kong based DJI expanded their Phantom series of quadcopter drones this month. New to the line-up are the Phantom 2 and the Phantom FC40. The Phantom 2 Vision only started shipping in November so a lot is happening in DJI’s consumer offerings. I thou

Aerial photos and videos: Stitching, colour correcting, stabilizing

Russel Brown, long-time creative with Adobe, seems to have been bitten by the quadcopter bug. He has put together an impressive set of instructables in the shape of twenty narrated ‘Take Flight’ episodes showing different aspects of photo and video post processing workflow

Why I bought a quadcopter drone

I bought a quadcopter drone so I could learn more about an interesting and possibly disruptive technology that is only in its infancy. More specifically: To acquaint myself with how easy a 2013 model quadcopter is to fly. To elevate my other hobby, photography, by taking photos from n