FAA Grants Exemptions for 6 Companies to Fly Drones on Film Sets

DJI Phantom

The FAA announced that it has issued exemptions for 6 aerial photo and video production companies to fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) (aka drones) for commercial use.

The FAA’s authority to regulate the hobby-sized drones was called into question when a judge for the National Transportation Safety Board threw out a $10,000 fine the FAA levied against a commercial filmmaker in Virginia earlier this year.

To date, the FAA has not updated the regulations wherein it is attempting to enforce a ban on hobby-sized drones (e.g., the DJI Phantom) as an “unmanned aircraft system” (the legal term used in the regulations. Yet, the FAA is still exempting certain companies from its (currently unenforceable) regulations. [Read more...]

Forget the $500 Gimbal; Make a DIY Anti-Vibration Drone Camera Mount for $10

The problem with mounting a GoPro to a DJI Phantom or other drone is that the vibration of the propellers creates a terrible jello effect in the footage. This is the main reason that gimbals have become such a popular accessory for drones. But gimbals are expensive.

Two grad students from USC were searching for a cheaper way to reduce the jello effect in their footage from their Phantom-mounted GoPro. After months of failure in testing several aftermarket products, they finally built their own mount with household items for less than $10.

They discovered that they had to dampen the attachment between the GoPro and the Phantom, which is something that none of the attachments on the market allowed. In the end, they used a pair of sponges and some semi-rigid wires to connect a mount that was constructed from a plastic lid.

The results are impressive and resemble the look of an expensive gimbal when viewing the output footage. You can see a full walkthrough, along with sample footage, in the video above.

How to Prevent Flyaways with DJI Phantom Quadcopters

DJI Phantom

A couple of the more popular posts in recent months here on Photography Bay deal with reports and concerns about DJI Phantom users and their experience with flyaways. By “flyaway”, we are talking about when the user loses control of the DJI Phantom quadcopter and it is most often lost or heavily damaged as it heads off into an unanticipated direction. [Read more...]