Friday, November 01, 2013

Adventure Tech: New Tools For Would-Be Adventure Filmmakers

With the advent of tiny POV cameras over the past few years, adventure filmmaking has gone from an expensive, time consuming proposition to something that anyone with a laptop and a good camera can do. This week, aspiring filmmakers got a couple of new options to help in this process in the form of a new camera and an improved drone for capturing arial footage like never before.

First up, ION released their new Air Pro 3 WiFi camera, which brings an assortment of upgrades and improvements to the device. The new device has an improved 12 megapixel sensor that increases performance in lowlight conditions while continuing to shoot in full 1080p resolutions at 60 fps. Its ruggedized body is waterproof down to 49 feet (15 meters) and includes built-in image stabilization to help minimize shaking when worn on a helmet or mounted on the handlebars of a bike. It has a battery life of about 2.5 hours, which is a solid amount of time for a camera this small and an array of new mounting options are available to make this camera as versatile as possible. 

Additionally, the Air Pro 3's WiFi functionality makes it easier than ever to share videos online. The system even comes with 8GB of free cloud storage and can be paired with an app on an iOS or Android device for remote operation. 

The camera carries a price tag of $349.99 and begins shipping November 15. Preorders are available online.

Adventure filmmakers who want to add a new dimension to their next project will love the new offering from DJI, makers of the Phantom remote controlled drone systems. They've introduced the Phantom 2 Vision, which is unique in that it comes equipped with a camera right out of the box. Unlike previous models from DJI, the Vision has a built-in 14 megapixel camera that comes mounted on a tilting gimbal that can rotate 60º and has a wide 140º viewing area. A shock-aborbing bracket, built specifically for this camera, helps to reduce shaking and jitters that were an issue when  mountain your own camera on previous Phantom drones. The camera can also be paired with an iOS or Android device, allowing it to become a remote screen for the device, which the pilot can then use on the ground to see exactly what footage is being captured. 

DJI also improved the drone itself, giving it a greater battery life. It can now stay aloft for 25 minutes at a time. The drone also has improved stabilization for easier flight, even for beginners, although it all comes at a hefty cost. The Phantom 2 Vision will set you back $1199 when it goes on sale in a few weeks. The original Phantom, sans camera, is still available for just $479. 

Check out the Vision in action in the video below. Is it wrong that I kind of want one of these things?

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