For various reasons we had a disturbed night – being forced to change our stopover place twice, and ending up getting only 3 hours sleep. But we have a well establish routine now, so at 5.30am I peered through the van window to check the sky. It wasn’t the beach we hoped to visit but the sunrise looked promising. We crawled out of bed, and walked across the sand at low tide – bleary-eyed.
This is a still exported from video taken with the GoPro Hero+ (using GoPro Studio – Step 2 Edit > Share > Export Still). The GoPro is attached to a DJI Phantom 2.
# DJI Phantom 2 Flying Tip
A simple technique we’ve discovered to prevent the Phantom propellers from appearing in the top segment of the video is to fly backwards. By flying backwards the quadcopter tilts, causing the front arms and propellers to be raised at a higher angle – and out of the frame. This is an issue we’ve seen especially if you fly forwards and fast. If needed we can reverse the ‘backwards’ video clip in editing to show a forward motion. (using GoPro Studio – Step 2 Edit > Video > Speed > Check ‘Reverse’ under ‘Direction’).
There is also another advantage to this method. We’ve found it easier to first fly up to the subject we want to film, adjust the height, get closer etc, relax and hover for a while and then start the video sequence by flying backwards. It seems less stressful and more efficient than a ‘fly directly at it approach’. If the subject is some distance away, it’s often difficult to envisage the finishing point (you stop too short) or as we are filming on the coast, if there is a strong breeze out to sea – knocking us off course. Also if we misjudge the distance, there is the possibility that the forward momentum of the Phantom could make it carry-on, pushing it into potential trouble (e.g. crash into the object you’re trying to film!). By starting at the end point we can be aware of any problems and hopefully correct them before continuing. In short, position first and fly backwards (and away from danger).
Above is an example of front props appearing in the frame. This is a severe case, with the Phantom arms appearing as well – many times it’s just the tips of the propellers that show. We’ve also read online some people adjust the GoPro video to 1980 x 1440. As the video is ‘taller’ it can be cropped from 1440 to 1080 and removing any issue.