Since you are here, you have likely heard about GoPros and DJI Phantom drones. Since you are here, you have likely do not have $600+ to enter the field of aerial photographer but are interested in the best option for HD quality on a budget - unless you want to try
Maybe you even have a GoPro and the incredible clarity that the little cube can capture. With all that the GoPro camera can accomplish, you’re probably dying to get that tough little cube higher than a selfie-stick... and no, I don’t have the balls to strap my precious GoPro to a foam lawn dart ( see the Aero ) . The sales demos do look enticing though.
After a generous Father's Day gift cert from my wife - I was pushed to the tipping point of getting my first large(r) class drone. The Dromida XL is the same class as the DJI Phantom at the low low price of $100. The lack of GPS, camera, blutooth, obstacle avoidance and follow/track software is as much as weight savings as much as it is a cost savings. One of the biggest compromises is the Dromida's brush motor drive system, massively louder than the brushless motors of the XL's $400++ peers.
I just got this thing at lunch and will document the entire process of unboxing, retrofitting the GoPro Session 5, through the test fights. Let's get started!
Ok it was a little too windy to fly, more tests when the weather calms down. While I'm waiting for calm weather for my heavy payload, let's address the video "jello" issue that these small quadcopters seem to be plagued with.
Dampen Video Jello distortion with Inertia
First of all, we need to discuss about the major terms like rolling shutter effect etc. You might be aware of the fact that sensors can be designed with the rolling shutter as well as with a global shutter. This rolling shutter is able to capture footage with better scanning on every part of image due to installing CMOS sensor. Generally, the global shutters are capable enough to manage entire frame at the same time but rolling shutters start scanning from top to bottom and hence they leave various visual artifacts in between. In simple words, it is not able to capture top and bottom portion of the shot at same moment hence images appear skewed.
The image on the right is the Vista's vibration dampening platform which uses three soft elastomer bellows to dynamically separate the drone's fuselage from the camera mount.
One idea I had, outside of ordering an electronic gimbal, armed with accelerometers and servos, is to increase the camera's overall moment of inertia. Fancy pants way of just adding weight! Since the vibration frequency is so fast ( we know its a close multiple of 30Hz to annoy the video ) so adding a little weight will have a great effect.
Video before any tweaks
It worked! The 1/4" 20 fender washers were hot-glued directly to the camera body... carefully. Hot glue gets hot enough to soften wire insulation and other electronic elements. To make sure I didn't melt the camera housing or the internal components, I applied the hot glue to the washers so they could function as heat sinks for a few seconds.
Before and After videos to come.
This is after the washers are attached to the camera: