By Dave Estment - professional photographer
It never ceases to amaze me how brilliant new technologies are born, grow very slowly until someone realizes the full potential of the new technology, and then all hell breaks loose. A classic example of this is the combination of two fairly new technologies, which OV&P has adopted in our quest to remain at the cutting edge of our industry.
Drones have revolutionised the film and photographic industries with their compact sizes, maneuverability and the ability to provide whole new perspectives to audiences, irrespective of the genre or subject matter being shot. What a lot of people may not be aware of is that drones would be completely useless in these roles if they did not have a secret element attached to them to provide dead steady footage and photographs – taking vibration, any destabilising movement and strong winds out of the equation.
The secret element is a 3 axis, computer controlled gimbal that has complex algorithms and GPS based positioning tech built into it to cancel out the movement caused by the above factors. We love this new technology and it now forms an integral part of our offering. The size and weight of these incredible bits of kit is of paramount importance, particularly on drones, due to the direct relationship between battery life and the total weight of the craft. The smaller and lighter the better, each gram of saved weight contributing to the battery life and therefore airtime achieved by the drone.
This technology has now found its way back onto the ground in the form of hand-held gimbals to mount various sizes of cameras depending on the application for the shoot. We have added two hand-held gimbals to our arsenal of gear, both manufactured by the same brand we use for our drones, which is global industry leader DJI. The two models are known as the OSMO and the RONIN-M.
The OSMO uses the same camera we use on our drones which is capable of full 4K video and RAW photographs built onto the same gimbal, providing unbelievably steady footage for action sequences, in a tiny package. We used it in a few scenarios this past week while on location again at Ant’s Nest & Ant’s Hill game reserve, so stay tuned for more on the second promo video we are creating to highlight the stunning horseback safaris that they offer.
The RONIN-M (OSMO’s big brother) is heavier and designed to work with bigger cameras, providing Hollywood quality, rock steady footage, but the downside is that the operator needs to have strong shoulders as the RONIN gets very heavy after a couple of minutes of high action running and jumping around :) It also comes with a relatively high price tag. By contrast, the OSMO is really light in weight, as well as life changing for enthusiasts and professionals as it is reasonably priced, making it more accessible and enabling world-class footage, which five years ago would have cost a small fortune.
Thank you DJI.
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