Naturally drones were going to make an appearance at CES, but there was a surprise from one of the largest makers DJI. The company is well known for their uber popular DJI Phantom which is famous for it’s camera mount, that allows the camera to rotate, which allows for some stunning visuals. Unlike competitors like the A.R. Drone the camera isn’t fixed into one position, making it perfect for those times you need the drone to fly along size you, rather than at you.
The company also has an 8-prop version that targets professionals looking to shoot clips for movies, TV shows, real estate etc. The real story here is not a drone, it’s a handle, known as the Inspire 1 camera mount. This supports far heavier cameras, allowing even film-quality cameras like the RED or top-end DSLR’s to be attached to the drone.
The cameras used on dji drones are great, there’s no question, just take a look at any of the footage on YouTube. The problem they’re solving here is how to make better use of those great cameras. You won’t be able to use the drone in every situation you need to video and looking at the diversity available with a GoPro, a different mount makes plenty of sense.
This is a camera mount with a big difference, it’s a steadicam. If you’re not familiar with what that is, basically it’s the traditionally very expensive, very cool system that allows the camera to feel and move like it’s floating. This isn’t impacted by the motion of the person using it, so the natural bobbing up and down of a person walking is instantly removed, making the footage super smooth.
Using the Inspire 1 at CES Unveiled tonight really did make it a stand out at the show. The design is simple, elegant and well executed, and the grip hides an internal battery that powers the camera longer. dji’s smooth-track technology comes along for the ride, allowing users to lock onto objects or people despite the actions or movements of the cameraman.
If you own a Phantom, this is a no brainer, it’s not expensive and unlike selfie sticks will actually make you look cool while using it. I asked about a left handed version and was told you’re out of luck lefties.