Fly High! DJI Phantom meets GoPro

About one year ago, to be precise on the 14. January 2014 i got my DJI Phantom 2 . Since i can remember i was always fascinated by this technology of RC-Drones and finally i got one in my hands. I never flown a quadrocopter before but with the Phantom it was super easy, taken it out of the box, powered on the batteries and i was in the air. Thanks to the GPS function your flight skills don't need to be good, the Phantom automatically hovers in the air if you don't touch the RC (really love it so you can really focus on the shot design and don't have to worry about that the Phantom will go down). 

Use FPV to get the right shot!

After the first days of flying i was super stoked about the product but i quickly realized that i need to see what i film to get the right shot. I did some researches and blindly bought some products to stream the image of the GoPro down to the ground, cause i had no experience in this sector. Currently i`m using the ImmersionRC Transmitter mounted on my Phantom to stream the image down and watching it through the Hector 7HD Monitor. But if you are thinking to buy a monitor for FPV (First Person View) i would recommend the Black Pearl so you don't have to buy the ImmersionRC Receiver and you have less stuff on the RC. Thanks to the Mini iOSD i mounted between the Phantom and the downlink i have all the flight data on my screen what allows me to flight safer and more efficient. 

Take it everywhere!

Over the last year i've take my Phantom to different places in the world as you can see in the video. What i really like that you have one Pelican Case with everything in it and you take it everywhere without great trouble. If you compare it to the bigger aerial systems its super comfortable if you are flying a Phantom. I've taken my Phantom in airplanes, to mountains, on boats, skiing in the winter and biking in the summer, flying over cities, water, snow, in the wood and over beaches, but be careful and never take it to easy, you always have to know what you are doing to fly safety.

4K baby!

It quiet amazing that now we are able to shoot in 4k with a "toy" thats so small. GoPro did amazing job on the new HERO4 and in combination with the DJI Phantom its a badass aerial combo, the 4K quality is really stunning. Unfortunately in the video i just have one clip shot on the HERO4 because when i got my new GoPro it hasn't worked with my Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal and i had to make some modifications to make the downlink working. 80% of the video was shot in 2,7K with the HERO3+ and the other clips with the HERO3 in 1080p. Also noticed several problems with the H3-2D Gimbal (shake in the 3axis, and sometimes unable to remove it in post), especially if the GPS Signal was low or if it was windy, but when i bought my Phantom the H3-3D wasn't released and i did not wanted to spend 300$ to upgrade my gimbal. So i shot the entire video with the Phantom 2 and the Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal. If you don't know the difference between the 2 versions check out this video.
But im sure if you like the video i will going for another one and will shoot it all in 4k with the new HERO4.

If you asking what setting i had in my GoPro i filmed everything with Protune ON and most of the shots with GoPro Color and just a few with the picture-style Flat to test it out, but at the end i liked more the GoPro Color cause you don't have to do a big color correction in post. Clips was shot in 1080p 24fps, 30fps and 60fps, 2,7k 24fps and 30fps and 4k 30fps (tested all out but my overall favorite was 4k!). GoPro sharpness was set on Medium.

Postproduction

You get great footage out of the GoPro but if you know how to work on them in post your result will be much better. All the Video was edited in Premiere Pro CC on my 27" iMac (late 2013). Due to the high bitrate of the original GoPro Clips i decided to convert all my Footage before i started to cut everything together. It really simplified my workflow. I used the Squared5 MGEP-Streamclip to convert all the footage into a better to work h.264 codec. I don't say that is the best and only way, but it worked fine for me!

After all this was done and i converted Footage i collected in one year (damn this was to much work!), i stared editing the clips together. When the basic cut was done is started working on each clip a once and proceeded almost every clip in After Effects to remove the Fisheye with the Optics Compensation Plugin and the Warp Stabilizer. This settings in the pic worked well for me in a lot of clips but you have to adjust it per each clip separately. The final color i did inside of Premiere with Colorista II (really love it to correct GoPro Clips!).

The Crash

Over one year i was flying without crashing my Phantom (sometimes it was risky but i always came back home without a lot of trouble), now on the 22. November 2014 was the day. I was flying in the woods to get the last shots as you can see at second 0:10 of the video. After 15min of flight i lost the control of my Phantom and it crashed straight into the trees cause of the Auto Go Home Funktion DJI enabled in their last software-update if the battery is low. Well shit happens, after 1h i managed to get my Phantom down of the tree but a few parts was broken. But after some fixes it was back in the air but i still have trouble with the gimbal, may i'm going to replace it...also trying to find a sponsor for a new Video, so if anyone read this and wants to be featured in the next video message me!

Conclusion

I would say the last year was pretty adventurous for me, lets see what the future brings! Don't forget to follow me on my social media (Facebook, Instagram and Youtube) to be updated and feel free to leave a comment or question in the Disqus Tab below! Will try to help you out as good as i can!

And finally thanks to Mr. Philip Bloom, he really inspired me with his project "Koh Yao Noi" and motivated me to do my own one! :)

Love ya all,
Meli