The Importance of Shutter Speed in Cinematography

As a keen photographer I know all about the shutter speed and it’s importance when taking a still picture. If you want to have a sharp picture make sure it’s high enough on the contrary if you want to convey the movement in a photo you should slower the shutter speed to anything below 1/30 depending on what you are shooting.

In cinematography it plays an important role as well. Naturally we want crispy looking videos, so the logic would dictate that the greater the shutter speed the better.

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Functions of Phantom 3 Standard Controller

Return to Home

If you are finished flying and want the drone to land itself from where it took off, you need to activate the return to home function (RTH).

To activate the RTH, quickly toggle the S2 switch back and forth. The controller would then start beeping and the return to home procedure will be initiated.

To cancel RTH toggle the S1 switch back and forth and move the S2 switch to the uppermost position. The controller should then stop beeping and the drone will simply hover until you take over.

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DJI limit drones’ range if you are not in the US!

On DJI drones the GPS location is used by the aircraft/remote control to adjust the power output of the signal transmission to meet the local regulations. In the US, the governing body is FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in Europe it’s CE (Conformité Européenne). Doing that allows DJI to sell the same device in both markets.

In case of Phantom 3 Standard, when I say “power output” I mean both the 2.4GHz link – the bi-directional communication between the aircraft through the remote control, and the 5.8GHz control signal – one-way link to the aircraft.

FCC seem to be far more generous and allow for higher levels of power output by consumer devices. CE, on the other hand, are more strict in that regard. What this means is that, if a DJI drone detects that it’s outside of the US, it automatically applies the CE standards, even though you might not be in Europe. It either goes by FCC or by CE regulations. How and when exactly this limitation is applied is somewhat of a mystery to me (I’m still researching this topic, so please do let me know in the comments if you know the specifics). This lowers the power output of the transmission on both, the aircraft and the the remote control from 27 dBm to 17 dBm – almost by 40%! Inevitably that results in reduced range for those of us operating our drones outside of the US.

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A Practical Guide to Drone Law

I ordered this book today. It seems that the guides published by the CAA make flying drones, while adhering to all the rules,  an almost impossible task. In addition the government plans to make it even more difficult in the future. They also plan on giving the police more powers when dealing with the operators of the drones. Hopefully this book will cover all the legalities so I’m better educated if I ever have to deal with law enforcement.

Master Airscrew Q-Tip Propellers

Yesterday I received Master Airscrew Propellers. Apart from the premium packaging they look like any other normal propellers and are made from plastic. There were only 2 colours being sold on eBay: green and orange, I opted for orange.

 

They came with some screws and a tissue! I thought “no, I have to screw them on”. But it turned out that they are not needed. I think the reason for the screws is that they can also be used with other makes of drones where you do need them.

The props are supposed to be perfectly balanced, more efficient and quieter. I can’t check whether they are perfectly balanced, but upon closer look you can see why they might be more efficient and quieter than normal propellers.

They have, what is called in aviation, a Q-Tip – a slight kink at the end of the propeller. This is to control the air spillage over the propeller tip. In theory, it delays the tip vorticies, which cause drag and turbulence. A propeller, like a wing, works best when it has unturbulated air over the airfoil sections. The Q-Tip delays the vortices, the propellers then have smooth air,  making them more efficient and quieter.

As I mentioned before I bought them on eBay for £29.99 and I hope that the reason for such a high price is not only because they are made in the USA.

I didn’t have a chance to test them, the weather over here in the UK is awful, but if what the makers are claiming is true,  I would give the propellers 4/5. One point knocked off for being way too expensive.

May the force be with you!

Guidance on drones issued to Police Officers

I found a document online intended to instruct police officers on how to deal with drone offenders (pretty much of all the drone users). Here is the list of few interesting extracts:

The ownership and use of drones are not of themselves unlawful but in certain circumstances, their use may contravene air safety legislation or other statutes, commonly used to manage other types of offending. The intention of this guidance is to address the negligent, reckless or malicious use of this technology.

It is not the intention of the Police Service to criminalise innocent misuse and the criminal justice system provides options for non-recordable disposal. However, some innocent misuse might also be reckless and therefore Appendix Two to the SOP provides a gravity factor matrix that users of this SOP may use to help them in decision making. Continue reading Guidance on drones issued to Police Officers

Civil Aviation Authority – Drones

The outline of the CAA guidelines:

The regulations for recreational drone flights are contained within the Air Navigation Order 2016 (ANO) which is the primary document for all aviation regulations within the UK. In order to keep the regulations at a proportionate level for these small drones, a set of specific, simpler, regulations apply to aircraft that have a mass of 20kg or less (which are termed ‘small unmanned aircraft’ within the ANO).

In simple terms, these regulations state that:

  • you are responsible for flying your drone in a safe manner
  • you must keep the drone in your direct sight at all times while it is flying so that you can ensure that it does not collide with anything, especially other aircraft
  • you must not endanger anyone, or anything with your drone, including any articles that you drop from it
  • if your drone weighs more than 7kg, additional rules apply if you fly in certain types of airspace and you must not fly above 400ft above the surface

If your drone is fitted with a camera, there are also a number of additional limitations surrounding where you can fly it, and how close you can fly it to other uninvolved people or objects. In order to be able to fly within these areas, or closer than the minimum distances that are in the regulations, you must obtain prior permission from the CAA to do so.

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Mastering DJI Phantom 3

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