Technology

SkyJib-8 Heavy Lift v2.

SkyJib-8 Heavy Lift v2 – Camera Weight Class 1900 – 5000 grams ( 4 – 10 Lbs )

The SkyJib-8 is worldwide renowned as “the platform” for cameras and has assisted in many Hollywood productions and other professional film projects.

Droidworx prides itself on creating beauty and high tech versatility in a package which sets the highest standard in the world for aerial robotics.

Our version comes with the retractable landing gear for unobstructed 360 degree panning and utilises 3515-15 motors with wooden Xoar 15” propellers and a 540mm boom set giving a super stable 1140mm overall diameter. We use the DJI Wookong-M flight controller for enhanced “engine out” safety and carry either the AV200 analogue gimbal with Hoverfly Pro for stabilisation or our brushless Zenmuse gimbals that hold either the Canon 5D mk3 or Panasonic GH4 for silky smooth visuals.

SkyJib-8 Features

  • Advanced Vibration Dampening
  • Custom Transport Casing
  • Multiple Configurations
  • Optional Retracts
  • Professional Class
  • Quick-Release Camera Mount
  • Quick-Release Landing Gear
  • Ready To Fly
  • Transportable

Retractable Landing Gear

The Droidworx retracts now come with a safety dis-arm/arming feature. When initially powered up the retracts are disarmed and will not operate until they have been armed by cycling the control switch. Robust, stylish and lightweight they are a sight to behold.

 

 

Quick Release Retract Legs

The Droidworx retracts have quick release legs for easy packdown and re-assembly.

 

 

 

 

Advanced Vibration Dampening & Quick Release Camera Mounting

Vibration dampeners isolate the camera gimbal from the main frame. The quick release camera gimbal attachment allows instant access to your camera.

 

DJI S900

The DJI Spreading Wings S900 hexacopter is a serious piece of kit that’s designed for the professional aerial photographer and cinematographer. Its strong but collapsible carbon fibre frame makes it easy to take anywhere and to deploy in minutes.

Combine that with advanced motors (4114 pro motors with high performance 1552 folding propellers and V-type mixer design giving a maximum thrust of 2.5kg per motor), 40A electronic speed controllers built into each arm and a new redesigned power distribution system (gold-plated metal bearings with a unique screw design secure the power cords, ensuring cables will not come loose during flight) and you get an S900 with the power, strength, stability, safety and reliability to help you achieve amazing footage.

Attach one of DJI’s amazing range of Zenmuse gimbals and you have the ideal combination for filming with cameras like the Panasonic GH2, GH3 and GH4, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, the Sony NEX-5N/5R, NEX-7, and A-7. As standard we use the Panasonic GH4 version on our craft.

Retractable landing gear and a special low gimbal mounting bracket gives you an extremely wide range of possible shooting angles and camera moves. The S900’s gimbal bracket is separated from the main frame by specifically designed dampers. This significantly reduces high-frequency vibrations and makes your shots clearer, sharper and smoother. We have also replaced the centre board on the top of the aircraft with a custom plate that is more rigid than the original which helps combat the dreaded jello effect some people report and it can be quickly removed to allow easy access to the DJI WKM flight controller and IMU which saves precious time if adjustments are required on location.

The DJI S900 itself weighs just 3.3kg and has a maximum take-off weight of 8.2kg, this means you can easily carry most cameras and gimbals. If you’re careful with things like battery weight you can keep it under the all important 7kg limit, which is how our craft is set up. This opens up more locations where we are able to operate, especially urban locations.

 

DJI F550

We commissioned the DJI F550 for the specific task of obtaining stills or video in urban environments where the SkyJib-8 would seem like overkill and the S900 too difficult to operate. Over half the size of the SkyJib and 40% smaller than the S900, this multirotor can get into tight spots without fuss and, to the delight of all, very quietly. Most of the time we use this nifty machine as our training craft or ‘canary in the coal mine’ but every now and then it gets to come out and play.

 

Our version uses the DJI 2212 motors with Graupner 10″ carbon fibre propellers for added stability which is vital when capturing images with our excellent GoPro HERO4 camera that is mounted on another of our brushless Zenmuse gimbals.

 

As with the SkyJib and the S900 we also use the DJI Wookong flight controller on this machine as opposed to the hobby NAZA flight controller because in an urban environment safety is of the upmost importance to us. Redundancy is built into the flight controller which means that should an engine fail or a propeller break the software will compensate allowing the pilot to land the aircraft if such an emergency arose.

 

Gimbals

Although we only have pictures of three of our gimbals here we do have a total of four that we use for our aerial filming and photography.

The first brushless gimbal we aquired was the Zenmuse that carries the Canon 5D mk3 with a 24mm lens. This can only be carried on our super stable SkyJib because of the combined gimbal and camera weight and being brushless (no moving parts in the motors) the footage obtained from the camera 99% of the time requires no post stabilisation making production workflow a little easier for all.

 

 

The second brushless gimbal is another Zenmuse that carries the Panasonic GH4 with a 12mm lens (being a 4:3 camera this is equivalent to 24mm on a full frame camera). This gimbal and camera combination can be carried on our SkyJib or S900 to obtain super smooth, spectacular 4K footage.

 

 

 

The third gimbal is a Zenmuse again (there’s a pattern here) that carries the GoPro HERO4. We could carry this gimbal on the SkyJib or S900 but it’s much better suited to the F550 where it captures some stunning images that you won’t believe come from such a small camera.

Last, but not least, is our AV200 analog gimbal. Nowadays we mainly use it for stills photography because of the post stabilisation usually required with video footage obtained when using this bit of kit. Most people have retired these by now but when you need some stills from a 5D carrying a 200mm lens this comes in very handy indeed. It’ll have a home for a while yet :-)

 

Cameras

We have three cameras we use that each has its place and can cover a range of tasks.

The first is the Canon 5D mk3. Much loved by TV production companies, this camera produces 22 mega pixel still images and 1080p full HD video images that are a joy to behold from its full frame 35mm sensor. On this camera we can also ‘hack’ the firmware with Magic Lantern software which produces RAW video footage of comparable quality to a RED Epic. We used the hack whilst working on the music video Hunger of the Pine for the band alt-J where the ground crew were using Arri Alexas. Watch the video and I think you’ll agree the footage stands up well.

 

The second camera we have is the Panasonic GH4. This camera produces 16 mega pixel stills on it’s micro four thirds sensor and when it was released it was a revelation because it allows 4K video footage to be captured internally, all at a very reasonable price compared to other runners in it’s class. It also has the capability of recording 1080p full HD footage at 96fps which makes for some beautiful slow motion aerial footage when used in the right situation.

 

 

The third camera we employ is the GoPro HERO4. This robust little camera gives us 12 mega pixel still images and varying video resolutions all the way up to 4K and frame rates up to 240 fps! A while ago these cameras were mainly used by snowboarders etc. but they’ve come on leaps and bounds and are now used widely in the TV industry. Using ND filters and the right sort of colour grading in post production this camera will amaze you with what it can do.

 

We recently purchased the Amimon Connex to give us an HD downlink.

Up until very recently there were limited, affordable, options. HD low latency systems with any sort of decent range were prohibitively expensive or high latency systems with a good range were affordable but weren’t much good when doing tracking shots or when covering a sporting event, for instance.

Our new system has a range of 1000m and a latency of less than 1ms giving us an HD image on the ground that makes it easier to get the shot that the client requires. The system has also been used in the US to wirelessly stream footage for live broadcast which goes some way to show it’s robustness and pedigree as Amimon have many years experience in this field.

The system also incorporates video encryption so that only ground units that are paired with the air unit can decrypt the video and generate a visible stream.

All in all the professional choice.

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