Drone News Roundup: Drone Video Shows Great White Touch Surfer, Incredible Cinewhoop Video at Mall of the Americas, and More!
BY Zacc Dukowitz14 May 2021
This week we’re covering a drone video of a great white swimming among surfers—and even touching one of them—without them realizing it.
We’re also covering a new FPV video from the maker of the viral Bowling Alley Cinewhoop video, an explanation for why raw Air 2S photos look so good (hint: they’re not always as raw as you might think), an impressively shot and edited video of an ancient lake in Eastern Siberia made only with the Mini 2, and the launch of shipping for Skydio’s X2 commercial drones.
Now let’s get to those links!
Drone Video Shows Surfer Touch Great White Without Realizing It
What could be creepier than seeing a great white shark while you’re surfing? Try seeing footage that showed you were swimming right next to one—and even grazed it in the water—but had no idea. The video above shows several great whites swimming among surfers in Southern California without them seeming to realize the sharks are right next to them. The video was created by YouTuber TheMalibuArtist—we featured his work on the roundup last year, when he used his drone to capture footage of several great whites feeding on a dead dolphin.
Incredible Cinewhoop Video Shot at Mall of America
Jay Christiansen of Minnesota-based Rally Studios, the maker of the viral bowling alley Cinewhoop video, is back again, this time with a video shot in a single take at the Mall of the Americas. The new video features some impressive choreography, with a small group of hockey players on rollerblades surfacing at various points as the drone sweeps through the mall, taking in shots of rollercoasters, aerial installations, and other features in the massive mall. The audio is also remarkable, featuring syncing between those flown over and the voice of the pilot, as if he were just a person flying magically through the action.
Why Air 2S Raw Shots Look So Good
Photo credit: DJI
DJI’s new Air 2S is so impressive that it snagged an exclusive 5-star rating from TechRadar when it was launched, largely because of the incredible quality of the photos it captures. But writers at TechRadar recently noticed that the new drone’s raw images at high ISO sensitivities were almost too good to be true. They did some research and found that this is because the raw images really aren’t raw. According to a response from DJI, “temporal denoising technology is used on the raw files” captured by the Air 2S. In other words, the noise in-camera is automatically reduced at higher ISOs to yield cleaner raw photos. If you’re just a hobbyist, this may not be a big deal, but for some professionals this could be annoying. Read Tech Radar’s full take in the article linked below.
Incredible Drone Video of Ice Age Lake Baikal Shot Entirely on a Mini 2
Wondering if the DJI Mini 2 can shoot high-quality cinematic footage? This video created by Vadim Sherbakov provides a resounding yes to that question. Shot in Eastern Siberia, “The Noor” is a short drone film shot entirely on a DJI Mini 2—and it’s stunning. Mixing moody atmospheric music with incredible landscape shots and close-up shots of ice flows and ice caves, the video has an ancient, mythic feel to it. If it weren’t for the vehicles you see driving across the brooding ice, you might think the videographers had found a way to travel back in time.
Skydio Starts Shipping X2 Drones
Skydio first announced the launch of its X2 line of commercial drones back in July of last year. They’re now ready to ship. The drones start at $10,999 and have two different models—the X2D for “defense and federal agencies” and the X2E for “enterprises, first responders, and civilian agencies.” Since announcing the X2 series Skydio has raised an additional $170 million, was valued at $1 billion—a first for drone startups—and announced a strategic partnership with Axon, makers of the Taser. In addition to announcing that its X2 drones are ready to ship, the company also recently launched Skydio Cloud, fleet management tools that allow users to track multiple drones, stream from multiple drones, and store all the data the drones record in one place.
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