Here's a quick interview video from the 2016 Cinegear Expo with company High Sight. They offer a few different models of Cable Cams. These tools are often easier to use than Drones (not to mention quieter), offers longer run time, can fly through tight spaces, shots are easily repeatable, and pretty much legal to use in most cases Drones are not allowed.
One feature that High Sight Cable Cams offer is a setting A/B end points allowing you to focus on camera tracking and not worrying about reaching the end of your line. Below is a video example produced using the High Sight Cable Cam.
The NAB Show in Las Vegas is where companies show off the latest and greatest products to hit shelves. As far as Drones go, the two top consumer priced quadcopters under $1400 dollars were the DJI Phantom 3 and the new 3DR Solo. I'm pretty sure many of you will be either upgrading or finally purchasing a quadcopter this year, so i'm interested to see what your comments are between these two top picks.
Let's first take a look at some of the features that are found in the new 3DR Solo.
First off let's talk about the GoPro HERO4 interface. Many love flying the DJI Quadcopters, but may not be fans of the built in cameras. Previously when it came to flying a GoPro camera, you didn't have the ability to stream a Live HD Feed and control camera settings (start video, adjust exposure, change framerates and resolutions). The new 3DR Solo is the first quadcopter to properly interface with the GoPro HERO4 serial bus (connection used with an LCD BacPac). That's a huge plus for GoPro fans that are looking for a quadcopter to fly.
Talking to 3DR over at the NAB show, they also seem to have focused more on Auto Pilot features that allow you to program the quadcopter's moves, so that you don't need to be a skilled pilot to repeat shots over and over. The Cable Cam feature is a great example of this. Set your A and B points and the Solo will fly back and forth between points.
Obviously I haven't tested the Solo, but what immediately comes to mind is that you still need the $500-600 dollar GoPro HERO camera. The 3DR Solo also doesn't have the Vision Positioning system found in the Phantom 3 that allows it to fly indoors when there is no GPS signal. I've found that to be extremely handy lately with my DJI Inspire1. Including the 3-Axis Gimbal for the GoPro HERO4, the 3DR Solo lists for just under $1400 (Found Here).
The DJI Phantom 3 now sports a 4K rectilinear camera, 3-axis gimbal, more powerful brushless motors, upgraded GPS antenna, and Live HD Feed up to 1.2 miles much like the DJI Inspire1. Though not the same as the 3DR Solo, the DJI Phantom 3 does offer many AutoPilot features and an SDK to develop on. If cable-cam is a popular feature for the Solo, DJI only needs to roll out a firmware update. The new DJI Phantom 3 with 4K camera starts at just $1250 (found here).
DJI Phantom 3 Quadcopter with 4K Live HD 3 Axis Gimbal
Varavon has been teasing their Wire Cam (cablecam) product for a few years now, but they state they will officially open sales starting next week. We'll just have to wait to see. Here's the latest video demo using the BirdyCam2 gimbal placed below the Wire Cam.
The Wire Cam can be used with any 3 axis gimbal stabilizer, or with your camera mounted directly (though it won't be stabilized). You can already find a parts list, more video samples, and additional information at the Wire Cam product page (click here).
NAB 2014 Varavon continued to display the Wirecam (cable cam) designed to remotely fly cameras across a suspended wire at speeds of over 18mph. They have been showing this product for at least a year still improving on the design. Further camera stabilization and movement can be performed by adding a gimbal stabilizing camera mount.
For me one of the more exciting products coming out of Varavon this year is the new 'Birdy Gimbal Stabilizer'. They promise to deliver this 3 Axis active camera stabilizer ready to run for approximately $2K.
Sure we've literally seen dozens of new gimbals this past year, but Varavon has refined their build by adding 'fine tuning knobs' to their platform for amazingly simple and accurate balancing of your camera. I can't tell you how much value this feature adds when working with these types of tools.