Month: January 2015

30 Jan

Our Kingdom – Flyonix head to the Alps!

Our Kingdom

In October of 2014, Flyonix were approached by the team at Family Creative to aid in the creation of their latest feature film based on the UK snowboard scene. The idea was simple, get together the best in English snowboarders, travel to some of the best locations around the world, and shoot an amazing video!

“We will follow our riders current day challenges, whether thats competing, looking for the latest urban spots or leaving their family behind to trek up a mountain. Riders include…

Jamies Nicholls, Billy Morgan, Jenny Jones tbc, Aimee Fuller, Dom Harington, James Stentiford, Sascha Hamm, Tyler Chorlton, Mark Kent, Andy Nudds, Sparrow Knox, Ollie Dutton, Jonny Pickup, Seb Kern, Nate Kern, Angus Leith, Cody Hierons, Gaz Andrews, Scott Penman, Katie Ormerod, Jj Jones, Si Cudlip, Rowan Coultas, Will Smith tbc, Si Belson tbc and few more!”

Family Creative

Family creative launched a Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fmlycrtv/this-is-our-kingdom) which was successfully funded on the 5th of January, and since then its been all guns blazing to get accommodation, travel and camera kit sorted.

 

On our side of things, we are suppling the Drone and steady cam (DJI Ronin) plus a GH4 and lenses and the full wireless video links for the trip, such as the Paralinx Tomahawk and the new Paralinx Triton, alongside a couple of SmallHD directors monitors.

Our biggest challenge was to get all of this kit up and down the mountains, day after day. So we decided to go for a couple of Overboard Waterproof duffel bags, and line them out some foam to protect the kit. We then had to find a clever way of carrying the drone, which turned out to be removing the gimbal and folding it down, and then strapping it to the back of the Overboard bags.

 

Our Kingdom 1

Picture of DJI ronin with RED Dragon 6K

“We want to capture these riders in way they have never been captured before – filming the amazing ability of these riders in an innovative and exciting way. We will only be shooting in 4k to make sure the end product looks the best we can make it (What is 4K?) We are partnered up with FLYONIX and they will be providing us with kit to use and will also be getting involved with the project themselves! “

Family Creative

Day 1 (Documented by Charlie)

Our first day in Morzine was sunshine and blue skies and a chance to find our feet on the snow and meet the crew from Family Creative. We found ourselves in the mountain town of Avoriaz in the late afternoon where we were finally able to put the multi-rota to the test and catch some really great sunset shots across the mountains.

The next 2 days however saw us grounded in a serious dump of snow across the region so we packed up the DJI Ronin and GH4 and set out into the forest to a park called The Stash. Despite the relentless snow, we managed to get some great rushes thanks to local boy, Stewart Monk From Reel Fun Media (http://www.reelfunmedia.com), who rode alongside some of the pro-borders to get some awesome footage off the jumps. There will definitely be more of that when the weather behaves itself again!

An early start on Friday with Stewart Monk using the Ronin again, got the first lines along ‘Star Wars’, with a 10-strong group of UK riders enjoying the fresh powder from the night before.

Today, the sun returned long enough for us to get out and film some epic establishing shots in the valley between Les Prodains and Morzine using the multi-rota – the mountains and superb light making our job pretty easy!

Now, we find ourselves preparing for a long and cold evening in the forest to get some night footage of the pro-borders doing tricks in the Stash. This is a bit of an unknown for both us and the rest of the crew, so it should make for some interesting results!

Our kingdom

Alex, Andi and Dave (in that order) from family creative.

Day 2

Last night we were extremely privileged to be part of a very rare night-time excursion into The Stash at Avoriaz to film Morzines resident UK riders on some of the features. Using only their wit, a generator with a few lights and the occasional addition of spotlights from a working Snowcat, they were able to pull some incredible moves, all captured by the team at Family Creative and us, using the multi-rota for some awesome aerial and establishing shots. We even had the use of a hut with a log burning stove as our base, so despite the relentless snowfall, the excursion was a resounding success.

As if the evening couldn’t get better, Flyonix had the joy of getting to and from location in a Snowcat, as the pros could all get about the mountain on their boards – I’m pretty sure this has been Rupert’s personal highlight from the whole trip!

Day off today, (where I’ll attempt some more time on the slopes to see if I can stay upright for more than a few minutes), and with any luck the weather will clear for our last couple of days so we can get some great tracking shots of the guys in action!

Charlie

20150131_194804                         20150131_182338_1                         20150131_184819

Day 3

Flyonix in morzine

 

Getting ready to set off up the mountains, drone in tow!

 

 

Ronin in the snow

DJI Ronin and Panasonic GH4 taking some punishment in the snow.

Frozen Ronin

The DJI Ronin looking a bit chilly.

Final Day’s

 

Sunday ended with another late night session, this time filming some of the rail riders in town. We set off to a location near the ice rink in the centre of Morzine where the guys were building a kicker next to a hand rail and despite the low light, we got some nice tracking shots. A 3am finish (and some very cold hands and feet) prompted the arrangement of another session the following evening which concentrated on a jump under the footbridge by the Super-Morzine ski lift. Again, armed with shovels, the guys set about preparing the run-up, everyone mucking in and helping shape the distance and height (a real advantage with this type of board sport). We were able to achieve some nice wide shots that took in the bridge, pulling back to reveal the riders as they travelled through the jump, and some nice establishers of the bridge itself. We had low light again but the result was ace and in all a great opportunity to see that side of the snowboarding scene.

During the day on Monday we got another window of good weather so we had plenty of time to get some aerial shots of the town before the night session. However, saving the best till last for our final day, Rupert and the team went on an epic trek up the Pointe De Mossette for some awesome views of the Portes du Soleil before traversing through the back-country with Dom Harington and Kevin Gitsham for some tricks off a kicker they built that morning.

It’s with heavy hearts that we leave the mountains, but with some really exciting footage and loads of amazing memories, not only of the incredible filming opportunities, but also the place and the people. Our home at The Mountain lodge chalet ‘Les 4 Vents’ (http://www.themountainlodgecompany.com/winter/les-4-vents/) has been the perfect base to work and hosts Richard and Karen and the staff here have been so welcoming and helpful, not to mention patient!

And finally, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with Dave Kennedy, Andi Hampton and Alex Crane from Family Creative and we’ve met more awesome people than we can shake a stick at out here, so roll on the edit and film release in the autumn!

Flyonix + Our Kingdom

 Shooting indoors.

Morzine with the Drone

Preparing for another late night shoot.

Panorama of Chamonie

Panorama of the alps.

28 Jan

Review of the new Paralinx Triton

Review of the new Paralinx Triton

At the beginning of January, Paralinx released the new Triton series, in order to replace the Arrow+ range. When I first saw the design for the Triton, I must admit that I was kind of sceptical about it, and did wonder why Paralinx would discontinue such an amazing product like the Arrow+. The thing I loved most about the Arrow+ was its form factor, it is so small and can be mounted almost anywhere.

Paralinx Arrow+

 

The picture above is a perfect example of the amazing form factor of the Arrow+, but as you can see from the picture, the biggest downfall of the Arrow+ is actually trying to power it! If you look at the back of the monitor you can see a BEC voltage regulator, which is being fed into the Arrow from an external battery source (LiPo battery) to power the Arrow+.

This brings us on to one of the biggest advantages of the Paralinx Triton – the built in battery plates! Paralinx have learnt from the feedback on the Arrow+ and have dealt with one of its biggest issues.

So, lets start with the review.

Paralinx Triton

Paralinx Triton Paralinx Triton

Paralinx have always packaged their products well and the Triton is no exception, varying from the foam that was in the Arrow case, Paralinx have gone with a moulded plastic insert which holds 1 Transmitter and 1 Receiver, as well as one D-tap to barrel pin power cable and a mains voltage power adapter (which only comes with an american plug), two external antennas for the Transmitter (TX), a hot shoe mount for the Receiver(RX) and a clever tool to tighten up the antennas.

Paralinx Triton

 

 

So straight out of the box and the first thing you notice is that both the Transmitter and Receiver both have a small LCD screen and three buttons to navigate the menus. This is a big bonus compared to the Arrow+ as before you had to attach an external IR receiver and use a small remote to view menus on the monitor you had connected it to (which obviously didn’t help if you were having issues getting a signal). Now with the Triton, you can change channels, link multiple receivers and check current battery voltage, all with a click of a button.

They also come with an On/Off button! Which is a Godsend as I couldn’t tell you the amount of times the Arrow+ used to power down because of forgetting to unplug cables and the battery going flat, whereas now one click and it’s off and saving power between shots!

Paralinx Triton Paralinx Triton

Connectivity

The Triton connects to the video source or monitor via a HDMI cable, both the TX and RX have a female HDMI port in which to connect the cable. Paralinx have also integrated a threaded screw insert just above the HDMI ports, which I assume is for a port protector of sorts. I have not seen anything from Paralinx as of yet but I imagine this will be released soon. You will also notice from the pictures below that there is a mini USB port. This is for firmware updates and diagnostics for Paralinx. The other port is a barrel pin power connector, which is primarily for external power sources and shoots where using a small battery just isn’t practical. It is perfect for using D-tap/P-tap style batteries that will power the units all day, or even using the mains adapter to power the units straight from the wall.

 

Paralinx Triton Paralinx Triton

 

 

Ease of use

The Triton system has been designed to be as straightforward and easy to use as possible, with units being already paired as they come from Paralinx and adding additional receivers (Can be paired to unlimited receivers) being as easy as pressing a button. As seen in the first picture below, due to the form factor of the Triton the antennas are sunken into the body of the Transmitter, and need a special tool to tighten them up (supplied). You will also notice that there are a number of 1/4″ 20 mounting points on the TX & RX, which makes mounting onto a monitor/strong arm really simple. The Receiver can also be attached direct onto a Sony NP-F battery plate, which can then provide pass through power to the monitor. Meaning one battery can power both receiver and monitor in a clever space saving way.

Paralinx Triton Paralinx Triton Paralinx Triton Paralinx Triton

 

Batteries

Onc thing I didn’t understand at first was why Paralinx decided to use two different battery types to power the TX & RX, with the Transmitter using Canon LP-E6 batteries and the Receiver using Sony NP-F batteries. Once I sat down and had a think about it, it started to make sense – most people have LP-E6 packs from their 5D or other Canon camera, and the LP-E6 battery is one of the lightest and smallest batteries in its class that can still provide the performance, meaning that it can keep weight and bulkiness to a minimum. The Receiver can be powered by a much bigger battery (Sony NP-F) which is also a standard on most sets, as weight and form factor are not as much of an issue on the receiver end, and eliminates the need for multiple battery changes throughout the day. This means that the Director or DOP can have the monitor set up all day without the need for them to mess around and change packs, (and in the process damage something!)

 

Triton gh4

 

 

Performance

So, now onto the important bit! How does it perform out in the field? Well I can tell you that it is a huge step up from the Arrow+. Once the Triton has a battery attached and you push the on button, it powers up straight away and starts searching for the other RX/TX. If everything is connected and the camera is turned on, the sync time is around 1-2 seconds. This is perfect for the times when you are running between locations and you need the equipment to be as quick and easy to operate as possible.

For our test, I rigged the Triton up to a GH4, with a 35mm SLR Magic T1.4 lens, which was outputting to a SmallHD DP4 monitor and then HDMI loop through to the Triton. We then mounted the whole thing in a SmallRig DSLR cage, and used a couple of SmallHD 7″ Strong arms to position everything. This was a really good set up and the Triton fitted in with the rig really well, with the form factor not being an issue at all!

Triton dp7  triton 1

Then on to the receiver side – I mounted the Triton to the DP7 Pro-LCD field monitor with the Directors monitor handles, and another 7″ strong arm to attach the Receiver, I then used a Paralinx 30cm Ultra thin HDMI to HDMI cable to connect the two together.

We then started the range test. First of all, we went for a walk across a field, until we were stopped by a fence! According to the Strava phone app the distance was 140m. Paralinx state 150M as the max range, I think this is conservative, as the picture was still crystal clear at 140M and we were even turning our backs on each other, and obstructing the line of site for the Triton. Still the image didn’t budge!

As we headed back to the office, we decided to do some indoor testing through walls etc. We headed down a hallway, which was approximately 50M, and then down a set of stairs which was through a set of double doors and went off at a right angle to the corridor, with a big wall obstructing the line of sight for the Triton. We managed to keep the signal until we got to the bottom of the stairs, (although it was starting to break up).

We eventually got to the point where we lost signal completely and decided to test the re-connection speed, as this was something that the Arrow+ always had issues with. All I can say is that the pick up time is amazing, and the re-connection speed is almost instantaneous as soon as it gets back into range.

triton 1

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, I feel that the Paralinx Triton is a huge step forward in affordable HD video links (Price £1165.00 inc VAT). Paralinx have yet again bought out a revolutionary product range which is going to streamline video monitoring on sets around the world. The Triton can be attached to almost anything, such as Drones, Steadycams, Cranes, Dollies, Jibs, Wirecams, and Tripods. I would have liked for it to have had a slightly smaller form factor, but I suppose with factoring in clever time saving devices such as built in batteries and LCD screens, this would be the first thing to suffer.

Hope this review is helpful, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to post them below in the comments.

 

Tech Specs

– Transmit a FULL-HD signal up to 1080p/60 in REALTIME (less than 1ms)
– Up to 450 feet/140m of range
– Manual Channel Selection within 5.1-5.8GHz spectrum (8 channels)
– Transmit to unlimited receivers
– LCD displays signal strength, battery charge, and channel selection
– Cold-shoe mount for easy mounting of transmitter on a DSLR
– 1/4-20 mounting option on both transmitter and receiver
– Integrated battery plates for power on both transmitter and receiver
– 6-17V DC power input on transmitter and receiver
– 128-bit AES Encryption

Dimensions:
Transmitter (without antennas): 118mm x 52mm x 43mm
Receiver: 118mm x 60.5mm x 44.5mm

Weight (without batteries):
Transmitter: 4.6oz / 130g
Receiver: 4.8oz / 136g

 

In the Box:
1  x Paralinx Triton transmitter
1 x Paralinx Triton receiver
1 x PTap to DC power cable
1 x AC Adapter
2 x 2dbi antennas (for transmitter)
1 x Antenna mounting tool
1 x additional cold-shoe mount

**Please note, LP-E6 and NP-F batteries not included**

Link to purchase:

Triton 1:1 system:   https://www.flyonixstore.co.uk/product/triton-11-wireless-system/

Canon LP-E6 Extreme batteries:   https://www.flyonixstore.co.uk/product/extreme-li-ion-canon-lp-e6/

Sony NP-F batteries:   https://www.flyonixstore.co.uk/product/hahnel-li-ion-sony-hl-xl982/

SmallHD DP7 Directors monitor:   https://www.flyonixstore.co.uk/product/smallhd-dp7-pro-directors/

Thanks for reading!

 

Written by Ben Bailey – Flyonix

14 Jan

Flyonix Aerials for Walking With Elephants – The new GH4

‘One of the biggest tunes of the year has been given a video of equal value this week thanks to director, NEZ, and Riff Raff Films …the video hosts staggering aerial shots of ambiguous characters running along a beautiful coastal location, using black and white colors against the scenery’s natural green and blue layout.’

 – Jonah, NestHQ

[youtube]tuMgJrFoAFY[/youtube]

 

This summer, Flyonix were part of the production team for the new Ten Walls video ‘Walking with Elephants’. Flyonix were commissioned to provide 4k aerial shots for the music video, filmed in the south east of England.

 

Working together with RiffRaff films and award-winning director Nez, we spent two days filming at a variety of awesome locations, and spent time with a group of amazing Flyboarders, who provided the amazing visuals for the dolphin-like scenes.

 

Walking with Elephants GH4 4K

 

Using our custom Hexacopter, the aerial sequences were shot with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 with a 12mm T1.6 Hyper-prime lens. The camera itself looks quite unassuming considering how compact and lightweight it is, not to mention the fact that it costs considerably less than most other 4K cameras. Despite this the GH4 has some awesome processing power, and produced some fantastic footage.

 

Walking with Elephants GH4 4K

 

The ground based shots were all filmed using an Arri Alexa, while the shots taken at sea were filmed using a special lens assembly from Panavision. It’s a revolution lens, which allows the image to be rotated during filming without loss of edges etc.

 

Walking with Elephants GH4 4K

 

Here is a courtesy shot of us getting trigger happy with filters! Setup is shown using a Paralinx Tomahawk downlink with TV logic client monitor, Panasonic GH4 camera and custom Flyonix Hexacopter with a Flyonix F25 Camera gimbal.

 

Have you tried the Panasonic GH4 yet?? We’d love to hear from you, just leave a reply in the comments section below!

 

flyonixbutton2 Flyonix

01837 52005

Unit 16, Okehampton Business Centre, Higher Stockley Mead, Devon, EX20 1FJ

5 Jan

New Store Launched at www.flyonixstore.co.uk

Flyonix are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new online store – www.flyonixstore.co.uk. The new store is a huge upgrade from our initial online shop, with exciting new products for sale.

 

New Products

We will now be stocking the full range of SmallHD products, from the DP7 Pro High Bright monitors to battery plates and screen protectors. We are also offering customers a number of SmallHD bundles, combining DP7 monitors with all the accessories you would need to get started.

 

You can view our range of SmallHD bundles here.

 

Paralinx Arrow X

 

We are also pleased to announce that we are now stocking Paralinx products, including the new Paralinx Arrow X – perfect for all UAV operators. Also in stock are the powerful Hahnel Extreme batteries, a perfect alternative for your standard camera batteries, and the new Hahnel V-lock batteries and chargers.

 

In addition to these products we are also stocking a number of Atomos recorders as well as G Technology hard-drives and storage solutions.

 

And as if all of these products weren’t enough, we also have cameras from Black Magic and Panasonic – including the impressive new Panasonic GH4 (which we also have available for hire).

 

Fedex

 

At Flyonix, we are keen to ensure all products reach their destinations as soon as possible, and in the safest and most reliable way. With regards to this, all purchases can be shipped to UK or international addresses with next day delivery through our use of FedEx’s excellent delivery services.

 

Do-It-Yourself

For those of you interested in having a go at UAV-operation yourself, we are also selling ready to fly, multi-rotor packages, alongside UAV training courses so you can get the very best out of your purchases.

 

Flyonix Multirotor

 

The courses offered can be taught in groups or on more of a one-to-one basis, and our fully qualified, BNUC-S pilots will take you through everything you need to know, from knowing the correct procedures and how to charge your batteries, to what to expect on your first day of filming and what you need to do in order to earn licenses and qualifications of your own.

 

We are also very pleased to announce our new financing option, with instant online decision on orders of up to £20,000.

 

flyonixbutton2

Flyonix
01837 52005
Unit 16, Okehampton Business Centre, Higher Stockley Mead, Devon, EX20 1FJ

5 Jan

RNAS Yeovilton 2014

Following the success of our debut in 2013, Flyonix were pleased to be invited back to Yeovilton Air Show 2014 to film some of the spectacular demonstrations put on by the RNAS.

 

[youtube]Lt4eAqyQkoc[/youtube]

 

We were given two operating areas this year, both just 50 metres in front of the crowd line, with excellent views of the runway and static sites for planes such as the Vulcan bomber. These new positions gave us the opportunity to gain more of a variety in our shots, as well as more access to the aircrafts as they were moved to and from the runway.

 

We used a variety of kit during the day, making use of the Panasonic GH4 for ground shots, with the addition of a 35mm T:1.4 SLR Magic Cine lens, and a Panasonic GH3 on the Drone/Hexacopter with a 12mm T1.6 Cine lens.

RNAS Yeovilton Air Show

 

We were also allocated our own 10 minute slot during the air show itself, where we were able to gain long sweeping shots of the crowd cheering and waving at our UAV. In order to do this we had to contact the CAA and gain exceptions for our current permissions for aerial works.

 

We also took time to work with the MAA to ensure our operation manuals and working procedures were satisfactory. This led to a final briefing with the display pilots at the show, answering any questions or concerns they might have had prior to us filming. Once these talks were finalised we were given the all clear to fly at the show.

 

RNAS Yeovilton Air Show

 

Filming at the show gave us the chance to capture some amazing footage, and gave us exclusive access to both the Vulcan Bomber XH558 and two World War II Spitfire planes. The day as a whole was a huge success, and a huge milestone for Flyonix with regards to our integration with military controlled air space, something initially achieved by us back in 2013 as the first civilian UAV to operate within the area.

RNAS Yeovilton Air Show

 

Flyonix are now pleased to announce the release of our highlights video for Yeovilton Air Show 2014. Share your opinions on the video’s original page on our Vimeo profile, or leave a message in the comments section below.

 

flyonixbutton2

Flyonix
01837 52005
Unit 16, Okehampton Business Centre, Higher Stockley Mead, Devon, EX20 1FJ

5 Jan

Just Announced – The Sony A7II

Sony Japan has recently announced the next big thing in digital cameras in the form of the Sony Alpha 7 Mark II.

 

The A7 range has been incredibly successful up until now, and the A7II looks set to be just as popular with Sony fans. It’ll be the worlds first full-frame digital camera and boasts an impressive (and long awaited) 5-axis image stabilisation, with hints that it will most likely work with most (if not all) 3rd party lenses.

Sony A7II

The Specs

The camera itself seems to be a decent step up from the original Alpha 77, combining the first model with what appears to be the hybrid system from the Alpha 6000. The new stabilisation makes using larger lenses and mechanical lenses much easier, as well as allowing for much more stable filming when it comes to video footage. And whilst the A7II lacks the new and currently much talked about 4K, it still has an substantial filming mode incorporated into it, with the ability to shoot in Full HD with image recording at 50Mbps (60p/50p, 30p/25p, 24p).

 

Other features of interest include lock-on AF tracking, 7 varied picture profiles to choose from, and a more robust lens mount than the original A7’s. It also has S LOG 2 gamma settings and features that allow simple button customisation.

 

Here are the specs for the clear HDMI output:
– 1080 60i compatible device – 1920 × 1080 (60p/24p) / 1920 × 1080 (60i), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit / RGB 8bit,
– 1080 50i compatible device – 1920 × 1080 (50p) / 1920 × 1080 (50i), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit / RGB 8bit

 

Sony A7II

 

Prices are yet to be announced as far as buying in the UK are concerned, but with a release date estimated around the Jan 2015 mark, you wont have to wait particularly long to find out.

 

What are your thoughts on the A7II? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

 

flyonixbutton2

Flyonix
01837 52005
Unit 16, Okehampton Business Centre, Higher Stockley Mead, Devon, EX20 1FJ

5 Jan

Just Announced – The Sony A7II

Sony Japan has recently announced the next big thing in digital cameras in the form of the Sony Alpha 7 Mark II.

 

The A7 range has been incredibly successful up until now, and the A7II looks set to be just as popular with Sony fans. It’ll be the worlds first full-frame digital camera and boasts an impressive (and long awaited) 5-axis image stabilisation, with hints that it will most likely work with most (if not all) 3rd party lenses.

Sony A7II

The Specs

The camera itself seems to be a decent step up from the original Alpha 77, combining the first model with what appears to be the hybrid system from the Alpha 6000. The new stabilisation makes using larger lenses and mechanical lenses much easier, as well as allowing for much more stable filming when it comes to video footage. And whilst the A7II lacks the new and currently much talked about 4K, it still has an substantial filming mode incorporated into it, with the ability to shoot in Full HD with image recording at 50Mbps (60p/50p, 30p/25p, 24p).

 

Other features of interest include lock-on AF tracking, 7 varied picture profiles to choose from, and a more robust lens mount than the original A7’s. It also has S LOG 2 gamma settings and features that allow simple button customisation.

 

Here are the specs for the clear HDMI output:
– 1080 60i compatible device – 1920 × 1080 (60p/24p) / 1920 × 1080 (60i), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit / RGB 8bit,
– 1080 50i compatible device – 1920 × 1080 (50p) / 1920 × 1080 (50i), YCbCr 4:2:2 8bit / RGB 8bit

 

Sony A7II

 

Prices are yet to be announced as far as buying in the UK are concerned, but with a release date estimated around the Jan 2015 mark, you wont have to wait particularly long to find out.

 

What are your thoughts on the A7II? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

 

flyonixbutton2

Flyonix
01837 52005
Unit 16, Okehampton Business Centre, Higher Stockley Mead, Devon, EX20 1FJ