Friday, November 16, 2012

Look up in the Sky - Its a Bird, Its a Plane, Its a Frog

Not bird nor plane, nor even frog, just little old me - Parrot Drone (ok so it doesn't rhyme anymore, still needed to throw out to one of my childhood heros.  So you might have guessed (especially if I am in one of your Google+ circles) I am having some fun with my new Parrot Drone.

So what is a Parrot Drone?  It is basically a quad copter that can be controlled from an Android or Apple phone (or tablet).  The interesting thing about this is that it has a camera on board.  The camera allows pictures to be taken and stored directly on the phone (to be shared).  It also does HD video.  Overall a cool toy (though easy to break, fortunately repairs are almost as easy).  So the camera allows me some interesting perspectives on what is already sort of a hobby.

This is the Drone in action (so you can see what it looks like).  We had it out in the park a week or so ago, and I was able to snap this picture.  Too bad Sandy made it a short Autumn, did not get a lot of chances colorful leaves.

Here we have the little guy flying the Drone.  Yes that is an Ipad he is using (I use my phone).  He is currently a better pilot than I am, but I am getting better (we have both damaged parts on it, but replacement parts are not expensive, and working on it is easy).

Here is a picture of the house from the Drone.  Camera quality is not the best, but not bad considering it is up on a vibrating 4 propeller helicopter.  It is fun to be able to take some of these very interesting pictures.  Note the distortion around the edges.  This is a very wide angle camera (wide angle is much better if you are flying using the camera, and want to see where you are going).

This is a nice aerial shot of the field the little guy played on last year (his home field).  You can go quite high with the drone (up to the limit of the Wifi receiver).  However, have to keep in mind, if you mess up, the higher you are, the further you fall (and though the falling is ok, its the hitting the ground that determines what needs to get repaired).

This picture was taken from the park in Hawley.  Again, a nice perspective.  Too bad I could not get out when there were still colors in the trees (that will be next year I suppose).

I shot this one into the sun (at the Lakeville Park).  Normally I would have moved to avoid the halos from the sun (and I have some pictures taken from the 3rd base side without the halos), but I liked them here.  Sort of gave me the feeling of waiting till next year (which is what the field is doing, letting us use it now as it gets ready for next year).

Below is my first attempt at a movie on this blog.  The movie is also from the drone (I told you it did HD movies).  I picked a shorter one (so loading times should not be that bad).  This video is a simple up and down (no tricks, no flips).  Just so you get the idea.

Another nice thing I have found is that the camera is actually somewhat IR sensitive.  So this summer, I might be able to get some nice IR pictures (if you read this blog, you know I sort of like that).  I have had issues trying to find a filter, but I have a few months (I have found a different lens that actually even makes the camera more IR sensitive, but I will still need some small filter).

Additionally, some people have lifted a Go Pro camera with one of these (better quality pictures).  Something like that might be fun at some point to try.

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