Alcatraz Drone Shots with DJI Mavic Pro

It has been a little while since I have made a post and I wanted to share some great new things we’ve been working on, especially the fun little projects. Recently, I got the DJI Mavic Pro in and let me tell you now, this thing is legit and the real deal (in terms of small compact drone capabilities). Naturally, this isn’t gonna hold a stick to a rig like the Shotover Drone, the DJI Matrice 600 or the Freefly Alta that have the capability of carrying professional gimbals and cinema cameras like the Arri’s and the RED, but for small projects it does a great job at capturing video and photos.

The Mavic can record up to 4k resolution 60fps with a 12mp still camera. One unique thing about the Mavic itself compared to a lot of the other smaller drones on the market is the focus feature. Generally, the focus is a static infinite focus to capture everything, but with the Mavic, DJI chose to change it up a bit and allow users to set focus by tapping the screen on your tablet or phone. This is a blessing and a curse, because for indoor shoots and up close shots, it can be great to adjust focus accordingly. Other times, when you are trying to capture a large expanse of a shot, you tap the screen to focus on a specific area and sometimes it just blurs out everything. This happened quite a bit in my flying over San Francisco Bay because it was having a hard time focusing far out with the water covering most of everything in the screen.

Below are two different versions of a recent flight I did when I was traveling out to San Francisco and captured some shots of Alcatraz. A few things to consider, Alcatraz sits in a perfect area that is not in controlled airspace. The only hiccup you have to worry about is the Golden Gate National Park that covers the Northern shore of San Fran, and most of Alcatraz island. National Park rules for drones is that you cannot take off or land in a National Park so this is something that you must be vigilant of.

The color video was taken with the Mavic only, while the Black and White version was a combination of Mavic for the drone shots and a cell phone for the interior shots. This was just a personal fun thing for me to do, so production value (especially using a cell phone camera) was not something I was worried about. Either way, enjoy.

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