FPV Drones for Cinema Applications: The Next Trend?

June 28, 2020

“What’s cooler than an FPV drone? An FPV drone with a cinema camera on it! Imagine a RED or even an ALEXA camera on that drone. Does it look impossible? Not for Catalyst Machineworks which develops FPV drones for cinema applications to let you get those epic aerial shots you dreamed of.“

The history of FPV drones dates back to it’s original application which was specialized for drone racing. It has now broken into the field of cinema in the recent years as their application in videos has taken off and has been recognized by experts in the industry, providing some of the most eye-catching and captivating broll for audiences alike.

Ross Beck was one of the first engineers to create an FPV drone being able to withstand the weight and complexity of a cinema camera mounted onto it. The camera of choice for Beck was none other than the RED Komodo being able to withstand speeds upwards of 100 mph tracking race cars. Pretty impressive if you ask us.

The list of advantages of FPV drones are endless from being able to have a higher range of maneuverability and speed to flying without limitations. The possibilities are endless depending on how far you are willing to push your rig. With that being said there are disadvantages to FPV drones such as camera quality, as cinema cameras have been far too difficult to assemble for mass production for the public until now.

Companies are finally starting to catch on with one of them sticking out from the pack called the Money-Shot FPV created by Catalyst Machineworks.

Let’s take a look at their features, what they’re capable of, and more importantly their price tag.

Money Shot Mini:

  • Dedicated for cameras like Red Komodo, Zcam, Black Magic Pocket 6K, GH5, or similar
  • Capable of extremely agile maneuvers not possible with traditional heavy lift drone/gimbal systems.
  • High voltage power system produces a max of 62 LBS of thrust
  • Max suggested payload (camera/lens) of 5 LBS
  • Top speed of 99+ MPH FAA approval required past 99mph
  • Flight time up to 8 minutes
  • Crystal clear 720P HD FPV system
  • Robust landing gear design
  • GPS installed
  • OSD (on-screen display) info: flight pack single cell voltage, craft name, total GPS satellites found, GPS coordinates, craft speed, and craft distance from home
  • Price: $4,700 (camera not included).

In case you’d like to fly a heavier camera (RED DSMC2, ALEXA Mini, etc), there are other options like the Money Shot X8 which are bigger and with a higher price tag ($11,000).

All in all, FPV drones have caught on in the past few years but it seems like we are making leaps and bounds every six months. There is no doubt there is a trend here emerging for cinema FPV and we believe we will start seeing these being utilized in a variety of films in the near future.

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