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Location: Castillo de San Marcos, 11 S Castillo Dr, St. Augustine, FL

Florida’s East Coast offers some of the best sunrises and we took full advantage, we traveled about two hours northeast of Central Florida to St. Augustine. We had a difficult time deciding what to film at sunrise, but we ended up choosing a great location. The sunrise provided some great light for capturing an aerial video of a 17th century stone fortress; Castillo de San Marcos alone is impressive on the ground, but we wanted to provide a different perspective of Castillo’s shape and symmetry that isn’t seen as often.

To best capture its features we flew our dual operator DJI S800 EVO. As a dual operator system, I piloted the multirotor via LOS (Line of Sight), while Lindsay controlled the gimbal (Zenmuse Z15) using a pair of FPV (First Person View) goggles. Overall, we really like this hex and gimbal combination. The stability of the video quality is hard to match (no stabilization software was used in post). We also like the payload capacity of a hex, it’s greater than a quad and can therefore carry a heavier camera. For this shoot in particular we chose to fly our Panasonic GH3. We only have one complaint for this stabilized camera platform, the ramping on the Zenmuse is fairly abrupt and even worse there is no way to adjust the speed. We have tried using the expo feature on our transmitters (Futaba 8FG), but unfortunately, the expo feature doesn’t provide enough ramping to smooth the Zenmuse’s start & stop movements. Along with other Zenmuse users, we could really benefit from a DJI software update that would allow users to control the ramping speed; this additional feature alone would substantially improve the aerial video quality obtained when using DJI’s Zenmuse Z15.

Even with our disappointment of the gimbal’s ramping speed we are still impressed by the amount of steady and unique aerial footage that can be captured in just minutes. We’re thankful we had the opportunity to shoot this fort and we hope you enjoy these clips!

Multirotor: DJI S800 EVO
Type: Hexacopter
Gimbal: Zenmuse Z15
FPV: 5.8GHz 600mW
Fatshark Dominators & Ground Station Monitor
Camera: Panasonic Lumix GH3
1080 @ 60p
MOV @ 50mb/s
Editing: Adobe Premiere Pro
Music: Jason Franham “Wedding Invitation”

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