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    Sony Airpeak

    Good to see Sony entering the market, more details have emerged. Its a quad with retractable undercarriage and a get 360-degree gimble but the big news is that it comes with a Sony A7 camera, you choose the variant when buying. No prices yet.

    https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/11/2...1-announcement

    #2
    This has to be expensive. But maybe I am wrong. I wonder if you can "retro-buy" if you already own an A7 camera to get a discount? Great sales idea. Assuming Sony has done its drone homework and the thing flies as well as a DJI etc...

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      #3
      My thoughts exactly, if left to their own devices Sony would be charging $10.000 to $12.000 for this minus the camera. But, they need to compete with DJI so maybe we will see a more realistic price.

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        #4
        it does make absolutely sense. I was looking for sth to shoot high res photo and video on Sony A7 basis. I gave up the project as it was too complicated with aricraft, gimbal and camera remote.

        We have new regulations in Europe. All new aircrafts need a transponder for air control. DJI has to update the product line also. For Sony it might be the best point to enter the market. I have no hope that there will be an upgrade for existing DJI drones. They will aim at selling news ones.

        The Sony Airpeak will not be cheap for sure and it will be a professionals' tool. It will weigh over 4kg and in Europe you will need an individual permission on base of an exam and practical proof of your pilot skills. Inspire 2 weighs 4,2kgs and if it doesn't get an upgrade the worth will go to zero after a 2yrs transition period.
        --
        I'm just a hobbyist with a business tax number and a specialist for everything.

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          #5
          We have the same mandate for remote ID in the USA, but there is a clause for add on devices so we may yet see a way for older stuff to be flown legally. We also have at least a year before we need to comply.

          That said, the rules around flying for recreation have been made ugly. If you post a video on Youtube, then the FAA has determined that you were not flying for the recreation of flying and you must now get a license to fly commercially. Even if no money was involved. What's the point in having a camera on any hobby aircraft now? I'm probably going to ditch most of my old stuff and never get back into the hobby, only below 250 gram models will be exempt from remote ID, for now. Probably going to just keep my little Plantraco stuff http://microflight.com/

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Greg_E View Post
            That said, the rules around flying for recreation have been made ugly.
            In Germany / Europe since new regulations on 31 Dec 2020 there's is no more differentiation between recreation and commercial flights. It's all about risk evaluation: energy and mass of the drone, approach to people, industries, traffic, private buildings etc. All pilots with a drone heavier than 250g must be registered by federal aviation organisation. Registration has to be labelled on your aircraft. Insurance is mandatory.
            --
            I'm just a hobbyist with a business tax number and a specialist for everything.

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              #7
              Could be just me, but I don't see this as designed to compete against DJI. But more likely Freefly. Specifically, the Astro (which is around $15k all in w/A7R4). What's not clear on either of these platforms is what level of camera control is possible in the config shown. Looks like they're plugged into USB. Clearly, it's controlled from an app. But does this allow full FIZ control through the app with 1st party lenses without the need for a FIZ setup? This would be unique. Would also be interesting to see how good this thing handles in real wind (20+knots). Looks like they're using 3rd party (Gremsy) gimbals at this point. Should help to keep the price up there! Guess we'll have to wait and see.

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                #8
                Air Commander http://lab.airpixel.cz/ works already very well for Sony remote operation. I am sure Sony should be able to integrate sth similar into the command / rc unit.
                --
                I'm just a hobbyist with a business tax number and a specialist for everything.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Clermond View Post
                  Air Commander http://lab.airpixel.cz/ works already very well for Sony remote operation. I am sure Sony should be able to integrate sth similar into the command / rc unit.
                  How am I just learning about this now? Thanks for sharing. Definitely interested to learn more about it!

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Filthy View Post
                    How am I just learning about this now? Thanks for sharing. Definitely interested to learn more about it!
                    The challenge als solo aircraft pilot is the second remote of the Air Commander.
                    It's almost impossible to fly the aircraft and operate the camera.
                    With the DJI lightbridge RC you have a wheel for aperture and a button
                    for record and you can keep the thumbs on the sticks.
                    --
                    I'm just a hobbyist with a business tax number and a specialist for everything.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Want
                      Matt Gottshalk
                      Director of Production
                      BPI.tv

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Well, the AirPeak got announced for $9k: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.tec...fficial-launch
                        www.VideoAbe.com

                        "In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant." -Harvey

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ahalpert View Post
                          Well, the AirPeak got announced for $9k: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.tec...fficial-launch
                          That's a weak article - you don't get to talk up speed (something hardly anyone cares about) while looking past the terrible 12 minute flight times. After image, ease of operation is the next major deciding criteria for any serious drone user.

                          I'm sure dedicated drone companies will still buy/rent/use them when needed, and we'll see some STUNNING footage but as a regular workhorse, the airpeak battery times would be really frustrating. Plus it's a gamble loading up on batteries not knowing if the next version will make a lighter aircraft and keep using the same batteries or come out with a completely new and incompatible type.

                          I doubt sony will lose too much sleep though, this is their first release in a series of products. DJI i2/x7 is capable of amazing images but the software is still largely buggy - nothing critical but a lot of small things you have to deal with on the fly. Maybe Sony will excel in this area. Either way there's huge room for improvement in the medium sized drone space.

                          In summary - for a complete takeover, Sony just need the a7siii sensor/interchangeable lenses with eVND in a single gimbal/camera body, double the flight time and bullet proof software and takeover complete (separate from the company moving slowly etc).

                          Unrelated I swear - we're selling an i2/x7 package if anyone is interested!
                          Last edited by rob norton; 06-10-2021, 04:17 PM.
                          robnortondp.com

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                            #14
                            Yes it's expensive. That 12 min flight time is with gimbal (costs extra) and a7siii loaded. Let's look at the competition. DJI's Matrices 600 costs $7K without gimbal and camera. With gimbal and camera it has a flight time of 16 minutes. Wind resistance is big think when flying a drone. Sony is claiming 20mm/s wind stability. That's over 44mph. That's double the wind resistance DJI is claiming for the Inspire 2. Also the fact that it has five stereo cameras and IR rangefinder means you can fly it and position it indoors with great accuracy without satellite GPS assistance. It can be positioned and stay where it was positioned. I cannot do that with a DJI indoors when there is no GPS reception to maintain altitude and geo position. You are constantly twitching the joysticks to hold position. Basically you need two opearators and two controllers. A pilot and a camera op. Looks like the Sony would make indoor no GPS flying much easier for solo flying I would suggest. Not that speed is a major factor other than for motor race following but the Sony tops out a around 55mph as opposed to the Matrice's 40mph. Another plus is it is 100% manufactured in Japan so will not come under the tightening restrictions on Chinese made drones. Which for govt agency work will become more and more of a requirement I'm sure. Sony will also be offering a full pro support backup for crashed and damaged Airpeaks. Don't know what is like in the US but DJI offers nothing like that here in Oz. I just think this Airpeaks may be what a few of us have been looking for for pro work. A lot of its development work was carried out in conjunction with JAXA the Japanese space agency. Sony acknowledge their expertise in things flying wasn't up to scratch hence the collaboration.

                            Chris Young.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Great points as usual Chris.

                              To continue the conversation and address some things you mentioned:

                              Competition
                              I think the main competition is still the i2/x7. The Matrice 600 is slightly in no person's land. If you're going down the heavy lift road, major drone players bypassed the Matrice for Altas followed by more custom options:
                              - http://www.xm2pursuit.com/unmanned-platforms
                              - https://beverlyhillsaerials.com/aircrafts/
                              - https://www.heliguy.tv/services

                              Several drone providers include cinema cameras in their packages but if not, a huge benefit of the Inspire 2 is avoiding the need to tie up the production camera for rigging/derigging. The airpeak will be used in the same way, which is why I place them in the same category - getting as close to a cinema camera as possible without actually using a cinema camera body.

                              Wind
                              The 44+mph is certainly impressive but room for estimating flight times over/under aside, let's not forget 12 minutes would have been calculated under good conditions. Strong winds will only eat into flight time. My point is, what does the excellent tech matter if you don't get to use it?

                              Flying inside
                              I'll be interested to see how this unfolds. I've often thought how good a drone would be for many interiors, yet they still don't get used in this way that often. I actually think noise may be working against them the most in this application i.e. too noisy for nearby businesses, sound recording etc. unless it's a warehouse or more industrial buildings.

                              Solo/Dual Operator
                              Adding to the list of what one person can achieve is nice but I think other than the most simple shots, drones of this level should have two operators. Firstly for safety where the dedicated aircraft operator can make sure they don't slice through any Matisse paintings and likewise the dedicated second operator can control the gimbal/camera moves.

                              Other benefits/auto focus!
                              There could be unforeseen benefits to using the system that I've missed. I'm just one person thinking about flight times. In my last post I forgot to mention Sony's amazing AF, which I think could be a real point of difference. Manual focus pulls on the x7 even with the focus wheel attached are still pretty difficult. The peaking sucks, it's still really tough to see what's in focus. You're usually just tracking along or orbiting around an object, or are wide enough where the tap AF is good enough. But even straight push in/pull out type shots with plans to speed ramp in post, you're sort of choosing a focus point that will be the sweet spot rather than manually changing on the fly. I wonder how far away the a7s iii can keep things sharp. Going from tracking a car then racking to the city in the background, I'd already be leaning towards the airpeak.

                              Again I think Sony can do whatever they want in this space and the airpeak is only the beginning of the roadmap but I imagine a lot of people are going to pass on this one. There are bound to be several success stories but they may be in a similar vein to the 5d shooting an episode of house - the tool produced the results but was a huge pain to use. I would definitely take one for a spin if given the chance.
                              robnortondp.com

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