Learning to fly with DJI's Mavic 2 Pro / by Glenn Dixon

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A few years ago I remember watching open-mouthed as my uncle flew his drone high above the backyard of his coastal home. While inspired by the image making possibilities I was put off by the setup and calibration time required to get the drone airborne. It simply wasn’t feasible for me to spend that much time preparing the drone for flight while working alone on set. The evolution of drone imaging technology and recent changes in commercial flying regulations in Australia has finally made it feasible to utilise these remarkable tools in my freelance filmmaking projects. 

Now you simply fold out the legs, attach the rotors, connect the remote, dock the smart phone, check your surroundings and take off! I used my Mavic 2 Pro for the first time on a commercial shoot last week in regional Tasmania and I was rolling the first shot within three minutes of arriving on location!

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has introduced a new 'excluded' category allowing you to fly for profit if your drone weighs under 2 kilograms and you abide by the specified safety regulations. They also have a great free smartphone app “Can I fly there?” that plots your location on a map in relation to nearby airports and hazards. It’s an essential tool to plan your flights.

Below are a few early test shots from my practise flights. I’ve included the ungraded D-Log footage in addition to footage captured using the default colour mode. Enjoy.

Technical: I'm yet to find a D-Log to REC.709 LUT to accurately grade the D-Log footage. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Happy and safe flying!