It’s not exactly easy to shoot 360º aerial videos. It is difficult enough to have a 360º camera hang slightly stably under a drone, and then you also have the problem that the drone always comes into the picture. Although there are solutions based on two separate action cams where the drone becomes invisible, the quality is suboptimal. Adapa360 is now working on the first “invisible” 360º video drone based on DSLRs or system cameras.

360º aerial video problems

In recent years, many a 360º video maker has broken their heads over how to shoot 360º aerial videos. The simplest solution is to attach a small size 360º camera such as an Insta360 One X or Ricoh Theta on or under a drone. However, this does not produce a very high quality image, and the movements of the drone are sometimes difficult to stabilize. In addition, the drone remains a nuisance in the picture, especially when the camera is close to the drone.

In the production of high-quality 360º aerial videos, one often refers to heavier systems, such as an Insta360 Pro under a hefty multicopter such as a DJI M600, whether or not in combination a special gimbal for stabilization. The problem of such a setup is that it soon comes to an unmanageable system. In addition, in this case, too, the drone must be ‘thrown out’ in post production.

There is another third solution direction. Namely by choosing a 360º camera that consists of two separate modules, and ensuring that the (as flat as possible) drone falls within the stitch line. The advantage is that the drone will not come into the picture: hence the designation ‘invisible’ 360 drone. An example of such a system is the Newbeedrone Invisi360. However, the image quality of this type of drone is not good enough for high-end applications.

Hawk21 Medium Lifter

The Adapa360 company is now working on a invisible 360 drone that is capable of making high-end 360º videos. The Hawk21 Medium Lifter is a so-called cinelifter, a hefty sized custom drone capable of lifting heavier cameras. For example, the Hawk21 is able to get two Panasonic GH5, Sony Alpha or Red Komodo cameras into the air. The cameras do not need to be modified further.

In order to make 360º videos, the cameras must be equipped with Entaniya special fisheye lenses, which have an angle of view of 190º. In this way, there is enough overlap to stitch the image. One lens covers the field of view under the drone, the other records the image above the drone. Together, the entire environment is captured, without the drone itself coming into the picture.

The drone will be provided with a GPS receiver for the purpose of positioning and flight stabilization. The landing gear becomes retractable so that it does not come into the picture during the shooting. The system will come with a professional flight controller that provides easy automated flights. Furthermore, the drone includes a compartment where two external Atomos Ninja V+ recorders can be accommodated.

In total, the drone has a payload capacity of 5-6 kg. Adapa360’s system is still under development.

The first results are promising, as you can see in the 8K 360º video below: the drone is virtually invisible. There are still some stitch mistakes to see, but that seems to be a matter of further fine tuning. Interested parties can report on the Adapa360 Facebook page. It is not yet known what the system will cost.

(via 360 Rumors)