Drone Course

Challenges & Cautions

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Flying using a stabilised First Person View image

Stabilised FPV: Most First Person View setups have two cameras on the drone – one a fixed “flight” camera and the other the GoPro or similar camera that will have a stabilised image as it will be sitting on a gimbal. It will often be possible to flick to the stabilised view and then fly looking at that.

Some drones only have one camera – the stabilised one and that is the image that is always being fed back to the goggles or screen on the ground.

This stabilised view is excellent for looking at the footage you will be getting, good for framing the shot. Use it to ensure that you are lined up correctly and have everything in the shot that you are expecting and nothing extra. What you see in the image is what you are going to get on the footage. It can be a challenge to fly with however as it does not give you a realistic view of how the quad is twisting and turning in the air – the view should look quite stable. Also, often the stabilised view comes from a camera with a wide angle lens.

Things to watch out for when flying on the stabilised view – it can give you control challenges

  • If the camera has a fisheye lens (such as the GoPro) then you will appear to be further away from the surface of things than you actually are, so be extra cautious for close call flying, flying where you are elevating up the face of something or flying through narrow gaps
  • As you can’t see how far you are twisting through the stabilised image be aware that you may have already tilted near to the maximum that the flight mode allows and hence you may not be able to tilt anymore to perform some evasive action. This can be problematic again if you are flying close to things as you may not have the extra control to move away from the object that you are expecting
  • Do not fly in Manual mode in the stabilised view – you have too little real flight information to react to and your reactions need to be quick in manual mode.

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