I fly FPV freestyle miniquads. The hobby is constantly pushing the limits. For flippy, energetic freestyle, most of us are now flying pretty similar setups: 5” propellers, 2207 or 2306 motors, and a GoPro. These builds tend to come in at 650 to 750 grams while in the air, and this seems to be a sweet spot for freestyle. You have plenty of weight to help fight air resistance and wind while being light enough to be efficient and smooth.
We’ve also been experimenting with getting cinematic shots that you’d usually get with something like a DJI Mavic. I could use my 5” drone for this, but you’re not going to want to fly close to people, because those props would send someone to the hospital if something goes wrong.
People realized that you don’t need a massive power-to-weight ratio to record smooth cinematic footage, especially when you run your GoPro footage through ReelSteady Go. That’s when the cinewhoop was born. These are basically 5” freestyle quads scaled down to use 3” props, and they have prop ducts. Those ducts keep people from getting cut open if the pilot bumps into them. This was huge.
That’s where the Naked GoPro comes in. People have figured out how to take the case off a GoPro HERO 6 Black. They’re also removing the battery and getting power directly from the drone. This brings the GoPro down from around 100 grams to 15 or 20 grams.
You don’t need a heavy, powerful 3” quad to carry a Naked GoPro. Tommy Tibajia has paired the Naked GoPro with the Beta85X from BetaFPV. He’s designed a mounting plate for the GoPro, and that plate has nifty vibration-damping bits at the corners. He’s done a lot of work tuning those dampers and designing these parts, and he’s even saved you the trouble, because he’s uploaded those designs to Thingiverse. You can 3D-print your own!
Why am I writing about this today?!
Tommy introduced us to his UMMA85 over two months ago. Why am I talking about it now? Tommy posted a video today documenting how to build a digital version of the UMMA95. This is a little bigger than the UMMA85, but it also includes the DJI Digital FPV system.
I’m excited, but I won’t be building one
I don’t actually have a cinewhoop, but I’ve used my 4” Kestrel twice when I should have used a cinewhoop. That’s the trouble, though. I’ve only used it for cinewhooping twice, and I’ve not come up with a third idea.
I’m also not excited about decasing a GoPro. I smash GoPros all the time. When I do, I file a claim, then buy a fresh GoPro. All I have to do is strap the new GoPro to my quad and start flying.
View this post on Instagram
I did my first real #cinewhoop style flight yesterday, and #reelsteadygo did a fantastic job smoothing the footage or for me. Considering how little planning we did, I think I did a pretty good job! What do you think?! #fpv #fpvracer #drone #drones #droneracing #droneracer #fpvdrones #fpvrace #multirotor #quadcopter #fpvfreestyle
Sure, I’m not likely to break a Naked GoPro on something as small as the UMMA85, but I wouldn’t be excited about having to decase a replacement. I’m also not sure I’d be able to file an insurance claim when it breaks!
What do you think? Are you a DJI Mavic pilot interested in FPV for this sort of cinematic work? Are you an FPV pilot excited about the idea of having a minuscule cinematic platform? Let me know in the comments, or stop by the Butter, What?! Discord server to chat with me about it!