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Matrice M600 + Sony A7RII

Discussion in 'Matrice 600' started by InterMurph, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. InterMurph

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    So what if I wanted to fly my Sony A7RII on the Matrice M600?

    What sort of camera control could I have? Can I change settings, switch between video and stills, trigger stills, etc., like I do with my X3 and X5? Would I need to use the Z15-A7 gimbal, or could I use the more flexible Ronin MX?

    As excited as I am about my X5R, the A7RII is really the camera I want to fly. It's a full-frame sensor, takes gorgeous 42-megapixel photos, does incredible 4K video at 100 megabits/second, and even has a 1.5x crop mode for 4K video.

    But I can't tell from the DJI materials what camera control I would have. Does anybody know?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Dr. Ifly Drones

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    Some of your questions can't be answered until we know how they integrate the M600 into the DJI GO app. If you are in the USA, the Ronin MX is out... But, the Zenmuse Z15A7 would presumedly work for you. They say the M600 will support all of the Zenmuse gimbals so, if you had one from a Spreading Wings model it should work. Switching settings appears less clear. I can tell you that with my S1000+ and Canon 5DM3 that you take off in whatever mode you want to shoot and have to land and physically change the settings on the camera under the old system. The video seems to suggest that if you want to change setting in air you may need to be flying a proprietary DJI imaging system.
     
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  3. The Editor

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    The other thing to bear in mind is the battery life on the A7R11 is rubbish so if there is no way to power it externally via the gimbal you will be swapping out batteries more times than you change you mind!
     
  4. Kilrah

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    The A7RII battery life is pretty OK especially for aerial use it will never last less than your flight battery anyway, can swap both together. And it can be powered through USB during operation so in most cases it's not a problem at all in the first place.

    The A7-II series have a different form factor from the former A7, seems the Z15-A7 won't take them without some hacking and modding and DJI have stated at some point they didn't intend to make a new gimbal. Control is basically only start/stop with the mode and settings you configured before takeoff, you'll never get better integration from anything other than DJI proprietary solutions.
     
  5. InterMurph

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    This is a giant hole in the MX story. From the DJI store:
    If this is a permanent restriction, then I think this system can be considered DOA. There are certainly many filmmakers outside the USA who would use it, but this product could fairly be described as "DJI's heavy-lift system for Hollywood productions". If it can't be used in Hollywood, then what's the point?

    So I am hoping that this is a temporary restriction; maybe they don't have the US regulatory approvals yet?

    But as usual, we don't have enough info from DJI, so we get to speculate endlessly.
     
  6. InterMurph

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    The following statements are true:
    • A7RII batteries don't last nearly as long as Canon 5D batteries
    • It would be great of A7RII batteries lasted longer than they do
    • It's annoying to have to change the battery on the A7RII

    But so are the following statements:
    • The A7RII battery lasts for 45 to 60 minutes while recording 4K video
    • The A7RII battery is substantially smaller than the 5D battery, and weighs much lesl

    So the battery problem just isn't a real problem. The camera control problem, well that's a problem! I hope they can fix that.
     
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  7. The Editor

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    To answer your question.......

    I have been contacted by DJI. Apparently this is a hot topic of conversation at NAB (surprise surprise).

    The situation is this:
    In order for the Ronin MX to 'talk' to the gimbal/aircraft it utilises a very low powered transmitter to link the units. This is distinct and different from the video downlink.
    The transmitter operates in a frequency band/spectrum that is authorised by the FCC for ground use but is (currently) illegal to use once airborne.

    What I find astounding is, DJI would be acutely aware of differing rf and transmission restrictions in different countries especially after the 32 Ch fiasco with the Inspire.... and yet, someone in R&D considered it a good idea to release this brand new platform which when used with the Ronin MX will 'by the letter of the law' not be legal to use in the US. :rolleyes:

    Brilliant in so many ways and yet in others......totally clueless!!
     
  8. InterMurph

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    So there's the explanation for the inevitable four-month delay: they have to re-engineer that link.

    I am assuming that this communication between gimbal and craft is wireless because of the slick "rotate indefinitely" feature of the MX gimbal. That's a nice feature, but in my mind, it simply isn't worth it. Give me a USB cable and the X3/X5 540 degrees of rotation, and I'm happy.

    But I'm not the target market for this product, so who knows.
     
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  9. The Editor

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    Yup, I think there may be some back peddling going on and a re-look at the wireless link for the good old US of A.
    As an aside, there are numerous wired gimbals on the market that give free endless 360degree rotation via slip rings. DJI's own offerings have done this for ages.
    I think they try and get too clever for their own good sometimes......
     
  10. NeilHall

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    I have just embarked on building an s1000 with and A7. As part of the research it seems that the Z15-A7 gimbal only supports the A7R (or S) and NOT the A7Rii. Found this in the gimbal handbook
     
  11. greyman

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    my plan:
    - updated S900 with E1200 system an LB2
    - ronin mx gimbal with connex video transmitter
    - futaba 14SG remote
    - CamRemote

    so I can control the gimbal and the camremote via S-Bus an the Futaba remote.

    for flying I use a little FPV cam on the LB2.

    for charging the A7S mk II I can use a dummy batterie and a d-tap conector to the ronin.

    should work the same way with a M600.
     
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  12. erikgraham

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    So, no real definitive answer yet on the Sony a7rii?

    I'm also interested in hanging this from a 600 using an MX. The DJI Focus would give us a little additional control. But I'm not sure if it is compatible with the Sony a7rii.
     
  13. erikgraham

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    From DJI's Ronin-MX FAQ:

    Q: What cameras is the Ronin-MX compatible with?

    A: The Ronin-MX is compatible with all cameras that are compatible with Ronin-M...

    Okay...that's helpful DJI. So what cameras is the Ronin-M compatible with?

    The Ronin-M supports a wide variety of camera systems that weigh less than 3.6kg (8lbs). This includes the Sony A7S, Canon 5D, Nikon D800, Panasonic GH4, and more. The Ronin-M can be easily balanced and auto-tunes to support your preferred setup. (Source: Ronin-M FAQ)
    And that is about as much information as I've been able to find on the DJI website. Not very definitive.

    I guess if anyone knows of someone using a Sony a7rii on a Ronin-M, that would tell us it's compatible with the MX.

    Control
    The original post also asked about how much control we'd have. Obviously we can assume shutter.

    But with the DJI Focus, we can also control focus or aperture.

    When upgraded with a Focus Expansion Module, the Focus can control aperture or focus across Lightbridge 2’s 3.1miles (5km) range.

    Interesting wording. First, it seems to require an upgrade. Second, it's "aperture OR focus" - not both at the same time. I'm not sure, but to change between focus or aperture control it appears you'd have to land, reposition the ring, re-calibrate the Focus wheel, and then take off.

    Bottom line:
    Take this with a grain of salt, but as far as I can figure any of this out from DJI's website, it seems likely that Sony a7 cameras (of various flavors) are compatible. Shutter control only.

    If you buy DJI Focus and the Focus Expansion Module Upgrade, you also get control over Aperture -or- Focus.

    I hope someone comes a long with definitive answers.
     
  14. x5yo

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    Video here of an A7r II on custom gimbal.



    Hasselblad is making a big announcement within 3 days, I have a sneaky feeling it will involve DJI too.
    Hopefully an X6 & X6R with Hasselblad IQ and RAW.

    So hard to make a big investment with DJI atm, they constantly fill me with fear that as soon as I dump several k into them, they'll come out with the next best thing 2 months later, at least if I wait till NOV, hopefully have a clearer vision for the next 6 months.

    ATM, it feels like they are going to be dropping something new very soon.
     
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  15. The Editor

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    Probably that they are nearly bankrupt (again!). :p

    More likely to be the X1D I would think. Should know in a couple of hours!
     
  16. x5yo

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    Key-Rect!

    As game changing as my ass...not very.
     
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  17. x5yo

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  18. DrMrdalj

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    Hi,
    I had similar taught, but there are several problems to consider:
    - as far as I learned LB2 controller does not have any expo or gain settings for sticks sensitivity (there is no such option for LB2 despite it is present on Inspire1), so it would be very tedious to precisely controll big bird as S900 or S1000, more so if there is just one operator
    - LB2 controller switches can't be mapped to external functions if some equipment is not directly supported by A3/GO App, and switches/buttons can't get remapped... so most of LB2 controller potential is not accessible...
    On the other hand, I hear many positive feedbacks on new A3 flight controller.

    From my standpoint it is much more important to have precise and smooth aircraft control then to have integrated FPV downlink. Therefore, if you do not like integrated system such as Matrice600 with Zenmuse/Ronin, you could opt for some S1000+ with A3 and Futaba controller, Amimon Connex downlink, CamRemote camera control, with any lightweight gimbal (AlexMos/Basecam for afordabillity, or Freefly Movi M5 if you dont want your horizon to drift on high accelerations)...

    Don't rush with LB2 until you make detailed test by yoursef, as it is uncertain how its functions and devices support will develop...
     
    #18 DrMrdalj, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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  19. erikgraham

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    The focus is compatible (depending on lens). By some reports you can mount 2 on the MX for focus and aperture. Don't know about shutter. Good infon
    Update: turns out you can mount 2 Focus units on the MX, giving you focus and aperture.