We think many, if not seen, then heard about CineWhoop – compact drones built to implement high-quality aerial photography in almost any conditions, from the street to cramped rooms with people or expensive interior items. In other words, they allow you to get angles that cannot be achieved with a handheld camera or a standard larger drone. The power plant of such copters is hidden behind the ring protection to avoid direct contact of the rapidly rotating propellers with property or people. SteadyWhoop builds on the same functionality, but now includes a motorized gimbal that stabilizes the camera to produce images that professionals can now use.
- Flight weight 1050 g
- Frame size 280 mm
- Frame length 15 cm
- Ring protection size 80 mm
- The frame of the Geyser was designed specifically to fit a heavier payload.
- All structural elements are made of flexible and durable material. (We have been working with a 3D printing specialist for 4 years)
- Hobbywing ESC & FC
- Motors 2207 2700KV
- Geffan Propellers
- Micro BEC 3A
- Drone Power 5S 1800mAh LiPo
- XT60+2200UF CONDO
- Max. flight time 3 min 30 sec
- Quick-release 3-axis motorized gimbal adapted to mount GoPro 5/6/7 series cameras
- The tilt angle (60°) of the gimbal is controlled by a 3-position switch on the control equipment, eliminating the need for two pilot/survey operators. Allows you to achieve real cinematic effects when switching
- Soft change of inclination angles that do not affect flight stability
- Gimbal can be mounted at 90° for panoramic POV
- Digital FPV System by DJI Innovations
- 2 × Angel/Acro flight modes
- Circularly polarized high gain omnidirectional antennas (2/5 dBi)
- TBS CROSSFIRE NANO RX
- The antennas for the Crossfire are positioned behind the drone in an L-shape to optimize signal in all directions.
- FPV removal distance up to 3 km (even in difficult conditions)
- After many tests, the developer has optimized: PID, filters and speed settings; Reduced engine temperature; Reduced vibration. Guaranteed smooth and reliable drone
- 2 × Super bright LEDs (Tinyleds) 4-6S located at the rear of the drone
The developer offers the drone in eight configurations at once. But only six of them include a 3-axis mechanical gimbal. A “Mini” version of the drone has also been added, built on the classic “Squirt” type short frame. The rest are built on a reinforced elongated frame of the “Steady the Geyser” type, which allows you to install more payload:
- Cinewhoop Squirt V2
- Cinewhoop Geyser
- Mini SteadyWhoop
- Mini Steadywhoop – Combo
- Mini Steadywhoop – Full Combo
About the developer and development process
SteadyWhoop is designed and built by Eric Ziegel. Eric is a professional director who, among other things, is interested in developing specialized mechanisms for shooting from non-standard angles. The development of such a drone was prompted by the lack of an effective and portable tool for obtaining stabilized and cinematic shots at medium heights, like a movie crane, which in turn does not give full freedom of action and is too bulky and expensive equipment. In February of last year, inspired by the experience of the guys from Shendrones, I decided to retrofit their solution (Squirt drone) with a mechanical 3-axis stabilizer. The first tests almost immediately gave the desired result, after which Eric began the necessary refinement and testing of the system, which took almost three months of everyday work. Testing affected the selection of the desired power plant, PC adjustment and suspension selection.
According to Eric, in the course of testing, he realized that the tool he implemented actually became a flying steadicam that could follow the actor, and also allowed free creative flights while simultaneously controlling the tilt of the gimbal from the control equipment, which fundamentally distinguished the model from the standard version of the drone . Then Benoit Fink (a famous professional drone pilot) rightly pointed out that the resulting drone could no longer be called CineWhoop, and that they should come up with a new name for it. This is how the first SteadyWhoop was born.
The developer quickly came to the conclusion that such a drone would gain maximum recognition in the professional film industry as many pros have now realized the unprecedented potential of FPV filming and since the advent of CineWhoop have been in search of a simple, reliable, direct working tool that does not require many hours of training. and drone settings. As a result, this prompted him to offer a novelty to anyone who needs his capabilities.
Drone flight weight and flight duration
The flight weight of the drone is 1100 grams. The model runs on 5S LiPo batteries with a capacity of 1800 mAh, which allows for a flight duration of about 3 minutes 30 seconds.
SteadyWhoop, like the film crane, is designed for slow motion and cinematic filming. Given its weight and momentum, it can fly or hover at very low speeds, allowing it to be used as a steadicam. Max. level flight speed is about 50 km/h in Acro mode and 35 km/h in Angel mode.
DJI Digital FPV System
By default, the drone uses DJI’s digital FPV system, which allows you to fly with confidence, see all the details of the environment, and anticipate the best angles. According to Eric, the DJI system is especially suitable for beginners who are just starting to learn first-person flight. But, he also noted that if the customer wishes, they can provide SteadyWhoop without a DJI FPV system.
Do I need to activate GoPro digital stabilization? Or use a post-production tool like ReelSteady?
The advantage of the SteadyWhoop platform hosted on board is precisely to get beautiful stabilized footage without additional processing. However, it is possible, but not necessary.
If necessary, the developer recommends using the Hypersmooth GoPro Hero 7 in real time, or in extreme cases, the ReelSteady Go software in conjunction with the Hero 6. This will allow you to make even more refined and professional stabilization correction.
As in the case of the FPV system, there are two control options to choose from: using a standard remote control (for example, Taranis X7), which every advanced hobbyist usually has, and using the DJI remote control, which comes with DJI digital FPV system. It is enough to clarify this when ordering a drone.
The platform allows the camera to be tilted up and down without the need for a second operator. The gimbal is controlled by a 3-position switch on the control equipment. For example, before passing under the subject to shoot, you can move the camera up by moving the switch up. And after passing, return it to a horizontal position and then move it down to simulate a dive. At the end, this effect is very interesting and exciting! A damping pad was also added to the gimbal design to avoid jerks during flight.
The main purpose of SteadyWhoop
It is primarily intended for professional and semi-professional filmmakers, as well as for all those who are looking for an efficient and fast FPV drone shooting solution that does not require additional time for training, testing, setup and repair.
Is the drone suitable for beginners?
Due to its stability, piloting a drone can be easily mastered by beginners. Its speed, height, is limited as the weight/power ratio is an important factor. And thanks to the DJI FPV system, the pilot will see a realistic and high-quality image in the glasses, which will allow him to detect obstacles in advance.
Will the gimbal withstand a collision or heavy impact from a crash?
As the developer himself explains, it all depends on the speed. In the event of an accident at low speed or in Angel mode, the air ducts and propellers will be the first to suffer. He also noted that in the three months of operation he had three crashes, as a result of which the suspension never suffered.
You can fly in the rain. To do this, modified silicone is used so that the device does not suffer in conditions of high humidity.
The developer specifies that each SteadyWhoop is assembled individually. Assembly time is 2 weeks on average. Special attention is paid to every element of the drone to ensure maximum quality. Then, before sending, its performance is checked. At present, the main customers are located in the USA and Germany.
What improvements for professional use can be expected in the near future?
The developer is working towards improving the possibilities of cinematic shooting. Some promising tests have already been completed with the GoPro anamorphic cine lens installed. Other tests with the 3.4mm lens showed good results in 4K widescreen, without the fisheye effect. The idea is to match the lens to the shots you want, just like you would for a DSLR. We are also working on the possibilities of using other gimbals, including gimbals available on the market. Support for new cameras other than GoPro, such as the Sony RX0 II, is also being explored.
Availability and price
SteadyWhoop is offered in the developer’s brand store, configured and ready to use. Thus, it allows both the novice and the director to get a fully functional shooting tool right out of the box. The developer uses settings and equipment that have proven themselves during several months of testing, so that each client has a reliable and high-quality quad. Ongoing customer support is provided, as well as a 10-minute video showing the step-by-step process of launching the drone after unboxing. Depending on the configuration, the price starts from 560 €:
- Cinewhoop Squirt V2 – 560€
- Cinewhoop Geyser – 620€
- Mini SteadyWhoop – 900€
- Steadywhoop – 1000€
- Mini Steadywhoop – Combo – 1201€
- Steadywhoop – Combo – 1300€
- Mini Steadywhoop – Full Combo – 1664€
- Steadywhoop – Full Combo – 1764€
Video from the developer with SteadyWhoop drone.