Thursday, September 12, 2019

Meet Colin Guinn AGAIN... Drone pioneer who has seen it all!

Well I got to sit down and do a one on one interview with the colorful celebrity of the drone world at Interdrone 2019, none other then Colin Guinn! I, like most drone enthusiasts, have been watching Colin's career, his ever present exhuberant and passionate persona, on the "Drones Over America!" Check out the amazing insight Colin had for what drones would mean for society by reading some of his dialog:
internet and virtually all channels of media! Beginning back in 2012 Colin made DJI a household name and UAV/Drone communities formed around his evangelizing of such cool tech! His marketing messaging, training videos and multiple mainstream broadcast TV appearances were engaging and fun to watch as we learned about these 4 prop flying wonders with cameras and gimbals. Colin even shared the screen back in 2014 with Morley Safer on an episode of 60 minutes entitled "Drones over America." 

So yesterday there stood Colin Guinn at the podium, a keynote speaker at INTERDRONE 2019. I was compelled to once again connect with Colin and record an audio interview to find out just what he was up to now.  Some of the questions in the interview provided some closure on just what happened with him and CEO Frank Wang of DJI as well as the startup company 3DR where one of the most viral and sensational video ads ever was produced in-house, by Colin and friends for the drone industry!! I also ask Colin in the interview where he thinks the drone industry is heading now and the role his new consulting firm is playing in the industries future. So checkout some sound advice and get some direction regarding venturing into the drone/UAS industry. So enough said click video below and enjoy!

Oh wait one more thing before you watch. Speaking of the influence of DRONE's in societybe sure to also checkout the new drone based animated series:
Yeah Yeah I know a self touting advertisement plug for our new show here at OTW!

One thing before you press PLAY above a word up about our technical fun loving community... from  the box office hit "Revenge of the Nerds" remember "Geeks and Nerds are COOL too!" Oh yeah more drone industry widespread market influence! There's a new animated series in development entitled "The Adventures of Bad Drone and Arnold" Yeah Yeah I know a self touting advertisement plug for our new show here at On the Wave Productions...

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Making a difference in the world of commercial drones

There are people in the drone/UAV industry making a difference with education and safety at the top of their list. Meet Marc Langley, CEO of Airborne Works and speaker at Interdrone. With an electricians background and specializing in Refrigeration, cryogenics, incubators and more, he entered into the world of drones and image mapping. In a mere 4 years he is truly a leader and evangelist of drone technology! A non-profit arm of his company will even donate a drone for a good cause!

Marc led an amazing eye opening breakout session on photogrammetry (the 2D capturing of landscapes and 3D rendering) for the EPA that also included infrared maps to trace water temperatures that would reveal areas of nitrate concentration, an indicator of harmful contaminants enetering a waterway through a cranberry farm. It was a perfect example that set the tone of his lecture. I for one walked away excited about this field and instead of being fearful to get out there and do it I became enthusiastic! Just another benefit of attending a well focused trade show like Interdrone!

I had a good laugh with Marc at the end of our interview and I mentioned some drone carnage, to quote Marc  "You're not a pilot unless you've lost a drone or two! " to which he confessed losing 2 in one day and I could relate! True words of encouragement despite loss of gear in this field of work. So get out there and fly and dive into the amazing world of drone tech...

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

INTERDRONE 2019 Celebrates 5 years for a good reason

Own a drone? Thinking of breaking into the vast and exponentially growing commercial market space? Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, 1st Responders, trying to get drone programs started in your city? Construction, Agriculture? Science, Researcher, Innovator., Cinematographer, photographer...

 I can keep going here... if any of the above match your interests then INTERDRONE 2019 is a must conference for you to attend! Experts from all fields, FAA officials, the top of the field have all arrived at Interdrone ready to educate you in your field of choice. From building, programming, schooling, licensing, rules and safety, flying, mapping, cinematography you name it and you'll find that there's a session waiting for you! It's the best jump start to get into this market space now.

I am not affiliated nor am I being paid by the promoters of Interdrone but I am speaking as one of you. The amount of tradeshows with breakout sessions is startling and confusing when it comes to drone/UAV technology lately. You can do the research but I can tell you this....Interdrone is a highly focused event and it covers all aspects of this new industry and in my book this show is now a must see event.

"Is my DJI drone data being stored in China?" DJI's Romeo Durscher answers.

So your drone keeps insisting over and over again whether or not you would like to "SYNCHRONIZE YOUR DATA!" What does that mean? Am I to grant DJI rights to DJI to store the data from all of my flights? Big brother watching? All my data is going to China, where DJI is headquartered?

If you're a commercial drone operator the odds are you need to select YES , SYNCHRONIZE MY DATA, otherwise you will be unable to get the critical data needed for mapping, photogrammetry and more image type data collection and processing.

So tonight I had the opportunity to discuss this with Romeo Durscher of DJI who had just delivered a keynote address at Interdrone. Romeo explained this widespread misconception by stating that all the data goes into the Cloud, where it is simply stored for retieval by it's owner and never leaves the USA. Romeo also stated that DJI could be doing a better job assuring it's customer base that their data is indeed safe and not being used by any foreign power.  So I guess we can all relax and breathe a sigh of relief that there will be no future invasion based on complete mapping details of the contiguous 50 states from millions of USA based DJI drones!  Hey how do we know AMAZON isn't up to no good... to be continued

see related article:

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


Ok well the next drone show is coming up the 1st week in September and we'll be there to report on the latests and greatest drones out there. Will DJI be offering up anything soon to take the place of the workhorse Phantom 4 Pro or is everything shrinking and Mavic sized drones are king! Well of course that all depends whether you need IMAX footage from the big boyz or if current 1 Meg sensors are good enough for the niche you operate in...are the big drones like INSPIRE 2 and other competing products going away...?

We've been testing the DJI Enterprise Mavic with it's FLIR camera for additional InfraRed imaging and so far it seems more gimmicky (loudspeaker not 2 way voice conversation; search lights; beacon), than functional when that functionality is key in rescue operations by Search and Rescue/Sheriff scenarios. Our first look gives conflicting information over the accuracy of the GPS coordinates being displayed and that is quite serious when it comes down to locating lost individuals day or nigh time. We will have more on that after Interdrone so look for it around September 8th on this blog site.

ROBOTS on the REEF is the latest film from OTW Productions in the works for Animal Planet and we will also shed more light on that film and the technology being used to be able to determine the health of an ocean reef system. With climate change warming our seas we are seeing more and more coral reef systems bleaching and dying and the best way to monitor the situation and learn from it is coming from these new water based drones...standby!

Drones are being programmed to locate GREAT WHITE SHARKS in real time and send out information live...WHere: Why in Santa Barbara at UCSB's McCauley Lab.

All these great stories coming up for mid September so we will see you back here on the blog soon!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

UNDERWATER DRONES-Powervision takes the lead with POWER DOLPHIN

Well you may ask yourself "Why would  I need an underwater drone?" Well sit back because the number of reasons are growing! Whether you simply enjoy watersports, underwater photography, professional videography, scientific research etc...oh yeah and how about even sportfishing?! The latter of which seems to be the most popular reason to purchase one!

Powervision came out early in the game with the first consumer and prosumer type product, the POWERRay and the newly announced tetherless POWER Dolphin both supporting their Fishfinder module, basically UNDERWATER SONAR, WOW!!

As a user of their products I can tell you they have been put to the test in the best and worse of conditions including keeping up with Great White juvenile sharks for our current and upcoming televised shows. You can check out some of the footage here.

On the scientific research side of things both products fit the bill for underwater research and mapping capability at a low cost point of entry. 


Image result for fujinon 20-120 reviewFujinon showed there new 20-120mm lens at NAB and it's performance was spectacular. It's predecessor, the Cabrio 19-90mm  sold for up to $35K and this lens is on special for $13.5K which is an amazing price for such a high quality servo enabled cinema lens. It doesn't quite measure up to the 19-90 as it is rated at T-3.5, so not quite as quick but the newer cameras more than makeup for this with their impressive ISO and low light performance capabilities. So we can overlook this a bit...
* T3.5 to T22 aperture with 9 iris blades for attractive bokeh
* Detachable, ENG-style, digital drive unit with zoom rocker switch
* Industry standard 0.8 film MOD gears for focus, zoom, and iris control
* Power & data/control connections to the camera via connectors in rear of the lens.
* 16-bit encoding supports sharing LDS and /i Technology lens data with the camera
* The barrel markings in metric or imperial measurements are switchable in the field
* Luminous barrel markings make it easier to read measurements
* 200° focus barrel rotation and 120° zoom rotation
* No shims are required to adjust the flange focal distance
* Macro focus function available

If you are thinking of using this on something like the new SONY Venice or other Full size sensors then YES you will get some vignetting at the wider end of the spectrum. 

Want to stretch this lens capability even more! Add the new DUCLOS 2.0 x PL extender to boost the lens up to a 40mm to 240mm.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SONY A9 amazing for photographers but currently no picture style for the 4K video. Firmware may be coming!

Well SONY is to be congratulated on an amazing action camera with features that will keep the competition on their toes to keep up. At 24megapixel along with a staggering 20 shots per second you will not be missing the action! So photographers this is a must have camera!

For videographers well it's quite a different story for now.
If you're thinking B camera well think again because without picture styles it's going to be a tough day in the field to get the look feel and style you're after and more importantly in post trying to match up the video beyond REC 709 specs with other cameras.

Bottomline there are simply are no cine-like, log type, gamma flexible type settings on this model. One has to wonder why not, especially at a 4500.00 price tag, by far the most expensive Alpha series camera from Sony. It's cousins like the A7R II heck even the A6500 ($1200.00) have "Picture Style" feature.

Will Sony have a firmware upgrade? Thats the $65 million dollar question as no one at Sony has  responded to the many forums and articles posing the same question. Are the A9's electronics even capable of supporting "Picture Style.".

Don't get me wrong here as Sony is an amazing company with state of the art, bleeding edge technology! The question: Is that enough to keep a truly PROFESSIONAL camera like the A9 flying off the shelves of their dealers minus this IMPORTANT FEATURE? Time will tell but for now we'll have to sit and wait and hope that Sony steps forward to it's dedicated professional customer base to shed some light on the subject!

UPDATE PICTURE STYLE:S-LOG may be on the near horizon !
According to B&H QA forum Anthony from Sony responded that while it will not have Pro Res 422 support they will be adding LOG in a future firmware upgrade. So the good news is that YES it does have the electronics to support this feature!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

GREAT WHITES incursions on Santa Barbara County beaches increases.

For the last 2 weeks we have been monitoring juvenile White Shark activity along the Santa Barbara County coastline and specifically from Carpinteria beaches on up to Goleta beaches. You can view a brief video sequence by clicking here.

In one day alone we spotted 6-8 Great Whites sharks heading towards Loons. On two of the monitoring days we spotted juvenile whites less than 20ft. from the shoreline and in the lineup. At the same time three separate surf camps participants were in the water. We quickly evacuated all kids in the water at Santa Claus/ Padaro Lane twice during the week 7/9-7/15. The sharks made no aggressive moves as they ventured closer and closer to shore and were observe consistently in the 11am to 1pm timeframe over the course of 5 days. They always seem to come from the east along and headed up the coast. At one time 6-8 were observed near Loons. They appear to be looking for Rays and Grunion, both abundant right now. All were in the 5-7ft range and a couple around 10-12ft +. So mostly juvenile. The 2 recent attacks within 24 hours may be their testing their hunting skills for bigger game as they could be changing from juvenile into the young adult phase and luckily failing in their attacks.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


What is focus breathing?
Change in focal length (magnification etc.) as your focal distance changes... that change is called focus breathing

Simply stated it is a phenomenon seen in video and most common on a rack focus where the image appears to breath as focus is being applied and is exaggerated through the use of Zoom lenses.. In other words the size of the image varies during the focusing from one object to another. This makes for undesireable imaging in your video. Is their a workaround with zoom lenses? Not really and this brings us to the issue of using adapters and 3rd party lenses deployed on another manufacturers camera body.

The new SONY A9 is a fantastic camera but throw a metabones adapter and Canon EF L Glass ZOOM lenses on it and be prepared to deal with the breathing issue. Place the equivalent SONY zoom on the A9, A7 etc. and the problem is pretty much non-existent. So if you are considering switching from one camera manufacturer to another and are counting on utilizing your expensive existing lens collection through adapters, be prepared as you will need to think twice when it comes to shooting video.

The best solution here of course is to use primes but if your existing lens collection for example consists of Telephotos, zooms like 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, etc. lenses then you really need to re-evaluate your decision to switch cameras and again this strictly applies to video on a DSLR, mirrored or mirrorless.


The focal length is the distance between a hypothetical single-element lens and a sensor required to reproduce a given magnification of image. This is unrelated to the distance from the sensor to the flange.