2018 was a dynamic year that saw the introduction of new drone laws and exciting product launches. So, let’s take a moment to reflect on the year gone by…and take another look at some things that you might have missed from us this year.
2018 was a landmark year as far as drone laws are concerned. In February 2018, Vic had put in a FOIA request inquiring about the number of enforcements against illegal drone operators. To our surprise, we found a total lack of enforcement from the FAA.
The 2018 FAA Reauthorization Bill which was introduced in April 2018 became an Act when it was passed with overwhelming majority by the Senate in October 2018. The defining factor of this Act was repealing of Section 336, and the introduction of Section 344. Under this new section 344, hobby pilots shall be required to complete an online tutorial. Moreover hobby pilots will need authorization to fly in controlled airspace. Section 384 of the Act which defined runway exclusions ultimately prompted DJI to come out with a new geofencing system, Geo V 2.0 which introduced longer protective safety zones around runways.
When sections of the drone industry like AMA and Commercial Drone Alliance vehemently opposed the passage of this Bill, we had argued how greater enforcement could help assuage safety concerns – ultimately resulting in greater drone penetration
The Uniform Law Commission introduced the “Tort Law relating to Drones Act” in April. Passage of this Act would have severely limited airspace for drone pilots. Thankfully, this Act was struck down later in the year, in October.
2018 was a HUGE year as far as product launches were concerned. DJI, the industry leader managed to up the ante with every launch – which is certainly no small feat.
DJI kickstarted this year by announcing the launch of their one handed camera gimbal, the Ronin-S at CES 2018. A significant improvement over its predecessor, the Ronin M, the Ronin S is characterized by its great build and awesome compatibility. What sets apart the Ronin S from other cheaper gimbals is the controlled motion which prevents the camera from racking back and forth. Check out Paul’s thorough review of the Ronin S where we share some great Tips and Tricks such as infinite spin and ideal settings for capturing action sports.
There was a lot of drama surrounding the Mavic 2 launch in August. Before the launch, a DJI retailer based in UK accidently published specs for the same. And well, the Mavic certainly lived up to the hype and how. The Mavic 2 was introduced into two variants – Pro and Zoom. The Mavic 2 Pro with its 1 inch Hasselblad sensor ensures some breath taking imagery. And the Mavic Zoom comes with the Dolly Zoom feature which was popularized by Hitchcock in his classics. But, is the Mavic 2 Pro a good alternative to the Phantom 4 Pro? And should you buy the Mavic 2 Pro or the Mavic Zoom? Or, both? Check out our podcast where we cover all these topics in great detail.
In October, DJI added some powerful accessories to the Mavic 2 Zoom to come out with the Mavic 2 Enterprise. These new features make it possible for drone pilots to execute creative and nuanced solutions. Finally, in December, DJI announced the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual. The Mavic Thermal which comes with a FLIR sensor offers drone pilots a good alternative to the Matrice series.
October saw the launch of another extremely promising drone – the Phantom 4 RTK. The Phantom 4 RTK offers a drone, base station and RTK unit for just $7,500. Lot of drone pilots have been asking whether the Phantom 4 RTK will result in a more efficient workflow. Can you completely do away with GCP’s? What sort of vertical accuracy can you achieve using the Phantom 4 RTK? In a recent podcast, we cover all this and more in great detail.
Towards the end of the year, DJI delighted film makers by launching the Osmo Pocket – an ultra-portable stabilized 12 MP camera. Click Here to check out our in depth review.
It is our constant endeavour to provide our readers with the latest, most relevant and most exciting news and research. And we thank all our supporters for your immense support and love. Your encouragement certainly keeps us going. We have complied a list of 2018’s Most Memorable and Most Loved Shows just for you. Be sure to check them out.
The 2018 Drone U Fly-in held from August 3-5 was a huge success. And we promise that 2019 will be BIGGER and even BETTER. We also organized an extremely successful Accident Reconstruction Training in the month of November in collaboration with NTSB and Pix4D. You can check out our forthcoming trainings by going Here.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the entire Drone U Family. Hoping that your holidays – and all your days – are filled with joy and love!