The Drone kit we use
It can be tricky to work out which drone kit package is best for your production needs. But fear not! Below is a detailed summary of the drone and camera equipment we use, and which sort of projects it’s best for. If you have any questions on choosing the right kit—give us a call! We’d be happy to chat them over with you.
DJI INSPIRE 2
The Inspire 2 improves every aspect of the iconic Inspire 1. This is our all-rounder. It’s well-suited to most shoots and can be operated by a single crew, or dual crew for more advanced shots or challenging environments.
With multiple flight modes, the aircraft can both move faster, and more slowly and steady, than other aircraft in its class.
A dual battery system provides both safety redundancy and extends flight times to over 20 minutes. Batteries have self-heating capability, enabling operation in colder temperatures than other drones couldn’t handle.
There are two camera options:
- The X7 camera can shoot video at 6K in 12-bit Raw, and 5.2K in 10-bit Prores HQ. Still, the images are at 24MP.
Its Super 35mm sensor aligns with the standards of the movie industry, and its 14 stops of dynamic range and low-light capability surpass any other aerial camera of its size.
Its native carbon fibre lenses provide focal lengths of 24mm, 38mm, 56mm and 85mm.
- The X5S camera has a micro four-thirds sensor, providing 5.2K in Raw or Prores HQ output, and still images of 21MP.
Olympus lenses of 24, 30, 50 and 90mm cover all the framing options.
Some jobs require slow, steady movement through the air. This is surprisingly difficult, as their small mass gives them lots of acceleration.
The Inspire 2 has a Velocity Clamp feature to ‘turn down’ its responsiveness, enabling smooth tracking movement at a walking pace.
It also has a high-speed mode, making it one of the fastest drones available with a top speed of 58 mph.
FPV 5″ RACING DRONE
Carrying a 4K GoPro, this high-speed racing quadcopter can fly up to 70mph and climb, dive, chase and roll very precisely. We fly it using video goggles that show a live feed of the drone’s camera, so the pilot has a ‘First Person View’ as if they were ‘inside’ the drone. This is what enables the drone to be flown in such a meticulous manner.
It’s great for filming large landscapes in a cinematic fashion such as mountains, valleys, tall buildings, rocky coastline, and forest canopies.
It’s also great for high-speed action sequences, extreme sports and dynamic coverage of any moving subject.
Click here to find out more about what our FPV filming capabilities can do for your production!
FPV 3.5″ CINEWHOOP DRONE
Carrying a 4K GoPro, this FPV drone is known as a ‘Cinewhoop’.
A Cinewhoop is a certain kind of FPV drone—it moves more slowly than the racing version, but it flies more smoothly. Cinewhoop’s propellers are protected by a padded frame, meaning it can be flown close to buildings, objects and people with minimal risk of damage if the drone was to come into contact with any of these.
We fly it using video goggles that show a live feed of the drone’s camera, so the pilot has a ‘First Person View’ as if they were ‘inside’ the drone. This is what enables the drone to be flown in such a meticulous manner.
Click here to see a mini-reel showing some of our recent indoor flying jobs.
The protected propellers make the Cinewhoop a perfect drone for indoor flying—tours of buildings, hotels, offices, real estate, events… really any internal space which would benefit from being shown off in a smooth, forward-moving motion.
The dull ‘building tour’ has now been given a rocket-propelled facelift, and using this drone, we can provide you with fascinating video content that your customers will really want to watch.
If people and interactions are choreographed into the movement too, the video becomes many times more engaging.
Click here to find out more about what our FPV filming capabilities can do for your production!
We have been working with time-lapse and 360º specialist Steve Flanagan, to develop a high-quality drone VR and 360º solution.
Combining the smooth flight characteristics of the ALTA 6 aircraft with the cutting-edge Kandao Obsidian R camera, we’re able to produce a variety of outputs up to 8K resolution and 3D stereoscopic 360º content.
With our expertise in the latest optical flow stitching software, the removal of the drone provides a user-controlled spherical 360º environment for commercial, technical or educational purposes.
The ALTA 6 is a refined cinematography rig designed to carry Freefly’s range of MoVI gimbals. Its party trick is the ability to carry the smaller M5 or larger M15 gimbal either underneath or above the aircraft on its top mount—this opens up a whole range of creative possibilities and in turn, makes the ALTA pretty unique in the world of professional UAVs. The Freefly ALTA unpacks and unfolds, ready to shoot, in under five minutes.
We most often use the Sony A7Sii or A7Rii cameras with this rig, but it can also carry other DSLRs such as the Canon 5D range, and PL mount cine prime lenses are also an option.
In terms of specialist setups, we’ve used the A7Sii with tilt-shift lenses in addition to removing the gimbal to attach 360º camera rigs, and we can also fit powerful lamps for dramatic lighting effects.
We have access to an ALTA 8 octocopter, Freefly’s biggest drone with capability to lift the heaviest cinema payloads such as Arri Alexa Mini, RED Epic and Canon C500, with large lenses and remote focus and iris control.
With the capability to mount the MoVI M15 or MoVI Pro gimbals on both bottom and top mounts, this is a setup for high-end commercials, dramas and feature films where there must be no compromise on quality.
DJI MAVIC 2 PRO
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is our trusty and portable solution for lower-budget shoots, and its quiet manner and 25 minute flight time means it gets the job done with a minimum of fuss.
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro only offers solo-operator configuration, making it perfect for simple video shots, still photography, and shoots where many locations need to be covered in a day.
Its 1-inch Hasselblad sensor can provide 4K or HD video, and capture still images with a resolution of 20 megapixels.
Adjustable aperture and ability to add ND filters means we can expose image for any situation.
In terms of codecs it is limited to H.264, or H.265 which additionally enable us to record to a Log scale, giving a flat colour space better suited to colour grading.
DJI MINI 2
Don’t be fooled by the DJI Mini 2’s small size, this ultra-compact drone really packs a punch. The critical thing about this drone is that it weighs 249 grams. This puts it below the 250g threshold, below which a drone does not legally need to comply with the standard drone regulations requiring it not to be flown within 50 metres of uninvolved people.
So because it can be flown over ‘persons not under our control’, it becomes very useful in congested areas and other places where some serious paperwork would be required to fly a bigger drone—some projects don’t have the budget or the time to allow for this paperwork.
Its flight time is over 30 minutes, and it can shoot 4K or HD video, or capture still images of 12 megapixels. It operates with a fixed aperture, but we have ND filters which enable us to expose the image for any light level.
This thing is tiny, and whisper-quiet, meaning that usually, people don’t even know it is there!
The DJI Mini 2 may be limited in terms of quality, but it’s an incredibly useful tool to have in the kit bag.
Outstanding service from initial contact through to the final shot and delivery. They raised the level of production far past our expectations. Very experienced in what they do, adaptable to what the day threw at us and delivered some fantastic work. Will work with them in the future and would highly recommend them to anyone who wants to take their production to the next level. Skyhook are the real deal.
Skyhook helped us out on a logistically challenging shoot with utter professionalism and got us a fantastic final product. Highly recommended!
Fantastic expertise and very knowledgeable. We have had several drone shoots so far which have been quite challenging (filming for CGI/camera tracking) and Skyhook has delivered each time.
A brilliant team, who provided some excellent shots for our branded content series. We were so happy to work with them and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone else.
Fantastic eye for the perfect aerial shot, very professional, and easy to work with. Initially commissioned to create content for a Welsh Water online promo, Skyhook’s footage was subsequently used on BBC News (broadcast and online), which was a testament to their good work.
Chris and the team at Skyhook are second to none within the aerial filming industry. They take safety and the strict regulations seriously while at the same time capturing stunning images. Use these guys, they’re good.
Skyhook proved to be a great asset to this programme. They were ready to go and in position when required. A lot of their material made it into the final edit which we already had a number of cameras covering, so this is a testament to their work. Very easy to work with and with a number of drones to choose from.
Working with Skyhook was great. They are friendly, efficient and very professional. The preparation and permit application went smoothly. The shoot day went like clockwork and we got all the shots we needed – and more. The footage looks great. Highly recommended!
Skyhook were great to use on our recent promotional film for Southern Water. Some stories can only be told from the air, and the footage shot for this really brought a huge sense of scale and impressiveness to the final film. Skyhook were receptive to my needs, efficient and a valuable asset to any production.
Chris and his team were very professional and hard-working, providing us with excellent footage and generally being a pleasure to work with. I look forward to working with them again in the future.
Skyhook really impresses with impeccable safety and professionalism. The versatility that they can offer with this unique way of shooting is freeing and inspiring. Not only do they offer a brilliant service but the way in which they do so is why we would use Skyhook again and again. They are incredibly easy to get on with and combined with a creative flair that will allow you to get the most out of this state of the art technology.
Hugely helpful and accommodating in our request to film a drone shoot in the centre of London. From the start, they realistically set our expectations as to what was possible but also worked really hard to make the shoot happen in difficult circumstances. The whole Skyhook team were great and we were really pleased with the results — dynamic and unique footage for the documentary.
It was great working with the Skyhook team. They were very informative about the procedures of drone filming and accommodating while we organised locations and dates. They took direction very well and were a genuine pleasure to work with. We managed to film some dynamic beautiful footage which added an incredible perspective to the video.