In brief – the camera mounting on the Inspire is an absolute joke – been at this as long as anyone and “never” have I ever seen such a “Circus Act” in mounting a camera under a machine – the camera is constantly in motion which causes a number of problems.There is little doubt that DJI dropped the ball on this application. Mounting of the camera in this manner is a magnet for problems such as; jitter, vibration,Jell-O to name a few.
In fact – the first per-release video I seen of an Inspire flying with that camera flopping around like it was falling off – I thought was a joke. A simple yet effective mod which I added my second flight is by using a few small tie-wraps to dampen the swinging motion of the camera – Begin with them lose and then tighten them a few clicks at a time until you see the lateral movement dampen out. This is just a fix - the actual dampening needs to be redesigned. However, this will improve performance as well as preserve both the gimbal motors and battery life. I have included a post below which I placed on the RC Group Forum for you guys to review!
Thanks – Mike
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I’m not finding fault with the quality or performance of the Inspire, the machine is a marked improvement and trendsetter in ARF aerial platforms. In addition, the tie-wrap mod is nothing new or unique either, modelers (myself included) have used everything from; liquid silicon to rubber bands to help correct dampening.
Regardless of how happy we are with the Inspire there is always room for improvement – DJI is not a “Drone God” they make plenty of mistakes just like us. Keep in mind 95% of drone R&D is accomplished by pilots in the field like the very ones on this forum. Anyway you look at it DJI got the dampening of the Inspire dead wrong!
To clarify myself – true lateral movement of a stable camera platform is not anything new – having spends years using Garrett’s Steadicam, we suffered constantly with lateral movement from running and stair shots and such where the result is not a shake but a smearing effect in the shot - this was later remedied with electronic camera lens.
As we look at the Inspire’s unique problem – most pilots think its just lateral movement because think they see only in a lateral movement of the camera - when in fact this is this furthest from the truth. The center of the Inspires lens is located 4.25” below the platform, so as the camera shakes at a frequency of 1-3 times per second, the camera is actually moving in an arc from the mount. i.e. the camera is swinging from the mount and not sliding as it would on a rail for true lateral movement.
This problem is know as a “Pendulum Movement” on each shake, the camera moves out of its horizontal plane because the 4” pendulum has considerable more movement on the bottom of the arc than it does at the top. This movement, which is changing the horizontal plane of the camera, is in turn picked by the sensors resulting in an instruction to the motor in an attempt to correct the movement. In other words - the roll motor is constantly at work in an attempt to move the camera back to its original horizontal plane on every swing. This is why its important to restrict the movement of the camera – it serves no purpose what-so ever to have the camera shaking under the platform, it only severs to further burden the processor and over-work the motors and make us look like jerks on the set! lol
While it could very well be other factors – after I stabilized my mount with the tie-wraps (no lateral swinging motion visible) I’m now achieving two additional minutes of flight time – I feel part of this is attributed to the roll motor being at idle most of the time.
Best Regards - Mike Mas