Pro photographer Chase Jarvis takes affordable DJI Phantom quadcopter and GoPro cam for a spin (VIDEO)


posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM EST


I've been covering the trend of photographers using RC (radio-controlled) mini helicopters to shoot aerial footage for a number of years now, but I haven't seen anything yet like the phenomenon of the DJI Phantom quadcopter.

The main reason for the explosion of popularity behind these GoPro-friendly, four-propellered, flying eggbeaters is, of course, because they're so darn inexpensive: DJI Phantoms retail for about $679. The other reason these lightweight quadcopters have caught on with photographers -- and consumers -- is that they're relatively easy to fly.

Last week we shared a lovely aerial video of New York City shot by director and producer Nicholas Doldinger using a DJI Phantom equipped with a GoPro HD Hero3. Now, well-known pro photographer Chase Jarvis has taken one of these quadcopters for a spin and shared his test results. In a nutshell, according to Jarvis, the DJI Phantom is "a fricking blast" to use.

"It’s ok that it can’t fly an Arri Alexa or do this or that other thing," he writes on his blog. "BUT damn this is a great entry product that A) allows budget conscious folks the ability to fly a camera; B) makes some pretty solid footy for web videos and such; and C) is a helluva lot of fun to fly. All at fraction of the cost of any previously mentioned option."

Check out Jarvis' test video below, which he shot at Gas Works Park in Seattle. And, in case you're wondering, the sea plane he "chases" with the DJI Phantom is actually a half a mile away. (But we wouldn't advise you to kiss your quadcopter in mid-flight as Jarvis does.)

(Via Chase Jarvis' Blog)