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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Relaxation of Drone Flying Laws Opens Up Professional Aerial Image Opportunities

In late September 2016, The Australian Government Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) removed a large portion of red tape surrounding commercial drone use. It was a move that made it easier and more cost effective for professional photographers and videographers to incorporate aerial imagery into their productions.

Drones allow the capture of unique aerial perspectives

Before we explain what these changes are and how they will translate into a massive shift in the professional photography world lets go back to the basics.


What is a Drone?

Drone, Quadcopter, UAV, UAS, RPA, RPAS; there are many confusingly different words in use around the world for what is essentially a personal aircraft that can be controlled remotely from the ground via a radio transmitter.

If you’re struggling to comprehend what that might look like, just think of a radio controlled car that is able to fly around in the sky at speeds of up to 65kph. Now imagine a gimbal stabilised camera strapped to the bottom that can capture ridiculously smooth RAW images and cinematic 4K quality videos from the air and you have a basic understanding of what a drone is and what they can do.

The DJI Mavic Pro is much smaller in size than traditional drones and is capable of delivering impressive video and photor results.

Drones can range in size from the pocket-sized ZeroTech Dobby Selfie Drone, to the compact yet versatile DJI Mavic Pro all the way up to the half a metre wide Yuneec Typhoon H Hexacopter Drone which supports a video transmission range of up to 1.6km.

The DJI Phantom 4 Drone has advanced obstacle avoidance systems and can capture 4K video.

Drones are available with advanced flight technology like intelligent obstacle avoidance to make flying safer and easier. As well as enhanced flight safety drones also offer a choice of cinematic controls, from simple tap to fly navigation to dynamic subject tracking with controlled circling, the automated flight systems make it effortless to capture your own epic aerial footage and pictures.


What Has Changed?

If your drone is being piloted for commercial use and it has a maximum take-off weight of less than two kilograms, then you no longer need to apply for a certificate or a pilot’s licence from CASA in order to fly your aircraft.

The previous requirements to pay about $1400 in regulatory fees have been abolished, along with the need to maintain and develop flight manuals and other documentation.

Aerial photography and videography has many applications from real estate and construction to wedding and filmmaking

Essentially, this means that photographers and videographers can get excited about a whole range of new possibilities. Imagine how different your production could look now that you can incorporate a helicopter style shooting perspective.

Wedding videographers can capture their client’s special day from above, film makers can explore a whole new way of recording cinematic style opening shots, and photographers have an entirely new birds eye perspective to view the world from.
The DJI Inspire RAW has a X5R 4K core that can shoot 4K RAW video from the sky and can be controlled by two pilots at the same time

What Are the New Laws?

For an in depth explanation of the laws surrounding aerial photography we recommend that you visit the Australian Government Civil Aviation Safety Authority or CASA website which details the laws exactly as they are written, but we’ve provided a quick summary below to get you started:
  • A drone was called an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) in the old legislation but under the new laws it is now referred to as a RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft)
  • Flights must only be during the day and your RPA must be always within a visual line-of sight
  • Your RPA must not be flown any higher than 120m
  • Your RPA must be kept at least 30m away from other people
  • You must keep at least 5.5km between your RPA and any controlled aerodromes like airports and helicopter pads
  • Flight is not permitted over any populous areas like beaches, parks and sporting ovals
  • You cannot fly your RPA over or near an emergency operation this could include firefighting situations, car crashes, or any police operations
  • You may only fly one RPA at a time
  • Before your first commercial flight it is necessary to notify CASA of your flight and apply for a ARN (Aviation Reference Number)

All in all, the new rules are fairly straightforward and considering that you no longer need to pay expensive registration fees, licensing fees, or maintain complicated log books and flight records it is now decidedly easier to take to the sky.

Aerial perspectives that are possible with drones are unique and refine what is possible with photography

Pro shooters have the option to show a whole new perspective to their clients, by embracing the creative opportunities that drone photography and videography can offer. With the advancement of cinematic flight technology and the Australian Governments relaxation of flight laws there has never been a better time to consider incorporating shooting aerial imagery into your next commercial project.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Photokina 2016 - Olympus PEN E-PL8 Announced Plus 3 NEW Lenses

This week Olympus Imaging announced the release of four very exciting new products. The products announced included a new PEN E-PL8 model and three very welcome lens models to an ever growing range of Micro Four Thirds lenses from Olympus. Below is a brief run through of highlighted features on the new products. We will have full descriptions, features and specifications on our website shortly.

Olympus PEN E-PL8
First up we would like to share with you the new Micro Four Thirds System standard Compact System Camera, Olympus PEN E- PL8. This model features a sophisticated design, enhanced selfie functions, smartphone connectivity, and extensive creative shooting functions that expands the possibility of photographic expressions.

The powerful in-body image stabilisation allows you to capture sharp images with minimal camera shake, and the TruePic VII image processor also used in our flagship model the OM-D E-M1, brings out the best of the excellent optical performance and quality from our M.Zuiko Digital lenses for high resolution and vivid colour reproduction.

The E-PL8 is equipped with a large, high definition touch panel monitor that rotates 180 degree downward. A downward-opening monitor enables touch operations easier and allows for easy and comfortable selfie capture.

This interchangeable lens system camera will satisfy a variety of needs, for those that enjoy taking your camera with you to shoot, view and instantly share.

With built-in Wi-Fi, photos and movies can easily be imported to a smartphone and shared anytime, anywhere. Also, you can use your smartphone to remotely control the camera, allowing you to capture yourself easily in the shot.

The PEN E-PL8 features high image quality inherited from the OM-D series. The image sensor retains details in shadows and faithfully represents night and dark indoor scenes. This allows for wide dynamic range and smooth expressions of graduation and beautifully captures high contrast scenes.

Key Features
  • A premium PEN design, simple and sophisticated
  • Downward-opening monitor and creative shooting functions for enjoyable Touch Selfies in still images and movies
  • Built-in Wi-Fi enables smartphone connectivity for transferring and sharing images as well as remote shooting
  • Clips and Art Filter Movie provide enhanced movie recording
  • Excellent basic performance provides SLR image quality)
  • 16.1 megapixel Live MOS
  • Live Composite lets you capture impressive trails of light
  • Fast AF instantly focuses when you touch the monitor
  •  8.5 fps high-speed sequential shooting 

The Olympus E-PL8 will be available to purchase from this weekend in-store, online and over the phone.

Olympus m.ZUIKO 12-100mm f4.0 PRO
The new M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO (35mm equivalent: 24-200mm) is a very exciting lens for many of us here. This compact, lightweight, high-performance, high-magnification professional zoom lens features a dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof (-10°) construction along with an image stabilization mechanism.

Conforming to the Micro Four Thirds System standard the lens provides amazing mobility and portability. When combined with a compatible camera body, 5-axis sync IS is supported, expanding the range of hand-held shooting scenes.

Key Features
  • 12-100mm focal length (24- 200mm: 35mm equivalent)
  • Constant F4.0 across focal length zoom range
  • Compact, lightweight, high- performance, high- magnification zoom lens with amazing mobility for professionals
  • 5-axis sync IS with the world's most powerful 6.5 shutter speed steps (For the use of NDA meeting: 6.0 shutter speed steps) of compensation performance
  • Macro capabilities with a closest working distance of 1.5cm and a maximum shooting magnification of 0.6x (35mm equivalent) 

Olympus m.ZUIKO 25mm f1.2 PRO Lens
Another PRO lens announced is the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm f1.2 PRO (35mm equivalent: 50mm). This high- performance standard lens, which conforms to the Micro Four Thirds System standard, features a dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof construction with excellent resolution performance and beautiful defocusing effects from the widest aperture setting of f1.2.

Key Features
  • Excellent resolution performance from the widest aperture setting of f1.2
  • Beautiful defocusing effects which result from the large diameter
  • High-speed Imager AF (MSC) Focusing System
  • Limits comatic aberration to depict clearly as points
  • ZERO high performance multi- coating
  •  Closest focusing distance 0.3m Shooting magnification 0.11x
  • Dust and Splashproof
  • L-Fn button, MF Clutch, Depth of Field Scale
  • High speed, high-precision still image autofocusing and silent, smooth auto focusing for movies.

Olympus m.ZUIKO 30mm f3.5 MACRO Lens
To top off new product announcements, Olympus Imaging also revealed a new premium macro lens. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro (35mm equivalent: 60mm) conforms to the Micro Four Thirds System standard with a maximum image magnification of 2.5x (35mm equivalent).
The new M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f3.5 premium macro lens features a maximum image magnification of 2.5x, that is the highest in its class, and the high powered magnification ability to approach subjects up to 14mm away from the end of the lens for a whole new world of macro shooting expression.
The new M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f3.5 Macro provides sharpness and beautiful defocusing effects appropriate to a lens in the M.Zuiko Premium category.

Furthermore, when combined with the 5-axis Image Stabilization of the OM-D and PEN cameras, you can enjoy high magnification shooting, without worrying about camera shake. The fastest AF speed in its class supports you to capture the best moments.

Key Features
  • Maximum image magnification of 2.5x (35mm equivalent), the highest in its class
  • Premium macro lens with excellent image quality
  • High-speed AF even in the macro range
  • High-speed Imager AF (MSC) Focusing System
  • Angle of view: 40 degrees
  • Closest focusing distance 0.095m
  • 7 blade Circular Aperture Diaphragm 

Photokina 2016 - NEW GoPro HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session & KARMA Drone Unveiled

GoPro – Big Reveals

GoPro revealed at 2am on Tuesday (AEST) what cannot only be described as a new chapter but also a new beginning with their latest product announcements. GoPro have announced the launch of the NEW Hero5 Black, HERO5 Session and KARMA Drone. We have a GoPro section dedicated to the announcement on our website


It is clear that GoPro have set themselves a number of objectives with innovation at top of mind during the early stages of development. They have succeed with these exciting new products. Now they are setting you the user a challenge with their new catchcry “Capture Different”

What can you expect from these exciting new products from GoPro? Below is a run through of the HERO5 Black, HERO5 Session and Karma Drone.

GoPro HERO5 Black

HERO5 Black is the most powerful and easy-to-use GoPro ever, thanks to its 4K video, voice control, one-button simplicity, touch display and waterproof design. Smooth stabilised video, crystal-clear audio and pro-quality photo capture combine with GPS to make HERO5 Black simply the best GoPro. Directly upload footage to your GoPro Plus cloud account for easy access on your phone.

Features & Benefits


  • A single press of the Shutter button powers the camera on and starts recording automatically.
  • Durable by design, HERO5 Black is waterproof to 33ft (10m) without a housing.
  • Preview and play back your shots, change settings and trim your footage, all on your GoPro.
  • Enjoy hands-free control of your GoPro using simple voice commands.


  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi make it easy to stay connected with GoPro apps, accessories and more.
  • Capture the location where your photos and videos are taken.

Capture Quality

  • Stunning 4K video and 12MP photos in Single, Burst and Time Lapse modes.
  • HERO5 Black captures stunningly smooth video handheld, mounted to your favorite gear, and more.
  • HERO5 Black automatically filters out wind noise.
  • Advanced image processing provides stunning video and photo quality in low-light conditions.
  • Advanced audio processing captures left and right stereo audio channels.
  • RAW photos provide the most flexibility when using advanced photo editing software.
  • WDR Photo captures added detail in shadows and highlights in the scene.
  • Fine-tune exposure settings with simple on-screen Exposure Control.

HERO5 Session

With its 4K video, one-button simplicity and voice control, HERO5 Session may be the ultimate combination of performance and small size. Liquid-smooth image stabilization and rugged, go-anywhere waterproof design helps capture life as you live it. Then HERO5 Session can automatically upload footage to your GoPro Plus cloud account, providing easy access on your phone.

Features & Benefits


  • A single press of the Shutter button powers the camera on and starts recording automatically.
  • Durable by design, HERO5 Session is waterproof to 33ft (10m) without a housing.
  • Enjoy hands-free control of your GoPro using simple voice commands.
  • HERO5 Session knows what’s up. When mounted upside down, it will automatically capture photos and video right-side up.

Small, Compact + Versatile

  • Sleek and compact, HERO5 Session captures amazing new perspectives.


  • With a GoPro Plus subscription,1 HERO5 Session can automatically upload photos and videos directly to the cloud, for easy viewing, editing and sharing on the go.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi make it easy to stay connected with GoPro apps, accessories and more.

Capture Quality

  • Stunning 4K video and 10MP photos in Single, Burst and Time Lapse modes.
  • HERO5 Session captures stunningly smooth video handheld, mounted to your favorite gear, and more.
  • HERO5 Session automatically filters out wind noise.
  • Advanced image processing provides stunning video and photo quality in low-light conditions.
  • Improved audio performance.
  • New Time Lapse Video, Night Photo and Night Lapse modes.

The new lineup at this stage as we head into 2017 will consist of HERO Session, HERO5 Session and the HERO5 Black. The Hero Session is already in stock while the HERO5 Black will be available to purchase from 2 October 2016. The availability date on the HERO5 Session has yet to be confirmed.

GoPro KARMA Drone

The Karma Drone is all about ease of set up and ease of use. It makes capturing aerial footage and images easier than ever; even if you’ve never flown a drone before the Karma helps you fly with confidence as well as providing extensive control for more seasoned drone users.

One of the cool things about the Karma is the fact that it features a removable gimbal that provides steady shots in the air but also means used separate to the drone as you can see in the image below taken at the GoPro stand at Photokina.

Features & Benefits

Ultra Compact
The Karma can be folded into its own lightweight, compact case that’s comfortable to wear during any activity

Easy to Fly
If you have never flown a drone before and are a little unsure the Karma will allow you to fly with confidence

The GoPro Passenger App lets others view your flight and control your GoPro while you fly

Removable Stabiliser

Karma’s removable camera stabiliser attaches to the included Karma Grip for shake-free handheld shots

The Karma Drone will be available on its own or in a bundle with a HERO5 Black. Availability will be announced shortly. In the meantime check out the video