GoPro’s latest award features a video shot on the world’s smallest GoPro drone in Venice Beach, California. Robert McIntosh is the man who built the mini GoPro drone, and he did it to capture immersive FPV footage. Making viewers feel as if they are personally flying was a goal of his, and it was made possible with a stripped GoPro paired with a custom rigged mini quadcopter. The GoPro featured video captures the pop culture essence of Venice Beach. With the ability to fly up close and squeeze through objects, McIntosh’s quadcopter captures HD footage like no other drone.
The award winning video may have been captured on McIntosh’s custom drone, but the footage was heavily edited with stabilization in After Effects using the ReelSteady plugin. The drone itself only flies 2-3 minutes, and it’s not made to be flown with a lot of wind. It can also take a beating, and that’s evident in McIntosh’s pre-stabilized video.
McIntosh attempted to fly through a gymnastic ring, and the drone crashed, yet it recovered and flew on. Flying through obstacles with a reverse camera shot allowed McIntosh to create a unique reveal like effect, but it was also a challenge to fly through the tight areas.
“It was really exciting when it happened. It was also on the last battery we had left, a real Hail Mary, buzzer beater type of situation,” said Mcintosh.
World’s Smallest GoPro Drone
McIntosh was “obsessed” with removing as much weight as possible on the quadcopter and on the GoPro Hero4 camera. Instead of using screws, McIntosh glued the 2” propellers to save a fraction of a gram of weight. The drone without the battery and foam roll cage weighs 94.7 grams. The full flight ready build only weighs 120 grams. Considering that an action camera and a quadcopter were minimized to be around the same weight as a single GoPro Hero5 Black camera, McIntosh truly built the smallest drone with an HD camera.
McIntosh utilized a GoPro camera because of its built in Protune features. Protune allows users to change field of view, frames per second, and video resolutions. He also explained that the color in other comparable action cameras weren’t on par with GoPro’s action cameras.
Even with a limited flight time and challenging obstacles, McIntosh still managed to capture angles that look similar to something like an opening scene out a Hollywood movie. Now imagine if this drone had a 360-degree camera on it!