Use your Mavic Pro for ground camera work
PolarPro seems to come up with products that we drone pilots never knew we
needed until we get a chance to see them in action. ;e new Katana is one such
product, and if you are a DJI Mavic Pro user, then you will want the Katana. It is a
handle grip that can be attached to the Mavic Pro, so you can use it as a handheld
gimbal. ;is would be useful, for example, for pilots who do real-estate videography;
they could fly the drone to capture aerial footage of the property and then mount it
to the Katana and do the walk-through footage, all with the same camera.
;e Katana is made out of durable lightweight plastic and has rubberized handles.
Before you attach it to the Mavic Pro, take o; the drone’s props as they could easily
be broken o;. ;en take out the battery, write down the Wi-Fi password (which is
in the battery cavity), reinstall the battery, and set the Mavic switch from “RC” to
“Wi-Fi.” Now attach the Katana so that the bar sits just behind the battery on/o;
switch. ;is allows easy access to the power and seems to be the best spot for good
balance. ;e phone bracket can be attached so that it’s vertical or at a 45-degree
angle (for most uses, the 45-degree angle works well). Use the vertical attachment
if you are planning to shoot a lot of eye-level footage. I like this particular phone
bracket because it is designed to hold onto the phone well and it is easy to adjust.
Go to the settings on the phone, set the Wi-Fi to the Mavic, and enter the password.
Open up the DJI GO app and set it to the Mavic Pro. After a few moments, you will see
the camera view. All the camera controls in the app will now work for the Katana, and
you are free to move around and capture footage or images with a nicely stabilized
Mavic camera. ;e video feed will be slightly behind the actual footage capture, but it
is easy to adjust to after a few minutes of filming. Some error messages may pop up,
but don’t worry about them; the app doesn’t know that the Mavic is being used on
the ground. When walking with the unit, use it like any handheld gimbal system: Walk
with your knees slightly bent, and move from heel to toe. ;e more smoothly you
walk, the smoother the footage will be.
;e Katana works remarkably well and expands the use of the Mavic Pro from the
air to the ground. In postproduction, all the footage is the same, so color correction
and editing is simple. If you do both aerial and ground footage on most of your
shoots, then the $49.99 Katana could be the item you need to make your camera
case much lighter.—John Reid
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