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New PowerEye “Professional” Drone Features FPV, Thermal, 4K

Derrick Threatt

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powereye head on

A new drone was announced today at the Interdrone conference in Las Vegas, and it’s got some pretty impressive features.

It’s called the “PowerEye Professional Cinematography Drone” – and it’s made by PowerVision, the same people who recently launched the cool-looking PowerEgg. But this product is defined less by its cool form factor – and more by its cool features.

powereye_front

First off, it has what the company calls Dual Viewing capability, employing two separate onboard cameras. The first is an FPV camera that streams what is directly in front of this bird at any point during flight; the second is the live-streaming view from the ultra high-def 4k camera. Check out the launch video here:

Not only is that 4k camera capable of shooting regular video – it can also pick up infrared wavelengths and provide thermal imagery. This feature is useful in applications for everything from more artistic photography, through to search-and-rescue operations and even inspection of building envelopes for thermal leaks. The camera actually comes with two different lenses and two different light sensors, depending on which wavelengths the operator wants to capture. Regular 4k video with visible wavelengths? Check. Thermal? No problem – simply flick a switch and you’re good to go.

powereye right angle

What’s more, the Dual Viewing capability means that the pilot could keep an eye on one feed – say the regular video being captured by the gimbal-mounted camera, while an observer could monitor the FPV. This is a pretty useful feature when capturing complex shoots such as sporting events, rock concerts or wildlife tracking.

But what will really catch attention is this drone’s thermal capabilities. Until now, capturing thermal imagery required a drone with a swappable sensor – a feature generally associated with very high-end products. Now, the dream-like quality of thermal images will be within reach of the average prosumer/aerial cinematographer.

“PowerEye sets a new standard for video quality and control, special effects and professional capabilities,” says Wally Zheng, CEO of PowerVision Technology Group. “The PowerEye’s integrated thermal capabilities combined with its simultaneous Dual View and state-of-the-art aeronautics is unmatched in today’s market.”

But wait – seriously, there’s more. The news release says this drone has:

  • Object detection from 10 meters away
  • Collapsible legs and rotors for easy transport
  • Fold-up legs for 360-degree, obstruction-free cinematography
  • Compatible with Micro Four Thirds system, enabling swappable lenses
  • Maximum flight time of 29.5 minutes

Oh yeah – and check out the cool case. Note the wheels – nice.

powereye box 1

powereye box 3

The company emphasizes this is no cookie-cutter drone.

“When we launched PowerEgg, we showed the world that PowerVision wasn’t a ‘me too’ drone company,” says Zheng. “Our strategy of driving innovation focused on meeting the needs of professionals and advanced amateurs alike has resulted in a new cinematography drone that we believe will lead the market forward.”

Pricing had not yet been released, but you can start flying this bird in late 2016.

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