Future Proof Gimbal

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#1
I have been flying drones for about 4 years now. However, wouldn't trust myself to build one.
My question is, is it possible that someone will build a new gimbal that will work with newer GoPros in the future on the Solo.
 
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#2
Given enough time, resources and finances anything is possible, however let's say someone started developing a gimbal for the GP6 to use with the solo. in a years time they have it ready and done with. Full compatibility, full camera control, however cost would be... $600 per gimbal. Question is, who the heck would buy it? In a years time, who knows what drones will be available, how much they will cost, what the camera's will be like.. etc. Plus the market for the 3DR solo is diminishing due to limited supplies (no one's making them anymore). Plus in a years time, GP will come out with new camera's.... so you're always playing catchup.

Most people probably bought the 3DR because it was just so darn cheap (ahhh, the $300 days when it came with a gimbal..). So they may be reluctant to pay $600 for a gimbal for what they see as a $300 drone) (or less depending on where they bought it).

Even if a plug and play solution was designed and working, to lower gimbal production costs, one would have to mass produce them which would require financing. That's a lot of commitment for a drone platform that's no longer in production and for a diminishing market (hey, stop crashing your drones people!).

We all would like a new gimbal that supported other camera's, gives full camera control and works with smart shots, however without a sustaining market for them, I think the most we may see is some instructions on how to build DIY solutions that only offer partial functionality..

I'd love to be wrong on this of course, but I'm just not sure it's likely..
 
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#3
Me too. I just bought one to add to my arsenal because it's so upgradable and not disposable. I'm pulling for third party developers to keep my investment sound.
 
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#5
I think it might be possible to modularize the interface boards. One for the solo-gimbal interface for Smart Shots and one for the GoPro-Solo interface for camera control. Then the investment isn't wasted, and they can be connected and adapted to STorM32 or whatever is next in the pipeline. Little CAN bus and they talk to each other, too.
 
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#6
I think it might be possible to modularize the interface boards. One for the solo-gimbal interface for Smart Shots and one for the GoPro-Solo interface for camera control. Then the investment isn't wasted, and they can be connected and adapted to STorM32 or whatever is next in the pipeline. Little CAN bus and they talk to each other, too.
Well isn't one of the other problems that the newer gopro's only allow you to adjust the settings based on direct interface but the buttons or WiFi connectivity and not through an interface port on the camera? (the GP6 only uses HDMI and USB C connections). So immediately you lose the ability to adjust camera settings... on the fly (pun intended). (After all, I've only heard bad things about having the camera WiFi enabled on your gopro when strapped to the solo) Plus the range on the camera's WiFi is a lot less than the solo. So now you're talking about having to adjust your settings on the ground or within... 10 ft of the camera before taking your shot. So right now, is it even worth pursuing a new gimbal for a new GP that gives you less options, or just working on a replacement that supports the out of date GP3 and GP4 (which will also eventually dry up as regards supply)?
 
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#7
I was thinking Bluetooth. Short range low power BT transceiver should interface with the GP5/6 IIRC. Connect that to the I.MX6 (yes a driver probably needs to be compiled/tested) and then one could in theory issue commands to the camera from the bird.

Thus far I haven't heard of BLE interfering with WiFi since it monitors link integrity and hops channels.
 
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#8
Does the BT interface on the gopro allow camera settings adjustments? I thought setting adjustments were done by WiFi, the BT was used for firing the shutter and changing modes.... I really should RTFM for that GP6 one day.....
:D
 
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#10
Also, with Sony and Yi and others releasing cameras at a clip outpacing GoPro it could make sense to focus on cameras outside the GP brand for gimbal development.
 
Likes: IrishmanPDX
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#12
it's possible to 3D print new parts for the current mechanic parts to adapt other camera, also, once 3DR release gimbal source, it's not unlikely people can modify the control to another camera.
 
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#13
Yes!! It doesn't have to be limited to GoPro. Just a really good up to date camera that we can have full control over.
That's not going to happen. Full control requires both software and hardware interfacing between the drone, gimbal and camera and since there is no standardization in cameras, there would have to be custom software and hardware for each make and model. That's assuming the camera has an interface available and the camera manufacturer allows access to the camera's API's, if any.

The Solo/Gopro marriage is as close as the industry came to a platform that allowed full control over a choice of cameras but even that's limited to three Gopro models.

It's why the consumer and prosumer manufacturers changed to each designing their own camera systems. The technical and economic challenges of trying to support multiple third party cameras for aerial cinematographic videography has proved to be insurmountable.

That said, it's not impossible, just not cheap. If you have money and time to burn, you could do a custom rig with something like the Blackmagic micro cinema camera. Run you a few grand to do it but it's a REALLY good camera, kind of a Gopro on steroids. :)
 
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#14
One very important piece left out (I apologise if I missed it) is the code co-developed by GP and 3DR had yet (and probably never will) be released. This is why full control can not be established by the many attempts to do so.

When you consider the massive competition GP has with several "cloned" action cams not to mention their own problems with solvency absorbing their own diaster into the UAV market it's highly unlikely we will ever see that highy protected code.

Solo owners, like it or not, are quickly becoming a cult. Kinda like the folks that dress up each Halloween and head to their local cinema to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show. If it weren't for the Green Cube, Solex, SidePilot, Open Solo, mRo, HERE, Retracts, and the like all made possible by open source the Solo would be nothing more than a bad mistake.

That reality is why you can expect little or nothing to come out of the aftermarket specific for our beloved bird.

Right now first and foremost, front and center, is the big ugly that our 3year old batteries have (are reaching) their EOL. No power no flying with or without camera control! But that is a completely different topic for another thread.
 
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#16
Isn't Gopro going under?
They got to be licking their wounds over the Karma diaster and as such doing some fancy foot work to reorganize their priorities. Several eBay stores are blowing out "factoy refurbed" H4B/S for $150. I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't new stock repacked to justify the price drop. I'll let you know, I just bought one for my kid. At end of the day I think (yeah, like what do I know) they pull through. They have been around a whole lot longer then 3DR.
 

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