December 10, 2014

Meet Adorama's Aries BlackBird X10 Quadcopter with Built-In Camera & 6-Axis Gyro Stabilization

When we think "drones" DJI is usually the name that comes to mind, but now that Adorama has introduced their own quadcopter, filmmakers can now enjoy a little bit more diversity when deciding what to use for their aerial cinematography.

Adorama is getting in on the quadcopter/drone market with their Aries BlackBird X10 quadcopter. It has those sought-after features that you'd find with a comparable quadcopter, like the DJI Phantom 2 Vision -- both come equipped with built-in cameras that can shoot 1080p video at 30 fps, return-to-home failsafe modes, 25-minute flight times, and have the same $699 price tag. However, the Aries is giving you a little more bang for your buck with a 16 MP camera with an f2.8 lens instead of the Vision's 14 MP cam, as well as a longer range, 6-axis gyro stabilization (the Vision only has one), and the ability to fly in light rain or snow.

Features

  • GPS precision
  • 500 Meter (1640 Ft) Transmitter range
  • Brushless motors
  • Wide leg spread for better balance and safer landings
  • Camera tilt control
  • Camera Auto Angle Adjustment
  • Under-wing notification lights
  • Can be used in (light) rain or snow
  • 6 axis gyro stability
  • Fully customizable
  • HD video and photo resolution
  • Longer range with Wi-Fi extender to 2640ft
  • Interface supports 10 different languages
  • Emergency safe return and auto land function
  • Auto landing feature returns and lands at startup location
  • Up to 25 minute flight time per charge
  • Writes to MicroSD cards up to 32Gb
  • 16 Megapixel still shots
  • Burst photo mode
  • Easy to use mobile interface
  • Phone clip on transmitter
  • Easy-to-use mobile interface with apps for iOS and Android
Adorama Aries BlackBird X10
Adorama Aries BlackBird X10 camera
Adorama Aries BlackBird X10

Of course, the FAA's proposed regulations on flying drones, which would require drone pilots to be licensed to fly manned aircraft, makes things a little more complicated when contemplating buying one of these things. One day you're happily (and presumably safely) capturing some great aerial footage for your film, and the next day you're in hot water for not having a pilot's license.

Until these proposals become law, though, you can still enjoy your drones without one, and if you're interested in the Aries BlackBird X10, they're now available to purchase exclusively on Adorama. Shipping begins December 10.     

Your Comment

22 Comments

Please elaborate on the 6-axis gyro stability.
As a former aerospace engineering student turned filmmaker I guess it means it not only compensates rotations on the x, y, z axis, but translations (iow: movements from point a to b) as well?

December 10, 2014 at 1:16AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9136

V simply copy and pastes so she likely wouldn't be able to explain.

December 10, 2014 at 1:40AM, Edited December 10, 1:40AM

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Tyler
159

ha-ha !

December 10, 2014 at 6:38PM

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That's my thoughts, don't know what else they could call an axis, I once saw (can't find the video) someone who put steadicam springs between a 3axis rig and the handles for it, so it would smooth out a vertical translation (aka when walking and the rig bounces up and down slightly) Which I thought was a great way to fix the problem when you want to run with a 3axis.

But my guess in this situation it's just marketing. Maybe they think 3axis quadcopter stabilization + 3axis camera stabilization = 6!

But looking at the camera, my guess there is no 3 axis on the camera. I guess we'll have to wait for some footage.

December 10, 2014 at 1:46AM, Edited December 10, 1:46AM

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I can explain 5 axis, but 6....?
Anyways, here's 5: http://asia.olympus-imaging.com/products/dslr/em5/feature/images/feature...
It basically adds rotational stabilization to the regular xyz axis.

December 10, 2014 at 3:35AM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
970

The 6 axis is referred to the drone, not to the gimbal, it means that (as DJI and many others) the drone is stabilised in attitude (pan tilt roll), altitude (up and down) and position (accelerometers and GPS combined).

December 10, 2014 at 5:52AM

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Roberto Mettifogo
Behind Cameras.
341

It has one Gyro for stabilization like any other gimbal controlling the 3 axes: roll, pitch, and yaw. The other "3 axes" are just 3 accelerometers.

December 11, 2014 at 1:31AM

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Everyone gets the FAA regulation thing so wrong. Any regulation they come out with that allows commercial use will be LESS restrictive that the regulations they have now which do not allow ANY commercial use, at all, ever. There are no proposed changes the rules for hobbyists.

December 10, 2014 at 1:44AM

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William Streeter
Filmmaker
192

Really? I've heard so many different versions. Do you know of a clear source for their stance?

We would only ever use a drone when we travel but if we can't even learn how to fly it here then that would be a deal breaker.

December 11, 2014 at 8:00AM

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Josh Paul
Most often DP, Direct or Gaff
1252

Just another toy with a toy camera (HD, not fullHD, probably with miserable bitrate and DR).

The 6 axis is referred to the drone, not to the gimbal, it means that (as DJI and many others) the drone is stabilised in attitude (pan tilt roll), altitude (up and down) and position (accelerometers and GPS combined).

No matter how well a drone is stabilised, what makes a stable video is the gimbal and the lack of hi-freq vibrations in the camera (but you need motors professionally balanced, props professionally balanced, vibration dumpeners on the gimbal).

December 10, 2014 at 5:51AM

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Roberto Mettifogo
Behind Cameras.
341

In mechanics, a rigid body has 6 degrees of freedom. 3 rotations and 3 translations. Here is a good explanation for anyone interested:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_freedom_(mechanics)

3-axis gimbals stabilize the 3 rotations. A 4-axis gimbal would be useful to handheld stabilization only, as the 4th axis would be used to stabilize the up/down translation that results from walking. This is what the springs on the Stedicam arm vests do. A flying drone does experience this up and down bobbing, so the most axes a drone gimbal will need is 3.

A 6-axis gimbal would constrain the 3 rotations and the 3 translations. These devices are extremely easy to make, though hardly useful. If you are interested in making one yourself, here’s how: Put some permanent-bonding epoxy glue into the screw that fastens your camera to the quickrelease base. Now weld that quickrelease base onto any fixed structure. Could be a public monument, or someplace in your home that will accept a weld. And that’s all there is to it! Congratulations, you have your 6 DOF constrained. Your camera will never rotate or translate in space. Altenatively you can pour concrete but that requires, digging, preparing rebar, and is quite messy.

A 6-axis is marketing for uninformed consumers. Like the above poster says they must be taking credit for the gyros inside the drone but neglecting to mention it to mislead consumers.

December 10, 2014 at 7:55AM, Edited December 10, 7:55AM

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Jorge L. Molinari
Mechanical Engineer / Family Man / Video Producer
87

Lets try to see if the link goes completly blue. (Otherwise it takes you to the wrong page)
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_freedom_(mechanics)

December 10, 2014 at 7:59AM

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Jorge L. Molinari
Mechanical Engineer / Family Man / Video Producer
87

December 10, 2014 at 8:00AM, Edited December 10, 8:00AM

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Jorge L. Molinari
Mechanical Engineer / Family Man / Video Producer
87

Just what I suspect as well, but I wanted to ask the question in an open way without my suspicions in it. Precisely the translation axis would be strange on a drone, which translates all the time :-p

December 10, 2014 at 8:39AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
9136

I used to work at Adorama. If this is anything like Adorama's other branded products (Flashpoint is there in house brand) it will be made by the cheapest bidding Chinese factory, with the lowest quality / least expensive materials, with the least amount of QC money can buy. I'm sure they did no R&D. This is most likely a Chinese knock off of someone else's drone tech (DJI possibly) that they paid a small amount of cash to put their brand on.

This will likely not be worth your money. I could be wrong. Maybe the entire ethos and business perspective of the company has changed.

But I doubt it.

December 10, 2014 at 8:56AM

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Michael Markham
Actor/Filmmaker
982

You might be right. The Aries X10 looks to be the same as the AAE Toruk AP10 quadcopter, made in China. The only difference might be the color. The AP10 has been available for over a year and can be purchased for $699 at Home Depot.com
http://www.aee-cameras.com/product/unmanned-aircraft-system/aircraft-sys...

December 10, 2014 at 6:57PM

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That is the exact same copter. You are paying $100 to buy it from a camera store. Good sleuthing.

December 11, 2014 at 12:26AM

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Michael Markham
Actor/Filmmaker
982

Michael,
This is a really great product and Adorama stands behind their products.

December 12, 2014 at 12:04PM

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sam
81

Cute little toy... it's not for serious AP.

December 10, 2014 at 5:53PM

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Tom Holton
UAS Specialist
267

December 11, 2014 at 6:04AM

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Tulio Campregher
AV coordinator
154

Some pretty nasty image quality in their sample video...ugh!

December 15, 2014 at 12:22PM

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Rob Reiter
Commander Of The Realm
150

I don't know too many filmmakers interested in 30fps

December 11, 2014 at 4:03PM

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Steve Yager
Filmmaker
400