Drone manufacturer DJI hosted an event with filmmaker Jonathan Ali Khan as well as other UAE-based conservationists at Al Maha Resort last week to showcase some of the companys latest drones and how they had been used in filming and tracking wildlife. Khan, who is presently working on a documentary called The Last Wilderness of […]
Drone manufacturer DJI hosted an event with filmmaker Jonathan Ali Khan as well as other UAE-based conservationists at Al Maha Resort last week to showcase some of the companys latest drones and how they had been used in filming and tracking wildlife.
Khan, who is presently working on a documentary called The Last Wilderness of the UAE, has used drones for the first time to capture wildlife.
Commenting on the experience, Khan stated that drones give filmmakers immense power to access quality footage from some of the most remote places, immediately eliminating the astronomical costs associated with shooting from a helicopter.
These are a great fit for wildlife filming and photography. I have used DJI drones extensively on this project and am amazed with the results. They are an inexpensive alternative to using helicopters, which involve a lot more logistics and cost several times more, said Khan.
Khan is filming a three-part series on the endangered species in the region with each part of 55-minutes duration. In addition to the indigenous species of oryx and gazelle, the films study the behaviour of turtles, crabs and smaller species such as insects in the region. The films also cover the desert ecosystem and the inter-dependence of the various species of flora and fauna.
Caroline Briggert, Head of Stakeholder Relations at DJI, introduced attendees to the companys newest launch the foldable and portable Mavic, which fits in a ladys handbag and is now being used by specialists in various industries including film production, oil and gas, security and conservation.
The DJI Mavic Pro is a compact drone that fits into a handbag. Its compact yet powerful and capable of shooting with utmost precision. It is also less noisy compared to its predecessors, said Briggert.
With a seven kilometer range, five vision sensors, and a 4K camera stabilised by a three-axis mechanical gimbal, the Mavic is being touted as an easy-to-manoeuver drone for aerial shots.
John Pereira, who works with the Environmental Protection Authority in Sharjah, was also introduced at the event. Pereira uses drones extensively to count turtles in the Kalba region as well as to map the geography of the place.
DJI drones have helped us in our conservation efforts, he told attendees.
We have devised a new way of counting the turtle population in Kalba by filming them and tracking them using drones with specialised software. Tagging is a long-drawn process, which requires more manpower as well as time, whereas using drones we not only save time but also cost.
Greg Simkins, Conservation Manager at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, also recounted his experience of using drones for conservation efforts and said that drones were irreplaceable for accessing the most difficult of terrains and filming some of the most elusive desert species at a cost-effective budget.