Object of Desire: Freefly Systems Alta

July 24, 2015

By Greg Scoblete

The Alta cinematography drone is Freefly Systems’ newest high flier. Unlike the company’s previous Cinestar drone, the Alta requires much less configuration, so it’s just about ready to fly out of the box, with a flight controller of Freefly’s own making. The flight control system, dubbed Synapse, has been refined to improve the reliability and performance of the Alta in flight. More impressively, it’s the company’s first aerial product to give you the option to mount a camera and MoVI gimbal on either the bottom or the top of the drone for a unique aerial perspective. Top-mounting a camera on the drone will restrict some camera movement—the swirling props will get in the way if you’re angling the camera too sharply toward the ground—but still affords an entirely new field of view for aerial videographers. Freefly promises that the Alta can be unpacked from a case and ready-to-fly in less than five minutes, thanks to folding carbon propellers and booms. It features 18-inch propellers with enough lift to hoist up to 15 pounds of gear aloft, so it’s powerful enough to take a RED Dragon or Sony F55 airborne. The motor and hull have been redesigned to minimize propeller noise, too. You can give the Alta your own alerts with customizable LEDs that you set via Wi-Fi. It has an integrated handle so you can easily carry it around when it comes back to Earth.

Price: $8,495


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