Why we bought the Inspire 2 X5S
Those of you who have been members of VMC for a long time now would know that when we do something here at VMC we always strive to do it the best we can. Last August we launched our first ever full worship pack created entirely using our drone called Aerials. Aerials was a pack that we were so proud of and was received incredibly well being used by more than 800 churches that month. What made the Aerials pack and other packs to follow it over the past 6 months so popular was that it was the first full-length drone pack done specifically for church worship. We love being able to bring churches professional level media that is available nowhere else and be the leader in bringing fresh content to our members.
Why buy a drone at all?
Why buy drone is a question that I had to ask myself a lot leading up to purchasing one for VMC. I have had a lot of experience with drones over the past 5 years. A company that I was a part of 5 years ago bought the first ever DJI Phantom 1, the one that you needed a GoPro for and it was a massive disaster from day one. The day I opened it I took it out for its first flight, I didn't know that you needed to calibrate the settings before the first flight and ended up flying nose down into a tennis court. It was a big crash but ultimately something that could be remedied with a night fastened together with some clamps and some super glue. The following month while filming a project high up in the Arctic, we were out filming beluga whales for an expedition when the GPS went haywire and the phantom flew off into Hudson's Bay never to be seen again.
My second crash, yes I crashed another one wasting a lot of money, happened the Summer of 2016. While filming a project up in the Muskoka's region of Ontario Canada, I broke one of my main rules which is never fly in reverse without a proper line of sight, and subsequently flew my then Phantom 3 directly into a tree. The drone was smashed into hundreds of pieces and was sadly not able to revive.
With my past history of flying drones, you can see why I might be a little hesitant to purchase another drone, especially one that was far more expensive than the first two.
Why buy an Inspire 2 X5S with RAW video when there are cheaper options?
So here is the big and most expensive question, why not just buy a cheaper drone like a Mavic or a Spark? Those are great drones but the honest answer is because anyone can. Here is what I mean by that. VMC is about doing things differently than every other producer, my personal opinion is there are a lot of other companies out there creating media for churches who I believe are cutting corners. Doing things the cheapest way possible, or simply recycling the same particle loops year after year and claiming that this new pack is different because the particles left instead of right. When we go out shoot something for VMC we look for things off the beaten path, the things that take work to capture. So when it comes to filming with a drone we wanted to take the same approach, if someone else can do this really easily how can we do something that no one else has the technical skill to do or the film-making ability to pull off.
We bought the Inspire 2 because we wanted to make our media as good as and if not better than the quality you find on your TV or the movies. We didn't want to give you an aerial pack that could have been shot on a toy drone but rather something that truly showed scope and magnitude of the landscapes that we were filming and to do that we needed something powerful and professional.
When comparing the drone models offered from DJI it really came down to cinematic quality, file types, and flying ability. While the Spark, Mavic, and Phantom are all great their biggest limits are;
1. Sensor Size - the lower end models have a smaller sensor meaning that the depth of field and the 'look' of the image at times can look flat or stale. The Inspire 2 with X5S camera has a much larger sensor that captures lights exponentially better and has a depth field that is much more comparable to our Ursa Mini.
2. File Type - What makes the X5S footage so much easier to deal with when editing in Adobe Premiere is that it has the ability to record in Apple ProRes. I won't go into to detail explaining ProRes but the easiest thing to understand is it saves much more visual information and while the file sizes are much larger your editing software doesn't have to work as hard on the footage as when compared to MP4's from the other models.
3. Flying Ability - At the end of the day, your footage can only look good if the aircraft your camera is mounted on can fight the elements. There have been many instances of while being out on VMC shoots that inclement weather has threatened to stall an aerial shoot. The Inspire 2 can handle heavy wind and still produce a smooth video shoot.
What makes VMC's media different?
What ultimately makes us different in my mind is professionalism and quality of content. We work hard to make sure that our media costs the same amount as the guy creating particle loops in his basement, but what we do differently is we go out bring the beauty of gods creation to your worship experience. We know that making our Aerials the best they possibly can be meets our goal of serving the church with the highest quality media and using the Inspire 2 has helped us achieve that.
James Adams - Founder VMC