Editorial Feature

Droning On

Words By: Jeremy Taylor

There was a time when all you expected from a drone was ten minutes flight time and a grainy 2 megapixel photo of you pinning it to a tree. Now, on board 4K video is de rigour, obstacle avoidance a must and 'follow-me' mode, well, that's the killer application that, in my testing at least - and I have destroyed enough drones to qualify this statement! - hasn't really delivered until now.

All hail the Staaker, a ready back-packed, diminutive speed demon of a drone that can carry a GoPro Hero 4 action camera at speeds of up to 80kph.

Thanks to a GPS wristband it will also track and follow your every move. And where so many others have promised 'follow me' but underperformed, including the much vaunted DJI Phantom 4, this follows the user with the focus of a loyal and faithful family mutt, producing footage that is as smooth as it is pixel rich.

Preset flight patterns, like hold a circle and target altitudes can be confidently commanded, aided no doubt by the armband's in-built barometric pressure sensor.

Few future tech promises deliver on time and true to form the promise of a one-man airborne filming platform has taken a year or two longer to come online that anticipated. But in the Staaker we have a practical and zippy flying camera rig that places action seekers firmly in its crosshairs.

Suck It And See…

I've driven Lego characters around on my robot vacuum. I've enrolled it as a mobile camera station.I haven't actually done much actual vacuuming with it, because, well, it sucks, or rather it doesn't suck enough. But if my old first gen robot floor hugger is a ringer, the Dyson 360 Eye is a gold medal winner.

My six-year-old can throw whatever he wants from his plate now Dyson's robotised 'Radial Root Cyclone' technology is in the room - guided by a map of our dining area that the unit's advanced 360 degree camera builds as it travels. A handy app offers straightforward settings but in daily use the Dyson is a satisfying glimpse of our collective automated-home future.

Point And Shoot

Have you seen those huge 'Shot on iPhone6s' posters? How do you make your shots stand out when most of us are snapping extraordinary photos on our mobile phones? One answer is the Hasselblad H6D-100C .

Delivering 100 megapixel photos and 4K video - more than twice the pixel density of High Definition. This swinging sixties-styled shooter delivers professional grade dynamic range (more detail in the dark), a crazy range of shutter speeds and an elegant user interface with peerless grace. It's a Rolls Royce Wraith in a market cluttered with perfectly functional but ultimately uninspiring Volkswagens.

Alternatively, you may opt for the Hasselblad X1D, a smaller, some might argue more practical mirrorless compact medium format camera. It still oozes the famous marque's Swedish stamp of quality, but in a convenient form factor - with drop-dead retro chic looks.

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