If it seems like there’s a new drone announcement every day, it’s because there is. Hot on the heels of newly unveiled UAV’s from DJI and 3D robotics, Seattle-based Freefly Systems has just pulled the curtain back on a fresh new drone of its own — and it’s a beast.
Designed with aerial cinematographers in mind, the Alta drone is a ready-to-fly hexacopter (six-rotor) drone capable of carrying payloads of up to 15 pounds. That’s enough muscle to carry a high-end camera (like a Red Epic or an Alexa Mini) along with one of Freefly’s popular MoVI stabilizers.
Alta definitely isn’t the first or only drone that can do this, but Freefly gave it a clever feature to distinguish it from the pack — the ability to carry a camera on top in addition to underneath. This allows the pilot to get shots that, as far as we can tell, aren’t possible with other drones. Check out the video to see what we mean; the rising shots are amazing.
And this drone is no one-trick pony either. In addition to its top-mounting feature, Alta has been designed to fold down easily and fit into a carrying case. Freefly claims it should take no more than five minutes to get it out of the case and into the air (or vice-versa), so packing up and moving to a new location won’t be much of a chore.
Now, such a professional drone rig doesn’t come without a professional price tag. Alta will retail for $8,495 when it’s released this June, so unless you’re shooting a ski video for Red Bull or a nature documentary for National Geographic, you’ll probably want to stick with a more consumer-oriented drone. Still, it’s definitely fun to gawk.