Sony has announced the price and availability of its professional drone Airpeak S1, which was unveiled in June. As such, the Airpeak S1 will be available for pre-order starting Dec. 1, 2021, at a price of around ,000, and is expected to begin shipping to customers on Dec. 24, 2021. It is the world&s smallest drone that can be equipped with a full-size mirrorless Alpha camera with interchangeable lens, according to Sony.
Sony Airpeak S1 drone with camera.
Included are two pairs of propellers, the RCR-VH1 remote control, two batteries and a battery charger. The "Gremsy T3 for Airpeak Gimbal" designed specifically for the Airpeak S1 will be available separately. The optional "Airpeak Plus" subscription service sells for about for a 12-month period, with the optional "Protect Plan" also available. "Airpeak Plus" is a cloud service that allows users to take advantage of Airpeak Base&s extensive features - the "Airpeak Protect Plan" is a service plan that covers accidental damage to the product.
Sony is targeting the Airpeak S1 squarely at professional users who want to use cameras such as Sony&s Alpha 1, Alpha 7S or 7R, Alpha 9 or the FX3, which is, after all, closely related to the Sony Alpha 7S III, along with the drone. Sony calls the Airpeak S1 the entry-level model in the new Airpeak line, which suggests that more Airpeak models with presumably even higher payloads for even larger cameras will be released.
The technical data of the Airpeak S1 are remarkable - despite its high weight, the S1 reaches a top speed of about 90 km/h (however, without camera and gimbal) and can withstand strong crosswinds of up to 70 km/h and still deliver stable recordings. The maximum payload is 2.5kg, according to Sony - so since the Gremsy T3 gimbal weighs 1.2kg, the camera including lens can weigh a maximum of 1.3kg. The drone itself weighs around 3.1kg without batteries, and the maximum takeoff weight is around 7kg.
Sony Airpeak drone
The maximum flight time depends heavily on the payload (camera plus lens plus gimbal) - without additional weight it is a maximum of 22 minutes, with a heavy payload like a Sony Alpha 7S III including FE 24mm F1.4 GM lens and T3 gimbal it is only 12 minutes. However, due to the hot-swap battery, the interruption of the flight time for replacing the power supply is relatively short.
In order to automatically avoid obstacles or stop the flight in case of danger, several 3D cameras and proximity sensors developed by Sony are integrated in the drone (three at the front, two at the back, one at the top and two at each side), from whose data a 3D model of the environment is created. This also enables precise flight without GPS data, for example indoors.
The Airpeak S1, the gimbal and the camera are controlled by means of the RCR-VH1 Controller, which has four freely assignable buttons and also takes care of the transmission of the live images and can output them to an external monitor via HDMI (in contrast to the first announcement, now no longer optional but included).
RCR-VH1 remote control with iPad
Using two RCR-VH1 controllers, professional setups can be realized via dual operation mode, i.e. the drone cameraman can thus concentrate entirely on capturing images using the Sony Alpha camera, which can film freely in all directions via gimbal, while the pilot takes control of the drone using the integrated FPV camera mounted in a 2-axis gimbal.
An iOS smartphone/tablet serves as a screen for the controller and additional control instrument via touchscreen for further settings, which can be used via the "Airpeak Flight" app to control the drone, camera and gimbal during the flight. The app is fully compatible with full-frame mirrorless Alpha cameras and allows changing camera settings on the fly. The app can be used with both manual and automated flight modes. Displayed on the screen can be images from the Sony Alpha camera as well as the fixed FPV camera.
Sony Airpeak Flight App on iPad
Via "Airpeak Base" web app, drone projects are organized - from detailed flight planning using different modes, to organizing flight logs downloadable from the drone, to checking equipment status and usage. more infos at bei electronics.sony.com