DJI release nice to haves at NAB 2017 Cendence Controller and Antenna Tracking

Social media was abuzz with hopes of the DJI Spark and or Phantom5 launch for NAB 2017 but many were disappointed that it’s the posh Cendence controller and a tracking antenna.

I have heard it said that DJI flight controllers have toy-like simplicity. Personally, I think they are form and function distilled to where they should be.

A new trend is emerging in 2017, equipment snobbery. Folks are chucking the most money they can at equipment in the hope that the end product will be better. There is some point in that,  but the most expensive camera in the world in the hands of the worst photographer in the world will still be beaten by a cell phone.

The second reason people are upscaling their purchase is to set them apart from the competition. Only an amateur would turn up with a Phantom 4 Pro, look we have an Inspire 1 so must be better.

When I see these comments from business owners I immediately think they don’t have a real plan and are winging it.

The Cendence controller will be one of these pieces of equipment candy. To be fair it does look like a useful upgrade if you know your way around a camera.  It also forces an upsell for Inspire 1 owners as it only works with the Inspire 2 and Matrice.

The new Cendence remote controller is DJI’s first multi-platform controller for professionals who
need versatility, efficiency and personalization at their fingertips. Its intuitive ergonomic design fits perfectly in your hands, allowing easy access to programmable function buttons and dials.

Users can program and store customised button configurations for the different flight and shooting options and can use two dials to adjust the pitch and yaw of the gimbal at the same time. With Cendence, pilots have instant access to functions like ISO, sharpness, shutter speed, focus and more, without navigating the touch menu settings on their mobile device. Cendence features built-in SDI and HDMI video transmission ports for live HD broadcast and streaming applications and can be easily adapted to use DJI’s Lightbridge or WiFi video transmission technology.

The controller mounts smartphones, tablets and DJI’s high-brightness CrystalSky monitors, and also features a smaller secondary screen to display critical telemetry data. Long battery life of up to 4 hours and the ability to easily exchange batteries make power management easier and longer flights possible. Cendence is compatible with DJI’s Matrice 200 and Inspire 2 drones. Cendence will be available later this year, priced at $999 (USD).

The next one, antenna tracking. Well, it had to come. everybody else has been doing it for years.

DJI Tracktenna is a high-gain antenna that ushers in a new era of remote wireless communication by improving signal reliability over long distances and resisting interference. Its built-in sensors and two-axis gimbal automatically point the antenna to the aircraft at all times, bolstering the connection even while the operator is in motion or on a vehicle.                                                                                                       

When installed on the new Cendence controller in optimal conditions, DJI Tracktenna can boost signal transmission to over 6.2 miles (10 km), giving professionals increased responsiveness and confidence when performing complex flights like search and rescue missions, power line inspections, pipeline inspections, live HD broadcasting, filmmaking and more. Pilots should always understand and follow any applicable laws and regulations regarding flight distance.

DJI Tracktenna supports transmission speeds of up to 10 Mbps within 1.24 miles (2 km) for data-intensive applications. It supports both 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands, giving it greater signal stability. Pricing and availability for DJI Tracktenna will be announced at a later date.

There are brighter screens for TX’s, that is just a natural thing. I am not sure these CrystalSky Android-based screens support third party apps for mapping and flight planning yet. Most people are still using separate devices because of that. You are trapped completely in the DJI way of thinking and their mapping app in particular is not upto scratch yet.