Finding the Perfect Roller Bag for sUAV Photographic Projects

Photographer Kike Calvo flying drones

This post is the latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series,  which profiles interesting information, thoughts and research into using  drones, UAVs or remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography, that Kike learns about during his travels.

As many of you know by now, flying and reporting on good uses of Small Unmmaned Aerial Vehicles is one of my expertise. Since I learned the basics at the Unmanned Vehicle University, I have flown machines in many places around the world, including Spain or the super windy Falkland Islands, where I pushed a Phantom 2 to its limits under 20 knot winds. As I explained on my National Geographic Blog post on this adventure, about 80 years after the greatest of all naturalists, Charles Darwin, visited the island in two occasions, I wanted to capture the essence of this place from a different perspective. Away from wildlife, and more interested in the patterns and textures of the landscape, I decided to try to fly a Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UVA) to document the magnificent scenery. With wind gusts of more than 40 km an hour, reaching 60 in certain areas, flying a quadcopter to get aerial footage is not easy. I took this as a personal challenge.

Whether you are close or far from home, you are investing not only your money to buy equipment, but your time and energy to make your aerial missions become a reality. Forgetting that extra set of propellers, a replacement for a little antenna or a second camera can mean the difference between a successful Project or a failure.

For me, since I discovered the new line of Manfrotto bags, the choice became almost natural, like most things in life. I tried a couple of the smaller ones, and they worked amazingly well. When I was in need of the roller to carry an inventory of parts, pieces, gear and my ground control station, I went for a Manfrotto Pro Roller Bag 50 .

When working on aerial photographic assignments, I bring it to carry to the field all the tiny parts and ítems I may need, plus a DSLR body and a couple of lenses if I want to shoot land based in the last-minute.

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When we fly FPV, which is basically controlling remotely your aerial Vehicle beyond the line of sight using an onboard camera that with the help of a transmitter, shares the visual information with a ground station with a receiver.

Expedition Diaries: The Falkland Islands . Flying an upgraded DJI Phantom 1 in 20 Knot Winds from KIKE CALVO on Vimeo.

As I normally fly FPV, I use the Manfrotto Pro Roller Bag 50 to carry my ground station, which could be a small computer (bag will fit a 17¨if needed), a tablet or FPV googles.

Tough in its construction, built with a multi-layered system they call Exo-tough, fits perfectly on my overhead compartment on planes and it complies with all airline regulations.

Once thing I learned by now is that I only buy gear if it fully provides all the features I am in search for to bring them to my assignments and expeditions.

You can follow Kike Calvo´s adventures on the National Geographic Blog or his Drone and Unmanned Vehicle series on this new blog.

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Inspire 1 - Creativity Knows No Bounds Neither Should You

Learn More About Drones:

Kike Calvo´s Drone Collections 

Drone / UAV Dictionary: Includes 300 Commercial UAV Applications

Drones: Their Many Civilian Uses and the U.S. Laws Surrounding Them.

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Small Unmanned Aircraft: Theory and Practice

Introduction to Unmanned Systems: Air, Ground, Sea & Space

UAV Fundamentals Executive Course

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Getting Started with Hobby Quadcopters and Drones: Learn about, buy and fly these amazing aerial vehicles

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Introduction to Remote Sensing, Fifth Edition

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