Sony Enters Drone Arena With Airpeak

Last Updated on September 13, 2021 by admin

Sony meted out additional details on its forthcoming Airpeak camera drone at this week’s virtual CES, after having announced its intentions to enter the space last year.

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The Airpeak is a larger quadcopter, with retractable landing gear, more similar to a DJI Inspire than a slimline Mavic drone in size, with a gimbal that can carry a full-frame Sony a7 camera, putting it on a level playing field with drones built for use in Hollywood cinema, Netflix streaming, and the like.


Sony a7S III on Airpeak Gimbal (Image: Sony)Sony a7S III on Airpeak Gimbal (Image: Sony)

Sony has only shown off a concept at this point. The quadcopter is relatively tall—it has to leave room for a three-axis gimbal and full-frame camera to clear the ground—with landing gear that rises up for the flight, so you can pivot the camera around a 360-degree axis without obstructing its view.

The company promises that the aircraft will provide “precise, stable flight” and stabilization for aerial imaging and video. But beyond that, we don’t know a lot for sure.

Onboard Camera and Obstacle Sensors (Image: Sony)Onboard Camera and Obstacle Sensors (Image: Sony)

From pictures we can see that there is carbon fiber material as part of the construction, and that the aircraft itself has an onboard camera—so the pilot can always see the direction the nose is pointing—as well as a panel of obstacle detection sensors.

A teaser video indicates that the Airpeak supports dual operators—a pilot to control the drone and a cinematographer to operate the camera—an expected feature on high-end models. When working in a production environment, a licensed drone pilot fulfills a different role than a camera operator.

We’re also unsure if the Airpeak will connect with other camera brands. The DJI Matrice series can handle cameras from various brands, not just Sony.

We’ll have more details as they become available. Sony is aiming to bring the Airpeak to market this Spring.

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