Why the Staaker?
“Remember all the exciting times you couldn’t take in full because you also had to film them? Now imagine being free to enjoy great moments to the max and preserve them at the same time without even thinking about it. Staaker does that for you — it follows you and captures your adventures.“
This is a quote from the Staaker website and it hits the nail on its head! That’s me! I’m mostly alone when I do my flying and how on earth am I gonna make it possible to film myself with a drone when alone?!
I have seen quite a few kite videos including drone shots and found them so inspiring and off course I would very much like to include drone shots in my kite videos too. But the question of how to do this when flying alone has puzzled me for some time.
Yes, I’ve seen that many drones have this follow-me function, but as far as I have understood, it’s mostly an optical function. That is you’ll have the drone camera to optically recognize you and will follow you optically. Yes, this feature might work in some settings, but I can also see a lot of other settings where this optical function will face problems. This is also common feedback on this feature.
I would much rather go for a drone that will follow you using GPS. However, now we’re talking drones way out of my financial league. So I forgot about this for a while.
Then I kind of stumbled upon this Norwegian developed and built drone; the Staaker!
…and just like its name implies, this drone will staak… ehr…. stalk you, follow you – and – it’s using GPS technology to follow you!
So that sparked my interest once again and I started to check up on this Norwegian drone. And the more I read about it the more my interest grew. How about the price? Well, when first presented to the market its price point was still out of my league at $1.500,- give or take. But then the prices dropped and you can get a brand new one now for about $1.000.
That’s still a bit stiff for my likings but could it be possible to get my hands on a second hand one? I started to browse the ‘net again and yes, there was a handful of ones available roughly about half the price of a brand new one. And best of all, I didn’t have to go far. Just a mere five minutes drive away there was this guy selling two of them including a box packed with accessories and spare parts for a very reasonable price.
So I headed over to this guy and we spent a couple of hours going through … stuff and taking the Staaker for a quick spin. I was settled and returned back home with my new toy … no … piece of equipment!
Now I’ve had the Stakker in the air a handful of times and these are my first impressions
The Staaker is incredibly easy to fly! You just put it in one of the four follow-me modes and the drone and camera does just that, it follows you! You can also put the drone in the Scenery mode and fly it pretty much like you would with any other drone.
I must admit I was a bit concerned about letting the drone fly all by itself and its autonomous flying capabilities of this drone, but it seems like there’s nothing to worry about. So far I have experienced absolutely no problems using the different follow-me modes. It does what it’s supposed to do!
The Staaker is basing its follow-me functionality on GPS. The remote control is also a GPS module that sends signals to the drone so that the drone knows what to follow. No optical weaknesses in this feature and the tracker (on your wrist) and the drone communicate using the GPS signals. And you can even jump into your car, speed it up to 80km/h (50mph) and it will still follow you, or rather the GPS tracker. That’s really impressive!
Specifications and stuff…
Self Flying Camera Modes
The Staaker comes with five different flight modes to make sure that whatever you do, it will always film you from the best possible angles.
In the Follow-mode the Staaker does all the framing and thinking for you, no matter where you position the drone, it will dynamically move to follow you from behind. In this mode you can manually adjust the height and distance from the tracker.
This is a great mode for capturing epic establishing shots and cool B-roll. Like walking up (or down) the beach and have the drone following you from a height and distance combination you can manually adjust.
In Circle-mode the Staaker circles around you no matter what you do, whether you are stationary or moving. In this mode you can manually adjust the circle direction (clockwise or counterclockwise), the height and the distance from the tracker.
Pull your fave kite out of the bag and start flying it while having the Staaker circling around you shooting really cool footage. By varying the height and distance you can capture really, really nice footage that will fit perfectly into any kite video!
Here are a couple of examples:
In Compass-mode the Staaker follows you from the compass direction you choose. This keeps the background for the shot the same no matter where you move. A perfect way to capture riding into the sunset. In this mode you can manually set the angle, height and distance from the tracker.
This mode is great for establishing shots and B-roll too. And why not have the Staaker following you in Compass-mode while you drive off to your fave flying spot. You know, the drone have a max speed of 80kmh (50mph)
Here’s an example:
When in Hover-mode the Staaker holds a fixed position (selected by you) and will automatically turn the camera to follow you. Kind of like putting the camera on a tripod and have a person following you. Perfect for capturing you jumping up close. In this mode you can manually adjust the height, distance and position (from the tracker).
In the Hover-mode the Staaker itself will hover but the camera will follow the tracker. This mode is kind of like placing your camera on a tripod … being 50m high! A pretty cool use of this mode is to place the drone directly above you and the camera will be pointed straight down. This can make for some really interesting shots!
Here is an example:
In Scenery-mode you fly the Staaker more or less like any other drone. Simply use the buttons on the tracker as a remote control to fly your Staaker and capture epic scenery. Easy manual control. In this mode you can – in addition to fly the Staaker like a normal drone – adjust the camera angle from 0 degrees (horizontal) to 90 degrees vertical (camera pointing straight down).
Just fly it like any other drone and capture epic shots that you can use for establishing shots, B-roll or cutaway shots.
Here are a couple of examples:
My first kite video including drone shots
All the examples linked above are taken from my kite video “November Low Sun Flying”. That’s my very first kite video including drone shots. I think it came out pretty good and you can watch the complete video down below. I really hope you like it and I’m looking forward to fully explore this Staaker drone and use it as a tool for making cool videos and …having fun!
The rest of the information in this post is specifications and similar taken from the Staaker website, for your information!
ROBUST AND DURABLE
The Staaker can be used anywhere, anytime, and in (almost) any weather conditions
Easy to operate and compatible with GoPro Hero 4, 5 Black, 6 Black and 7 Black.
30 MIN FLIGHT TIME
Your adventures aren’t over in a few minutes, neither is Staaker. It has 30 min flight time safe with a smart battery and advanced error handling your Staaker is well equipped to deal with errors. It will even fly home and land itself if the situation requires it!
Designed for, and tested, in all kinds of weather. Staaker flies in snow, wind and rain!
PERFECTLY STABLE FOOTAGE
3 axis gimbal, with high accuracy, stabilizes the camera at all times
- Flight Range: 30 km / 19 miles
- Flight Speed: 80 kmh / 50 mph max speed
- Flight Modes: 5
- Tracking Accuracy: Vertical Less than 10 cm / 4 in
- Tracking Accuracy Horizontal: Less than 0.5 m / 1.5 ft
- Max Distance: 50 m / 165 ft
- Min Distance: 2 m / 7 ft
- Max Alt: 50 m / 165 ft above tracker
- Min Alt: 2 m / 6.5 ft above tracker
- Water Resistancy: Splash proof
- Operating Temperatures: -20 C / -4 F To 40 C / 104 F
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
- Dimensions (Folded)Width: 200 mm
Length: 340 mm
Height: 110 mm
- Dimensions (Expanded)Width: 440 mm
Length: 340 mm
Height: 150 mm
- Weight (Including Battery)1.6 kg
BATTERY & POWER
- Smart Battery: 6400 mAh, 14.8V LiPo
- Motors :900 kv motors with 4.8 kg total thrust
- Camera Compatability: GoPro Hero 4, 5 Black, 6 Black and 7 Black (and probably a few more)
- Camera Stabilizer: 3 axis brushless motor