[00:00:00.00] Ever since Yo! Uo! Josh Yeo!’s video on the DJI 3D Focus System, I’ve been gagging to get my hands on one. He apparently had some kind of early prototype because it was pretty much the only one out there that I ever saw and it was not yet available to order.
[00:00:13.12] I went to the DJI website, tried to get one but it was going to be shipping in November. Well, November came, November went, it wasn't available, I put my name on the list to be notified and just a couple weeks ago, I got the notification that it was now finally available.
[00:00:27.03] I placed the order and it arrived this morning and I’m super excited to break into this thing and see how it works. Now, unfortunately, the 3D Focus System only works with the DJI RS 2 gimbal, so, if anybody wants an SC, hit me up in the comments, I’m selling this one.
[00:00:58.14] This is basically going to be an unboxing and a first look. Let's see what's in this box and that one. I will put this all together and take it out for test drive and let's see what we get. So, let's start with the 3D Focus System which is just a tiny little thing.
[00:01:18.06] So, this is it… 3D Focus, a little LiDAR system… There's not much to it. Let's just talk about what this is because if you haven't ever seen this or heard of this before, you're kind of scratching your head like, “what's the point of this?”
[00:01:30.14] 3D Focus is a LiDAR based focus system. The idea here is that it fires out a beam, I have no idea how many times per second, which bounces off of whatever's directly in front of it, bounces back and tells the camera the distance which then, through the manual focus control system that's in the gimbal, controls the focus on the lens.
[00:01:48.19] This means you have a geared focus system, you have to have a lens with a gear on it which you can either add… you can buy lenses like this one here that have it on it already… or you probably have a strap or something in here that you can rig onto a lens if you don't have those.
[00:02:01.20] Now, one of the limitations is that whatever it's focusing on is going to be in the middle of the screen, meaning it only focuses on what's dead-center. There's no face detection, there's no eye detection, there's no “oh something moved off to the side and then came back in, track it” — no, none of that. It is just very simple, straight and narrow, right down the middle, “whatever's in the center” is what the camera will focus on.
[00:02:21.28] But that's okay! I mean, it's first generation of this stuff and I think that this will of course, get better and get more exciting, but as it is, the ability to have autofocus on a vintage lens like any of these, I’ve got my Helios here, I’ve got a Takumar, I’ve got this Viltrox lens, not vintage but still all manual Cine-style lens…
[00:02:40.03] This is a Mamiya Medium Format Lens. It's pretty stiff, I don't know if the system will handle it, it's quite heavy as well but we'll see what happens. Just quite the variety of lenses here that will be pretty incredible to make autofocus, especially the ones that have really, really shallow depth of field.
[00:02:53.03] So, let's see what's in this box and take it to the next step. Ha ha! It's a nice little compact packaging actually compared to the one for the SC, nice.
[00:03:32.19] I have no idea if the battery's charged or not. Well, I guess that's gonna slow this video down. I’m gonna have to charge this. I am by no means a gimbal expert. Half of this crap, I don't even know what it's for.
[00:03:49.01] Ah! There's the gimbal. Fancy… It's got like a screen on it. Check this out, some kind of LCD screen. This is — this is kind of cool. I guess this is a pretty nice upgrade. All right, well, there's the parts. Clearly, I’ve got some assembly to do, probably an instruction manual to read and a battery to charge. So, we'll meet you back here in a little bit, all right?
[00:04:17.01] If anybody from DJI is watching this, could you please stop printing your manuals with a four-point font… Not everybody who buys your product is 20 years old, all right? Jesus!
[00:04:26.29] Well, I did it, I got it together. It took overnight, I had to charge the gimbal battery and I also had to charge the RavenEye battery, but everything is now up and running. I will say that the gimbal itself was the easiest one to balance that I’ve ever balanced.
[00:04:41.23] Now look, I’m no gimbal expert and I hardly ever do this, but when I do it, it's always been a bit of a struggle. This one was actually really easy to balance, so, kudos to that. They've made this process a bit better. However, getting the rest of this configured, not quite as easy.
[00:04:55.17] The manual, the user guide, other than being printed in like a two-point font, it's just not super clear. It took a little while but I got there. So, what we've got now is all the pieces in place, there is the — let's start with the focusing gear. So, if I rotate this around here, you'll see the actual focusing gear on the camera. I can manually focus that with the finger control dial here, so that's in place. Up on top of the camera is the actual 3D Focus system.
[00:05:21.25] This is talking to the controller, talking to the motor and then underneath all this is the RavenEye system which is the wireless system that sends the video from the camera to my smartphone so that I can see what the gimbal sees, I can see what it's focusing on and I can actually do a lot of other cool things to control it in there.
[00:05:38.10] I think it's time to take this out and get some shots. What do you think? Should we — should we go? Should we go? Uh! Yeah, yeah you want to go? You wanna go play? Yeah? Yeah? Yeah? Let's go play… Okay, okay, we're gonna go play now. Let's go see what we can do.
[00:14:14.27] It's interesting, it's very cool… Now, combining the 3D Focus with the active track, the active track seemed to not do that great of a job of keeping me centered. So, I’ll have to play with the settings and see if there's a way to keep it more locked centered because of course, once the gimbal is no longer centered or the camera is no longer centered on me, then the 3D Focus can't focus on me.
[00:14:37.29] But the other thing that I noticed is that it seemed like sometimes it was focusing on something a little bit above the center and sometimes a little below the center which makes sense. It's not like there's a parallax correction for the beam that this is shooting out so that it's always perfectly centered on the camera.
[00:14:53.05] So, that's going to take a little getting used to figuring out as I’m closer or farther away whether it's really focusing on something towards the lower end of the frame or the higher end of the frame.
[00:15:02.05] It's going to take a little bit of effort but I’ll get there and I think the potential for this is absolutely huge. When I just had it tracking me walking around, when I was close to it, I think it was doing a tremendously good job. I thought that was really, really impressive.
[00:15:15.21] As I got farther away, it got more sketchy but I think that's fair, I think that's to be expected. When I was holding it and walking it around, tracking another subject, unfortunately I don't have another person here to test this with, but just tracking a static object, I think it did a pretty good job there too.
[00:15:30.03] Now, again, the whole thing about when it's focusing a little bit lower or a little bit high, at least I think that's what's happening, can make it a little bit hard to predict where it's going to focus. But again, I think that just is going to take some getting used to it.
[00:15:43.02] So, overall, I think it's pretty cool. I’m impressed with this, I like it and it is a first gen, let's keep that in mind. If you think about something like a well, a Tesla car again with the LiDAR that's got like a million cameras and building a map in real time that has an incredible amount of detail compared to this sub $200 device, imagine a future where this thing can map out the entire world in perfect 3D…
[00:16:06.13] It knows where everything is and it knows what everything is and the ability to say “oh, that is the person you want to track”, and imagine that the field of view of the LiDAR could be wider than the field view of the lens, so, it could lock onto a subject and if that subject stepped out of frame, the system could still know where they are and prepare for them coming back into frame…
[00:16:25.19] I think the potential for this is actually really, really enormous. We'll see what happens with the future of it. This is a first gen product and I’m digging it. I think it's really cool and hopefully you guys dig it too.
[00:16:37.09] If you want to know more about this, you want to see more about this, do let me know. I don't know if this is going to be a video that a lot of people want to see more of, so if you do, let me know in the comments, maybe I’ll do some more on it, maybe I can do some more tutorials or training or when I get more into it and know it more I can give some more details about how to get the most out of it. Let me know what you think. Uh, yeah, I like it. Bye…