Aeronautical engineer by day and astrophotographer by night. This is the life of Jason De Freitas , a photographer and engineer from New South Wales (Australia) known on the Internet for his great skill when it comes to photographing planets, the Milky Way and eclipses. But the thing Don “t stay there. JaseFilm —which is his name on the networks— does all his work with analog cameras . His latest invention has led him to merge his two great passions .
A project that has been simmering for years
From a young age, Jason already knew that he wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. At the age of 16, he was already able to build and fly his own radio-controlled helicopters , and soon after, he got excited about quadcopters. He studied at the University and when he was approximately 25 years old he discovered photography . Instead of obsessing over the Canon, Sony, or Nikon of the day, however, De Freitas was curious about the film .
And finally, he was encouraged to combine his two passions in a unique and original project . According to the engineer, those who know him closely have spent years imagining that one day, the analog drone project would see the light of day.
This is the drone that takes analog photographs
For his chimera, De Freitas used an iFlight Chimera 7 drone, which is characterized by a first-person view. It cost him about 620 dollars and measures about 15 centimeters. According to the engineer, he could have used a slightly smaller drone that was also easier to use, but would have to sacrifice flight time by having a less durable battery.
On the other hand, he had to hire a professional to fly the drone due to Australian laws, as first-person drone flying is heavily regulated in that country. Still, the engineer managed to get his operator to control the Chimera 7 with DJI-brand FPV goggles that he himself modified with Lumenier AXII HD antennas .
35mm slides with just point and shoot
Now it was time to choose an analog camera for the invention. After some research, he decided that a lightweight, automatic camera would make the most sense. A point and shoot, come on. Only, in this case, it would target the operator with Jason’s orders. Finally, he got an Olympus Stylus Mju-1 , which weighs a little more than a GoPro. The coupling to the drone and the handling of the camera from a distance were also in charge of the skills of the engineer, who designed a mount with a series of motors that allowed him to hook the compact to the drone —and align it with the FPV camera—, as well as operate it from afar.
With everything already assembled, all that remained was to put it to flight. De Freitas decided to try his luck on the south coast of New South Wales, near a town called Narooma. The 35mm slides he got were really impressive. You can see the entire process and the resulting photos in this video that Jason De Freitas has uploaded to his YouTube channel.