We are all well aware that the Nokia Lumia 1020 features a 41MP camera, powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system and enclosed in a beautiful Nokia design. What better way to get some breathtaking shots than attaching your Lumia 1020 to a radio-controlled model helicopter?
“Most of us go to crazy lengths to protect our smartphones from the slightest scratch. Then there’s Martin Hammerli, who one day last fall drove several hours to a rocky Swiss ravine, strapped his Nokia Lumia 1020 to the body of a radio-controlled model helicopter, and sent the fragile-looking craft soaring 36 stories into the crisp November air,” Microsoft stated in an official blog post.
The 44 year old Hammerli, who is a corporate IT manager in Switzerland during his work hours, was intrigued by a contest by Nokia and the National Geographic. The contest challenged amateur photographers to put their Nokia Lumia 1020 devices to the test and discover the unimaginable.
Hammerli, who was obsessed with radio-controlled aircrafts and photography, figured he was the perfect man for the job. In fact, Hammerli wanted to test his piloting and photography skills by taking a shot of the Landwasser Viaduct, a century-old train crossing that curves majestically 450-feet above the Landwasser River, between the Swiss towns of Schmitten and Filisur. Typically, Hammerli uses a Canon EOS 5D Mark III to take aerial shots, but this time, he was going to use a Lumia 1020.
“Whenever I do this, it’s a mixture of adventure and uncertainty” – Hammerli
“On a typical shoot, for example, Hammerli must keep a vigilant eye on things like the craft’s altitude, dwindling battery power, and unexpected wind gusts – all while hunting for interesting angles and steadying the copter enough to focus and shoot,” Microsoft explained.
With the Lumia 1020 camera set to the highest resolution, Hammerli outfitted his “Henseleit Three Dee Rigid” radio-controlled aircraft with a GoPro Hero 2 camera used for a birds-eye piloting and navigating view and a GPS-based autopilot system, called the “DJI AceOne.” This autopilot system would take over control and steady the aircraft when it was time to take pictures. The aircraft even had a special mechanism used to hit the camera button on the Lumia 1020.
Unfortunately, Hammerli didn’t win first place in the contest – he was a finalist. You can head over to his website to check out his aerial photography. It’s quite remarkable to see a smartphone take such amazing photos, even if the photos were slightly enhanced using Nokia’s Creative Studio app.