Lily, the Drone for Family Vacation & Extreme Sports

By Michael Rosa

From extreme sports to family vacations, Lily, the the first-ever “throw-and-shoot” camera, is about to change the way we use drones.

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Meet Lily, the first “throw-and-shoot” camera, which follows a tracking device worn by the user for continuous aerial coverage. (Image: Lily Camera)

Drone cameras have given photographers and videographers a new way to view and capture the world around them, but learning to fly them often requires a lot of time, skill and patience.

While the new perspective gives operators a chance to shoot in a way that would otherwise be impossible, it leaves them stuck on the ground controlling their camera. But not with Lily.

The Specs

Lily is the future of personal drones. This autonomous-controlled drone allows its user to capture high-quality photos and videos from above as it follows a tracking device worn on the ground by the owner, as if you were being filmed by a hot air balloon.

With a multitude of functions/views, digital gimballing, image stabilization, fixed focus, and slow-mo capabilities, Lily is just as versatile as it is innovative.

And true to its billing, it is truly “throw-and-shoot.” The user simply tosses Lily into the air and the drone automatically rights itself and starts climbing to the desired vantage point.

In the promo video (see below), a kayaker even chucks a Lily into a river before the plucky drone rises out of the whitewater and heads upward.

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In the evolution of cameras, Lily rises to the top while tracking your movements for the perfect shot. (Image: Lily Camera)

Price: $499 (pre-order)
Length & Width: 10.29 in (26.1 cm) x 10.29 in (26.1 cm)
Height: 3.22 in
Weight: 2.8 lbs (1.3 kg)
Battery: Built-in lithium-ion battery (20-minute flight time), 5A charger (2-hour charge time)

Min/Max Altitude above head: 5 ft (1.75 m) to 50 ft (15 m)
Max Distance from User: 100 ft (30 m)

Video Resolution: 1080p 60 fps / 720p 120 fps
Video FOV: 94º
Video Format: H.264 codec, .mp4 file format
Photo Resolution: 12 MP

Memory: 4gb micro SD (provided) and an external memory card slot

Sensors: Accelerometer, three-axis gyro, magnetometer, barometer, GPS, front-facing camera, bottom-facing camera

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The microphone-equipped tracking device fits inside a waterproof wrist case, and both come standard with Lily. (Image: Lily Camera)

The Tracking Device has a built-in lithium-ion battery with 4-hour battery life and micro USB charging, and comes with a waterproof wrist case. Inside it has an accelerometer, barometer, GPS, microphone and vibration motor.

Plus, with the Lily companion app (available on iOS and Android), you can change camera settings, create custom shots, and Edit and share content you’ve captured. If you want to see Lily in action, check out the amazing video below.

Summer Vacation Filmmaking
Shot by Brad Kremer, known for his advanced digital filmmaking in the the snow-sports community (he’s also filmed for Red Bull, Ubisoft, Nike and the X-Games), the video shows Lily keeping up with legendary Finnish snowboarder Jussi Oksanen.

It then follows a kayaker down some rapids (proving the waterproof shell works by lifting off with ease from the surface of a river) before taking video and photos of a family on summer vacation.

While anyone can use Lily, editing that footage into an extreme sports video or family keepsake like the video above might take a little additional know-how.

If your child has ever shown interest in filmmaking, DMA offers camps where industry professionals teach students digital filmmaking with DSLRs from Canon and show them how to edit their footage with Final Cut Pro. There are even a few courses that combine sports and technology, like the video above!