So Many Drones – Which One Is For Me ??
When it came time to update our drone, the choice for us was narrowed down significantly. Having built, used and flown DJI products for 6 years, with hundreds of hours flying experience, DJI was always going to be our first choice.
From our early years of building RPA’s (drones) from scratch, to the complete ready to fly (RTF) units out now, I have had very few issues with the small, recreational DJI products. Our first serious aerial camera platform was a DJI Flamewheel F550 hex-copter, complete with GoPro. No obstacle avoidance, basic GPS, and very few “bells and whistles”. You had to fly it.
We used this RPA for 3 years with only one issue. A major battery failure lead to it falling out of the sky from about 30 metres up. (Lucky we were on private property) The great thing about building your own aircraft, is that I was able to rebuild it, from scratch. The biggest cost was the gimbal. From a completely wrecked craft to flying as good as new, took about 6 hours of rebuild time and cost around $300.
These days there is no doubt that DJI is the absolute market leader in the consumer drone market.
So DJI It Is
What we wanted in our next RPA.
- A smaller, more compact aircraft.
- Reduced fisheye in the 4k video and stills.
- Longer flight time.
- Easier for Melissa to fly.
- Better position hold
- Clearer live video stream and larger screen.
- Remote camera control.
Because I have flown for so long, and don’t need the “bells and whistles” of the latest technology, I decided on the Phantom 3 Pro.
A Less Expensive Option
There is no doubt that drones can be expensive ‘toys’ to purchase.
Staying 12 months behind the current technology means we pay a lower price, and when the latest model is released from DJI we can update to the older version for considerably less. Because we already have a Phantom 3 Standard, it means we can use all the extras we have on either RPA. So now we have 5 batteries and some parts that are interchangeable.
We fly using a Samsung Tablet, rather than a phone. Having a 10 inch tablet so you can “place the shot” for the perfect pic is fantastic. It also makes it easier for Melissa to see what the camera is looking at.
For me, I think the screen size really lets the Mavic down, although it is advertised as a compact high end RPA.
What we would really like is a fold away Mavic Pro with 360 degree remote control gimbal and dual remotes like the Inspire. So I can fly and Melissa can operate the camera and gimbal. Mmmmm, not in the near future I don’t think and the Inspire is just to big for what All Around Oz wants to do.
So that is why we have stuck with the Phantom 3 Pro. As time passes I have no doubt we will have a Phantom 4 Pro or maybe a Mavic, but the Phantom 3 Professional will be our primary drone for a while yet.