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About to purchase, accessory questions.

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Skidz, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Skidz

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    I'm very close to pulling the trigger on a Phantom 3 Pro. I'm having a hard time figuring out what other accessories are good to have.

    Here's a small intro since this is my first post: I've always been interested in R/C, and have been a hobby photographer for a while. Naturally, I'm very excited to get into aerial photo/film with UAVs. I've been practicing with my Nano QX and a 350QX (with GoPro, no gimbal) that I was recently given by someone who wasn't using it. I want get a serious AP platform (like the P3P) to continue to learn with, and pretty quickly turn it into a business (including a 333 exemption) once I feel like I can produce professional quality work.

    Here's what I plan to buy. I'm assuming these are not included in the base package:
    • Spare battery
    • Carry case
    • A bunch of props
    • Prop balancer
    • Sunshade for tablet
    • Lens cleaning paper/solution
    And some questions:
    • What other things should I be shopping for to increase performance, convenience, or to protect the investment?
    • DJI's hardshell backpack looks bulky and uncomfortable, but I'm biased towards it because it's OEM. Is it ok, or should I be looking at different backpacks? Do third party backpacks protect it as well as DJI's?
    • Are the carbon fiber props worth the extra price, or should I just buy the normal plastic ones?
    • What do you guys think of the ND4 filter? Worth the money, or save up for third party filters?
    • Do you guys recommend buying directly from DJI, or are there better places to shop? (I'm thinking that buying directly from them might come with easier customer service.)
    If someone would like to take a shot at some of these, I'd appreciate it!
     
  2. msinger

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    The Phantom comes with a single battery, two sets of props, and no case. You can find some packages that include a spare battery, case, and other accessories here.

    Here are some recommendations based on things I've tried myself:

    Case: Microraptor Pro or Go Professional
    Props:
    Only use OEM DJI 9450 props with composite hubs (some have metal hubs)
    Prop Balancer: SpeedyTM (comes with prop balancer and prop balancing rod)
    Lens Cleaner: Nikon Pen
    Sun Shade:
    DJI Sun Shade (fits iPad Mini sized tablets)


    See my Must-Haves list for some others things you'll definitely want to get.


    Here's a nice review of the DJI hardshell backpack:



    There are many other backpacks here.


    The OEM DJI carbon fiber props are a mix of composite and carbon fiber. Most people seem to be buying them for the look. You won't notice much of a difference in performance (if any at all).


    You'll need an ND filter if you want to shoot videos/photos with a manual exposure. Manual is going to give you the most consistent results -- and, it's really a must if you plan on editing your videos/photos in something like Adobe Premiere or Lightroom. The ND4 filter is good for cloudy days. For sunny days, you're going to need an ND8 or ND16 filter. Check out the Polar Pro, SRP, and TACO-RC lens filters here.

    Out of those three, I have only tried the SRP filters. I really like them. The only downside is they are a bit tough to slide on and off. People are telling me they loosen up a bit over time. Filters that slide on have an advantage since some of them (graduated & polarized) need to be rotated in a very specific direction. With screw on filters, that means your filters are not screwed on the entire way.

    The alternative is to get screw on filters -- like the Polar Pro or TACO-RC lens filters. The threads on the DJI camera seem a bit fragile, so I'm not too wild about constantly screwing filters on and off. Many people like the quality of both of these filters though, so either should be a good buy.


    Buying from DJI is okay to do. The ship time is going to be longer (usually a few weeks) and it'll be a hassle if you need to return your Phantom for some reason. You won't see an added benefit support-wise.

    If you're in the US, it would be best to buy from an authorized DJI dealer in the US. You can get a Phantom in as little as 2 business days. Here's a list of authorized DJI dealers who have Phantoms in stock right now.
     
    #2 msinger, Jul 30, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  3. mphsjeep

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    GIMBAL GUARD!!!! They are all over eBay.
     
    andy162 likes this.
  4. andy162

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    There are soooo many different cases you can get to protect your phantom. They will protect it as good, or better, than the DJI hard case. I reccomend the GoPro case or this case:

    http://tradecraftcases.com/toughcase-x3-for-phantom-3-professional-and-advanced/

    Also, I hope you end up getting a Phantom 3. Not to get all cheesy but it is literally a lifechanger. Nothing in the world compares to flying a phantom. You won't regret it!
     
  5. tcope

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    To start off I'd recommend an extra battery and perhaps a case. Fly the Phantom and see how you like it. I don't know why, but perhaps you won't like it. I would recommend you get a case as soon as possible. If you will be flying often I'd also recommend a 3rd battery. Learn to fly at this point. Getting those great shots takes some practice. At this point you may want to look at ND filters and a better gimbal lock. I'd skip the GF props as they are just CF... no better. The OWM props are very good and balanced very well but you may want to pick up a balancer at this point.

    What I'm recommending is that you don't spend an extra $1000 right away. Spend your time flying and understanding what _you_ need to make flying more enjoyable. The P3 is great right out of the box.
     
  6. Andy Collins

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    I bought a case that allows me to leave the props on, I can't imagine having to take the props off every time I put it in the case.

    ND filters will be a must if your going to shoot video and you have a lot of bright sunshine, extra batterie (s) definately,,

    I wouldn't worry too much about having a lot of props, I fly FPV and break a lots of props on my racing done, but have never damaged a prop on my P3
     
  7. Skidz

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    Thanks for all of the great replies guys, I really appreciate it.

    I did order my Phantom! I can't wait for it to get here. I'm excited to get that camera in the air!

    I've purchased a few necessities: an extra battery, a case, and a prop balancer.

    So, a couple more things I need.

    Do the filters you slip over the UV lens actually mess the balance up enough that it could damage/wear out the gimbal? Should I instead go with the inserts that go behind the UV filter, or the screw on ones that replace the UV filter? What's the general consensus on filters these days?

    And the gimbal guard. I'm considering UAV Bits gimbal guard, but I'm intrigued by their combo package. I'm curious what everyone thinks. Are the carbon fiber anti-vibration attachment plate and metal keepers really going to make a difference in a crash? I want to protect my investment, but I'm not sure if that's overkill or not.

    http://www.uavbits.net/store/p22/Phantom_3_Combo.html
     
  8. mphsjeep

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  9. mmjax

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    I didn't see anyone mention a lanyard - a must-have in my opinion! It allows you to have two free hands when doing compass calibrations by yourself, and could potentially save your controller and tablet should it somehow slip out or get knocked out of your hands (kids anyone?).
    I'm happy with mine:
    Space One FPV Neck strap Lanyard for R/C https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UM6TR4C/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_nbOVvbW2Z9JDC
     
    #9 mmjax, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  10. Travis726

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    Tax time is getting closer so I will be pulling the trigger soon. What I have sitting in my amazon cart is:
    1) P3A with extra battery.
    2) Nvidia Shield K-1 8.0-Inch 16 GB Tablet (Black)
    3) Mr Shield For NVIDIA Shield Tablet Anti-Glare Screen Protector [3-PACK]
    4) 3 Piece Filter Kit (PL-ND4-ND8) for DJI Phantom 3 Advanced, DJI Phantom 3 Pro Quad-copters
    5) Gimbal Saver for DJI Phantom 3 Ribbon Cable Protection Fix by RC Killer
    6) SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter
    7) Aluminum carrying case for dji phantom 3 professional, phantom 3 advanced, phantom 3 standard, phantom 3 4k fits extra accessories
    8) Aboom adjustable lanyard

    Is there anything else that you would recommend? I see there are "gimble guards" as well as the gimble saver (a bar that goes across the bottom from landing gear to landing gear. What do you think about those? link > http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ue&ref_=ox_sc_sfl_title_1&smid=A2JS39G1SMOCQV

    Is the micro sd a good card (fast enough write speeds)?
    link > Amazon.com: SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter, Grey/Red, Standard Packaging (SDSQUNC-064G-GN6MA): Computers & Accessories

    Any advise is appreciated. I realize Im resurrecting an old thread but saw no need to make a new one.
     
  11. msinger

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    Travis726, it would be a good idea to also get an ND16 filter for sunny days. Polar Pro also makes a 6-pack (if that's the brand you're looking at). For the memory card, I'd go with something that writes at least 40MB/s (to match the card DJI ships with the P3A). I have a list of commonly used memory cards here. For a case, that one will do the job, but Go Professional is top of the line quality-wise. Gimbal guards are nice to have since they added some protection below.
     
  12. Noble 1

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    The sd card just needs to be over 40/second. I bought the ultra hoping it would be affected by cold weather shoots.

    DBS range extender mod, Itelite DBS Flight Range Extender Antenna ITE-DBS02 New In Box 5 Yr Warranty
    Gimbal Ribbon connector saver, Gimbal Protector Ribbon Cable Saver For DJI Phantom 3 Pro/Advanced RC Quadcopter

    Carbon fiber props, lens cap gimbal lock, extra batteries, lo pro drone guard back pack, sd cards, gps tracker, nd filters, lanyard, tablet

    Things in my list to think about adding are
    Landing gear mod, bird side antenna mod, battery mod, led kit, custom graphics


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  13. Travis726

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    Thanks for the advise about the lens filters as I live in an extremely sunny place. I thought the nd4 and nd8 would suffice. I dont have $200+ im willing to spend on a case, and dont think I will really need that much protection as I will baby the case (considered just using the box it came in for a while). The micro sd is 80MB/s so that is more than enough, correct? or is that just read speeds? Ill go ahead and add the gimble guard, its only 15 bucks. :)

    Noble, definitely dont need more range than the advance will give me. I could possible get away with a standard but want the lightbridge for fpv quality. And the rc killer gimble saver takes care of the ribbon case saver right?
     
  14. msinger

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    You could always wait and buy the ND16 later, but you're going to need it if you're flying in extremely sunny locations.

    It only writes at 15MB/s.
     
  15. Air Ontario

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    An extra battery and a 3 pack of filters(CPL, ND 4, ND8), a RC neck strap holder for hands free recovery and a tablet with a large enough screen that's viewable in sunlight are the bare minimums. I also put a high speed 64 GB sd in the bird.

    I use a padded shoulder strap off an old gym bag as a neck lanyard for the RC, an Ipad mini 4 and usually keep the polarizer filter on all the time.

    I already had a generator 1000 watt, and pure sine wave inverter.....either are great just in case I want to operate out of my vehicle, although you can just get a 15 dollar cigarette plug charger odd fleabay.

    Next is a mayday, chute and tracker........lol
     
  16. Dirty Bird

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    Spare batteries, a case, sunshade, micro-fiber cloth, an improved gimbal clamp/lens cover, & a set of lens filters. Don't forget a neck strap or harness for the RC.

    The DJI hard backpack is actually quite compact. The only thing is lacks is a spot to store your tablet/phone & sunshield but there is room to modify the foam to include these items.

    Unless you plan on doing a lot of crashing or want the gold-tipped props (personally I like them and always get the tipped props) I can't imagine you will need many extras. It comes with two complete sets. My Vision+ has broken exactly TWO props in 400+ flights & that occurred when it smashed into the asphalt. o_O

    I would stick with the stock DJI props. If you insist on carbon fiber, ONLY use the genuine DJI carbon fiber props!

    For lens cleaning just get one of those microfiber cleaning cloths, puff on the lens when needed, and gently wipe away contaminants. I've only had to clean my Vision+ lens once. The microfiber cloth is handy for wiping away dust from the entire aircraft & controller.

    Filters can be expensive. Here is an inexpensive set that includes 9 filters (stackable), three lens rings, weighs next to nothing so no counterweights are required. Comes in handy storage case & tabs are on filters so you don't get fingerprints on the filters:

    3-Pack Neutral Density Filter Kit for DJI Phantom 3 Quadcopter Drone

    I like buying direct from DJI direct because you know you will get the latest model & fresh batteries.


     
  17. Travis726

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    I see, Ill take a look at your list and find one with write speeds of at least 40MB/s. As far as the brand of filters, it doesnt matter I just want a decent one without overpaying for a brand.

    One last question (that I can think of right now). I definitely want the newest version. Is there a retailer/re-seller you would recommend? Amazon is nice, but not necessary. STraight from dji? What kind of shipping times do you usually have?

    edit: dirtybird, forgot about a sunshade, :D gonna stick with stock props, those lense filters dont include a nd16. how necessary would you say one is for very bright days?
     
  18. Noble 1

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    @Travis726 Yes, the advanced has much more range than the standard and the lightbridge has great FPV transmit. I bought DBS because I'll be shooting in the mountains and extra range is a must- even if I'm not going 5 miles I still want best signal and no RTH failsafe- so partly a precaution to have more strength even in close range- seems a no brainer to me but if I was only planning on flying LOS I would not have bothered... Its just a recommendation and its one that I have heavily researched. At least consider getting the "windsurfer" for $8. You might lose signal at some point and wish you had the extra 1000 meters of range- totally worth it!!! 2.4GHz Antenna Range Booster fr DJI Phantom 3 Inspire 1 Controller Windsurfer

    The rc killer gimbal saver should work for the ribbon cable flaw.

    I have my own DSLR pro "Pelican" hardcase (rolling) and it fits everything I own but it weighs too much to hike with. SO I bought this semi hardcase backpack. I like it because if I need to pack up quick (like in a storm) I can throw my gear back into it and not have to take off the props if I feel like leaving them on (not recommended). This is the case I bought and its only 99 and fits everything nicely and I think its a bargain Amazon.com : Lowepro DroneGuard CS 400 Quadcopter Drone Protective Case : Camera & Photo If you are like I was in the beginning then the OEM box is fine until you start to wear it out. I say a case is a must. Its like insurance. I've dropped my case a few times or had other people bump and move it. Its investment for sure but worth it- If I were you I would buy a backpack or a case- one or the other. The downside to backpack is 1. limited space, and 2. disassembly but it makes up for it by being portable in my opinion. THe hardcase downsides are 1. weight, size combersome to travel and the pro is that the case is indestructible... I got my Pelican for 99 as well. You can find deals if you wait but average for a hardcase is 150-200. Amazon.com : Professional DJI Phantom Customizable Hard Case for All DJI Phantom Models (Phantom, Phantom 2, Vision, Vision+, Phantom 3) : Camera & Photo

    This polar pro set of 3 costs 69 new and comes with ND4, ND8, and PL. Wouldn't ND4 be better on a sunny day than an ND16??? maybe I don't understand the filter strength correctly but I thought ND4 = 1/4 reduced sunlight. Is that correct? so ND16 would only reduce 1/16th of the sunlight on a bright day... can someone smart explain this hehe?? thx... I want to be able to give good advice and I've been telling people to go with ND4... is that wrong? Now I feel bad.

    @ Travis726 Definitely buy the Phantom new from DJI- its on sale now and it will be piece of mind and less hassle, I made this mistake and I'm beginning to regret it since 1. warranty issues since I'm not original owner, 2. there are actually different improved models (hidden updates) built into "batches" that I didn't know about when I originally bought my P3P used. I got a sweet deal but it doesn't have the newer motors, esc/IMU/board - thankfully it has the improved shell. The older shells cracked from stress!

    @Dirty Bird Quick question about the ND filter pack - do you know if the 3d printed gimbal lock/ lense cover will fit over the aftermarket ND filter set you posted? It looks legit otherwise.

    $25 new 20 used
    Sandisk 64 GB SD card, 90/sec write
    Amazon.com: SanDisk Extreme 64GB MicroSDXC UHS-1 Card with Adapter (SDSQXNE-064G-GN6MA): Computers & Accessories
    • Engineered for the latest Android based smartphones, tablets, action and MIL cameras
    • Recommended by GoPro for use with Hero, Hero3+, Hero4, & HERO+ LCD.
    • Shoot continuous burst mode, Full HD and 4K Ultra HD video, up to 90MB/s transfer speed
    • Built for and tested in harsh conditions; temperature proof, water proof, shock proof, and x-ray proof
    • SanDisk Memory Zone App makes it easy to manage your smartphone memory with your media files
    • Deluxe data recovery software downloadable offer
    • Lifetime limited warranty
     
    #18 Noble 1, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  19. Dirty Bird

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    The kit includes (3) ND-8, ND-4, ND-2. Just stack two ND-8s.

     
  20. alokbhargava

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    List prepared by msinger on phantomhelp is very exhaustive, go through it and think of your budget and needs :)

    I suggest to get a du-bro prop balancer with 6mm rod.

    Don't go for very expensive case :) use money judiciously