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Complete UAV n00b - seeking tips/links

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by Katie O, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Katie O

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    I am a photographer for a manufacturing corporation and the owner has asked me to research UAVs to be used for making simple demonstration and marketing videos of our products. Our shop manufactures steel towers (from 25' to over 120') so getting an aerial perspective is something we're anxious to achieve. From what I've gathered so far, the P2V+ is a very stable platform and has the most positive customer ratings for ease of use. I'm really hoping someone in this community can point me to helpful resources and posts, as I'm sure I'm not the first person to come along with the "Help! My boss wants me to buy the best UAV because he wants to out-do the other guy" story ^_^

    Any links to helpful resources or personal tips are GREATLY appreciated <3 <3 <3

    I've been scouring this site and others and want to do as much prep as possible before laying down a single penny. It's not my money, and I want to do right by the company ^_^

    Being the photo and graphics nerd, excellent video quality is my top priority. I have very little personal interest in the UAV itself, the thrill of flying, getting some "fun toy", etc, I just need the one that can get the job done. Video from the UAV will be cut with ground footage made on a DSLR. I am concerned with the "waviness" I've seen in online videos. I am totally new to this so I'm not sure where to start looking to learn more about getting the best camera on the right gimbal and what sorts of post-production software might be needed to make corrections. And what about camera settings? Can anyone point me to a resource they've found helpful for fine tuning aerial footage? I know my DSLR, but how does one focus a little built-in cam from the air? Are hard shadows from midday sun going to be full of noise? Is harsh vignetting a problem? Can wide angle distortion be cleaned up enough in post to make it less of a distraction when cutting between ground and aerial footage for a video? Is the P2V+'s included camera inferior to a GoPro (articles I've read have been varied on the subject)? Would I be better suited with an older model which requires the purchase of a separate GoPro?

    Most resources I've looked at recommend learning on a simple UAV before upgrading. I know that nearly all crashes and even a lot of non-crash landings involve damage, and since I've never flown anything I'm very nervous about recommending a high-end UAV to my boss if I'm just going to break it on the first go. Any recommendations for cheap starter birds and possibly advice for convincing the boss to let me get the hang of it on something smaller before making the big investment >_< ? Has anyone here just jumped in with an expensive model first and regretted it? I want to do this right.

    Thank you SOOO much for taking the time to read this, and thanks in advance for any help you can lend.

    Here is a link to a video I put together a couple of years ago of one of our 56' units. It's a full deployment video so it's not the most riveting thing to watch (meant for demonstration rather than marketing) but it will give you an idea of what I'm shooting:
    US Tower Corp - RMTU656MDPLGO Tower Deployment Demo
     
    paul davis likes this.
  2. kirk2579

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    Your timing is perfect. The new Phantom 3 Pro hits the market tomorrow and I am betting will have a better camera and setup available for similar costs to the P2 Plus before discounting started.

    I would be looking carefully at that one. The P2+ is a great platform but I cannot help but think this one will deliver at higher level.

    PS. I know you have no interest in UAV itself but would like to hear back AFTER you get to do some "work" with the companies new tool.

    Good luck
    Bob K
     
  3. Katie O

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    Oooo! Thank you for that tip! I will be watching for it then. I am sure there are a fair few enthusiasts out there who will be itching to get their hands on it ASAP so they can be the first to upload reviews ^_^

    I am really anxious to make more interesting video. The work I've done over the past couple of years has been relatively unexciting, but again, I am new to the whole thing so I'm not too worried. It's taken me a while to hone my stills and I anticipate the same for video. Just simple vertical ascent/descent shots are going to add a MUCH needed dynamic, especially on the taller towers or units with the high-tech payloads up top. If all goes well, I do foresee myself getting attached to my new little buzzer and decking it out with sweet custom graphics. But for now, I'm all business ^_~
     
  4. MRSpyder2U

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    I'd suggest you stand right there and wave your arms about wildly in hopes that one of the pilots loitering in Central Cali will arrange for you to have a demo.
     
  5. Katie O

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    LOL Not likely out here, but we have arranged for demos with more military-grade UAVs (we were looking into integration with comms towers) but those are overkill for my use and cost as much as a house.

    I will see if there are any operators/clubs in my area, though.
     
  6. dalebb

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    I am in Bakersfield, where are you at?
     
  7. Fplvert

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    Welcome to the forum, Katie.

    I'm sure someone in your area can help. There's lots of UAV operators in California. Looking forward to seeing your work! image.jpg
     
  8. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Welcome to the forum Katie :)
    Love your experimental pictures !
     
  9. Katie O

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    Woodlake, though I live in Visalia.
     
  10. Katie O

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    Thank you! Those have been way too fun to make ^_^
     
  11. Katie O

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    Thanks for that! I'll take a peek at that site!
     
  12. Casper2015

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    Just my own take, Katie. I was also mostly interested in the quality of the final video when I was considering the 2 or the Vision +. I went for the Phantom 2 and Gopro/gimbal combination for two reasons:
    1. As Gopros improve in quality, You can replace the camera.
    2. You can fly a Phantom 2 without the gimbal and Gopro attached. That more than halves the risk when learning to fly. When you are confident, you can put the gimbal and camera on and concentrate more on the video side. The gimbal and camera is always going to be the most expensive and delicate part of the UAV.
    I practiced on a Syma X5C, but to be honest, the Phantom 2 is a lot easier to fly.
     
  13. dalebb

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    There are two options, I could take video for you or show you how to fly and take video. Your boss might like that it would cost less than buying a drone and that you may or may not crash it.
     
  14. dalebb

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    <div id="fb-root"></div><script>(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script><div class="fb-post" data-href="" data-width="500"><div class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"><blockquote cite=""><p>At work in Palmdale</p>Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/dale.beebe.1">Dale Beebe</a> on <a href="">Friday, February 6, 2015</a></blockquote></div></div>
    This is one work video in palmdale on small turbines.
     
    #14 dalebb, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  15. Katie O

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    I reeeeeally appreciate this. Thank you!
     
  16. Katie O

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    @Casper2015 - is the gimbal you have a GoPro item or a DJI accessory? Is it 3-axis?
     
  17. Casper2015

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    The DJI H3D3 gimbal that comes as part of the non-vision Phantom 2 package. I bought a Gopro 3 to go with it for now, but I will look to upgrade once we get some decent flying weather. Cameras (and drones) never go up in price.
    Actually, I was just reading a post where someone was talking about removing the gimbal and camera on a Vision+, so I might be steering you wrong there. My comment about being able to upgrade the camera still stands though.
     
  18. Jdclarke250

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  19. kirk2579

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    bet the P3 is looking really, really nice right now!

    My money is you have one on order at the moment.

    If not , why not?

    if not I have a P2 plus to sell....lol