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F450 vs F550 for AP and FVP?

Discussion in 'Other DJI Multi-Rotors' started by labmansid, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. labmansid

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    I have been kind of debating which platform to get next. I have been using a Phantom v1 up until now. I would mainly be using it for AP and FPV. A lot of folks seem to be going with the F550, but the F450 gets significantly better flight time, which would be important to me. So what would be the advantage to going with a 550 instead of a 450? Supposedly the 550 is more stable in the air, especially in windy conditions, and can carry more payload, but the 450 seems to do pretty well in those regards as well it seems. Also, the 450 is more compact and would lend itself to transporting more efficiently in my opinion.
    So, is there any compelling reason to get the 550 over the 450 for that use?
    Thanks.
     
  2. OI Photography

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    When I get around to it I'm going to post the details of a flight I had this past Sunday with my 550, where I lost a prop and a half while in flight. The only reason I was able to recover and land (without any further damage at all) is because it was a hex and not a quad, and DJI's flight controllers are able to maintain enough control in that scenario. I knew the feature existed, but I experienced it firsthand and was amazed at how well it worked.

    Admittedly, loss of power on one axis is only one of many problems that could happen on any flight, and I honestly didn't even consider that as a major reason for getting a hex in the first place, but now it's one of the top reasons I'm glad I did.
     
  3. Bigbells

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    I'd have to turn the question back around and ask: do you have any need that CANNOT be met by an F450?

    If no, then the F450 is the bird for you.

    If yes, then can the F550 do that thing?

    If yes, the F550 is for you.

    If no, then neither craft will meet your needs and you need to adjust either your needs or your budget.
     
  4. labmansid

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    Well as far as I know the 450 should perform pretty much everything I need from another bird.
    However, OI Photography did bring up a point that I had been contemplating anyway. The capability of recovering from a prop/motor failure is a compelling feature of a hex over a quad, one that I definitely have considered since there would be a considerable extra investment attached to the aircraft. Though fairly rare, those types of failures do happen, and would be catastrophic, especially if it happened over water, or if nearby to bystanders.
     
  5. OI Photography

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    It works, and works well. I have a Wookong on my 550, but I understand that the NAZA can handle it just as well. It just slowly starts to rotate in the same direction as the motor on the affected arm, and you generally still have full control input other than some yaw resistance in one direction (and "boost" in the other).
     
  6. Bigbells

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    Well, y'all sure got me thinking about the advantages of an F550 over an F450. The additional carrying capacity is one big difference and the additional stability of the 5th and 6th rotors is yet another. Those are BIG friggin' differences!
     
  7. ladykate

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    Loss of a motor is a significant reason but there are a lot of P2 owners that are satisfied. I like the F550 because it is a blank slate that you can screw with and have a lot of fun with - it lifts a lot of weight so adding an ounce or two isn't a big deal. With a 450, you don't have that much tolerance for weight.

    Having said that, I am contemplating a heavy lift machine and it is much cheaper to make a 450. Can it fail with a single motor/prop fail? Yep... but my flights aren't critical so, as long as I'm not over water/other obstacles I'm OK. I'm looking for long flight times and ability to pick up a reasonable load (Zenmuse and camera or something).

    It is an interesting question. For those extra motors, you trade flight time. But you get a higher reliability. I'm glad Ol Photography related his experience. Nice to know the 550 does what they say it will do.
     
  8. ericty

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    Glad to know you had a positive experience with this. I have two Phantoms and am building up an ARF F550, and was definitely sold on the machine for the exact reasons you've mentioned above. Now...just waiting for it to get here. Apparently my dealer is waiting on the updated crafts with the E300 system.
     
  9. ericty

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    Glad to know you had a positive outcome from the motor failure. This is one of the primary reasons I ordered an ARF F550 kit. Now...just waiting for it to arrive.
     
  10. adanac

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    This is precisely my decision. I'm finding the Phantom 2 to be almost useless for AV (compounded by the possibility that I got a defective unit) in large part due to wind.

    One is coached to fly the Phantom in ATTI mode and let it drift to get smooth video. Unfortunately, I don't that luxury. I need to be able to actually fly in wind with stable results.

    Which platform allows me to do that? The 450 or 550?
     
  11. OI Photography

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    The 550 has the larger wheelbase (by 100mm) and 2 more motors, so it'll be the more stable platform between those two.
     
  12. adanac

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    Can one actually fly and shoot with the F550 or must one just drift in ATTI mode like with the Phantom? I wish to shoot professionally and I would not have the luxury of showing up to a shoot and tell them I can't get a shot because I have to drift and the wind is wrong. Obviously, I'm not talking about very strong winds but the kinds of winds one encounters every day: 5-15mph.

    Which platform allows me to do that? The 450 or 550?[/quote]

    The 550 has the larger wheelbase (by 100mm) and 2 more motors, so it'll be the more stable platform between those two.[/quote]
     
  13. OI Photography

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    That just depends on what flight controller you use. Most 450's and 550's are built using the same NAZA v2 that the Phantom uses in different forms, so you'll have the same flight modes and control setup.
     
  14. adanac

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    I wonder if I asked that last question correctly. If I use the same FC on an F550 as they put in my Phantom the F550 can't shoot stably in wind?


     
  15. OI Photography

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    Stability in wind depends on a lot more than the flight controller. The wheelbase and number of motors is mostly what limits the Phantom's stability, not the NAZA. There are higher-tiers of flight controllers available (and even non-DJI models) but the NAZA is still pretty good on its own...as long as it's on the right platform.

    If you want to do absolutely everything you can to overcome wind, you'll need to spend the big bucks on a larger heavier platform and controller like the Wookong or A2 (which are $1000 and up on their own).
     
  16. ladykate

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    Generally, the bigger the better. In my experience (I have a P2 and a 550) a P2 will bounce around in heavy wind and you can't stop the motors from jumping into the picture. ATTI and drifting works but if you can't do that and need to buck the wind, then you may have a problem. Even large airliners bounce around in the wind. For 'normal' winds, the 450 would be a little better and the 550 better still. You could go one step farther and get a Tarot 810 ARF (or RTF) and an A2 controller but that will cost a bit more. The NAZA is pretty good so you might be able to put that on a larger platform and still get good results. With the bigger machines, you have more stability but it isn't perfect. You also lose portability - I can fly on airlines with the Phantom in a carry-on case. I don't know if the others can do that (unless you disassemble them).