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First Flight - Some First Photos

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision + Discussion' started by Scenictraverse, May 25, 2014.

  1. Scenictraverse

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    Location:
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    First, many thanks to all of you. Although I haven't posted much, I've read this forum for hours before even buying my drone, much less flying. Because of all this reading and information, I felt pretty confident going out for my first flight with my first DJI Phantom Vision 2+. Despite my confidence, I decided it was best to take the drone out for it's first flight someplace very remote - with nothing electronic nearby and with few trees to hit.... Manassas Battlefield outside Washington, DC was the perfect spot!

    I know flying at National Parks is a no-no, so I flew just on the boundary of the park in an area with some trails. :D

    For background, I am a professional photographer so the DJI Phantom isn't a toy for me - its a tool to get me photos that are usually outside my reach. So I was very interested to see how the camera would hold up compared to my $3,000 Nikon D800 (36 megapixels)....

    I must say, I am pleasantly surprised. Adobe Photoshop's distortion corrections worked pretty well. There is a good amount of chromatic aberration in the lens but that's an easy fix in Photoshop as well. The DNG files gave lots of dynamic range and depth to edit and get some pretty nice results - especially since I was basically flying over open grassy fields!

    The flight went very smoothly, although I did tip over and get my props in the dirt during 2 of my landings. But I'm learning!

    Here's a few photos.... you can see them and my blog about this flight here: http://scenictraverse.com/blog/2014/5/25/quick-shot-aerial-manassas-battlefield

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    PS - sorry these are relatively low-res files- the ones in my blog look better and are much sharper! All for downsizing a file for bandwidth.
    - Kristen
     
  2. BlackTracer

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    Sure is cool to have a professional photographer participating in this forum. I sure wish I had the skills to edit my photos like you do. I think I need to find the time to learn. I am not the most expert but I am an engineer and have studied this system thoroughly and enjoy helping others any way I can.
     
  3. srandall25

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    Awesome! Great job! Good ot know that a professional photographer is impressed with the camera quality. Those are some great pics!

    Some advice on landings... don't be afraid to 'catch' it... especially when in tall grass or rocky/dirt terrain.. I find it safer to just bring the phantom in very slowly... get it to just the right altitude near eye level about a few feet or so away from me... let it hover for a few seconds... then walk up and deliberately grab it by one of the legs... I do this with the controller hanging off my neck strap, so that I can hold it with one hand, while leaving the left stick down until the motors stop. It may sound a little scary your first time, but once you do it a couple times, you'll find that it will save your props...
     
  4. Scenictraverse

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    Thanks! Editing isn't all that hard - I would be happy to write up a little "how-to" to get some basic good results from the camera. Since I'm off today, I'll see what I can do....

    The trick is to shoot in Adobe RAW (aka DJI RAW aka DNG Files).... those capture more dynamic range and depth which allows you to pull the colors back out in the photos. Most people who don't understand the power of RAW just look at their RAW and JPEG photos and declare "JPEG looks better, RAW looks like $h1t". But with proper editing, RAW is much better.

    In terms of camera quality - I wasn't expecting much since we're really paying $1500 for a flying machine and the camera probably costs less than $100..... but I was pleasantly surprised. My biggest critiques are the amount of noise, even at ISO 100 (you can see it in the sky on my photos) and the terrible chromatic aberration. Thankfully there are ways to help minimize both of those!

    We debated a catch landing yesterday since my husband was there and could have caught - but I didn't want to risk it while still learning. I actually have some scrap wood in the garage and I might just bring out a small section of ply board next time to land on that. Ironically landing #1 was perfect but the second two I tipped over..... I realize now that when I brought my sticks into CSC I wasn't doing it smoothly enough and was basically giving it a command to "flop over in dirt". I think I'll just use the alternate shutdown of left stick straight down for a few seconds.

    Kristen