Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Newbie looking for some advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kirbinster, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. kirbinster

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Morris County NJ
    Went out today and saw someone using one of these DJI units and am amazed. I am thinking of getting one but really know nothing about them. Which one should I consider, what options etc.... Is this the best brand or are there others I should consider. Any and all input welcomed. Thanks

    Howard
    Morris County NJ
     
  2. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Messages:
    6,811
    Likes Received:
    4,376
    Location:
    Live! From New York!
    Hello & welcome.
    You will get a better response if you specify what your goal is with a quad. Most of us here are interested in the aerial videography/photography part of it but some for other reasons like FPV or distance flying, etc. The Phantom makes a good entry level platform for aerial filming and has several flavors. If you already own a Gopro I would consider a Phantom 2 (non-vision). If you want instant first person view you may want the Phantom 2 Vision+. It all depends on your use, and how handy you are with a soldering iron or how deep your wallet is. What ever you choose these are not toys and need to be respected for what they can do. They can be as dangerous as they are useful. There is a certain responsibility to yourself & the public every UAV owner needs to be aware of.
     
  3. ProfessorStein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    For the Phantoms, there's a nice comparison page on DJI's site that goes over the features/benefits of each model. Which one you choose would depend entirely on your need and individual preference.

    http://www.dji.com/products/compare-phantom

    There are a number of other options, too, certainly... and more are appearing in the market every day. This is a Phantom-specific board, so I'd guess that the majority of folks here would tell you to go with DJI. And DJI is probably the most mature of the consumer drone manufacturers. They're nearly on their 3rd and 4th generation products, while most other manufacturers are just coming to market with their 1sts. I happen to think the DJI's work incredibly well. Some will disagree. So, again, it really comes down to personal preference, and what kind of experience you're looking to get out of your purchase.

    Of those other manufacturers that are putting out units of the same size and calibre as DJI, Walkera is another popular choice, as is Turbo Ace. But, interestingly, you'll find that most of these other products use DJI components, such as the NAZA-M controller, often the same controller that is inside the Phantom. So, other than some features unique to each platform, there often is little differentiation.

    Though you're going to start seeing different types of drones that may or may not appeal to you, again, depending on what you actually want to do or what you want out of your equipment. The Air Dog (http://www.airdog.com/), for example, is a photography drone that will automatically follow you. Pretty cool technology. But if you have no interest in selfie-videos of you on a surfboard, there might be better choices for you.

    So... I guess the question is... what type of flying do you want to do, and what do you want to get out of your drone and your experience?
     
  4. kirbinster

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Morris County NJ
    I am looking mostly for taking arial pictures. I am an avid photographer, shoot with a Nikon D800e mostly. I had tried a little $50 Hubsan X4 quad with a tiny camera but it was almost impossible to control. So I went out today with a person that had one of these DJI units and was very impressed with how easy it was to control and was amazed by the video. The one she had has their own camera with some sort of motor that stabilizes it. Am I better off with that model or one that you can attach a GoPro to? From what I saw on Amazon the GoPro capable one did not seem to have the image stabilizing motor. The other thing is the one with the camera she had lets you watch live on your iPhone whereas I did not see that as possible (yes / no) with the GoPro model.

    BTW - what was the question about being good with a soldering iron about? Why is that an issue?
     
  5. ProfessorStein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    If you're still talking specifically about the Phantoms, the Phantom 1 and straight 2 will accept a GoPro. The "some sort of motor that stabilizes it" is called a "gimbal". And, yes, in most cases, to attach a GoPro you'd need some sort of gimbal. Gimbals, depending on the quality, can get pretty expensive. A popular gimbal for the P2 is a Zenmuse (also made by DJI). You'd also need to decide whether you want a 2-dimensional gimbal (rotating/stabilizing on 2 axis) or a 3-d gimbal (rotating/stabilizing on 3 axis). You also need to do quite a bit of calibration on a gimbal to make it absolutely smooth and function correctly.

    One of the benefits of the Phantom Vision series is they come with a gimbal and camera already attached, calibrated, and working. Nothing else you need to do but stick in an SD card. The Vision has a 1-D gimbal, while the Vision+ has a 3-D gimbal. And they're both already set up to stream the video to the Vision app on a smart phone or tablet (called FPV or First Person View/Video)... and the gimbal is also controllable via the app. With the Phantom 1 or Phantom 2, there is extra to buy to get FPV, and control over the gimbal could require even more extra components, depending. The Vision FPV, being only 1-d stabilized, can be a bit choppy. The Vision+ is much smoother, since it's stabilized in all 3 directions (but the gimbal is all kinds of fragile).

    The Phantom FC40 is the entry level choice, offering a non-stabilized camera (you pretty much set it before you take off). But does offer FPV.

    All 5 platforms - the Phantom FC40, Phantom 1, Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and Phantom 2 Vision+ - have decent third party add-on components, as well. For instance, the Vision has third party options for 2-d and 3-d gimbals, as well as GoPro mounts. Just depending on how much you want to spend. The nice thing is you can start with a Vision series quad, and build on it in phases. Tends to be easier on the wallet.

    And then, if you want to get all professional, and actually want to use that D800, DJI also makes the Spreading Wings series, which are just as easy to fly as the Phantoms, and offer many of the same features, but allow you to mount full-sized DSLRs on extremely stable gimbals for video and stills. Of course, their price tag is commiserate with this added functionality and capacity.
     
  6. OI Photography

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    5,542
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Clarksville, TN
    +1

    And the price gap between the classes (sizes) has dropped significantly. A base model S900 is only $1500.
     
  7. Acill

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2014
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Gilbert, Arizona
    If your looking to get into pictures and video I would go for a bit larger platform. The F550 is great and has more room to grow. You also can build it yourself and learn a lot more about how everything works. A great place to go is helipal.com and grab a combo deal. You can get a very well built F550 ready to go with all you need including a decent battery for about $1200.

    http://www.helipal.com/dji-flamewheel-f550-w-naza-v2-gps-drone-rtf.html

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Clipper707

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    887
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I would rather crash a GoPro than a D800.

    Question about the P2 Vision. Can you turn on/off a GoPro from the ground?

    On the Plus I like that I can run the camera and change settings without landing.
     
  9. ProfessorStein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    On the straight Vision, it's not a GoPro... it's DJIs own facsimile. Not bad quality, for the most part. But, yes, the pitch is controllable via the phone app. Same with the Vision+... though the Plus you can control pitch and yaw, I believe.

    Yeah... the D800 on a Spreading Wings is really for a professional who would already have all their equipment insured. It's tough to think of a camera like that so exposed and vulnerable... if you're the one that'd have to pay to replace it. But I think Acill had a great idea with the F550. Kind of middle of the road between a Phantom and the really high-end stuff. And it's a hex'er... which is going to be inherently more stable and safe.
     
  10. kirbinster

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Morris County NJ
    Thanks, but I would NEVER put my D800e on a quad. I doubt the thing could even handle it with the weight of my pro lenses which weight more than the base camera.

    The more I look at this the more the Vision 2 plus seems like the right animal. As they say buy once cry once :) It looks like if I bought a cheaper one I would spend more money adding stuff and would not get it up to the fully integrated capabilities of the 2+, is that correct? It looks like if I use my GoPro I don't get the complete control of it they way you do with the DJI system.

    I have gotten advice to just buy components and build my own as well. I am equating that to computers where you can buy components and build a PC and if you know what you are doing you can build a hell of a system, but for less money you can buy a Dell which will do what most people need and has full support and you know it should work out of the box. Is that a fair comparison?

    Oh one more question, what is the ground system application that I see runs on an iPad? Is that something I am going to want (need?)? I ask because if so it means I will also have to buy a new iPad as my older one will not support it :( I believe it only runs on an iPad not on an iPhone.