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Questions Before Buying Phantom 2

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by shotbyadam, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. shotbyadam

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    I'm considering buying a Phantom 2 and I have a few questions before I pull the trigger. I have a friend who used to work in a hobby shop and got a few Phantoms for demo purposes and he's selling one now at a discount so I'm looking to buy it. I'm a professional photographer who also is now doing some video production and want to add a drone to my arsenal.

    I have two questions though. First, he has the H3 2D gimbal on his and I'm concerned that I'm just not going to like it compared to the 3 axis gimbal. I've hears a lot of mixed about this issue where some say the upgrade isn't worth it and some say it is. Video comparisons on youtube are all over the place on this. Any suggestions?

    Next, I would need to pick up a gopro for this purchase. I know I need to go with a gorpo 3 but which one is recommended? Is there really a difference between them? Will a GoPro White work as good as a silver or black? Also, what is the range with a gopro versus just buying the Phantom Vision+ camera, which I am also considering just buying new. Obviously I'd like to save a few bucks but I don't want to make a bad choice and regret it later on. Thanks!
     
  2. AnselA

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    Before you buy, ask and wait for DJI to fix compass declination bug.
     
  3. shotbyadam

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    I haven't heard anything about a compass issue. Can you explain this a bit please?
     
  4. QYV

    QYV

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    The earth's magnetic field isn't 100% consistent right? different types of bedrock, iron etc. so basically there are certain spots on the planet where the Phantom's compass goes a bit screwy and it can lead to abnormal flight behavior... like it'll drift one direction or something when you try to fly straight.

    There are plenty of folks running Phantoms just fine without any compass / gps issues... sure some are but it wouldn't stop me form getting one. Even if you're in the affected minority there's a firmware update due out soon to fix it.

    I had a H3-2D gimbal on my first Phantom and it was perfectly fine. video stabilization is (imo) more about how gently you fly the aircraft than the exact gimbal involved... sure the 3D has 3 axis of movement so you can be doing more drastic movements than with a 2D and the image will be stable... but if you plan properly, line up your shots and don't go zipping all over the place moving hard while recording your footage you'll be fine. at least to start if you want a discount.
    I'd check the classifieds section here lots of guys selling used Phantoms and H3-2D, etc so you know if your friend is giving you a good deal.

    The GoPro different models issue is too... I don't know the right word but nobody is going to bother explaining it when you should just look at the official product comparison chart http://gopro.com/product-comparison-hero3-cameras. If you can't answer your question from that well... you aren't a professional photographer ;) basically the better models can do higher resolutions at higher framerates.

    It gets tricky when you start talking about range, because you didn't even mention FPV. A standard Phantom 2 (non-Vision) may come with a gimbal but there's no mechanism to transmit that video live back to the ground and you CAN NOT use the GoPro's wifi which has terrible range anyway (compared to the Phantom itself) due to the fact that the Phantom's remote control operates on similar frequencies to wifi... so you must turn the gopro's wifi OFF.
    Pretty much the only advantage the Vision models have over the non-Vision, is that the RC operates on different frequencies, so they DO use standard wifi to transmit live video back to a tablet/smartphone/laptop on the ground. Even with a range extender the range isn't great compared to an aftermarket FPV setup like I'm going to describe below.

    If you want to do live video with a non-Vision model, you'll have to add on a FPV system... there's cheap ways and expensive ways to go about it, tons of different transmitters, receivers, antennas etc. Head on over to the FPV forum and you'll see plenty of discussions about it. There are guys putting together el cheapo FPV systems for around $300usd, if you want to go with quality components including antennas you're looking at more like 450 or so.
    Your basic needs for a FPV system are:
    -transmitter for the Phantom
    -possibly soldering wires inside the Phantom or a specific cable that works with 1 brand of transmitter and is all plug-and-play
    -goggles or a screen to receive the video, preferrably with a receiver built in (goggles are way more expensive)
    -good antennas for both sides (air & ground)
    -minor peripherals like a screen mount or tripod if you're getting a screen, also a neck strap for the RC
    -an iOSD (mini) system for live on screen telemetry info.

    you can find much more detail about FPV in the FPV forum
     
  5. AnselA

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    One of the most active topics on this forum:

    viewtopic.php?f=19&t=10317
     
  6. ChrisTompkins

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    Get the newer, better 3D gimble.
    Get the Hero 3+ Black.
    Get 2 64GB Micro SD cards.
    Get a hard shell case for all the quad gear.
    Get extra batteries.
    Get FPV, makes a huge difference.
     
  7. shotbyadam

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    Certainly that's one way to go if I want top of the line but that is also a pretty hefty budget with a lot of tinkering needed from what it sounds like. Getting close to a $2000 budget and soldering wires doesn't really sound all that keen to me. So perhaps with my original question going with the Vision 2+ is probably the best way to go with more of a turnkey solution?
     
  8. WPSPETE

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    I purchased mine from flying cameras and it came updated, tested and ready to fly. Came with 7" monitor, case, iosd and whatever else to make it work with fpv. Paid just under 2g. Not soldering or farting around needed. I almost bought a vision plus. So much happier with this one. Plus having a go pro is nice too.
     
  9. QYV

    QYV

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    you can get much better range with a "real" FPV system.. the Vision models are limited to wifi range which isn't that great even with an extender.
    the camera on the Vision models is not nearly as good as a GoPro black, and they aren't really upgrade-able. Assuming GoPro doesn't change the profile of the gopro much, those of us with gimbal/gopro can immediately upgrade to the GoPro4 when it comes out. much more flexibility in the non-Vision model although like you say it might cost a slight bit more in the end.

    There are plenty of turnkey FPV systems although you still have to maybe open the shell and put some stuff in there. Did you talk about going with an iOSD Mini? If you do, and you go with the ImmersionRC 600mW transmitter (and a compatible receiver of course) there's a cable that's plug and play... phantom to iOSD Mini to transmitter all with no soldering you can find that right here
     
  10. TodayTrader

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    Don't get the Vision + local guys that fix drones says everyone is unhappy with it and the gimbal is way cheap