Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Time to buy one. Advice please.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Narrator, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm going to buy my first Phantom on Monday.

    My first impulse is to get a P2V+ because it's basically plug and play RTF. But I'm wondering if the GoPro version might be worth looking at.

    The thing is, I have little clue what needs doing to get it all happening. Lots of questions, like, What attaches to what? and How do you get the WiFi link happening? and Do you use the same app or a different one, or more than one? and Does the camera use the P2 battery? and other nuts and bolts questions that I don't even know to ask. I'm logically and technically minded, but sometimes that can mean overconfidence. Nothing worse than getting a kit and assembling it wrong.. lol

    Can someone give me an idea of how the GoPro option is put together, and whether it's worth it?

    Grateful, thanks
     
  2. noiseboy72

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Lincs, UK
    Putting a Go-Pro and gimbal onto a P2 is pretty much plug and play. However, you will also need to add a video downlink (often called FPV - first person view) so you can see what you are shooting. These plug into an external monitor, no a smart phone, so this all adds to the expense.

    The question you need to ask yourself is what you want the quad for. Serious photography probably means the GoPro, as it offers a lot more options and potentially better quality, while hobby flying and recording what you see makes the P2V+ an attractive proposition. Control and learning to fly is the same for both machines, but the 5.8GHz r/c on the P2V+ can limit range over what the P2 can achieve.

    The GoPro is powered from its own battery, but is topped up from the quad battery. The FPV system is also powered from the flight battery, so getting the balance correct between high power / range and battery life is important. Received wisdom suggests that the Immerison 600mW FPV transmitter is good, pair to a Black Pearl receiver monitor. There are lots of antenna and other options to tweak the system.

    Read through the posts on here, as there is plenty of excellent advice and information. Also read up on the rules and regulations and learn to fly!! It is easy to get into the air, but learning the finesse to fly in a controlled manner takes longer to learn.
     
  3. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for your comprehensive advice. Greatly appreciated!
    What are the other options a GoPro offers?

    Does the Immerison transmitter just plug into the camera and get power from the Phantom battery?

    How are the camera functions, and the pan and tilt functions controlled?

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,734
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Be aware that the gopro has no way of controlling it from the ground.
    This is a serious limitation for serious photography.
    Gopro flyers have to set their camera before take off - either to video or stills and if stills they set the camera to snap away at intervals like one photo every 5 seconds. They fly away and hope that the pictures they want are among all the photos they bring back. A far from ideal situation for serious photographers.

    P2+ flyers take photos of what they want, when they want and can switch to video any time they like.
    Check my pix for samples of P2+ quality.
     
  5. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    You make a valid point for a vision, I guess, but I have not found this go pro video running all the time as a limitation. With FPV I can see exactly what I am trying to film and I can tell you more times than not, I end up using unplanned video that was taken while running the entire flight, quite often. I also like the video from a GoPro better(personal opinion) and the added ability to customize my phantom 2(non-vision).

    But my gut tells me, based on the kind of questions the op is asking, he would be better off with a vision.
     
  6. msinger

    Approved Vendor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    18,962
    Likes Received:
    5,582
    Location:
    US
    *Meta4*, are your photos taken with the P2+ camera as-is? Or do you have filters over the lens?
     
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,734
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Just the standard DJI camera and shot in default jpg
     
  8. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for your responses guys. Very helpful.
    I think I'll take the advice and get the P2V+ for now. I can always add a GoPro setup later.

    Your input has been much appreciated, folks.
    Meta4, those are some great pics. :) And following from msinger's question, can you get filters and other things for the camera?
     
  9. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,734
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    You can't just add a Gopro later. That's only possible with the expensive quick release from Dronexpert.
    The P2+ camera isn't made for using filters. It's lightweight and very finely balanced - the gimbal probably wouldn't handle it.
     
  10. PhantomFanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,143
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    USA, GA
    However, with the GoPro, you can have it take photos at intervals, while capturing video. So, it isn't either photos or video. At least I recall reading this, but I haven't tried it.

    I think the GoPro is worth it in the long run. But adding First Person View is a significant expense. You can fly without it and see what you captured.
     
  11. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for the extra info.
    Cheers
     
  12. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
  13. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    And herein lies one of several main differences of going with a non-vision over a P2V+. It is all in what you intend to do with it. If looking for a turn-key solution(RTF) without wanting to dig deeper into the hobby and add some customization, then the vision would be the choice. However the vision allows very little chance to customize it further. Your sort of stuck with everything that comes with it.

    If on the other hand, you desire is to dig a little deeper into the hobby, i.e. adding programmable control radios, your own FPV system, get further distance with custom antenna, GoPro, filters, light bridge, etc, etc., then the Phantom 2 non-vision would be the choice IMHO. Note however, that you will probably spend more on it in the long run for all of these customizations over the vision.

    For me, I chose the later as I enjoy digging further into customization, learning more about the hobby(I knew practically nothing when I started this, but hanging around this forum has helped me learn immensely over the last 8/9 months) and I realize now particularly with the programmable radio and FPV I have set up, I would NEVER be able to go back to just a vision. Just my opinion. Others may differ.
     
  14. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Here's a plan that I'm now considering. Please feel free to suggest variations.

    1. Get a P2V+ and learn to fly, aim and shoot, and if I'm lucky, not crash it or lose it in a fly-off
    2. When I'm ready to go commercial, go for my licenses with CASA
    3. Maybe do a few small commercial jobs with the Vision
    4. Upgrade to either an Inspire 1 or a S1000+ and get serious about the commercial side

    I already have my pilot license, so getting type certified and licensed won't take as long or cost as much.
    The paperwork for getting an operator's certificate doesn't look too difficult.
    Somewhere along the way, I may try getting some work with existing operators too.

    The longest part will be getting up the hours and the portfolio. I'm not sure if 3 batteries will be enough. ;)
     
  15. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    Sounds to me, like a very well thought out plan. Bravo. Here's wishing you all the best!

    P.S. "Already have a pilots license"....wow I am green with envy!!! ;)
     
  16. Khudson7

    Khudson7 Guest

    Sorry just wanted to add one more thing. Both the Inspire 1 and S900 or S1000 require 2 people to operate if you want to have full pan use of camera. I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but just keep that in mind going forward.
     
  17. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,734
    Likes Received:
    3,451
    Narrator ... are you up to date with CASA and sub 2kg machines for commercial use?
    Back in May they proposed changing the rules to allow >2kg machines like the Phantom for commercial use without licensing like Canada and NZ have done. It was supposed to have been finalised already but I've heard March 2015. If/when it happens you won't need to jump through all those hoops to make your Phantom pay for itself.

    Unfortunately DJI bulked up the inspire to around 3kg so it won't be eligible but perhaps they'll come out with a lighter machine to fit this emerging market segment??
     
  18. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    lol.. I thought you were about to say, "I'm sure someone will volunteer as co-pilot." ;)
    If/when I go Inspire, I hope to get a second person involved, possibly my son, if he's up for it.
    Cheers
     
  19. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    No, I didn't see that. Not sure what I think about that. A CASA controller's certificate would surely help confidence levels with 3rd parties. Would you still have to have an operator's certificate? Pity about the Inspire going above 2kg.
     
  20. Narrator

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks kindly. Much appreciated.