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  1. 3DR Solo

    0 vote(s)
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  2. DJI Phantom 4

    18 vote(s)
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  1. petaqui

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    Hi guys!

    I'm new at the forum, I've reading your threads and discussions for days, trying to solve my doubts, but still in problems... that's why I decided to create this topic.
    I'm a Pharmacist working in Spain, pretty young also (25 years old) but with lot of experience in photography, both semi-professsional DSLR things (owning a Canon 6D taking shots and recording video for lot of things); and mobile, where I did some things with Nokia Europe and Nokia Spain sometime ago, photography related.

    Everything I do, I try to make it different from everything done out there, I don't want to do the same things, and that's why I worked hard on mobile cameras when nearly no-one cared about them.
    Some time ago I got in love with drones, but couldn't afford as I was still studying, working to pay the pharmacy degree. Now I'm working, so I have more incomes, not really high but I do. That's why I'm considering so hard to buy one drone, and I felt in love with 3DR one year ago with it, but now the future, and even present, doesn't seem so bright for it... I can afford buying one drone, not two, what I want to mean is that I can invest now in one, but "if it doesn't work in a year" I won't be able to spend such a big amount again in other one (DJI for example), so I want to be very sure of what to choose.

    I read that 3DR stopped working on prosumers area, now everything is focused on enterprise markets...So, my options are the following:

    • 3DR Solo: 1600$ aprox to get it in Spain with a GP (I know that there's an offer on amazon for 599$ without GP, but they don't send that offer to Spain, so...)
    • DJI Phantom 4: 1300$ aprox, some websites have lower prices, and the official one have a higher price.
    I live in the mountains (well, Jaca is a city in the middle of the Pyrenees, in Spain), I want to use it to film, and shot pics from the top all the AWESOME landscapes that I have around me, and also sport competitions (ultratrail, ski...). Another point is for travelling, I spent lot of my salary travelling, what I love, and want to carry with me this thing to film wherever I go; and, last point, some use for "films" or kind of various things... I'm a serious perfectionist about image quality, I want the best quality (in that group of prices maximum haha) and stabilisation...
    The automatic modes that offers Solo are better IMO, also GoPro seems to have better quality images.
    But P4 have far better flight times, range of signal (5x more, and for the mountain looks very interesting) and seems to have more stock to repair it if somethings goes wrong...or buying another battery...etc... But, I still love the idea of having the perfect image quality, the best able to have at least...

    I know that it's hard to answer, even more being this a Phantom forum but, In your opinion? Which option is the best for a young dude that started to work few months ago and can't afford buying both drones? Keeping in mind the idea of usage that I want :) I love, much more, and by far, the design of Solo, but about usage and keeping in mind future? Solo or P4?

    THANK YOU so much for reading everything, seriously, you rock! And would be great if you write why should I choose one or another.

    PD: I'm working on a table comparing both options hahaha side to side...
    PD2: Alpaca and me thanks you again!
    PD3: I posted exactly the same on the 3DR forum, if you want to read the answers there. And posted here also because someone asked me to do so (and so I can get more answers and more opiniones :) Thank you, sincerely)
    12072674_10207489837265384_4900541368814842667_n.jpg
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Welcome to the DJI side.
    There's a reason that DJI have 70% of the ready to fly drone market.
    Their products are very, very good and the best feature is Lightbridge.
    Lightbridge gives the increased distance and still has crystal clear liveview without appreciable lag while all the other drones are using old fashioned wifi which has low range, breaks up and lags over distance.
    The Phantoms also give good image quality, not as good as a big SLR, but at least as good as a Gopro but with full control in the air and no fisheye distortion to deal with.

    3DR over delivered when it came to marketing and failed to deliver when it came to their product and the company is suffering as a result.
    The Solo has been plagued with poor GPS performance and other problems since it launched and as you found out, the company is slowly going downhill.

    Over on the 3DR forum, the members have been dropping out as they gave up on the problems with the Solo but there are a few hardcore fans that are too heavily invested in their drones to look at anything else.
    A common theme there is that for whatever reason they want to avoid DJI and can be very aggressive whenever anyone mentions DJI or questions the Solo.
    Some of the most aggressive even mention that they have never even flown a DJI drone and none of them have any idea how good Lightbridge is.

    The best way to decide would be to go flying with owners and see how the drones perform and how easy they are to use.
    That might be hard to find a Solo owner or shop but Phantoms are quite common.

    As well as the P4, the P3 Advanced and Pro also use Lightbridge and are still very good products for a lower price.
    Look at some of my photos to see what image quality can be achieved with a P3.
     
  3. John Locke

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    You know, I wanted Solo to really give DJI a challenge because it's designed in the US, and I'm from the US. A year ago I stated that someday I'll own a Solo, but not anymore. 3DR simply hasn't delivered, and they have no growth path for the professional. DJI is so far ahead of the competition IMO with a quality camera integration, software control of the camera, control of the craft, battery integration (smarts), and their cost of entry into this hobby/business with professional results, it's not even close, I think. The Solo tries to compete with Phantom3Pro, not Phantom 4, and even comparing Solo to P3P, no comparison, software-wise, reliability, value, and now even service (DJI has improved here in the US). So if you want to save money, check out Phantom 3P. The camera is much better than the GoPro you HAVE TO ADD to the Solo, no fisheye!

    I have a P3P as well as P4, and both perform great with 2+mile distance in most places I go to fly, sometimes 3mi when I get the itch (without amps). However, if you get the GL300C controller (newest version) with your craft it will not perform that distance reliably in stock form, you'll need an antenna upgrade (DBS2.2 at minimum), when the time comes you need to go that far.

    If you look at the growth path DJI offers, this seals the deal for me. If you go pro someday, the Inspire is the next step up, offering a Micro 4/3 sensor camera called X5, and also the X5R (RAW video). Then if you need even more, then you can step up to the Matrice 600 using X5 with up to 6 batteries! All of these drones use the same GO app, so you don't have to learn a new app as you move up the line with professional equipment. And the benefit is, the lower end Phantoms have most of the important software features that are in the high end drones. DJI clearly has more experience, a broader product line, and the technology that really leaves the other behind, at a fair price.

    Lightbridge by itself is worth going with DJI (don't by the P3 Standard). All other competitors use old school WiFi, with TCP/IP protocol that dramatically limits distance to less than a mile in most cases. Wifi technology has major latency issues when reconnecting if signal is lost, much longer than Lightbridge. I hope someday a competitor releases a Lightbridge-like technology to give DJI some competition, but until then...... there really isn't any competition to DJI, IMHO. But someday that will happen, we're still in the early-days of drone technology.
     
  4. David_Cambridge

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    I am a comparatively new flyer (53 flights) and a seasoned filmmaker and photographer. I have found the Phantom 3 4K to be a wonderful platform. I have been part of the GoPro evolution, and find the Phantom 3 4K camera, as a camera, to be better. The only reason I use my GoPros, is for underwater photography, and attached to vehicles, helmets etc.

    The color science in the 4 k is based on Sony Exmor sensor, a variant of which is used in Sony's mid range video cameras (the same sensor is used in the P4 I believe). It provides a very sharp image, very clean color, and marginal low light sensitivity. The lens, for a wide angle, provides low distortion, and great sharpness, corner to corner.

    If I were to purchase again, I would look carefully at any Phantom 4K that has Lightbridge. I have no first hand experience with it, but it may improve on some of the issues I have encountered. The P3 4K is very sensitive to "strong signal interference". In addition, it is very much dependent on a clear line of sight path from the controller to the Phantom. Trees, people, buildings block the signal and cause video downlink failures, and in more extreme cases, the controller link fails, and the automatic return to home is initiated. The place where this becomes dramatic is flying pov and dropping below a tree line, a suprisingly common thing to do for me. What happens is that you can no longer see anything from the camera, you can't see the drone, and you can't be sure you have any kind of control of the drone. I have always gotten the drone back, but it is quite a terrifying experience. If Lightbridge fixes this, it would be well worth the additional price.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
     
    petaqui likes this.
  5. ftttu

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    I'm a P4 owner, and I have no experience with 3DR products. However, my local hobby shop dogged them out and I watched many several YouTube videos during my research for my drone purchase.

    I believe you will be at least reasonably happy with the pro-sumer level capabilities of the P4, but I bet you will be more than satisfied.
     
    petaqui likes this.
  6. petaqui

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    Thank you so much for all your answers, and sorry for the delay answering! I had a really busy week at work :(

    Im getting convinced about the P4, but I have few doubts about your posts:
    @John Locke you mean that the new controller is worse than the previous one? Can you clarify that? Sorry but I didn't understand that :S

    Do you usually have problems with light bridge connection dropping guys? As @David_Cambridge pointed

    Thank you so much!
     
  7. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    DJI have made minor changes to the output power through the production run and this is a topic of debate on forums.
    The differences were small and range is not directly proportional to output power.
    Actual performance differences are very small (smaller than many people would believe).
    And whatever controller is used, a Lightbridge Phantom will go for several kilometres in a good environment with crystal clear liveview.
    WIfi controllers drop off gradually with distance and your view gets sketchy and control gets patchy.
    Lightbridge is like magic. It goes great distances with no appreciable lag and doesn't drop of gradually.
    Anyone that has used Lightbridge would never go back to a wifi controlled drone.
    Lightbridge made everything else obsolete.
     
    TLeTourneau and Peter Galbavy like this.
  8. sinxa

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    Very interesting . . .

    About lightbridge-like technology, i thought xiaomi is working on it and they call it as MIMO.
    I don't realy understand the detail, but in general i haven't find any positive review about the drone it self compared to phantoms.
    Anyone have some thought about xiaomi drone, please let us know your opinions. Thanks.

    Sent from my SCL23 using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  9. Jester1964

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    The Connex system looks pretty good.

    UAV Wireless Video Link Solution - Making Wireless HD Fly | Connex by Amimon
     
  10. allentc2

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    Totally unrelated petaqui, but by any chance do you live near the Camino de Santiago?
     
  11. petaqui

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    hahaha I like this question =) Yes, I live in a city that is where Camino "starts" in Spain. I put "" because it starts few kilometers up in the mountain, but goes through where I live where you have the first stop in Spain. Jaca https://her.is/2cLBrpu

    And this is the link of the Camino de Santiago association, now the one in Jaca manages all the infrastructure and settings of all the Camino in Spain: www.jacajacobea.com
     
  12. allentc2

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    Cool. The Camino is one of the things I hope to experience when I retire.
     
  13. Peter Galbavy

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    MIMO is a general industry term associated with advanced WiFI and has to do with multiple antenna management. A quick google search will find you a ton of references.
     
  14. sinxa

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    Are you saying that MIMO used by xiaomi is the same term as "multiple input multiple output"?

    I thought it was the whole new proprietary name of tech that xiaomi has found as same as lightbridge by dji.
    I guess i missunderstod on this. . .
    Thanks for your explanation.

    Sent from my SCL23 using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  15. John Locke

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    If mimo is an advanced Wi-Fi with the standard handshake protocol tcpip, I'm not interested. That hand shaking is why Wi-Fi doesn't work good as a video media for long distance low latency communication of 2+ miles.
     
  16. John Locke

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    Specifically the GL300C controller is the weakest and newest lightbridge controller from DJI, which comes with all P4s. It's 33% weaker than GL658A Inspire controller and 25% weaker than GL300A Phantom 3 controller. These are the measurement I made in my quest to figure out why my phantom 3 range was over double my Phantom 4 (2+ miles versus 3/4 mile) with stock antenna and Windsurfer using channel 31 @ 4mbps bit rate (transmission quality). These measurements answered my curiosity. Since all of these controllers are compatible to fly Phantoms, I now use an Inspire controller with my P4 to fly, problem solved.
     
  17. petaqui

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    What the hell? Really? So they built a worse controller, the main question is, why do you build a better drone but with a worse controller? Can't understand...
     
  18. John Locke

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    Yeah, I can't understand it either. They have the technology to build a much better product, yet dji has a consistent pattern of signal power reduction with each new craft. It's documented in their FCC filings and it's reflected in the lackluster range of the P4, for those that have owned P3P and know what DJI is capable of.

    This is why we need a serious competitor for DJI. It would reverse this eroding signal trend.

    The aftermarket antenna folks love this weak signal trend. A better antenna is one of the ways to get good range from the P4.