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Which Drone for footage over the sea? Expensive vs. cheap? And how to make it float?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ktadie, May 8, 2015.

  1. ktadie

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    Dear all,

    I will be filming a documentary about some fishermen this summer, and so will be doing some aerial HD filming with a drone. However, given that I have no experience flying drones, and that the seas might be rough and windy, plus it will be at an isolated island, I am not sure whether I should invest in a good drone, or many cheaper drones.


    Chances are that it will most likely crash, and therefore I won't have a chance to purchase a new one due to the location, I am considering getting a couple of cheaper ones so I have reserves.


    It seems that there are barely any mid-range-budget drones, but only cheap ones, then expensive ones, then very very expensive ones. From my research, the best budget drone is one of the Syma models, for ca. 35 GBP, while the better expensive is DJI Phantom 1 for 350 GBP. So, as you can see, I can get 10x Syma's for the same price, and still crash a bunch of them in the ocean.


    The filming should be in full HD 1028x30 or have the possibility to attach a gopro/sj4000 etc. With this in mind, are there any drones you would recommend in the various price ranges? Is my research correct to say that the best budget drone out there is the Syma, while the best expensive on is the DJI ? Do you know of any mid-range ones?



    I was also hoping if some of you have some tips as to what I could do to twerk the drone so that it could float for a bit, if it is to crash in the water. What could be added that wouldn't add too much weight and ruin the flying?


    Looking forward to reading the replies!

    Cheers,
     
  2. syotr

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    Cheaper quads will not lift a GoPro. Floats will probably not help much if you crash in saltwater. The chances of landing upright and remaining that way are slim. If saltwater gets inside, it will be ruined.
    Do a search on here for "floats" and you will find lots of ideas. Floats large enough to keep the Phantom on the surface, will affect handling, flight time and likely show up in the video.
    I would suggest you buy a waterproof quad and sell it after the job if you don't need it later. You can save some money on the camera by getting a Xiaomi Yi, good quality video, less than $100.
     
  3. ktadie

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    hmmm
    Well after looking at some vids, I have decided to not go for the cheap ones, but rather some mid-range, such as Parrot Drone 2 or Hubsan. What do you guys think?

    Cheers
     
  4. thestone11

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    AR Drone 2.0 IMO is a cheap drone, not in terms of price but quality. Cheap Chinese drone like the Syma X5C will for sure be a disposable unit.

    Why not pick up an used DJI Phantom 2 for the job? It is fairly in expensive and lots in the market. Best of all, very easy to fly and reliable.

    A wind meter is your best friend when you are out in a big open area. Use smart judgement whether to fly or not.
     
  5. borowik

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    it's better pay more but once than buy somethink that don't work good
     
  6. PTCX

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    Have you seen the Aquacopters range.
    They are waterproof and they float so if you put it into the drink it can be retreived if not flown off the surface of the water.
    They sell RTF quads or bare frames you can transfer the workings of a Phantom into.
    From the videos I've seen of them they look pretty tough and can take quite a beating.
    The bare frames are relativly inexpensive and the RTF versions are comparable to Phantom prices.
    http://www.aquacopters.com/store/c2/Quadcopters.html
     
  7. Deadpilot

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    I am fairly new to this "sport" but I have flown a Syma, a Phantom 1 and now have a Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon. I think no matter what you fly there is a chance of loss into the water... it can happen.

    Personally I'd say, though for your use you will have a hugely hard time controlling the Syma in ANY kind of wind, and they cannot shoot 1028X30 and you cannot mount much of anything on them that is not already there.

    Even the Phantom and Q500 do not do well in much wind. I saw a video on youtube flying the Typhoon in 20 MPH winds with 30 MPH gusts and it survives and does decent video but the pilot did not fly it up high or far from where they were and did not recommend doing this.

    I live near the Ocean and it's flat here and water everywhere... I only fly on the calmest days knowing that among other things, winds aloft are often worse than near the ground.

    Good luck
     

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  8. Medicfung

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    youre wasting your time if youre trying anything less than a p1 or p2 with a gopro and gimbal. footage will not be useable for tv content. i am in the industry and have done multiple jobs with rigs from the heavy lift cinestar to my p2 with gopro 4. the gps lock is worth it alone since youre a new pilot with zero flying experience and now you want to take off from a moving object in windy conditions over water. i doubt youll get a windless day... any cloud coverage and youre dynamic range is ****. at least with a gopro you get miutliple shooting options from frame rate to quality and exposure settings. if you have the time i highly suggest learning to fly with a practise quad like a proto x or blade nano inside a room or office. flat hover, turns, flying reverse orientation, etc. and of course precision landing on tables, books, countertops, etc... hand catch and release will help immensely from a boat.