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Which Package is Best?

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by Matchlock, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Matchlock

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    I hope I've done this correctly, but apologies if I haven't.

    I'm looking to purchase a Phantom 3 Professional Drone but the options are so confusing I now have a headache. Amazon.ca for example has so many variations of the Phantom 3 Pro that I can't figure out which is the best package to buy. I don't really want everything, but I would like a package complete enough that I have everything I'd need to fly for more than an hour or so.

    Additional blades would be good, and anything else you can think of.

    Could someone recommend a decent package to buy?

    Your suggestions would be most appreciated, thank you.

    Matchlock
     
  2. msinger

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    If you want to fly for about an hour, then you'll need at least 3 batteries. Other than extra batteries, you don't need anything else. You can purchase a Phantom and batteries separately too though -- which is sometimes a better deal.
     
    flpholt likes this.
  3. SPA

    SPA

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    At least three batteries
    Gimbal protector
    ND Filters are a must
    A hard case to store and carry your phantom around in.

    Do not be in a rush to go chasing cruise ships or try and fly long missions.. I have had my phantom over a month and I have taken it out three times.

    Take it steady and stay in beginner mode and calibrate your bird as instructed.
     
    Sky Eye Images likes this.
  4. Wolfiesden

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    The stock boxed Phantom from DJI has a full set of extra props (total of 8). If you don't hit anything, they don't break and wear out. I still have the original 4 on my P3P from January.

    The boxed Phantom comes with a single battery. Its good for 15-20min of flight time and takes >45m to charge typically. So, any package that offers extra batteries is what I would go for. Three (3) total (1 from bird, 2 extras) is a good starting place. About 5 are needed for infinite flight (ie charging and recharging). You don't need 5 to start. Two or three are a good base.

    You will need some sort of "smart" device such as a smart phone or tablet. Android or iOS, both work nearly identical and just as well. Be sure to check Mike's site www.PhantomHelp.com for a list of recommended and compatible devices. If you are prone to Android devices, I particularly like the nVidia Shield K1 tablet. Its a rock solid performer and its speed/power are top notch. I don't do apple so I can't make any recommendations for an iOS device, but Mike's site has many listed.

    An extra uSD card is also a nice to have extra to begin with. The Phantom comes with a 16g card. Its sufficient. I would recommend you pick up at least an extra 32g uSD card (SanDisk Extreme UH1 recommended). I typically go out with 3 32g cards, one for each battery. I change battery, I change card. No, not because its full, but because if I crash and the card is damage or lost entirely, I am not out all the files from the entire outing, just the ones I took during that single flight. It also provides a field backup in case one goes bad. If you are out with a single card and it fails, game over. If you have a second or third card, you can still go on and fly and get photos/video.

    Anything else is just gravy on the taters.

    3rd Party apps like Litchi (which I personally use 100% of the time) and Autopilot are also something you may wish to investigate but are not required as the DJI GO app may be enough for you.

    Prop guards are another commonly suggested accessory. I have never used them. But I also don't mow grass nor run into walls and trees with my Phantom. There is a certain logic in having them while you are learning and I can see them being useful if you do a lot of flying in closed spaces or indoors.

    Stuff like ND filters are a good to have, but not required. You can get along without them most of the time. You don't really need them to start out but as your photography needs expand they probably should be one of your first new acquisitions.

    I argue that supposed gimbal protectors are unnecessary and actually could cause more damage so I would stay away from them. Others tout their protection. I wouldn't put them on mine. You are welcome to put them on yours. Do your research and think it through first would be my suggestion.

    There is no true NEED for a case. But they do make it easier to organize and carry your Phantom. There are generally two tacks on these. Hard and soft cases. Hard cases offer the best protection. They stack easily and you can put other stuff on top without worry. If large enough, they provide a clean elevated surface to take off from if there are high grass/weeds or dirt/sand in the takeoff area. They are also heavier and way less carryable than soft cases and in most cases cost more. Soft bags are squishy and offer less impact protection but they typically come in the form of a backpack which makes them very comfortable to pack your phantom into remote areas without drawing attention to yourself. They are generally lighter and typically cost less. If you decide on a case its worth it IMHO, to get one that allows storage with props attached. Saves time and headaches. You can always buy a plain backpack and cut and insert your own foam to make your own case if you are willing to do some DIY legwork.
     
    DigitalKnight likes this.
  5. Reed L

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    Just buy what you want. The deals change daily, there's no $699 microcenter deal in my area but try them first. or -
    Ebay and Amazon both have deals
    DJI Phantom 3 Pro Professional FPV Drone w/4K Camera & 3-Axis Gimbal - IN STOCK!

    Then - Carbon Fiber Gimbal Camera Landing Guard Protect Boards For DJI Phantom 3 RC BA

    As for Cases the banggood deal was $32, You would have to check
    or this is my fav - Amazon.com : HPRC HPRC2700WPHA3 Wheeled Hard Case with Foam for DJI Phantom 3 (Black) : Camera & Photo
    I have both, they serve their different purposes. If you don't mind heavy then go with the roller because it will keep your UAV safe even out 4x4'n.
    DJI Phantom 3 Backpack Hardshell Case Bag Turtle Shell Waterproof

    You don't need everything under the sun and just buying the P3P first is a good option. Personally I always use the add on safety like the camera guard listed above. Then I also use these -
    Amazon.com : SKYREAT DJI Phantom 3 Gimbal Saver -Protector Phantom 3 Ribbon Cable & Motors : Camera & Photo

    Strong Arm Reinforcement Plates
    because they really help stabilize the camera and ribbon cables when you crash.
    If you buy filters, you may also want a new lens protector -
    Amazon.com: Polar Pro Filters DJI Phantom 3 Lens Cover and Gimbal Lock: Camera & Photo

    You can always use some tools -
    Sourcingbay SCB-8913 45 in 1 Precision Screwdriver Tools Set - Hand Tool Sets - Amazon.com

    Amazon.com: Speedy Prop Balancer w/ Balancing Rod for DJI Phantoms 1,2 & 3 - FREE SHIPPING: Toys & Games

    I have and use everything that I listed above

    Then buy a couple extra batteries and feel confident that you have done all you can, go have some fun :)
     
    #5 Reed L, Jun 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  6. Wibble

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    I still have just my basic P3P with NO extras. I bought a DBS mod but never fitted it. I get 15,000' range anyway.
    Windsurfers are probably the only thing I would suggest.
    People say you MUST have ND filters. I still say WHY? A polariser or UV filter yes but why do you want to reduce the amount of light coming into the lens?
    The main thing I learnt was do NOT just go for the cheapest deal. Buy from the place with the best service and aftercare!
     
    Reed L likes this.
  7. Wolfiesden

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    Why then does virtually EVERY camera thats not cheap *** point and shoot have an iris or aperture (and even quite a few PnS cameras have them)? Because its a fundamental aspect of photography to be able to control the amount of light entering your camera. The Phantom has no aperture, its fixed open at f2.8. That leaves you with only two ways to control exposure, ISO and shutter speed. If ISO is at its minimum (as it typically would be), then you are left only with shutter speed to control exposure.

    Shutter speed limits the TIME light hits the sensor, not the amount of it. Imagine trying to fill up a dixie cup with water from a fire hose. You can only turn it on or off, you can't turn it down. So you are left with spurts if high volumes of water in short bursts Well thats what you are up against with the phantom's camera.

    A high (or fast) shutter speed stops motion and freezes action. Many look at video shot at high shutter speeds and view it as too crisp. We are tuned to seeing a certain amount of motion blur in film for over a century now. And its how the human brain deals with rapid changes in movement and our brain actually applies some blur. When we view video which has none, we instinctively feel its too harsh or "crisp" looking.

    ND filters, at least in one aspect, act like an aperture to lower the light entering the lens (though it doesn't affect depth of field as a true aperture would). This allows the camera to run a slower shutter speed and thus introduce a slight motion blur to the video giving it a more "natural" feel.

    So, if you want that natural feel some call a "cinematic" feel to your video, you NEED a set of ND filters to get it. The phantom doesn't have an aperture and an ND filter is the only option. If you don't need or want that feel to your video, no you don't need an ND set.

    Polarizer filters perform a completely different function and have no bearing on an ND filter set. They frequently come with ND sets. Their purpose, however, is completely aside from ND filters. They pass light waves that are aligned to a specific axis. This has the effect that it cuts or eliminates reflections (ie from glass or water surfaces like lakes and ponds). It also affects contrast and darkness of the sky but it changes in relation to the sun so its effect is a little harder to predict on an airborn platform where you don't have access to the polarizer to rotate it.
     
    #7 Wolfiesden, Jun 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016
    JWH, go fast, Patrick and 2 others like this.
  8. Wibble

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    I fully grasp how a polariser works. I still have a darkroom and dabble with 5x4 and 10x8 so I am familiar with most aspects of photography.
    I still don't like motion blur unless you need it for a certain effect.
    Each to their own I suppose but why are all monitors and graphics cards coming with higher and higher frame rates?
     
  9. Wolfiesden

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    Frame rate has noting to do with motion blur. Frame rate != Shutter speed.

    You can shoot video at 24fps and each frame is shot in 1/1000th of a second and have no motion blur or you could shoot 120fps video at 1/125th of a sec shutter speed and have motion blur.

    About the only correlation between the two is that the shutter speed must be less than the frame rate, ie you can't shoot 30fps video of 1/15th shutter speed since the actual shutter open time exceeds the time between frames.

    High frame rates do reduce flicker but thats not motion blur. Frame rate controls flicker. Shutter speed controls motion blur.

    As for 4x5 and 8x10 format, yep. Good stuff. Had a Hasselblad 1000F with Zeiss glass back in the 80's and it was the largest format I shot (120). It finally broke and I wasn't able to get it repaired back then. Sold it off and bought a Minolta SLR 35mm.
     
  10. Monte55

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    Another Minolta guy here. They made some great cameras. My first was a SRT101. Great workhorse. The battery only powered the light meter. I still have it and it works. Aslo have the 102....bellows...and various lenses. I also have the XD11. Another good camera. Too bad they stopped making these fine cameras. When I went digital, I went Canon. If Minolta had still been making them, I probably would have gone that route. In about 1969, a SRT 101 was about $300. Even if the battery died, you still had a fully operational camera. A seasoned photographer could estimate exposure and bracket. Sunny bright day...1 over ASA speed at f16 I believe was the rule. I also had my own darkroom. B/w and color. I still have all that equipment. I shot 120 witha TLR...Mamiya C33 . Bought it used with about 4 lens for it . Cameras back then were really built. Machined castings and all mechanical. Today it's injection molded plastic and circuit boards. If your battery dies...you're dead in the water. I still have a Gossen Luna Pro that works but the Mercury batteries are no longer made but you can get the short lived cells that activate once you expose them to air. I also have super 8 sound cameras, sound editors, rewinds and all the stuff that goes with them. Can't part with them for some reason.