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Videvo
10-08-2014, 03:07 AM
Hi guys, I don't know anything about drones but have decided I'd like to get an entry level/mid range one in order to test it and gauge the viability of buying a higher quality model.

I basically want smooth aerial footage from my new GoPro 4. I've heard a lot of people talking about DJI Phantom II as an entry level drone, will that give me stock footage I can use? What are the pro's and cons?

I saw this footage which I was impressed with, i'll be finding out what this dude uses asap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bnyVhAQ99E

MaxwellIncStudios
10-08-2014, 05:35 AM
It states in the info they used a hexacopter, although you could get very similar footage with a dji phantom 2 ( I recommend a 2 because you can upgrade to a h3-3d gimbal fairly easy, which is an amazing add on for the Phantom). You might not get the same amount of distance when flying stock, but you can always upgrade radios/receivers on any phantom for more distance.

P13
10-08-2014, 05:45 AM
The first rule if speaking to anyone in Europe is call it a quadcopter, otherwise we'll consider you an ass hat. :engel017::tongue: If speaking to fellow Americans then calling it a drone is fine.

The Phantom is very popular and is fairly simple. The pros are it'll work out of the box and get you the footage you need for the most part. About the only real issues you'll have is you'd need an FPV kit installing so you can see what your camera is pointing at in real time as you'll need to be able to frame your shot, in addition the props and legs get in shot now and then so you'll need to consider that especially if the wind picks up.

The cons of the Phantom are as with any quad it has no redundancy, i.e. if a prop breaks it will fall to the ground, a Y6 or X8 doesn't have that problem but most people start with a quad to learn anyway. The real con with the Phantom is DJI's customer support is woeful, the Naza (the flight controller) doesn't record telemetry so you can't effectively problem solve a crash afterwards and it doesn't handle a GPS or compass problem well, you'll often get Phantom's flying away on the steep bank when the GPS glitches. For this reason I always recommend a GPS tracker if you can't afford to lose your kit.

I like the look of the 3D Robotics IRIS+ as a competitor but it's too early to recommend it instead without seeing more video on YouTube taken with it. The Pixhawk in that handles GPS glitching well and records telemetry which allows users to figure out fairly easily what went wrong after encountering an issue, typical issues being running batteries down far too low or overloading a copter and so on. On any copter the LiPo batteries should always have 20% charge left when landing otherwise you'll damage them.

Videvo
10-09-2014, 02:45 AM
Haha, cheers for the quadcopter tip guys! I stand corrected :)

Great detail P13, thanks for this. So I'll need to consider the cost of an FPV kit. Interesting about the redundancy too, so much to consider! Definitely getting a GPS tracker, i'd rather not lose my shiny new hero 4!

Great battery tip, i'll look into getting additional batteries so i can just keep replacing them.

Thanks again guys!

P13
10-09-2014, 03:14 AM
You only need to replace batteries if you damage them or they begin to fail. LiPo batteries are fairly dangerous so do treat them with respect. In all flight controllers you can set a voltage failsafe so you can land before the battery is damaged, I set warnings that allow me about 2-3 minutes to land safely. On a 3S battery (which both the Phantom and IRIS use) I'd have a failsafe warning around 10.8v (you should avoid the battery going down to 10.5 or lower).

I did a post about GPS trackers here:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?326779-Multicopter-GPS-trackers-what-are-they-and-why-you-should-think-of-using-one

If you're buying a Phantom join this Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DJIGuys/

If you're buying an IRIS join this Facebook group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/3DRIRIS/

I don't like Facebook but it works better than a forum for multicopter questions, on the IRIS group even 3DR's own staff help out now and then.

Terry_Lasater
10-09-2014, 08:40 AM
From what I've read, the Hero 4 Black does not fit *perfectly* with the H3-3D gimbal. That is not to say that it won't work, but rather, that the size of the Hero 4 Black is slightly different than the Hero 3+. There are several videos from a Hero 4 Black/DJI Phantom 2 combo. So, I know that it will work. But, will there be a compromise to the capabilities as compared to a Hero 3+ / DJI Phantom 2 combo?
I am looking to get into a DJI Phantom quadcopter (note: I live in the middle of the US and do not call it a drone...). I am waiting to see if there will be a new gimbal designed for the Hero 4 Black or if a modification to the existing H3-3D gimbal will come about.

P13
10-09-2014, 11:09 AM
Terry, have a look at the FY-G3 Ultra as it's a better gimbal than the Zenmuse anyway as it has stronger motors.


I am looking to get into a DJI Phantom quadcopter (note: I live in the middle of the US and do not call it a drone...).Glad to hear that.

This mod might help with the Zenmuse:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SLCSUBuTuQ&feature=share

Fly-catchers
10-10-2014, 08:26 AM
Terry, have a look at the FY-G3 Ultra as it's a better gimbal than the Zenmuse anyway as it has stronger motors.



That gimbal does not fit the Phantom at the moment which is a pity. Wanted to try it on my Phantom 1.

Videvo
10-16-2014, 07:56 AM
Awesome info, thanks guys! I've joined the Phantom FB group :) looks like an awesome resource!