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New drone purchase for remote ID compliance on 9/16/23

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    New drone purchase for remote ID compliance on 9/16/23

    Hello DVX'ers,
    Hoping there may still be a few of you out there who are Part 107 certified in US to give feedback / input on very possibly my next purchase.
    I've been a DJI Phantom 4 Pro owner since Jan of 2017. Actually bought the Mavic Pro plus initially in fall of 2016, but it arrived defective and was sent back. I'm basically happy - or at least my clients are - with P4Pro's image quality & ease of use. Not exactly happy with DJI and how they've made it harder having to go through more hoops, after receiving a waiver via the FAA, by having to then unlock authorization zone inside their app as well to fly.
    Long story short, so far, the P4Pro is not remote id compliant. And not 100% sure, but it seems DJI won't update firmware to make it so. As such, I won't be able to fly it much longer after the remote id rule goes into place.
    So, I'm shopping around. Initially followed Autel closely when they started in the game, but haven't kept up. Looking for other owners / ops opinions & feedback on both them and the latest DJI models - or if there's any 3rd party I should consider.
    Drone must have remote ID and be listed on FAA's declaration of compliance page, must have adjustable aperture, prefer 4K resolution but 6K down-rezzed would be nice. High bit rate h.265 files would be fine... As would multiple focal lengths, but that's "extra". I currently use the "tripod mode" of DJI's app quite a lot because most of drone work doesn't require flying fast but essentially getting precise, jib-style exterior shots. I do some photography with it, but 80% is video. Thanks in advance for any insights / feedback / thoughts, etc.
    Last edited by markfpv; 07-17-2023, 10:10 AM.

    #2
    Bumping since no responses... Any drone pilots have any insights on the latest Autel and DJI models? Looks like Mavic Pro, Pro Cine, Mini 3 Pro as well as Evo II and EVO Max are all FAA compliant...

    Comment


      #3
      IDK about remote ID but I replaced my p4 pro with an air2s and have been really happy, mostly because of how absurdly small it is. I can't remember all of the differences but image wise, anything under an inspire 2 are all sort of giving you the same thing. Not that I would have actually gone ahead with the purchase but I'm glad I didn't get a mavic cine 3 - it seems like unless it's a large project, people are just happy having a camera in the air.
      robnortondp.com

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for posting Rob and I'll definitely add that to my list to check out...Do you use Go 4 app to fly it? And does it have adjustable iris?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by markfpv View Post
          Thanks for posting Rob and I'll definitely add that to my list to check out...Do you use Go 4 app to fly it? And does it have adjustable iris?
          I used the DJI Fly app. You can definitely adjust exposure - I have no idea if this is changing an actual iris or it's only effectively changing it some other ways. But I remember looking into this a long time ago and believe the even smaller drones were a non starter because of their fixed aperture. With the air 2s, for all intents and purposes, you have control over the iris even if it's getting there another way. As in, you can dial in exposure remotely while flying. The ND filters are very fast too - single clicks vs. the annoying threads of the phantom.
          robnortondp.com

          Comment


            #6
            I’m a fan of the Autel Evo II Pro 6K series. 1 inch sensor…
            downsampled 4K…and big plus to me is no geofencing.
            I remember having my Mavic Pro refuse to let me take
            off despite me getting LAANC approval and doing everything
            by the book. That drone screwed me in front of a client so
            I sold it and went to Autel, and honestly really like it.
            However, the newer Mavics with their 4/3 sensor is
            awfully tempting to me, those look sick!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by alaskacameradude View Post
              I’m a fan of the Autel Evo II Pro 6K series. 1 inch sensor…
              downsampled 4K…and big plus to me is no geofencing.
              I remember having my Mavic Pro refuse to let me take
              off despite me getting LAANC approval and doing everything
              by the book. That drone screwed me in front of a client so
              I sold it and went to Autel, and honestly really like it.
              However, the newer Mavics with their 4/3 sensor is
              awfully tempting to me, those look sick!
              Thanks for chiming in ACD! (You were one of the "regulars" I was hoping still checked in from time to time).
              And essentially the same thing happened to me recently... got LAANC approval from FAA, then even unlocked authorization in the DJI app the day before planned shoot, and then was blocked to only fly at 150ft on shoot day by DJI instead of the 400 I was approved for. Thankfully my client was understanding - but I don't want to be in that situation again.

              Do you feel like the EVO II essentially flies more or less like any DJI drone you've flown? Any issues with their flight "modes" not being as good or plentiful as what I have with my P4Pro? And then curious if you have to use the screen with the controller? I have always used an iPad with hood with the DJI - so going to a smaller screen would definitely be an adjustment.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by rob norton View Post

                I used the DJI Fly app. You can definitely adjust exposure - I have no idea if this is changing an actual iris or it's only effectively changing it some other ways. But I remember looking into this a long time ago and believe the even smaller drones were a non starter because of their fixed aperture. With the air 2s, for all intents and purposes, you have control over the iris even if it's getting there another way. As in, you can dial in exposure remotely while flying. The ND filters are very fast too - single clicks vs. the annoying threads of the phantom.
                Thanks, Rob. This is good to know. And yeah, not being able to adjust exposure while flying is a deal breaker for me. I need to read more about the newer ND systems for both DJI & Autel - as this is definitely something else to consider. Agree, the threads on front of the phantom camera are a bit annoying. I know I had to buy another ND8 filter for the phantom about a year ago, as my original literally came unglued (thankfully when taking off and not mid-flight).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by alaskacameradude View Post
                  I’m a fan of the Autel Evo II Pro 6K series. 1 inch sensor…
                  downsampled 4K…and big plus to me is no geofencing.
                  I remember having my Mavic Pro refuse to let me take
                  off despite me getting LAANC approval and doing everything
                  by the book. That drone screwed me in front of a client so
                  I sold it and went to Autel, and honestly really like it.
                  However, the newer Mavics with their 4/3 sensor is
                  awfully tempting to me, those look sick!
                  I just picked up a Mavic 3 classic after selling my Air 2s. The 4/3 sensor really rocks. Very thick "filmic" image. Just wish you could adjust sharpening...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by markfpv View Post

                    Thanks for chiming in ACD! (You were one of the "regulars" I was hoping still checked in from time to time).
                    And essentially the same thing happened to me recently... got LAANC approval from FAA, then even unlocked authorization in the DJI app the day before planned shoot, and then was blocked to only fly at 150ft on shoot day by DJI instead of the 400 I was approved for. Thankfully my client was understanding - but I don't want to be in that situation again.

                    Do you feel like the EVO II essentially flies more or less like any DJI drone you've flown? Any issues with their flight "modes" not being as good or plentiful as what I have with my P4Pro? And then curious if you have to use the screen with the controller? I have always used an iPad with hood with the DJI - so going to a smaller screen would definitely be an adjustment.
                    Sorry was gone for awhile as I had surgery, recovery,
                    and then a couple longer doc jobs I just finished.

                    So the EVO flies kind of similar to a Mavic,
                    but ‘heavier.’ Sorta like
                    a truck instead of a car. I don’t know much about the
                    phantom, I never really got into that series of drones,
                    Flight modes on the Autel Evo were scarce at launch but
                    they have added a ton via firmware update and have
                    the normal ‘orbit’ , ‘track’ and so on. They have a mode
                    called ‘precision mode’ or something similar that is kind
                    of like the old ‘tripod’ mode on some DJI drones. Honestly
                    something about the ‘flight modes’ seems to be not quite
                    as refined as the DJI ones. I can’t quite put my finger
                    on it, it’s like maybe ‘feathering’ into and out of
                    the moves isn’t as smooth. I normally just manual
                    fly everything though so not as big a deal to me.
                    The screen in their controller works in a pinch but
                    normally I’d say you are better off getting the iPad and
                    using that. It’s nice though as a backup, I forgot
                    my iPad before and was still able to get some shots.
                    In direct sun though it’s not good.

                    So in conclusion, probably not quite as nice to
                    fly As DJI but a great camera. Plus no geofencing!
                    Anyone who does drone work should have one
                    even if it is just as a backup to a DJI. Never know
                    when the geofencing will burn you.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by scorsesefan View Post
                      I just picked up a Mavic 3 classic after selling my Air 2s. The 4/3 sensor really rocks. Very thick "filmic" image. Just wish you could adjust sharpening...
                      Would you want to turn sharpening down or up?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by alaskacameradude View Post

                        Sorry was gone for awhile as I had surgery, recovery,
                        and then a couple longer doc jobs I just finished.

                        So the EVO flies kind of similar to a Mavic,
                        but ‘heavier.’ Sorta like
                        a truck instead of a car. I don’t know much about the
                        phantom, I never really got into that series of drones,
                        Flight modes on the Autel Evo were scarce at launch but
                        they have added a ton via firmware update and have
                        the normal ‘orbit’ , ‘track’ and so on. They have a mode
                        called ‘precision mode’ or something similar that is kind
                        of like the old ‘tripod’ mode on some DJI drones. Honestly
                        something about the ‘flight modes’ seems to be not quite
                        as refined as the DJI ones. I can’t quite put my finger
                        on it, it’s like maybe ‘feathering’ into and out of
                        the moves isn’t as smooth. I normally just manual
                        fly everything though so not as big a deal to me.
                        The screen in their controller works in a pinch but
                        normally I’d say you are better off getting the iPad and
                        using that. It’s nice though as a backup, I forgot
                        my iPad before and was still able to get some shots.
                        In direct sun though it’s not good.

                        So in conclusion, probably not quite as nice to
                        fly As DJI but a great camera. Plus no geofencing!
                        Anyone who does drone work should have one
                        even if it is just as a backup to a DJI. Never know
                        when the geofencing will burn you.
                        Thanks for posting back. And hope you've made a full recovery.
                        In the meantime since my last post, Autel has graciously sent me a demo of Evo II to try out. And I agree with your assessment. It's harder to get "parallax" type shots (trucking or flying right while panning left) and going slow. But the no geofencing most likely means this will be my next purchase. And the range is crazy good.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Those Autel drones look interesting. I fly a DJI Air2s at the moment. I think it's great for what it is, in terms of prices vs. portability vs. feature set. As you bump any single one of those categories up or down you make tradeoffs of course.

                          I think the thing for me that makes DJI the most attractive is the software/interface, reliability of the transmission signal and the built-in safety features. It makes it quick and easy to put the drone up, get a few shots and move on to the next task.

                          For anyone who has shot with the Autel, how good is the Autel in those areas?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by DustinSchmidt View Post
                            Those Autel drones look interesting. I fly a DJI Air2s at the moment. I think it's great for what it is, in terms of prices vs. portability vs. feature set. As you bump any single one of those categories up or down you make tradeoffs of course.

                            I think the thing for me that makes DJI the most attractive is the software/interface, reliability of the transmission signal and the built-in safety features. It makes it quick and easy to put the drone up, get a few shots and move on to the next task.

                            For anyone who has shot with the Autel, how good is the Autel in those areas?
                            I've got an Auto Evo ii Pro. It has 360 degree obstacle avoidance which is so good you literally need
                            to turn it off if you are flying anywhere close to trees or buildings as it will often stop like 10-15 feet
                            away from a perceived obstacle and refuse to fly any closer. Is that a good safety feature?
                            I can turn it on and be up in the air in less than a minute. I've personally never had any
                            problem with the transmission signal but I tend to keep my drone within VLOS so only out a
                            couple thousand feet most times. I know some Mavic ops who have had their drones out literally
                            over a mile and had rock solid connection and cannot swear to the Autel's ability to do that
                            as I just don't do that sort of flying. I think the main downsides are that it doesn't handle
                            as nicely as the DJI's tend to both in terms of flight characteristics and ability to 'feather' camera moves.
                            But the quality of the video is seriously amazing, it performs in wind better than the Mavics
                            (it is quite a bit heavier) and the big one.....there is NO geofencing!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by DustinSchmidt View Post
                              Those Autel drones look interesting. I fly a DJI Air2s at the moment. I think it's great for what it is, in terms of prices vs. portability vs. feature set. As you bump any single one of those categories up or down you make tradeoffs of course.

                              I think the thing for me that makes DJI the most attractive is the software/interface, reliability of the transmission signal and the built-in safety features. It makes it quick and easy to put the drone up, get a few shots and move on to the next task.

                              For anyone who has shot with the Autel, how good is the Autel in those areas?
                              I think alaskacameradude answered this well already. One thing that is a must for me - as I'm often shooting both video & stills while I'm up in the air - is to be able to control iris with adjustable f stop on the remote controller. Many of the lower price point DJI drones don't have this... which is just unbelievable to me. Yeah, I know I can add ND filters. But most of my shoots I don't have luxury of coming down to swap out ND filter. And I certainly don't like the high shutter speed look of a lot of YT drone videos.

                              Comment

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