Drones?

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texasdiver
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Drones?

Post by texasdiver »

My 19 year old daughter is a budding professional photographer and wants a drone for her birthday. Basically she has started to earn money on the side by shooting weddings and social events of her friends and she's apparently become the unofficial photographer of her sorority. Both video and still photography although she is leaning more towards video. I guess she wants a drone to play with and to use for shooting crowd scenes and that kind of thing at her university.

I have no idea what kind of drone is the one to get these days. I see various models on amazon for less than $100. I'm guessing all she really needs is something easy to operate that provides good HD video. And then beyond that I don't really know. I'm pretty sure she is only looking for close range stuff where the drone is within line of sight of the operator, not something powerful that can go really high or long distances.

Anyone here into drones and have recommendations?
PFInterest
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Re: Drones?

Post by PFInterest »

You are going to be spending much more than $100. Good luck.

DJI seems to be the gold standard for now.

Cheap drones are getting good, and good drones are getting cheap.
Topic Author
texasdiver
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Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:50 am
Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Drones?

Post by texasdiver »

So something like this $100 drone is not worth getting?

https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Stone-F181- ... 00SAUAP5C/

I figure she needs something cheap and simple to learn on and if it is something she really gets into then we can get a more pro model later. I'm afraid if I buy her a $700 drone she'll crash it into a tall tree or destroy it the first weekend.
livesoft
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Re: Drones?

Post by livesoft »

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nisiprius
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Re: Drones?

Post by nisiprius »

I don't know what the best answer is for serious professional photography and not risking the price of the drone in a crash. Possibly the answer is a lot of simulator practice and, does anybody give lessons?

I bought a Sky Viper s1350HD Video Stunt Drone with 1280x720 for $60 in the supermarket at Easter, supposedly marked down from $120.

This is, to date, the very best picture I've taken with it. The reason it's so good is that the drone was stuck in a tree at the time. (In case it's not obvious... the picture is sideways).
Image
Last edited by nisiprius on Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:52 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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furwut
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Drones?

Post by furwut »

livesoft wrote:I'd get the latest: DJI Spark
https://finance.yahoo.com/video/pogue-r ... 13598.html
Casey Neistat's look at the Spark ...
https://youtu.be/nujgBunvgBI
SimonJester
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Re: Drones?

Post by SimonJester »

Just keep in mind if she is flying the quad copter (aka drone) for professional use she needs to obtain Remote Pilot Airman Certification from the FAA

I would suggest she start out with something manually controlled and lean how to actually fly it before moving onto something with GPS and professional photo/video capability. In other words learn and crash with the $60 quad copter before purchasing the $2500 one she will need for quality video.


https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/
http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/for-business-users/
Remote Pilot requirements:

Must be at least 16 years of age
Must hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of someone holding a remote pilot airman certificate
Must pass the applicable Transportation Security Administration (TSA) vetting

UAS requirements:

Must weigh less than 55 lbs.*
Must undergo pre-flight check by remote pilot in command (a.k.a. you or the person supervising the operation)

Location requirements (click here for more details on these airspace classes):

Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with the required Air Traffic Controller (ATC) permission
Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin
Daryl
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Location: Malvern, PA (I like to sleep near my money!)

Re: Drones?

Post by Daryl »

Feel free to ping me if you have any questions regarding the remote pilot certificate.

Daryl
Private Pilot - Airplane Single Engine Land
Remote Pilot
Working on my glider rating!
wrongfunds
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Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Drones?

Post by wrongfunds »

Google Tony Northrup Drone

He is probably the best photographer teacher on the internet and he has few tutorials on drone and its use in photography and all the applicable laws and regulations.

If it is too much for you, please ask the daughter to make sure she watches them.
Marjimmy
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Re: Drones?

Post by Marjimmy »

I bought the DJI Mavic Pro a few month ago. Spent about $1500 for the combo pack and insurance for it. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

I wouldn't buy anything not DJI, just my opinion. As said before, the new DJI spark is half the price. Camera quality suffers a bit from the Mavic Pro.... but just how serious is her love for photography?
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius
bdaniel58
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 4:57 am

Re: Drones?

Post by bdaniel58 »

I agree, stick with DJI. They are killing it in the drone market right now. To me the biggest difference in the cheap drones and something like DJI is the GPS and sensors. With those, when you let go of the controller sticks, the drone stops and maintains its current position and altitude. This lets a novice stop and think about what they want to do next without worrying about what the drone is doing.

Any drone without GPS and sensors will never remain in the same place. So a novice can get overwhelmed because they can never just stop controlling the drone and think about what they want to do next. They must constantly give it control inputs to keep it from drifting.

All the other features are fun also, but this to me is the biggest difference between the cheap drones and the more expensive ones.

I have the DJI Phantom 3 Standard and love it. My next one will be something like the Mavic.

Bobby
jharkin
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Location: Boston suburbs

Re: Drones?

Post by jharkin »

SimonJester wrote:Just keep in mind if she is flying the quad copter (aka drone) for professional use she needs to obtain Remote Pilot Airman Certification from the FAA

I would suggest she start out with something manually controlled and lean how to actually fly it before moving onto something with GPS and professional photo/video capability. In other words learn and crash with the $60 quad copter before purchasing the $2500 one she will need for quality video.


https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/
http://knowbeforeyoufly.org/for-business-users/
Remote Pilot requirements:

Must be at least 16 years of age
Must hold a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of someone holding a remote pilot airman certificate
Must pass the applicable Transportation Security Administration (TSA) vetting

UAS requirements:

Must weigh less than 55 lbs.*
Must undergo pre-flight check by remote pilot in command (a.k.a. you or the person supervising the operation)

Location requirements (click here for more details on these airspace classes):

Operations in Class B, C, D and E airspace are allowed with the required Air Traffic Controller (ATC) permission
Operations in Class G airspace are allowed without ATC permission

Good info here. Keep in mind the legal framework is evolving continuously - the courts just threw out the registration requirement for recreational use - so check back often.

Keep in mind how the FAA defines business vs. hobby is not the same as how you report to IRS. I am not 100% sure but I believe if you earn even $1 for your work with a drone the FAA considers it commercial and you need to have the airman cert,etc,etc... Again legislation is evolving on this front and the model aviation community was, and still is, pushing hard for some exemptions for this like not requiring pilots who receive sponsorship to have commercial certs for things like demonstration flights at r/c model events, airshows, tradeshows, etc.

If she does it strictly as a hobby, the "community based safety guidelines" she needs to be aware of and follow is the AMA Safety code: http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.pdf


And second the recommendation to just get a DJI and be done with it. If you are buying a quad you are either interested in industrial use, racing or photography and in photography DJI is the gold standard platform and their flight control software and mobile device integration is very slick and easy to use. I dont fly quads but I'm a long time r/c plane/helicopter hobbies and I have friends with DJIs - an Inspire, a Phantom 3 and a Mavik Pro and all are excellent. They dont have to be expensive either, of course my friend with the inspire dropped $3k, but I know another guy who got a Phantom 3 - the full outfit with controller, batteries, case, software - used for just $250.



Any questions on the technology of drones, quadcopters and radio control flying in general dont hesitate to ask

-Jeremy
Academy of Model Aeronautics Life member
20+ years experience in radio control aviation (fixed wing aircraft and helicopters)
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