Questions about drones

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miamivice
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Questions about drones

Post by miamivice »

I am really interested in buying a drone. Couple questions:

- GoPros were a big fad. Everyone had one on the ski hill for 1 year, then no one had them. (Well a small percentage of skiiers still do but not many). My understanding is that these were a fad. Do we expect a similar trend for drone photography?

- How hard are they to fly? I see where one can get apps to program flight plans. Are these realistic and practical?

- I am most interested in the DJI Mavic Pro. Would like comments on this drone.
senex
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by senex »

miamivice wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:48 pm - GoPros were a big fad. Everyone had one on the ski hill for 1 year, then no one had them. (Well a small percentage of skiiers still do but not many). My understanding is that these were a fad. Do we expect a similar trend for drone photography?
Drone owners I know use them for the first week or so, then put them in the closet to gather dust. They're actually quite boring to fly after the initial rush passes. Maybe that's not true if you get into drone racing or something, but it's true for everyone I've seen.
Topic Author
miamivice
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by miamivice »

senex wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:00 pm
miamivice wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:48 pm - GoPros were a big fad. Everyone had one on the ski hill for 1 year, then no one had them. (Well a small percentage of skiiers still do but not many). My understanding is that these were a fad. Do we expect a similar trend for drone photography?
Drone owners I know use them for the first week or so, then put them in the closet to gather dust. They're actually quite boring to fly after the initial rush passes. Maybe that's not true if you get into drone racing or something, but it's true for everyone I've seen.
Yes, that is what I am thinking. I am thinking that if I wait 5 years, there will be a lot of really cheap drones on the market (especially if the DJI corporation goes out of business!).
runner3081
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by runner3081 »

I would only buy a drone if it were for business use. Real estate pictures, etc.

Recreation wise, seems to be pretty boring.
macheta
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by macheta »

I'm on my second flight in two weeks. I can't wait to fly next week. I am flying an already made plane and these are more challenging to fly. Currently just doing circles and figure eights.

My plane was $90 and my remote was about $25. The market for drones is expected to be big so wouldn't expect any flexes in pricing in the near future.
regularguy455
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by regularguy455 »

I would rather fly RC airplanes than drones. It takes more technique and has a stronger enthusiast following. If you get really good you can even build your own.
bob60014
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by bob60014 »

Great for business use, law enforcement news outlets etc. Unless you are a build your own tinkerer type experimenter, the thrill may subside quickly.
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lthenderson
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by lthenderson »

regularguy455 wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:43 pm I would rather fly RC airplanes than drones. It takes more technique and has a stronger enthusiast following. If you get really good you can even build your own.
+1 There is an RC airplane club here in town and most of them have been flying planes almost weekly for 40+ years. The drones I only see hovering around at big events in town and after seeing the first three dozen videos they post, I don't even watch them anymore. I would be surprised if someone keeps flying one for 40+ years unless for business purposes.
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GMCZ71
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by GMCZ71 »

You can rent these online, to try them out first.

FAA flight rules apply to you, dji software will not let you take off in restricted airspace. 5 miles of airport https://www.dji.com/flysafe/geo-map
(zoom in on your city first then zoom out to see geo fence)

FAA Aircraft Registry
Registration is required for all unmanned aircraft.
https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificat ... gistry/UA/

The last I saw you must have your FAA number visible on the outside of the aircraft or your AMA #. If you make money on the use of the drone you must take the part 107 FAA test.
https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_oper ... one_pilot/

I agree the planes are more enjoyable to fly but the drones are best for video to add to homemade movies or youtube.

Don’t be a dangerous Drone Pilot. Fly safe. Fly legal. Pros reveal their methods
https://youtu.be/gPGnl8zhfMg
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likegarden
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by likegarden »

I no longer like to walk on my roof to look for roof problems, never climbed on the 2nd story roof. So I thought to buy and fly a drone to check on those roofs, also hoping to look at the top of our 3 large pines. But then I thought it would be another hassle. One neighbor told me when I would fly it over his house he would shoot it down.
Cycle
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by Cycle »

Please don't take it where people are peacefully hiking.

Just get a used one off Craigslist or eBay to dip your toe in the water, u can always upgrade.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way
Xpe
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by Xpe »

the main problem with drones is that they're banned from all the cool places to fly. you cant use them in national parks etc, so you have to work hard to find cool places to fly them.

my mother-in-law got me one last year, dji spark. i've flown it a number of times, but we have a small child and another on the way, so i dont have the time to drive x minutes/hours there and back, or to even figure out where "there" is.

and yeah as others have said, commercial drones, for the most part, aren't all that fun to fly, you can't do acrobatic maneuvers and such that you can do with more custom drones.
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AAA
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by AAA »

Along the lines of what Xpe said, I looked into getting a decent drone for non-professional photography/videography but was dissuaded due to the lack of places where it could be flown. There's a big park near me and I thought it would be nice to hike into it and fly the drone, but no, it's against the rules. I think that is true in most public places. Even if they are not specifically banned, there is the issue of people being annoyed or freaked out by the drone flying over them. Even if you just use it over your front or back lawn, aside from getting boring quickly, your neighbors might object to the noise and/or be suspicious that their privacy was being invaded. If you know of places where you might want to fly one and where it is allowed, then you might have more reason to get one.
Finridge
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by Finridge »

All those things in your closets and garage--and most of them are things that can only use one at a time.

Look at all the various toys that you have gathering dust right now. You got these things because you saw yourself using them and gaining happiness from them. But there are only so many hours in the day, and between work, sleep, eating, etc., most of your hours are "spoken for." How much drone flying are you you planning on doing, and what do you plan to give up to make the time for this? Why do you think it wont' become just another toy in the back of the closet collecting dust?

Those are personal questions that each of us can only answer for ourselves. By because of the way I find myself answering these questions, I don't own a drown and don't plan to buy one.

Also, I have few friends who own drones and so I can "get the milk without paying for the cow". Playing around with a drone is fun, but I find it more fun to toss around a $10 Frisbee.

I'd only buy a drone if I was in the photography or videography business, or if that was a serious hobby.
vlaak
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by vlaak »

I have a Mavic 2 Pro and find it to be pretty great. I think it is a really good drone to get because the camera is really nice on it and its super easy to fly. The Mavic Air produces slightly worse photos/video (maybe 85% as good as the M2P) and can't fly as far, but is much cheaper to get into and even smaller than the Mavic. I think its worth considering also.

For me, my two primary hobbies are RC Planes and Photography. I'm pretty serious about the photography hobby and have been doing some basic flying of electric aircraft for several years. Photography drones have bridged my two hobbies in such a fun way! I had a Phantom 3 Pro for several years and just recently upgraded to the Mavic 2 Pro. Its better in every way but especially the size. Its very small and easy to travel with. It takes fantastic photos and video. its fun to fly and can go quite fast if you want it to (although I never fly it that way). Its also quite robust in somewhat moderate-light wind.

All that being said, I think one reason I'm so enthusiastic about it is because I'm already kind of a super freak about landscape photography so the passion for taking pictures is already there, and as mentioned, I love to fly RC so that passion is there too. If you aren't into either of these things I think there is a decent chance you'll get bored of the drone.

Also, the issue of "nowhere to fly" is overblown. You can fly in tons of places, even populated places as long as you stay more than 5 miles from an airport. However, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. I rarely fly where there are very many people around for a couple reasons. First, I don't like to be disrespectful of their enjoyment of their activities by making tons of drone noise, and secondly because there are a few people around who complain about drones a lot (you're spying on me or something dumb like that). But parks out in the country, or less crowded beaches, the mountains... mostly all fair game.

Lastly, while there are a lot of places to fly now, as more drone pilots do dumb things, and more anti-drone whiners cry about non-issues, there will be less and less places to fly in the future. I don't think there is much that can be done about this.

Oh, one other thing. There is a concept of racing drones which is a totally different thing. You typically build one from parts (literally soldering things together) and race them against other pilots all of whom are wearing goggles which allow them a view from the drone itself (as if you they are in the pilots seat). This is extremely exciting and fun. They're also pretty darn easy to build these days. There are tons of videos on Youtube showing how to do this. Drone racing is totally different in that it usually happens in designated areas away from random people so most of the negatives mentioned above aren't relevant. However, this activity is not about photography at all, its more about the flying. The biggest negative is that you're always repairing rebuilding after a wreck, especially when you're first learning. Some would say thats actually part of the fun :)

I would encourage you to get one but only if you're sure you'll use it. Dont spend $1k and let it sit in the closet.
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White Coat Investor
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Re: Questions about drones

Post by White Coat Investor »

miamivice wrote: Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:48 pm I am really interested in buying a drone. Couple questions:

- GoPros were a big fad. Everyone had one on the ski hill for 1 year, then no one had them. (Well a small percentage of skiiers still do but not many). My understanding is that these were a fad. Do we expect a similar trend for drone photography?

- How hard are they to fly? I see where one can get apps to program flight plans. Are these realistic and practical?

- I am most interested in the DJI Mavic Pro. Would like comments on this drone.
Yes. Of course, I used a GoPro last week so. The problem with Go pro is there is little need to buy a second one, so the company is struggling a bit. Kind of Apples issue too. I mean, what's wrong with an iPhone7? Nothing I've found but the business model relies on buying a new one every couple of years.

Easy.

That's a good one. Kind of regret just having the DJI Spark and wish I had more range and flight time. It is nice that I can stuff it in a camelback and take it hiking though. I don't think I'd do that with a Mavic Pro. I mostly just use it to annoy people in National Parks. (Just kidding. It was a joke. That wasn't me.)
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