Taking Aerial Photography

Item Testimonial: DJI Phantom Quadcopter Kit

Aerial POV shots are the new rage and lots of videographers are attempting to determine what the best gear is to invest in and provide the versatility and expert results they actually need to stay competitive without a huge capital financial investment. When the DJI Phantom for the GoPro Hero3 was introduced late last year, there was a buzz about this new approach of getting creative POV shots from above, and a lot of individuals have actually been developing DIY designs for smoothing and stabilizing the camera out the controls of the multirotor aircraft. The people at MyQuadcopter have actually been developing the best configured and professionally-engineered packages of updated elements and aftermarket gear that turns the Phantom into a genuine competitor in the UAV photo/video market and the Quadcopter Kit is the very best I’ve seen in the quadcopter classification.

MyQuadcopter – Quadcopter Kit (Includes the newly-released GoPro Hero3+).

Exactly what’s included in this kit:.

DJI Phantom Quadcopter (upgraded with 8″ Carbon Fiber CF Props, DJI Propeller Guards for 8″ props, antiGravity motors).
DJI Zenmuse H3-2D Gimbal – pre-installed and tested.
GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition Kit.
Futaba 8FG Radio Transmitter with SBus Rcv (Pre-programmed).
Integrated 5.8 Ghz FPV System (Custom chosen and matched for Phantom – others can trigger issues with GPS operation – our FPV choice is checked and guaranteed to deal with the DJI Phantom).
5.8 Ghz Transmitter with variety band (i.e., can add multiple field monitors or goggles).
5.8 Ghz Field Monitor with integrated receiver.
MyQuadcopter – High Quality FPV Goggles.
6 High Performance LiPo 2400mAh Batteries.
Q1 QuantumPro Lipo Charger AC / DC (Charge from your car battery or in your studio).
Digital LiPo Battery Capacity Tester.
2 LiPo Fire Protection Bags.
Scandal sheet Tough Case with pre-cut foam.

While this kit has been customized for many of your remote aerial photo/video requirements, it may be overkill for the beginner/hobbyist trying to find a kit that has strong efficiency but fewer attributes and accessories. MyQuadcopter has developed a couple of other bundles. Refer to this graph to compare the various kit options and look into the updates on their internet site.

Look: exactly what makes this kit so special?
I’ve had the opportunity to fly the DJI Phantom considering that it was first launched back in January, 2013 and have actually been following all the updates that DJI has been making along the method – with published updates right here on ProVideo Coalition. MyQuadcopter has actually been offering me with test devices to evaluate and the upgrade/replacement parts I’ve needed along the means. However I’ve never ever had the experience in flying the Phantom as I have with this package. Everything from the updated antiGravity motors and Carbon Fiber props, the FPV (First Person View) system and superior transmitter with the Futaba controller – make this a far more delightful and expert shooting & flying experience.

As noted by MyQuadcopter on their website, this is a professional-grade system – providing technical & performance capabilities well past that of the stock DJI Phantom and all components are matched and tested prior to delivery. Look into the “under the hood” section below for even more details on the upgrades and components of this kit.

Simplicity of use:.
PLEASE NOTE: Quadcopter Kit has actually been upgraded and modified for a smoother action and remarkable efficiency over the stock DJI Phantom, YOU WILL have to understand your flying skills with a large amount of practice!

In GPS mode, the Phantom is rather stable and forgiving, but aviator mistake accounts for even more than 90 % of all crashes and “flyaways” that you check out. This comes from my own personal experience. In many of my lots of crashes or control issues with my initial Phantom, I can trace back to either bad piloting abilities, misjudgment of battery time or fell short pre-flight & devices checks. You must see to it that everything is fully charged before trying an air travel. This means the Phantom batteries, the Futaba controller, the FPV receiver/monitor and the GoPro. MyQuadcopter has offered all the chargers and a battery checker to test your LiPo batteries to make certain they are fully charged. You must be sure to follow all the method for pre-flight calibration and setup, including discovering what all the feedback LED lights imply on the Phantom itself. Just due to the fact that this kit comes prepared to fly, it does not mean you can just bypass learning how the devices functions or some basic flying abilities.

Since I’m new to advanced gear like the Futaba radio controller that ships with the Quadcopter Kit, it took me a while to wrap my head around all of it. With the stock DJI Phantom controller, you had an on/off switch, a couple controllers and a number of mode switches – made to be very easy. The Futaba is a sophisticated programmable controller that allows you to set up for several plane if you wish – but it comes pre-programmed for your paired Phantom and tested by MyQuadcopter before it ships.

The FPV system was a totally brand-new idea to me too and took some getting utilized to flying with both line-of-sight and the FPV display. This takes some practice to master however when you get it, you’ll ask yourself how you ever flew prior to you had it! I know that I’ve spent a lot less time “suspecting” at if I got the shot I needed or not with the standard Phantom configuration. The FPV system removes all doubt and allows you to see and fly in real time!

With the FPV system it makes it much simpler to see exactly what the GoPro sees in the forward-facing mounting and I have a tendency to fly my Phantom more like a helicopter in forward movement most of the time. When making sweeping scenic spins or side panning movements, the constraints of the 2-axis gimbal often tend to produce even more of a jarring to the image – which is more amplified by the auto-correcting nature of GPS mode on the Phantom. By changing it to ATTI mode, the Phantom continues to move smoothly in the instructions you last advised it and considerably lowers this result.

Let’s first take a closer look at the updated parts on the DJI Phantom itself.

One of the very best upgrades besides the longer-range/better performance transmitter and dual antennas would be the antiGravity motors and the 8″ MyQuadcopter Carbon Fiber props. These come currently set up, balanced and tested and ready to fly. Because I’ve never crashed this device nor strike any branches, they’ve remained nick complimentary and completely stabilized through all my test flights to this day.

The FPV system has actually a transmitter connected to the underside of the Phantom with a separate antenna that connects with the receiver/LCD screen module that clamps to the deal with of the Futaba controller. From my screening, outside of a little occasional static from radio or electrical interference, I always preserved a good signal even at fars away. This in fact assisted me with my Phantom’s orientation when at greater altitudes or far off into the horizon – so I might more quickly pilot the Phantom back home. If you are experiencing too much fixed or disturbance, it’s easy to switch the stations on the recipient and the transmitter.

The MyQuadcopter Quadcopter Kit also includes a pair of FPV goggles with a developed in receiver/antenna, nonetheless I have not had the opportunity to experiment with them totally as it’s finest to utilize them with a 2nd driver or a minimum of a spotter so you’re not “flying blind”. As soon as you’re airborne, I have seen others operate with them and with experience you might handle quite well pulling them down. Hopefully in my next installation of this testimonial series, I’ll have some time to spend with the goggles and share my experience (and results) with you.

The kit likewise comes with a LiPo battery checker to make sure you never attempt to utilize an undercharged battery in your Phantom. Having 6 LiPo batteries in the kit does provide you plenty of air travel time to check out and shoot quite some time.

The kit comes packed entirely in a foam padded hardshell case, but the prop guards are not installed when you receive the kit. The Phantom will not fit in the case with the prop guards set up, so you will require to install them when you initially unload the kit and either remove them when you change the Phantom to the case or hold the Phantom independently when you head out to shoot and fly. I’ve left the prop guards on throughout my first whole evaluation duration however advanced fliers will get rid of the prop guards to decrease weight and have even more agility in air travel. In this manner the Phantom will still fit inside the case for easier and more safeguarded transportation.

This is my field setup with charged LiPo batteries and the FPV receiver/monitor attached to the Futaba controller with the case. I always hold my hex wrenches and a small crescent wrench to assure all my props and components are securely fastened prior to each flight.

Review.
I’ve been flying the initial Phantom for about 12 months now and have actually blogged about my experiences starting out as a brand-new flier below on MyQuadcoper and highlighting the improvements that DJI has actually made, including the intro of the Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal at NAB 2013. The mix of the innovative third-party parts and upgrades that MyQuadcopter has actually provided in this kit have brought not only my flying experience and confidence to a brand-new level, however my capability to acquire better shots from the GoPro Hero3 & Hero3+. It does enable you to take unbelievable POV footage and spectacular panoramic photos.

With that stated, do know that there are still a number of limitations with the DJI Phantom design you need to know, that only a significant investment in a larger hexcopter multirotor with a 3-axis gimbal might deal with. One consideration with a quadcopter, should an engine fall short or you throw a prop, your Phantom will come crashing to Earth like a lead balloon. With proper maintenance and great preflight checks consisting of tightening your prop nuts, this should not be a huge problem for concern. With a hexcopter you can lose up to two engines/props and still securely land your airplane. The various other concern I’ve pointed out currently is the 2-axis Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal. While it does a fantastic job of supporting your footage in both rock and tilt (X & Z axis) it does not have any compensation for pan/rotation (Y axis) – which becomes apparent when turning your Phantom or it’s buffeted by the wind. When flying in GPS mode and the Phantom attempted to correct its position, this is exaggerated. Traveling in ATTI mode will significantly lower this effect, as will a lot of flying practice. I’ll cover more about this in my next installation in this evaluation series.

And lastly, the mounting position of the Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal on the bottom of the Phantom – while somewhat balanced (though still a bit front-end heavy) allow the periodic “dip” from the front props/prop guards down into frame when the Phantom is correcting itself (GPS mode), buffeted by wind gusts or when you’re accelerating/turning in a forward instructions.

Two things I’ve discovered that decrease the results of this are to fly in ATTI mode as much as possible and not on strong windy conditions. Also, I shoot mainly in 2.7 k 24p mode on my GoPro Hero3 which gives me some head space for cropping in a 1080p video manufacturing. If I’m modifying in 720p, much more. Once more, more experience in flying and several passes will offer you the very best lead to this platform.

Inspect out this discount video presently on the MyQuadcopter site, highlighting a few of the features of this kit, though numerous of these parts have actually been updated considering that this video was produced, so it’s even better.

If you’re looking for a more expert quadcopter aerial cinematography setup that’s not simply a “toy with a GoPro connected to it” – then I cannot suggest the DJI Phantom enough. When I have to pack this kit up and send it back to them when I’m done, I’m going to actually shed some splits! Luckily, I’ve got some more hours of air travel time arranged in the weeks ahead, so look for Part 2 in this evaluation series for updates and more sophisticated functions and abilities.

The people at MyQuadcopter have actually been designing the finest professionally-engineered and configured plans of updated parts and aftermarket gear that turns the Phantom into a real competitor in the UAV photo/video market and the Quadcopter Kit is the finest I’ve seen in the quadcopter classification.

I’ve had the opportunity to fly the DJI Phantom since it was first launched back in January, 2013 and have been following all the updates that DJI has actually been making along the method. The kit likewise comes with a LiPo battery checker to make sure you never try to use an undercharged battery in your Phantom. The Phantom will not fit in the case with the prop guards set up, so you will require to install them when you first unload the kit and either remove them when you change the Phantom to the case or hold the Phantom independently when you go out to fly and shoot. I’ve been flying the initial Phantom for about 12 months now and have actually composed about my experiences starting out as a new flier right here on MyQuadcoper and highlighting the enhancements that DJI has actually made, including the intro of the Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal or NAB 2013.