A Droning Question

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by napp32, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. napp32

    napp32

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    I have reached the entry on my bucket list that deals with drones. I have never flown one before; but now it is time to try. A few days ago, I started my Internet/YouTube research to find the best drone to fit my needs. I initially set a limit of $200 for myself to spend. That limit didn't last very long as I watched the different videos of various drones and their capabilities. I am one of those people with the "for just a few dollars more, I can add this feature" attitude.
    Well, I now find myself looking at drones in the $500-800 price range. Someone needs to stop me before I contact the Air Force Surplus Sales Agency.

    Seriously, I know that a few guys on GT have drone experience; and I would appreciate your comments on selection of a first purchase drone. My primary desire for a drone is to overfly and take movies of what once was a beautiful golf course in my subdivision. I played the course almost every day when it was open; so I remember what it looked like then. The course has been closed for five years; and I would like to document what it looks like now. To do that, I need a drone with longer range and out of sight flight capability.

    So far, the DJI Mavic Mini has caught my attention at $499; but for an additional $300, I can get the Mavic Air 2 which has a better camera, collision avoidance, and other advanced features. I'm open to other suggestions from some of you guys with more knowledge of drones.
     
  2. snerd

    snerd Horselover Fat

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    The Mav2 sounds good. I have a Phantom3 Pro and a Yuneec Typhoon H. Just so you’re aware, the rules call for line-of-sight flying. Technically, you could get pinged by FAA for your drone to be flying out of your visual sight.
     
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  3. PlayerOne

    PlayerOne

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    I have the Mav Air and I love it because it's ideal for travel. Honestly, I think it's more than enough drone for most people out there.
     
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  4. napp32

    napp32

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    I doubt that the FAA has any interest in how I fly over a deserted golf course; but I am aware of their restrictions. Technically, there are a number of places where I'm not supposed to carry concealed also....but, you know......
     
  5. JArthurD

    JArthurD Silver Member

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    MAV is a good choice. If you’ve never flown drones before, I would get a cheap drone to practice on. You will crash and learn lessons. You don’t want to ruin a new $500 drone making beginner mistakes.
     
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  6. V Gehts

    V Gehts

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    My son owns both the Mavic Mini and Mavic Air 2.

    The Mini shoots at 2.7K (Still looks good when downgraded to 1080p) and has a limited range because it relies on a WiFi signal to fly. Depending on where you fly, like around urban areas, home WiFi can significantly interfere with the Mini’s reception. He can realistically only fly a mile or so with minimal video feed breakup in an open area. It’s a great drone for getting simple aerial shots nearby, and certainly the best in its weight class. Other drones in this price range have very poor stabilization and fly like toys, very shaky. This video is crystal clear, very professional looking, and exceptionally smooth. There’s unfortunately no tracking features or obstacle avoidance, so it’s ideal for flying in large open areas. A positive is that this drone is only 250g and does not need to be registered with the FAA, which costs $5 and requires you to mark the exterior of the drone with its serial number.

    There’s talk in the future of the FAA requiring drones to have Remote ID, where they can track you in the sky. Currently, they have no way of enforcing flight restrictions other than seeing you or the drone in person. When both drones are in the air, they are almost undetectable, very small and silent, not super large and buzzy like the stigma carried with older drones.

    The Air 2 shoots at various frame rates in 4K, and looks significantly better overall. The drone is about a half pound, a little more than twice the weight of the Mini. It’s still very compact overall, and both birds fit in their small carrying cases easily. With the Air 2, my son has taken the drone 3.6 miles out over the local forest preserve. It’s signal is much stronger and cuts through interference with ease. Last, this drone handles the wind much better. While the Mini will never crash in high winds, it will end up using more battery life to fly and stabilize because it is less powerful.

    Both drones use the same DJI Fly App, which is very simple to use and works for both iOS and Android phones/tablets. The Mini’s top speed is 25mph and the Air 2 is a whopping 40mph in Sport Mode. With the Air 2’s tracking feature, you can follow a person, bike, car, or motorcycle to get really cool cinematic shots. My son has posted a few videos on his YouTube channel. @DroneATX

    You’ll get a really good idea what the footage looks like on each drone under the average user in his videos.

    My son has purchased the FlyMore combo for each drone, which costs more but completely worth it. You’ll receive a great case, charging hub, and 3 total batteries with about 24-25mins flight time each, as well as other accessories. You’ll also need to purchase a special high speed Micro SD card to record videos. Even when the signal video feed breaks up or stutters on the controller, the drone keeps recording crystal clear video to the SD card.

    I hope this review has helped!
     
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  7. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    My dad has the Mini and likes it. He got it because it is under 250grams which averts most of the FAA restrictions.
     
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  8. napp32

    napp32

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    A big help, indeed...just the kind of comments for which I was hoping. Watched your son's YT videos...also very informative.
    The emergency landing he made makes me feel that the collision avoidance system on the Mav Air 2 is worth the extra money.
     
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  9. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Mavic Mini is all you need. Love mine! I dare say this but it is almost impossible to crash. Fly straight up and straight down when taking off/landing and fly higher than anything you could possibly crash into. You can set the drone up to do it all for you!



    /
     
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  10. G19Tony

    G19Tony Sneet CLM

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    That’s why I bought the mini. I’ve only flown it once, though. :(
     
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  11. napp32

    napp32

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    That's one of the reasons I am still considering the Mav Mini. Although, I really don't see a $5.00 registration every two years a game stopper for larger models.
     
  12. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    My understanding is that it is a lot more onerous than a $5 fee. You are limited to certain areas, flight plans, etc.
     
  13. napp32

    napp32

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    I need to investigate that some more. :dunno:
     
  14. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

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    It really only gets you out of the registration.

    Eventually FAA may allow for the under 250g units to fly over people but not yet.

    If you use the unit for purposes of a commercial enterprise, it must be registered, the pilot must be FAA Part 107 certified. My boss was erroneously told otherwise by a salesperson at a DJI store somewhere, but erroneous information from salespeople is par for the course.
     
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  15. G19Tony

    G19Tony Sneet CLM

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    No matter what drone I fly. My pilot certificate is on the line, so I have to be extra cautious. Hate to lose my certificate from something I did while droning.
     
  16. tlnargi

    tlnargi

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    I have the mavic pro 2 and a part 107. If you want a drone get it now. Soon the restrictions that are probably coming will make it even more a pain in the ass to fly one.

    But also learn all the laws and drone etiquette. No offense, but new flyers don’t take time to learn etiquette and safety and jeopardize the flying for the rest of us. The FAA will come after you too if you screw up. I also find it helpful if you want to fly in more public places to get a part 107 even if you don’t want to make money off your flying. It’s like a CCW, most cops and nosey people leave you alone once you flash that ID card.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  17. norton

    norton

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    Send M2 Carbine a PM. He is really up on these things.
     
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  18. napp32

    napp32

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    When I started the thread I was kinda hoping he would see it and chime in.
     
  19. DoubleWide

    DoubleWide

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    Like most hobbies, have you looked into buying used from someone who's upgrading?
     
  20. napp32

    napp32

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    No, I haven't; but that is always a possibility, I suppose. My only problem with that is that I am not knowledgeable enough to know if I was getting a fair deal, or not.