Any Drone Users Here?

My wife and I own a photography studio and we’re considering getting a drone to add to our services. I’d be the one piloting it. I’m getting the FAA license, insurance, etc.

We’re looking at starting with a DJI Phantom 4. Anyone have one and do you have any tips on things I’d need to get?

I have a cheap $50 drone…nothing like a Phantom. Professional drone videography has become very popular in this area for real estate developers and agents to advertise properties or “fly through” of houses/properties. You could be hitting the market just right if your area doesn’t have any pro operators…

None that I’m aware of. Really hoping my flight sim background helps out.

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I have the Phantom 3 Professional. It is an amazing piece of technology. I can only assume that the P4 is even better. If you have any questions then ask away.

All I can say is get some sim time. Drones fly unlike anything you’ve done before and in a simulator you can feel it’s response and limitations before you take it out in the real world. You also get used to the control inversion scheme that happens when you change directions. Not hard to get used to but confusing the first few times around.

Have a X-Star Premium… and it’s awesome, very easy for beginners, with a switch of a bottom can unlock the advance mode. 4k video/pictures with enough options to adjust image settings as needed. Had it for a year now, no issues. 800 bucks.

Now, I am hoping for one with a obstacle avoidance system in it and maybe water proof… but that’s a way off.

Research it… my research shows it’s the current best.

from my 2017 US Army MP reunion I hosted this past March… all on easy mode, auto camera.

We have the same grill…!

Oh…and by the way @PFunk - you probably already know this, but it bears mentioning. To become a professional drone operator - it isn’t enough to just be a good drone pilot. You’ll also have to develop a sense for the scene, how to program or fly the drone for the most dramatic footage, and learn what meteorological conditions and time of day are best suited for the purpose of the project. That 30 minutes just after sunrise and before the sunset (the “Golden Hour” on each end of the day) are often used to best effect. Also, you have to be aware of your drone shadow and try to keep that out of the frame. And then the music part…LOL…and bikinis don’t hurt.

4k Hawaii Drone Footage - YouTube

Lake House I rented at Lake Placid, FL… not my house. :wink:

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I’m not sure we want to see @PFunk in a bikini @BeachAV8R

You don’t.

via Imgflip Meme Generator


Y’all just made it weird.

I am sure a bikini would look wonderful on you!

I’ve been building and flying drones since 2011. The Phantom series is a really great entry level drone for AP, having owned a P1 through P3 Pro. My brother has an Inspire 1, P4 Pro, and a Mavic. I also have an Osmo, so have spent a lot of time around DJI products. In fact I was using their flight controllers long before the Phantom was released. Although they release sometimes buggy firmware, overall DJI is usually 6 mos to a year ahead of the rest of the industry.

Having said that, there is a huge leap between being able to take nice aerial vacation photos and video, and having a viable AP business. The drone part is really the easy part, well at least time wise.

Everyone goes through the flight training part and as prepared as can be, usually looses an aircraft or two in the process. I lost $1700 worth of P2, gimbal, GoPro, etc. when I was videoing some flounder fishing in the creek behind my mom’s beach house. Happened in seconds. You have to have thick financial skin, laugh about it, learn, and move on, or chose another hobby.

If you are serious about selling your product, you will need to fly with both pilot and camera operators, even when using a Phantom. And it really helps to have a second set of hands when lugging all of your gear around. Most have an Inspire or other pro rig, and a Phantom as a backup, or for inside the building jobs, where its proximity sensors are a must because location in space is not dependent on GPS.

But rather than spell all of this out, I’ve found that the best resource is the Drone Vibes podcast. They don’t release them often anymore, but if you go back and listen to every 2016 episode, you’ll get a really good foundation for building that business. Best of luck.

Edit: an RC simulator will help develop your stick skills while saving some props along the way.


Is DJI Care a worthwhile expense?

So, the consensus is that it is a worthwhile investment, especially since it is purported to cover water damage. This is my brother’s crash from two years ago. I’m looking through the fpv goggles while he is flying LOS. He swore that he had positive elevator input but that it didn’t climb. Sure enough, there was a bug in the firmware, that if you had full power input, the pitch axis didn’t respond. Was pretty funny then, because I had a complete loss earlier in the day, and it’s still funny. He was luckier, because his only loss was the LiPo battery, which doesn’t get along with salt water. We opened up the drone, pulled the battery from the GoPro, hosed everything off, and spread it on the deck to dry. We were flying again later in the day.

I’m looking at picking up Real Flight: Drone for the PC to use as a practice tool and for proficiency.