DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter - purchase, first flight and impressions

I recently bought a quadrocopter DJI Phantom 3Advanced and I was inundated with questions, where I bought, how it flies, why, when there will be videos from it, and so on. Therefore, as promised, I will tell everything in a couple of posts. It is unlikely that there will be more. Today, about the purchase and first impressions, the next time something else is already based on personal experience of flying, since so far there is very little experience.

The content of the article

Buying a copter

Where to buy quadrocopter with camera

On Aliexpress, copters are sold at the momentwriting a post at a price of 50-55 thousand, if we are talking about Advanced. For example, this one for $ 800. There is a bit cheaper, but there are no orders and it would be dumb to buy. Accordingly, more eminent sellers sell already somewhere at a price closer to 60 thousand.

I decided not to wait for 2-3 weeks of delivery andBuy quadrocopter immediately. I ordered it not from the official dealer for 70 thousand, but for 60 thousand in the Online Trade store (link 150 rubles as a gift). In principle, it is not a very big difference compared to Ali, but it’s not necessary to wait and you can check everything right away. Especially in the Online Trade, I have been buying for a long time and I have VIP status there (just for it, the price was 60 thousand).

However, a week later, I realized that the copter to mesold already activated (he did not request activation when DJI Go application was first launched), and DJI tech support does not know my copter serial numbers, they are not in the database. Therefore, I gave my copter to the service of the official quadrocopter DJI dealer in Russia Skymec (there are no complaints to the Online Trading, it is only resold). And you know what they said to me from Skymec? That everything is normal and serials in order. Why the producer DJI doesn't know them, they didn't answer me. These are the copters sold officially in Russia.

Quadcopter DJI Phantom 3 Advanced

Quadcopter DJI Phantom 3 Advanced

Why do you need quadrocopter

Dip in the forums, I learned that many are buyingQuadcopter yourself as a hobby. Indeed, an interesting and fascinating toy. It can be apregdit, set records for a distance, show friends. Sometimes even the shooting of the video itself is not so important (there are quadcopters without a camera), as much as the pleasure of flying. The second category of people - those who take to the copters to order. They do it as just separate shooting from the air (for example, shooting areas in a cottage settlement for a presentation), and as part of a video (weddings, events, etc.).

Why does he need me? Yes, I do not do video, but I like the format of video blogging, I just still haven’t thought of a suitable topic for myself. Naturally, you can shoot anything, including your trips, but this is not payable. The one who was involved in the video knows how much time and effort it takes, so I have no motivation yet (if there is no worthwhile idea, then there are no prospects). I even wrote about this post (What video to shoot for a blog).

However, I still keep thinking aboutvideo format and a kopter can push on thoughts, all the more you need to keep up with the times, you can’t be left behind in a business like blogging. In addition, I will sometimes need a kopter, sometimes for work, for example, to review a particular beach in Thailand. I do it much faster in time with a copter, and for the reader of the blog it will be more informative than regular photos.

And there is another useful feature duringtraveling around the country - you can see something trivially "around the corner." I have repeatedly come across the fact that I wanted to know where this or that path leads, or what is behind that cape, but there was no time to check.

What to choose from DJI - Standart, Advanced or Professoinal

For me it was initially obvious that you needtake only DJI and the Phantom 3 series, so I didn’t even consider other options. Considering that I do not plan to make a hobby out of flights, I needed something flying and taking off right out of the box and without any complications. After reviewing the versions, I realized that you need to take not Standart. Standarta is initially a smaller range, especially in the city, Wifi is used to transmit video, but not a lightbridge, the old generation console, Glonass is not caught, the camera does not shoot 60 frames, there are no sonars (visual positioning with an ultrasonic sensor).

Now compare 2 older versions. On the forums, people believe that in Professional pseudo 4k and if you cropped it to FullHD, it will turn out worse than the original FullHD. The cameras and matrixes of Pro / Adv are the same, it just seems that Adv reduced the resolution programmatically. If we compare 4k for Professional and FullHD in Advanced, then the bitrate is 1.5 times as large, and not 4, as the idea should be. True, someone writes that after all, if you do with 4k not just cropping up to FullHD, but with a normal codec, it’s a good picture, better than FullHD. But in any case, it is personally more important for me to shoot FullHD at 60 frames per second than 4k. Unfortunately, the camera in Pro does not write 4k with 60 fps, so I don’t see any sense in it, especially since it’s likely that it’s a pseudo 4k.

There is one more plus for Pro - faster charging100 W, instead of charging 57 W for Adv. But IMHO it is easier to buy such a charge on Ali or even to score and just wait half an hour more until the battery is charged. Thus, I did not see the advantages of Pro for myself, but it costs 10-20 thousand more, it’s better to buy another battery or something else for the money.

Which of the additional buy to the copter

I will list various trifles and not quite trifles, which in my opinion are necessary. Part I have already bought, part still goes to me with Aliexpress. Order from more needed to less necessary.

Specify specifically dollars, as the course changes. And also, if you do not know, then it is desirable to pay for purchases on Ali in dollars. Wrote more in the post - how to save on Ali up to 11%.

  • Neutral gray filter or filter set: ND4, ND8, ND16. It is necessary that the video does not strobe when shooting occurs in bright sun. The fact is that Shutter speed = 1 / 2x Frame rate. That is, if we shoot 60 frames per second, then the shutter speed should be 1/120 sec, if 30 fps - 1/60 sec. Without a filter in bright sun, the shutter speed is about 1/1000 or so. The filter allows to reduce the luminous flux. I ordered ND8 for $ 13 for myself, as an average. I have the same filter for my mirrorless as well.
  • Shutters from the sun. When I flew for the first time, I realized that at 12 noon I see almost nothing on the screen, although I turned the brightness to maximum. Looking for a sun blind. While I made them out of the box from the phone, it just fits the size, which is logical, isn't it? But it does not have very high boards, so I ordered these for $ 6.89.
  • Extra battery. The flight time on one battery is about 20 minutes and they fly by instantly. At least one more battery is needed. And if you shoot professionally, then 3-4. They do not recommend taking non-original batteries, the copter is still quite expensive to risk them, and if something happens to the battery during the flight, the copter will simply fall to the ground. I took here for $ 139.
  • Belt for the remote. I do not understand why it is not included in the kit initially, a very necessary thing. Conveniently, when the remote control is hanging around your neck and you can give your hands extra, for example, when you put the copter in your hands. I took a little more expensive for $ 9.40, an analogue of the original, it is much more convenient than the usual strap for $ 1.69, which then it would be easier to make yourself.
  • Padded backpack or hard carrying case. Probably, if you do not plan to go anywhere with a quadcopter, then you can do with the box. But if you move, it is difficult without carrying. I chose the first one, this one backpack for $ 61.30, cases cost about the same (for example, for $ 55). Judged so - in the luggage I will be dumb to take a copter, I'd rather take it with me in my hand luggage with my laptop. In extreme cases, I already have a large plastic suitcase, where I can put a backpack with a kopter and my things. It would be possible to go shopping and buy any photographic backpack that resembles the size, but I found an inexpensive backpack for a quadcopter on Ali. I suppose that this is also a photo backpack, just the seller positions it differently. The only thing I did not realize that there is no compartment for a laptop. As I arrive, I will check the internal dimensions, it may be possible to put the laptop inside just in the case.
  • Lid on the camera and suspension lock. For any, you need to take the cover on the camera so that the lens does not get stained. But there is a more practical solution, the lid simultaneously with the suspension lock for $ 1.6. The latch is needed so that the camera on the suspension does not hang out, it is quite gentle. There is a retainer in the kit, but it is less convenient, and flies during movements.
  • Auto charge and other extra charge. If you travel by car and take off from the drone, then it is very important to have autoloading (for example, for $ 9.26). I have a 220V inverter in my car, so I did not buy it. You can also buy a regular charge for the house, but which will charge 2-3-4 batteries at the same time, like this for $ 5.36.
  • Bracket for phone / tablet holder. An optional thing, but the plastic one that comes in is loose, it is especially noticeable on the tablet, it is heavier. Therefore, you can take aluminum for $ 5.56 or something like that.
  • Signal reflectors. To increase the range of times 1.5 and get a more stable signal in the city, help the usual reflectors for $ 6, which are hung on the antenna. Especially they will be useful to owners of Standart’a, but also for those who have Advanced or Professional, they will not be superfluous. There is a more cardinal option - replacing antennas with others (DBS), then you can fly 5-6 km away. But I personally do not need to increase this range, and it will be more expensive, not to mention the need to disassemble the console and most likely score on the warranty.
Optional quadcopter accessories

Optional quadcopter accessories

First flight

First impressions

Out of habit, instead of going toI sat and tested the fields in order to understand the topic as quickly as possible: how to control, what functions are in the application, how to calibrate the suspension (many people have a horizon at the camera), what is the flight range and maximum altitude, what you need to buy additionally. Probably, most people first read a few months in quiet mode, then make a decision and buy. I have the opposite :) Therefore, even forgotten the work to learn the full amount of information.

First impressions? He is flying! In reality, technology has gone so far ahead. I would not be surprised that in another 10 years there will be something that is difficult to imagine now. If in my childhood I was extremely happy with a typewriter on a wired (not even radio) control, now the copter is almost a common thing.

I had few flights, just a couple of pieces,just in the field to more or less get comfortable. In fact, if you do not make sudden movements, do not wait until the battery is less than 10%, then it is quite difficult to kill him. He does everything himself: he can fly up or sit down; if you release the control levers (sticks), it will just freeze in the air; if the connection is lost, he himself returns to the starting point. Also appeared in the latest versions are very convenient features Follow me and Point of Interest. I tried to circle around the tree on my own, but it turns out to be very twitchy, another thing is to turn on the Point of Interest.

Specially watched various videos shot withquadrocopter and in all no one describes any complex shapes. It hovered in the air, fixed the camera and the copter in the right position, and you make the passage for a few seconds, which then will go to the video. To shoot in this format, the skill is almost not needed, despite the fact that such inserts in the video look very good and practically “make” the video.

Satisfied after the first flight on the quadcopter

Satisfied after the first flight on the quadcopter

Any photos and videos from the air look more interesting.

Any photos and videos from the air look more interesting.

Honestly, at first fly pretty dumb. Do not want to climb too high or fly away. Although what could I do, even if the copter would be closer ?! :) Also noticed that in the line of sight in the field inThe suburbs fly a maximum of 600-700 meters, then the connection breaks and an automatic return home (RTH) takes place. They say that this is not enough for Advanced. Either the problem of my particular instance, or the place I chose was not a good one (everything depends on interference, or DJI gradually reduces the power of the transmitters in the new versions (I have the GL300C remote control, which is considered the lowest power).

Nuances

You can increase the range by reflectors,Replacing antennas for more powerful ones by unlocking channels. By default, the channel range is chosen 13-20. Since these channels are quite clogged, it makes sense to get the opportunity to use channels up to 32, especially if we are talking about the city or cottage villages, where there is a lot of Wifi routers. Most likely, this is not entirely legal, but nevertheless they do it. I have not checked it myself, but it is done easily.

The video is transmitted to the phone in HD quality (1280?720), and saved immediately on the phone. But this video has a rather small bitrate (2 Mbps) and it is suitable only for preview. I know they write that this can be configured, but in the latest version of the DJI GO application, this setting is not. On the copter itself, the video is written on the USB flash drive as it should. For example, 2.7k is written with a bit rate of 45 Mbps. Although the quality of the Phantom 3 cameras is approximately the same as action cameras Xiaomi.

Screenshot video 1280x720 with a bit rate of 2 Mbps

Screenshot video 1280x720 with a bit rate of 2 Mbps

The camera takes photos at a resolution of 4000x3000 (12 Mp), which is enough for most tasks. But of course not a SLR / mirrorless.

The sticks rather sharply control the copter, but theircan be configured in Settings / Advanced Settings / EXP. The default value is 0.4. For example, it is possible to put 0.2 for turns (Rudder right / Rudder left) and 0.3 for up / down (Throttle up / Throttle down). Or you can even put 0.2 for all settings. Just do not need to move the graphics, you just need to enter the numbers manually (put not a comma, but a period).

P.S. I will supplement the post, as new accessories will come or a new infa will appear. If you are interested in all this at all, write in the comments, then I will know that in general it makes sense to continue this topic.

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