Beginners advice!!

wsmhustler

Active Member
Hi all!

After watching my friend's Mavic Pro in action, I'm now very keen on buying my first drone. Key things for me to consider:

- Budget isn't really an issue, but I'd have to make full use of the features to justify the price
- 4K isn't a massive pro-point for me. I don't have any 4K screens in my house but would still want the best quality footage if of sensible value to me
- I'd be mainly using it for aerial photography and video footage - I'm not an expert but a keen hobbyist
- Not fussed about brand names

I'm really keen on the DJi Spark. The features and portability look great but the flight time and range are slightly putting me off. Anything else that I should have on my radar with relative pros/cons?

Many thanks in advance :)
 

daredevill

Active Member
For me I found the GoPro Karma really easy to fly, that said the range was terrible and video signal to remote gave me a few issues.
When I changed to the mavic pro the whole experience was better. I find the mavic a little bit harder to fly than the karma because of its size, but in no way difficult. You also have many options for video and photos, so 1080p video at various frame rates won't be an issue.
I also found the fly more bundle great value.... except the need for a larger SD card, which is down to personal taste.

The spark looks like a great little drone for playing with, where as the mavic will get the work done.
 

True Romance

Distinguished Member
Hi all!


- 4K isn't a massive pro-point for me. I don't have any 4K screens in my house but would still want the best quality footage if of sensible value to me

Many thanks in advance :)
If you want/need to crop any photos/videos having them in 4k will make a big difference so don't right it off just because you don't haves 4k display.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I'd bought a Mavic before the Spark came out although given the choice now, I'd probably go for the Mavic again. It has a better gimbal, it folds up to a more practical shape (easily fits into a lens slot in my back), it comes with the controller (optional on the Spark) and possibly most crucially it has a longer flight time. Drones differ to other devices because you can't just run the battery flat, the Mavic by default will try to fly itself home at 30% (which you can cancel) then once it reaches around 12% it will land itself which can't be cancelled so the longer flight time on the Mavic should give you a good bit more usable flight time.

You've mentioned the portability of the Spark appeals to you but should still probably mention the Phantom 4 Pro and Phantom 4 Pro Advanced, these models feature a much larger 1in sensor (the same as the Sony RX10 and RX100 series) which offers much better image quality than the 1/2.3in sensor the Mavic uses. However you pay a big penalty in portability as the Phantom is much larger, as much as I like the 1in sensor that's why I still have my Mavic as its portability is amazing - it's easy to carry it with and a DSLR when out walking or out cycling so while the sensor may not be as good. the fact I can easily take it with me makes it far more usable.
 

bilbosmeggins

Distinguished Member
I'd go for the Mavic too. Image-wise, it doesn't give up that much against the P4 Pro. And what it gains is both portability and greater stealth. There are plenty of times that I don't want to draw any attention to my drone. And I can often fly it undetected, especially if there is the hum of traffic in the background. The Phantoms are that bit more noisy and conspicuous. I wouldn't buy a Spark, as I just know that I'd end up regretting it, and wishing I'd paid that little bit more for quite a lot more.
 

wsmhustler

Active Member
I'd go for the Mavic too. Image-wise, it doesn't give up that much against the P4 Pro. And what it gains is both portability and greater stealth. There are plenty of times that I don't want to draw any attention to my drone. And I can often fly it undetected, especially if there is the hum of traffic in the background. The Phantoms are that bit more noisy and conspicuous. I wouldn't buy a Spark, as I just know that I'd end up regretting it, and wishing I'd paid that little bit more for quite a lot more.

That little bit more is more like twice the price of the Spark!

I'm now thinking of initially getting something around a 100-200 pounds or so to test whether this is something that I'll spend a lot of time dedicated to or not.

Anything that could satisfy this price bracket?
 

bilbosmeggins

Distinguished Member
Don't forget that the Spark doesn't come with a Remote, unless you buy the Fly More bundle. To be honest, I don't think £100-200 will get you decent enough video footage, if it's aerial photography, and video that interests you, as stated in the o/p. I don't know how much the original Phantoms are going for now 2nd-hand. The best bet would be to make a list of the drones in your price bracket, and examine footage from each on youtube, and see if you would be happy with the quality produced by any of them. Although, with the exception of the Karma Pro, which had mixed reviews, I don't know of anything non-DJI that gets close in the picture quality area. Good luck with whichever way you go :)
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
Yeah, I agree about the controller which I wouldn't buy the Spark without for the better control and better range. Once you add that the gap is a lot closer particularly as the Mavic price has dipped a few times recently, it's been as low as £950 within the last few weeks on Amazon.

In terms of image quality, I would say the Mavic gives up a lot with image quality - the dynamic range and iso performance are terrible (although typical for a 1/2.3in sensor) and there's no latitude at all to improve that. The 1in sensors offer an impressive amount of detail, good iso control and some latitude in the raw files to stretch the dynamic range. Then again all that is worthless if you can't take the drone with you, the 1/2.3in sensor is a reasonable trade off for the portability although if I was doing anything more serious with the drone I'd be going for the P4P.

John
 

wsmhustler

Active Member
Don't forget that the Spark doesn't come with a Remote, unless you buy the Fly More bundle. To be honest, I don't think £100-200 will get you decent enough video footage, if it's aerial photography, and video that interests you, as stated in the o/p. I don't know how much the original Phantoms are going for now 2nd-hand. The best bet would be to make a list of the drones in your price bracket, and examine footage from each on youtube, and see if you would be happy with the quality produced by any of them. Although, with the exception of the Karma Pro, which had mixed reviews, I don't know of anything non-DJI that gets close in the picture quality area. Good luck with whichever way you go :)

So would you recommend the original Phantom model to dip my toes in before splashing out on something a lot more material? Any ideas of pricing that I should be looking for?
 

True Romance

Distinguished Member
So would you recommend the original Phantom model to dip my toes in before splashing out on something a lot more material? Any ideas of pricing that I should be looking for?
Look at used phantom 3's which you can get for around £300. These are great first drones that are very easy to fly.
 

wsmhustler

Active Member
Anyone own a Parrot Bebop 2? Through my research they've come up a couple of times and was wondering if they were a similar model to the Phantom?
 

DevCode

Well-known Member
Anyone own a Parrot Bebop 2? Through my research they've come up a couple of times and was wondering if they were a similar model to the Phantom?

Skip the bebop drone if you want to take good quality footage, its more of a toy drone rather than a camera drone.
 

rickyt

Active Member
Skip the bebop drone if you want to take good quality footage, its more of a toy drone rather than a camera drone.

Your joking , have you ever owned or even tried a Bebop out? I have the Bebop 1 and it's a great bit of kit . The camera is not 4K but it's not bad . No gimbal to worry about as it's electronically stabilised but it's plug and play . It does everything you'd want a quad to do without all the tweaking , updates , fafing around . Just connect the battery , turn on the wi-fi on you phone ,tablet etc , I use the Skycontroller1 and your off . Never compare the Bebop to a Phantom , Mavic or any other more expensive drone ,the Bebop is not in that league . Argos recently had the Bebop 1 on sale for £299.99 .A real bargain and worth a punt , I was pleasantly suprised. Of all the other quads I own , 2 Xk Detects , 4 Flying 3Ds , a Blade 350 QX3 combo I really like the Bebop .

EDIT : the Argos sale price was £249.99 hence the reason why I bought it . I think it is now £299.99
 
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DevCode

Well-known Member
Your joking , have you ever owned or even tried a Bebop out? I have the Bebop 1 and it's a great bit of kit . The camera is not 4K but it's not bad . No gimbal to worry about as it's electronically stabilised but it's plug and play . It does everything you'd want a quad to do without all the tweaking , updates , fafing around . Just connect the battery , turn on the wi-fi on you phone ,tablet etc , I use the Skycontroller1 and your off . Never compare the Bebop to a Phantom , Mavic or any other more expensive drone ,the Bebop is not in that league . Argos recently had the Bebop 1 on sale for £299.99 .A real bargain and worth a punt , I was pleasantly suprised. Of all the other quads I own , 2 Xk Detects , 4 Flying 3Ds , a Blade 350 QX3 combo I really like the Bebop .


I'm impressed a friend has this model but the video comes out quite 'choppy' when downloaded, this seems a different ballgame!

(I fly a bog standard 250 quad, hand built but never ventured into videos via it)
 

rickyt

Active Member
Mine is the Bebop 1, less flying time than the the Bebop 2 but they say it has better video quality .But it all depends on what you want , the Bebop is fun and less complicated than some drones. Yes ,there is much better out there but at a higher price .Look at the Blade footage for instance, will not be as good as the Mavic or Phantom but is still very passible for the price.
 

rickyt

Active Member
Another plus for the Bebop is it stores all the data of the flight . ie . flight time , height ,time ,angles ,GPS and lots more . You can upload this info the the Parrot site then download it to your PC/laptop then import the date into the editing program . I find it quite interesting but dont use the info on all my videos . The video just gives you an idea of what can be achieved .
 

dhutch85

Standard Member
Your joking , have you ever owned or even tried a Bebop out? I have the Bebop 1 and it's a great bit of kit . The camera is not 4K but it's not bad . No gimbal to worry about as it's electronically stabilised but it's plug and play . It does everything you'd want a quad to do without all the tweaking , updates , fafing around . Just connect the battery , turn on the wi-fi on you phone ,tablet etc , I use the Skycontroller1 and your off . Never compare the Bebop to a Phantom , Mavic or any other more expensive drone ,the Bebop is not in that league . Argos recently had the Bebop 1 on sale for £299.99 .A real bargain and worth a punt , I was pleasantly suprised. Of all the other quads I own , 2 Xk Detects , 4 Flying 3Ds , a Blade 350 QX3 combo I really like the Bebop .

EDIT : the Argos sale price was £249.99 hence the reason why I bought it . I think it is now £299.99


Sorry to hijack your thread OP but I'm after something similar myself.

How easy would this be to fly without the Skycontroller for someone who's never flown a drone before? I have a 8" tablet I was thinking of using with it. Someone selling the Bebop 1 locally for £100 on it's own and tempted to take a gamble on it based on your comments. Looks like you're local to me too based on the Druridge Bay footage.
 

rickyt

Active Member
Yes you can fly the Bebop without the SC1 or SC2 . The use of a tablet or phone is possible. I actually use a Samsung 7" tablet but it's connected to the SC1 which in turn is connected to the drone .The SC1 is a great peice of kit as you have full control of everything about the Bebop :video , photo , position of the camera lens as well as the usual joystick controls. The only problem I find with using anything with a screen is , in sunlight it's difficult to see. The SC1 does come with folding sun shade which does the job very well.

In post 14 I stated the Argos price was £299.99 , infact the sale price was £249.99 ,hence the reason why I couldn't resist the purchase. It is now £299.99 which is still a good deal . I was suprised when opening the boxes to find 2 x batteries with the SC1 and 2 x batteries with the Bebop 1 and a charger in each box . To buy the batteries separately would cost about £20 each and the chargers are about £40 each on Amazon.

That's not a bad price for the Bebop ................£100. Some of the guys were selling the SC1 on the FB Bebop sites for about £100 so for £200 you can have quite a decent setup .

Yes ,I live in the area , just a few miles up the coast.
 

wsmhustler

Active Member
Thank you for all of your comments and opinions, they've been really helpful.

I've opted for the Phantom 2 Vision which I've managed to source for £150. Hopefully this'll give me some experience before I take the plunge on a more expensive model!
 

wsmhustler

Active Member

rickyt

Active Member
No probs ,your welcome .
Sorry I dont know anything about the Phantom drones . Not even sure if the Phantoms store all the flight data in the same way the Bebops do. Come to think of it I cannot remember seeing any Phantom videos on youtube with the flight data showing . Hopefully some of the Phantom owners on the forum can inform us if recorded data can be retrieved.
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I'm not familiar with the older DJI drones, the current ones do store all the flight data which can be extracted and then used as a data overlay. If it's storing the flight data for the P2 vision then it should be possible to get it into a usable form.
 

wsmhustler

Active Member
I'm not familiar with the older DJI drones, the current ones do store all the flight data which can be extracted and then used as a data overlay. If it's storing the flight data for the P2 vision then it should be possible to get it into a usable form.

What's the process of extracting the data and overlaying? I can then see if I can do something similar!
 

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