The General Drone-Related Thread

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3,024
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Simon Everett
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The way I’ve taken it is any drone currently on the market will be pretty much useless by 2022, as they will be legacy products.

Ive currently got the Ma2, but I have a pro 2 arriving today to try, as most of my work is lower light and I’m hoping The pro will hold up a bit better in the shadows.
I will have to take the A2 COC course regardless if I keep the MA2 or pro 2, so it’s irrelevant for me. I could wait to see what c2 drones are released soon, but I’d rather just use what I can now. In 2 years the Ma2 and pro 2 will be very old tech anyway and I’d have likely switched to something newer regardless of new laws.
Why will they be useless? YES, I have read everything I can, but that doesn't mean I understand what I read... if I am flying out at sea, photographing boats that are under my control or outside the 'safety radius' why will it be useless? I think my drone will still be as good as it is now - mind you by then, I don't think I will need the file sizes because my publications will no longer be in print by then I expect and will be on screen reading only. My main requirement is compact size for carrying on the motorbike, along with my stills camera, whichever one it is. I looked at the MA2, but it was just too big and heavy compared to the Mavic Air... and a good bit more expensive for a learner who didn't know what to expect or whether it would be a lasting dally!
 

TCR4x4

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8,380
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Tom
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Useless as in the laws will make it pretty much impossible to fly anywhere Legally. The mini is a grey area at the moment, as the upcoming laws don’t seem to be conclusive as to whether it will fall in the legacy category or another one.
If its legacy, you can’t fly it within something like 150m radius of people, vehicles, buildings or structures.
You need to be able to guarantee that no one will stray into your “zone” and that’s not really possible, even at sea.
 
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Doug
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Useless as in the laws will make it pretty much impossible to fly anywhere Legally. The mini is a grey area at the moment, as the upcoming laws don’t seem to be conclusive as to whether it will fall in the legacy category or another one.
If its legacy, you can’t fly it within something like 150m radius of people, vehicles, buildings or structures.
You need to be able to guarantee that no one will stray into your “zone” and that’s not really possible, even at sea.
The most recent draft of the laws has cleared up the ambiguity surrounding the Mini. As it stands, the Mini will be able to be flown in the A1 category, for ever. Which is great news!
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj258a-xlvE


DPD should be delivering my Mavic Mini just before lunchtime. Looking forward to having a play this weekend!

What are the essential apps that people use? What's the best for checking wind conditions at heights?
 
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4,159
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Chris
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NATS and UAV forecast are my most used apps. I am not too worried about the new rules because I look for places to fly away from structures and people. Any structures I want to film I can shoot within the new rules.
 
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Doug
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NATS and UAV forecast are my most used apps. I am not too worried about the new rules because I look for places to fly away from structures and people. Any structures I want to film I can shoot within the new rules.
Thank you, Chris! I'll be sure to download them!
 

TCR4x4

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Tom
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Enjoying the Mavic Pro 2

Definitely better IQ than the Mavic Air 2, although I do keep forgetting to focus the damn thing.
Im having some issues with panoramas too, some "tiles" are in focus and some aren't, not sure how to get around that yet as its all automated.

A couple of 5 shot AEB's combined to HDR in LR.



 

4wd

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2,410
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North York Moors
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Best results from Mavic 2 Pro using full manual, and RAW - and routinely bracket is a good plan
 
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Doug
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Really enjoyed the test flight this evening. The limitations of the camera are quite evident but still fun!

Pointed it directly at the sun and took 4 images with different exposures and brought them together in LR just to see what it's like. Really not too bad considering it was deliberately taken to be as awkward as possible.

 
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For anyone that is interested UAVHUB have a flash sale on their A2 CofC course. It’s down to £149 (from £249). Sale until midnight on 12th July.
 
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6,015
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Rob
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The most recent draft of the laws has cleared up the ambiguity surrounding the Mini. As it stands, the Mini will be able to be flown in the A1 category, for ever. Which is great news!
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj258a-xlvE


DPD should be delivering my Mavic Mini just before lunchtime. Looking forward to having a play this weekend!

What are the essential apps that people use? What's the best for checking wind conditions at heights?
I’ve been thinking of getting a mini for a month or so but these new regulations have been my stopper. It’s good that further guidance/review now takes into account flying weight. If it’s just the mini with no accessories am I right that’s its classed as A1 as under 249g, but if you add any further accessories (prop guards or ND filter, even a sticker with ID on it) it will increase the flying weight over 249g and take it into the A3 legacy class? Is that right? The video seemed to cut short and not cover the subject of the mini with flying weight over 249g after 2021.
 
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I’ve been thinking of getting a mini for a month or so but these new regulations have been my stopper. It’s good that further guidance/review now takes into account flying weight. If it’s just the mini with no accessories am I right that’s its classed as A1 as under 249g, but if you add any further accessories (prop guards or ND filter, even a sticker with ID on it) it will increase the flying weight over 249g and take it into the A3 legacy class? Is that right? The video seemed to cut short and not cover the subject of the mini with flying weight over 249g after 2021.
I don't condone illegal flying in any way but there are so many breaches of the regulations every day that I think it would be a long time before you got a visit from the drone police for flying a drone that was 10g over toe 250g limit. Especially when that 10g of extra weight was prop guards to make it safer.
 

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Tom
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I don't condone illegal flying in any way but there are so many breaches of the regulations every day that I think it would be a long time before you got a visit from the drone police for flying a drone that was 10g over toe 250g limit. Especially when that 10g of extra weight was prop guards to make it safer.
Where I am I could probably fly an industrial Matrice drone without any qualifications and no one would ever know. The whole thing really is a bit pointless, as those that take the required courses would fly responsibly anyway.
The people that fly like idiots now, will always fly like idiots and won’t take any of the courses.
Same as everything in life, the responsible people get penalised whilst the minority of dicks just carry on as they always have.

Think I’ll go for that offer of £149 for the A2coc though. I’d rather have gone with heliguy and their anytime you want approach rather than a booked date, but the savings are quite substantial
 
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Doug
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Trying to resist the urge to upgrade to an Air 2 or Pro straight away, these DJI products really are addictive!
I've told myself that I'm going to stick with the Mini until there is some clarity around the new regulations and if there are new models released by DJI.

Anyway, out this evening and grabbed a couple 'straight down' shots:

Firstly, the contrast between a mown paddock and a field of standing crops:


Secondly, some lavender plants:



Both required some PP in LR.
 
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Doug
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Mavic 2 pro 5 shot Aeb, combined in Lightroom. Only used 4 of the shots though.

You're one of the reasons for me wanting to upgrade so soon! Another cracking image!
 
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4,594
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Mark
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Ok so I keep toying with the idea of a drone to enabel me to get some different photos, but there is so much on the web about what you can and can not do I keep putting the idea to the back of my head.....

Is there somewhere I can find easy to understand info and and idea on which drone would be best etc.

Sorry if this has been covered before.
 
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6,015
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Rob
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Ok so I keep toying with the idea of a drone to enabel me to get some different photos, but there is so much on the web about what you can and can not do I keep putting the idea to the back of my head.....

Is there somewhere I can find easy to understand info and and idea on which drone would be best etc.

Sorry if this has been covered before.
I’ve been thinking of one too but like you it’s hard to make s decision. It’s not helped by the fact the rules change in January 2021.
 

4wd

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North York Moors
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The best all round drone at this time, bearing in mind cost value for money, reliability and range, photo and video quality plus automated modes such as following you .... is....
Mavic Air 2 - no contest really Well until the next new one comes out in a few moths time.

Best for photo and video in consumer style (i.e. without spending £thousands) is probably Mavic 2 Pro.

Most affordable and least likely to be affected by legislation - Mavic Mini.

Other makes are available they tend to come and go.
Some will have features which particularly appeal to some users, mostly they have similar capabilities to the DJI offerings - there is nothing wrong with them
But best stick with market leader who have refined their products over several generations. IMO

The Mini is a good buy but for serious photographers it will soon feel limiting.
Again DJI Mavic Air 2 is market leader at this time for most - whether you are new or updating.
 
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TCR4x4

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8,380
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Tom
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Agree with that. I’ve had the spark, the air, the air 2 and the Mavic 2 pro. Although I’m keeping the pro 2 and selling my air 2 (in the classified, cough cough), the air 2 is the better all round drone for sure. Flies better, has more features, batteries last considerably longer and the controller is nicer.
The 2 pro does beat it in overall image quality, but there isn’t a Huge amount in it, only low light and high dynamic range situations does the 2 pro really excel over the air 2.

Whilst the mini won’t need a qualification to fly, it is limited in range and wind capability and the camera is limited to a lower resolution video
 

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How difficult is it to get a qualification to use a bigger drone?
You need to take the a2cofc course, or the GVC Depending what you want to fly and how close to people you want to fly. You also need to register as an operator and take the theory test, which even my wife passed with full marks and no drone knowledge whatsoever.
Both are fairly new and aren’t actually required until Jan next year. I’ve started the a2ofc training online. Seems pretty straightforward, just basic meteorological knowledge and common sense. I have an online classroom in October which covers the more in depth stuff and then an online exam after that. It’s multiple choice and you get free retests if you fail. Pass rate is 75% I think. There is currently no requirement for a practical flight test, you just have to self certify you can fly a drone and perform certain manoeuvres safely.

The stupid thing is, the courses are meant for c2 class drones, and none of those exist yet. Any drone currently available (Apart from the mini) will become a legacy drone and after 2023 will revert back to “fly far away from others”.
So either you wait until a c2 drone is available, which could be any time from now til who knows, or you just use what’s currently available until the rules change. My view is, I’d likely upgrade my drone in a year anyway, so I bought the Mavic air 2 and the Mavic 2 pro last month. They will last me until a c2 drone is released, by which time they will be old tech anyway.
 
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Doug
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The best all round drone at this time, bearing in mind cost value for money, reliability and range, photo and video quality plus automated modes such as following you .... is....
Mavic Air 2 - no contest really Well until the next new one comes out in a few moths time.

Best for photo and video in consumer style (i.e. without spending £thousands) is probably Mavic 2 Pro.

Most affordable and least likely to be affected by legislation - Mavic Mini.

Other makes are available they tend to come and go.
Some will have features which particularly appeal to some users, mostly they have similar capabilities to the DJI offerings - there is nothing wrong with them
But best stick with market leader who have refined their products over several generations. IMO

The Mini is a good buy but for serious photographers it will soon feel limiting.
Again DJI Mavic Air 2 is market leader at this time for most - whether you are new or updating.
That sums it up nicely!
I've got a Mavic Mini, and the image quality does irk me slightly. I bought it knowing that, and knowing it'll be the perfect size and weight to take travelling as well as skirting around the some of the legislation (and future) in place.

Once the CE marked drones come out I will certainly be adding the new Air or Pro to the collection, purely for the image quality and additional flyer aids.
 
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4,594
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Mark
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You need to take the a2cofc course, or the GVC Depending what you want to fly and how close to people you want to fly. You also need to register as an operator and take the theory test, which even my wife passed with full marks and no drone knowledge whatsoever.
Both are fairly new and aren’t actually required until Jan next year. I’ve started the a2ofc training online. Seems pretty straightforward, just basic meteorological knowledge and common sense. I have an online classroom in October which covers the more in depth stuff and then an online exam after that. It’s multiple choice and you get free retests if you fail. Pass rate is 75% I think. There is currently no requirement for a practical flight test, you just have to self certify you can fly a drone and perform certain manoeuvres safely.

The stupid thing is, the courses are meant for c2 class drones, and none of those exist yet. Any drone currently available (Apart from the mini) will become a legacy drone and after 2023 will revert back to “fly far away from others”.
So either you wait until a c2 drone is available, which could be any time from now til who knows, or you just use what’s currently available until the rules change. My view is, I’d likely upgrade my drone in a year anyway, so I bought the Mavic air 2 and the Mavic 2 pro last month. They will last me until a c2 drone is released, by which time they will be old tech anyway.

Thanks I'll look into the a2cofc course I'll only be using it for personal use not commercial.

I've seen your ad in the classifieds, and I am tempted just need to work out whats involved and how much I would use it....
 

Sky

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Trevor
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I'll be advertising/selling my Phantom 4 soon, so keep your eye on the classifieds if you want to spend a little less. It's only flown a few hours and has three batteries with it.

I'll be selling it (and a few other bits) and putting the money towards the M2Pro.
 

TCR4x4

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Tom
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Thanks I'll look into the a2cofc course I'll only be using it for personal use not commercial.

I've seen your ad in the classifieds, and I am tempted just need to work out whats involved and how much I would use it....
Personal and commercial are now one and the same, there is no distinction. It’s now all based on weight and risk.
 

TCR4x4

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8,380
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So on Thursday night I passed my drone theory!

Now need to look into the a2cofc do any of you guys have any recommendations who is best to do it through ideally online if possible?
I’m using UAVHUB simply because it was on offer at £149.
Heliguy looked like the best option though as it’s all completely on demand from what I gather, rather than uavhub needing to book a date for the online classroom and test.
 
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4,594
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Mark
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I’m using UAVHUB simply because it was on offer at £149.
Heliguy looked like the best option though as it’s all completely on demand from what I gather, rather than uavhub needing to book a date for the online classroom and test.
Thanks looks like UAVHUB are cheaper then HELIGUY but HELIGUY appear to offer a price match so may give them a try. How difficult has thew course been so far?
 

TCR4x4

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Tom
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Thanks looks like UAVHUB are cheaper then HELIGUY but HELIGUY appear to offer a price match so may give them a try. How difficult has thew course been so far?
Not at all difficult Yet. You just watch a load of videos. There are 3 parts on the website, one is all the learning material videos for before the online classroom, which just covers basic stuff like weather and common sense flying. Then you do the online classroom which is the meat of the course and the stuff you really need to learn. Once you’ve done that there is a revision section which you keep refreshed on and there is a resource section with other websites and material to look over.
Once you are confident, you book the test and this is done via google meet, they need to see your desktop and the area you are in to make sure you don’t have notes. They will then read the questions out to you with the multiple choice answers. After a few days you’ll get an email with the results.
 
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Hello and good evening to all drone enthusiasts. Have bought my first drone and all lost at the moment :( It's a Snaptain S5C. How do I get started? Does anyone has a similar drone and could share their experience, please? Any videos or links to learn? Many thanks.
 
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Doug
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Hello and good evening to all drone enthusiasts. Have bought my first drone and all lost at the moment :( It's a Snaptain S5C. How do I get started? Does anyone has a similar drone and could share their experience, please? Any videos or links to learn? Many thanks.
Someone has made a 'getting started' video on YouTube, hopefully it helps:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYv1TX1nPC8
 
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Doug
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Mavic Pro 3 due to be announced on 26th Sept apparently. Waiting for this one to see if it’s the first drone to carry a CE marking (crucial for the upcoming regs).

Really enjoying the Mini but longing for a better sensor. Apparently a 1” sensor to be expected on the new one.
 
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