Thursday, September 29, 2016

Drone Wars

We have all been hearing about great consumer camera drones for a couple of years now. To be honest, they never really interested me since I already own 2 GoPro cameras and a $9,000 paramotor...until now.  What led me to Wednesday's 10 BULLETS post was a conversation I had with Uncle Ricky when he was here two weeks ago - he told me about Tony Sachs, the Neistat brothers, and YouTuber Casey Neistat in particular. I checked out some of his recent videos and came across his review of the latest offering from the drone king DJI - the Mavic Pro.  (GoPro has also just come out with their own drone.)  Since I never really paid much attention to all the drone hype, I never realized their capabilities.  It is not just about getting great shots from high up.  After all, how many aerial shots can you get before the novelty wears off?  The new offering from DJI like its' predecessor the Phantom 4 can get great shots and track subjects in a variety of ways from any altitude along any kind of terrain.  What is really impressive about the Mavic Pro is that for about the same price, it has the same battery time (about 27 minutes) but they have extended the range to 4.3 miles, can go up to 40 mph, and can handle winds up to 27 mph.  It also has additional sensors so it can find its' way around even indoors where it can't pick up a GPS signal.  And unlike the Phantom 4, it folds up and almost fits in your pocket instead of a small suitcase.  As temped as I am, I think I will wait to see if I can actually fly again with my camera before I pull the trigger on a remote controlled flying camera.  Who knows how much further the technology will advance if I wait a year?  76,81,63,0,B

7 comments:

John Wells said...

I must be loosing my touch...not even a Margery Bills comment...

david holloway said...

I'll comment then...

Mavic drones: I went to the B&H Photo website yesterday and one of the featured products was the Mavic Pro drone.

I don't know the term for the effect, but it always amazes me when some obscure topic is discussed or mentioned and voila, just minutes or hours later, there is the obscure topic showing up. Why Mavic drones? Why not on demand water heaters? The Fibonacci sequence? The tune up procedure for a Maseratti? Why Mavic drones? Coincidence is an interesting thing.

Cheers,
David

leilani said...

That is unusual. I hope Margery's OK. Tell ya what, I'll post something Margery-esque as a placeholder til she shows up so you know you haven't lost your touch.

Let's see. Well, I'm not a gadget geek in the least (it's taking every brain cell I own to figure out all the bells & whistles on my new exploding phone) but I've hankered for a drone ever since I saw a short film Norman Foster did a couple of years ago for the 10th anniversary of his Hearst Tower (near Columbus Circle, he keeps an office there). Even though it was one of the bigger drones it flew inside the bldg!

Then this past July 4th, my town had a big fireworks display as it does every year (and on the same day, too, imagine that!) and we had to go to a nearby street to view the show because my trees are too tall. A little drone zipped up about 15-20 feet over my head and watched the whole thing with us 'parked' up there in the same place & didn't budge an inch. After the fireworks ended, it politely whirred away to... who knows where because I never saw the owner.

So of course I wanted a drone of my own then. The sweet little one that kept us company on the Fourth seemed almost like a pet, except I bet it won't ever wake you up at the daggum break of dawn to let it outside like my dog does.

Did you see Casey Neistat's followup comparing the 4k images between the Phantom & the Mavic Pro side-by-side? No contest really - the Phantom killed it with its better camera - but I agree with him that the relatively good quality on the Mavic Pro + better portability hits the sweet spot.

You can pack the Pro in a suitcase & take it on trips. Instead of hiking all over Paris to sight-see, you can relax on a bench under the chestnut trees in the Place Dauphine & whip this puppy out to buzz over & eyeball the gargoyles at Notre Dame for you. Not a single stair to climb!

So, yes, I do think you, being of the gadgeteering persuasion & all, should get this thing. As for me, I'll have to wait until 1) someone gives it me for Christmas or 2) you die in a tragic paramotor accident & bequeath the one you just bought to me (fortuitously undamaged by your untimely collision with 9 Pt Mesa) or 3) the price comes down in a couple of years because...did I mention I'm cheap?

OK. Well, that's all the conversational Margeryesqueness that I can conjure up for now. Hopefully Margery will come back from vacation or whatever, pick up the slack from here & give you the genuine article.

(Seriously I do hope she's okay & she's just on a trip & out of range of wifi.)

John Wells said...

David...I know what you are getting at but with all the media hype about the just released Mavic Pro, it is anything but an obscure topic and hardly a coincidence that it would pop up as a featured product on the B&H website. The internet certainly has its' finger on the pulse of the consumer. Since I did quite a bit of research on it - pop up ads for the drone are appearing everywhere I go now.

DEL said...

Now that you are interested - and researched you will see more adds. Not a coincident - thank google.
Are you being spied on? No? OK.
Soon you will have your order in. Probably in the spring, good weather, boredom....
We shall see. From here I can not hear the UPS truck. Maybe an Amazon drone will deliver it.

John Wells said...

I don't have a problem with Google tracking my interests. If I had a problem with the internet - I wouldn't use the internet. It isn't too hard to spy on me since I post about my life every day. I will try my best to resist the temptation to buy a drone until I can justify it. As for those Amazon drones? It is BS that has gone on for 3 years now. A logistical impossibility. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2427856,00.asp

Cakespewpew said...

John, If you decided to pull the trigger, I recommend a cheaper multi rotor to practice flying on. Its better to crash a cheap one first. Before you crash a 1000 dollars + the camera which will happen. They are fun. But its a little more involved than just going to the store, stick in a charged battery and taking great aerial video.