DJI dropped the price significantly of its amazingly successful Phantom quadcopter yesterday and I now have one on the way to this QTH.
I had been waiting for its replacement, the Vision, to be released but the more I read about it, the more I prefer the Phantom as a platform for aerial videography.
About 90% of Phantom owners are mounting lightweight GoPro cameras onto them to produce after-the-fact video but an increasing number are mounting FPV (first person video) systems and flying as if they are onboard. I don’t yet have either camera but I do have the next best thing – a friend with a GoPro.
My plan is to try the GoPro and decide if that is the route I’d like to go - or buy an FPV system (which is actually less expensive. FatShark makes a 5.8 GHz system that seems to be a good match for the Phantom quadcopter in terms of weight, resolution, range, etc.
For a ham who appreciates the RF aspect of this gadget as well as having an interest in photography, what’s not to like?!
About the quadcopter – it is GPS assisted in that it can maintain its position in the air without any inputs from me. Inputs of course overide the GPS and let me put the Phantom where I want it. Also, if I lose orientation (or sight of the quadcopter), all I have to do is turn the transmitter off – the drone will then rise 60 feet above its current altitude, return and softly land within 3 meters of me.
A lot of technology makes this possible and is best explained in this video:
And an example of what others are doing with Phantom/GoPro combos: