As drones have become more popular in the public, we find that more and more footage is posted from them. The benefit brought to the filmmaking industry is a unique tool. Our first purchase was an F100 ghost.
A lower end model that had no stability features for the camera nor a remote view feature. (unless you picked up a go pro) When flying it you have to be able to see it and try determining what direction it is facing while in flight. (there are lights on the bottom but when you go high or far enough it is difficult to see.) The camera is fixed with no stability so every movement the drone makes causes a jerking motion on the camera. The batteries that came with it would last about 15 minutes and then you had to manually land it making it difficult to get good shots unless you had a lot of practice. Even it that there was no guarantee that the quality was of any use. Another issue we came across is there had to be little to no wind otherwise you spend the entire time trying to compensate reducing the time trying to get any useful shots. One thing we can say about this drone is that it can take a beating and keep going. We crashed into trees and into the ground enough times I was sure something broke on it but we just flipped it over and took off again. The trick flip feature is fun to see and play with (without the camera attached anyway.) All and all it’s a fun toy version to play around with but if you are looking for more user-friendly systems for things such as filming I would recommend spending the extra money on a more higher end drone.
Our next purchase was the DJI Phantom 3 Professional. Going from our previous drone to this was day and night. With the GPS Features, Camera, Stability and a lot of other features made flying much more enjoyable. Even though this model has been discontinued by the maker I really can appreciate the capabilities in it. here is footage from our very first flight with it.
Learning the controls was fairly easy for me. Having experiance with RC controls and the previously mentioned F100 Ghost. With a few more switches and buttons to learn was pretty easy to utilize.
the first thing I noticed was the Auto take off feature. (Using the app for the display) by pushing the take off icon and sliding to the right it send the command to the drone to take off and hover about 4 feet off the ground. was an incredible feature in my opinion. The next thing i apreciated was the way it would auto compensate for wind gusts. there was a pretty decent wind while in flight but the drone had no issues keeping in place. Making it easier to pause and make sure the camera was recording. Being able to see through the drones eye (the camera) makes it easier to fly a farther distance without being concerned that you would loose it if something happened not to mention seeing what you are filming to insure you are getting the shots intended.
Now let’s talk about the camera for a minute. This thing is increable. The 4k quality does look amaking. The benefit of being able to control the uo and down angle in flight makes it even easier to fine tune the shot angles you are going for without having to land it every time.
In addition to that the camera stabilizer works wonderfully, Allowing the smooth motion at any angle with the only issue of the blades appearing in the shot while in the up right position and only in certain sercumstances. (Easily avoidable)
And one of the most crucial features that i didn’t appreciate until now is the Return to home feature. This is another reason i feel more comfortable flying out of my sight range. After pushing the return to home feature it will automatically fly back to where it took off from and then lower to the ground without having to manually control it. I had tested the feature a couple times and found that once i could see it again i was able to cancel the rth and continue to fly it more.
The battery life is about 25 minutes depending on how cold it is so there is more flight time from the previouse model we had. Now, we k ow there are newer and more advanced models out there but for the price we paid on this one we are happy with the results and plan to utilize it in more of our upcoming filming. We will also be updating this post as we test it out more (Considering this was only the first flight) and keep everyone updated. Thanks for reading and reach out with any comments or suggestions.