Buying and Flying a Drone Part II

I flew the drone (internal link) yesterday on its first real photography flight. Some observations.

Flying the drone for me as a beginner is rather terrifying. I was first afraid this whirling dervish would fly off and leave or crash on the ground, spinning itself to death as the four propellers chopped the machine apart. I’m getting over this feeling as I fly more. Make sure to calibrate the unit before each flight.

  1. Still air is mandatory when first flying. Combatting wind is not want you want as a first experience.
  2. You need to be in a calm, isolated space when you first fly. I was able to fly yesterday at a remote horse ranch, free from other people and distractions. That helped.
  3. It’s really difficult reading the iPhone screen while at the same time keeping an eye on the drone overhead. Ideally I’d want to fly just looking at my smartphone’s screen, however, I’m not that good yet. There’s too much going on. How’s that?
  4. There’s a wireless link between controller, smart phone, and the drone itself. To keep that going, the drone app has many, many settings on the screen. It takes about ten minutes of fiddling with all these settings before you launch. Get familiar with the app before you fly if you can.
  5. Had terrible problems with photographs being overexposed. Resetting the camera to its defaults solved that problem. The automatic exposure setting should be good for most conditions.
  6. Results were good. Still photos come in at five megs, which will be fine for publishing. I’ll get the aerial shots I want for my next writing projects.
  7. Getting the video off my iPhone is confusing. Still working on the best way. Diji has an app in which you can add music. Going through that step creates a movie which you can then download. But I haven’t figured out how to simply download the raw movie file.
  8. Glare on the iPhone’s screen is a big problem. I’m looking for a shade. Spending extra on a drone that uses an iPad as a screen might have been a better choice.
  9. Much to figure out.

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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