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Old June 5th, 2014, 09:51 PM   #16
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Re: First flight w/Phantom 2 (video)

Yes, the real problem with this setup has little to do with the MR and Gimbal and more to do with the camera. Its nearly impossible to intercut footage shot on a GoPro and a DSLR and not be able to tell the difference.

I removed the fisheye but it still looks like it was shot with a GoPro but if your only going to view the footage online I guess you might be able to get away with it. Not only is the fisheye annoying but it continually changes exposure.

This was shot at 1080P on a GoPro3 maybe the 3+ is better?

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Old June 6th, 2014, 12:30 PM   #17
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Re: First flight w/Phantom 2 (video)

The GoPro app for iphone isnt real time. It tires, but its too slow to use. You will need a video TX and RX and monitor.
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Old June 19th, 2014, 09:55 AM   #18
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Re: First flight w/Phantom 2 (video)

So I've acquired a few hours' flying time with the Phantom 2—including a first crash that fortunately resulted in no damage other than a broken ribbon cable (that connects the Zenmuse 3D gimbal to the GoPro---easily replaced).

Here's what I've learned:

First, the difficulty of flying a Phantom is directly proportional to how far away the copter is from you. The reason is simple: when you're flying close (within 50 yards and 50' or less altitude) it's easy to maintain orientation and see exactly what kind of results your stick inputs have. This makes a BIG difference. When you start flying high (e.g. 400') and far away (100yds or farther) things get MUCH more difficult, and you necessarily have to rely more on video monitoring and/or limit flying to very simple moves.

Second, flying the Phantom like a fixed-wing plane is enormously difficult (yes, even in GPS mode). By "like a fixed wing plane" I mean keeping the nose/camera pointed in the direction of flight through maneuvers. It's easy to do more complex maneuvers if you're not worried about keeping the nose/camera forward---you just use the right stick (pitch/roll). Adding the left stick (yaw) is far more difficult because (here we go again) maintaining orientation becomes difficult (much easier when it's a plane with wings and a tail). Put differently, flying coordinated turns with a Phantom is tough.

Thankfully, you don't need to do coordinated turns to get great video. And you don't even need to keep the nose/camera forward to get great video. (But being able to do that well would open up a lot of possibilities.)

I'm also finding descending from high altitude to be difficult, or at least time-consuming (and battery-burning). I'm finding it hard to just drop down quickly from high altitude—mainly due to RVS (ring vortex syndrome, I think)---when the copter is descending into its own propwash it gets sketchy and doesn't seem to want to come down quickly. So better to maintain some lateral component to the descent.

Even with dual rates programmed into my Futaba 14SG transmitter, it's not easy to do silky-smooth, slow pans. You can do it, but you have to be microscopically subtle on the left stick. (It's VERY easy to pan too fast.)

About my crash: I was practicing some vertical video shots by climbing straight up in front of an object---which in my case was a tall tree. I started about 20' away from the tree, and the move (and video) looked great. When I topped out above the tree, I rotated the copter to work on slow pans, and foolishly didn't realize the copter had drifted toward the tree. When I started to descend, I didn't realize how close I was and clipped a leafy branch, which sent the copter immediately tumbling to the grass-covered ground below. (There's that orientation problem again---of which distance perception is a part.)

Fortunately these things are tough! Other than replacing the aforementioned ribbon cable, I had to do an Advanced IMU Calibration, a command stick calibration...then I was good to go and flying again. :-)

My first several practice flights were in an open field, which is great---at first. But sooner or later you have to fly around at least basic obstacles like buildings, poles, or trees---because unless you're shooting in an open field or just bobbing around high in the sky, there will be objects around when acquiring "real" video.

I feel it's important to get practice time near/around obstacles---not only to practice maneuvering around/through them, but to work on orientation.

Don't have any more video worth posting yet (mostly just random shots while practicing), but I'll soon be attempting to acquire some planned shots for an actual video!

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Old June 26th, 2014, 04:11 AM   #19
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Re: First flight w/Phantom 2 (video)

i got a DJI vision+ the other day, so after a first flight and crash!!! yes theres a bit of a learning curve.
A the light touch is important and the further out the craft is from you the more difficult it becomes to operate, spatial awareness is something thats challenging too, i made this first flight on a hillside, which was not the best possible place for a maiden flight, but it was bog land so made for a pretty soft landing!

The only other event i experienced was that I lost the remote signal, but it went into Fail Safe mode and returned directly to the home position.

I see that there's an upgrade to the App software that includes Ground Station which is a mission planner, enabling an operator to specify waypoints and takoff and landing positions which would be good from the videography side of things.

Last edited by Rob Cantwell; June 26th, 2014 at 06:44 AM. Reason: added vid
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