There’s always going to be a place for the phantoms in my heart, lol. Years ago, I started flying with a Phantom 4 standard a guy online sold me for $500 because he was getting into FPV back then and wanted to unload all of his GPS drone stuff.
I got the P4, Manfrotto drone backpack, 3 batteries, like 24 props, polar pro filter site, and a bunch more stuff. $500! I felt like I won the drone lottery, lol.
Anyway, that drone launched my drone career. Even though I had never (prior to then) flown or seen a drone live, it was easy to learn how to fly. Within a couple of hours I was on the road heading on a drone road trip to see what kind of trouble I could get in, hahaha. Had the best day ever with that P4.
Anyway, I purchased P4P+‘s for our business when it started to pick up and loved the “perceived” professionalism I thought it exuded to our clients. Fast forward to today and I’m trying to use the tiniest drones we own to get in and out and get clients’ footage without raising eyebrows.
I still have 2 Phantom 3 Professionals (and an Inspire 1) all with the 4k Cameras. I would have liked to have gotten hold of a P4 with its larger sensor, but the cameras on the P3Ps and I1 were very capable for aerial videography at the time. They are not moving on the resale market so well, so I will continue to use them as they remain capable. The new drones which I thought I “needed” are a disappointment to me as they have virtual stick technology and will not fly Litchi waypoint missions. The creative act of designing an autonomous mission was where a good part of the reward of flying was (though I or course continued to develop stick skills for as a drone instructor here at school). Not sure where I will take all of this.
It’s great to see that such great drones are still being used. I know what you mean about the market for the I1 and P3s. When I sold off my P4’s, I did it RIGHT before the market bottom fell out. A few weeks after they were gone, folks were selling them for $300-$400 less than what I got for ours.
You mentioned the drones you thought you needed, having virtual sticks and no Litchi. What were you looking to get into? Just my curiosity speaking.
Also, have you ever posted any video from your flights? I’d love to see them if you’d like to post links here…
I was in the Air2S vs. M3 debate, but I’m still swallowing the virtual stick limitation, While I keep my stick skills and situational awareness sharp as can be … the autonomy of flight remains very very compelling for my videography work … always has.
Thanks for sharing your site and I found your video portfolio to be awesome. Sorry for the late response, After-Hurricane Ian residual power issues here in Florida. Doh.
As a drone operator that doesn’t like to give up control of the sticks…ever, I appreciate seeing video (like yours) where it is obvious the orbits, etc., were done manually.
I never fly using any of the intelligent flights modes on my Air 2S, Mini 3 Pro, Autel Evo, or test Evo Lite+, however, like with any tool, if it makes life easier for a job, I’ll learn to like it, begrudgingly hahaha. As it stands, I have no use for them, as yet.
I did install litchi on my iOS and Android devices, as we will be venturing into very large projects in the future and autonomous flights are needed when running the same property over and over again at various stages of construction, etc.
HI Dan, thanks for the kind words. To be fair, approximately 5% of any of my video footage was done via manual sticks. The rest is all waypoint mission programming and video editing. Litich is a powerful tool in the right hands. DJI is locking horns to some degree by removing the programmable sticks with virtual sticking, perhaps under the guise of safety. I will have to keepy flying my 4k birds or change my approach if I decide to move into a M3 or Air2S …