View topic - Drone photography - how do I get started?

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PostPosted: November 16th, 2017, 11:51 am 
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Joined: August 29th, 2006, 7:57 pm
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Location: Toronto
Yesterday dp review published a very positive review of the DJI Spark, a light-weight (300 grams) drone with a 12MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor and 14 minutes flying time. It got me thinking that I may have found a project - i.e. getting into drone photgraphy - while waiting for next spring’s canoe trip.

https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/small- ... ark-review

Looking at the past few of the One Canoe’s videos - and most recently the one of paddling to Red Rock on Georgian Bay -

http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 08&t=46398

I have been wowed by the use of drone video to make already excellent videos even better. While I can only dream of putting together such professionally shot and edited sequences of land and drone imagery, it does have me considering the purchase of a drone for our next canoe trip. I can see aerial views of rapids, portages , our campsites, wildlife …lots of possibilities. It would be neat to incorporate these drone video sequences or even stills in my trip reports.


So - to those of you who have drones,

    Would the DJI Spark make for a good introduction to drone photography?
    What sort of a learning curve am I looking at?
    Are there other options that I should look at?
    How much of an issue is the short battery life?
    Are there in-the-field battery recharging options that would make it practical to take a drone on a two-week canoe trip?


I checked Best Buy and it has the DJI on sale right now - the full flying package is $850.

https://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/dj ... 15546.aspx?


Thanks for any advice.

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PostPosted: November 18th, 2017, 11:13 am 
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Joined: March 25th, 2017, 11:33 am
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Location: Kugluktuk
I use a Mavic Pro so I can't really comment on the Spark.

These things are really easy to fly, but there are a multitude of features that you will want to use and these require a bit of practice.

I don't think there's any practical charging options that you would want to lug around on a two-week canoe trip. The batteries are high-capacity types that require a lot of charging power - around 50-watts for the Mavic batteries.

This is not my video, but it is so well done I just have to post it here. Done with a Mavic Pro by a very accomplished amateur drone user. And yes ....it's a canoeing video from Ontario.

https://youtu.be/g5eRggquY4Q


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2017, 11:38 am 
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Location: London, ON
Man, they sure do make some beautiful videos... On the other hand, hearing one in the air gives me a strong urge to shoot clay pigeons with a 12-gauge...

Wirecutter has a great review of these. The one interesting thing they recommend is buying a cheap drone to learn on...

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-drones/

Cheers
Marko


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PostPosted: November 19th, 2017, 12:36 pm 
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Joined: December 30th, 2015, 12:28 pm
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https://www.amazon.ca/ALLPOWERS-Foldabl ... olar+panel

https://www.amazon.ca/ALLPOWERS-Technol ... olar+panel

https://www.amazon.ca/ECO-WORTHY-Portab ... olar+panel

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B072N7PGCZ/ref ... il_4?psc=1

some charging options for you


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PostPosted: November 19th, 2017, 2:31 pm 
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Joined: August 29th, 2006, 7:57 pm
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Location: Toronto
Guys, thanks for the feedback. I see a whole new world opening up below me!

After googling my way to various reviews, I’d conclude that the DJI Mavic Pro - or maybe the Platinum - is the best consumer/non-professional camera drone to get. It does 4K and has a 25 minute flight time and all sorts of other features.

However, given how little video my brother and I shoot anyway - I still mostly use my dslr the way I used my Nikon F3 thirty-five years ago! - the 4k and the flight time are not really that big a deal. I picture myself just using the drone for short location-establishing videos and that sort of thing. Maybe I'll just end up shooting stills!

So - I’ve decided to get the DJI Spark as my first - and probably only ever - drone. The Fly More bundle is going for CDN $850. at Best Buy Canada. But even better, the online DJI store will be offering the Fly More package for $600. U.S. starting on Nov. 22 as one of their Black Friday specials. Free shipping to Canada.

https://www.dji.com/newsroom/news/dji-i ... -promotion

That is about $750. CDN - a great deal.

The Mavic Pro Fly More combo is priced at $1149. U.S., about double the cost of the Spark. The Spark even has a number of automatic flight patterns which the older Mavic Pro does not have. It basically has the Mavic’s software at half the weight - i.e. 300 grams. Users seem to like the Spark a lot; it has been available since June of this year.

As for battery recharging while out in the bush, it turns out that the Spark can be charged from a portable USB lithium battery like the Anker I3,000 ma one I have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QkxKRpYFkE

Thanks for all the solar panel links, Rawcardo! but I think I’ll stick with the lithium ion chargers. If we fly it for two hours during a two-week canoe trip that would be okay. Kalvic, the shots in that video were just what I was thinking off!

https://www.amazon.ca/Anker-20000mAh-Po ... B00X5RV14Y

Marko, I hear you on the annoyance factor of drones! Last February I was sitting outside of the Tronador refugio in the Andes enjoying a cup of coffee in the early morning sun when I heard this high-pitched noise. i remember thinking - WTF is that racket? One of the hikers was flying his drone! You really do want to shoot them out of the sky at the moment. However, we tend to paddle where and when there is nobody around so hopefully I do not become the guy who shatters your tranquility and solitude!

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