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First QC Flight

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First QC Flight

Postby _Paz_ » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:22 am




Shot in 2.7k, down scaled to 1280p at export. {EDIT- No post flight stabilization via software - the Quad has a built in gimbal} No stabilization. The footage seemed too dark so I lightened it a little, otherwise, no changes.
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Re: First QC Flight

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:31 am

That's such beautiful footage, Paz! So smooth and stable.
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Re: First QC Flight

Postby Ron Hunter » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:53 am

Great footage! And what a silky smooth landing, you are a natural!

What Phantom did you pick? Does it have a camera built-in or did you add a GoPro?

How's the flight time? I've read 25 min but would like real world feedback.

Where did you buy from?

I'm torn on QC. I want one but we are limited on where it can be flown. County parks are out so it seems the only place I can fly would be around my yard and up/down my street. But I still want one...
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Re: First QC Flight

Postby Dave McElderry » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:33 am

It's amazing how stable the video is from these. You do seem to have a good touch for the controls. Looking forward to what's next!
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Re: First QC Flight

Postby sidd finch » Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:55 am

Paz very nice indeed. The video is very stable even with out a gimbal. I am assuming the gimbal is for more windy conditions. Did you fly by sight or use a screen to see where you were going? What most impressed me was that you were willing to take you first flight so close to the water. Very Brave. I think the Quad footage provides such an additional resource in terms of getting an additional perspective. It just shows us how beautiful our planet can be. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: First QC Flight

Postby Ron Hunter » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:25 pm

Side, I think there was a gimbal on the QC, but Paz didn't add stabilization in post. Paz, what say ye?
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Re: First QC Flight

Postby _Paz_ » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:32 pm

But I still want one...


Yep! I haven't been able to get a QC off my Wish - Dream List (MUST HAVE!!!, pant, pant!) ever since the Shrimpman posted his flying videos here. Back then, Shrimpman recommended getting the Version 2 because the propellers had been changed so they were easy to put on and take off for every flight. Prices back then would have run about $2300 for the copter, gimbal, GoPro and field monitor. I bought a GoPro a while later in anticipation...

Forward to Black Friday, 2015. I happened to wake early and checked my email, as I usually do. A company advertised the Phantom 3 Standard for $499. It included a 2.7k integrated camera, integrated gimbal, the remote controller and copter. I pushed the BUY button. Sold out. At 6:15 AM. I should have forgotten about it but the fever was already fired up... I checked other sites and found several available to $599. Pushed the BUY button at B&H because I knew I could send it back if it didn't work out. The 'normal' price was listed as $999, but I've noticed there are still several places offering them for $699 now.

You seem to fly it well


Nope. It pretty much flies itself. What you saw near the end was an automatic landing. Press a button and it comes back to you and lands.

I made labels for the controller joy sticks. Left stick: North = ascend, South = descend, West = rotate left, East = rotate right.
Right stick: North = fly forward, South = fly in reverse, West = fly left, East = fly right.

All I did was start, rise vertically until I felt I was over the height of the trees, hover (if you do not touch the controls at all, it sits in place at the height it is), rotate right, fly straight, rotate right, rotate left, fly straight (meaning come back to me), hover a bit, then I pressed the automatic landing button.

It took longer to arrive than packages from B&H usually do. I think it came via UPS trucks. Probably because of the battery. Still, I had it mid week after Thanksgiving. Since then I've been reading manuals, watching videos and learning about problems people have had flying them. Read about bloody fingers and that poor child who lost their eye. Read about Phantoms at the bottom of the lake - sea. And read about people who said their Phantom suddenly went haywire, off in the direction it wanted to and they lost control, etc.

On a boat electronic (and probably car too, for those cars which have electronic maps) you can choose to have North UP or Heads UP. On our boat we use North UP. Suppose you are facing North and send your copter to the north. Then you turn it around to fly back to you. The copter is facing South now and if you tell it to turn Right, it is going to go right to the copter's perspective, but it will be LEFT to the flyer's perspective. Now that I've flown this one, I really think this accounts for a lot of the reports of copters "having a mind of their own" and "taking off in exactly the opposite direction of what I told it to".

Did you fly by sight or use a screen to see where you were going?


Both. I had it set on 'beginner' level and it could not go more than 100 feet away from me, so I could see it at all times. Recently I found a great closeout price on a Samsung Note 10.1 inch tablet with super high resolution that does not have the over-saturated colors of the newer versions. On screen you see exactly what the copter camera sees with control buttons overlaying the view.

Problem: the 10.1 inch tablet is waaaaay too large for the holder that comes with the Phantom 3 Standard. My tiny smart phone is too small. I actually bought the tablet to use with the Pany GH4 and had already been working on a way to hold it via a strap system and I was able to tie the controller and my tablet together so it is possible for me to have both hands free, if necessary. I'll post pics later.

There is only one side support for your phone/tablet on the Standard. The Advanced and Pro models have a much better tablet holding system with two arms. Not worth the extra $$$ to me.

This will be a supplement to my business, not the primary filming source. I'm delighted so far. The footage and stability of the built in gimbal are much better than I expected. I did not have any copter blades get in the way! I have another segment of video where the copter was hovering for a while that looks like a still photo until you notice a tiny movement in some tree limbs. I can't hold any camera still like that!

What most impressed me was that you were willing to take you first flight so close to the water. Very Brave.


Not brave at all! After I finished filming the first segment and turning everything off I sat down in a lawn chair, shaking! I did not manually land until my third flight and then only because I needed to avoid an obstacle that the copter obviously did not see.

The camera only looks like it is over water. The field of view in 90 degrees. I took it pretty high, well, still under 100 feet high since I was in baby mode, and the ground under the copter happened to not show in the footage. I've been reading - there is some kind of spray that can be applied to the electronics to help shield them in the event of a fresh water crash. Apparently a salt water crash is pretty much fatal. There are several designs for circular, styrofoam landing pads that look a lot like flying saucers as well as straight and curved pontoon designs. Problem: the styrofoam must be large enough to displace the weight of the copter. Unfortunately it is usually top heavy. It will be a while before I fly "over" water. I'll waterproof and test some types of flotation device contraptions first. I've already bought a very dense styrofoam circle from a crafts store designed for Christmas wreaths. I'll take it up and see how much of the front will need to be cut out for a clear view and mark that, cut it out, test, etc.

There was not much wind on my first outing. There's always wind at the beach. Chances are flying will be quite different so my opinion on how easy or difficult this is to fly may change. Either way, I absolutely realize there is inherent danger in being careless with it and that it is not a toy.

No where to fly


On my first flight from Atlanta to New York I was astounded to see what looked like solid city between the two. We went to a subdivision that has had little building since the last financial downturn. It just happened to be near water... because in Alabama we have plenty of trees and water!

And for Ron,

I've learned that the AmPen stylus works with both my tablet and the screen on the GH4. I now keep the stylus connected to the camera. The tablet came with its own stylus, so it is always at hand as well.

Too early for me to know about flight time. I expect wind conditions, age of battery, etc., will make a difference. The Standard is said to have a couple more minutes than the Advanced and Pro - those models have more sophisticated features that take more power.

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Re: First QC Flight

Postby momoffduty » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:58 pm

Wonderful flying Paz! Congrats on your QC and what a bargain :mrgreen: You have lovely scenery in your area and expect more videos from you. :-D
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Re: First QC Flight

Postby _Paz_ » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:40 am

Thanks, Mom. Out state motto is: Alabama the Beautiful. While it certainly is not majestic, like California and Montana (the only two western states I've been to), there is a wide diversity here.

>>Bargain

I'm fortunate to have a small income I am using to get my business started. I've been saving for a QC ever since I saw the magnificent things the Shrimpman created with his. Then I got fed up with my camcorder's image quality and blew my money on the GH4... when I saw this I had just enough left to go for it! (Of course, I hunted for bargains on the GH4 too. I bought a 'grey market' version for considerably less (about $400 less) on eBay that came to me from Canada. It has a full warranty - in Canada. Seemed to me that if I had to send it off for repairs that wouldn't be any more difficult. Hopefully someday I'll get caught up with camera equipment so I can splurge on a candy bar or something!
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Re: First QC Flight

Postby Ron Hunter » Sat Dec 12, 2015 2:37 pm

Thanks for all the details Patrice. And please post pix of your tablet setup, I'd love to see that.

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