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Camera Drones & Motorcycles

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by RideFreak, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    If any of you know me you know I make riding videos, lots of them :D. I’m seeing some incredible footage taken from a drone and I’m planning on adding aerial footage to some of my videos. Out in the desert there’s a distinct lack of trees to fly into so I’ve got that going for me.

    The market for these has really opened up in the last year, lots of innovation. The follow me aspect has been a little slower to catch up but from what I can see it’s getting there.

    I wanted to start this thread to discuss filming motorcycles in the dirt with a drone. I’ve seen some of the guys videos on here and I’m really impressed. Any of you want to share your experience with this, good or bad? I just pulled the trigger on one (staaker) and I’m hoping it lives up to the claims which are pretty impressive from what I’m seeing.
    #1
  2. Sleepyc

    Sleepyc ClevelandMoto Podcast, Tune in!

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    I was involved with the drone industry from 2005 - 2014. It's a nasty business. I used to fly 50lb rigs carrying $300K cameras for major movie productions, but now the market is so saturated, I stopped. (Still have a few insanely expensive drones collection dust).

    I'd be a bit leary of the Staaker. The online reviews are so-so and more importantly the company does not have a proven track record.

    I hate to admit this as I personally HATE DJI (As a professional, who to this day owns a Inspire II and Inspire I) but you simply can't beat their smaller rigs. They follow and do all the things the other "sports" drones do, but have MUCH better cameras than a gopro built in ready to go. Also more importantly, Although their CS can be a bit annoying, they do have any and all parts ready to go, and you know in 2 years you will be able to get your drone serviced.

    I helped and watched 20+ "The next greatest" drone companies come and go, and I see a lot of people get stuck with a machine that is no longer supported.

    I honestly think if you paid $750 or more, I'd return it and get a Mavic or even a PIII or P4. Just my 2 cents.

    Here's a few shots of some of my rigs just to prove I'm not an arm chair asshole spouting off... poor suckers are covered in dust and bored...

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.png
    #2
  3. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    I have very little experience with these outside of casual use of DJI / GoPro Karma when traveling. Although, at TomTom we have a few quadrocopter teams that do GIS surveying. We've built many of ours in-house. It's a pretty cool initiative and when you see what highly accurate satellite imagery costs w/ annual refresh rates, the cost of 25 of these is easier to swallow.

    I'm saving my pennies to get the new Mavic Air. I think it's the ultimate evolution of everything pioneered with the Phantom line, great 4K sensors (wish they were a bit higher bit-rate) and the follow me / avoidance technologies from the Mavic Pro in a package not much larger than a spark. I think DJI won the consumer aerial imagery race..lots of pro companies and hobbyists still out there but DJI must have 70% market share of people like me who throw one up in the air 5 times a year for some b-roll.
    #3
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  4. Sleepyc

    Sleepyc ClevelandMoto Podcast, Tune in!

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    I agree. 100%.
    For us pioneers and commercial users the FAA fucked us hard from 2011-2013 (and yes i have a 333 and a part 107 license)
    DJI was the devil, but the devil has produced insane tech and crushed the competition. Buying anything but a DJI (unless your doing govt/covert ops there is Pixhawx for that) is like buying a china bike compared to a BMW or Yamaha.
    #4
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  5. Applecrate

    Applecrate Smell It First

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    I believe GoPro is getting out of the drone business. I've got the Spark. Pretty good. DJI's consumer stuff is great although it is very hard (IMHO) to fly a drone with a smart phone, so I have their controller. Sometimes pairing the thing is buggy. I'm having a hard time finding a place to use it. I think you can't use them in most parks. I could be wrong though.
    #5
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  6. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    I'd been watching AirDog since it was intro'd on Kickstarter, I liked the concept but I'm not too impressed with their final product, pretty short fly time and no free form flying. Controlling from a smartphone is one of the things I was trying to avoid. I'm hoping to launch, select the mode (orbit, follow etc... ) and ride off for awhile, 10min or so with the drone filming. If I can look down at an armband and see the battery usage and make simple position or mode changes I'll be happy if it works as advertised.

    I'll have to report back on how well that works :confused

    The folding drones are small enough to take with you on a big bike ride/trip, any of you guys doing that? Out west we ride in some places that would really make for some great Drone footage.

    [​IMG]
    #6
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  7. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    DJI Mavic Pro Platinum (Fly More Package) or wait for the new DJI Mavic Pro 2 release, rest of most drones is just a waste of $$$$’s in my personal opinion. DJI Mavic Pro (1st,gen) works brilliant for us and the controller / drone fits nicely and secure in one of our Oakley Airbrake Goggle cases carried along in Kriega R15 Backpack with the rest of the gear....

    Perfect Squeeze works great while droning (DJI Mavic Pro) using a RAM-Mount Tough Clamp ~ just sayin'...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    DJI Mavic Air talk here but got no real “hands on” experience with the DJI Mavic Air...
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/the-dji-mavic-air-thread.1280488/
    #7
  8. SAM13

    SAM13 Been here awhile Supporter

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    What I know about drones will fill a thimble.....

    So here’s my thimble....... my stepson did a lot if research and determined, in his mind, that the DJI were the best. He bought a Spark and it collapses nicely into a small package and would be easy to carry when riding. I have had mixed results getting it to connect with my cell phone but again, you don’t have to have a separate controller, so less gear.
    I recently saw a review of a new following drone, the Skydio R1, on the mountain bike forum, many more sensors and a true following ability, set and forget, but costlier.
    Please keep in mind many people, myself included, dislike seeing drones when out in the middle of nowhere so discretion is needed when flying them.
    #8
  9. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    Something mounted to the bars is what I'm really trying to avoid and the main reason I've waiting until now on purchasing a drone. Gloves suck with a cell phone screen so you pretty much have to take them off or use a conventional controller. I get what your saying though, DJI has taken the technology much further then any of the other manufacturers and all that capability packed into the Mavic necessitates a more complex controller and makes for a very versatile platform. If they would have offered a simple optional controller like a wrist band I would own one now, I'll be surprised if it's not already in the works at DJI, to me it's the drone's only real drawback. There's allot of advantages to a simple glove friendly controller when your filming from a bike.
    #9
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  10. SAM13

    SAM13 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Check out that Skydio, I think it has a wristband but its costlier, the videos on the website explain it. If I was from a younger generation I’d probably know how to post the link. It shows the drone following mountain bikers, hands free, through trees on a trail and staying focused on the biker.
    #10
  11. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    SKYDIO R1 DRONE ~ interesting but its the internet and websites promoting a product, all looks so nice and easy, lots of hard earned $$$'s for a yet "unknown" drone by https://www.skydio.com

    Skydio R1 Drone, lets hope they do not go the GoPro Karma (drone) route as the even the GoPro Karma Grip was a total waste of money, time and energy ~ yes, we own a Karma Grip and very-very unreliable...



    Not affiliated with DJI in any form or get sponsorship but the DJI products perform extremely well and reliable with a great customer service from our experience really looking forward to test out the new DJI Ronin-S gimbal stabiliser once available as delayed release...
    #11
  12. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    The Staaker was delivered today. Before this afternoon I'd never touched a drone before. Unpacked it, checked the battery levels and headed out to the desert to try it out. Easy to setup, it takes about 2 min to unpack it and sync the 2 GPSs and take off. Auto lift off and landing, select a mode and hit go. Keep in mind, I've never flown a drone before and this video is literally right out of the box.


    I'm pretty stoked about it. It's exactly what I wanted, autonomous operation for filming motorcycles. It won't follow me in the woods but the desert is out my back door, perfect for filming with a drone. It has some trouble with orbiting a moving target at speed but there's some settings I've yet to try.
    #12
  13. Kenstogie

    Kenstogie Adventurer

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    maybe i am late to this thread but i ahve been doing the rc thing for 13plus and drones specifically for a decade.....for consumer drones the mavic is the gold standard imho.....no its not pro cinema but its pretty close...... plus it's fairly portable too.


    to give you an idea....i have set up my mavic to autonomously fly the perimeter of my 15 acre property that is a 15 sided polygon (you do need litchi for that though)...it does have a follow me mode but i am not versed in that.....


    cool vid btw...dig the pf
    #13
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  14. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    I probably should have elaborated better, I started the thread because I was interested in drones as they relate to filming motorcycles. Discussion on carrying a drone along and getting some decent footage while out on a ride, that kind of stuff. That pretty much narrows it down to the highly portable units that fold up. I can't imagine carrying a big case along for something like a Phantom when riding the motorcycle but some guys do it.
    #14
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  15. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer Supporter

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    Very impressive!
    #15
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  16. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    LOL Gopro is just getting out of business. The original company mantra of buying cheap outdated tech crap, selling it at a huge premium, and marketing the crap out of it is over. Consumers have opened their eyes. A good reason the Karma was such a huge failure besides the obvious fact most of them fell out of the sky causing a huge recall, the camera's themselves couldn't match the Mavic Pro's in IQ and performance. Gopro is desperately trying to find a buyer before they end up declaring bankruptcy. Their stock is less than $5 a share right now, compare that to back in 2014 when it was almost $100.
    #16
  17. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Yup, the Phantoms are way too big for what you are looking at. Mavic/Pro/air is definitely the route to go. I'm going back and forth about to pull the trigger on one of those myself. Waiting to see what the new Mavic Pro 2 is going to bring to the table when it releases here shortly. At the very least, it should push the price of the Mavic Pro's down.

    The controllers on the Pro's are better than the Air's, but if a lot of your flying is going to be in follow me mode, then that shouldn't be a big deal. The flight time on the Air is a few minutes shorter. The Pro uses a better wireless synching method than the Air, but once again, if you're doing follow me mostly that really won't matter. The one difference that would make me lean a little more to the Pro over the Air is the camera on the Pro seems to have sharper IQ. The Air is currently cheaper than the Pro. And of course the Air is a little more compact than the Pro. Both units have about the same top speed, both use the same controller app.

    Not sure how much that helps. I realize I'm only throwing out the DJI's, but I'm not considering anything else for myself either.
    #17
  18. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Oops, should have read a little further down. Guess you already bought a drone. :lol2
    #18
  19. Applecrate

    Applecrate Smell It First

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    If anyone is interested in the latest Follow-Me tech, the Skydio R1 is pretty sweet. It has thirteen cameras that allow it to avoid obstacles that will drop every other drone.

    It can be used in trees, on trails, etc. Problem is it is not real portable; it will lose you if you exceed 35 miles an hour.

    Oh, and it's $2,500 right now.

    Regardless, this is the next generation in drone tech.

    https://www.skydio.com/product/
    #19
  20. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    That was a little pricy for me.

    So is anyone carrying one along on rides to get video? Any filming of that nature is going to change the dynamic of the ride some. The highly portable drones with follow tech are making this a much easier option compared to a few years ago.
    #20