Which drone to buy for automotive videos

Discussion in 'Aerial Photography and Video Discussion' started by GfcPhotography, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. GfcPhotography New Member

    GfcPhotography

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Hello everyone,

    My name is paul and I am the owner of green fuse, we are an agency which provides professional photography and are looking to invest into a drone for videography of car events including road trips.

    With this said, our budget is up to 8,000$ for a professional drone which will have to have the following.

    1. Battery life of at least 30 min
    2. Speeds of at least 45MPH that can be sustained for up to 15 min minimum
    3. Auto follow feature
    4. Obstacle avoidance
    5. Weather proof

    I don't know what else to ask for but this will be used to shoot moving vehicle at faster speeds and we also shoot real estate so it would be nice to be able to mount our professional canon cameras.

    I appreciate the help as I am just starting to research drones and figured this would be a great place to ask.

    So of our photos.

    Thank you!
    Paul.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. John Doecliff Member

    John Doecliff

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Messages:
    476
    Likes Received:
    98
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Central valley, California
    The DJI Inspire 2 checks a couple of those boxes. Not sure you will get 30 minutes of air time but 20 to 25 is reasonable. It flies faster than 45 and has several follow modes but I'm not sure if they are enabled in sport mode which allows you that high speed. DJI also makes a Matrice 200 series of drone that is waterproof as well and checks many if not all of those boxes but it hasn't been officially released yet. unfortunately you have to go with their cameras and not your own.
     
    Cameraj likes this.
  3. GfcPhotography New Member

    GfcPhotography

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    USA
    Thank you and I see many solutions from DJI, one most important is the ability to use my own Canon Camera.
     
  4. Shaun Stanton Member

    Shaun Stanton

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    1

    Yeah the Inspire 2 will fit the what you want to do. $8000 is basically the minimum of what you need for the full setup, X5S, DNG/Prores Licence, dual op and one set of extra batteries giving you around 40 minutes of total flight time.

    Here is the thing the obstacle avoidance does not work with the sport modes. When doing car follows low and fast even if the obstacle sensors were available they would hose the shot anyway because the sensor may react to the road and stop in its tracks because of the tilt angle. The obstacle avoidance is not a perfect crutch either. Some things it cant discern very well like power lines. You could easily rack right into them. It is speed limited because it needs enough time and distance to rapidly stop, and momentum is factored into that. You really want to learn how to fly it without assistance. GPS is not always available sometimes it glitches, position sensors only work in some areas and you can expect to lose radio signal requiring you to bring it back line of sight. Car shots are very demanding shots if you really are trying to some of the aggressive ones like pursuit vehicle then transition to helicopter. I have done about 100 variations of them now on sets. The auto modes work to certain extent but you are limited. So if you get practice flying well. But I will say the I2 is the best poised system for this work. A good reason newbs crash is because they don't how to handle things when stuff stops working as advertised.

    Ok because you are researching I am assuming you are the greenest novice, not sure how far your research has gone. Just in case you are not aware, you need, or the person who is going to fly needs a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA do this legally under part 107. I wont go into how to do that, I imagine there is plenty of info here all ready. It involves getting a course through like Remotepilot101 or some other vendor and taking a test.

    Also under 107 rules you will need waiver to fly over a moving car under 107.39. Essentially the FAA wants you describe your safety mitigation and operation to an acceptable level, so that they feel comfortable that you are not a complete idiot. Even with this waiver, you can't fly over non consenting people or cars. In most cases you need to have a closed road or ITC. You can possibly do this on a sparsely populated road with visual observers where if a bogie shows up you have to terminate your maneuvering, climb and get out of the road until they are no longer in the path of the drone.

    So know that there is more involved here than just plugging batteries and lugging it into the air.

    Final thoughts, being that you are completely new. I would suggest not pulling the trigger on an $8000 machine. I would recommend a Phantom 4 Pro. The P4Pro does not do 4K raw or Prores it is a one op setup. It does do 24 and 30 FPS 4K to H.265. It is more than capable for 90% of pro work that does not require RAW workflow. The camera has no rolling shutter which is perfect for motion shots. It will be a $500 crash versus a couple thousand to trash an Inspire 2 if you get it wrong.

    So that's my take on it.
     
    Cameraj likes this.
  5. Shaun Stanton Member

    Shaun Stanton

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    1
    That requires you to use a no kidding real rig like either a DJI S1000, M600 or a Freefly Alta 6. You will need an M600 at a minimum if your camera is a c500 or something. No obstacle avoidance and these you really do need to know how to fly these. It will be very stupid to fly one of these without lots and lots of practice.
     
  6. Cameraj Member

    Cameraj

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    18
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Just hire a pro team,
     
    Shaun Stanton likes this.
  7. ChrisRL Member

    ChrisRL

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Agreed. When you're spending upwards of $8k base price for an Alta or similar with a decent gimbal, and then around $220 base price for a pair of batteries (8-12 pairs usually, and they last maybe 300 charges, so at least one new set per year) plus the balanced chargers for them (around $350 per charger with its own power supply unit), and then each prop is $75 minimum, and you have 6-8 props per set, minimum 2 sets, plus the spare parts and maintenance costs, and then a licensed sUAS rPIC, plus VO and gimbal op, and a truck to lug all that around the countryside, let alone radios, waivers, permits, insurance premiums, and the like, that's a decent chunk of change.

    Is it worth it? Heck yeah, if you need footage every day, or even every other day. In this instance, rental costs and freelance labor costs would be very high, much better to buy your own gear and hire your own crew.

    There's a break-even point, though, where freelance rentals become more cost-effective, and that's probably more typical at the beginning of operations rather than further down the line.

    Just be aware that the cost of the drone itself, when it comes to the so-called heavy-lifter side of drones, is just the beginning, just like with every other aircraft, or boat.
     
    Shaun Stanton likes this.
  8. Shaun Stanton Member

    Shaun Stanton

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Couldn't have said it better myself. Plus the other thing, if I had a dime for every time I was considered too expensive and the production thought it would be cheaper to just buy their own system and crash it. Then two weeks later I am getting a forced call from the producer to rehire me for the shot they lost because their A-hole Shtbird did not know what he was doing and racked it. Now not only are you out of a drone and $8000. You have to hire someone to do the reshoot. And your production day which means you wasted money on stunt, crew and other talent plus any permitting such as if the production had to pay things like "Chiefs Overtime," to let off duty cops to close or control the road. That mistake could cost a $25,000 shooting day, plus you are now behind schedule. Then you need to spend another 20k to reshoot. What could have been $20,000 day just turned into $50 or $60k.

    Your analogy of an aircraft or a boat is spot on. You never stop pouring money into these damn things. Especially those batteries. Crap, I have more money in batteries for my Cinestars where I could have bought the Inspire 2 two times over. Plus battery management for those bricks of death are the biggest pain in the neck. Plus like you said with a boat. You buy a heavy lifter, but it is not heavy lifting enough. So that means either spend another few thousand on new motors and props and moded motor mounts, or you just break down and buy the next most expensive rig out there. Plus you buy stuff that does not work as advertised and now you have a worthless dongle in your bin collecting dust. The list can go on and on.

    But I hear the 1 year veteran DJI pilots will chime in, on how easy it is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
    hjls3 and ChrisRL like this.
  9. ChrisRL Member

    ChrisRL

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Lol!! Damn great response, Shaun!!

    And that just goes to prove it's true, folks:

    Comedy = Truth + Pain
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
    Shaun Stanton likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page

...