Upgrade Strategy

Please excuse this ramble, as I am trying to clear my brain somewhat.

I have been flying a Mavic Pro for about 6 months, weather willing, and am enjoying the new way of taking photos and learning new skills.

One of my friends that introduced me to drones is a working photographer, and is looking to add aerial photos and video to his repertoire.

His Mavic Air has died, and we are thinking about getting a drone each that can compliment each other and can do tandem control.

We worked together on a non commercial project in January, and a 2 person setup was very productive all round.

The obvious setup would be a pair of M2Ps, or one and an M2Z. I think going Inspire will be too hard core and too bulky for using them recreationally.

One other possibility has crept into my consciousness and won’t go away, is the Yuneec Typhoon H Plus or forthcoming(?) H3.

They don’t seem to be half as well established as DJI, but the H Plus has interchangeable cameras like an Inspire.

One other aspect is my work, which involves property management, and ability to have a thermal camera at some point would be great, especially if it didn’t involve buying a second drone.

I did wonder if an M2P and M2E Dual would buddy up, but don’t think they have compatible controllers.

Some rational thoughts and guidance for this medium term strategy would be appreciated.

Typhoon H should be given serious consideration. Handles windy conditions well, several camera options and in “Team” mode you can bind two ST16 controllers allowing the pilot to concentrate on flying while the camera man has full control of the camera and a decent size built in touch screen to set up the required shots/video.

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I looked at Yuneec and was a member of the Yuneec Pilots forum until recently. They seem to do much of what DJI does but not so seamlessly. Inspire 1 aircraft are relatively cheap - barebones they aren’t a bargain but you can pick up a decent outfit - aircraft, two controllers, X5 camera and lens(es) around the grand to £1500 mark. Be sure to get a fecent number of batteries. In my experience the T47 is good for a realistic 8 minutes before landing at 30%, the T48 12-13 minutes.

The benefit of two controllers is that one person can concentrate on looking at and flying the aircraft, the other can speed all their time operating the camera and looking at the screen. And yes - they are bulky.

But that gives you a quality micro four thirds sensor and a range of lenses - the standard is 15mm but lenses from 12 to 45 mm are recommended - in “real” terms - 35mm equivalent its from 24mm wide to moderate tele 90mm.

Keep the MP and invest in an M2P or even anoter MP if the spec is stillacceptable, they are a lot cheaper than the M2.

That’s my opinion. You will get a lot of different ones. So it goes :slight_smile:


For me, one big advantage of flying a Hexacopter is the fact that you will still be able to get your drone back safely in the event of a motor/propeller failure.


It’s good to know that there are various options that would work for us.

@SeaHunter, nice to hear from a Typhoon owner and that they can be teamed up as I had suspected.

I still have an irrational attraction to something bigger than a Mavic, so will need a smaller drone for travelling or recreation if I go that way.

I’m not sure how a Typhoon H or Inspire will be received down at the beach as both have a slightly menacing insect look.

Especially so with the, (I want some…), retractable landing gear and may frighten the locals!

That said, I can see that either of those big boys with a 1" or bigger camera is going to look more professional when doing serious work.

My friend has done some aerial work in the past on a large extendable pole rig he has on loan, and would be happy to not have to wheel it out for those.

I am happy develop my skills with the MP and graduate to something with a better camera, as I’m finding the images noisy in lower light situations at either end of the day.

Looking at the Inspire, a 2 would be out of reach, once properly equipped. The double battery and separate FPV camera for the pilot are appealing, but I should walk before I start running and tripping up.

Some sort of v1, (slightly confused with all the variants!), especially with an X5 MFT camera would be fine at the budget suggested above @macspite .

Having a background in photography, it’s amusing to see the high end camera names being wheeled out for helping make better cameras.

Hasselblad makes sense for DJI as they pretty much own the company; Leica seem to be happy to put their name to all sorts of collaborations - Huawei phones with Leica cameras anyone?.
I assume this is in return for the right kind of money coming their way.

All the early Leica digital cameras were re engineered Panasonic models, and I’d say they must still be getting help as they are a relatively small company.

It’s interesting the the X5 and X7 seem to be ‘pure’ DJI with no apparent tie in with a camera or lens maker.

The X5 uses a specific set of MFT lenses, and the X7 lenses have been custom made for the APS C format sensor.

Maybe they’re using the same company that make the Hasselblad X camera lenses, as there’s sadly no tie in with Carl Zeiss any more.

Just watched this newly released Typhoon H3 low light video tonight, and it looked good.

It would have to be better established and reviewed before jumping in. No mention of it on Yuneec UK, but it seems to list at 2500€ as a basic kit on the European site.

Lots of potential, just need to see what we can sort between us and how much work is likely to come in once we’re trained properly.

We both have day jobs, so this would be a second string and not have to be fully commercial.

I know that pro photography is fickle enough, and this wouldn’t be viable as a main day job howber interesting or fun it may be.

Thanks, and keep those ideas rolling in guys

So, I went on ebay to see how horrifically expensive an Inspire 1 might be…gotta be £1,500 with an X5, so not in reach.

There is an Inspire 1 Pro with X5, 15mm lens, 5 batteries and 2 controllers on now at £899 with no bids yet.

I know it’s a bit more specialised, but I couldn’t get a used M2P for that FFS! :crazy_face:

I so don’t need it yet, but what a bit of kit! Top notch photo and cinematic video for a (potentially) surprisingly affordable amount.

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I have that one on my watch list. 4 of the batteries are TB48 which give extended flight times. There are 10 props and 4 carbon fibre spares. A good set of ND filters and a second case. The original case requires the aircraft to be placed in travel mode - a sort of Grand Old Duke of York neither up nor down state in order to pack away. The second case allows you to pick it up with landing gear eaxtended , remove the quick release props and plonk it in the case. The case also has shoulder straps which means it is easier to take the Inspire out into the country away from the car. Case is worth £150 alone.

I’ve just spent out on such a case and don’t have £900 so I’m watching the auction (and others) to decide what kind of outfit to put together with my spare inspires and how to price it. If the price doesn’t rise on that one it is a bargain!

Good luck if you bid

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