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Old 18th May 2017, 16:39   #121
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Originally Posted by Byron C View Post
Ah I see, thanks for the clarification.

Part of the point of building this hexacopter is to get into aerial photography - hence the larger frame, so I can carry more payload than just a little mini-camera. It'd be quite a lot cheaper to build something like a 250-sized frame and get up & running quickly.

That's some fantastic footage by the way; it really highlights why you'd want to spend 1K+ on an aerial photography quad when you do this stuff for a living! I'd love to do it professionally but obviously I'd need a lot more experience! And getting the PfCO in the first place is awfully expensive for someone who isn't in the business!
The PfCO courses are a little bit cheaper than when I took mine but they are still pretty expensive definitely. For someone starting out, doing property shots or similar work, you can easily do that with a Phantom 3 or 4. For video work, the Inspire 1 & 2 are better options, but even they have their limitations. The Inspire 2 with the X5S camera is over 6000 so for that kind of layout you have to know you've got or have a realistic enough prospect of getting enough work to be recouping that investment. I'm looking at building a drone that will carry a DLSR or even a professional video camera, such as the RED Weapon, the cost of the drone with the gimbal and everything I'd need is a massive investment for me but the work I've got on the books and the additional types of work I could carry out justifies it.

A couple of points I'd mention to anyone considering going down the same route I did.

The NQE's (National Qualifying Entities, the training providers) that are selling the courses are making out work is easy to pick up once you've gained your PfCO. It really isn't, it's competitive and and it's only getting more competitive as more people are qualifying. You have to make yourself stand out from the crowd somehow.

Also a lot of people don't appreciate the amount of work that goes into flying drones commercially and they undervalue the service massively. You have to carry out a pre-deployment survey, onsite survey, risk assessment and then carry out the flights, so you are spending a lot more time doing admin than actually flying. Because some clients don't see or understand the admin side of it they think what is really a full day's job is actually a 10 minute thing and expect prices to reflect that wrong assumption.

That did sound negative but it's not all bad, when you get a decent day of flying in some cool locations, the rewards most definitely outweigh the negatives. I love being outdoors and my work lets me do that, I love photography and I love flying drones so I wouldn't be doing anything else now. If you're interested, go for it, just be aware of the rough and smooth to the job

In terms of experience, I think knowledge of cameras and video work is essential and that's where some commercial drone operators fall down. The drone is a tool to get the camera in places previously you couldn't or it would have been cost prohibitive. If you don't know how to get the best out of your camera equipment then it's always going to be a struggle. With the Inspire I operate with a professional photographer on some of the commercial tasks we undertake. He tells me where to put the drone and he takes care of the camera and gimbal via the other controller. Most of the work I do requires smooth and steady movements with the drone, so you don't need to be pulling Top Gun-esque manoeuvres. Even on the flight assessment, you just have to show basic competency flying skills. The safety procedures are as important.
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Old 18th May 2017, 18:08   #122
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That's kinda what I mean about expense: when you're making a living doing this stuff, a 6000 quad is justifiable - and so is the PfCO for that matter - if you know you can recover that investment. Funny thing I was looking at DSLR rigs earlier, purely out of curiosity. That kind of flying camera rig is getting well into "serious ****" territory - I think flying a 550mm hexacopter will be hair-raising enough, I can't even imagine flying a 900-1000mm octacopter frame with a pro-grade Red or DSLR camera hanging off it! That's a lot of money to lose on a bad landing!

I'm not really entertaining the idea of quitting my job to do aerial photography full-time. It would be awesome, but it's not exactly a realistic career move at this point . At the moment this is just a hobby; I've always enjoyed photography and hanging a camera from a flying platform is a great way to explore that. I'm kinda getting the hang of flying a twitchy little quad so I think it's time for an upgrade. (Though the twitchy little quad will still stick around, because I can safely chuck that about without fear of breaking something expensive! The worst I've ever done to it - besides grinding the odd prop - is snap an arm.)
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Old 20th May 2017, 15:15   #123
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got bored and did a thing.....



couple of things to note. Its a bit nippy for a 90mm quad and the cheap kingkong props are as soft as cheese. Pull a 90deg yaw and they flex that much they hit the frame and break. Have to get something different.
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Old 20th May 2017, 15:24   #124
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That looked spot on that, the audio brought back some great memories too
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Old 20th May 2017, 23:26   #125
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All of my parts have now been delivered... except for the frame kit, the most important bit!

Damn frustrating, hope it isn't on the slow boat from China!
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Old Yesterday, 14:44   #126
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Got myself a tiny Hubsan Q4 H111 nano. No FPV but it's surprisingly good fun and plenty good enough for me to practice with.

I'm keeping in beginner mode for now which locks the left stick to throttle only (no yaw) but the brief spell I had in intermediate mode was great fun if a bit hectic - it's a very nippy and agile little bugger!

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Old Yesterday, 14:59   #127
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Picked up another set of Steele motors this week for cheap and another F4 fc for my spare LoFlo frame. been umming and ahhhhing on the esc situation and decided to pull the trigger on these...



Wraith_32 escs. A new generation of esc on the market and run the new Blheli protocol.. Blheli_32. I will be able to run Dshot1200 and all sorts of digital tomfoolery as Blheli_32matures.
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