Picked up a drone

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Picked up a drone

Postby Admin » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:20 pm

Looking for more interesting camera angles for outdoor adventure photos and video, I picked up my first aerial camera today: a DJI Mavic Pro drone. 4K video/12MP stills, a 4.3-mile range, 1600-foot altitude, speeds up to 40 mph and 27-minute flight time per battery.

I went to see Tcope this afternoon for a little flight instruction in Sandy, Utah, before returning home to Cottonwood Heights for another flight on my own. I was testing the camera, and put together a test edit of the video below. Be sure to choose 4K resolution if your connection can handle it, although you have to click through to watch it you YouTube to get full screen [EDIT: fixed that]. This was more of an experiment with my new drone and the Cyberlink PowerDirector editing software than anything else.



It's an understandable pity that most ski areas won't allow drone use (can you imagine the fiasco if they did?), but I'm certain that this will find its way into the backcountry at some point this winter.
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby berkshireskier » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:18 pm

Admin wrote:Looking for more interesting camera angles for outdoor adventure photos and video, I picked up my first aerial camera today: a DJI Mavic Pro drone. 4K video/12MP stills, a 4.3-mile range, 1600-foot altitude, speeds up to 40 mph and 27-minute flight time per battery.

I went to see Tcope this afternoon for a little flight instruction in Sandy, Utah, before returning home to Cottonwood Heights for another flight on my own. I was testing the camera, and put together a test edit of the video below. Be sure to choose 4K resolution if your connection can handle it, although you have to click through to watch it you YouTube to get full screen. This was more of an experiment with my new drone and the Cyberlink PowerDirector editing software than anything else.



It's an understandable pity that most ski areas won't allow drone use (can you imagine the fiasco if they did?), but I'm certain that this will find its way into the backcountry at some point this winter.


Thanks for posting ! I love these drone videos. I think the drone technology is one of the coolest inventions of the last 20 years or so. Please don't crash it....... I know they're not cheap and I guess you cannot get insurance coverage on them?

I assume ski areas won't let you use them because of potential liability if a wayward drone crashes into a skier or hits one of the lifts? It's too bad because I'm sure you could get some incredible video during the winter.
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby Admin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:03 pm

berkshireskier wrote:Please don't crash it....... I know they're not cheap and I guess you cannot get insurance coverage on them?


Actually you can. State Farm offers first-party property coverage without deductible as a stand-alone drone policy for $60 per year per $1,000 policy limit, replacement cost. I emailed a State Farm agent today but haven't yet heard back.

berkshireskier wrote:I assume ski areas won't let you use them because of potential liability if a wayward drone crashes into a skier or hits one of the lifts?


Bingo.
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby Marc_C » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:16 pm

berkshireskier wrote:I assume ski areas won't let you use them because of potential liability if a wayward drone crashes into a skier or hits one of the lifts?

Even professionals manage to crash them:
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby Admin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:17 pm

Beyond that, look at all of the skittles buzzing around the slopes with a GoPro. Now imagine if they had drones instead...
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby jasoncapecod » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:04 am

Drones are definitely cool
But imo their footage is best used for establishing shots and some filler... 5 mins of drone footage can become boring..
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby jamesdeluxe » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:21 am

Marc_C wrote:Even professionals manage to crash them:

I love that clip. It falls like an ACME anvil from the Wile E. Coyote toons.
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby Admin » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:14 am

jasoncapecod wrote:Drones are definitely cool
But imo their footage is best used for establishing shots and some filler... 5 mins of drone footage can become boring..


I wholeheartedly agree. This was more of a test and experiment than anything else.
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby berkshireskier » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:13 pm

Admin wrote:
berkshireskier wrote:Please don't crash it....... I know they're not cheap and I guess you cannot get insurance coverage on them?


Actually you can. State Farm offers first-party property coverage without deductible as a stand-alone drone policy for $60 per year per $1,000 policy limit, replacement cost. I emailed a State Farm agent today but haven't yet heard back.

berkshireskier wrote:I assume ski areas won't let you use them because of potential liability if a wayward drone crashes into a skier or hits one of the lifts?


Bingo.

That sounds like a good deal for the insurance, assuming there is no "fine print" if there is a claim. I guess people don't crash them as often as I would have guessed.
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby Evren » Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:02 pm

Admin wrote:Beyond that, look at all of the skittles buzzing around the slopes with a GoPro. Now imagine if they had drones instead...


I can't imagine. Park Service banned these nuisances early on and rightly so. Right now, you can step aside from the selfie-mad tourists and enjoy any of the iconic vistas in S Utah in relative peace and quiet. With drones, you would have constant buzzing in your ear unless you get a backcountry permit.

And same with skiing. That moment when you bootpack to the top of the hill and take in the moment and the grandeur of your surroundings (sometimes only a moment, lest anyone poach your line) instead would be filled with the buzz of drones launching. Ditto as you carve through fresh powder with just a muted whoosh.

I would hate that. Wouldn't you?
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby EMSC » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:22 pm

Evren wrote:And same with skiing. That moment when you bootpack to the top of the hill and take in the moment and the grandeur of your surroundings (sometimes only a moment, lest anyone poach your line) instead would be filled with the buzz of drones launching. Ditto as you carve through fresh powder with just a muted whoosh.

I would hate that. Wouldn't you?


This is where it is just on the edge of getting much better technology wise. The Mavic Pro that Marc got is already much quieter than you are probably used to hearing from 'full sized' consumer drones, and DJI just released a new version of the Mavic that is much quieter yet. Probably not quiet enough, but dramatically less noisy. It'll be interesting to see just how much softer the prop's can get over the next few years.

I have a big Xiro drone I picked up crazy cheap (less than $350 including 3 axis gimbal, 2 batteries, backpack, etc...). I just couldn't justify the price tag of a Mavic.... yet. Lots of fun to fly. I even have footage from near Abasin that I have yet to do anything with. Someday I'll stop the biz travel and have the time (back on a jet plane about 40 hours from now).
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby Evren » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:13 pm

I would hope so. Same thing happened with Jetskis (and snowmobiles?) but not before years of annoying beachgoers where I was at the time in Chicago. I might be over-sensitive but given how things are regulated to death in every other realm, don't understand how excessive noise is usually given a pass. Take Harleys, the worst offenders. With drones and jetskis, the noise is an unintended byproduct. Not so with those hogs whose owners paid extra money just so they could annoy people. How are those things allowed in our canyons and parks and Main Streets? Put a muffler on it.
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby Admin » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:16 am

The NPS blanket ban is heavy-handed, IMO, and I thought so long before I considered buying one. They should be restricted in the heavily used areas; however, in places like the Maze or Needles Districts of Canyonlands, for example, it's unlikely that there would be anyone else around to hear it.

The new Mavic Platinum that EMSC refers to uses different motor components and props for a 4 dB decrease in noise. When you consider that a 6 dB sound difference is double to the human ear, that's quite a difference. It's still on pre-order, which is why I didn't consider it. However, once released I'll be able to upgrade my props for $10-20 to the new ones and still get a 2 dB reduction, which is still a decent amount -- as the scale is logarithmic I'd guess about a 20% reduction.
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby Marc_C » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:43 pm

Admin wrote:...however, in places like the Maze or Needles Districts of Canyonlands, for example, it's unlikely that there would be anyone else around to hear it.

Perhaps with the Maze, although there are definitely areas of potential population (you know where), but you might be surprised at how many people are in the Needles, particularly on a weekend, particularly at the Joint Trail, in Chessler Park, at and on the trail to the confluence overlook, and a few other spots. Consider that last year the NPS instituted a day trip vehicle & bicycle permit system for Elephant Hill similar to the one for the White Rim, with a hard daily limit on the number of permits. I once bailed on an E-Hill day trip because of the lack of driving skill in the 4 vehicles in front of us. It would have taken forever.

Admin wrote: When you consider that a 6 dB sound difference is double to the human ear, that's quite a difference.

A 6dB difference is a doubling of the SPL, but thanks to psychoacoustics, we need about a 10dB difference to experience a doubling of perceived loudness.
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Re: Picked up a drone

Postby Evren » Wed Sep 20, 2017 3:51 pm

Just now got an ad for DJI drones in my facebook feed. Lately, it has been kinda spooky. I buy something at Smith's, there is an ad for a similar item on fb; I eat at a hamburger joint -- bam, ad for their competitor. This, despite having restricted fb's access as much as I could (or so I thought): no location access, no access at other sites I visit, etc.

I might have clicked through to this story from fb but the rest make me suspect they buy access to credit card data. Which I thought they couldn't?
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