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Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:40 PM
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BenHayat's Avatar
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Hi guys;
There are a lot of experienced guys here and I have a question for you all. My question isn't about being cheap, but more of economics.

For the package that, this phantom offers, meaning all the parts including the Naza/GPS and radio are pretty much made for this package and cannot be used with other quads, since they're very integrated.

So my question is, do you feel $680 is a reasonable price for this package when you can't even use the any parts of it with another Multi?
Is this a good investment or is it more of a throw away after you learn how to fly?

Thoughts???
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:01 PM
DJI Support
Las Vegas/Lake Tahoe
Joined Feb 2010
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I tested one of the preproduction units. If I can, I want to keep it. It is a blast to fly, simple to transport and a good point and shoot video platform. It also gets a lot of attention when I take it to the field. I have a F330, F450 FPV and a S800 with ZenMuse, DataLink, iOSD and Video Link. I still like taking it out. Value is another aspect that only the user can define. For most, the Phantom will be all they will ever want. For others, it would be better to get a Dx7 or 8 or a Futaba 8ch, a F450 ARF, some lipos and a charger. In the end that set up will take them further. However, it will cost a lot more in the beginning.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:26 PM
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BenHayat's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tahoe Ed View Post
For most, the Phantom will be all they will ever want. For others, it would be better to get a Dx7 or 8 or a Futaba 8ch, a F450 ARF, some lipos and a charger. In the end that set up will take them further. However, it will cost a lot more in the beginning.
That's what I'm trying to put down. Dollar & sense.

ED, for FPV, do you prefer quad or Hexa?
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:30 PM
'FPV'er...not a "LOS'er
Vantasstic's Avatar
Las Vegas, NV
Joined Sep 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenHayat View Post
Hi guys;
There are a lot of experienced guys here and I have a question for you all. My question isn't about being cheap, but more of economics.

For the package that, this phantom offers, meaning all the parts including the Naza/GPS and radio are pretty much made for this package and cannot be used with other quads, since they're very integrated.

So my question is, do you feel $680 is a reasonable price for this package when you can't even use the any parts of it with another Multi?
Is this a good investment or is it more of a throw away after you learn how to fly?

Thoughts???
That's all subjective. You can get a F330 frame for ~$30, four cheap...errr...frugal chinese motors for <$40, four ESCs for ~$40, some 8" props for ~$1 each, and a multiwii controller for ~$20-$30. So for less thatn $150 and your own radio system you can have a 'similar' size quad...just not as stylish.

To me the Phantom is a neat looking, more stylish type system, that comes RTF for someone who's starting out. The Naza w/GPS is ~$400 of the price for Phantom. If the motors are the same as the other DJI 920kv motors then add another ~$100 for a set. The rest is a neat looking frame with tall legs and camera mount. So in all, I think you're getting your money's work with what IS useable elsewhere (motors, controller, etc).

Personally I doubt I'd ever buy a Phantom RTF as I have enough of my own equipment already. I'd be more tempted to buy one if they sold it frame only and I'd add my own parts too. I certainly look forward to seeing one in person one day.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenHayat View Post
That's what I'm trying to put down. Dollar & sense.

ED, for FPV, do you prefer quad or Hexa?
My F450 is my favorite FPV rig. I had a Discovery and sold it. It was not me. A lot of people like them though. I had a F550 that was set up for FPV briefly but it was nothing special in my opinion.

The F330 would be a nice compact FPV quad but it is tight just putting a Naza with GPS on it. RTRyder did it and likes it but man it is tight. I think that he had to put his video antenna on a very long mast.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Vantasstic View Post
I certainly look forward to seeing one in person one day.
All you have to do is call me.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:42 PM
'FPV'er...not a "LOS'er
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Originally Posted by Tahoe Ed View Post
All you have to do is call me.
What do you want me to call you? All kidding aside, yeah, it's been a while since we've flown together. I'm in the process of changing FPV frames. Once I get things sorted out with it we might have to hook up somewhere. Don't let me fly it though...'specially if there's any light post near by!!!
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:44 PM
FPVpilots do it remotely
United States, CA, West Hollywood
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@Vantasstic Good value breakdown. I was about to pick up a NASA+GPS for my current quad, but figured the RTF box looked cool.

Can't wait to get my paws on it.
Got a Fatshark kit ready to stick on with some double side tape when its out of the box.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:47 PM
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When you have time. I am flying tomorrow in the morning if the wind is not up. S800 time and my 550 heli. Have fun changing frames. Off to Tahoe on Thursday. Taking the Phantom with me on the plane along with my GP3 Black. Let me know when you want to have some fun.

P.S. Do you know where I an get some Copper Foil Tape?
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:54 PM
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i'll put my 2 cents in i guess.... i just maidened my DJI F550 w/naza and gps today and i'm in LUUUUUV! i popped my gopro on there in it's case + 2 x 3s 4000's and the thing just shrugged and said 'give me more!'

though i'll admit the phantom could be an attractive starter RTF for someone that's not as stubborn as me (ie. if i don't nearly bleed to death building it, it's not worth it)
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Vantasstic View Post
I'd be more tempted to buy one if they sold it frame only and I'd add my own parts too. I certainly look forward to seeing one in person one day.
I really like this idea, but then it makes it harder to add the stock Naza & GPS to it.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BenHayat View Post

So my question is, do you feel $680 is a reasonable price for this package when you can't even use the any parts of it with another Multi?
Is this a good investment or is it more of a throw away after you learn how to fly?

Thoughts???
These are all strictly my opinions on the subject.

I agree with Tahoe Ed that there is no easy, packaged answer to your question. Try asking yourself some questions. What is your ultimate goal with a multi-rotor? Do you want to do gimbaled photography? Do you want to do FPV? Does acrobatics interest you? Do you want to experiment with a variety of cameras? Do you want to experiment with longer flight times by using various combinations of lipos? Do you want to do pre-planned multi-point flying using way stations? Do you want experiment with telemetry? I would say that if any of these is an ultimate goal for the next year, the Phantom is not for you. You would be better off starting with either Flame Wheel 450 ARF or 550 ARF and going from there.

The Flame Wheel products require you to buy both a full featured, seven or eight channel transmitter and receiver. I would suggest Spektrum products but there are others. You will have to buy the Naza/GPS. You will have to buy a few lipos and an adequate charger station. That will get you started. You will want to decide on what camera to start off with. Go Pro is a popular choice. You will want to decide on a camera mounting system and probably landing gear. Later on, you will be able to look at FPV equipment, way point systems, and telemetry. The big advantage would be that your base system would stay with you and advance as you advance. Your transmitter can be used with any Spektrum based aircraft. I have one transmitter that supports 13 aircraft.

The Flame Wheel aircraft are designed to support upgrading. This upgrading is supported by DJI and other manufacturers. The Phantom is provided as a finished, RTF product. In my opinion, the Phantom is an excellent “starting point” multi-rotor designed to ladder you into more sophisticated and expandable aircraft. If you plan to spend 12 to 18 months learning multi rotors and aerial photography, look at the Phantom.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 11:08 PM
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BenHayat's Avatar
United States
Joined Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by Stumblebee View Post
These are all strictly my opinions on the subject.

I agree with Tahoe Ed that there is no easy, packaged answer to your question. Try asking yourself some questions. What is your ultimate goal with a multi-rotor? Do you want to do gimbaled photography? Do you want to do FPV? Does acrobatics interest you? Do you want to experiment with a variety of cameras? Do you want to experiment with longer flight times by using various combinations of lipos? Do you want to do pre-planned multi-point flying using way stations? Do you want experiment with telemetry? I would say that if any of these is an ultimate goal for the next year, the Phantom is not for you. You would be better off starting with either Flame Wheel 450 ARF or 550 ARF and going from there.

The Flame Wheel products require you to buy both a full featured, seven or eight channel transmitter and receiver. I would suggest Spektrum products but there are others. You will have to buy the Naza/GPS. You will have to buy a few lipos and an adequate charger station. That will get you started. You will want to decide on what camera to start off with. Go Pro is a popular choice. You will want to decide on a camera mounting system and probably landing gear. Later on, you will be able to look at FPV equipment, way point systems, and telemetry. The big advantage would be that your base system would stay with you and advance as you advance. Your transmitter can be used with any Spektrum based aircraft. I have one transmitter that supports 13 aircraft.

The Flame Wheel aircraft are designed to support upgrading. This upgrading is supported by DJI and other manufacturers. The Phantom is provided as a finished, RTF product. In my opinion, the Phantom is an excellent “starting point” multi-rotor designed to ladder you into more sophisticated and expandable aircraft. If you plan to spend 12 to 18 months learning multi rotors and aerial photography, look at the Phantom.
Ok, you really covered a lot of things that I did not ask and wanted to ask. Firstly thank you for your time and great info, and thank you for saving me the time to ask them. I got confused with you last comment:
If you plan to spend 12 to 18 months learning multi rotors and aerial photography, look at the Phantom.
Can you elaborate?
Secondly going down the path of FPV [first] and Arial photography and smooth flying, do you think it's best to start with F450 or F550? Should I just get the frame and buy top end motors and ESC to start with?
Thank you again.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 11:18 PM
'FPV'er...not a "LOS'er
Vantasstic's Avatar
Las Vegas, NV
Joined Sep 2003
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Originally Posted by BenHayat View Post
Ok, you really covered a lot of things that I did not ask and wanted to ask. Firstly thank you for your time and great info, and thank you for saving me the time to ask them. I got confused with you last comment:
If you plan to spend 12 to 18 months learning multi rotors and aerial photography, look at the Phantom.
Can you elaborate?
Secondly going down the path of FPV [first] and Arial photography and smooth flying, do you think it's best to start with F450 or F550? Should I just get the frame and buy top end motors and ESC to start with?
Thank you again.
If you're starting off, the Naza/GPS combo is probably the easiest system to set up and it works great. I had a F550 frame...sold it. I'd say stick with a quad (or tri is better for FPV...but Naza doesn't support tri's). The F450 isn't bad, but you'll break arms along the way...so buy spares...and they're pretty inexpensive so might as well buy a full set of spare arms. I probably flew my multi's for a year or two before I became pretty comfortable with it. That was back in the day of gyro only controllers that cost more and did little. Your success rate today is much higher and the Naza is a real game changer in ease of use, good performance, and low learning curve.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 11:32 PM
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BenHayat's Avatar
United States
Joined Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vantasstic View Post
If you're starting off, the Naza/GPS combo is probably the easiest system to set up and it works great. I had a F550 frame...sold it. I'd say stick with a quad (or tri is better for FPV...but Naza doesn't support tri's). The F450 isn't bad, but you'll break arms along the way...so buy spares...and they're pretty inexpensive so might as well buy a full set of spare arms. I probably flew my multi's for a year or two before I became pretty comfortable with it. That was back in the day of gyro only controllers that cost more and did little. Your success rate today is much higher and the Naza is a real game changer in ease of use, good performance, and low learning curve.
Thank you for your direct suggestions.
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