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Apr 05, 2020, 03:42 PM
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Newbie looking for advice on drone purchase


Hello all,

I purchased an A.R. Parrot Drone about 7-8 years ago and had a little bit of fun with it with my kids. That's about the extent of my drone experience and haven't even flown that in at least 4-5 years. I went to get it out to use for a couple things and can't find the battery or charger at this point. I started to look at getting another battery and charger, but then thought why spend the money bringing an old drone back to life. Might as well look at one of the new drones as I'm sure they are leaps and bounds ahead of what drones were back then.

I'd like to use it to get some good pictures and video from altitude and other areas I wouldn't be able to get footage from otherwise. If safe, and when I feel confident in my abilities flying this drone, I'd like to get some pictures and video of my kids wake surfing behind our boat (the boat only goes about 10-11 mph while wake surfing)

Budget would be under $500 all in. I see a lot of hype around the DJI Mavic Mini. I'm just wondering if that's a bit much for me being a newbie. Would I be able to fly and control this easily?

Some of the things I'd look for:
Decent flying time
Ease of flying
Good picture and video quality
Confidence flying over water
Little chance of losing the drone (if I were to lose control and have it crash/land somewhere I either can't find it, or can't reach it, or into the water)


Would the DJI Mavic Mini be a good option for me with my budget and what I'd like to use it for? Is there another drone you would suggest I look into?


Thank you in advance for any suggestions!!!
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Apr 06, 2020, 11:48 AM
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LemonC's Avatar
dji are prob the easiest to get into i imagine. lots of features marketed at no experience pilots. flying over the water is a gamble. dont be upset if you lose your money quickly that way.
Apr 07, 2020, 09:52 PM
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But I would be upset if I lost the drone.

I see people flying their drones over water quite often. Is that something only advised for very experienced flyers? Or do they have different drones with different features that are needed to fly safely over water?

Thanks!
Apr 08, 2020, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish1
But I would be upset if I lost the drone.

I see people flying their drones over water quite often. Is that something only advised for very experienced flyers? Or do they have different drones with different features that are needed to fly safely over water?

Thanks!
Well the problem with water is that the drone is usually a total loss if something goes wrong.
Flying over water isn't a problem in 99.98% of cases, but if something goes wrong, the drone is usually irretrievably gone.
No, you don't need drones with different features to fly over water.
Apr 08, 2020, 03:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish1
Budget would be under $500 all in. I see a lot of hype around the DJI Mavic Mini. I'm just wondering if that's a bit much for me being a newbie. Would I be able to fly and control this easily?

Would the DJI Mavic Mini be a good option for me with my budget and what I'd like to use it for? Is there another drone you would suggest I look into?
I am more into racing drones, but if you want good video and photo quality while being easy to fly you don't go wrong with DJI Mini.
Yes, it's very easy to fly even for total beginners.
You don't really fly it (like in the sense of manual control of a racing drone) but you just tell it where to go pushing the sticks and the DJI does it. Something goes wrong, you lose orientation or something and you just press a button and it auto-lands where it took off. So it's very beginner friendly and a solid product.
Apr 08, 2020, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorro
Well the problem with water is that the drone is usually a total loss if something goes wrong.
Flying over water isn't a problem in 99.98% of cases, but if something goes wrong, the drone is usually irretrievably gone.
No, you don't need drones with different features to fly over water.
Flying over water... low?

Its not hover board from Back To The Future.
But, best avoided. Low waves can splash and tricky to judge altitude.

Avoid flying too low in general. Severly impacts RX and video reception. 1m might feel high, but with little hill between you and quad, loss of line of sight is often loss of quad control - your controller is down at hip level, not eye level.
Apr 08, 2020, 10:38 AM
Are we not men? We are DEVO!
xanuser's Avatar
think of it like a cell phone you just paid 500$+ for. would you hold it out over the ocean while sending a text ?
if you answered yes, then fly your drone over water.
if you said no, then dont.

if you can afford to toss a few hundos in the sea, then its not a risk to you.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-kgCVMl...on_share_sheet
Apr 09, 2020, 01:36 AM
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Thread OP
Thanks all for the great replies.

I haven't seen anyone recommend a different drone than the DJI Mavic Mini that I was asking about so I assume that drone would be a good choice for what I'm looking for.

Thanks!
Apr 09, 2020, 04:37 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish1
....
Budget would be under $500 all in. I see a lot of hype around the DJI Mavic Mini.

Some of the things I'd look for:
Decent flying time
Ease of flying
Good picture and video quality
Confidence flying over water
Little chance of losing the drone (if I were to lose control and have it crash/land somewhere I either can't find it, or can't reach it, or into the water)
!
DJI Mavic Mini is a good drone - in more ways than I have time to list.
Except, price.

I honestly can't imagine you following a boat, over and over again.

The thing about "confidence" and "water" is that eventually, your hubris will cost you.
Stray splash. Collision avoidance error. You throttle down etc.

Maybe get a small much less expensive micro drone. https://www.google.ca/aclk?sa=l&ai=D...gQIDBBe&adurl=
Apr 11, 2020, 02:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romangpro
Flying over water... low?

Its not hover board from Back To The Future.
Well, it all depends on what you want to risk for nice video shots.
But yeah, one mistake, and you can kiss your drone goodbye.

2019 FUERTEVENTURA PWA GRAND SLAM TRAINING (FAST DRONE VISION) (3 min 44 sec)
Last edited by gorro; Apr 11, 2020 at 02:57 AM.
Apr 28, 2020, 02:10 PM
Registered User

DJI Tello


Get the DJI Tello. For the price of the Mini you could drop 4 Tellos in the water and still have one left....shoots in 720 so a bit low, but no worries if you crash or drown it....
DJI TELLO Drone Full Review - Best Beginner Drone for 2020 (16 min 21 sec)
May 10, 2020, 12:46 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish1
Thanks all for the great replies.

I haven't seen anyone recommend a different drone than the DJI Mavic Mini that I was asking about so I assume that drone would be a good choice for what I'm looking for.

Thanks!
The mini aint a bad drone, but if you are afraid to loose a drone the mini is surely not the best choice, as it has a serious problem with flying in wind.

Especially over water you end up dealing with wind lots of time, the mini is build to light for a serious breeze of wind, and the Li-Ion battery is not up to the task to keep up with it.. it will drift off and loose it's power way to fast.

In my opinion you have better options for what you want to do, and for less / about the same money.

Have a look at the Hubsan Zino or Zino Pro, The Zino2 will be over budget.
The most popular, and needles to say my personal preference is the Fimi X8 SE:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?3174489

These are far more capable GPS drones, easy to fly and you get a lot for the money payed.
The Mavic mini is good as second / travel drone, but fairy overpriced in my opinion.

I might also add: if you are not prepared or willing to loose a drone: don't buy one and look for a different hobby. They all can drop out of the sky for no reason, including the more expensive types. Besides that there's alway the "pilot-error" factor that simply can't be ruled out.

FIMI X8 SE 2020 8km Version and FLIGHTTEST 4k RAW footage Unboxing Xiaomi (13 min 18 sec)
Last edited by Justapoke; May 10, 2020 at 06:37 PM.
May 15, 2020, 07:34 AM
Suspended Account

Camcorder


To be honest, you'll get much better footage of your kids wakeboarding with a camcorder. You'll be able to zoom in, and get their faces, and also get sound, and all the reactions from on board the boat. I've lost touch with camcorders, but I bet they've improved a whole lot over the years.

Of course it would be nice to be able to mix in some overhead drone shots into the wakeboarding video, but probably just short clips.

It would take a lot of skill to get the drone shots, I suspect it would require a lot of practice and coordintion with all involved.

Not sure how well a drone "follow me" mode works over the water, and how much difference there is between different drones and manufacturers, it could be a bit hit and miss.

Whilst the boat might be running at 10mph or so, any wind could be additional to that, so in practical terms, I believe it rules out the Mavic Mini.

Good luck anyway, and at the very least, make sure you get some camcorder footage!


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