Last weekend me and my wife went in search of the location in Scotland they filmed The original Wicker Man film starring Edward Woodward. We spent the day visiting Newton Stewart, Creetown in Dumfries and Galloway and driving back we stopped at Port Williams, Dumfries and Galloway where I flew the DJI 3 phantom standard drone over the town to make a short video and capture some stills.
For the video I used an ND8 neutral density filter with contrast/sharpness/colour set at -2 across on the drone and log profile. Shutter speed set at fixed 1/60th and ISO at 100. Colour grading using GC Falcon DJI log 709 lut.
A few months ago I purchased a DJI phantom Standard 3 drone and within the first week of ownership I suffered a flyaway. The drone went up to about 20 meters and then darted full pelt away from me being unresponsive to the controller. I half expected it to return so I was torn between jumping in my car to give chase or stay at the take off location to await its return. I choose to stay at the take off location.. but he never came back.
3 months later I’ve decided to purchase another DJIphantom 3 standard as I’m really missing having a drone and the price has come down another £100. But this time Im going to take precautions for recovering my drone after a flyaway.
For a cost of about £45 these are the items Ive picked up. Which is a good investment and piece of mind when flying your drone.
First line of defence is having your phone number on your drone so any one who finds it can easily contact you its a good idea to have reward on your drone to encourage people to call you. I purchased two stickers and placed one on the drone and another on the battery.
Next I purchased a micro GPS tracking device the NANO TK102. You can buy this very cheap from £10 but I went with the more expensive one that comes with a 2G sim card already included and 1 year subscription to their live monitoring website. With the included bundle I paid £32.
Then you are also going to need to attach the tracking device securely to you DJI phantom drone, last thing you want is to lose your drone and then find the tracking device sitting in a field with the drone nowhere to be seen. Fortunately you can pick up a purpose made TK102 holder to fit your DJI phantom.
A while back I stumbled across the Micro Drone 3.0 and although I was not sold at the time Ive been checking them out a bit more as Ive noticed they have started coming up for sale online. They do look rather appealing and as much as I really liked the DJIPhantom 3 Standard there is still for me a couple of negative points about the Phantoms.
Downsides for me is the Phantoms are very bulky to carry around, spare batteries are very steep at £100+ each and for low flying very noisy. I found that I always end up taking the Phantom 3 really high just so I can’t hear it as that noise also attracts a lot of attention.
So anyway all of those boxes are ticked with the little Micro Drone 3.0 although not by any means perfect in other areas. From the video quality Ive seen on the internet I know I will struggle to get usable footage from the little 720 HD camera and as the gimbal is still not available any more then a slight breeze will make for some shaky video. But, Im expecting the new 1024 camera to debut soon and the gimbal so I decided to purchase a Micro Drone 3.0 now and hopefully won’t have too long to wait for the other bits when they come available.
Shopping around I found the best deal currently without going through the waiting list to be on eBay where I picked up new the kit comprising Micro Drone 3.0, 720 HD Camera, Controller, Phone holder and battery for £89. Which seems a good deal as you would be paying $175 directly and then having to wait and Im not sure if that would shipped in the UK so you could end up with import duties. And really you can’t go wrong through eBay / Paypal as any problem can easily charge back through Paypal.
I ordered mine yesterday so looking forward to testing and have a couple of overseas trips to Spain and Greece in the coming weeks which Im hoping to test the little drone out, I know I would not take the DJI Phantom 3 out on those trips due to the size.. so this little drone sounds ideal.