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Cheap drone to match pocket/micro image?

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  • Cheap drone to match pocket/micro image?

    Is there an older drone that matches the pocket/micro well? Looking for a cheap option that matches well but from my research it'd seem that doesn't exist.

    Going from specs alone it's not looking great. 2.7k from the Phantom 3 advance is nice but 40mbps video rate is pretty darn low plus I'm not sure how well the D-log goes.

    I'm looking for something cheap that I can learn on and use with the micro cinema camera to get good results.

    I'd be looking at getting it second hand most likely if I can find a cheap one. Eventually I'd like to move over to 4k but I'd really want everything 4k if I ever do, which would mean 4k camera and workstation. So for the moment something cheap that'l match the dynamic range and image quality well enough.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ryanite View Post
    Is there an older drone that matches the pocket/micro well? Looking for a cheap option that matches well but from my research it'd seem that doesn't exist.

    Going from specs alone it's not looking great. 2.7k from the Phantom 3 advance is nice but 40mbps video rate is pretty darn low plus I'm not sure how well the D-log goes.

    I'm looking for something cheap that I can learn on and use with the micro cinema camera to get good results.

    I'd be looking at getting it second hand most likely if I can find a cheap one. Eventually I'd like to move over to 4k but I'd really want everything 4k if I ever do, which would mean 4k camera and workstation. So for the moment something cheap that'l match the dynamic range and image quality well enough.
    What's your price range?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bino View Post
      What's your price range?
      I've had a bit of a look and the phantom 3 is going from around 400-500 AUD on ebay with some accessories. Some thing around there 500 or under would be nice. keeping in mind 500 AUD is about 400 USD.

      But matching 13 stops of raw, that I'm not sure of.

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      • #4
        Just double it and get a Mavic or Mavic Air. That is as low as you can go and get a reasonable image that you can easily match to BM or anyone else. Sorry, just the way it is.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Marckusw View Post
          Just double it and get a Mavic or Mavic Air. That is as low as you can go and get a reasonable image that you can easily match to BM or anyone else. Sorry, just the way it is.
          The older models are really that bad eh?

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          • #6
            Yes, at the time we didn't think so but yes. Its pretty night and day image quality.

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            • #7
              Dang it. I guess I'll just hold off, I've seen rumors that the mavic pro 2 is coming out in March.

              On a point of my amazment the inspire with the x5s in RAW is mind blowing. God I wish I had one.

              https://youtu.be/HGE5EcIsWpg

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              • #8
                You can rent a drone for reasonable rates and at the pace they're changing it might be a better option. I rented a Phantom 3 Pro about a year ago from Blue Skies and it was a classic case of K before Q. Sure it was 4K but the image was garbage and often times not even usable as it was falling apart. It had a much more usable HD image than 4K. Two short years later you've got the Mavic Air with twice the quality at half the price.

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                • #9
                  If you hold out to NAB then you will probably see a Mavic 2 around then. If you can't then get an Air or Pro. There is skill involved so you kinda need to just dive in.

                  There is a trade off between size, trans-portability and image. Mavic hits the spot where the image is usable and you are not drawing a lot of attention.

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                  • #10
                    one thing that i feel is not talked about enough is that the mavic air can do 2.7k 50/60p. I think thats enough resolution to play with to match the softer image of the micro. Its overly sharp out of the box and at 4k ridiculously detailed

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                    • #11
                      +11 for renting or hiring.

                      The first thing you need to honestly answer is how often you will really be needing drone shots.

                      The second thing you need to answer is how good an operator you think you are going to be, and do you even want to.
                      It can be highly advantageous to hire a good drone with an experienced operator who can get you the shots you're after THE FIRST TIME.
                      I've worked on several films where the director or someone else on the crew bought a drone and ENTIRE DAYS were spent dicking around trying to learn how to get the shots they hoped for.
                      Two of them never got the shots but they killed the shoot days. Dumb.
                      Two of them crashed their drones too. Dumber.
                      Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
                      Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
                      Lights: Every Chinese clone you can imagine

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                      • #12
                        Just to be clear everyone, ALWAYS shoot the highest resolution you can with DJI drones. Here are some best practices to follow...

                        - When DJI says that the Mavic Pro/Air record 60-100Mbps (respectively) they mean that they'll record 60-100Mbps at their max resolutions and frame rates. If you shoot in 4k you're getting the most out of the camera in terms of bit rate, but if you're shooting at a lower resolution the data rate drops like a stone.

                        - Avoid 2.7k and 1080p like the plague if you can help it. The internal scaling on those drones is atrocious, and the scaling artifacts exacerbate the lower bitrates at lower resolutions. If you aren't finishing in 4K, that's fine; just scale your footage in post and you'll have even better looking 1080p footage.

                        - I'd avoid using DJI's log profile on the Mavic Pro. Nothing against log profiles in general, but trying to cram all that information in to a 4K, 8-bit, 4:2:0 codec at 60Mbps does not yield terrific results in post. Instead, stick to their cine modes so you're not stretching the picture too much in post. As an addendum, the Mavic Air doesn't have the D-Log mode as far as I know so there's no problem there...

                        - Turn sharpening down as much as you can. I've read that turning it all the way down on the Pro introduces some kind of artificial softening, so maybe go one notch from zero. The Air apparently fixes this and should be turned all the way down. Definitely test yourself though.

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