So, how easy is it to fly the DJI Phantom 2? Footage at the end…
Well, for the past few months, I have been practicing with the tiny mini drone that is the Hubsan H107C X4C and admittedly I had some problems when flying it outside.
This was mainly due to its lightweight stature meaning any wind and lack of GPS would send it off in all directions…great fun though.
I had contemplated buying a drone for the past two years and had looked at many, many reviews of many different types of drone.
The Phantom always came back to me and when the Go Pro 4 with 4K was released, I pretty much made up my mind to go with the Phantom 2 and Zenmuse H3 3D set up.
All being well, I would use this drone to hone my flying skills, get qualified, licensed and insured and then hit the commercial scene as I have been receiving a lot of enquiries for aerial work lately…even from the BBC and a film company!
So, as soon as my DJI Phantom 2 arrived, pretty much ready to go*, and after an hour or so familiarising myself with the controls and set up, I took it to a local park and let it rip!
*The H3 3D Zenmuse Gimbal and ISOD mini were already installed, all I had to do was add the propellers and it was ready to go.
The GPS makes flying the Phantom 2 a breeze…even in a stiff breeze as I found out!
I went to a local park where I knew I would have space to play, set the quad down, fired it up and away it went. I tentatively flew it further and higher until my nerves went and brought it back to earth but in all honesty, it was way easier than the mini quad I had been playing with for months.
Caveat: You do need to go to the DJI site and download all the calibration software and drivers which enables you to update and re-calibrate the Phantom 2 and controller but this is a piece of cake.
The controller itself works exactly like the mini quad from Hubsan in that the throttle is on the left but you can change this via the software to suit your needs.
One of the best updates to the new 5.8GHz controller is the jog dial to the left which controls the Gimbal allowing you to swing the Go Pro 3/3+ or HD Hero 4 up and down which is super cool.
There is no supplied screen holder so I ordered one during the purchase and will try this with the Flysight Black Pearl 7″ FPV monitor later today!
I assume that flying the Phantom 2 with FPV is going to be a lot easier than “flying blind” once you get past a certain distance.
It is difficult to gauge the height and distance from trees etc when not using a monitor so it will be interesting to see the difference when using the Black Pearl. I will update this blog entry once done : )
Anyway, that is it for now, here are my VERY FIRST efforts of ever flying a quadcopter any larger than a bug-sized mini drone. I had to crop the footage as I was using the prop guards which whilst great for safety, do nothing for the footage as they get in the way.
Update (2016): I have since qualified as a BNUC-s UAV pilot and now fly the DJI Inspire 1. You can see some footage from this incredible machine here (some more Phantom 2 clips in there too):
…and here (all DJI Inspire 1):