Anyone can fly a drone without crashing it. Let me tell you why we think so with the DJI Mavic line of drones
We got in to the drone field back in 2014, when drones became affordable and companies starting to emerge, we bought a drone kit from china ($130), spend a long time researching and watching videos of how to build one, the price tag back then was still too big for us, a few thousand dollars.
After working for several months and little a a time, we ended up spending close to $1000 US.
Doing all the research came across multiple times with a Chinese company called DJI, that was making a decent looking drone compare to what we have made.
We really tried, but the amount of time it took to figure it all out was too much, and my trust in some Chinese company was not great but was increasing.
After crashing several times, repairing countless details and adjusting the settings over and over, many companies were promising a great drone, like the 3DR SOLO, which at the time looked like the ultimate consumer drone, but you still needed a GoPro and pay extra for the stabilization gimbal.
Out of nowhere, at least for us that were not following DJI's every movement, produced a really nice drone, The Phantom 3 with 3 models, the Standard, Advanced and Professional. After DJI's history with the Phantom 1 and Phantom 2, the drones that I did not want to consider before, because my own prejudice and detriment, (I did not like them white and they were Chinese), they made a drone that had everything the 3DR SOLO had, all included and for a fraction of the price, you only needed a phone, which you already had.
Long story short, "we risked it" and made the investment and got the DJI Phantom 3 Standard. If we wanted to upgrade our home made drone to have the same features as the Standard version, we needed to but spend more than what the Standard cost new. The remote was a bit more toy looking than the pro version, the camera was only 2.7K not 4k like the Professional or Advanced. But we really did not care, even today, few people record in 4K. This moment in time, for us, became clearer who was a contender in the drone world, sadly for 3DR SOLO, the market was gone. Started over $1000 plus gimbal, plus camera, now you can find it for $300
Other drones sales plummeted, and DJI soared. With the speculation and buzz of a new GoPro drone coming out, everyone expected something really good, "is GoPro, has to be good!". With a new era of sales tactics and having launch events, like the ones Apple has, GoPro launched KARMA, we do not know why they called it like that, but after what happened next, maybe they did something really bad before.
Popular from GoPro
The Karma event was great (September 19th, 2016), apparently, everyone was blown away. A folding drone, with its own removable gimbal that works with your GoPro and the drone, fits in a back pack, and has all the promised features of every drone of its day. "Sales are going to be great, what a design, GoPro you hit a Home Run!"
But not so fast. All the excitement lasted for a few days, DJI had a very well kept secret. On September 27th, 2016, just a week after Karma's event. DJI released this amazing drone, smaller that you can imagine (back then), and a design that broke all conventionality, included sensors that no one had before, and the quality was way better than any drone you have ever seen (back then).
After DJI's release (too soon for us), of the Phantom 4, a slicker design and more "factory" built feeling than the Phantom 3 (which still felt like a put together drone), the Mavic Pro became the unapproachable leader in drone design (thats when we understood why the so soon release of the Phantom 4), with similar standards and company views as Apple, to give the best at the moment... and make it known to everyone.
With a professional, custom factory made, like no other, DJI suddenly became the one to beat if you want to have a drone company, you have to beat DJI.
So the long awaited 3DR SOLO, Karma, and others, became obsolete. Years of looking at the same technology and make it look better instead of creating new features and include them in you product, as DJI did.
Popular from DJI
DJI introduced with the Phantom 4, stereoscopic cameras, that look forward and downward, to aid with obstacle avoidance (from cameras) and visual localization (downward cameras), plus the already included in older models the sonar, to help with maintaining same altitude.
The Mavic Pro is foldable, rugged and tiny, the remote is super small, the camera even smaller and 4K, with a miniature gimbal, who could ask for more.
The drone world was shaken, everyone was back to the drawing board, you can no longer make a "put together drone", design is a priority, otherwise just forget it and do something else.
What came next, about a year later, after DJI released a tiny drone (not foldable) but very well behaved, the DJI Spark, not a great fan of that one though, good but nothing compared to the Mavic Pro. What came next was another benchmark, on January 23rd, 2018, DJI launched the Mavic Air. Foldable, even smaller, fits in your pockets, 4K, micro gimbal for super smooth videos. And now 120 fps in 1080p, to make unbelievable slow motion videos, you don't go as far as the the Mavic Pro (4.5 miles) but 2.5 miles still a great distance.
DJI does not seem to be stopping anytime soon, there are already rumors of a Mavic Pro 2, the money they are making is going back into research and development, we still have our Mavic Pro, we take it everywhere, and every time there is a chance, up it goes, to see the world from a different perspective.
Don't wait any longer, anyone can fly a drone, watch the video and let me know if would not be able to fly a drone. leave us a comment, email etc. we want you feed back on everything you see in this article.
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