Comparison of Aerial photography platforms

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Comparison of Aerial photography platforms

Postby srinath » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:41 am

Hi

I would like to compare the mid-high range options in Aerial photography.
Flight time should be greater than 8-10 mins.
Brushless Gimbal is necessary.
Good pic/video quality is an absolute must.

What are the options in the market?
There are DJI, hoverflytech etc

Could we start a thread on comparing these products & prices and how they fare wrt a well tuned AQ ?

Srinath
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Re: Comparison of Aerial photography platforms

Postby Trnquill » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:29 am

Hmm, what do you want to compare? AutoQuad is a flight controller board and has no flight time (or well, depends how high you throw it... ;) ). Flight time depends (almost) entirely on the "powertrain" of the multicopter: batteris, ESC's, motors and propellers. And as you know, one can build an "AutoQuad multirotor" based on nearly evey combination of the said components. Same goes for DFI and Hoverfly (and ZeroUAV etc.) although one can buy ARTF or RTF package from those brands (AutoQuad based RTF multirotors are also available but not so thightly branded as for example DJI).

So, did you mean to compare some plug'n'play RTF packages like DJI S800 + Zenmuse with RTF multicopters from Hoverfly and custom made AutoQuad or what? If so, which ones? You might also want to specify your criteria in more detail. "Good pic quality" for example is highly subjective. Name a camera and lens combination you want to lift, for example.

My quick and general comparison between DJI and AutoQuad flight controllers of the same price category (Naza + GPS) would be such:
DJI
- Plug'n'play
- Hard to make fly bad
- Simple and fast to tune
- Usually impossible to make fly really well
- Virtaully non-existent support from the manufacturer. Luckily there's so many DJI FC's out there the community base and support huge. Level of technical knowledge in the community is usually quite low (you don't need to be an engineer to set up and fly a DJI FC MR).

AutoQuad
- Next to impossible to install (build sometimes includes quircks, hacks and tricks that are not needed with any other flight controller and some of which are not documented let alone recommended in AQ wiki)
- Needs some work to tune (ie. the calibrations).
- After initial hard work needs no tuning at all. Flies with default PIDs like a dream, better than any DJI product (if, and I say it again IF, you have managed to optimize the build according to non-documented requirements).
- Support from the manufacturer is great. Community is small (so you might have to wait for an answer for a while, most of the answer are not to be found with a simple Google search) but technical knowledge within the community is extremely high.

To sum up: DJI is for plug'n'player who just wants to have something in the air fast and simple. AutoQuad is for tinkerers, geeks and perfectionists who want to have the best, no matter what it takes (but doesn't cost you an arm and a leg.)
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Re: Comparison of Aerial photography platforms

Postby srinath » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:23 am

srinath wrote:So, did you mean to compare some plug'n'play RTF packages like DJI S800 + Zenmuse with RTF multicopters from Hoverfly and custom made AutoQuad or what? If so, which ones? You might also want to specify your criteria in more detail. "Good pic quality" for example is highly subjective. Name a camera and lens combination you want to lift, for example.


I should have been more specific.
The comparison is between plug'n'play RTF like DJI S800+zenmuse and a RTF craft from hoverfly+zenmuse
The camera would be a gopro Hero-3 or a black magic pocket camera
http://gopro.com/cameras/hd-hero3-black-edition
http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/in/prod ... nemacamera

Bare minimum flight time must be 8-10 mins. Larger flight time is always desirable.

Which of the two RTF manufacturers above(DJI/hoverfly) would be a better buy in terms of price, support and jitter free pictures and flight time. Are there other manufacturers to consider who would offer a better RTF package ?
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Re: Comparison of Aerial photography platforms

Postby kinderkram » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:35 am

The AQ is so unique - it`s simply not comparable to anything else. :ugeek:

Here are some lists comparing MR FC features:
http://multicopter.org/wiki/Multicopter_Table
http://oddcopter.com/flight-controllers

I'm with Trnquill on the details of what to compare. Put an AQ on a bad frame and it will fly bad.
Only DJI=Plug&Play"is completely contrary to my personal experiences. I can tell about the "play" on more than half a dozen DJIs (Naza, WKM, A2) that needed days to get it quite right. NON of them were "P&P" - it's a myth.
The game starts with registering the software and FC. If the DJI servers have a bad day you're doomed...
The early WKM was a plague and the A2 is in its footsteps. So far we didn't manage to get it stable in wind, holds position quite well but the slightest breeze makes it go nuts. Either it overreacts or flies like a lead duck.

My nephew will be coming by today - he bought a Naza kit and even didn't manage to load the software properly: server timeouts, corrupted files, instant crashes. And he's not a dumb azz when it comes to computers... ;)
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Re: Comparison of Aerial photography platforms

Postby Trnquill » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:55 pm

srinath wrote:Which of the two RTF manufacturers above(DJI/hoverfly) would be a better buy in terms of price, support and jitter free pictures and flight time.

I guess this is totally wrong forum to ask that since most of us are AQ'ers. Not saying there is no DJI & Hoverfly pilots here, just that you'de be better off asking the same question at RCGroups, for example. There's tons of people there so you have better change catching someone with knowledge of both systems.
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