Advice and thoughts on upgrading

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Hi forum,

Reaching out to you guys for some advice.

Have been running an original P4 now for a while for fun and hiring drone ops for pro work (we run a video production company).

However I've now completed my PFCO and looking to up the ante internally & reduce outsource costs & I enjoy flying the drone to be fair.

The P4 is fine for basic stuff, but doesn't cut it image quality wise on our video production services.

Have looked at the Mavic Pro and also Phantom pro v2 which you can still pick up - doesn't seem to be any major leaps and gains on either - apart from proper ATTI mode on the Phantom - we do fly inside very occasionally.

The other option is to take a gamble and lay out some major coin on the Inspire 2.

But obviously a much bigger unit & sounds like having a dedicated camera op on the job when it's in use is recommended.

Also have seen whispers in the wind about the P5 but nothing concrete as of yet.

I'm not in an immediate rush but do have jobs coming up where we could probably benefit from a better camera system - but whatever we go for has to be good for a couple of years at least - think the Inspire would go way beyond that - but the coin!

Any sage advice out there greatly appreciated

Cheers

Nick
 
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Hi forum,

Reaching out to you guys for some advice.

Have been running an original P4 now for a while for fun and hiring drone ops for pro work (we run a video production company).

However I've now completed my PFCO and looking to up the ante internally & reduce outsource costs & I enjoy flying the drone to be fair.

The P4 is fine for basic stuff, but doesn't cut it image quality wise on our video production services.

Have looked at the Mavic Pro and also Phantom pro v2 which you can still pick up - doesn't seem to be any major leaps and gains on either - apart from proper ATTI mode on the Phantom - we do fly inside very occasionally.

The other option is to take a gamble and lay out some major coin on the Inspire 2.

But obviously a much bigger unit & sounds like having a dedicated camera op on the job when it's in use is recommended.

Also have seen whispers in the wind about the P5 but nothing concrete as of yet.

I'm not in an immediate rush but do have jobs coming up where we could probably benefit from a better camera system - but whatever we go for has to be good for a couple of years at least - think the Inspire would go way beyond that - but the coin!

Any sage advice out there greatly appreciated

Cheers

Nick
Hi Nick,

Of course everyone has their needs, likes, and preferences, so this is my point of view. I think it really comes down to exactly what level of quality you need. Here is my evaluation:
  • The P4 is good for both pictures and video. Nice sharp/clear footage with ample lighting. It does suffer from noise in low light conditions.
  • My bird of choice is the P4P. The 1" sensor makes a big difference in overall quality and is much better in lower light conditions, although still nowhere near cinematic quality in very low light. It is dependable, reliable, and not huge. It's the drone I use most out of all of mine.
  • Don't bother with the Mavic Pro. You get zero camera improvements over the P4.
  • The Mavic 2 Pro. Has the 1" sensor but I have seen and heard that the quality is just not up to par with the P4P. So you are at best getting the same quality as the P4P, albeit in a smaller form factor. I do not own a M2P so this is only from indirect comparison.
  • The Inspire 2 is a wonderful piece of machinery, but it is big and takes more time to set up. Also in order to get better quality than the P4P, you will need to start with at least the X5S camera. Major dollars to invest.
  • Even with an I2 in my fleet, I still use the P4P more than any other. It is a great compromise between size and capabilities.
So my advice would be to find a P4P (either new that a vendor still has in inventory or trusted used one).
 
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Hi Nick,

Of course everyone has their needs, likes, and preferences, so this is my point of view. I think it really comes down to exactly what level of quality you need. Here is my evaluation:
  • The P4 is good for both pictures and video. Nice sharp/clear footage with ample lighting. It does suffer from noise in low light conditions.
  • My bird of choice is the P4P. The 1" sensor makes a big difference in overall quality and is much better in lower light conditions, although still nowhere near cinematic quality in very low light. It is dependable, reliable, and not huge. It's the drone I use most out of all of mine.
  • Don't bother with the Mavic Pro. You get zero camera improvements over the P4.
  • The Mavic 2 Pro. Has the 1" sensor but I have seen and heard that the quality is just not up to par with the P4P. So you are at best getting the same quality as the P4P, albeit in a smaller form factor. I do not own a M2P so this is only from indirect comparison.
  • The Inspire 2 is a wonderful piece of machinery, but it is big and takes more time to set up. Also in order to get better quality than the P4P, you will need to start with at least the X5S camera. Major dollars to invest.
  • Even with an I2 in my fleet, I still use the P4P more than any other. It is a great compromise between size and capabilities.
So my advice would be to find a P4P (either new that a vendor still has in inventory or trusted used one).

Thank-you for that, very much appreciated. I must admit I was quite intrigued by some of the Mavic Pro zoom features - esp the dolly zoom but in reality how often would I use that!

My P4 has always been pretty solid so have no reason to leave that platform if I can still get my hands on one.


I've checked out the main DJI offer on the I2 and I'm looking at 11k GBP pretty much if I want a proper jobbing system.

Thats a lot of money & realistically at the moment it plays quite a small part in our overall video capture workflow.

Although the incentive to push it more now after obtaining my PFCO certification might increase - and spending that amount would def make me push it on a financial level alone!

And for me, I'm looking to do something different and really enjoy flying - so actually it might be a path if I knuckle down.

Currently most of our work is corporate to online promotion & social advertising - so we kind of straddle a cost/investment gap when optimising our gear. .

The P5 rumour mill sound perfect but its just that, until DJI come out with anything announcement wise I'm presuming thats not happening & the Mavic is their chosen path going fwd

Thanks again
 
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Thank-you for that, very much appreciated. I must admit I was quite intrigued by some of the Mavic Pro zoom features - esp the dolly zoom but in reality how often would I use that!
The problem is that you are trading off. You get the zoom feature but don't get the 1" sensor. Not worth it in my book. It's a drone so if you need a closer shot....move in closer. :p

My P4 has always been pretty solid so have no reason to leave that platform if I can still get my hands on one.
That was another point that I totally forgot. You stay with the same platform so that all of your current accessories (except for ND filters) work with the P4P. That is a big cost savings!

And for me, I'm looking to do something different and really enjoy flying - so actually it might be a path if I knuckle down.
Sometimes capabilities and "fun flying" do not mean that they converge on one platform. The I2 is super capable. Yes it is also fun. However you can have fun flying a Spark with much less hassle, set up time, and concern over where and how to fly it. I love my Spark for just going out to the park and zooming around a while.

The P5 rumour mill sound perfect but its just that, until DJI come out with anything announcement wise I'm presuming thats not happening & the Mavic is their chosen path going fwd
Those rumors have been around a very long time. I wouldn't put any stock on rumors, one way or another. At this point I think it is equally valid to speculate that the Phantom line has come to an end, as much as you can speculate that a Phantom 5 is close to release. With the Mavic platform becoming more capable, one might say that the Phantom really has reached end of the line.
 
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The equipment discussions are interesting, but consider that there are now over 5000 PfCO registered (and also as many as 40% don't renew after the 1st year). Before laying out coin I'd check you have good potential earnings to justify the spend.

Are 5000+ drone pilots in the UK earning a living at this? If not, you'll be up against people 'doing it for fun', or pseudo-commercial recreational flyers. Someone in my area is doing it for £99, I can't see how that even justifies the background checks on a possible location or equipment costs, let alone a decent earning.

List of PfCO (CAA)
 

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Have looked at the Mavic Pro and also Phantom pro v2 which you can still pick up - doesn't seem to be any major leaps and gains on either - apart from proper ATTI mode on the Phantom - we do fly inside very occasionally.
The P4 pro is a huge step forward photographically from the P4 and Mavic pro.
The sensor is 4x larger and it has a real controllable aperture so you don't have to shoot everything at full open.
The Mavic 2 pro has similar image quality and wins on easy portability (but lacks atti mode).
Also have seen whispers in the wind about the P5 but nothing concrete as of yet.
The P5 rumour mill sound perfect but its just that, until DJI come out with anything
I follow the "rumours" pretty closely and so far there have been none that are at all credible.
 
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Hi forum,

Reaching out to you guys for some advice.

Have been running an original P4 now for a while for fun and hiring drone ops for pro work (we run a video production company).

However I've now completed my PFCO and looking to up the ante internally & reduce outsource costs & I enjoy flying the drone to be fair.

The P4 is fine for basic stuff, but doesn't cut it image quality wise on our video production services.

Have looked at the Mavic Pro and also Phantom pro v2 which you can still pick up - doesn't seem to be any major leaps and gains on either - apart from proper ATTI mode on the Phantom - we do fly inside very occasionally.

The other option is to take a gamble and lay out some major coin on the Inspire 2.

But obviously a much bigger unit & sounds like having a dedicated camera op on the job when it's in use is recommended.

Also have seen whispers in the wind about the P5 but nothing concrete as of yet.

I'm not in an immediate rush but do have jobs coming up where we could probably benefit from a better camera system - but whatever we go for has to be good for a couple of years at least - think the Inspire would go way beyond that - but the coin!

Any sage advice out there greatly appreciated

Cheers

Nick
You can have selectable ATTI mode on the Mavic2 by using DJI assistant to remap the mode switch settings.
 
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On the Mavic ATTI mode, I have a question (aside from the DJI Assistant mapping).

What happens when the Mavic 2 Pro loses GPS lock during flight?

I'm accustomed to the behavior of my P3P, which will go into ATTI mode and I just have to fly by stick, which is fine.

Surely the M2P does this, yes?

Chris
 
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On the Mavic ATTI mode, I have a question (aside from the DJI Assistant mapping).

What happens when the Mavic 2 Pro loses GPS lock during flight?

I'm accustomed to the behavior of my P3P, which will go into ATTI mode and I just have to fly by stick, which is fine.

Surely the M2P does this, yes?

Chris
Yes of course. When GPS lock is lost then the drone has no choice but to go into ATTI mode.
 
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My working combo is a P4 adv for the best image/video image quality. It intercuts well with Panasonic hpx - 180 4K footage, and looks ok on DCP theatre projection. The 1 in sensor is really an important step forward. For easier travel footage, I use the Mavic Air, which travels nicely, creates good enough footage, and looks like a toy, and as a result doesn’t ‘t cause bystanders to get hung up about a professional spy job.
 
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I’ve snagged a p4 v2.0 on eBay. Only been flown once and has a few extras for £1100, the seller is delivering next week. He has the purchase receipt - Sept last year.

I’ll sell my P4 on I expect and keep 4 out of the 6 batteries - so a total of 8 in the bag with the P4 2.0 ones.

So now thinking should I go all out and get the crystal sky as I find the iPad a bit hard to view in bright conditions.

Any watch outs from the forum?
 
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I've got two P4P setups, one has the P4P+ remote (built-in screen) and it's brilliant. I keep the other one for running Litchi, Pix4D (Huawei M3 tablet) but for general use, the P4P+ setup has really won me over.

So now thinking should I go all out and get the crystal sky as I find the iPad a bit hard to view in bright conditions.
 
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My P4 has always been pretty solid so have no reason to leave that platform if I can still get my hands on one.

Nick -> I bought a P4 in October ('19) and totally outgrew it in like 3 months and, planning on getting my 107 here in the US, I too decided it was time to upgrade to something with a better camera. I looked at the Inspires and Mavic 2 Pro's and solicited the advice of many in this, the Inspire and Commercial pilots forums, and decided on going with a P4P+, BECAUSE I already had backpacks, cases, props, multi-charges, etc, for the Phantom 4 line and adding a similar line drone would ensure I had a familiar backup (P4) with tons of accessories. So now, I have 8 pairs of props, 2 birds, 6 batts, 3 cases/backpacks, 2 multi-chargers, etc. Best decision I think I could have made (got the P4P+ for a STEAL). Now, just to get my 107 to start commercial work.

Wish you the best!
 
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Nick -> I bought a P4 in October ('19) and totally outgrew it in like 3 months and, planning on getting my 107 here in the US, I too decided it was time to upgrade to something with a better camera. I looked at the Inspires and Mavic 2 Pro's and solicited the advice of many in this, the Inspire and Commercial pilots forums, and decided on going with a P4P+, BECAUSE I already had backpacks, cases, props, multi-charges, etc, for the Phantom 4 line and adding a similar line drone would ensure I had a familiar backup (P4) with tons of accessories. So now, I have 8 pairs of props, 2 birds, 6 batts, 3 cases/backpacks, 2 multi-chargers, etc. Best decision I think I could have made (got the P4P+ for a STEAL). Now, just to get my 107 to start commercial work.

Wish you the best!

Sounds pretty much the same path as me sure shot and I came to the same conclusion. My P4 2.0 should arrive tomorrow, can’t wait!

Good luck with your certification and no doubt will speak again!
 
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The first question I would ask is how good does the video need to be? Are you shooting projects that need ProRes or Raw or is H.264/H.265 good enough? If you need ProRes or RAW then the Inspire 2 is your solution. If H.264/H.265 is good enough then you can consider the P4P or Mavic 2 Pro, but the Inspire 2 with H.264/H.265 might be better to your eye and you'd save the cost of the ProRes and/or RAW licenses.

Based on my own experience owning an Inspire 2 with X5S camera with a ProRes license and flying clients P4P and Mavic and using that footage commercially, as well as trusted reviewers, here's my input for you regarding image quality starting with the best. I don't have first-hand experience with the Mavic 2 Pro. I am basing that on some trusted reviews I've seen comparing the Mavic 2 Pro to the Phantom 4 Pro.

1. Inspire 2 with X7 plus lenses + ProRes and/or RAW licenses (not sure where it rates with just H.264/H.265 codecs)
2. Inspire 2 with X5S plus lenses + ProRes and/or RAW licenses (not sure where it rates with just H.264/H.265 codecs)
2. Phantom 4 Pro
3. Mavic 2 Pro

One thing you might consider is to rent the ones you are interested in and shoot a test project with them and see which gives you the results you are looking for.
 
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