I Caught the Quadcopter Bug...Help me w/ the Next Step

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(I know this post is painfully long, but if you can spare 5 minutes to read it and help me out it would be much appreciated)

Hi. First time caller, long time listener...you know cause every single person that calls into a radio talk show for the first time always says...never mind.

Bought a Smya X5HW about a week ago and it spread like a fever. My daughter and I both LOVE it. My son does too, but he's only 8 and kind of a spazz so I don't think I'm gonna let him behind the wheel yet.

I've been down the Youtube drone rabbit hole for a couple weeks, but I didn't want to jump in with both feet (well I did, but I decided it wasn't prudent) so I bought a $50 drone to make sure I liked it and was able to fly it.

First of all, it was much harder to fly at first than I thought it would be. They make it look so **** easy on Youtube. AND I've been a professional pilot for over 16 years. Real airplane = way easier. I found many of the how too videos on Youtube extremely helpful. Haven't put it down since.

NOW I'm ready to take the plunge, and after hours and hours of deliberation and research I think it's gotta be a DJI Phantom of one flavor or another. I am still price conscious. Not ready to spend $1000+ plus...yet. I'm more in the $500-$600 range. That puts me in Phantom 3 range..most like used Phantom 3 range.

Seems like the Phantom 3 Advanced is the best bang for the buck. I'm not a pro videographer, nor do I plan to be. I have found a couple for sale locally here in AZ.

One has a a pretty bad crack on the arm at the motor mount (not from crash, and common I understand). The owner tried to repair, but it looks like it wasn't pretty shoddy. It's outa warranty so I would have to buy a new shell for $50 and swap it out, I have no problem with that. It has 2 batteries, case, and all original packaging for $400.

The other just came back from DJI and was I assume repaired under warranty. Looks brand new. He has the upgraded charger and metal phone / tablet mount, and also has original packaging. Priced at $550. He has a case and extra batteries, but wants extra for them. (I'm guessing the owner of this one might actually be on this forum and read this post)

I understand the pitfalls of buying used things, especially something like this. And I will do my due diligence if I decided to go this route.

OR do I save up a couple hundred more bucks and buy new Phantom 3?

OR do I save up a couple hundred more bucks and buy a used Phantom 4? (I think a new Phantom 4 is a little more than I want to spend right now. To be honest I think a new Phantom 3 is a little more than I want to spend right now, but if buying a used Phantom 3 is stupid I'm open to it...maybe)

OR do I just standby, save up, and wait for the price on the Phantom 4 to drop even more with the onslaught of all the new fast paced technology? I know it seems like I'm in a mad rush, but I'm really not.

OR none of the above? Wait, save up, and buy a Mavic Pro?

All suggestions welcome. Thanks for your time.
 
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I bought a used phantom 2, it was the best and worst experience for me. I had to repair a bunch of stuff (great learning experience) and than learned how to crash and fly it. I'm great full I did so because the phantom 2 was so cheap. However buying my brand new Phantom 3 advanced and flying it was like day and night. Nothing was messed up, nothing was wore out or abused. The point I'm trying to make is something as high tech and advanced as these drones are. It's like buying a car; you can get them new, used or certified.
 

MTH

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I went from a Syma HD8500 HW that I bought in December, but didn't get to fly it until January, to a brand new P4P in February. So I don't think you are rushing, at all. :rolleyes: Bought the P4P for the camera. If I could have gotten a 20 mp camera with a 1" sensor in anything else I might have considered it. I understand DJI is releasing a new P3 SE, well in China at least. Not sure when and if it will hit the states. Wish I could be more help with your dilemma, not a big fan of buying someone else's problem. At least with something I don't know how to fix myself. That being said if cIji comes through I will be in the market for a used P3. :yum:

On a side note. I fly at Desert Foothills Park and Dynamite Park. Neither are anywhere near me, but you do what you got to. I'm in Phoenix.

Good luck,
Mitch
 

msinger

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I'm more in the $500-$600 range.
You could get a refurbished Phantom 3 Advanced directly from DJI here. You'll have the same warranty as a brand new Phantom when buying directly from DJI.
 

dirkclod

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Welcome to the forum .
I hope you will find our site helpful and look forward to any input , photo's/video's you might post .
Don't be shy and ask anything if you can't find it by searching .
This bunch here are the smartest you will find anywhere :)
 
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You could get a refurbished Phantom 3 Advanced directly from DJI here. You'll have the same warranty as a brand new Phantom when buying directly from DJI.
I thought about this. But I believe it's only $50 difference? I know I said I'm price conscious, but isn't that a small difference just just to get a new unit? I've just never thought refurb units were that great a deal unless there was a BIG price break.
 
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Thanks for the input thus far. Much appreciated.

My wife has flat out said "no way". So I still have convincing to do on that front. Gonna have to resort to having the kids pressure her.

Maybe I should just wait a couple months, keep practicing with the SYMA and see what happens.

We have some adventures planned this summer. Maybe I should just wait till summer?
 

msinger

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The cheapest new unit I see being sold by an authorized DJI dealer is this one. It's $110 more than the refurbished unit I linked above.
 
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The cheapest new unit I see being sold by an authorized DJI dealer is this one. It's $110 more than the refurbished unit I linked above.
Good call. Guess I was totally off. Thanks. I didn't realize you couldn't buy a new P3 Advanced from DJI any more.
 
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The P3A was the right unit for me, the jump from Wi-Fi to DJI's own Lightbridge, which comes with the P3A. I think all will agree the stronger Lightbridge is the deciding factor
I would go with a DJI refurbished P3A or look for a new one.
I to flew the Syma X11first, flying the P3A after the Syma was like going from a mini bike to a Corvette!
 
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The P3A was the right unit for me, the jump from Wi-Fi to DJI's own Lightbridge, which comes with the P3A. I think all will agree the stronger Lightbridge is the deciding factor
I would go with a DJI refurbished P3A or look for a new one.
I to flew the Syma X11first, flying the P3A after the Syma was like going from a mini bike to a Corvette!
That's exactly what I was thinking referencing the lightbridge. The P3 Advanced seemed like a good balance of features and price point.

So the general consensus is that a refurb unit is the way too go?

Thanks again guys and gals.
 
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Love my P3A. Does everything that I want to with it including some commercial use. I went from a Syma 5x and 8X to the phantom. NO comparison on how much easier the phantom is to fly. When you take the plunge, little difference other than price between a refurb from DJI and new from either DJI or an authorized dealer. I wouldn't advise going the personal sales used route for your first bird. There have been too many stories here about someone getting a bird that wasn't 'exactly as advertised' and having myriad problems that take time and often money to solve. Even just changing a shell in addition to the $50-60 can take 3 or more hours to do! New or refurb, everything will work, all of the firmware will play nice together and you can get up and flying with a minimum of hassle. let us know how things work out.
 
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(I know this post is painfully long, but if you can spare 5 minutes to read it and help me out it would be much appreciated)

Hi. First time caller, long time listener...you know cause every single person that calls into a radio talk show for the first time always says...never mind.

Bought a Smya X5HW about a week ago and it spread like a fever. My daughter and I both LOVE it. My son does too, but he's only 8 and kind of a spazz so I don't think I'm gonna let him behind the wheel yet.

I've been down the Youtube drone rabbit hole for a couple weeks, but I didn't want to jump in with both feet (well I did, but I decided it wasn't prudent) so I bought a $50 drone to make sure I liked it and was able to fly it.

First of all, it was much harder to fly at first than I thought it would be. They make it look so **** easy on Youtube. AND I've been a professional pilot for over 16 years. Real airplane = way easier. I found many of the how too videos on Youtube extremely helpful. Haven't put it down since.

NOW I'm ready to take the plunge, and after hours and hours of deliberation and research I think it's gotta be a DJI Phantom of one flavor or another. I am still price conscious. Not ready to spend $1000+ plus...yet. I'm more in the $500-$600 range. That puts me in Phantom 3 range..most like used Phantom 3 range.

Seems like the Phantom 3 Advanced is the best bang for the buck. I'm not a pro videographer, nor do I plan to be. I have found a couple for sale locally here in AZ.

One has a a pretty bad crack on the arm at the motor mount (not from crash, and common I understand). The owner tried to repair, but it looks like it wasn't pretty shoddy. It's outa warranty so I would have to buy a new shell for $50 and swap it out, I have no problem with that. It has 2 batteries, case, and all original packaging for $400.

The other just came back from DJI and was I assume repaired under warranty. Looks brand new. He has the upgraded charger and metal phone / tablet mount, and also has original packaging. Priced at $550. He has a case and extra batteries, but wants extra for them. (I'm guessing the owner of this one might actually be on this forum and read this post)

I understand the pitfalls of buying used things, especially something like this. And I will do my due diligence if I decided to go this route.

OR do I save up a couple hundred more bucks and buy new Phantom 3?

OR do I save up a couple hundred more bucks and buy a used Phantom 4? (I think a new Phantom 4 is a little more than I want to spend right now. To be honest I think a new Phantom 3 is a little more than I want to spend right now, but if buying a used Phantom 3 is stupid I'm open to it...maybe)

OR do I just standby, save up, and wait for the price on the Phantom 4 to drop even more with the onslaught of all the new fast paced technology? I know it seems like I'm in a mad rush, but I'm really not.

OR none of the above? Wait, save up, and buy a Mavic Pro?

All suggestions welcome. Thanks for your time.
I bought a used (refurbished P4) from DJI...couldn't tell it from a new one, it was that pristine. No problems with it so far, but the weather hasn't cooperated much since I've bought it. Ergo, I would recommend used/refurbished from DJI. I also thought it was difficult to fly at first, but you get used to what your aircraft does over time.
 
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I bought a used (refurbished P4) from DJI...couldn't tell it from a new one, it was that pristine. No problems with it so far, but the weather hasn't cooperated much since I've bought it. Ergo, I would recommend used/refurbished from DJI. I also thought it was difficult to fly at first, but you get used to what your aircraft does over time.
I definitely will go the refurb route. I'm glad I asked around on here before buying. I feel much better about it now.

Thanks to all who have chimed in. I really appreciate the input.
 
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Newegg still has phantom 3 pro for $569. I know you're not looking for Pro but for the same price or lower than refurb advanced, why not?
 
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Newegg still has phantom 3 pro for $569. I know you're not looking for Pro but for the same price or lower than refurb advanced, why not?
I know. It's killing me. It's in my cart. I used to buy all my computer parts form Newegg back in the day when I built computers. I'm working on my wife as we speak. She's not buying it. No pun intended. She's a tough nut.

Seems like the prices are dropping like rocks. I know I can get a lot of the cool features of the 4 with the Letchi (sp) app, but should I just sit tight a little longer and hold out for the 4??????
 
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You did say $500-600 range but seems like wife has a lower range in mind. What price range is she agreeable to?
 

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