Starting out with my first real drone.

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#1
Hello all, new poster and soon a new pilot as well.

I've been dreaming of owning a real drone for about 5 years and am finally in a position to be able to afford one. I've read and read, watched hours upon hours of videos and reviews and I think I've settled on the P4P.

Up until now my only experience with drones is using toys with no GPS and a joke of stability control. I've actually gotten pretty good with it, flying near obstacles (not people!) landings takeoffs etc. Again, this is just a toy, but from the research I've done they are much harder to actually fly. They are also low risk. Losing a $60 toy is nothing compared to any DJI craft, let alone a P4P.

My primary uses for the drone will be personal photography and with experience and a license entry level professional work such as real estate, weddings, etc. Yes, I know there is a lot of rules and I know I still have a lot to learn. I'm not thinking I'll buy a drone and be running an empire a few weeks later. I would honestly be happy with just a little side money to support the hobby to start out and I know that could be far down the road. The first step will require becoming a pilot capable of work before I can even look for it.

So, my question to the board is:

If you were going out for a new P4P, had a budget to cover the craft and quite a few optional gear and had nothing to start with what would you be shopping for?

The more important question I have is the type of tablet to get. I'll also be getting a new tablet intended only for use with the drone and I need much more research in this area. I'm not a fan of Apple, but that is mostly because I have no other apple products in my life.

Again, all new hardware and just starting out. What would your dream setup be. Oh, I'll throw in a budget of $2500 tops just for a reference point.

Thanks in advance and I love the site. I've already learned quite a bit from all of you.
 
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BigAl07

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#2
Welcome to the forum :)

I was never an "Apple" fan until I was forced to by my day job. Once I went Apple I never looked back. While many people have NO problem with their Android tablets it's been my experience that Apple products, in general, work better with DJI products. I want to stress i am not an "Apple Guy" as I've made a living on Windows based computers for almost 20 years now but Apple products, for me, just work better.

When "budgeting" for a new aircraft here's what I "like" to included:

Aircraft
Tablet (buy the best/fastest you can afford to help future proof your investment)
A quality protective case (I'm a fan of GoProfessional) to protect your investment
At least 4 batteries
Multiple Battery Charger
Spare SD Memory Cards
SD Card Holder (we use a wallet style that holds 12 cards)
Full set of ND filters for the camera lens
Foldable Landing Pad
 
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#3
Welcome to the forum :)

I was never an "Apple" fan until I was forced to by my day job. Once I went Apple I never looked back. While many people have NO problem with their Android tablets it's been my experience that Apple products, in general, work better with DJI products. I want to stress i am not an "Apple Guy" as I've made a living on Windows based computers for almost 20 years now but Apple products, for me, just work better.

When "budgeting" for a new aircraft here's what I "like" to included:

Aircraft
Tablet (buy the best/fastest you can afford to help future proof your investment)
A quality protective case (I'm a fan of GoProfessional) to protect your investment
At least 4 batteries
Multiple Battery Charger
Spare SD Memory Cards
SD Card Holder (we use a wallet style that holds 12 cards)
Full set of ND filters for the camera lens
Foldable Landing Pad
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Wheeled Case | GPC, Inc.

That looks like a pretty nice case that holds everything you recommend.

I've seen some "deals?" With the fly more package 3 batteries, a backpack etc around 1700. I've just gotten all of my funds saved up, this weekend I start to officially shop for the pro.

I won't say I'm a little nervous, I'll say I'm a lot nervous. I have the budget, but I have a fear of quite literally watching money just fly away. There are a lot of horror stories out there, but if I keep my head in it and acrually read about them they are almost always based on rushed flights and not setting everything up before taking off.

Thanks for the reply. Any specific tablets I should look at? Based on my own research I'm leaning apple even though I'm not a fan.
 

BigAl07

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#4
I am using a pair of iPad 2017 that we have been very happy with. I would love to have gone with the PRO but couldn't justify the cost upgrade.

Yes many (I would say most) Fly Aways are rooted in operator errors. Take your time, learn the App, understand how to fly the aircraft and go slow to learn as you go.
 
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#5
Welcome to the forum :)

I was never an "Apple" fan until I was forced to by my day job. Once I went Apple I never looked back. While many people have NO problem with their Android tablets it's been my experience that Apple products, in general, work better with DJI products. I want to stress i am not an "Apple Guy" as I've made a living on Windows based computers for almost 20 years now but Apple products, for me, just work better.

When "budgeting" for a new aircraft here's what I "like" to included:

Aircraft
Tablet (buy the best/fastest you can afford to help future proof your investment)
A quality protective case (I'm a fan of GoProfessional) to protect your investment
At least 4 batteries
Multiple Battery Charger
Spare SD Memory Cards
SD Card Holder (we use a wallet style that holds 12 cards)
Full set of ND filters for the camera lens
Foldable Landing Pad
I found the opposite when I had to use Apple at work.
It's a slow PITA compared to my Androids
 
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#6
You don't have to be scary of losing your investment. DJI drones are in generally very stable and easy to fly than toy grade drones without GPS. Start first in beginning mode so you can get used to the controllers and the buttons. Once you pass that level, turn off beginner mode and fly long distances or do anything you want safely.
 
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#8
You don't have to be scary of losing your investment. DJI drones are in generally very stable and easy to fly than toy grade drones without GPS. Start first in beginning mode so you can get used to the controllers and the buttons. Once you pass that level, turn off beginner mode and fly long distances or do anything you want safely.
Thanks. I know caution, knowing conditions ans proper pre flight setup is what makes flying safe and fun. Comparing any DJI to the toys I've flown is apples and acorns, but the trepidation is still there.

Luckily I have areas with miles of pasture land that I can access for my learning experience.
 
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#9
Operator errors is a big issue. Phantom drones are easy to fly, which can cause operators to get over confident. Little things like taking off over metal can be a disaster, be it from rebar in concrete or just hidden in the ground.
I use an I pad and an android phone. I pads are the best. They are the first to get updated. They are one company, not like android, which are many.
If you have I pad, get extra lighting cords in case one goes bad. Get a small screw driver, hex repair kit, just in case something gets loose. Trackers are great. Battery warmer for cold weather. Of course a cleaning kit.
If it is in your budget, also buy a P3 and play a lot. You will enjoy flying, be more relaxed and culminate your skills. If you get bored, sell it or give it away.
Make sure computer can handle 4 K.
 
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#10
Operator errors is a big issue. Phantom drones are easy to fly, which can cause operators to get over confident. Little things like taking off over metal can be a disaster, be it from rebar in concrete or just hidden in the ground.
I use an I pad and an android phone. I pads are the best. They are the first to get updated. They are one company, not like android, which are many.
If you have I pad, get extra lighting cords in case one goes bad. Get a small screw driver, hex repair kit, just in case something gets loose. Trackers are great. Battery warmer for cold weather. Of course a cleaning kit.
If it is in your budget, also buy a P3 and play a lot. You will enjoy flying, be more relaxed and culminate your skills. If you get bored, sell it or give it away.
Make sure computer can handle 4 K.
Really good point on the PC. Luckily that is already in place. The skills... Yeah, I'll be learning those as I learn to fly.

There are a lot of p3 for sale used around here. Most wanting too much, but some deals may be available. I'm cautious of buying anything used, or already crashed as I like to think of it.
 

Meta4

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#11
Any specific tablets I should look at? Based on my own research I'm leaning apple even though I'm not a fan.
If you want to stick with Android, the Huawei M3 8.4" is outstanding.
You'll find the P4 pro is easier to fly than you imagine.
You sound like you have the right attitude.
Don't get too adventurous too early.
There's a lot to learn and some is better to learn from the misfortune of others.
 
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#12
If you want to stick with Android, the Huawei M3 8.4" is outstanding.
You'll find the P4 pro is easier to fly than you imagine.
You sound like you have the right attitude.
Don't get too adventurous too early.
There's a lot to learn and some is better to learn from the misfortune of others.
4gb ram. Running right at the $300 mark without digging for sales.

Thanks
 
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#13
Mike i also started just like you and my TOY drone was $54.00.....No decent camera and NO Gps.....i had a blast with it and i had 9 batterys and would set on my porch and take it off and fly it across my front yard and across the street and thru two trees and up in a field that was surrounded by trees and fly it around then back to the porch i flew it all last summer !.....Then i got me a Real Drone and I love it..( P-3 SE)..I have near 200 flights on it now and only 149,293 feet of travel....I also was a new drone owner here and these many guys all over the world was the Greatest to help me with ever question i had........Welcome to the site Mike.
 
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#14
If you were going out for a new P4P, had a budget to cover the craft and quite a few optional gear and had nothing to start with what would you be shopping for?
Here are my must-have accessories for the P4P:
  • Extra batteries (get one extra for every additional ~25 minutes you want to fly)
  • A short cable to connect the mobile device and remote controller (I like this Cambond cable for Apple devices)
  • Camera lens cleaner (like the LensPen)
  • Case or backpack to protect the Phantom (see a sortable list of commonly used cases/backpacks here)
  • Tablet/phone to run DJI GO (check out commonly used tablets/phones here)
  • A few extra memory cards (I usually go with 16/32 GB memory cards since I swap them out often)
  • Memory card reader (like this one) to transfer files from memory cards to a computer
  • Camera filters for cinematic video footage (check out these brands)
  • Battery charging hub or parallel charger for more convenient and/or faster charging (check out these options)
 
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#15
Thanks. I know caution, knowing conditions ans proper pre flight setup is what makes flying safe and fun. Comparing any DJI to the toys I've flown is apples and acorns, but the trepidation is still there.

Luckily I have areas with miles of pasture land that I can access for my learning experience.
Just take your time. And as tempting as it may be, do not fly in high winds.. check your fly zones to be sure you not in restricted airspace, airports around you etc.
 
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#16
Here are my must-have accessories for the P4P:
  • Extra batteries (get one extra for every additional ~25 minutes you want to fly)
  • A short cable to connect the mobile device and remote controller (I like this Cambond cable for Apple devices)
  • Camera lens cleaner (like the LensPen)
  • Case or backpack to protect the Phantom (see a sortable list of commonly used cases/backpacks here)
  • Tablet/phone to run DJI GO (check out commonly used tablets/phones here)
  • A few extra memory cards (I usually go with 16/32 GB memory cards since I swap them out often)
  • Memory card reader (like this one) to transfer files from memory cards to a computer
  • Camera filters for cinematic video footage (check out these brands)
  • Battery charging hub or parallel charger for more convenient and/or faster charging (check out these options)
And Insurance thru "State Farm" ect. and liability Insurance thru Aircraft Modelers Associations..and don't for get to Resister it with FAA thats five dollars for three years Sounds like you need to start saving your money !

AMA Announces Commercial Drone Insurance Exclusively for AMA Members | Academy of Model Aeronautics Blog
 
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#17
Hello all, new poster and soon a new pilot as well.

I've been dreaming of owning a real drone for about 5 years and am finally in a position to be able to afford one. I've read and read, watched hours upon hours of videos and reviews and I think I've settled on the P4P.

Up until now my only experience with drones is using toys with no GPS and a joke of stability control. I've actually gotten pretty good with it, flying near obstacles (not people!) landings takeoffs etc. Again, this is just a toy, but from the research I've done they are much harder to actually fly. They are also low risk. Losing a $60 toy is nothing compared to any DJI craft, let alone a P4P.

My primary uses for the drone will be personal photography and with experience and a license entry level professional work such as real estate, weddings, etc. Yes, I know there is a lot of rules and I know I still have a lot to learn. I'm not thinking I'll buy a drone and be running an empire a few weeks later. I would honestly be happy with just a little side money to support the hobby to start out and I know that could be far down the road. The first step will require becoming a pilot capable of work before I can even look for it.

So, my question to the board is:

If you were going out for a new P4P, had a budget to cover the craft and quite a few optional gear and had nothing to start with what would you be shopping for?

The more important question I have is the type of tablet to get. I'll also be getting a new tablet intended only for use with the drone and I need much more research in this area. I'm not a fan of Apple, but that is mostly because I have no other apple products in my life.

Again, all new hardware and just starting out. What would your dream setup be. Oh, I'll throw in a budget of $2500 tops just for a reference point.

Thanks in advance and I love the site. I've already learned quite a bit from all of you.
Mike. I got a Samsung tab 2 in eight inch. Fits perfect in the dji p4 controller. It was on sale for 300. Retail is 359ish. I Bought the more costly one up from 200 for the tab a. I like it.
 
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#18
And Insurance thru "State Farm" ect. and liability Insurance thru Aircraft Modelers Associations..and don't for get to Resister it with FAA thats five dollars for three years Sounds like you need to start saving your money !

AMA Announces Commercial Drone Insurance Exclusively for AMA Members | Academy of Model Aeronautics Blog
Thanks for the link. I'm sure this is a hobby that can be a bottomless pit when it comes to money, much like my fishing habit.
 
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#19
Here are my must-have accessories for the P4P:
  • Extra batteries (get one extra for every additional ~25 minutes you want to fly)
  • A short cable to connect the mobile device and remote controller (I like this Cambond cable for Apple devices)
  • Camera lens cleaner (like the LensPen)
  • Case or backpack to protect the Phantom (see a sortable list of commonly used cases/backpacks here)
  • Tablet/phone to run DJI GO (check out commonly used tablets/phones here)
  • A few extra memory cards (I usually go with 16/32 GB memory cards since I swap them out often)
  • Memory card reader (like this one) to transfer files from memory cards to a computer
  • Camera filters for cinematic video footage (check out these brands)
  • Battery charging hub or parallel charger for more convenient and/or faster charging (check out these options)
Thanks for all the links. I need to compare prices for the fly more packs and just ordering everything individually.
 
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#20
Mike i also started just like you and my TOY drone was $54.00.....No decent camera and NO Gps.....i had a blast with it and i had 9 batterys and would set on my porch and take it off and fly it across my front yard and across the street and thru two trees and up in a field that was surrounded by trees and fly it around then back to the porch i flew it all last summer !.....Then i got me a Real Drone and I love it..( P-3 SE)..I have near 200 flights on it now and only 149,293 feet of travel....I also was a new drone owner here and these many guys all over the world was the Greatest to help me with ever question i had........Welcome to the site Mike.
That seemed like a comfortable start. I actually caught the aerial bug 30 years ago when I was launching model rockets as a kid. I always wanted the nose cone that could take pictures, yet never managed to get one.
 

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