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dumb question from prospective owner

crofter

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I'd really like to buy a MA but problem is I'm the world's worst pilot. Ideally I'd like to program it with coordinates, altitude (say 100 feet), bearing, declination, and send it up to take a picture (of an archaeological site) and come down. Is this a realistic goal? I have bought a few cheap drones to try to learn to fly but my advanced age and response times are against me.
 

Mavflyer

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I'd really like to buy a MA but problem is I'm the world's worst pilot. Ideally I'd like to program it with coordinates, altitude (say 100 feet), bearing, declination, and send it up to take a picture (of an archaeological site) and come down. Is this a realistic goal? I have bought a few cheap drones to try to learn to fly but my advanced age and response times are against me.
You can do something like that, but flying the air is totally different than the experience with cheap toy drones. When you aren't moving the sticks, it will hover and maintain its position and it does this very well. You dont have to fight with it to keep it at a stable hover. You might think since they are more expensive, they will be harder to fly, but the opposite is true. DJI products are much easier to fly and control. I am not afraid to let kids play with my Mavic(under close supervision of course) just because of how simple these things are to fly. I think it will be a lot easier for you than you think. Good luck and let us know how you like it if you decide to buy one. I think you will be impressed with it.
 
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tcope

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You can use waypoints and pin locations on the map with the altitude.
 

n-xplorer

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I'd really like to buy a MA but problem is I'm the world's worst pilot. Ideally I'd like to program it with coordinates, altitude (say 100 feet), bearing, declination, and send it up to take a picture (of an archaeological site) and come down. Is this a realistic goal? I have bought a few cheap drones to try to learn to fly but my advanced age and response times are against me.

I wouldn't let your concern about "advanced age" control your decision unless you are suffering from severe dementia. The magic with the MA is that you don't have to be the world's best pilot. It allows you to keep things as simple or complex as you feel comfortable with. I keep reminding myself that the best pictures are sometimes the most basic and easy to take (no-brainers). Don't over complicate this process with complex programming.
 

Thwyllo

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Totally agree. Age won't really have any bearing on it. As the others have said, it's easy to fly...if you don't make a control input it just sits patiently in the last position you left it. Super stable and easy to fly - after a bit of practice you'll wonder what you worried about.

It's perfect for what you want - the camera is fixed focus but excellent resolution and it can be pointed straight down and the drone left while you get any minor settings right. Make sure you use 4:3 ratio instead of 16:9 as it uses the whole sensor.

You can even do large panoramas which are easily stitched together into one with something like Microsoft ICE...the Mavic Air has some automatic panorama functions where you just tap the screen and it does the rest for you, but probably not suitable for recording an archaeological site - just as easy to take a photo, then slide the drone back, forwards or sideways (it maintains the same height) and take the next shot with some overlap.

Of course you'll need to observe safety requirements and make sure nobody is underneath at the time. But just get on with it, you won't be sorry and there's all the help you need on here.
 

Mossiback

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Like others have stated, flying is easy. IMO the biggest problem is in the setup. Updating all the firmware/software to a combination that works well with your phone/tablet can be a pain. Once set up properly, lock it down so it will not change unless you do it manually. There's nothing quite like getting to a time-sensitive shoot only to discover that a background update of Go 4 bricks your Mavic.

You also need to insure that flying drones at the site is allowed before you attempt it.
 

Thwyllo

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Given your proposed use, it's also worth mentioning in the context of panoramic photos that if, for example, you take four side by side overhead photos of 12mp each and stitch them together to a single image, in simple terms (that is to say, ignoring the overlap you need to allow for to get rid of distortion at the edges of each photo), you end up with a 48mp photo that you can zoom into with the same level of detail and resolution as the individual photos.
 

Simmo

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Litchi will do exactly what you ask.
However, I agree with the above posts, go fly it! Its FUN!
 

53-63-6f-74-74

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If you don't learn to control the aircraft manually then you're asking for trouble. Autonomous flight apps are a great tool, and they have their own learning curve as well. You're better off not using them until you learn how the aircraft responds. GPS equipped drones essentially fly themselves. Go slow and easy, perhaps use tripod or beginner mode to dampen movement, if you get disoriented in flight you can let go of the sticks until get your bearings, or just press the return home button. If you can fly a kite then you can fly a Mavic. Download the manual before you buy anything and read it carefully before doing anything else.
 
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Prospero

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I found this quite useful, despite it being written for the Mavic Pro: Syonyk's Project Blog: DJI Mavic Pro: The Missing Handbook: Basic Operations

Read the manual a couple of times as well, so you are aware of the specific Air characteristics. Find a large, empty field or other area to practise, and resist the temptation to use sport mode, until you are comfortable with normal!

Good luck, and have fun.

And we do want to see pictures.