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If only DJI followed the Victor Hasseblad model :0

vindibona1

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Some of us old timer may have relied on Hasselblad Cameras and lenses (and accessories) back in the day. Over the years I acquired four Hasselblad systems and a variety of lenses, some older some newer. My first one was purchased (used) in 1973 and I built the system up from there. But the really cool thing is that no matter how they offered updated equipment, all their stuff was forwards and backwards compatible. Nothing became obsolete, even over many decades. I suppose much of that changed when they went digital.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I've not done a deep dive into the various components, but this the following is what I am led to believe for the most part.

But as I was thinking about DJI's approach to peripherals, it makes me scratch my head why so many of their accessories, (goggles, controllers, etc) are often not even cross compatible with current/semi-current equipment. Smart controllers: So they come out with a new smart controller, charge $1200 for it (M3 as an example) , and yet there are limited models that you can use it with. Can you even use it with the current Air2s? And what's crazy is that they make googles and controllers for 3rd party FPV drones, but not compatible with the drones that DJI produces?

While I realize that electronics provide a different compatability challenge than mechanical devices, one would think that a major company would want to make as many components cross compatible as possible And perhaps they're trying to do that when they came out with the Mini 2 controller... But considering the quality of the previous controllers (MIni 1 and particularly Mavic 2) one would thing that a company looking to boost price levels would look to provide some additional value, especially when looking at premium priced drones and accessories.

I'd love to buy some DJI goggles a smart controller, etc, but can't pull the trigger because there isn't even a hint of a promise that they would be forward or backwards compatible. DJI uses the Hasselblad name, but IMO should try better to follow the Hasselblad philosophy of compatibility.

Sorry for the rant. Dismounting soap box.
 
If people keep paying for incompatible new stuff and discarding the old stuff, what's the motivation for a manufacturer to do otherwise? Incompatibility is money in the manufacturer's bank accounts.
 
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Incompatibility is what makes DJI made more money. They want you to buy a new drone no more than 2 years later than your previous model. What is worst is they want you to buy four different controllers for all your four different models even though they could be compatible with just a firmware update. As far as they don't get a real market challenge from other manufacturers they can do whatever they want. This is simple offer/demand concept. If you are the only one manufacturing one product you'll be able to monopolize it without problems.
 
If people keep paying for incompatible new stuff and discarding the old stuff what's the motivation for a manufacturer to do otherwise, incompatibility is money in the manufacturer's bank accounts.
IMO this is enough reason to try to find value in alternate selections that aren't present with the King of the Mountain. Sometimes it takes a long time. One notable example is Sony. The Trinitron was the King of the Mountain- until other mfrs were able to make better, more affordable TV's. The SONY Vaio (back in the OJ trial days) was one to beat... but they got exclipsed and no longer make laptops (I own two old vaios). Apple (phones) were the king of the mountain once, but they have a number of formidable challengers, Samsung being one, I think it keeps them on their toes, though Apple has spent a ton of time and money with indoctrination of young people (I used to be a Mac evangelist back in the day).

One has to wonder if what we're seeing with DJI and similar alternatives is the Chinese corporate culture that you don't see with US and European manufacturers? I don't know. But it appears obvious to me that DJI's market research and positioning allows them to make design and manufacturing and operational decisions that might be different if they had serious competitors. Autel could be the DJI killer if they ever got it together completely. Autel makes some really competitive drones, but tends to drop the ball in all sorts of areas which makes folks, like me, who would like to try their brand but have to stand back hoping that they could be relied upon.
 
Another good competitor could be Skydio but seems they don't want to get in the game, not being able to sell outside USA is a No No.
 
Some of us old timer may have relied on Hasselblad Cameras and lenses (and accessories) back in the day. Over the years I acquired four Hasselblad systems and a variety of lenses, some older some newer. My first one was purchased (used) in 1973 and I built the system up from there. But the really cool thing is that no matter how they offered updated equipment, all their stuff was forwards and backwards compatible. Nothing became obsolete, even over many decades.



So they come out with a new smart controller, charge $1200 for it (M3 as an example) , and yet there are limited models that you can use it with. Can you even use it with the current Air2s?
There was hardly any advance in cameras during "analog manual" era.
You simply had same basic mechanical thing in different shape package with new number on it.
Incompatibilities started appearing when things started advancing with autofocus and electrically controlled aperture etc.


RC Pro has had Air 2S support since January.
Other drones are two steps behind Mavic 3 in video link tech.
 
four different controllers for all your four different models even though they could be compatible with just a firmware update.
This simply is not true.

The technology advances constantly, and older hardware may not have the capability, or raw performance power to implement newer requirements.

Great example is wifi controllers (MA1, mini 1 and SE), vs Occusync. Going further back, there's Lightbridge vs. Occusync. The old white Lightbridge Phantom RCs do not have the radio hardware, or processing power to change to O3 via a simple firmware change.

I doubt the aircraft could either. In these cases there is a hardware limitation.

In 2073, when the new Quantum Tunneling Occuprophet system comes out, allowing REAL TIME video and control on Mars from the earth, it is highly unlikely this leap in technology can be grafted on to your Mini 2 and the NC1 RC with a firmware update. You know, new hardware for the quantum tunneling....
 
This simply is not true.

The technology advances constantly, and older hardware may not have the capability, or raw performance power to implement newer requirements.

Great example is wifi controllers (MA1, mini 1 and SE), vs Occusync. Going further back, there's Lightbridge vs. Occusync. The old white Lightbridge Phantom RCs do not have the radio hardware, or processing power to change to O3 via a simple firmware change.

I doubt the aircraft could either. In these cases there is a hardware limitation.

In 2073, when the new Quantum Tunneling Occuprophet system comes out, allowing REAL TIME video and control on Mars from the earth, it is highly unlikely this leap in technology can be grafted on to your Mini 2 and the NC1 RC with a firmware update. You know, new hardware for the quantum tunneling....
Its true!
Mini2, Air2, Air2S, M3 and almost certainly the Mini3, all use the same RC-N1. Why not make them all compatible with the RC Pro?
 
Its true!
Mini2, Air2, Air2S, M3 and almost certainly the Mini3, all use the same RC-N1. Why not make them all compatible with the RC Pro?
THAT'S true, but like I said, it's only the most recent models. That's not the Hasselblad strategy the OP is talking about.

So this thread has reduced to a complaint about the NC1 compatible models ab the RC Pro, which can already be found in several other threads.
 
Engineered obsolescence driven by greed! Nothing more, nothing less.
 
There was hardly any advance in cameras during "analog manual" era.
You simply had same basic mechanical thing in different shape package with new number on it.
Incompatibilities started appearing when things started advancing with autofocus and electrically controlled aperture etc.


RC Pro has had Air 2S support since January.
Other drones are two steps behind Mavic 3 in video link tech.

While I largely agree with what you're saying which has some merit, if we shift gears for a moment, why then would DJI make a standard controller with many features and buttons, only to eliminate many of those function buttons in every controller, except for their uber expensive smart controller? You can't tell me that they couldn't have incorporated a C1, C2, 5D, separate video and still trigger buttons, a second wheel in whatever occusync configuration they came out with... and perhaps even an LED screen without having to spend $1200 more- for a controller that isn't even backwards compatible one generation.
 
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While I largely agree with what you're saying which has some merit, if we shift gears for a moment, why then would DJI make a standard controller with many features and buttons, only to eliminate many of those function buttons in every controller, except for their uber expensive smart controller? You can't tell me that they couldn't have incorporated a C1, C2, 5D, separate video and still trigger buttons, a second wheel in whatever occusync configuration they came out with... and perhaps even an LED screen without having to spend $1200 more- for a controller that isn't even backwards compatible one generation.
RC-N1 is definitely mostly garbage, along with DJI (dung)Fly.
It's like designers made both for basic/entry level drone and then suits decided to cram it with everything.
 
RC-N1 is definitely mostly garbage, along with DJI (dung)Fly.
It's like designers made both for basic/entry level drone and then suits decided to cram it with everything.
That's the thing that leaves a lot of us scratching our heads. DJI is just about to release the Mini3 Pro. Interestingly, they offer one package without a controller altogether, but them they offer the standard controller, and the dumbed down Mini 3 smart controller. Many of us on this forum have more than one drone that may not even be 2 years old. The RC-N1 isn't compatible with anything older than the Air2s, though the Mini 2 and Air2s and M3 all use the same standard controller. Who wants to bet that the RC-N1 won't be compatible with the Mini3? That one will be up for grabs for awhile.

If we think about "standard" FPV drones, a lot of times everything is based on a single controller that can be programmed for a variety of drones. One would think that DJI could build a "universal" programmable smart controller that could be adapted across it's whole line, even if they produced it during or after their latest greatest drone release. The only thing I can think of is the logic of building profit by producing non-compatible "orphaned" equipment that can only be used here and there with different DJI drones.
 
Some of us old timer may have relied on Hasselblad Cameras and lenses (and accessories) back in the day. Over the years I acquired four Hasselblad systems and a variety of lenses, some older some newer. My first one was purchased (used) in 1973 and I built the system up from there. But the really cool thing is that no matter how they offered updated equipment, all their stuff was forwards and backwards compatible. Nothing became obsolete, even over many decades. I suppose much of that changed when they went digital.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I've not done a deep dive into the various components, but this the following is what I am led to believe for the most part.

But as I was thinking about DJI's approach to peripherals, it makes me scratch my head why so many of their accessories, (goggles, controllers, etc) are often not even cross compatible with current/semi-current equipment. Smart controllers: So they come out with a new smart controller, charge $1200 for it (M3 as an example) , and yet there are limited models that you can use it with. Can you even use it with the current Air2s? And what's crazy is that they make googles and controllers for 3rd party FPV drones, but not compatible with the drones that DJI produces?

While I realize that electronics provide a different compatability challenge than mechanical devices, one would think that a major company would want to make as many components cross compatible as possible And perhaps they're trying to do that when they came out with the Mini 2 controller... But considering the quality of the previous controllers (MIni 1 and particularly Mavic 2) one would thing that a company looking to boost price levels would look to provide some additional value, especially when looking at premium priced drones and accessories.

I'd love to buy some DJI goggles a smart controller, etc, but can't pull the trigger because there isn't even a hint of a promise that they would be forward or backwards compatible. DJI uses the Hasselblad name, but IMO should try better to follow the Hasselblad philosophy of compatibility.

Sorry for the rant. Dismounting soap box.
One of the reasons I stayed with Nikon was that very aspect-the lenses from long ago still fit my latest Nikon series (e.g.: D750) and upwards to the D850.
 
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One of the reasons I stayed with Nikon was that very aspect-the lenses from long ago still fit my latest Nikon series (e.g.: D750) and upwards to the D850.
A really good reason to stick with one system. I switched from Nikon to Canon around 2004 or so and built my lens stable. I only had a few Nikon AF lenses at the time (and still have one). Consequently, switching brands was not in my best economic interest. Interestingly, Sony has come a long, long way in the imaging business since acquiring Minolta (probably the most under-rated brand previously on the market). Sony has some great gear and Nikon has come a long, long, long ways since the early 2000's. Truly I wish there was an economical digital back I could put on my Hasseblads. At the time, before I went 100% digital around 2002-3 I had about $30,000 in Hasselblad lenses that I carried on almost a daily basis. While I'd like to still be able to use them they owe me nothing as I made a lot of money with them.

Getting back to the theme... If only DJI would try to make things work across more of their drones.
 
I feel your pain, vindibona1,
my new phone is not compatible with the phone plug on my wall.
And I guess I'm ok with that. As long as the nearby telecom towers are functioning.
If that changes, or I decide to move where the reception is poor, I may have to rethink that.

I guess my point is that compatibility can come with its drawbacks and sometimes it's worth it. Sometimes it's not. I get that it is a pain to keep buying equipment that won't work with old equipment, but I think that designers have to weigh the feasibility of backward/forward compatibility all the time, especially with the complex sUAS systems like we are talking about, where the tech is changing overnight and there's no time to settle on a "standard" for anything.

Another issue that drones deal with, unlike camera equipment, is government regulation. Let's talk about just the FCC side of it for a second. I believe that when the Remote Control hobby first had FCC regulated FM 72MHz wide band transmitters in the 60's and 70's they only had like 6 different channels so only 6 aircraft could fly at once, each on their own channel. On the aircraft, the receiver had a 30" or so long wire for an antenna and you had to extend it in or outside the aircraft somewhere and a really long extendable metal antenna on the transmitter with a tiny red/white (for example) flag on the end showing which channel you were on. If you turned on your transmitter on the same channel as someone else flying a plane on that channel, you would likely "shoot" them down. Then, I think in the early 80's they went to narrow band and divided the same channel space up into, if I'm correct, 48 different channels, which was a big improvement. An owner of an older wide band transmitter could send it in to get it upgraded to be narrow band but I don't believe the receivers could be upgraded so they may still get interference unless you replaced them. The FCC didn't politely ask RC owners with wide band radios to upgrade. It was an FCC mandate and implemented by the AMA, the national model organization, and all of the local clubs. Around the year 2000 I spent about $1200 on a high end JR brand transmitter, the 10X, and it came with 4 servos, and had a 10 model memory.
Fast forward to 2001 or so when they came out with spread spectrum radios where the transmitter/receiver are paired and can "jump around" on the allotted bandwidth and not interfere with other radios. The transmitter antennas were like 6" long. And the receiver antennas were like 2" long. It was great.
As it is today, I believe you are still able to use a narrow band radio at an RC field, but, unlike spread spectrum, you'd risk being "shot down" by another modeler... if there are any still flying narrow band FM.
The new radios/receivers are much better in every respect. I'm not even sure how you would make the radios backwards compatible, let alone how expensive it would be.

Also to your point, the one thing I really like about RC hobby transmitters, like Futaba or Spektrum, is that on most of the newer models you can program/pair over 200 different aircraft to the same radio. And each can have its own settings. Like most DJI drone owners, if I could buy one really high quality DJI controller and pair/save settings on each of the 7 DJI drones I fly that would be fantastic.

What do you think it would be worth to most DJI owners? I'd probably pay a couple thousand US dollars for such a transmitter, or controller as it's called by most.

For what it's worth, I believe that DJI became a major stakeholder in Hasselblad a few years ago, and it was probably a good deal for both of them moving forward.
Although they had a legendary presence in the film photography world, Hasselblad was having major financial issues since the 2010's. I don't think they were able to make the jump to digital as well as some others.
DJI's bread and butter, as I see it, has always been drone controller boards/software and also gimbal tech. When DJI started designing new drones that could integrate a quality multi-rotor, gimbal, and camera into a dependable, off-the-shelf, user friendly product, they really jumped ahead. I think that just having the Hasselblad name on their drones has helped their image.
Ewww. Sorry for the bad pun.

I don't believe any other drone maker has teamed up with a camera company yet, if I'm not mistaken?
 
Who wants to bet that the RC-N1 won't be compatible with the Mini3?
RC-N1 is the basic remote for Mini 3.
Though already existing RC-N1s would need firmware update to recognize Mini 3.

RC Pro already uses same older OcuSync 3 with Air 2S, so also that should be firmware upgradable to support Mini 3.
I guess OcuSync 3+ introduced with Mavic 3 will be reserved for Air 3 to give it more things over Mini.
 
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