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New Air 2s Owner With a Few Questions

st102688

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Good morning!

I purchased an Air 2S fly more combo a couple of weeks ago and have very much enjoyed it so far. I'm not sure I'll become quite the pros that some of you are, but I am very interested in becoming more competent with both flying and some of the post production happenings.

Below are a few questions that I've compiled. Some I MAY have answers for but I'm not too confident! I've done some searching throughout the forum but I apologize in advance for not finding the answers that I'm guessing are already on here. For what it's worth - I'm an Android guy!
  • How soon after flying is it safe to start charging the battery? When it cools down completely?
  • Recording sound to stitch with the video footage: Is XRecorder the best option? Are there any standalone sound recorders that you might recommend that will provide higher quality sound?
  • Does the controller work via line of sight with the drone? I seem to get choppy footage back to my phone even if I fly low on the other side of the house.
  • Is there a tablet that you would recommend? I would have no problem switching to an iPad since it seems like DJI is more into bed with them rather than my beloved Android!
  • Anybody taking their time to respond to this - it would be great to hear one "ah ha!" moment that you came across when you first started. I have some chronic unease with the whole process which I assume would be solved with information I probably don't even know to ask about!
  • I have Photoshop Elements 15 that I've used for pictures. What do you guys/gals recommend one use for their first go at editing video? (Windows)
  • I have the filters that were supplied with the fly more combo. Anything else you recommend I purchase?
Appreciate your time - this seems like an awesome community you all have created!

Steve
 

Meta4

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  • How soon after flying is it safe to start charging the battery? When it cools down completely?
The battery won't charge until its temperature is right
  • Does the controller work via line of sight with the drone? I seem to get choppy footage back to my phone even if I fly low on the other side of the house.
You have to have a clear, unobstructed line of sight to maintain your control signal
  • Is there a tablet that you would recommend? I would have no problem switching to an iPad since it seems like DJI is more into bed with them rather than my beloved Android!
Don't believe the myth
DJI works equally well with either operating system
What's important is that the tablet has sufficient RAM, a fast processor and is configured properly
There are plenty of great Android flying tablets if you wanted to go that way.
 

Mancave001

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Good morning!

I purchased an Air 2S fly more combo a couple of weeks ago and have very much enjoyed it so far. I'm not sure I'll become quite the pros that some of you are, but I am very interested in becoming more competent with both flying and some of the post production happenings.

Below are a few questions that I've compiled. Some I MAY have answers for but I'm not too confident! I've done some searching throughout the forum but I apologize in advance for not finding the answers that I'm guessing are already on here. For what it's worth - I'm an Android guy!
  • How soon after flying is it safe to start charging the battery? When it cools down completely?
  • Recording sound to stitch with the video footage: Is XRecorder the best option? Are there any standalone sound recorders that you might recommend that will provide higher quality sound?
  • Does the controller work via line of sight with the drone? I seem to get choppy footage back to my phone even if I fly low on the other side of the house.
  • Is there a tablet that you would recommend? I would have no problem switching to an iPad since it seems like DJI is more into bed with them rather than my beloved Android!
  • Anybody taking their time to respond to this - it would be great to hear one "ah ha!" moment that you came across when you first started. I have some chronic unease with the whole process which I assume would be solved with information I probably don't even know to ask about!
  • I have Photoshop Elements 15 that I've used for pictures. What do you guys/gals recommend one use for their first go at editing video? (Windows)
  • I have the filters that were supplied with the fly more combo. Anything else you recommend I purchase?
Appreciate your time - this seems like an awesome community you all have created!

Steve
Bought mine about a month ago with the smart controller. Welcome!

  • I believe the charger will not charge the battery if too hot. I still usually wait a bit if the battery is really warm.
  • I don't have an answer there as I don't record sound
  • Yes. LOS makes a huge difference, as do your surroundings from which you're flying. If you're sitting in an open field with clear LOS, you can expect range above 10,000 FT out, depending. Supposedly it will go 7.5 miles, but that is against FAA rules to say the least. Any obstruction (such as a building) will dramatically reduce your signal. I could be at a range of 1500 ft distance and if I reduce altitude to obscure LOS, the signal gets weak.
  • I use the Smart controller, which I recommend, but DJI actually is more compatible with Android. The SC is based on Android. I bought it because an experienced drone pilot and store operator made the case that it eliminates compatibility issues. Personally, I'm an Apple guy, so there's nothing wrong with an iPad. The issue you may have is dimming in direct sunlight/warm weather.
  • If you lose signal completely and your settings/conditions are correct (RTH altitude, wind speed), the drone will come home automatically. Don't use the RTH button, because that will cancel it if initiated automatically. The drone will then try to keep coming home, and you'll keep canceling it every time you push it!
  • Consider buying a propeller protector/holder for travel. Example
  • I upgraded my props to these Master Airscrew ones. Definitely quieter and seems to improve flight time slightly.
  • I am skeptical of effectiveness, but after research I just ordered both parabolic and yagi antennae range extenders from Drone Valley. I'll report back on how effective they are.
  • Read up on maintaining the batteries, storage mode, when to charge, etc.

Good luck...I'm still a newbie to the Air2s myself. I had a cheaper wifi drone, and was an R/C pilot years ago. Really getting into the hobby now!
 

maggior

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The other stuff has been covered well, so I'll share some of my "ah ha" moments and some overall suggestions.

First, I suggest focusing on flying before getting really deep into the camera settings or quickshots. Certainly take some photos and video your flights, but just leave it all in auto mode in the beginning.

On the transmission tab, you can set the video feed to HD or smooth. I suggest smooth which will eliminate some lag when the signal strength gets marginal. The video feed is is really just to help you line up your shots and navigate the drone and "smooth" is more than sufficient for that.

Set your max height to 120m. The only reason to set it higher is if you plan on flying up the side of a mountain or a structure like a tower or building. I wouldn't suggest doing any of that until you are totally comfortable.

Set your max distance to what you are comfortable with and to something within your visual line of sight. When you are ready, you could do a test flight to see what the max distance is that you can still see the drone. For me, that is 500m.

Make sure that the Return to Home height is set to something that is higher and any structures or trees near you. Where I fly, the tallest things I have to worry about is trees and 60m gives me more than enough of a buffer.

Before you take off every time, double check and verify these settings! Check the props and that the battery is secure also.

Lastly, it is easy to lose your orientation if you fly your drone out to the limits of your visual line of sight. Also when it is at the limits of your VLOS, you can easily lose it in the sky. Learn how to use the compass in the DJI Fly app. It's not intuitive but once you figure it out, it's quite simple. There are some good youtube videos on it. Even easier, learn how to use the map. On the map, there will always be a straight red line drawn between the drone and the home point. So even with the map in it's small view in the bottom left corner, you can use it to point the drone straight toward home and push the drone forward (right stick forward if you are using the default stick mode).

The drone is very stable and it will just hang steady in the sky if you don't do anything. Don't Panic!! If you feel panic rising, let go of the sticks and take a deep breath and take a few moments to think about what you need to do. Very often pilots will bring their drone down by doing something rash in a moment of panic.

A skill that may ease your anxiety a bit is learning how to orient your drone even if it is so far out that you can't tell which way it's pointing. Let's say your phone crashes and you have no video feed and no map or compass. Sure you can hit return to home, but isn't it more fun to pilot the drone yourself? This video demonstrates how to do that. It's a bit counterintuitive but it works!

One last thing (sorry, this has gotten REALLY long)...fly whenever you can and keep within your comfort zone. As you gain confidence in your skill and in the drone, you will start to feel less anxiety when flying. This will all happen over time.


This video helped me understand the compass better. You'll also see how the map is brought up.
 
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Smooth Rhythm

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Welcome to the MavicPilots forum. Enjoy, and happy flying!
 

pommy

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I have the filters that were supplied with the fly more combo. Anything else you recommend I purchase?

Hey!

Great questions :)

I've learned that ND filters serve no purpose for stills unless you use 1000/2000ND etc. for long exposure stills. They are for video use.

I learned this by flying around with an ND filter on and wondering why the quality of my stills had degraded.

Why did I have it on? Well, to protect the lens. There is no protection on the lens glass with the Air 2S. It's just an empty frame to protect the ND filter mounts (and look pretty). Twist it off and you'll see.

So to my top tip...get a clear UV filter to protect your expensive lens asap and leave it on.

(Even with the softest cloth, cleaning dirt/salt/bugs from the unprotected lens will definitely scratch it over time).
 

tlswift58

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Hey!

Great questions :)

I've learned that ND filters serve no purpose for stills unless you use 1000/2000ND etc. for long exposure stills. They are for video use.

I learned this by flying around with an ND filter on and wondering why the quality of my stills had degraded.

Why did I have it on? Well, to protect the lens. There is no protection on the lens glass with the Air 2S. It's just an empty frame to protect the ND filter mounts (and look pretty). Twist it off and you'll see.

So to my top tip...get a clear UV filter to protect your expensive lens asap and leave it on.

(Even with the softest cloth, cleaning dirt/salt/bugs from the unprotected lens will definitely scratch it over time).
My ND filter does not make a real difference in quality of photo / video. Yes, I do use the lowest - ND16 - and many others (removed by moderator) will tell you an ND is not the real issue unless you use like a 256 or higher. But, if YOU THINK it makes a difference - that fine for you.
 
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Meta4

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My ND filter does not make a real difference in quality of photo / video. Yes, I do use the lowest - ND16 - and many others (not Meta) will tell you an ND is not the real issue unless you use like a 256 or higher. But, if YOU THINK it makes a difference - that fine for you.
Your ND 16 filter prevents 94% of the light getting to the sensor.
That forces your camera to use a shutter speed 4 stops slower to get correct exposure.
You really have no idea what an ND filter does and are on the wrong side of the facts.
No-one should pay any attention to you on the topic of ND filters.

All you have to do is read any basic information about ND filters to get the facts.
But you are resistant to facts.
 
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Dan AISCF

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  • I have the filters that were supplied with the fly more combo. Anything else you recommend I purchase?
Since MOST everything was covered I'll just answer this one question. In re: to filters, I live in Florida and shoot a LOT of Gulf beaches. Even when not at the beach, it is ridiculously bright here. I suggest you, if you like to film in bright conditions, pick up either an ND64 or variable filters that can reach the equivalent stop of ND64. The 32 with the Flymore doesn't cut it for me and the way I shoot (I prefer to shoot 30fps 60 shutter and slow 80% in post for smooth stutter-less video). With the ND32 on there, I have to shoot at 60fps 120 shutter (and it's still kind of overexposed) and I don't really like to with Drone footage.

Also even though the flymore comes with a bag of sorts you might want to invest in a hard case if you are going to be out and about. Although the flymore bag carries everything, the added protection of a waterproof rugged case is well worth it.

Welcome to the end of your savings, lol...
 
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MS Coast

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ND filters do reduce the amount of light reaching the camera. That's their purpose.

The amount of light getting through is equal to 1 divided by the filter number.

ND4 filter allows 1/4 or 25% of the incident light to pass through.
ND16 filter allows 1/16 or 6.25% of the incident light to pass through.

The reduction in light by an ND filter is (ND number -1) / ND number.

An ND4 filter reduces the light reaching the camera by (4-1)/4 or 3/4 or 75%
An ND16 filter reduces the light reaching the camera by (16-1)/16 or 15/16 or 93.75%

References:
 
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MS Coast

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  • Does the controller work via line of sight with the drone? I seem to get choppy footage back to my phone even if I fly low on the other side of the house.
  • Is there a tablet that you would recommend? I would have no problem switching to an iPad since it seems like DJI is more into bed with them rather than my beloved Android!

I had a similar issue with lag and stutter on the screen with my Air 2S. I reduced the resolution on the video link in the setup menu and it's fine now. The lower resolution wasn't a noticeable thing for me.

As for tablets, I took the low-cost approach with a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0" for $120. It lacks a compass, so the controller location and orientation weren't available. That wasn't a problem for me. I recently upgraded to a Galaxy Tab S5e at $280. That was motivated partly by cracking the screen on the 8" and partly by wanting a larger screen.

Both the Galaxy tablets (Androids) have performed just fine, with no issues or problems at all. If you prefer Android devices, I'd say to go ahead with one. I'm not seeing any advantages to Apple devices for DJI drones.

People on this forum have very strong opinions on video editors, but I'd say that Premiere Elements 15 is just fine for basic editing. You might want to stick with it until you run into a limitation and focus your time for now on getting proficient with the drone.

The earlier advice from others is right on target. One thing I'll add is to get comfortable with the yaw control when the drone is facing directions other than straight away from you. Getting comfortable with the "right is left" control movement when the drone is coming toward you is essential.

Welcome to the forum. Enjoy.
 
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maggior

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ND filters help with motion blur which is usually associated with video. Where they can come in handy for stills is when the subject is moving. I recently saw a good use of ND filters shooting stills of water falls and rivers.
 
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maggior

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Thank you. The drone gods seem to think otherwise on ND's and even he lives in FL. Yet, they make statements not backed up by any kind of real data. To use an ND or any other filter, tablet / phone, or other gadgets are PILOT exclusive. Only YOU can make the determination of whether it works for you or not.

I love my FlyMore drone bag. Small and lightweight. Yet, a hardcase would be nice for better protection.

I like the FlyMore drone bag for when I am walking around someplace and plan to fly my drone. It sits nicely on your shoulder. Lugging around a hardcase gets old quickly. My hardcase is where it is stored in the house or when I'm heading out to a location specifically to fly.
 
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st102688

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Well this certainly took a different turn than I had anticipated BUT I will say, it caused me to do some reading for myself on the subject! I think I'll be sticking to the world of stills until I become more comfortable with smoothly flying this unit.

I had a great time today at the beach with my family and a crowd of people who wanted to get in on the action. I guess this comes with the territory! (Before I get chastised - I kept it no more than maybe 20' off the ground and only shot our immediate lounging area!) I did have some time at the 4x4 area of the beach with fewer people and was able to fly up a few hundred feet and snap some pictures down the beach.

Back to the subject at hand - I slapped the ND 32 filter on it and the pictures seemed to come out pretty good to my untrained eye. Is there a specific section of the forum where I could post pictures and receive some constructive criticism? From the info currently at hand, it seems like a good idea for me to try out a UV filter so I have this filter on order. Also, what is the technical difference between the Smart photo mode and auto?

I'll also be venturing into the tablet world on Saturday when it gets delivered. An Asus ZenPad Z8s (ZT582KL) is what I selected - we'll see if I'm kicking myself for not getting something larger. This is the mount I'm going to start with (Skyreat Tablet Mount) but I still need to decide on a sunshade to try.

Each time I go flying I've been trying to pick one "setting/skill" to focus on while I'm in the air. I think time behind the wheel (sticks?) is my best friend when it comes to the actual flying part.

Thanks again to all for your contributions!
 

st102688

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unless you have a particular reason to want to force a longer shutter speed than otherwise possible.

Hah! This is exactly my reasoning for opting for the UV filter. I've been getting some blur with hands, legs, etc. that were taken on the sunniest of sunny days while shooting in smart mode. I figured, "well, must be a drone thing". Doesn't seem like that's the case. I'll see how the UV filter works for me and report back! I imagine the shutter speed will increase pretty significantly and that blur will magically disappear.
 
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Meta4

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I've been getting some blur with hands, legs, etc. that were taken on the sunniest of sunny days while shooting in smart mode. I figured, "well, must be a drone thing".
That ND32 filter only allows 3% of the light to pass through to the sensor.
That's a 5 stop reduction in exposure.
What that means for shutter speed is that
If the correct shutter speed without the filter was 1/500th, adding the filter would force a shutter speed of 1/15th of a second , or a 5 stop increase in ISO that would make for very grainy image.
 

pommy

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Back to the subject at hand - I slapped the ND 32 filter on it and the pictures seemed to come out pretty good to my untrained eye.
Ask yourself why you put the filter on? Because it was bright?

Change the shutter speed (in the PRO settings).

That’s what I thought the ND filters did, made it better, but no.
 

Dan AISCF

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... Is there a specific section of the forum where I could post pictures and receive some constructive criticism? From the info currently at hand, it seems like a good idea for me to try out a UV filter so I have this filter on order. Also, what is the technical difference between the Smart photo mode and auto?
There sure is: https://mavicpilots.com/categories/photos-and-video.94/

Also, and I'm not dropping this in here to have stones thrown at me, seeing as ND Filters is such a grating topic: you normally do not need ND's of any type, when taking still pics, unless you are taking long exposure shots (running water, light trails from vehicles on roadways, etc). If you want tack sharp photos on the Air 2S, you'd generally go into Pro mode, set your ISO at 100 and adjust your shutter speed, normally keeping it over 250, to stop the motion. If it is still too bright, then you increase the shutter. This is how I personally shoot on all of my drones and ground cameras and this works for ME. When you shoot like this, though, you have to plan out your shots between video and photos. Meaning, if I'm at the beach taking video, I know that I'll shoot all my video first with my ND's on, then bring the drone in, remove the ND's and take it back up for photos, with no filters on, so I can get sharper images... Again, this is appears to be a "kicking the bees nest" sort of thing, so doing what works best for you is all that matters... :)
 
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