When flying a symetrical drone, it is really easy to lose your orientation relative to the drone. There are ways to fix this like turning on an intelligent flight mode or hitting return to home to get your drone back safely and you should practice using the return to home feature at least once in a controlled way so you know how it works. But lets say you want to keep your drone "on target" and filming, then the only thing to do is to regain your orientation. Practicing this with your photo rig is certainly one way to do it, but you might also consider using a $20 CX-10D and the following practice exercise. It can be done inside or outside.
Tips: Small movements work best. If you fly it forward and you could not learn anything about its orientation, try and fly it the opposite direction just so you aren't losing any ground.
I used to have an affiliate link to banggood to buy this but I have had an issue twice already and I just can't recommend them anymore. You should be able to get them off Amazon and Ebay with no problem, just make sure you get the CX-10D.
I finally got my trusty Inspire 1 back from DJI after the landing gear mechanism stopped working. About $275 and several phone calls later it flies as good as new [there will be another post about my experience with DJI support soon]. The X3 camera has a similar sensor as the GoPro, so low light work will never be amazing but with a bit of experimenting and post production work I was able to create the following image I am happy with.
I really want to engage more with people who are reading my blog so I submit this simple challenge to anyone reading this who has a drone that can take AEB Bracketed photos - Go out and take a sunrise picture with your drone and send it to me to be featured in a slideshow at the end of this blog posting.
I am going to talk about the simple steps I took to make this photograph but if this is something you would like to see a full blown tutorial on, please let me know.
Step 1: Set your photo mode to AEB Bracketing. This takes 3 or 5 shots with different exposures. For this test image I just took them in JPEG and did a 3 shot burst. If I wanted the absolute best post production material to work with I would do JPEG + RAW and do a 5 shot burst. When you are taking these, give your drone a second or two to stabilize before you take the picture. You really want things to be as stable as possible.
Step 2: [You have lots of options for merging bracketed images, I just happen to use Adobe] Get the files onto your computer and open up Adobe Bridge. Navigate to your 3 or 5 bracketed RAW images and select them all using CTRL - Click. Then go to tools > Photoshop > Merge to HDR Pro. This will launch Adobe Photoshop and merge them together, leaving you with your final image.
Step 3: It will present you with your final image that will not look all that impressive yet, just click ok. Now back into Photoshop, select your image and then from the top pull down menus Filter > Camera Raw Filter. There are a bunch of sliders you can move around until you have the perfect picture. I really like to turn down Highlights to make the cloud texture slow. Contrast and exposure can help compensate for lost brightness from adjusting highlights and shadows. Clarity sharpens things up a bit while Vibrance and Saturation bring out the colors.
Now go try this out so I can add your picture below!!!
This is part two of this $120 micro indoor FPV drone project, check the first part here. I have links there to the E010c and the FPV goggles if you want to play along.
Today I got the E010C in the mail. No sign of the goggles so I won't be able to do a full review of the entire FPV setup but I got a chance to open up and test fly the E010C. It came in a regular E010 box and I actually thought this was a replacement for the one my dog chomped last week. There were two extra bags that had the micro (nano?) video transmitter and camera. This vtx (video transmitter) thing is tiny, about the size of my thumbnail and it feels sturdy. The antenna is soldered on so you will not be able to swap it easily. Besides that, it came with the usual extra props and a charger. Nothing fancy or too nice but it was less than $40.
There are no directions for attaching the camera to the E010 drone but it is very straight forward. You just plug the wire into the camera and onto the board. There is a guide on the side of the male part of the wire so you don't plug it in backwards. Find the guide and do not force it, bending a pin can be really frustrating.
Peel a double sided piece of tape and put it on the bottom of the camera and then find a good spot and stick it on. I have not flown mine FPV yet so I can't recommend a good spot other than just what looks right. I did want to be able to wrap the included rubber band on it to secure it in place and also help with adjusting it. The camera wants to tilt slightly to the side because of one of the chips on the board. I might make a tiny riser if I can't get it level with the rubber band.
I just flew with the storage charge to see how it flies the first time. It struggles a bit and you really notice when you are trying to go fast. It will tend to lose altitude during aggressive flying probably because it does not have enough power for the added weight. I am already wondering if the electronics on this could handle a 2s battery. For cruising around the house at a moderate pace this machine delivers. It is by no means a race quad and it is pretty obvious I will need to modify this thing if I want to haul ass. Just to sum it up, it flies great for basic flying. If you want to fly like a bat out of hell, you might need to get out your nerd hat. I really like having a reason to get out my nerd hat.
As far as the FPV test, you will have to wait until the goggles get in. I should be able to get DVR footage to share and you should be able to get a good idea of how it flies. I will be flying it slowly and fast to see how it does. I also have some higher discharge 1S batteries on the way so those might be able to help with the bogging. I am already thinking about trying those coreless motors too. Stay tuned..
Don't forget to get your free DroneAbove sticker, just drop me your address here and I will get one out to you!