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Discussion in 'ALTA 8' started by Roger Fosaas, Mar 26, 2016.
Bryan, which flight electronics are you using?
Bryan... Seriously? are you telling that a M600 with 6 200 U$S batteries and a lot of crappy electronics are better than a Alta...?
come on... LB2? the A3 maybe... but buy a gimbal that need a non existent (at least for now) TX RX video that is not authorised to fly in the states? to need, in a normal fly day at least 7 pack of 6 batteries (42 total) to fly... and of course 6 chargers...
Inspire 1... yes I have it... nice toy... thats all... Inspire 1 raw? with 1.200 U$S per SSD... a total of 2 hours to download the videos to a proprietary and no fully working software... and, as you said great and intuitive software, that in the last upgrade cut in half the power of the TX RX not telling any client about that... (yes great and solid customer service)... after, i don´t know how much inspires and phantoms falling from the skies...after upgrading to a not working firmware... and come on third party HD? have you ever see the lag compared to a connex???
Really... personally... I don´t think so... but that´s my opinion...
And yes I been flying all when I started with RC planes at the age of 8... now I´m 44... and yes I fly multi rotors for about 5 years now... and yes I use DJI products starting with NAZA1 thought A2, have now 2 S1000 2 S900 2 inspire1 (x3 and X5) a P3 pro and a P4... Started my business with a cinestar 8 with MK (holy pain in my brain) and I can say that the Alta is the best machine I can fly now...
cheers and safe flights!
I would echo what Bryan says.
Most of the guys here, as I am, are service providers (aerial filming and photography). As professionals we choose the most reliable, easiest to work with, most dependable, most user friendly product. And besides all of this, we want to get the best result out of the equipment with a good customer support.
For instance, I use only Movi gimbal stabilizers. I have three M10, two M5 and a M15. The money I invested on these products, if you calculate the accesories as well (such as Wedge, Movi Controller, HD transmitters, focus motors etc. ) is huge. And I am willing to get the best performance out there. For instance, one of the weak points of Movi products are pan motor power; it can't handle fast sideways movements with heavy camera and lenses. Lots of users are complaining about this here on this forum. Freefly is yet to answer or come up with a solution or answer to this.
Another example: I wanted to mount two Black Magic Micro Cinema Camera to M15. I needed another base plate for the rails of the Movi. Freefly simply said that they can't provide me another base plate. Guys really, is this the answer that Freefly should respond? I have another M10, I will remove the base plate from it to do what I want. Or order from the famoushobby, as they provide a similar base rail plate which is compatible with M10-M15.
While DJI is getting more professional users to their side with their new products, Freefly needs to do more to keep their existing customers. The examples I gave above is pushing me to try other products. Look at the prices of DJI Ronin-MX; who will not even think not trying this gimbal? If it is keeping the horizon solid as they say?
M600 will get the marketshare from Alta 6. Let alone the redundant flight control system is enough for European regulations for choosing M600 over Alta6. M600 will still suffer the same problem as Alta 6; when they are loaded with max payload; it will be hard to get the bird back. But at least, M600 has a motor lost redundacy which Alta 6 doesn't have.
If Freefly can't compete with DJI with the innovation; they need to keep their existing customer with a better customer support.
Thanks to Freely, I have created enormous amount of great work with their products. I will keep using them but as a service provider I will have to try another solutions for problems which Freefly doesn't address.
I have been using Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 since they first came out. I didn't have any single issue with them. I think most of the users who are having issues are newbies. Even the A2 FCs that I have installed on my Cinestar frames are performing flawlessly.
there is only one thing that i like about inspire/phantom/matrice 600: they have data from the copterframe to stabilize the gimbal wich results in perfect stabilization.
the MoVI has to be much more accurate than a ronin mx or the gimbal of the inspire when used with a multirotor.
But still i think that the ALTA is the much better choice than the M600. Just read the restriction of this chinese machine: not higher than1500m above NN (you can go much higher with the ALTA6 if you use light camera setups), 5m/s climbing (instead of 12m/s with the ALTA), you need 6 expensive batteries for a flighttime much similar to that you'll get with 2 lipo packs with the ALTA. just think about what you need to do a normal day job... ah and there is the skyview...
DJI was just valued at $10 billion US. That's a lot of $$$ for development of new products. The fact that they are going after the pro multi-camera heavy lifter market should keep Freefly on their toes. DJI may not have hit the nail on the head with their new 600 (only issue I see is too many batteries), but just wait until the next product cycle. Their complete system approach with integrated app is the way to go. Freefly can only remain a viable niche player if they offer something the bigger players can't. Not sure that's going to be possible in the very near future.
This may be of interest (if you hadn't already seen it) features the original DJI Matrice fuelled by Hydrogen, 'intelligent energy' here in the UK are doing some very interesting work:
I really hope, that freefly can stay at the market with their great products because i don't want to see a dji monopole. There are so many things i like about the MoVI, the ALTA and of course freefly and i hope they'll take their chance to be better in customer support than dji (and it isn't hard to be that ).
what about companies like shotover with a much higher price range (75000$) for their new, small system? they offer 360° on all axis without gimbal lock (!!) and no acceleration drift. the system holds more than 100km/h with lenses up to 120mm. may freefly should try to get there for a lower price instead of fighting against the dji windmill
I hear a lot about the # of batteries the Matrice needs. But the batteries are small enough to legally carry on commercial flights. I haven't had issues w Alta sized batteries, but they are clearly over allowable size. If the FAA comes down on the big batteries DJI will be the only thing to travel unless there is time to ship power by ground
The reason why Matrice 600 has so much batteries, is because the system is 12S. The batteries are 6S. So in practice, you will have 3 sets of batteries installed on M600. The batteries would be my least concern for M600 as long as they come up with a very fast & reliable charging station.
is the M600 assembled? Or do customers have to fix things together (like S1000)?
is it tested after assembling like an ALTA?
Do you think dji would call the machines back for no cost when they find out, that there is something wrong with the copters?
or do you rather think, that they wait until some of them have fallen from the sky?
and do we really like it if one chinese company is controlling our business?
I don't think DJI would recall the whole copter. I only use A2 flight controller and Inspire form DJI.
For support wise, I think the Freefly customers in the US are more lucky. For me, I'm located in Turkey, it's kind of pain to send my Movi for repair. It takes at least 1 month for a simple repair, including the custom clearance delay and shipping time with Fedex Express. But for DJI, we have local repair center which does a great job. (Had an issue with Inspire X5 gimbal and they did the repair in one day).
Personally, I always wait the second generation of new techs. Look at Lightbridge 1, it's bulky, lots of delay; totaly unusable. Even with Alta6, which was throughly tested, had some issues and they were called in. I'm sure Alta8 is free of these issues. One way or another, it's very true that DJI is now controlling the drone world. They have advantage in price, in tech, in integrity; in almost everything.
I know it's totally another topic but, would you think that Freefly would drop price of M10 if DJI wouldn't come up with Ronin? If DJI come up with M800 with 5000$ price tag, how would Freefly compete with DJI?
Personally I want Freefly to stay in the business and produce great products. For instance, where is Movi XL? We desperately need it as a crane head o as a russian arm head. I'm sure there are lots of operators needing this kind of big gyro head for bigger productions.
one (4700mAh) m600 batterie is 200 EUR (i don't know the $ price yet but it should be in the same range). You need 6 of them to fly = 1200 EUR instead of 400 EUR for 20000mAh/6s tatoo packs.
you'll get 14100mAh/12s with the dji batteries wich should give a similar flight time (less amps because of the higher voltage but more weight)
if you want to do a dayjob with this copter you need about 4-5 extra packages = 4800 - 6000,-- EUR for batteries instead 2000-2400,-- EUR for the tatoo packages.
Buy an Aerigon if you want to lift heavy. Buy an Alta if you fly DSLRs.
If you desperately need a remote head for cranes you should look at the Newton Head by Intuitive Aerial.
Well please don't buy something that you are not able to see in action and inspect in person. If you wish to spend 30k for something use those 2k usd or eur and go and visit builders for a live demo and check it out. Othervise you will buy 2 while one will be collecting dust.
My 5 cents....
I second Ozkan opinion.
Freefly support outside of the US sucks!
My M5 got detached from a car rig once - for whatever reason - and crashed on the ground. A few broken clamps and the pan motor got blocked. Otherwise everything was still working, roll tilt axis were holding fine.
I went to my local dealer and asked for repair parts. Due to my drone builing skills I was confident I could repair it myself - no big deal.
However, I was told I must send in the whole gimbal (to US) for repair. My M5 was gone for 1 month. Luckily, my dealer was so kind and gave me their demo M5 for use until my M5 returned from Freefly US. This act was however a goodwil of the dealer - not part of Freefly dealer program or whatsoever. So, I asked where is the great Freefly support everyone is talking about?
Off topic, Freefly charges for the M10 3x the price of a M5. With a minor modification of the M5 (basically just replaced standard with longer tubes) get the same payload like the M10. 3x more, really?
As a professional I look out for the best product and I am willing to pay premium price for quality and support.
However, the longer the more I think are better options. Ronin Mx, Gremsy H16/7 a major contender. If Freefly cannot keep up, either with better support or innovation, they will loose ground.
I know, this is a Freefly forum, thus lots of fanboys here - which I am not. I am happy with my M5 so far, but I am ready to switch camp whenever a better product is available. Gremsy H7/16 look very promising.
My Two Cents...
I resisted going with FreeFly for many years due to cost. I worked closely with Gremsy on the H10 and H14 and really wanted those gimbals to perform in the field on set. I looked at DJI as I built my own drones first with the Droidworx SkyJib then later my own frame based on Aerial Pixels. All with DJI flight controllers.
I spent years struggling trying to make this tech work. Yes I had some success but more and more I was on the bench fixing, turning and trouble shooting. Gremsy have great customer support and were always on Skype to talk me through repairs. DJI... well they don't have customer service.
The final straw for me was landing a big contract I had worked years to secure. Finally I get to the location and my gimbal shits the bed. So bad I had to bow out of the contract and the client had to bring in someone with a MoVi. I was gutted. I had worked so hard to secure this opportunity only to have it blow up in my face because of an equipment failure.
Yes you can say shit happens and even FreeFly gear fails. I could have fixed it and had a backup. BUT for me the reality of it was that I needed to be out shooting and the time I was spending trouble shooting was ridiculous. Great custom support is one thing, but a working tool that keeps you shooting and not on skype with customer service is what its about.
I broke the bank and move to FreeFly with the MoVi and the Alta. Now when I get a contract I can focus completely on getting the shot. I can strap my M15 to a jib in a snowy blizzard at -10C at night and know its just going to work. Like pulling out my tripod, I don't ever worry about it not working, its a tool and it does what its designed to do so I can concentrate on using it and being creative.
Every job I go into now I know I can achieve what is required with no stress worrying about cheap gear screwing me over. My business can perform its duty, I can create and make my clients faces light up with amazing images. FreeFly know the film industry, they know film production and they know the battles you face being onset and what it took to be there with that opportunity working with the best in the industry.
FreeFly have my back as a filmmaker. They get it. They do it themselves.
If Freefly can bring out a new M6 (better soon) for a price around US 3-3.5K with load capacity up to 7lbs and only weights around 3lbs (aerial mode), at least same or better performance than M5, they can count on me.
For aerials, lighter means more airtime, less batteries, easier to travel (especially by air) etc.
Cameras and gears are getter smaller and lighter and better (Red Weapon, S-W, Raven, Arri Mini, Rtmotion Latitude, etc), so I think gimbal makers have to adapt quickly. You can say what you want, but with each new release DJI and Gremsy stuff are geting better and better. Freefly has launched great products with their Mövi series. But things has been rather quiet in their gimbal world. Yes, Mövi XL could be next. But this is a rather small and specialized niche market with stronger players. My two cents.
Btw, the specs above are not unrealistic though.
the M600 can not be compared in any way to eithe the Alta 6 or the Alta 8. it's a DJI product, not the same market i would say.
I build many rigs, no matter DJI, Freely , MK, custom (a lot for photogrammetry) ,we build what the customer need.
I'll spare all the details but to make it short :
- The Alta 6 had a major recall for reinforcing the wiring routing on the folding arms. Then was mainly firmware updates. Nothing shocking here, FF just did their job by recalling products before major problem happened... +1 for them
- Alta folding arms are the only ones folding horizontal and providing enough rigidity and securing on the market.
- Frames ( carbon) have slight chamfer on the edges. maybe means nothing to you, means a lot for me : nobody bothers making chamfers on standard frames and very few can do it properly..
- Motor and tube supports have superb tolerancing and are totaly slope free
- Motors are perfectly balanced
- Motors ESC are sinewave ( field oriented control). OK we are better thn Freefly on that matter o our industrial esc's ( lol ) but our ESC's are bigger nd would not fit there. Their competitors use off the shelve technology , FreeFly designed this in house.
- Alta app givrs you motors / esc temperatures, vibration levels... Who else give you this on the market ? : )
- Transporting the Alta is just headache free compared to most competitors
I'm not a FreeFly fan, i just saw that "multirotor" crazyness thing grow up ( i'm 41, i'm a Rc hobbyist since i was 8 and flew multirotors in2004 already with the Intellicopter or twin coaxial big uav's) .
My point is: FreeFly is not cheap, but does the job and shall you have a Movi Controller for the Movi, you just go on set and look like and work as a professional, and get the pictures you need to get. End of the story.
Gremsy is a serious challenger, but has some issues (firmware/ bugs) and can left you with a " dead" gimbal when you need it ( need to turn on / off wifi, reboot..). Wiring has some issues and pulls too had on internal connectors.
DJI is... DJI. PErfect for a GH4 with a modified S900, S1000 is " has been" and M600 just came out and even if the less than 100 W/H is a good idea for IATA purposes, thing is, you are no supposed to carry more than 3 batteries per passenger... And the frame is heavy compared to Alta 6 and even alta 8... You need a 2x higher flightcase to transport it. I would say it is a good machine ( if it works as good as advertised) for someone starting carrying decent setups and needing to start with a medium price machine, and who will move to Alta like machines later on. You need a IOS tablet to fly and get your informations, and their stock transmitters are not as versatile as a Jeti or Futaba transmitter..
I admit the Inspire 1 is a good add on to have for fast shootings for sports stuffs, promotion, advertising.... Compact setup, easy to carry, good flying specs.
To end, the only thing missing on the Alta is a mavlink compatible telemetry output ( for the upcoming Amimon FPV camera system, see picture of the prototype i tested 2 weeks ago below), and the Movi misses a PAN KILL function only + camera park on tilt for take off...
If you complain about Alta, i wonder what else you flew, there are bigger machines available ( Gryphon, Hammer) but if you choose them you are linked to the only vendor who supplied you, and here, as we say, tastes and colors of everybody are not discutable things
Can you elaborate the issue with Gremsy gimbal? Are you referring to their older models? The latest models H6/H16/H7 have been tested by digicopter Germany and rated as great products.
I am asking because I am close to order the H7. Specs and price are spot on IMO.
Concerning Alta, I am sure it is propably (putting price aside) the best out of the box solution right now.
However, still too big and clunky machine and not to compare with a custom made copter.
I have two identical X8 (foldable) custom copter. Body incl retracts w/o lipos weight 3.5kg only. Take off weight 12kg at 50% throttle. Now you can calculate the payload yourself.
I fly with 2x 4500 lipos, M5, Red Weapon and Leica-R lens, Connex, 1x 3200 4s lipo (to power M5, Red, Connex), and get 6:30min flight time (mix normal and speed flying).
Flying this setup at 3500m above sea level and minus 20 degree celcius I get 4min flight time.
My whole travel setup (world wide) fits into 1x Peli 1650 (main copter) 1x Peli 1620 (second copter, M5, Red) and a backpack (lipos plus chargers), spare parts incl.
Try that with the Alta!
And who cares about fancy stuff like vibration and motor/esc temperature measurement etc? If you have a good build you really don't care, do you?