newbee wants to buy Alta

Discussion in 'ALTA' started by alain baars, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. alain baars

    alain baars Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    5
    I have never flown a drone and I need to buy a drone for my clients, they want drone shots.
    Since I have a M10 with a Canon C300 the Alta looks like the perfect solution, however, people tell me it's quite difficult to fly with bigger drones. How is that for the Alta? Does it take months of practice?
     
  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,979
    Likes Received:
    807
    Alain,

    Nobody outside of the group of testers Freefly used has flown ALTA yet. I haven't. The ALTA hasn't been released to the public.

    But generally it's not a good idea to use a very expensive and complex multi-rotor as your first machine.

    All of us more experienced guys suggest you approach it methodically and slowly, beginning with very small and cheap ($50-$100) quadcopter, then work your way up to something like a DJI Phantom. It could easily take 100 hours of actual flight time before you're actually proficient enough to fly safely. It's not the matter of the 98% of the time that you can fly mostly automatically...it's the 2% of the time when your experience begins by uttering those infamous words: "Hmm...now why is that happening right now?"

    Or are you making a joke?
     
  3. alain baars

    alain baars Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    5
    thnx, I allready had that idea, just wanted to be sure.
    I think I'll get the DJI inspire.
     
  4. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,979
    Likes Received:
    807
    The Inspire is no different. You really need to spend some time with a less-expensive quadcopter and familiarize yourself with flying. The DJI copters fly very nicely when using all the GPS wizardry, but you also need to be able to fly them without GPS because it's not very reliable. It's not rocket science, but a simple search of the forums elsewhere and Youtube will give you lots of examples of Inspires meeting their doom because of GPS and other errors. Most of these cases appeared to be inexperienced operators or people who ignored fairly obvious risks.
     
  5. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,369
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    I fly the Cinestar 8, the Phantom Vision 2, Phantom 3, and an Inspire 1.
    Steve's absolutely right. You will crash the copter at some point as you learn to fly. So the question, as asked by Dirty Harry at the end of the quote, is:

    I know what you’re thinking: 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?

    So *when* you crash, the question you have to answer is: "How much money did you just lose by center-punching Mother Earth?"

    I would also urge you to get a copy of AeroSIMRC. QC sell it. Learn to fly on the simulator first. The inevitable crashes will be much, much cheaper! :) Learn to fly nose out, nose in, nose left, nose right. Crank up the wind -- learn to fly in turbulence. The simulated model for the Cinestar is amazingly realistic -- we worked with the program's author to make it flight realistic. The Phantom models are also realistic. Your hands will get sweaty flying the simulator -- and that's the real test.

    Put in 10, 20, 30 hours of flight time on the simulator until the act of controlling a copter is firmly lodged in your spinal cord and you can concentrate more on what you want to *do* with the copter, and not have to think about the act of flying it! :)

    Andy.
     
    Steve Maller likes this.
  6. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,369
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Oh...and it ain't a drone. It's either a copter or a sUAV (small Unmanned Airborne Vehicle) or an RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft), depending on which country you're in.

    Drones are weapons of war, I'm afraid. The popular media calls them "drones" just because they like the sinister implications and "multi-rotor radio controlled helicopters" is either (a) too long, (b) has words that they don't know how to spell, or (c) fails to imply death, devastation, and doom! :)

    Andy.
     
    Bryan Edmonds likes this.
  7. alain baars

    alain baars Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    5
    thanks Andy, who are QC, where do I find them?
     
  8. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,979
    Likes Received:
    807
  9. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,979
    Likes Received:
    807
    Wow, excellent Dirty Harry reference, Andy.
     
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,369
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Sorry, Alain....I should have realized. Steve is correct.
     
  11. Ryan Hawley

    Ryan Hawley Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    12
    So would you all recommend starting with something like the Phantom?; or would you go even cheaper if possible to get familiar with the idea flight?; I mean after taking the advice of utilizing the simulator - which is awesome that they offer that. What would be your suggestion for a first purchase?
     
  12. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,369
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    A Phantom would be a good place to start. They're pretty easy to fly -- especially after you've learned how to fly the AeroSIM version of the Phantom.

    But, to repeat the advice of the person who gave me my first real copter lessons: "Never fall in love with an aircraft you're flying via radio controller -- you will crash it."

    Sad but true.

    Andy.
     
  13. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,979
    Likes Received:
    807
    Get a Hubsan that you can fly indoors. Practice until you can fly figure eights and all cardinal directions. Then get a cheap camera drone and practice framing shots and following your cat.
     
  14. Ryan Hawley

    Ryan Hawley Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    12
    Excellent advice, and always appreciated - thanks Andy and Steve.

    So, further to that reality of inevitably crashing - which I can fully understand how and why that happens - when your flying an ALTA with $20,000 in gear attached, as a professional pilot and such - does your insurance cover that inevitability?; or how do you cover that otherwise? i.e. do you have to jump through hoops to prove the crash was an accident?
     
  15. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    460
    Insurance has two components. Liability for damage to persons/property and 'hull' insurance. Many companies write liability and a smaller subset write hull. Typically hull coverage has been expensive.
     
  16. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    127
    I think the best of course of action would be to get a pilot for hire to do the shot with the right equipment to meet your needs. However, having said that I have flown the Inspire a few times, it is light years ahead of the phantom and is a very forgiving system. It still is a flying machine that needs to to be treated as such. However, as a starter aircraft, i cant I am saying this is a very good platform to have. It takes practice to do shots well though. The system has some video latency issues that I noticed in certain environments. having flown it before, you need to think 1 to 2 seconds ahead of the aircraft in some cases the video drops out entirely for for more than a few seconds. To buy one and try it out on a pro shoot for the first time you will probably be disappointed if you are doing something very dynamic requiring a lot of movement from both the AC side and the camera.

    It would be a good platform to learn on. It is nowhere near the learning curve of flying the legacy systems. It is prone to the same issues that other systems are such as comm out issues and loss of data. Not understanding how the sensors work like the sonar altitude sensor that when it feels it is near the ground for an extended period of time it will go into its landing sequence. This is what happened to Mr Enrique Iglasious who that he could grab it during a concert in hover and it lowered its boom arms and cut the ^^&% out of him. If you are new to this stuff I would suggest getting someone that has been doing it for a while to show you the ropes.

    A friend of mine in Durango was offered gig but the production turned him down because they thought he was too expensive. They bought a DJI S-1000 and managed to trash a perfectly good flying machine along with a Cannon 5D MkIII with a zeis on it.

    Understand that no matter what machine on this planet, you always want to consider the worst case scenario and mitigate accordingly. Electronics never fail, if you believe that one I have an Ocean front view in New Mexico to sell you.
     
    Steve Maller likes this.
  17. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,369
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Shaun:
    The video latency seems to be more a factor of the tablet you're using. I use iPad Air 2's and there's only a few milliseconds delay.
    If you turn off the auto-landing gear lowering, you can control that from the remote controller.

    The lack of separate FPV camera can be a real issue when the camera op pans/tilts the camera in Free Mode. You really have to rely on line of sight and map mode on the tablet then otherwise those copter-magnetic trees git ya.

    It is somewhat easier to fly compared to the Cinestar, but as you point out, it has all the issues of a radio controlled group of single-chip microcomputers flying in close formation. :) Control reversal when you fly nose-in/left/right is still an issue unless you rely on GPS and turn on the so-called Intelligent Orientation Control (aka Course Lock). Beware of any technology that has "intelligent" (or "smart") in its name. It rarely lives up to the name.

    It does do some pretty decent flight logging, although DJI in its lack of wisdom makes the log files proprietary, but they have been hacked. There are numerous data fields in the log files that are unknown values.

    Oh, and the camera lens sucks with spherical aberration even though it's in 4K. You can fix this in Adobe Premiere, but when you add the filter to do that you can bring a Mac Pro "Trashcan" to its computational knees and are forced to do proxy editing. You can also set the camera to shoot in LOG, but you'll need to run it through CLUT processing to bring back the blacks and the highlights.

    It is very stable in the air, though. Think tripod in the air. Uncannily so. MK could learn from this trait of the I1's.

    But it's definitely a prosumer aircraft/camera system from a consumer company that thinks technical support is a four-letter word -- I dread the day that I need technical support (my opinion is based on postings on fora such as DJI's own, phantompilots.com, and inspirepilots.com).

    Bottom lines:
    1. Inspire 1: Not really a good first-copter trainer. Go with a Phantom or something less expensive to minimize loss when you crash it.
    2. Professional? Go with Cinestar or ALTA if nothing else so that you can fly quality heavy cameras and glass.

    Reminder: I am often wrong, but I'm rarely uncertain. :rolleyes:
    If in doubt, listen to Mr. Maller. He knows things. I only have opinions about things.

    Andy.
     
  18. Gary Haynes

    Gary Haynes Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    460
    Andy if you need support would that word be 'none' :)
     
  19. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Messages:
    10,369
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    Oh. I had a different word in mind. :rolleyes:

    Andy.
     
  20. Shaun Stanton

    Shaun Stanton Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    127
    The bird is not mine. It belongs to a mutual associate. I maybe wrong but I believe he is using the latest I-pads. The latency issues are not gross until about a good 1/2 killometer away. Oddly enough the camera side will falter before the pilot side will. Maybe the give data priority to the pilot, which would make sense if they thought it out that way. Not sure though. It does not always do it. In fact oddly enough the thing flies well in an area that my Cinestar lost link at a few years ago. I met up with a guy from New York who launched from my exact spot and flew it downtown. I was coincidentally working on my bird when I saw his Inspire at 400 feet zoom overhead at 40 mph. I knew the most probably areas where he likely launched from to give him a good lesson in not flying BLOS through downtown. We were cordial and ended up having beers later that night.

    About the gear, that's true, no doubt but one person obviously did not realize to that during the concert in Mexico.

    That is true also requires the pilot to rely on LOS of the A/C. My technique with trees is as long as I can see aircraft enveloped in blue sky I know I am safe. Harder to do in dense forests. altitude is our friend.

    I think we all agree on that one. I don't use IOC on my bird. I have no practical purpose for it. I do notice that in Atti it is less quirky than the MK Manual mode to move about the yaw axis.

    That's interesting. does it do more than just graph out the parameters like my DJI iOSD? I haven't really played with too much of the "beeps and squeaks "of the Inspire.

    Although its not as gross as the gopro's fisheye. It seems like you have a lot head room to play with.

    Yup, I cant agree more. Even my Legacy WKM is way more stable than I ever could get the MK. I got the MK dialled in pretty good but the WKM is better at stable flight in gusts.

    Their customer service is hit or miss. I think they are doing the dell model. The give ok service for new expensive stuff. But tell you to pack sand on any of their legacy equipment or anything under $1k. Have experience with both.

     

Share This Page