Two years ago, I purchased my first camera drone. It was a simple entry level drone bought online. The X6G camera drone. A great first drone to test my skills as a complete novice. Drones in New Zealand were becoming “a thing” and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. As you might remember, my first blog “flying plastic and trees” talked about how I over estimated my abilities and flew my beloved X6G drone into a tree at our holiday home. My desire to snap that ultimate shot went unfulfilled for two years.
With starting up my business Mojo NZ Drones, to service the New Zealand Drone market, time has been short for any getaways to the holiday home. Sourcing drones from around the world takes time and energy while creating contacts in the New Zealand drone market is even tougher. Web design, SEO, Facebook, Instagram, blogging, it all takes time and research. But so does finding that ultimate shot. I often find myself driving somewhere and thinking, “this would make a great drone image”. Stopping was always out of the question as I had somewhere to be. Recently however I have taken the time to stop, set up my DJI Phantom 4 Pro (yes I couldn’t help myself when they hit the market) and take that “perfect” drone shot.
The results have been varied, check them out here http://www.thepictaram.club/instagram/mojonz but the reality is I am not the worlds best photographer, nor am I the worlds greatest drone pilot. But what is true is the more I fly the better I become. I even took my drone out over the lake this week - a first for me. My heart was pounding but I got over it and from there I got some great shots of the holiday house from a unique perspective never seen in the 60 years it has stood on this site.
I have also become a better photographer over time as I fly more often and mess around with the settings more. My partner is a fantastic photographer and has given me plenty of tips and encouragement, but mainly I have improved from flying and photographing more often.
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro does make this much easier with its impressive GPS System allowing more time to focus on taking the shot than controlling the drone. This drone is simply the best consumer drone currently on the market and New Zealand drone users are increasingly turning to DJI technology.
However, I speak to hundreds of people who come to shows and markets and they all want to have the latest and flashiest drone available. Even though they have never flown a drone before. In New Zealand drones are freely available to anyone with the cash. However, knowledge of the CAA regulations is very low. This recipe of no experience, no knowledge of the regulations and a powerful drone is an accident waiting to happen. At Mojo NZ Drones we are constantly encouraging our customers to aim a little lower with a simple entry level camera drone like the X6G. Jumping straight into a DJI with no previous experience is like buying a v8 before you get your drivers license.
Once you have learned the basics of flying and understand the rules and regulations (we offer free CAA handouts to all of our customers) then it is time to step up into an Intermediate drone such as the X8G. Heavier, more powerful, better camera resolution and easier to control. The cost of this type of drone is round $300 NZD but again it offers amazing quality at a good price. It flies higher, further and longer and is a great introduction to larger camera drones. Another option is the CX-20, slightly more expensive but has more bells and whistles, GPS hold, altitude hold, RTH. It takes more calibration but it is the top end of the intermediate drones.
My point here is that it is better to spend $120 on an entry level drone to begin with, than $2,799 on a DJI Phantom 4 Pro as your first drone then watch it crash and burn. That is an expensive mistake to make. From experience, my first drone is still in the tree I flew it into two year ago!
With summer in full swing in New Zealand, it’s time to get your drone and get flying! New Zealand drone pilots are among some of the best. Stay safe, stay away from the airports and stay inside the rules.
By Justin Dove – Mojo NZ Drones - #welovedrones – Drones New Zealand
I began my career as a builder and progressed through to the owner of Mojo NZ Ltd. The first drone I owned is to this day lodged in a tree on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. We now provide drones to all industries from toys to racing drones to professional camera drones. This blog is a look at ourselves and the industry in general.