Massive Huka Falls

Continued P4 Pro + Problems

I sent my list of complaints to DJI and they still haven’t responded. So, I’ll repost them here publicly… I’m still recommending the non-“Plus” version of this device. You can also see my DJI Phantom Review here on the site.

1) At least three times while up in the air and fairly far away, the Plus thought there were obstacles in front of it. There was nothing… it was in the middle of the bright open air. This mostly happened when I was trying to fly it back to me. The two workarounds I found were a) to do a 180 and back it home to trick the sensors and b) switch to ATTI mode to manually fly it back. Of course, ATTI (Manual) mode can be very scary if the quad is a far away dot and you can’t tell what direction you’re going. (It seemed to happen whether or not I calibrated the compass before each flight.)

2) On four occasions the UI disappeared and we were left with a slightly zoomed-in version.

3) On three occasions I would get it up and somewhere between 50 and 100 feet it would say “Maximum Altitude Reached.”

4) After booting up, it took a long time to get a good connection to the controller. The connection was often weak even though there was no EM interference anywhere (we were in the middle of nowhere on the South Island of New Zealand).

5) Every time I fly now after a few minutes it says “Unable to save video – video cache is full.” For a while, this messed with my head because it made me think my SD card was full. That’s what it sounds like, right? So I kept landing and putting in new SD cards. But now I think it means the controllers video cache was full. I don’t know what that means or why it happens. The cache should just be dumping all the time as new stuff comes in, right?

6) The video that appears on the screen is not super-smooth and does a major tear randomly every 5-15 seconds. By “tear” I mean it shows half a second of video from 2-3 seconds previously. It freaks me out because I don’t feel like I’m getting real time video – also it makes me think I’m not getting smooth video.

7) When broadcasting to Facebook Live (See My Facebook Live Videos!), there was no way to upload the HD version or save the video myself. These are both options avail on the non plus version.

8) When going live on Facebook, I cannot choose my “Fan Page” – only my personal page.

9) Last, a minor one… when making the description for FB Live, I only have like 80 characters and there is no way to copy/paste more than a single word.

10) …another minor one… didn’t notice it until the import but the default clock does not update automatically. All my pictures say they were taken in 1951, which is well-known for being one of the worst years for quadcopters.

Massive Huka Falls

This was one of my scariest quad flights ever! I was staying up at the Huka Lodge which is so far up that river you can just BARELY see it. See those little bits of white up there? One of this is probably me, pale white with fear. Something about taking the quad over a waterfall is terrifying. I started to lose transmission power too at this distance… I was getting lots of beeps and bloops in the controller which added to the stress even more! Anyway, I ended up with this pretty cool vertirama that turned out pretty good… I was just so happy to bring the bird home and land it.

Massive Huka Falls

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-24 12:04:42
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

7 Dials in London

See you in London soon!

Don’t forget to A) Sign up for the London Photo Walk (Free) and B) Sign up for the special day-long workshop (not free but more than worth it!).

Warming up the Quad

If you’re a Passport member, you can see a 360 story of me testing out the Phantom 4 Pro + on a cold New Zealand morning here… making sure it’s ready for the big Europe Trip!

Passport Exclusive – A Phantom 4 Pro Vlog in 360

Here’s a 360 video of me heading out with the quadcopter to test it out!

Exclusive content for Passport members

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And the second video below is a short edited video that shows a bit of the footage. Like I say in the video, none of it is great but thought you’d like to see anyway! Most of life is Just Showing Up, right? Well I showed up this morning to take that video, and not much interesting turned up… just thought you might like to see how many days are banal! But that’s okay, the real reason was to test out the new firmware.

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – 7 Dials in London

Speaking of quadcopters, here's one of my favorite photos from London at this famous street where seven roads come together. I flew this one with my friend Stu. I was using the HUGE Inspire drone… it's really much too massive and ungainly! After I got it set up, I had to go through this very time-consuming IMU calibration… thought it would never end… but I finally got it up in the air to take this photo!

7 Dials in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-18 03:42:29
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/270
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias-0.656

Above Puerto Rico

Pano Tip

This is made from a Phantom 4 Pro and about 5 different photos. I stitched them all together in Lightroom and then ran them through sweet sweet Aurora HDR to give it a little HDR love! 🙂

Daily Photo – Above Puerto Rico

Here's the fortress in San Juan, which I never realized was practically an island. Or actually, it MIGHT be an island where you have to take a bridge. I should know these things. But I seem to remember being on a bridge… wait let me look at a map because now I am very curious. Oh yes, it is an island, as you can plainly see from this map. I took this photo just off the northern edge looking back to the southwest as the sun was setting. So what you're seeing here is the very tip of the island.

Above Puerto Rico

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-25 17:48:58
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

10 Problems with the New Phantom 4 Pro Plus

Phantom 4 Pro Plus Problems (lots of P’s but even more Probs)

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my Phantom 4 Review here on the blog! 🙂 Enjoy 🙂 I’ll put the video from the review at the bottom of this post.

So I have both versions of the Phantom 4 Pro. The “Plus” version that includes an integrated screen and the normal one where you just use your phone (iPhone or Android). I went out this weekend with my friend Mark who also has the Plus version, and we noted the EXACT SAME ISSUES. Some are major… others are minor… I’ll list them in the order of the most annoying!

1) At least three times while up in the air and fairly far away, the Plus thought there were obstacles in front of it. There was nothing… it was in the middle of the bright open air. This mostly happened when I was trying to fly it back to me. The two workarounds I found were a) to do a 180 and back it home to trick the sensors and b) switch to ATTI mode to manually fly it back. Of course, ATTI (Manual) mode can be very scary if the quad is a far away dot and you can’t tell what direction you’re going. (It seemed to happen whether or not I calibrated the compass before each flight.)

2) On four occasions the UI disappeared and we were left with a slightly zoomed-in version.

3) On three occasions I would get it up and somewhere between 50 and 100 feet it would say “Maximum Altitude Reached.”

4) After booting up, it took a long time to get a good connection to the controller. The connection was often weak even though there was no EM interference anywhere (we were in the middle of nowhere on the South Island of New Zealand).

5) Every time I fly now after a few minutes it says “Unable to save video – video cache is full.” For a while, this messed with my head because it made me think my SD card was full. That’s what it sounds like, right? So I kept landing and putting in new SD cards. But now I think it means the controllers video cache was full. I don’t know what that means or why it happens. The cache should just be dumping all the time as new stuff comes in, right?

6) The video that appears on the screen is not super-smooth and does a major tear randomly every 5-15 seconds. By “tear” I mean it shows half a second of video from 2-3 seconds previously. It freaks me out because I don’t feel like I’m getting real time video – also it makes me think I’m not getting smooth video.

7) When broadcasting to Facebook Live (See My Facebook Live Videos!), there was no way to upload the HD version or save the video myself. These are both options avail on the non plus version.

8) When going live on Facebook, I cannot choose my “Fan Page” – only my personal page.

9) Last, a minor one… when making the description for FB Live, I only have like 80 characters and there is no way to copy/paste more than a single word.

10) …another minor one… didn’t notice it until the import but the default clock does not update automatically. All my pictures say they were taken in 1951, which is well-known for being one of the worst years for quadcopters.

Anyway, I didn’t have any of those problems with the non-Plus version. The best thing about the Plus version is still the Very Bright Screen (way brighter than a mobile phone) and how quickly I can get it up in the air from the box. I can probably launch it in 45-60 seconds after I open the box and break it down back into the box in 30 seconds.

However, with all the bugs listed above, I’ll still recommend the non-plus version for a while.

Here’s the video from my first review of the Phantom 4! 🙂

Some India Photos

How about a quick 3-batch of photos from India?


Madurai

One place I entered did not allow any cameras at all, so I had to make do with my Android phone. Here’s a panorama made of multiple shots while inside Madurai.

Chennai Quadcopter at Night

Here’s a late-night quadcopter flight near Chennai. Usually, these are more noisy, but we were blessed with a still evening.

Mahamallipurum Detail

Beautiful details on the towers in Mahamallipurum. I could stare at them for hours.

A Day trip to Milford Sound with the Hasselblad H5D-50c and DJI X5

Another Video!

Here’s a video from just a few days ago when part of our crew went on a road trip from Queenstown to Milford Sound. I’ve been testing out the Hasselblad H5D-50c and you can see some of my shots in this video! We also had the Inspire (see my DJI Inspire One Review here on the site) with the X5 camera. We had a lot of fun with both, as you’ll see. Anyway, enjoy the video! 🙂

Daily Photo – Tree in Wind

And here's one of the photos I nabbed on the way… I jumped over a fence and did a little jig through a field to get to this spot.

Tree in Wind

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-12-21 02:34:47
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture32
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Paddle Boarding on Smooth Water

A Small Difference in Height

I think I had the Phantom up about 20 feet here, which was just enough to see over the heads of these two. It just makes a huge difference in the photo with a small difference in the height!

This was taken with the Phantom 2 with the GoPro camera… The Phantom 3 has a WAY better camera, but I do wish it automatically took photos like the GoPro did

Daily Photo – Paddle Boarding on Smooth Water

Here’s another shot from The Four Seasons in Bora Bora. I watched people paddle board a few days before I went for it myself. It turned out to be super easy on this smooth water. I took Ethan out into the more choppy part and things got a little hairy out there… especially when we started attacking each other!

Paddle Boarding on Smooth Water

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-06-24 11:22:10
  • CameraHero3-Black Edition
  • Camera MakeGoPro
  • Exposure Time1/2900
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length2.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Flying Over the Lindis Pass

Getting Closer to the Final Photo Walk

Even though I’m deep in the middle of Burning Man, I’m getting ready for Photo Walk 13 of 13 in San Francisco. Be sure to go over to the tour page to get all the detail

Daily Photo – Flying Over the Lindis Pass

Here’s another quadcopter shot. Two days in a row for these! I also took this one with the DJI Inspire. You can see the road there on the right. This set of mountains is actually one of the lower parts of the Southern Alps, and this is the main road people use to drive from Christchurch down to Queenstown. I’ve been on it about 50 times now…and then when I flew the quadcopter up like this to get a shot, I was impressed by how much a few hundred vertical meters can affect the shot.

Flying Over the Lindis Pass

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-04 04:13:54
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias+0.656

Quadcopter over Hong Kong

And here’s the video!

That I got while with Kai from Digital Rev TV in Hong Kong!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h_y-Y7UQM

Daily Photo – Quadcopter over Hong Kong

This is the result of a panorama I stitched together from a few photos I got from the air. I just used Photoshop for this… I usually use that for the small panoramas like this, but for major productions, I use Autopano, which generally seems to be better at stitching together complex things. But I do hate the interface in Autopano… it’s terrible!

Quadcopter over Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 07:45:59
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/140
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.656

Flying Over the Ming Tombs

Want a Deep Deep hardcore dive into the new bag??

This Week in Photo’s Frederick Van Johnson came over to the Peak Design headquarters to get the scoop! You can see his full article on his site.

This is actually a really good interview… Fred is great… and you get to find out a lot more about Art, one of the great people behind the bag from PD!

Quadcopter Photography

I took this with the GoPro that was attached to the Phantom 2. I absolutely love taking photos from the sky… maybe I’ll get tired of it some day, but I doubt i

Daily Photo – Flying over the Ming Tombs

Just north of Beijing is a long vertical series of buildings that leads to the Ming Tombs. It’s not exactly convenient to get here, but it’s a nice walk and interesting visit along the way. In many regards, these Chinese temples are all pretty much the same. I try not to be jaded like that, but there really is little variation in each one. They are all striking and interesting, yes, but in many ways they are quite cookie-cutter. But I guess that’s why they are so in many places, like Starbucks… you kinda know what you’re gonna get.

Flying over the Ming Tombs

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-01-10 22:28:43
  • CameraHero3-Black Edition
  • Camera MakeGoPro
  • Exposure Time1/850
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length2.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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