Drone Diary Stories April 24

AAPL: 143.64

1.37

Unusually for me, there aren’t many words in this drone diary – mostly I’m going to let the video do the talking!

When I reviewed the Litchi app last time – an app that lets the drone fly completely autonomously on a pre-programmed path – I mentioned a plan I had in mind for a future project at that tumbledown castle.

The plan was to take a dancer there and shoot a dance routine from the air in a beautiful setting. This required the cooperation of the weather, but it all came together earlier this month. It was a lot of fun, and I think the result really shows the value of a video camera you’re able to position exactly where you want it – whether up high or down low …

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Drone Diary Stories March 15

AAPL: 140.46

1.47

Flying a drone manually is fun, but there are some manoeuvres that are virtually impossible to fly smoothly. Circling an object or person, for example. You’d need to constantly change the balance of forward/backward and left/right inputs to fly the circle in the first place, then simultaneously keep rotating the camera by just the right amount to keep it pointed at the centre of the circle. Anyone who can do that perfectly is either a drone genius or has way more than the usual number of hands.

The DJI Go app offers a range of intelligent flight modes – aka autonomous flying. But a third-party app, Litchi, goes even further: it allows you to program your flight path in Google Earth before you even leave home. As soon as you arrive on site, just load the pre-programmed flight and hit Start.

I decided to give it a go with my ultraportable drone, the DJI Mavic Pro I reviewed last month

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Drone Diary Stories February 23

AAPL: 136.53

-0.58

I’ve been keeping a watching brief on drones for some time. They had immediate and obvious gadget appeal. I mean, proper drones are both radio-controlled flying vehicles and high-end cameras – what’s not to love?

But decent ones are expensive, and I feared that they might be one of those things I’d find fun for a short time before the novelty wore off. I didn’t want to spend a four-figure sum on something that would soon be relegated to a cupboard.

Then a few family members got together to buy my father a DJI Phantom for his birthday, which gave me some hands-on experience. I was starting to get the itch, but still resisting. After all, what would I actually do with it?

Travel was the only situation I could think of where I might make use of one, but small ones were poor quality and high quality ones weren’t exactly compatible with my handbaggage-only approach to travel. Then along came the DJI Mavic Pro – a folding drone whose spec was virtually identical to the Phantom 4 but with a folded size so small it was almost pocketable …

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