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Flight benefits of S900 v PHANTOM
4343 12 2014-10-22
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mrbenjaminjo
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Interested to know what people feel the benefits of the S900 are in terms of a flight platform, over the Phantom (other than the weight of camera it can carry).
Thanks

Ben.
2014-10-22
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T J Gilbert
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Flight distance : 74659 ft
United States
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As a reference, I've got a P2V+ and an S800 Evo...
There will be dozens of opinions as an answer here.
Both airframes have their place.
The Phantom is like a sports car; while the S900 will be more of a pickup truck.
The Phantom is light, nimble, and easily packable, but there's not a lot of room to add lots of accessories
Relatively long flight times are standard.
It's my grab and go platform.
The S900 is a utilitarian style platform with lots of room and payload capacity to add what you want/need.
Based on how the S800 flies, you'll find it maneuverable, but not so nimble.
Flight times are what you design in with your equipment selection/payload capacity.
You definitely have to plan your flying trip somewhat with something this big.
They are about the same in ease of flying...

That's my short, $.02 answer.
I'm sure you'll get more...
If you care to ask specific things, you'll also probably get lots of answers...

2014-10-22
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mrbenjaminjo
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Thanks TJ, I guess what I'm contemplating is this.. imagine a GOPRO type camera that delivered image quality on par with a GH4 or SONYA7S - at that point, do the larger platforms (S800/900/1000) offer any benefit over the Phantom - or is their benefit purely from payload capability.

I realise this is entirely theoretical because the camera I'm asking you to imagine doesn't exist; but realistically a GOPRO sized cameras will continue to improve - whether cameras like the GH4 evolve at the same rate or not remains to be seen.

In short are the bigger platforms only beneficial in terms of payload?

B.
2014-10-22
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mrbenjaminjo
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..to add to this - I'm a cinematographer and camera operator - rather than a pilot and we fly an S900 with a GH4.
2014-10-23
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T J Gilbert
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Flight distance : 74659 ft
United States
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mrbenjaminjo Posted at 2014-10-23 15:33
Thanks TJ, I guess what I'm contemplating is this.. imagine a GOPRO type camera that delivered image ...

In light of your explanation, I'll say in my personal opinion, the larger airframes only offer the benefit of being able to carry the larger, more full featured cameras.
And they allow you to add equipment taylored to your needs.
For example...
An S1000 carrying a huge battery payload with a small camera like you envision.
= very long flight times and super range.

The packability, maneuverability, and built-in features offered with the Phantom-type airframes would be hard to compete with if a small full featured camera existed...
The P2V+ is just so damned easy to grab and go the way I have it set up in a Nanuk case...
The S800 Evo requires loading an SUV up with equipment...
There's really no opportunity to shoot on impulse.
Does that sound like what you're wondering about?
2014-10-23
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mrbenjaminjo
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It does TJ - I'm looking at what our competitive advantage is right now - and it's the solid 4K from the GH4, with the preferable (to me) field of view that a 24mm eqiv. lens brings. But technology marches on as we all know, and I expect the GOPRO will continue to improve. I thought the S900 might have held steadier in the air in higher winds, or the extra weight may have provided a more solid base for the zenmuse to work from.

You're right about the space the S900 takes up :-)

B.
2014-10-23
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T J Gilbert
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mrbenjaminjo Posted at 2014-10-24 04:43
It does TJ - I'm looking at what our competitive advantage is right now - and it's the solid 4K from ...

I suppose the larger airframes (due to sheer mass) are a little more stable in wind.
But GPS improvements will also continue to provide more stability.
FWIW, anything that exposes a good bit of vertical area to the wind is going to make it harder to manage.
That's in spite of mass...


2014-10-24
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T J Gilbert
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Flight distance : 74659 ft
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I don't get exposed to many aerial photography professionals.
But the one's I've met talk about testing and feasibility flights with the P2V+.
Followed by the money shot with the large camera rig.
It seems like a logical use of both airframes...
2014-10-24
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mrbenjaminjo
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Thanks TJ, I've also heard the scout it with P2 shoot it with big rig approach.
2014-10-27
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menten
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The biggest difference for me is the gimbal. I shoot the zen muse with the Sony A7 on my s800evo and a gopro4 shooting 4k on my phantom. The phantom is 10 times easier to grab and go, but the gimbal is used as a stabilizer only. You have to fly the phantom to pan with the subject. The ZenMuse and the s800 is a totally different animal. You can set the aircraft to hover or add an additional pilot, and the gimbal will work all the magic. IMHO it is much easier following a subject with a gimbal vs. the aircraft.
2014-10-29
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smcbrearty
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mrbenjaminjo Posted at 2014-10-23 17:57
..to add to this - I'm a cinematographer and camera operator - rather than a pilot and we fly an S90 ...

mrbenjaminjo,

Can I ask you why you guys are using the GH4 and not a BMPC?  Do you have any links you can share showing some of your work?

Thanks
2014-11-10
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rioliovic
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4k? maybe?
2014-11-29
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tgrubbs
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menten Posted at 2014-10-30 01:03
The biggest difference for me is the gimbal. I shoot the zen muse with the Sony A7 on my s800evo and ...

How are you setup with the zenmuse and the A7?  I am looking at a s900 and want to fly the A7.    What zenmuse are you using and what mods were needed?   
2014-12-21
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