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What Drone Should You Buy?

In a world that is constantly bombarded with new tech, it can be hard to pick what piece of equipment is right for you. Especially when it comes to drone technology. The market as exploded in the consumer and professional realm in only the past few years. Whether its the Chinese drone company giant DJI, or a new american made product form 3DR, or GoPro, the decision can be tricky.

So I took some time to pick my top three drones. Now take in mind that this shortlist was made with a few things in mind. Firstly this list was made with aerial cinematography in mind. So cheaper toy drones will not necessarily be included. Secondly, I haven’t been able to get much experience with drones like the Go Pro Karma for example, so this list is comprised with drones I’ve used and brands that i’m familiar with. As their are so many new brands out there it can be hard to keep up, so this is the few that I suggest from the cheaper end of the scale to the upper end.

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I actually have written about the Phantom 4 Pro, and the Inpire 2 before here on the blog, so check it out. So as not to recover as much ground as before I will list some highlights of each drone and why I think it may be a good buy.

First off to bat is the Parrot Bebop 2. This French designed drone can be a great first starter drone when breaking into the drone game. It offers a 1080p camera and a compact design. Its improvements over its first generation allow for better control of flight and can be flown up to over a mile away in good flight conditions. Now keep in mind that the price I gave in the info-graphic includes a new controller and a virtual reality style headset for even more immersive flying!

Now next up the line is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. This drone is a great buy. It offers a great in between point in price in the drone world while giving more top notch specs that an average consumer would need. It can fly up to 4 miles away due to DJI’s lightbridge technology and as built in sensors that will automatically stop itself from flying into obstacles such as trees and buildings. The 20 megapixel 1″ CMOS sensor. camera even shoots up to full cinema 4k (4096×2160) at 30fps. This is definitely an advantage it has going for itself at this price point.

Finally we have the DJI Inspire 2. This drone offering by DJI all but pretty much makes the jump to professional gear for a drone buyer. Short of buying a drone that can carry a dslr this is one of the top drones on the market today. Its signature design which allows the landing feet to fold up during flight gives the camera the ability to swivel 360 degrees to get the shot no matter what. The Zenmuse camera options shoot up to 5.2k resolution in CinemaDNG or AppleProRes formats, along with giving the cinematographer different lens options.

All of these drones are great options and I encourage anybody to research them and any other drone to find the best match for them.

Thanks for reading!

Evan LaVigne, LinkedIn , Twitter

How to Brand Yourself?

When it comes to creating positive public opinion on your persona it becomes imperative to brand yourself. However, this can mean a lot of different things and brings up numerous questions on its own. What is my brand? What do I want people to think of when they think of me? How can I get rid of the negative image of myself or my name out in the world? Well to start off with some basics we can look to a nifty website called brandyourself.com.

Through the tool of brandyourself.com can be to take control of your brand on the internet it is not only easy to boost your professional image but interesting to see what else is out there on the internet related to your name. The website will crawl google search results for your full name and show you what any regular Joe Shmoe (or potential employer) would see. For obvious implications this can be very important. Whether your a student studying computer science who is ready to code the next big app or a entrepreneurial mom who wants to open up a bakery, what the public sees of you is important.

So when you first start the process at brandyourself.com it will ask you to create an account, and also link it to as many social media (FacebookTwitterLinkedIn) or other websites that may pertain to your public identity. I myself followed this process and was delighted by how simple and streamlined the process was, as a for the most part cleanly designed website and professional service process.

After the first steps, I checked off of a list of results that were either me, or some other random police officer with the same name from somewhere else in the country. After that it gave me a report card style score. screenshot-4

So my online brand wasn’t the greatest but that’s okay because the promise of brandyourself.com is that you can improve it. This can be accomplished by adding in better searchable content to a select amount of categories and then having brandyourself.com work to boost the material using it’s own algorithms. I encourage all of my readers to try to product out for themselves and work on their own brands!

Thanks for reading,

Evan LaVigne

Check Me Out Online: TwitterLinkedIn

DJI, King of the Drone Market (An Overview/Opinion)

DJI, the popular Chinese drone manufacturer hit a home run just weeks ago when they released their Mavic drone. It has a camera on a 3-axis mechanical gimbal, that has the ability to shoot quality 4k footage at 30 fps at an affordable price point (as far as quality drones go). Add the compact, travel size, fold-ability of the Mavic with its silky smooth UHD video and the consumer market exploded with excited amateur filmmaker’s pre-order confirmations. But even this week’s old innovation is last years news.

DJI just announced the release of two shiny, ooh and ahh enticing quad copters. First up was the Phantom 4 Pro. This is an upgraded rendition of their already popular drone released in the first quarter of this year. Along with the typical battery, speed, and flight distance boosts on the spec sheet the drone added multiple more camera’s built into the drones chassis to add obstacle avoidance in five directions. The camera was also updated to a 1 inch CMOS sensor with a mechanical shutter that is capable of 4k at 60fps, and up to 100Mbps bitrate of processing. To wrap up the new features they added a new remote controller with a built in screen to save consumers from having to use their own mobile devices. This is something surprisingly not new to the drone market, a rare example of DJI adding a feature to compete with other manufacturers remotes, like the Go Pro’s Karma drone.

Finally they unveiled the major star of the event, the DJI Inspire 2. This long awaited drone is the sequel to the company’s two year old compromise drone. Now I realize calling it a compromise drone is a little bit contrary to its abilities however it is used to help explain how the drone is situated between the consumer end of the market and the vastly far end of Hollywood cinematography. DJI also has a line of these Professional Matrice drones. The latest one (M600 Pro) that was also released just a short while ago costs around $5,000 without a camera. They can also carry camera’s like the Red Epic, which can start up $50,000 and continue to climb in cost. So that is DJI’s far end of the market.

This brings us back to the Inspire series, DJI’s way to bridge the gap between consumers and industry users. The drone is vastly overhauled from the first version yet retains its iconic rising arms that hold both the propellers on top and landing gear on the bottom. Along with a new styled magnesium aluminum frame the drone has a dual battery system that can support a longer flight time than last years model, and can safely land the drone in the instance that one of the batteries may malfunction. The drone itself has also gotten a boost in the performance department with a top speed of 67 mph, and extra sensors to bring the same obstacle avoidance of the Phantom 4 Pro to the Inspire 2. The Inspire 2 also has two camera’s, the main one that everyone cares about and new 2 axis fpv camera that can be used by a pilot to fly the drone while another operator can move the main camera around.

The Inspire 2 has two options for the main camera. A Zenmuse X4S and a Zenmuse X5S, with the latter of the two giving the ability to swap out DSLR-like lenses. DJI introduced CineCore 2.0 giving the camera the ability to record in up to 5.2k quality at 30fps, and 4k quality at 60fps. It also supports formats like CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes. For some more techy details the camera’s full spec sheet can be found at DJI’s website. Some non-camera stuff to wrap up the brand spanking new drone goodness are the inclusions of an on board SSD and new 1080i HD live steaming features.

Overall, I see these recent announcements as DJI moving in leaps and bounds to lead the drone market. It has products in all of the major categories for 4k shooting drones from consumer to industry professionals. While other companies have their compact 4k drones falling out of the sky (looking at you Go Pro) they have mostly cornered the market. In short DJI is king and its looking increasingly harder and tougher for any one else to catch up.

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