Using the DJI Phantom

The aerial photos on this site were shot with a DJI Phantom Vision 2+ V3. There are two distinct activities associated with getting shots with the DJI Phantom. 

Flying -  set up

It's really important to set up correctly for each flight. That means two things. First is calibrating the compass, and second is getting connected to at least 6 GPS satellites. B&H has a great video made by Kelby to help you. I probably watched it ten times. Its much better than trying to get it all from the documentation, even though it's not bad. Make sure you get the right signals that indicate each step was done correctly. There are a lot of stories about flyways, but most are about earlier version (where the GoPro connection interfered with flight control), or people cut corners on set up and calibration. 

Flying -- control

Before you start taking pictures, practice flying -- a lot. Practice taking off and landing to the point where you can really set down on a spot consistently. Get comfortable to the point of intuitive control with the two sticks, and what each does. The documentation includes exercises to practice. Do them all! You'll only have about 20 minutes of shooting time on a battery, and you don't want to waste time with poor piloting. One special note. The new controller has a detent that holds the left joystick in the "off" position. Be careful you don't push it that far in a descent. If you do, the blades will stop, and gravity happens. 

Taking pictures -- the Vision App

I use an iPhone 5, and it works well. I found that I have to restart my iPhone for each photo shoot, if I want to have FPV, and I do. I set everything to Auto (shutter, white balance, and ISO). The camera is quite good, thought it's no Canon 5DII. It's a 5mm, so you'll need distortion correction SW (e.g. Lightroom), but the images are very good, and in focus as you might guess. I have found white balance in JPEG a little off in other than daytime lighting. So, if you're shooting at dawn, dusk, or night, I suggest RAW. 

Let me know how it goes for you.

Good shooting.