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drones for hiking


  • small drones are increasingly popular for those enjoying the outdoors to either provide a bird's eye view of the surroundings or to create video footage of their walks or the scenery
  • in Australia, like many countries, there are restrictions on their use and penalties for breaking these restrictions
    • drones over 249g need to be registered
  • the 5.8 GHz frequency band is currently banned in certain countries, including but not limited to Japan, Russia, Israel, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.

Drones under 250g

  • DJI Mini 4 Pro
    • announced Sept 2023
    • first in the series with omnidirectional obstacle detection and avoidance and Waypoints (can pre-plan flights and repeat them)
    • True Vertical Shooting
    • 45 minutes flying time with the Intelligent Flight Plus battery (34min with std battery for sub-250g flying)
    • 48mp 1/1.3 CMOS sensor with dual native ISO, a 24mm (equiv.) lens, and a fixed F1.7 aperture on 3-axis gimbal that can tilt 60º upward
    • 4K/60p and 4K/100p for Slo-Mo shots in 10-bit D-Log M
    • FocusTrack, which allows you to designate a subject and track it, is available in three modes – Spotlight, Point of Interest, and ActiveTrack 360°.
    • 1080p/60p FHD video transmission
    • ?optional propeller cage adds an extra layer of protection
    • in 2022, this is perhaps the most sought after drone in this category, although it is still not perfect
    • 12 and 48mp 1/1.3-inch sensor with 24mm f/1.7 eq lens with 82.1° fov; ISO 100-6400 (Auto);
    • 1.5-12km 18Mbps 30p 1080HD video 2.4/5.8GHz WiFi transmission depending upon interference, with 120msec latency
    • Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing (Forward/Backward/Downward)
    • record Up to 4K/60fps Video and 4K/30fps HDR Video, 120p HD video Slo-Mo
    • True Vertical Shooting (can rotate the camera into vertical)
    • FocusTrack (ActiveTrack, Spotlight, and Point of Interest)
    • 18.1Wh 2453 mAh 7.38V 80.5g Intelligent Flight Battery gives 34-min Max Flight Time at 21.6kph in windless conditions; max flight at 43kph 18km (47 mins with 28.4Wh 3850mAh 121g Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, max flight at 43kph 25km)
      • charge via USB-C PD 30W charger
    • max. wind speed: 10.7 m/s
    • Folded: 145×90×62 mm
    • microSD cards, UHS-I slot;
    • 249g with standard battery
    • $AU1119 ($AU1299 with the new DJI RC remote controller, which has the DJI Fly App pre-installed and a built-in 5.5-inch HD display for crisp viewing even in direct sunlight - no need to use your smartphone screen)
    • $AU359 for opt. Fly More Kit PLUS which includes two Intelligent Flight Batteries Plus (47-min max flight time), a Two-Way Charging Hub, Shoulder Bag, and more.
    • $AU79 for opt. ND filters set to allow nicer videos at slower shutter speeds in sunlit conditions
    • 12mp 1/2.3” sensor 24mm f/2.8 eq. lens with 83° fov; ISO 100-3200;
    • 4K/30fps, up to 60p HD video; 100Mbps;
    • 10km 8Mbps 720 30p Video Transmission 3-10km range with 200msec latency
    • only has a downward obstacle sensor
    • max 31 mins flight time (measured while flying at 4.7 m/s in windless conditions)
    • max wind speed 8.5-10.5 m/s
    • 2250 mAh 86.2g 7.7V Intelligent Flight Battery LiPo 2S battery 18W charger
    • Folded: 138×81×58 mm (L×W×H)
    • UHS-I SD card slot (max 256Gb)
    • 242g;

First person view (FPV) drones

  • these are generally not legal to fly in FPV mode outdoors in Australia
    • introduced mid 2022 as a vast improvement over their introductory DJI FPV model
    • 48MP 1/1.7“ CMOS sensor, single shot 9mp jpgs
    • 12.7mm effective f/2.8 lens giving 155° FOV
    • 8bit 4K 60p / 2.7K/100p video plus 2.7K120p HD slow mo with the FPV Goggles V2 at H.264 or H.265 and 150Mbps
    • 18min flight time
    • designed to be simple and safe to use however:
      • Manual mode needs a lot of simulator practice as high risk of crashing it
      • there is a bit of a learning curve involved when using a handheld wand instead of a conventional remote with joysticks
    • GPS and GLONASS (allow the drone to hover in place), propeller guards for safe flying, emergency brake, return to home, downward sensor
    • turtle mode
    • 410g take off weight, 180×180×80 mm
    • 162g 35.71Wh LiNiMnCoO2 battery
    • optional:
      • VR headset (290g HD Goggles 2 - lasts 2hrs per charge) and 3D motion controller (5hr battery but can't use manual fly mode) that uses wrist movement to fly the drone
      • FPV kit: 420g FPV FGDB28 Goggles 2 plus FC7BGC FPV remote controller 2 (9hr battery)
    • seems shipping to Australia is not permitted for this drone!
australia/drones_hiking.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/27 09:18 by gary1

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