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  1. #1 Top |
    Respected Pilot Pull_Up's Avatar
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    Time to come out of the closet - I've got a P2 H3-3D as well...

    So itís time for me to confess and say that on top of the original Vision with Rotorpixel (love it) and F450 ARTF kit (slowly building with my 7 year old son) Iíve recently acquired a Phantom 2 with H3-3D. Iíve also put a few extras on it, and Iíve flown it three times now so hereís my experience with this setup. Iíve tried to deal with it as it would be for a new user, so I havenít changed into NAZA mode or done any tweaking or changing from defaults to get these results.


    First, the equipment list:


    Phantom 2;
    Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal;
    GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition;
    DJI AVL58 AV tx with supplied antenna;
    DJI iOSD Mark 2 (not mini - yeah, I know - I was going to put it on my F450 build, but Iíve got it soÖ);
    DJI FPV Hub (those of you who know me know I avoid soldering if I can);
    Black Pearl 7Ē FPV diversity rx monitor;
    Rave Creative monitor mount (http://uav.ravecreative.co.uk/) (nice recommendation, Shrimpfarmer!);
    (Note - I donít have the anti-interference board fitted to the gimbal)


    Weather conditions for my flight test were fine, surface winds light and variable, some thermal activity, air temp 14 degrees C.


    I set-up the P2 and Zenmuse H3-3D as per instructions, using default dampers and all default settings in the Assistant - but I upgraded everything to latest firmware using Assistant 3.0.


    I fitted the iOSD, AVL58 tx and FPV hub on the underside using the cables and sticky pads provided in the FPV Hub pack - it was VERY easy once Iíd worked out a good arrangement for the components on the back, and using the AVL58 meant I could keep the soldering iron in the cupboard. It was a 10 minute job. Flying weight of this setup is 1315g


    Flight experience is what Iíd come to expect from 6 months of flying a Vision, and after an initial compass calibration the GPS hold was fine (if perhaps not quite as tight as previous firmware, but maybe thatís just me?). This P2 holds itís position during fast yaw pirouettes a lot better than my Vision for some reason, but thatís not a move I perform in real flying very often. The climb response is still quite punchy, especially with a fresh battery. Coming to a halt in GPS mode uses a bit more real estate thanks to the additional weight and if youíre operating close to nasty, evil trees then Iíd give some opposite stick to make sure it stops where you need it to.


    For these early flights I left everything in standard, out of the box P2 mode not NAZA mode so I didnít have atti or manual or IOC available. I wanted to try it out as a newcomer to the Phantom range would find it.


    Now I am totally new to ďtraditionalĒ FPV using A/V tx and monitor setup, coming from the Vision with itís very polished app and wifi downlink. The iOSD gave me some of the features Iím used to like battery level, satellites locked, height and speed readouts, bank angle, etc. The Black Pearl monitor is EXCELLENT. Great picture, works flawlessly with the AVL58, good stock sunshade, and itís light enough so it doesnít unbalance the tx (I used it without a neck strap - because I forgot to take it off my Vision controller! - and didnít find it a problem, even hand catching for landings and having to hold with one hand whilst holding down throttle to stop motors).


    So what about this shiny gimbal, then? Well Iím very, very impressed. Iím running the GoPro at 1080/24 (I like the look of 24 fps - shoot me) and Iíve just put the gimbal on as it came out of the box and I get fantastic stable video. The only time I notice any jello at all is during fairly hefty descents with some right stick input to keep out of rotor wash - and thatís only because Iím looking for it. Props are in view when the GoPro is tilted fully up, but judicious use of the 7th channel lever to drop the camera gets them out of shot (easy to see with the excellent Black Pearl).


    Hard right yaw brings the can-bus port on the left skid into shot, hard left yaw is clean. With the camera tilted fully down you can see left skid if the craft is correcting for drift in that direction in GPS mode. Given the offset lens on the GoPro this is always going to be the case. Judicious use of atti mode should help.


    Flight times with this setup were 14-15 minutes, but i was doing a fair number of high speed runs, climbs, fast descents and aggresive maneouvres to test out the gimbal. For a standard aerial videography flight profile I think 15 minutes is going to be where itís at. This compares to 17 mnutes with a Vision and Rotorpixel.


    So compared to the Vision with Rotorpixel: there were more props in shot with the H3-3D when the GoPro is horizontal - this is due to the Rotorpixel bringing the Vision lens further forward. Stability in the yaw axis was impeccable, something the Rotorpixel canít compete with until they bring out their 3rd axis upgrade. I do miss the convenience of the app on the Vision. By the time Iíve set up my screen, put the AV tx antenna on and set the GoPro running Iíd already have been up and flying for about 4 minutes with the Vision. The other thing I miss is the ability to start and stop recording in the air. It was easier for editing to have a memory card full of clips already, rather than one long clip. Because of that shutter control I will probably use the Vision/Rotorpixel combo for aerial stills purposes more than the P2 and GoPro. Having said that thereís no doubt that the GoPro has better quality video and the H3-3D is a very, very nice piece of kit that was easy to install, pre-balanced, and worked very nicely indeed straight out of the box even with my additional hardware mounted just behind it. In places the footage is so stable it looks like a still - I tried to have movement in the clips below to make sure it doesn't look like a photo! Now Iíve got two aerial platforms I can use in different scenarios and I donít think either one will gather dust at the expense of the other.


    Hereís a video showing some of todayís flying - straight from the SD card, cut and rendered, no post-production or stabilisation. Itís not meant to be pretty or tell a story, itís to show some high- and low-energy manoeuvres, some hovering shots, crane-type shots, etc. Original video was shot 1080p/24. Sorry about the prop shadow in places. Any tips to avoid it when the sun's above the rotors?


  2. #2 Top |
    Respected Pilot pault's Avatar
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    Nice day for it !
    See what you mean about the stability - there were a couple of times where you came to a halt at c. 200-300' just after half way through the video - it looks almost eerily still - you would not know it was video if you saw the shots out of sequence.
    Sailed in the Tall Ships Race on Storyline ? http://www.facebook.com/YachtStoryline

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    Respected Pilot Pull_Up's Avatar
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    I know it was slightly freaky. It's why I put some movement in (bicycle or cars) otherwise it looked like I'd pressed pause.

    I do miss a remote shutter, though. And it makes me re appreciate how clever the Vision with app combo is to shoehorn everything in to that package with a very slick interface. The iOSD is great (the artificial horizon in the centre of screen is useful) but it ain't all purty like the Vision app. Then again all the bits I've put on the P2 can come off and go on the F450 so...

    I can see me using both aircraft for different reasons going forward. Oh no, I mean all 3 aircraft. I was warned this would happen and I didn't believe them...

  4. #4 Top |
    Respected Pilot Shrimpfarmer's Avatar
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    Blimey I missed all this
    I fly Phantom 2 with Gopro 3 Black, Zenmuse, Imersion RC600, Black Pearl Monitor.

  5. #5 Top |
    Respected Pilot Shrimpfarmer's Avatar
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    Lovely stability. Nice to see you with a P2 at last. Your right about the longer setup time. When I am doing a lot of filming I leave mine totally set up in a plastic crate. I used some left over foam from my flight case to create rudimentary slots for the quad and transmitter to sit in. It sits nicely in the back of the car and its ideal for pulling over in a layby, flipping the boot up and I am in the air in as long as it takes to get satellite lock.

    Now you can investigate all the intricate ways to flush out every last drop from your gopro. It was a good choice going for the Silver. I have tried all of the settings on my 3+ Black but still return to 1080p 25 fps.
    I fly Phantom 2 with Gopro 3 Black, Zenmuse, Imersion RC600, Black Pearl Monitor.

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    Respected Pilot Pull_Up's Avatar
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    Well the trouble with starting to mess about with quality, rather than just filming stuff, is it's going to cost me a decent Windows laptop. My Linux lappy is 4 years old and grossly underpowered for intensive video stuff but it does me nicely for absolutely everything else (that video was cut and rendered on it, so it can handle simple editing without issue). But if I'm going to start messing with all the options then that's going to require Window$ and some hardware with more grunt. To be honest, I'm not sure at this stage I'm that bothered. I don't have a "market" for my videos, so they are all going to end up on YouTube and compressed anyway so I'm not sure it's worth my money yet. I'm still just happy looking at the rock solid view without even yaw movement and cutting a few bits together with some royalty-free music slapped on the top. I don't find editing particularly intuitive or that enjoyable as a job in itself so I'm loathe to start getting into post-production as well...

    But I was very surprised at the raw 1080p/24 footage, I wasn't expecting it to come out so well, to be honest. It has a nice "feel" to it... I know what I mean, anyway.

    One thing I'm looking forward to is Vision airframe with GoPro on the Rotorpixel and using the GoPro app for preview and, mainly, shutter control. There's too much lag to actually fly FPV with it, but as the Vision runs on 5.8 for control there's no issue with interference and I can change GoPro settings on the fly and play with all the different frame rate and resolution settings, etc. Must give Keri at Rotorpixel a quick nudge and see how his GoPro mount prototyping is coming along...

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    Respected Pilot pault's Avatar
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    As a Gopro ignoramus, do I detect from your comments that the only difference between the silver & black models is the potential higher frame rate - ie if you film at 1080p 25 then both models have the same image quality ?
    Sailed in the Tall Ships Race on Storyline ? http://www.facebook.com/YachtStoryline

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    Respected Pilot Shrimpfarmer's Avatar
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    Well on the 3+ Black they have vastly improved its wifi performance so there is virtually no lag now. Sure would not want to fly it near anything though if that was my only FPV.
    I fly Phantom 2 with Gopro 3 Black, Zenmuse, Imersion RC600, Black Pearl Monitor.

  9. #9 Top |
    Respected Pilot Shrimpfarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pault View Post
    As a Gopro ignoramus, do I detect from your comments that the only difference between the silver & black models is the potential higher frame rate - ie if you film at 1080p 25 then both models have the same image quality ?
    The image quality is the same. The 3+ Black has more options and a faster wifi link but thats about it. I have tried shooting in 2.7K and its useful if you need to get closer to your subject without flying closer. If you use 2.7k video in a 720p project its like having a zoom lens on the gopro.
    I fly Phantom 2 with Gopro 3 Black, Zenmuse, Imersion RC600, Black Pearl Monitor.

  10. #10 Top |
    Respected Pilot pault's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply
    Am in the market for a new camera but am waiting to see how Peter (Evans) gets on with his gopro/RX100 combo.
    From what I can gather, the new gopro model might not be released until october as that is when they usually release them.
    Sailed in the Tall Ships Race on Storyline ? http://www.facebook.com/YachtStoryline

  11. #11 Top |
    Respected Pilot Pull_Up's Avatar
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    Irrespective of quality and stability issues the fully remote camera operation and adjustment in the air is still the Vision series' killer app, and the thing I miss using the GoPro with the 2.4GHz controlled P2... Nice to be able to do a combination of video and stills in the same sortie.

  12. #12 Top |
    Administrator Frank Adams's Avatar
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    So nice to be with those that enjoy some of the same stuff. I thought I might see one of you mention some 4k stuff. I haven't seen any of it for myself yet but I have spoke with those that have, and they said they all but wet themselves. Btw, I wonder how well current laptops will hold up when it come to editing 4k?

    On the video, and keeping in mind you mentioned no tweaking beyond instruction settings, there were a few things that caught my eye. The gimbal was not as fluid as I would expect it to be out of the box, and especially considering it has been on the market long enough. When you went through transitions, it was like once the gimbal reached it's stopping point, it was too sudden. I don't know if it's settings would allow for something like this to be cleaned up, but it needs to slow down before reaching it's stopping point. Then again I probably wouldn't even mention it if the price on these were lower.

    The other thing was, I first thought my video card was stressing, but then I remembered I was watching gopro video. I'm not sure how much or if you have spent much time with the GoPro Studio(I personally haven't for over 6 months at least now), but if you take a look at the frames sometime, there are times that the software like to either add dead frames, or not remove frames that have no content on them. I see it in your video and it like a strobe effect to some degree. It was until I saw the moving car and bicycle before I remembered what was most likely happening with the video.

    Nice Thread,....I really enjoyed the reading. Btw, I also gave this a 5 star rating!

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    Respected Pilot Pull_Up's Avatar
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    Can you give me some examples of the transitions being too sudden, not sure I get what you mean (give me a time stamp?). I was being deliberately aggressive on the sticks sometimes as this was a test both of stability hands off and how it coped with some turns, abrupt stops, etc. I'm also hoping to get out this afternoon as it's quite windy out and I want to have a look how it copes with some of the blowy stuff.

    I've never touched GoPro studio - I run linux. This was footage in 1080p/24 wide straight off the SD card, into OpenShot for editing, rendered out at 1080p/24 as H.264 MP4 and uploaded to YouTube. Here's a link to the rendered footage in full quality before any YouTube compression - download it and play it off-line: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9V...it?usp=sharing

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    Respected Pilot Pull_Up's Avatar
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    So, tricky conditions today which proved useful for a test flight.

    Surface winds (measured with anemometer): average 14-16mph with gusts >22mph. GoPro Hero 3 Silver; 1080p/24, medium FOV. No post-processing, edited clips straight from the camera.

    Great test of the H3-3D gimbal mounted to the DJI Phantom 2. A mixture of hovering and tracking shots in a stiff breeze. I left the audio as recorded from the camera as in several shots you can barely hear the props over the noise of the wind over the mic, and you can hear the aircraft working hard to hold station. The stability in these tricky conditions was remarkable as you'll see from the way the trees are blowing about. I was getting mild jello when trying to travel upwind at anything other than a very slow pace, but as I was at 70 metres or more for most of the time then winds aloft were going to be very strong and gusty. That's the first jello I've seen from this outfit and it took conditions I probably wouldn't shoot in if I wasn't testing, to be honest. The effect was only noticeable travelling upwind. Downwind tracking or hovering in any orientation was great. Still all stock as it arrived in the box, white dampers. The H3-3D continues to impress...


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    Respected Pilot pault's Avatar
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    Again, very stable. Enjoyed the straight down shots of the train - it looks like a good area to film with plenty of interesting subjects; heritage trains, old church and churchyard and nice rural scenery.
    Sailed in the Tall Ships Race on Storyline ? http://www.facebook.com/YachtStoryline

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