When you fall in love at first sight, then marriage should be the outcome, and with the 3DR Solo you have what coin only be described as a marriage made in heaven. Where drones and photography are concerned, this drone delivers admirably on both fronts, without having to introduce your wallet to a dramatic weight loss. So where do we begin? How about we start with the drone itself, as without it there wouldn’t be a whole new world of imagery available to you today, and with the right camera, the imagery and quality of videos is absolutely mesmerizing.
Open up the box and you are met with smooth sleek lines, gentle curves and an overwhelming sense of quality. Even before it takes to the skies, the 3DR Solo has you sighing in sheer delight. This is a drone for those who have cut their teeth on a Holy Stone X400C or a QCopter C1 and who have become hooked both on flying drones, and also on drone photography, but want to move up a few grades. Not everyone gets bitten by the drone bug (though these are very rare occurrences), but once bitten human nature tells us we want bigger and better if we can afford it. For around $1,250 for the drone and camera gimbal and another $350 or thereabouts for the GoPro HERO4 this is not a pocket change purchase but one borne out of careful consideration and deliberation. Doubtless you will be scouring the Internet for drone reviews to ensure you make the right next choice as you don’t get a test drive when you buy drones online. Where the 3DR Solo is concerned, the test drive will only confirm what everyone has been telling you anyway, this is a superb drone.
Controls are similar to a gaming controller, so the transition from fantasy to reality should be smooth. This is a drone which is made easy to fly, for reasons that will become clearer later on. Despite the fact you will have learned to fly a drone before you become airborne, it is comforting to know that the dual computers provide you with aerial motion control, in-app flight safety, flyaway protection (no, we are not talking about flyaway hair), auto take-off and landing, along with the reassuring return home function which can be done with the touch of a button, or automatically when battery levels reach a certain level. So why is flying made so easy? Because it leaves you to concentrate on taking amazing images from the on-board camera.
The 3DR Solo cab be bought as a stand-alone drone for around $750 and for a drone of this quality, that still represents great value for money. However, with around 20 minutes flying time you want to be doing more than just buzzing backwards and forwards, with the occasional heart-stopping moment as you avoid threes and other obstacles, and that is why you can buy a quality 3-axis gimbal specifically designed for the GoPro HERO 4 that fits in perfectly under the aircraft.
Once connected, the GoPro camera will stream live HD images to your display screen – the drone is programmed to transmit to any mobile phone or tablet that can be attached to your controller. This means you can concentrate on taking the perfect shot each and every time, and that is not all. Not only do you have total control of the drone, but you can adjust and save camera positions, change sweep speed, record video and snap photos with the push of a button, while crisp HD video streams on your mobile screen via the 3DR Solo app.
Thanks to the dual built-in computers which constantly monitor 500 parameters of flight data 20 times per second, you can let the drone almost fly itself. The icing on the cake comes from the manufacturers who say that: “This is the only drone that logs these data on both the controller and the copter, so no matter what happens to your drone, you’re covered. If you crash or lose connection, the app prompts you to submit a service ticket instantly to our support team straight from your mobile device. If the data show that a system malfunction caused the loss of your copter, 3DR will replace the copter and the gimbal if one was installed, and we’ll even give you credit to buy a new GoPro.”
A virtual cable for the automatic shot of a lifetime.
Circle an object for that perfect “wrap-around” shot.
Don’t want to fly the drone – then go completely hands-free.
Place yourself (or any subject) in the center of an aerial reveal.
The breathtaking panorama, with fully automated framing and capture facility.
Control the camera, or lock onto a subject for a spectacular flyby.
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