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Drone Reviews / Tutorials

Ryze Tello Drone Full Review | Setup and Test Flight

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At CES 2018 the Tello drone was unveiled and there was a lot of confusion at first as it was believed to be a new DJI Drone called the DJI Tello. However is was soon cleared up that it was in fact a new drone that feature some DJI technology as well as Intel technology inside but was the creation of a company called Ryze. For the most part DJI will be the company looking after sales of this mini drone, even when purchased from amazon the Tello is shipped out by DJI.

Unlike many other toy grade drones at the $100 price point the Tello features sensors on the bottom to help hold its altitude and position when in flight. This makes for a better more stable flight experience whether flying indoors or outdoors. Due to its small size and only weighing 80 grams flying outdoors should only be attempted on days without any significant wind. The Ryze Tello is controlled by your smart phone via its own dedicated app however there is support for some 3rd party Bluetooth game controllers.

The DJI/Ryze Tello ships with one battery that is rated for 13 minutes of flight time. Keep in mind those numbers don’t usually pan out in real world flying conditions and you are more likely to experience 9 to 10 minutes of flight time. 10 minutes of flight time is really not bad for a drone of this size. You can purchase spare batteries however at the time of publishing this article they were still listed as unavailable. The batteries are charged via the aircraft with a micro USB cable which oddly enough is not included. I guess they figure most people had several lying around. There will be a charging hub for sale down the road that can charge several batteries independently from the aircraft which will come in handy especially if you have several batteries to charge.

Ryze Tello (DJI Store) https://goo.gl/Nquebe
Ryze Tello (Amazon) http://amzn.to/2FqSHPH

Tello Bluetooth Controller: https://goo.gl/i67YWk
Tello Case: http://amzn.to/2G9bMml

 

The dedicated app for the Ryze Tello is well designed and intuitive. The layout is well-organized and the learning curve is quite low. Even a consumer brand new to drones will be up and flying quickly. The app offers many smart modes including, throw and go, 360 spin, circle, up and away and bounce. The Tello drone is capable of doing many different styles of flips and I really like how Ryze has implemented them. It’s as simple as going into the “flips” flight mode and swiping on the screen the direction you want to flip. Ryze offers two ways to land the Tello aircraft, one is an automatic landing and the other is palm landing. When you select palm landing you have 5 seconds to place you hand under the aircraft. Once the sensors recognize  your hand the Tello will gently descend until it has landed, the engines will then turn off.

Who is this drone gear towards? Well that answer is subjective. If you’re looking for a good aerial video/ photo platform than this is not the drone for you. It is capable of 5 MP photos and 720 HD video however the results are mediocre at best. There is no gimbal however the video is stabilized by software. I would say this is an excellent drone for those who are looking to learn to fly and don’t what to shell out $1000 for a higher end drone, it’s a nice little drone to learn on. Also it is a really nice drone for kids, you don’t have to worry about them crashing your expensive drone if they want to fly.

All in all a great little drone for its price category, its stable in the air and fun to fly even if used just indoors for those times you just can’t fly outside due to weather or season.

 

The Ryze Tello drone is quite small and only weighs 80 grams.

 

Ryze Tello Drone with the propeller guards removed.

 

A size comparison of the Ryze Tello drone and the DJI Spark.

 

All the contents inside the Ryze Tello drone box.

 

Here is the packaging for the Ryze Tello Drone.

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DJI Mavic Air

Mavic Air ND Filters by Freewell Gear | What Are Drone ND Filters

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In this video we are taking a look at Freewell Gear’s ND filters for the DJI Mavic Air. If your new to drone cinematography you might be wondering what an ND filter is and why you would use them. ND stands for neutral density and in simplest terms it is just like a pair of sunglasses for your drone’s camera. There is a lot of confusion on what exactly an ND filter does, so let me clear it up a bit. An ND filter allows you to set the correct shutter speed on your drone’s camera to get the perfect amount of motion blur. There is a rule when trying to capture cinematic footage with your drone (180 Degree Rule). Basically the rule is that you want your shutter speed double what your frame rate is. For example if you are filming at 30 fps you would want your shutter speed at 60 (1/60th second). If you’re filming at 60 fps then you would want your shutter speed at 120 (1/120th second). This will give the perfect amount of motion blur that the eye and brain are comfortable with.

The problem with setting these low shutter speeds is that it lets in a lot of light and makes the video over exposed and blown out. This is where an ND Filter comes in (sunglasses). They allow you to set a low shutter speed and still have correct exposure.

Freewell gear sells ND filters for all the most popular drones including the DJI Spark, Mavic Air, Mavic Pro, Phantom Series and even your GoPro and Karma Drone. I have used the Freewell gear ND filters for several years for my GoPro and many drones and have always been pleased with the products. When it comes to ND filters they come in several levels ND4, ND8, ND16, ND32, ND64. They even have an ND 1000 for those times when you want to take long exposure photos with your DJI Mavic Air.

They also sell versions of their ND filters that are polarized. Setting polarization within the filter really helps cut out glare from water and can really make for a cleaner image, it also helps make the sky a little deeper blue. With Polarized ND filters they can only be used 90 degrees from the sun. The sun can not be in front or behind your drone. This does make lining up shots a little more difficult. If you just want quick and easy filters I would stick with ones that are not polarized.

Watch our video where I show ND filter installation instructions and a demonstration how ND filers work with the DJI Mavic Air.

ND Filters Standard Day Set: https://amzn.to/2yENG2D
ND Filters Bright Day Set: https://amzn.to/2tr9fPd
ND Filters All Day Set: https://amzn.to/2yFPkRJ

Mavic Air (DJI Website) https://goo.gl/t74LaQ
Mavic Air (Amazon) http://amzn.to/2EccQaM

 

 

Here are some screen caps from the test video. You can see side with no ND filter has no motion blur. This is okay for photos but undesirable for video. The side with the ND 4 filter installed has nice motion blur.

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DJI Spark

Will We See A DJI Spark 2 or Pro Model | My Spark 2 Wishlist

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Its been one year since DJI officially launched the DJI Spark and for me and many others it really filled a void in the drone universe. The spark was marketed as a selfie drone but really its capabilities go so much further than that. One of the main features that many like about the spark is small size. The spark was portable, powerful and offered a really high quality 1080 HD video. The spark is easy to pack and can fit easily into a backpack which made it the ultimate travel drone. I myself do a lot of hiking and the DJI Spark always comes along with me just in case I want to grab some footage. The DJI Spark has been on sale for some time at $100 off the original price and now comes with a free remote. When DJI puts their drone on sale it tends to mean that a new drone is coming down the pipe.
$399 DJI Spark With Free Remote: https://bit.ly/2kwcmAK

Fast forward a year later and we now have the Mavic Air alongside the spark and makes one wonder if the Spark is even relevant anymore? The reason I say this is because the Mavic Air actually folds up smaller than the DJI Spark and is easier to pack. This was one of the main selling points to many. Personally I think there is still a market for the DJI spark and here is my reasoning and what features I would like to see introduced with a DJI Spark 2/Pro or whatever they decide to name it.

  1. Lose Some Weight: I think the size of the Sparks is still very important. The Spark comes in at a weight of 300 grams with a battery installed. For many countries 250 grams is where most regulations kick in. Drones over 250 Grams need to follow the drone rules and flight restriction zones. If they could shave off another 50 grams some how I think this would appeal to many people including myself. Those who live in large cities where there are so many no fly zones could actually get back up in the air. This would have to be my number one wish for a new Spark, however I don’t want DJI to go too extreme with a smaller size. The lighter a drone is the easier it can be blown around in the wind. The current spark does an amazing job in the wind and I would like it to remain that way.
  2.  Folding Arms & Props: Now many people may disagree with this, but I would like to see the Spark 2 to be a folding drone. This would make the footprint of the DJI Spark 2 super small and super easy to pack and transport. Folding drones are very popular in today’s market and I think the Spark 2 would be a perfect candidate for a folding design. Others don’t like the folding design as it one extra step needed to getting your bird up in the air and if you in a hurry it can be frustrating. Personally I would rather a folding drone as I really don’t find it all that of an inconvenience.
  3. 4K Video: Now this is not super important to me as I am okay with 1080 HD Video, but if it could be done, 4K video would be a bonus. However I would like it to be excellent 4K! You see a lot of cheap cameras offering 4K video with low bit rates and bad picture quality. Personally I would prefer superb 1080 than mediocre 4K.
  4. Rear Sensors: I would love to see some rear sensors added to the DJI Spark. Quite often I am flying backwards and having that little extra security would be really nice. Accidents do happen from time to time no mater how careful we are.
  5. Retain Price: Lastly I would really like to see the Spark retain its 499 price point. In-fact the spark has been reduced in price for some time now selling at 399 with a free remote. I like this price point, it makes the drone more affordable and helps it get into the hands of more people.

Well that is my wish-list. I would love to hear what new features you would like to see introduced into a next generation DJI Spark.

DJI Spark (DJI Store) https://goo.gl/DvoqK1
DJI Spark (Amazon) http://amzn.to/2GoBjYN

 

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