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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, it was soon cleared up that it was, in fact, a new drone that features 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 smartphone 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 your 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 2 Pro/Zoom

Freewell Gear ND Filters For Mavic 2 Pro | When & Why To Use Them

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Just like every other drone that DJI has released, Freewell gear has made some nice ND filter kits for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Now theoretically due to the Mavic 2 Pro having a variable aperture, ND filters may not be needed when you are trying to follow the 180-degree rule and have that slight bit of motion blur on objects with motion. Now let me explain for those who are not quite sure what ND filters do and what the 180-degree rule is.

The 180-degree rule for cinematography states that you should set the cameras shutter speed to double that of the frame rate in which you are filming. For example, if you are filming at 30 FPS you should set your shutter speed to 60 (1/60th second). If you’re filming at 60 FPS then you should set your shutter speed at 120 (1/120th second). Following this rule give a slight amount of motion blur that is pleasing to the eye and brain.

Now there can be a problem when following this rule. On most consumer drones the aperture is fixed and when you set the appropriate shutter speed the image can be overexposed. To correct this you would add an ND filter over the lens which is essentially a pair of sunglasses that cuts back the amount of light that can enter. Now with the Mavic 2 Pro, we have the ability to adjust our aperture, this will also cut back the light that hits the sensor. This again, in theory, eliminates the need for ND filters…or does it? Even with the variable aperture, there are those times that you would still want to use ND filters. Many agree on the Mavic 2 Pro to achieve the best image quality and clarity its best to keep your aperture between f/2.8 and f/5. At this aperture, you would still need to use ND filters on bright sunny days. As well there have been instances when I have set the aperture to f/11 and the image was still overexposed, thus requiring an ND filter.

I have been using Freewell Gear ND filters for many years for my GoPro and various drones I own. I have always been very pleased with the quality and durability and not to mention their very competitive pricing. They offer a variety of filter sets for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro including a standard day 4 pack that includes an ND4, ND8, ND16, and a stand-alone polarizing filter. They also have a bright day 4 pack that also feature built-in polarizers to each ND filter. The pack contains the following an ND8/PL, ND16/PL, ND32/PL, and an ND64/PL. You can also purchase both sets in one package called the “All Day Pack”. For those who like to do long exposure photography with their Mavic 2 Pro, they even sell an ND1000 and ND2000 filter. The Freewell gear ND filters are similar in size and weight to the stock lens cover and does not affect the gimbal performance. You can also attach the gimbal cover when the ND filters are installed, no need to remove them for transport.

You can watch our YouTube review video to see these Freewell ND filters in action.

Standard Day M2P ND Filters: https://amzn.to/2Iwwcqu
Bright Day 4 Pack ND Filters: https://amzn.to/2IAdU89

 

 


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Drone Reviews / Tutorials

Smatree Portable Power Station For Ryze Tello Drone | Demonstration & Review

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Just like several other DJI Drones, Smatree has recently released a portable power station for the Ryze Tello also known as the DJI Tello Drone. Essentially this portable charger is a power bank with built-in bays for the Tello batteries and allows you to charge 3 Tello batteries simultaneously instead of one at a time by plugging the drone itself into a USB port. This can save a lot of time and also allows you to keep flying while you charge your spare batteries. One really nice feature of this portable power station is the fact you can charge your Tello batteries while out on the go or at your flying location without the need of a traditional charging connection.

You can charge 1 to 3 batteries at any time and technically a 4th if you plug the drone directly into the charging unit via a micro USB Cable. It takes just over an hour to charge 3 batteries using the built-in bays. You can charge a total of 6 batteries on one charge of the power station. On the side, there is a full-size USB port for charging any device that can be charged by USB such as smartphones and tablets. There is a micro USB port as well and this is used to recharge the power station when it is empty. The portable charger can take upwards of 5 to 7 hours to recharge from empty. The unit itself is fairly small and can easily be packed in your drone case or pack without adding much in the way of additional weight. This is the perfect accessory for any Tello drone owner. You can watch our video review on YouTube to see the Smatree Portable Power Station for Tello Drone in action.

Tello Power Station (USA) https://amzn.to/2PW67UO
Tello Power Station (CAN) https://amzn.to/2EPHPLf

Smatree makes portable power stations for other drones as well.

Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom Charger: https://amzn.to/2D7x9FX
Mavic Air Portable Charger: https://amzn.to/2D8gSRb
Mavic Pro Portable Charger: https://amzn.to/2Sq3DzM
Spark Portable Charger: https://amzn.to/2DamM4p

 

 

When the batteries are charging the LED’s are red. They turn green when fully charged.

 

You can also charge a 4th battery by plugging the Tello onto the side of the charging station.

 

Smatree portable station for Tello drone can charge 3 batteries simultaneously in a little over an hour.

 

Smatree portable portable station for Tello drone.


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