Category Archives: News

Ten things you may not know, but should, about drone regulations

PhantomFlightSchool is here to help you every step of the way with your drone adventure

Drone Registration around the World

  1. The UK Registration process confirms two important points which are very good news for us drone pilots:
    1. It makes clear that the CAA agree with our long-held understanding that it is perfectly legal to take-off and land on any public footpath or bridleway, so long as there isn’t a byelaw in place that “trumps” this basic right. The best example of this byelaw point is the National Trust, who have the power to pass byelaws, and have done so to prevent taking off and landing anywhere on National Trust owned land.  But note they can’t stop you flying your drone over their land, any more than anyone can stop you flying your drone over their land – the air above our heads belongs to all of us
    2. It also makes clear that the 50metre rule applies by “creating a dome” with a 50metre radius over anyone or anything that is not under your control.  So by flying at a height of 50metre plus the height of the thing you are overflying, you can fly over other people, over roads, over houses and other buildings
  2. Drone registration was first proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in June 2017, and was adopted by the European Parliament in June 2019. It is one part of a large body of new EU drone regulations that will take effect from 1 July 2020 (see points 7 to 10 below).  The CAA is committed to following EASA recommendations whether the UK stays in the EU or not.  Hence the introduction of drone registration in the UK
  3. If you want to fly your drone in France, you must register your drone under the French drone registration scheme. Good news, the test can be done in English, the rules in France are very similar to those in the UK, and registering to fly in France is free.
  4. From June 2020, if you want to fly your drone anywhere in the EU, you will be obliged to register your drone in an EU country. The good news is that once you are registered in one EU country, you are clear for take-off in all EU countries
  5. If you want to fly in the USA, you will need to pay a $5 fee and register your drone with the FAA: https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/register_drone/
  6. If you want to fly in Canada as a foreign national, you need to apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate from Transport Canada.  To obtain this, you need to prove your competence, which in practice means you must hold a UK PfCO, or you will need to complete the Canadian online 3 hour Basic Course.  Email us if you would like more information, and our help in obtaining permission to fly in Canada

Drone Identification

  1. From 1 July 2020, every new drone weighing more than 250gms sold in the EU will have to be fitted with:
    1. A system for transmitting the location of the drone, and of the drone pilot, in such a way that anyone who is interested can see this information
    2. A transponder that means it is clearly visible to manned aircraft
    3. Note that this only applies to new drones being sold. You will have until June 2022 to retrofit such a device to your existing drones.  These devices are expected to be very lightweight (less than 10gms) and relatively affordable (less than £20)
  2. This is great news for all of us who want to enjoy flying and photographing with our drones, as it will greatly reassure the general public to know that the police can track the location of any drone and drone pilot, and it is bound to lead to a significant reduction in people flying drones where they shouldn’t, as they will know that they are much more likely to get caught. Especially as more and more police forces around the country (we are up to twelve and counting) recruit full-time “Drone Enforcers” to take action against pilots flying their drone illegally

Replacing the PfCO

  1. Again on 1 July 2020, across the EU and in the UK, the Permission for Commercial Operations that you must obtain in order to charge money for your drone work, will end. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) says that there is no difference in the riskiness of a commercial flight, compared with a recreational flight.  So from 1 July 2020, flights will instead be rated as “safe” or “dangerous”.  Safe flights, whether commercial or recreational, will be regulated in a similar way to recreational flights at the moment.  In order to undertake a dangerous flight, and by dangerous EASA means “anywhere near people or property”, you will need to prove your competence to undertake such a flight.  We expect the “proof of competence” requirements to be very similar to the current hoops you must jump through to get your PfCO.  Troublingly for those of us who want or need to fly close to people and buildings, EASA have not yet said what they mean by “anywhere near”.  So we expect there to be something of a hiatus, come July 2020, while the whole thing gets sorted out
  2. Which is why there has never been a better time to get your PfCO. Because those of us who have our PfCO can continue to fly under PfCO Rules until June 2022.  So getting your PfCO now means that you will be able to continue to fly to within 50metres of anything and anybody not under your control all the way through to the end of June 2022.  We have just 60 places available on our PfCO Courses running from February to June 2020, at a price of just £895 for everything you need to immediately apply for your PfCO from the CAA.

Everything you need to know to Ace the CAA Online Quiz for Drone Pilots

Download our Powerpoint Presentation covering all of the knowledge you need to Ace the CAA Online Quiz for Drone Pilots Here: Drone Registration Presentation

Download our PDF covering the same material (if you don’t have Powerpoint installed on your device) Here: Guide to How to Ace the CAA Online Quiz

Drone Registration – Is the Christmas Present we wanted….

Drone Registration

Drone Registration in the UK

Great News for all Responsible Drone Pilots

If you own a drone, you are now legally required to register it with the CAA

Not everyone will register.  Not everyone follows the speed limit on the motorway.  But the speed signs on every road tell us where the boundary lies between legal and illegal.  For too long, too many drone pilots have felt comfortable breaking the rules, and claiming they didn’t know they were breaking them.  Making things difficult for the rest of us.  Drone registration and the knowledge quiz are like motorway speed limits.  They show every drone pilot clearly where the boundary lies.

Best of all, every drone pilot completing the Registration Process will have to tick a box to say “I have read and understand the Drone Code” and “I’ll fly safely and legally”.  Just as when wearing your seat belt was made mandatory, we may grumble a bit at the outset, but over time everyone can see that such things make life safer, and better, for all of us.

What you need to know, and what you need to do

If you own a drone, you are now legally required to register it with the CAA

Before you fly a drone, you must complete an online knowledge quiz, which you can do at the same time as registering your drone

Registration is in line with what is happening in the EU, and has already happened in the USA and Canada

Registering your drone, and completing the online knowledge quiz, will enable responsible drone pilots to show everyone that they understand and follow the rules

Since 1 December 2019 every Drone Owner / Pilot must:

  • Pass a 20 question online multiple-choice knowledge quiz
  • Register their drone at their home / business address
  • Label their drone with a unique registration number
  • Pay a Registration Fee

REGISTRATION FEE IS JUST £9

Registration is instant – you can fly as soon as you pass the online test

12 Police Forces across UK have appointed full time “Drone Enforcers” to crack down on illegal flying, both recreational and commercial

Every Drone Owner must register

Every Drone Pilot must pass the online safety test

EXCEPT, If you are a member of the BMFA, or of FPV UK, you do not need to register, but you do need to complete an online quiz (can be theirs)

EXCEPT If you hold a PfCO, you must still register your drone, but do not need to complete the online quiz

Please call us with any questions about registration, or anything else to do with drones.  We are here to help you every step of the way with your drone adventure

PFS Drone Photography Competition 2019

Drone Photo Awards

 

Drone Photography Competition 2019 Entry Form

  • Please select from the following categories
  • Accepted file types: jpg.
    Upload your photograph, as a JPEG, at the highest resolution available, max file size 20Mb per image. Each image must be uploaded separately. You may upload up to a maximum of ten images in total
  • Tell us where you took this photograph

PhantomFlightSchool Drone Photography Competition 2019 Terms and Conditions

  1. Prizes:
    • First Prize is a £1,000 Four Day Drone Photography Masterclass. Including: Accommodation, Meals, and Expert Tuition from one of Britain’s Leading Drone Photographers.  In Skye, the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, or the Jurassic Coast.  Any time in 2020.  Or a £1,000 Voucher to spend on an Overseas Drone Experience or four-day PfCO Course.  It’s your choice.
    • Second Prize is a £600 Vouchers to spend on a Drone Photography Masterclass, Overseas Drone Experience, or PfCO course, any time in 2020
    • Third Prize is a £400 Voucher to spend on a Drone Photography Masterclass, Overseas Drone Experience, or PfCO course, any time in 2020
  2. Photos can be submitted in the following categories:
    • Landscape and Seascape
    • Travel and Overseas
    • Weddings and People
    • Cities and the Built Environment
    • Abstract / Open
  3. You may enter a maximum of ten images, across all categories.  You may enter images in any number of categories, up to a maximum of ten images in total
  4. Please submit your images as JPEGs only, at the highest resolution you have available, up to a maximum of 20Mbs per image
  5. All entries must be received by midnight on Sunday 10 November 2019. Images submitted after this date will not be eligible for an Award. PhantomFlightSchool reserves the right to extend the entry period at any time
  6. Winners will be announced at The PhantomFlightSchool Awards Dinner at Crewe Hall on Saturday 16th November 2019
  7. Images must be submitted to PhantomFlightSchool using the Form in our “Drone Photo Awards” blog. Any other form of submission will not be accepted
  8. When submitting an entry you must include all of the following information:
    • Where the image was taken
    • Which category you are entering the image in
  9. A Winner and a Runner Up will be chosen in each Category. In addition, there will be three overall prizes, for the three best images across all categories (see point 1 for details of overall prizes)
  10. The Small Print
    1. Prizes are as stated only, and no cash alternatives will be given
    2. PhantomFlightSchool retains the right to alter or withdraw prizes should circumstances change beyond its control
    3. Judging will be carried out by a panel of PhantomFlightSchool’s multi-award winning photographers. The judges’ decisions will be final and no correspondence will be entered into
    4. By submitting an image in this Competition, you confirm that you are the copyright holder of the image and that it is your original work. Anyone found to have entered an image that is not their original work will be disqualified
    5. Entrants retain copyright over all photographs submitted. By entering a photo in the Competition you agree that your submission may be used by PhantomFlightSchool for promotional purposes
    6. Entry is open to everyone: recreational drone pilots just starting out; pro photographers who fly drones; professional drone pilots who take photographs, and everyone in between. There is no upper or lower age limit for Competition entrants
    7. This year, only photos will be considered for an Award. No videos will be accepted.  Videos will be accepted for consideration in 2020
    8. There is no fee to enter the Competition and you do not have to attend the Awards Dinner at Crewe Hall on 16 November to enter an image for an Award
    9. Images entered must have been taken in accordance with the relevant country’s drone legislation
    10. It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure that any image submitted does not breech the General Data Protection Regulation, nor any other relevant laws or legislation
    11. Participants entering images for a PhantomFlightSchool Award do so at their own risk and are solely responsible for their own health and safety
    12. PhantomFlightSchool is not responsible for any costs or expenses incurred by entrants in the process of creating and submitting their photographs
    13. PhantomFlightSchool reserves the right to disqualify entrants found to be breaking any of these terms and conditions
    14. By entering the Competition, all entrants are deemed to have accepted these rules
    15. PhantomFlightSchool reserves the right to modify these terms and conditions at any time
    16. PhantomFlightSchool reserves the right to suspend or cancel the Competition at any time.

Recommend a Friend – Get £50. Give £50.

How it Works

  1. Click on the Link below to Register as a Recommender.  This sends us an email to us to let us know you are in the Scheme
  2. Get in touch with friends and family, and recommend they take a look at all of the fantastic ways in which we can help them with their drone adventure
  3. If you want, share their contact details with us, and we’ll get in touch (by email or telephone – you tell us) with them to help them make the right choice of drone hardware and / or training
  4. Tell them that when they make their purchase, in the Notes Section, they should enter “Recommend a Friend” (or something similar, we won’t get hung up about typos) followed by your name
  5. We’ll immediately refund them 10% of the cost of their purchase, up to a maximum of £50
  6. And we’ll contact you to find out where you would like us to send your crisp new £50 note
  7. Thank you!

CLICK HERE to REGISTER as a RECOMMENDER

Special Offer on UK and European Holidays

  1. We are the original experts in Drone Holidays, Experiences, and Masterclasses
  2. We run 4-day UK Masterclasses regularly to Skye; the Lake District; the Yorkshire Dales; and the Dorset Coast
  3. We run longer trips to Andalucia in Spain; Corfu on a 50ft yacht; the French Pyrenees; and the Mountains and Monasteries of Central Greece
  4. Sign up for one of our trips with a mate, or flying partner, and each of you gets £100 off the price of the trip.  Note that non-flying partners are also very welcome.  They pay half price on all of our trips

Terms and Conditions

  1. There is no limit to the number of friends you can recommend
  2. When a friend you recommend makes a purchase from us, they can use the Voucher Code above to get 10% off the cost of whatever they purchase, up to a maximum of £50
  3. When they do, we will send you 10% of the cost of whatever they purchase, in cash, up to a maximum of £50
  4. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers
  5. This offer applies to everything we sell: one-to-one lessons; drone workshops and Masterclasses; UK and European drone holidays; and drone hardware and accessories
  6. This offer is time-limited.  Offer ends 31 December 2019

Ten Questions to ask when choosing a PfCO Course

Image of two drone pilots operating a drone

Posted 03 May 2019

 

Q: Is it for me?

A: We only think you should think about doing a PfCO Course if you are using, or plan to use, a drone for commercial activities.  If you are involved in the built environment, we think drones will become as essential as a laptop and smartphone.  Likewise if you are a commercial photographer working outdoors.  So our answer is definitely that you should, and we firmly believe that when we deliver this course from 3iC (NQE No. 0116/1625) and enhance it with our very practical Ground School it makes it the best that you can get!  Otherwise, unless you plan to earn money with your drone, probably not.

If you want to learn more about drones, but won’t be flying commercially, you are better joining one of our one-day drone workshops, or coming on one of our holidays!

Q: Will I be ready to apply for my PfCO the day the Course finishes?

A: On this Course, the answer is yes.  Because we include not just Ground School, but also loads of practical drone flying training, your Operations Manual written with you, and your Flight Test during the Course.

Q: How much actual drone flying experience will my instructors have?

A: Your Course Instructors have completed thousands of drone flights, in the UK, and across Europe, in their roles as instructors, and flying drones commercially.  They pour all of the knowledge they have accumulated from these flights, successful, and sometimes not successful, into their teaching on the Course.

Q: How long does it take?

A: We have Courses running from 2.5 days to 5 days, weekends and weekdays.  The Short Course covers everything you need, and nothing else.  The longer Courses include more of the stuff that will help you in future, as well as the stuff you need to satisfy the CAA.

Q: What is the maximum student : instructor ratio?

A: With us, the maximum is 4 : 1.  We keep it low in order to give everyone the attention they deserve.

Q: What is the pass rate?

A: Everyone who has attended this Course over the last two years has completed it successfully.  Not always first time(!).  But it is our mission to do everything we can to support you to succeed.  There is no charge for retakes, no matter how many are required.

Q: What resources do I get before the Course begins?

A: You get a comprehensive set of eight online videos.  Each one runs about an hour, and covers one of the eight modules you are required to learn in order to pass the Theory Test element of the PfCO.  At the end of each video, there is a multiple-choice test, which will give you a good idea of how well you have mastered the subject.  You can view each video and complete each test as many times as you wish.

Q: I don’t currently own a drone.  Can you help me choose the right one?

A: Certainly.  We pride ourselves on our comprehensive knowledge of the full range of DJI drones.  And we will never try to sell you something more than you need.  Indeed “do you really need that?” is something clients choosing a drone hear from us a lot.

Q: What happens if it rains?

A: We keep a close eye on the forecast throughout the Course, and adapt the Course programme accordingly, to take advantage of good weather to get outside and go flying.  We also have a waterproof Matrice 200 drone available, as well as some baby Spark & Tello drones that fly well indoors, so that we can continue flying in bad weather.  To date, we have always been able to complete all of the Flight Tests during the Course.

Q: How can I get my flying skills to the required standard?

A: We are all about transparency.  So as soon as you sign up for this Course, we send you a copy of the Flight Test manoeuvres you will be required to complete to a high standard to pass the Flight Test.  Ahead of the Course, we recommend if possible that you come for a two-hour practical one-to-one drone flying lesson.  During this lesson, we can talk through what the test involves, determine your current standard of flying skills, and identify the areas you may need to work on ahead of the Flight Test.

Q: Do I have to write my own Operations Manual?

A: The good news is that, no you don’t, or at least not on your own!  We write the Operations Manual with you, based on a template that we constantly amend and adapt to meet the CAA’s requirements, and information that we ask you to give us: the name of your business; the type & serial number of your drone etc.  To comply with the CAA’s expectations, we do test you on the key information contained in your Operations Manual during the Course.  But this is a breeze compared with the painful, sometimes months long process of writing it totally by yourself.

Q: What happens after my Course?

A: We will send you the Certificates you need to submit to the CAA with your PfCO application immediately you complete the Course.  During the Course, we go through how to complete your application, and we offer a free vetting service to make sure your application is in order before you submit it if you have any concerns.

Q: Do you offer continuing support?

A: Very much so.  Everyone who completes their PfCO with us becomes a member of our Phantom Pro Club.  This provides you with:

  • A private FaceBook group for Pro Club Members
  • Discounts on our full range of Drone Workshops and Masterclasses
  • 50% off membership of the Guild of Photographers
  • Regular informal get-togethers for Pro Club members to share ideas, discuss new opportunities, and keep abreast of the latest developments in hardware, software, and legislation

Q: Anything else I should know?

A: Our enhanced 3iC PfCO Course costs from just £995 + VAT. Get free extra training worth £200 when you book your PfCO before the end of April. CLICK HERE to email us, or call us for details on 01244 893 872

Our Cambridge Pilot, Tom Jacobs, talks about Winter Filming in the Lake District

With a week-long filming assignment on the agenda, the day for packing all of the gear, and even collecting a brand new Mavic 2 Pro on the journey up, had arrived. Lakeland in winter requires all of the extra gear one would expect to need for winter mountaineering, which adds a lot of weight to filming in the mountains, so a checklist was needed (Flight School pilots love a checklist!).

With my van loaded, it was time to head off and after a clear journey up to Threlkeld, I arrived at my accommodation and immediately set-to charging batteries and studying OS maps getting set for the week ahead. The anticipated heavy snow arrived and I found myself preparing for a ‘Dawn Raid’ the next morning.

Up at 5am I drove a very cautious journey to the eastern shores of Ullswater in the dark, with plenty of sheet ice across the approach road to keep me focused. It took some steady steps on frozen ground to get to the top of the fell in the dawn light and it was cold and quite windy, but the views were amazing. As the sun rose above the far eastern fells and the shadows sank lower into the valley, the golden light crept onto Helvellyn, lighting up the snow-clad giant in all its glory.

I carried out a few flights to capture this distant scene with Ullswater looking dark and alluring in the foreground. The next day was a big one, filming Lakeland skiers in the fresh snow. I drove to Glenridding village and due to the depth of snow and the icy conditions on the quarry road, we had to park in the village and walk all the way to the hostel before starting the ascent to the ski slopes. Once the initial zig-zag quarry route had been navigated through, it was onto the Chimney Ridge route up to the cabins and ski lift.

The snow was deeper than knee height in places making the going slower than usual. The conditions were stunning but as we approached the lifts, low clouds were pouring over the mountain-side, clinging to the ski slopes. As you can imagine, it was pretty cold, so, having met with the ski club members to discuss the filming plans, I headed off to find a suitable spot to launch from.

 

Suffice to say, when you have painful numb fingers, sub-zero degree temperatures and swirling icy winds, it makes for testing conditions… far from ideal! Picking my moments carefully, anticipating windows in the fast-moving low cloud, I carried out 3 batteries worth of flights, capturing some high level film of the skiers having fun on the slopes, and the conditions allowed for some dramatic footage of the fell-side and surrounding mountain ranges too.

The last full day of the trip was another dawn raid with the promise of some cracking morning light on Helvellyn. After another steady drive in the dark to Patterdale, we bundled out of the van, grabbed our gear and set off up towards Striding Edge. As before, the icy paths and deep snow made the going slow and I had to carry out a mid-approach “hand launch and catch” flight on a steep  mountain slope in order to capture the golden dawn light on the summit and Striding Edge.

We eventually reached our filming spot and the views were magnificent. The added bonus was a cloud inversion in the valley which covered Ullswater like a blanket. With blue sky and snow-capped mountains all around, I was quite literally in heaven!

I flew two batteries, capturing some wonderful scenes of Helvellyn, but trying to keep powder snow away from my equipment was quite a task, not helped by a passing walker’s dog charging over my kit and launch pad!

On the journey home I reflected on my week in the snow-covered fells, the ‘at the limit’ conditions I found myself flying in, and the rewards for managing those conditions to achieve the results I was after. However, for me, above all, being immersed in these breathtaking moments on the fells is the pinnacle of being alive…. that and being astride a motorbike, riding a curvy road through Luxembourg…. but each to their own of course!

Tom Jacobs

And the Winner Is……

Old Harry Rocks from drone

 

We have a WINNER of our Drone Photography Masterclass Prize Draw

Congratulations Naomi Youd, Wedding Photographer, from Wiltshire.  Your prize is a one-day Masterclass in the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Isle of Skye, or the Jurassic Coast in Dorset (you choose which!) with PhantomFlightSchool, led by a world-class Landscape Photographer and Drone Pilot.  Worth £249

In case you missed them, we have extended our SHOW OFFERS until midnight this Friday 22 March 2019

Don’t forget, we are also an Authorised DJI Retailer, and stock the full DJI range.  Buy a drone from us, and get a free one-hour one-to-one drone flying lesson worth £120.

Free Workshop worth £150 when you book a drone flying holiday

Reserve your place on one of our drone holidays and come to one of our workshops (Normal Cost £150) absolutely FREE.

Go to our 2019 holiday programme

£300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.  Book your Holiday and then use the following discount code to claim your free workshop:  DISCOUNT CODE: Photoshow150

Free two hour lesson worth £200 when you book a PfCO course

Reserve your place on one of our PfCO Courses and get a two-hour one-to-one drone flying lesson (Normal Cost £200) absolutely FREE.

Go to our 2019 PfCO programme

£300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.  Book your PfCO and then use the following discount code to claim your free workshop:  DISCOUNT CODE: Photoshow200

20% discount on all one-to-one drone flying lessons, flying lesson vouchers and one-day Workshops

Protect Your Investment, Learn to Fly with the Experts. Get More Out of Your Flying.

Book a Lesson

Use this code to get 20% off until midnight on Friday.  DISCOUNT CODE: Photoshow20

 

The Photography Show

The Photography Show logo

 

 

SPECIAL OFFERS for The Photography Show 16 – 19 March

We hope to see you at the Photography Show this weekend.  It’s at the NEC, and we are on Stand K131.  We have some very special offers for people visiting us at the Show.

Then we thought, that’s great for all the new people we expect to meet at the Show.  But what about our loyal customers who can’t get there.  Shouldn’t you get the same great Offers?  Of course you should!

So, even if you are not able to attend The Photography Show we are offering the following discounts to everyone between 16th – 19th March 2019.

FREE Workshop worth £150 when you book a drone flying holiday!

Reserve your place on one of our drone flying & photography holidays and choose to attend one of our many workshops for free. For more information on our 2019 holiday programme click here.  We’ll send you a Code to claim your free Workshop as soon as you reserve a place on one of our holidays.  £300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.

FREE 2 hour lesson worth £200 when you book your PfCO course!

Get your PfCO with the UKs longest established and most popular Practical Drone Training Organisation. 3 day Course, every month in Chester and Maidstone for more information click here.  We’ll send you a Code to claim your free Lesson worth £200 as soon as you reserve a place on one of our PfCO Courses.  £300 deposit is all we require to reserve your place.

20% discount on all one-to-one drone flying lessons, flying lesson vouchers and one-day Workshops

DISCOUNT CODE: Photoshow20

Protect Your Investment, Learn to Fly with the Experts. Get More Out of Your Flying. For more information or to book a Lesson click here.

 

DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Simon says…

DJI Mavic 2 drone pro smart controller bundle

Whenever DJI launch a new product we can be sure that we will be told that this is the pinnacle of technology and it is such an improvement on what already exists that we must absolutely buy one!

As I get older, I know that it’s hard to believe(!) but I become more and more cynical… I’ve already got a Mavic Pro for portability and convenience and a Phantom 4 Pro for the best camera that you could expect to find on a “Prosumer” drone… So why on earth would I consider that I need to spend my money on this, simply to combine the best features of the two aforementioned drones?

Indeed, I resisted the temptation for several months while DJI struggled to satisfy the initial demand… I have to admit that I was even feeling a little smug that I didn’t need to join the queue of clamouring customers!

But then I was giving lessons to new Mavic 2 Pro owners and I started to see what all the fuss was about… Barely any larger and heavier than my trusty Mavic Pro but with a camera that wasn’t just as good as the P4Pro’s… It was significantly better! I believe that the relevant terms are “Colour Saturation” and “Dynamic Range”…

                     

Phantom 4 Pro                                                                                                               Mavic 2 Pro

In layman’s terms it, suddenly became possible to get really good results straight from the camera without the need to resort to LightRoom or PhotoShop in order to compensate for a wide range of exposure values… Dark foreground with fluffy white clouds in the distance and everything correctly exposed and pin-sharp… Absolutely awesome! And although DJI haven’t seen fit to publicise the function, one can even pan the camera without the need to rotate the drone…

Oh, and it’s nice to fly too! This must be the quietest drone that I have ever flown, and the landing leg configuration gives peace of mind to anybody who has been used to dealing with the Phantom’s need to avoid wind gusts when touching-down! Being able to select “Tripod” mode directly from the slide switch on the side of the controller is a nice touch too.

Lest this post be seen as an unduly biased positive review, there are a few things that have disappointed me with the Mavic 2 Pro:

  • I am not a fan of the shoulder bag that comes with the Fly More Kit… It’s awkward to get the drone in and out of and doesn’t afford as much protection as a hard case
  • The gimbal lock is a bit of a faff to fit
  • I am not 100% comfortable with the new “Waypoint” mode where waypoints are plotted on the map rather than by actually flying to them
  • I mourn the loss of the Phantom’s “Course Lock” intelligent flight mode

Other than these relatively minor gripes, am I happy with my purchase? The answer has to be a resounding “Yes”, but now I just have to come to terms with the fact that I should really advertise my original Mavic Pro for sale… Any offers? (Just one very careful owner!)