Although drones are something of a trend nowadays, it wasn’t long ago that such technology just wasn’t possible. It comes as no surprise that once the floodgates had been opened to the drone arena, there were a number of competitors battling for the number one spot. Like many sectors, some fare better than others, and the overwhelming choice can mean that consumers are somewhat in the dark as to what kind of model to opt for.
There is also the fact that drones aren’t seen as a mere toy, but something that can be used to extend the creativity of budding film makers everywhere. So it not only needs to be able to fly, but do so in a sleek way as to capture that perfect shot.
When it comes to the drome industry, 3DR isn’t a name that grabs your attention. This is because the 3DR solo is 3DR’s first solo release into the consumer market. As such, it has a lot headway to make to put in within the same demographic as other more-recognisable models. However, drone enthusiasts shouldn’t label it an underdog just yet.
Design and Build
There are drones that look to impress from an aesthetic viewpoint. While they 3DR Solo is no ugly duckling in the world of drones, it does possess a guise that’s a little more formal than other models available. That said, it does give users access to self-tightening props which allow for easy transportation. If you’re a fan of the military look, you will feel right at home with the 3DR Solo.
The 3DR Solo Drone also comes complete with a smart pad which allows for the attachment of Android and Apple devices, such as smartphones and the iPad. However, users should ensure that they have iOS 8.0 for Apple devices or Android 4.3 or upwards for other smartphones and tablets.
A 5200mAh battery will power the Solo for up to 25 minutes, although this can fluctuate depending on whether you decide to opt for the extras, which include a gimbal and GoPro camera. However, if you don’t already own a GoPro, then this is something else you will need to factor into your budget if you’re looking to purchase the 3DR solo for film or photo projects.
Flying the 3DR Solo
The control of your drone is not something to be taken lightly. There are a number of people who have opted for cheaper models only to find that they’re often uncontrollable. Fortunately, this is not the case for the 3DR Pro. The controller is a breeze to use, with every function carried out as soon as a button is pressed. This means that you’re never going to miss that all important shot, nor are you going to see your drone crashing into a tree unguided. There’s even a small LCD screen on the pad that presents the user with information relating to the drone’s precise angle.
For those using the 3DR Solo for shooting video, then you will find you will be given access to crystal-clear feeds while you drone is in motion. The only minor niggle is that although the 3DR Solo can be used without the gimbal, it does offer shakier footage when doing so.
It’s also worth noting that 3DR have worked closely with GoPro to ensure that the Solo is compatible in a number of different ways. This shows in the way the camera easily fits into the 3DR Solo, as well as the number of functions available when the drone is airborne, such as the changing of camera resolution.
Built to Evolve
Another enticing feature of the 3DR Solo is that it’s not built to fade away. In fact, it shows that it’s not going anywhere soon. This is due to the number of ports that can come included with the 3DR, all primed for future developments by 3DR. For example, one of the future additions will be an in-house flight sensor which employs the use of optical flow sensors.
The 3DR Solo is also prepared for upgrades of its motor as and when they become available. This means that the 3DR solo can evolve, while offering consumers a cheaper way of upgrading, rather than reinvesting every few years. As such, the 3DR solo can be seen as an investment for true drone enthusiasts looking for a product with longevity.
Now, depending on your experience with drones, there are those among us who may have experienced flyaways, in which the drone is never to be seen again. This can be detrimental in a number of ways, so it makes sense to offer a robust solution that looks to eliminate such eventualities.
One such solution is included with the 3DR Solo, which alone could encourage drone fans to make an investment. So how is this done? Well, a Pixhawk 2 flight controller is used in conjunction with 1GHz Linux computer. Rather than sending commands via the controller, they are actually sent via the Linux computer. So should there be a problem when it comes to the drone and computer, the 3DR Solo will simply hover in place until the computer reboots. If it still receives no information, it will simply fly home to base.
Granted, the 3DR Solo does come with a larger-than-usual price tag, but as pointed out, the 3DR can be seen as more of an investment. In the future, as specs improve, you can simply make the changes without having to invest large sums of money into the latest model.
It is also one of the few drones that is able to capture aerial shots that even experienced flyers would have trouble matching with other models.
The 3DR Solo also performed well when it came to its backup procedure for when an error occurs. How well this performs moving forward could depend on a number of factors, but for the most part, it’s safe to say that 3DR offer a drone that can look after itself, while offering budding film makers some truly unique aerial shots with the minimum of effort.