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DJI versus Autel in 2022

Torchbearer

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Hey everyone!

I'm coming over from the FPV world. I'm in my mid-30s, in a mid-level career, and have been building and flying FPV drones for a couple years as a hobby.

I now have a pretty solid social media presence, so I got my 107 and started doing paid commercial gigs using fpv quads, just for people who reached out to me on social media

I'm becoming more interested in pursuing commercial ventures beyond FPV and would like to buy a normal consumer drone to get comfortable with how they work before spending >$10k on a real commercial rig.

I'd like to go with either Autel or DJI (evo nano plus or mini 3 pro for the first drone). Ultimately my goal will be to upgrade to a commercial-grade drone and doing paid work once I'm comfortable with operating the consumer drone.

Which platform would you go with in 2022 if you were starting from scratch?

I'm interested in any thoughts you guys have on this. I don't know anyone who uses these types of drones yet. My circle is all about FPV haha

Thanks in advance!
 
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Torchbearer

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Hey thank you for the reply! I have thought about the Air 2s as well. That one is better suited for commercial use while the Mini 3 Pro is more geared toward social media & content creation right?
 
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Torchbearer

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I'd like to try to start planning costs and planning how I'll finance for my first enterprise-level drone.

I intend to focus initially on photogrammetry, 3d modeling, and volumetrics. For this type of work, I understand that for a long time the DJI Phantom 4 Pro has been the king because of the mechanical shutter.

Is the P4P still the number one option for photogrammetry?

Does Autel have any offerings that are competitive at all?
 

PWidmayer

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Now is definately the time to buy. There are a bunch of new drones coming out very soon, so the current versions are getting discounted. One suggestion I have from a lesson learned is get a smart controller or have a dedicated device for flying, not your cell phone. I have a Autel 640T, Mavic Pro 2 and of course a Mavic mini- (Because everyone should have one). I wish I had a smart controller or two for work.
 

Torchbearer

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I ended up grabbing a DJI mini 3 pro and an Autel Nano+ to start becoming familiar with both platforms. I intend to sell them and upgrade as soon as I'm comfortable with them

I got the DJI with the dji rc smart controller and that thing is 🔥 it made me fall in love and I really wanted to like Autel better haha

It's looking like I may want to get a Matrice 200 or 300 so I can swap out sensors for whatever jobs I end up doing. I know I want to do mapping, 3d modeling, and volumetrics work. Down the road I'm interested in getting the sUAS thermography cert and adding those services as well, but I want to get really good at the modeling/photogrammetry first

What do you guys think about that? Is that overkill and ridiculous?

I'd just rather take the big hit up front and get exactly what I need rather than lose a bunch of money upgrading over and over to get the quality I need

I truly appreciate any input. This is my first time trying to do something like this
 

crlmjohnson

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I do a lot of commercial jobs. I have been doing drone missions, for a few years now. I started out doing commercial work with the 3DR Solo(s), a few years back. since then I am doing (drone missions) jobs with a Mavic 2, Mavic 3 cine, and SKydio 2. I fly and work for several clients. I have not gotten into thermal work. I have tried it with with an inspire, but not really interest in it. I have flown and own several other drones, also in the past. I do use litchi, drone deploy, and 3dPixture, for my drones missions. I also do manual flying when the job requires it. I have experience flying other drones, but I prefer DJI drones.

personally if I just getting into this business, and had the money, and experience flying drones, and doing the same thing that I am doing now with drones. I would have brought one of these:

1663591402529.png
I would still keep my Mavic pro2 and mavic 3 cine.
 
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Torchbearer

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I do a lot of commercial jobs. I have been doing drone missions, for a few years now. I started out doing commercial work with the 3DR Solo(s), a few years back. since then I am doing (drone missions) jobs with a Mavic 2, Mavic 3 cine, and SKydio 2. I fly and work for several clients. I have not gotten into thermal work. I have tried it with with an inspire, but not really interest in it. I have flown and own several other drones, also in the past. I do use litchi, drone deploy, and 3dPixture, for my drones missions. I also do manual flying when the job requires it. I have experience flying other drones, but I prefer DJI drones.

personally if I just getting into this business, and had the money, and experience flying drones, and doing the same thing that I am doing now with drones. I would have brought one of these:

View attachment 3693
I would still keep my Mavic pro2 and mavic 3 cine.
Thanks for your comment. I keep coming back to this one and the M300. It seems like just taking the hit and paying the initial up-front cost, then being able to use it for any type of job I end up getting into might be the right call.

Do you ever have any issues with the geofencing on DJI? I know no geofencing is a big selling point for Autel for example.

I've read sometimes DJI blocks you from flying, even in areas you should be good to go. Though I don't know how widespread of an issue it really is
 

TreeLineView

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I fly the Matrice M200 with an Flir XT2 Duo and also have a Flir X4S lens. Best combination for me. My focus is on roof inspection and large Solar Arrays. In my opinion, this is the best combo on the market for creating Thermal Orthomosaic maps and processing thermal data because its a Flir sensor and you can use Flir Thermal Studio for post processing. I would also keep an eye on the Teledyne Flir SIRIS that should hit the market in the next three weeks. Will need to see some real world scenarios and reviews on what it offers first. I have been stung a few times by Geofencing, but it has gotten a lot better. No issues in the past year or so. http://treelineview.pixieset.com. Look in the cool pics directory if you want to see some maps of missions I have flown in the past two months
 
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