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Size vs. Flight Time vs Camera vs...

What would you like to see as the next-generation drone?


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Brian

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It looks like the newest DJI release is "just" going to be a slightly improved Mavic, so I wanted to ask other people what their ideal "next-gen" improvement would be. To me it's been clear for a few years that the game changer will be when someone has a Phantom-like drone that can fly for an hour. But I'm not a professional photographer, so maybe the camera improvements from the P3 to the P4 and beyond have actually been fundamentally important. And I'm not taking the drone on hikes, so the size difference of a mavic aren't a big deal either. But I wanted to get a sense from the community what you think for your own business (and pleasure!) you'd love to see as a breakthrough drone.
 

The Editor

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It looks like the newest DJI release is "just" going to be a slightly improved Mavic, so I wanted to ask other people what their ideal "next-gen" improvement would be. To me it's been clear for a few years that the game changer will be when someone has a Phantom-like drone that can fly for an hour. But I'm not a professional photographer, so maybe the camera improvements from the P3 to the P4 and beyond have actually been fundamentally important. And I'm not taking the drone on hikes, so the size difference of a mavic aren't a big deal either. But I wanted to get a sense from the community what you think for your own business (and pleasure!) you'd love to see as a breakthrough drone.
You mean like this?
https://www.foxtechfpv.com/f1000-pro-6s-combo.html

They also make a UAV that will fly for over 5 hours so old news.
 

The Editor

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No, I mean a phantom price point drone that can fly for an hour.
Oh, you didn't say that and there was no mention of price point in your OP/survey.
Only a Phantom size UAV with capability of an hour's endurance which I linked to.
 

Brian

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Thanks for the opportunity to clarify. I didn't say anything about "Phantom size", I said "Phantom-like." To clarify, what I had in mind was something similar to the Phantom in size and price point.
 

ianwood

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Original phantoms (4-5 years ago) did about 7 minutes in the air. Current ones do about 15 or more (practical not theoretical). Not bad for a few years of tuning and technology refinement. Going forward, I think it will be require more fundamental changes in technology (motors, props, batteries, construction) to achieve significant gains beyond where we are currently.
 

Brian

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The Phantom is a great piece of hardware, no doubt. I've seriously abused mine, and the only thing that did it severe damage was being completely immersed in a lake. But in the last 3 years the flight time hasn't increased at all. The major breakthrough will be in batteries. There needs to be mass production of next-gen batteries of the right size so that they can get 3x the power in the same weight. The tech is out there, what's missing are factories that generate them at scale in order to get the costs down. And battery research is concentrating on car/house scale batteries for the likes of Tesla, GM, etc., so the emphasis on drone-scale battery improvements isn't there...
 

Mike Flys

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Mavic 2
360 OA
P4P style camera
I'm okay with 30 minute flight times. I think to achive an hour or more we will need a mini hydrogen generator, and some drones do now.

Mike
 
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Increasing the flight time to one hour would be good, but with that I would love to see a gimbal on a phantom 5 or 6 that would allow you to change camera systems. The drone is just the vehicle, the camera makes the difference. And different jobs call for different cameras and lenses.
 

S F Ogden

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As a videographer, I find flight-time of P4P more than adequate. But I’d love camera improvements: better bit-rates, better codecs, improved dynamic range, zoom lens, perhaps a 360 degree gimbal system. At the same time I’m pleased with the P4P camera functionality at this price point. But higher bit-rate at 4K with a better codec is my top wish.
 
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