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Starting a drone service with Yuneec Q500 4K, why isn't it more popular? what is it best & worst used for?

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Hello all, I'm new to drones and I'm wondering why isn't the Yuneec Q500 4K isn't more popular, it seems like a steal for the price! A drone with a good battery life, reasonably priced, from a reliable company, that can be insured so if damaged it can be claimed, w/3-axis gimbal for good original footage as my previous experience with smaller drones is not professional to present to an actual business, good quality camera is great as well, pretty much all is covered for starting side work with a drone.
I am trying to do some side work with it for real estate or such and I can't afford the much more expensive drones out there especially since I'm just starting out and it's going to take a while to break-even.
Are there industries or fields the q500 can't work for? I read that it's not able to do mapping jobs or surveying jobs, and that it can only be controlled manually for such jobs, would someone please elaborate on that as I'm pretty new to the systems they all use.
Do you think there are better ways to start this? let me know what you've done.
Thank you
 

Meta4

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Hello all, I'm new to drones and I'm wondering why isn't the Yuneec Q500 4K isn't more popular, it seems like a steal for the price!
The Q500 is old technology for a drone and doesn't fare well in comparison to more modern machines.
It was a big, very slow drone with a top speed of only 8 metres/sec (17 mph) so it can have troubles dealing with a moderate wind.
It's 12MP camera has a tiny 1/2.3'' sensor and is fairly low spec.

I read that it's not able to do mapping jobs or surveying jobs, and that it can only be controlled manually for such jobs, would someone please elaborate on that as I'm pretty new to the systems they all use.
Mapping requires an app to control the flying of a precise grid and take a series of photos with precise, large overlaps like this:



It's not something you could achieve flying manually.
The mapping apps are only able to control the drone and camera if the manufacturer has released a software development kit (SDK) so that mapping app developers are able to integrate their apps with the drone's programming.
Not many drone manufacturers have done that.
Here's a list of drones that are compatible with DroneDeploy, one of the mapping apps:
 
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The Q500 is old technology for a drone and doesn't fare well in comparison to more modern machines.
It was a big, very slow drone with a top speed of only 8 metres/sec (17 mph) so it can have troubles dealing with a moderate wind.
It's 12MP camera has a tiny 1/2.3'' sensor and is fairly low spec.


Mapping requires an app to control the flying of a precise grid and take a series of photos with precise, large overlaps like this:



It's not something you could achieve flying manually.
The mapping apps are only able to control the drone and camera if the manufacturer has released a software development kit (SDK) so that mapping app developers are able to integrate their apps with the drone's programming.
Not many drone manufacturers have done that.
Here's a list of drones that are compatible with DroneDeploy, one of the mapping apps:
Thank you so much for the reply @Meta4,
Do you have any recommendations as to which one of those drones can take stable pictures if it's windy, should I find a phantom 4 pro or mavic 2 as literally every online article highly recommends?
I would love to get enough money for the higher end inspire level drones as I'm doing those smaller jobs, I'm just trying to start it with a high enough quality and usable footage.

BTW I really appreciate the list as I'm not familiar with their software and it seems like they only support DJI products, does that mean all other brands are for the less professional work that is strictly "photography" or "videography" and I shouldn't invest in anything but DJI drones?
 

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Do you have any recommendations as to which one of those drones can take stable pictures if it's windy, should I find a phantom 4 pro or mavic 2 as literally every online article highly recommends?
I would love to get enough money for the higher end inspire level drones as I'm doing those smaller jobs, I'm just trying to start it with a high enough quality and usable footage.
Because the Q500 was so slow, there used to be a joke that if the owner ever had a "flyaway" situation, the recovery action was to walk after it.
Pretty well every other drone out there is able to deal with moderate winds.
I wouldn't be in a rush to get an Inspire in your situation.
The two drones you mentioned are both capable of excellent work that would match the Inspire for many uses, but in significantly more portable size and much more affordable.
BTW I really appreciate the list as I'm not familiar with their software and it seems like they only support DJI products, does that mean all other brands are for the less professional work that is strictly "photography" or "videography" and I shouldn't invest in anything but DJI drones?
In the ready-to-fly drone market, DJI's slice of the pie is more than 70%, with all the other manufacturers having a small share of what's left.
The software developers don't put in the effort to design a version of their apps unless there's a big enough user base to justify their effort and that means that most only do DJI versions.
If you wanted to do mapping work, DJI is the way to go.
 
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Because the Q500 was so slow, there used to be a joke that if the owner ever had a "flyaway" situation, the recovery action was to walk after it.
Pretty well every other drone out there is able to deal with moderate winds.
I wouldn't be in a rush to get an Inspire in your situation.
The two drones you mentioned are both capable of excellent work that would match the Inspire for many uses, but in significantly more portable size and much more affordable.

In the ready-to-fly drone market, DJI's slice of the pie is more than 70%, with all the other manufacturers having a small share of what's left.
The software developers don't put in the effort to design a version of their apps unless there's a big enough user base to justify their effort and that means that most only do DJI versions.
If you wanted to do mapping work, DJI is the way to go.

Thank you for the info, I didn't think of that as such a huge factor. It seems like DJI's website is out of stock on almost all of the phantom's, is there a preferred website or place to buy drones that you can insure or have a warranty for aside for that is actually reliable. I keep hearing horror stories about DJI's customer service, is there a workaround for that like buying from different websites or something?
 

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It seems like DJI's website is out of stock on almost all of the phantom's, is there a preferred website or place to buy drones that you can insure or have a warranty for aside for that is actually reliable. I keep hearing horror stories about DJI's customer service, is there a workaround for that like buying from different websites or something?
No-one knows what's going on with the Phantom line.
DJI hasn't made any since the end of last year but they still haven't announced the line is end of life.
The Mavic 2 model has a very similar capability in a more compact package and is selling well.
Maybe it's replacing the Phantom line, maybe not.
Whatever they are up to, only DJI know.

The "horror stories" catch a lot of attention but need to be balanced against the number actually sold and the reporting of complaints vs happy customers.
DJI sell about 10X more than the next biggest competitor and 20 X more than the others so it would be expected that there might be 10X times more complaints.
People are quick to complain but few satisfied users are posting about how they had another few flawless flights, like the last 100 they've had.
Like any product, there can be production glitches but overall DJI machines are very reliable and many users have reported pleasing service results too on the rare occasions it was needed.
 

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No-one knows what's going on with the Phantom line.
DJI hasn't made any since the end of last year but they still haven't announced the line is end of life.
The Mavic 2 model has a very similar capability in a more compact package and is selling well.
Maybe it's replacing the Phantom line, maybe not.
Whatever they are up to, only DJI know.

The "horror stories" catch a lot of attention but need to be balanced against the number actually sold and the reporting of complaints vs happy customers.
DJI sell about 10X more than the next biggest competitor and 20 X more than the others so it would be expected that there might be 10X times more complaints.
People are quick to complain but few satisfied users are posting about how they had another few flawless flights, like the last 100 they've had.
Like any product, there can be production glitches but overall DJI machines are very reliable and many users have reported pleasing service results too on the rare occasions it was needed.

That makes sense, do you have any tips for minimizing risks when it comes to buying dji's? should I buy new or refurbished to save money? is there good places to buy refurbished with warranties on them?
 

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That makes sense, do you have any tips for minimizing risks when it comes to buying dji's? should I buy new or refurbished to save money? is there good places to buy refurbished with warranties on them?
My partner and I bough 2 refurbished Phantom 4 from the DJI store. They arrived like brand new in the box with a 12 month warranty. I don't see why not buying a refurbished so far. Best of luck with your project!
 

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When dealing with windy conditions nothing in the DJI line under an Inspire 2 can effectively handle it. The Mavic 2 Pro gives it a good go but only if you’ve adjusted up control response first. Phantom 1 through Phantom 3 are deplorable in winds much over 8-10mph. It’s pretty much a fact of life that larger, heavier drones do better in windy conditions because of available power but they still need to have bern set up for more robust conditions beforehand.

I won’t make a brand or model suggestion as only you know what you will want or need to do with one. I completely agree the Q-500 would be a poor choice and batteries for that model are in short supply. I do not anticipate that situation improving.
 

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When dealing with windy conditions nothing in the DJI line under an Inspire 2 can effectively handle it.
That's an odd thing to say and likely to be very confusing to the OP.
What wind strength are you referring to?
DJI Phantoms and Mavics deal very well with wind and obviously there's a wind speed that will be too much for them.
But they can easily manage the kinds of winds that most users are going to encounter, most of the time.
I regularly fly in winds up to 20 knots and sometimes a little more and my drones deal with that without any problem at all.
 

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At 20 knots a Phantom, Inspire 1, and Mavic 1 will drift badly in hover. I’ve flown them too.

Wind above 10mph makes a Phantom difficult to land and remain upright on the landing gear.

Winds at 20mph initiate a system warning to land immediately when using an I2. You can fly it in higher winds but the warning advisory is at best irritating.

Just an FYI but I had to obtain 15 hours of pre employment flight time using DJI systems and 10 hours post employment DJI time to log minimum OS system qualifications for a job position. The employer was aware of my flight skills and provided several DJI aircraft models and all the batteries needed to fly them continuously to generate that flight time. Models included (2) P3 Pro, M1, M2 Pro, I-1, and I-2. The I-2 was the model used for site work. The M2 Pro was better than the Phantoms and I-1, but only after control response was tweaked. Every landing was required to be a spot landing, on the ground to grade operator skill. Hand catching was not permitted for insurance reasons, every landing remained upright but if you were’t good at it the Phantoms would have been roll overs. The design of the Phantom landing gear does not provide adequate touch down stability. The flight time acquisition also included precision positioning of the aircraft to learn mission profiles and demonstrate flight skills needed to fulfill mission requirements.

For the record, I would not suggest a Q-500 for precision position work either. The Q-500 is a good entry level trainer quite useful for scenic, family, and stationary subjects but it’s much too slow to keep up with moving objects exceeding 20mph. The Q’s low speed can also generate problems when having to fly against wind speeds that approach the Q’s maximum speed.
 
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Skills in flying: our drone requires minimum skills, I taught a few in flying drones and within mins they are able to handle themselves, but what we do on the field requires technicalities that separates us from entry level pilots.

The reason that I’ve said that our drone requires minimum skills is because every time I visit one of my site that Lennar is building at Treasure Island, SF. I am amazed of how FPV pilots handles their drones in a stunning display aerial aerobatic maneuvers these guys can get through small gaps and thanks their drones 65mph up in the air and do flips, and then!!!! Dive from 100ft lat and enter a small window opening and if they crash (if it’s minor) they can reverse the motor and the drone flips over and continue flying, and with a pin drop the operator can do a precise orbit or slow its speed while flying on a straight line, while only viewing on a fat shark.

During my days, when flying RC Helis I thought I was the fushnick, but I’m just grampa compared to the new breed of operators.

Wind: The i1 is sensitive to wind, I had to raise all my gains and adjust my sensitivity and expo to my liking for windy days, and I’ve taught myself to fly with high rates (expect expo I like my center stick to be butter smooth) the i2 is a dream to fly, enough said. MP, M2P and P4P eats 20mph-30mph winds for breakfast, just as long as the wind are non constant. The max wind constant wind that I’ve flown the MP is 16mph constant and entered the flight headwind. The M2P treats the wind like a stepchild my max is 21mph, the i2 is the top honcho.

Yuneec is awesome flying in the wind at 30mph constant the Typhoon H Plus is rock steady during my flight in the island of Honolulu, but with my experience with Yuneec products, I would deter from using for work due to their limited range and unreliable connectivity, but there is a work around if you are willing to modify your drone.
 

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Let me cut to the chase. Get a Mavic 2 Pro w/ Hassy and call it a day because the next person who might post after me will confess that our Mavic’s is like a Swiss Army knife (it can do all and more)
 
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