Tag Archive for: DJI

Cool bag for the Mavic Pro 2

I love drones.
Although I have to add I’m still a bit nervous when I fly, meaning I sometimes still miss shots for the simple reason I don’t have the guts to fly to far, too low, too high etc. and in all honesty I did crash my old drone a few times and it lost video and controls several times while the drone was still in sight, but since I switched to the Mavic Pro I didn’t experience any of this so I guess it’s something that has to go away by gaining trust in the new system… I wonder if you guys have the same thing?

Anyway, this is not going to be a review on the Mavic Pro 2, unless you guys want it, than I will do that in a separate post, just let me know.

Anyway. I loved the Mavic Pro, so why go for the 2?
Just for the Hasselblad logo?
No not really.

I love taking photos from the air, I do also like the video of course but mostly I use the drone for photos, and although through the year I don’t fly a lot during trips I just love to be able to take those high up in the air shots. And I always liked them but I also love to be able to zoom in and the 12MP from the Mavic Pro were just a bit too low to really “enjoy” my images.

With the Mavic Pro 2 we now have a bigger sensor, which in my opinion gives the video a more 3D “real” look, and we now have a 20MP 1″ sony sensor, meaning good dynamic range and more resolution. Plus of course a variable aperture (yeah). But most of all I love the automated panoramic modes, I played a bit with them over the weekend and they are exactly what I wanted, huge files and it saves the RAWs…. nice.

But also video has a major update, now being able to shoot HLG, LOG and H265 at 100mbs (this translates to H264 in 200mbs) really gives you a great file to work with and push it in post (the space is 10bits compared to 8 bits on the older mavic).

Now you have seen some reviews online probably where they talk about softer images from the new Mavic Pro 2 but…. look closely at those examples, the mavic pro 2 has nice soft images which you can sharpen in post, where the other drones often already exhibit ringing (white lines around high contrast areas, meaning there is too much sharpening. Now the problem with sharpening is that you CAN add it very easily but not take it away when it’s too much, one of the reasons I hate my JPGs from the Huawei P20pro.

So without really reviewing the Mavic Pro 2 (or did I just do that….) anyway I’m very happy with it, but you need something to store it and have easy access. With the old Mavic Pro there was a nice carrying pouch which fitted the Mavic and the remote and some spare things, but in all honesty I always used the pouch but never really liked it, it was a bit too tight for my taste and taking the drone out and putting it back in… well it worked but it never felt the way I like it.

The Mavic Pro 2 is not a lot bigger and in essence fits the old bag but it now really pushed me over the comfort zone, so I went and looked for a cool new bag and found this one.

It’s the Polarpro case which retails in the Netherlands for app 29.95 which in my book is a no brainer for this bag. As you can see in the topic start I have my mavic pro 2 in the case, the remote (without the joysticks removed) and it can hold 3 spare batteries, plus some accessories and the charger outside. Added bonus is that the carrying strip is sort of elastic, so you can carry it, but if you don’t want to it is flush to the material, very nice detail.

So what more to say about the bag?
Well the zipper is very smooth…

just go out and buy one if you use a drone, having it readily available is really a big thing and makes flying and travelling with it a lot easier and comfortable and for under 30.00…… nuff said. Highly recommended.

Schokland NOP from the air

Took the Mavic Pro (the old one) out for a spin in our area.
And let’s be honest, we live in a beautiful area 🙂

Noord Oost Polder from the air #DJI #mavicpro #schokland #unesco #airial #lucht #flevoland #noordoostpolder #Emmeloord

LaCie DJI Co-pilot thoughts and tips

Some products are released and you wonder…. “why that name?”
Or you just ignore the product for the simple reason that you think it’s not for you.
Well it’s no secret I’m a huge fanboy of the LaCie products, and we also work together with LaCie on some things, but still I hope you understand that this article is 100% my own thoughts, not paid for by LaCie, and certainly is not colored in anyway by the fact we work with them. In fact the ONLY reason I work with companies is because I just love their products, in my opinion that’s way more important than anything else, because that way you guys will give me your trust, and I would never do anything to break that…. well that being said let’s start.

The DJI Co Pilot
The minute I heard the name I was not immediately interested and I can imagine that many of you also have the same thoughts that I have…”It’s for a drone, and specific a DJI drone” right?….. well I understand that 100%, but I couldn’t be more wrong.

Let’s start with a little bit of a backstory.
Annewiek and I ran a computer store for many many years (actually over 2 decades) and in that time one of the things we learned was to make sure you have backups, and people knowing me know this is without a doubt something I always stress. We store not only images but actually frozen moments in time that will never ever come back, if something happens to them I would be devastated. Now in the studio or at home it’s easy. Just add a DAS (Direct Attached Storage) and a NAS (Networked Attached Storage) and if you want to be sure always backup this weeks work on a separate harddrive and take that home or to a friend or parent. But how do we do this on the road?

Well in my case I always travel with 2 rugged drives and backup every night (automated process) on these two drives, I’ve set them up like a sort of “mirror” with software. Now when we travel, one drive goes in the suitcase and one drive comes with me or Annewiek. And when we leave the room or hotel one drive is in our car or in our bag so when something happens in the hotel/house we have our images and video…. call me crazy but trust me in over 2 decades of running a pc store I’ve learned from other peoples mistakes.

So in short we always carry around a drive.
Now let’s go back in time.

There was a time when cards could be filled up during a day, in fact there were days where I easily would fill up 2-3 cards by just visiting the zoo, at that time cameras were not really build for RAW and cards were certainly not ready for RAW…. oh sorry let me rephrase… cards were not prepared for my addiction to shoot a lot of images (that sounds better and closer to the truth I guess) anyway… we needed more room.

Enter the Image Tank
Oh my, did I love these, I was literally in love with them, I think that over the years I have owned at least 3 different image tanks before ending up with one that had it all (expect battery life that was), replaceble harddrives so I could grow the system, extra batteries (very much needed) a “crappy” display that actually was so bad you could only see that it was done, and…. well it was relatively small…. oh man who am I kidding, the bloody thing was huge and heavy. But… it always traveled with me.

Ok we are now many years ahead in the future and we (in all honesty) don’t really need an image tank anymore. Cards are up to 256GB and if you have deep pockets you get much higher capacity. But there is also more, where in the old days I shot with one camera I’m now shooting with my A7RIII from Sony for stills, I have a Sony A6500 for the vlog, we drag a small Zoom recorder with us for recording interviews if needed and I have a drone (Mavic pro with me), plus we of course have our dashcam. I have to say…. this is in a worst case scenario, but it does happen that we bring all of this. (oh and add my phone to this). Long story short… we shoot a lot of material.

Again, we don’t really run into problems with cards, even when roaming the streets of New York I hardly shoot more than 64GB (my max card size) and when I do, well… I always have a second one with me, and I also never fill a 32GB card with video for the vlog, unless I’m doing time lapses, but hey… we have another 32GB for video with us. Yes I use 32GB for video and 64GB for photography, I always shoot very short videos for the vlog so I normally manage well within that capacity.

“Hey Frank, wait a minute this review thingy is going the wrong way dude…. ”
Yes I know, don’t worry.

The state of mind of the photographer
When I walk around in New York or any other city (I just always take NY as an example because I never shoot more images than in that city… it’s CRAZY) I might not fill up my cards but there is much more to worry about.

  1. My camera could get stolen, actually I did lose a 5DMKII at Photokina a few years ago during a demo I gave for Elinchrom, we actually have video footage that shows the camera in a rack under my laptop, and in the next scene it’s gone. Because I was rushed I didn’t backup the previous day, so I did not only loose the camera but also all the images, including some private shots of us and friends in the city which I still feel sad about.
  2. I could forget my camera somewhere, yes it did happen to me once, luckily it was still there.
  3. A card can crash. I always try to steer away from cheap cards but it happened to me a few times that a card just went from working great to refusing to read in any device I tried it. Sandisk btw had great service and replaced the card without any problem, but I still lost half a day of shots.
  4. When switching cards I can make a mistake…. did I really format that card that was full… or was that an empty one…. oops
  5. You can loose a card very very easily. I’m incredibly lucky, over all these years we lost app 4 cards, which in my book is still 4 too many. Luckily however never during a trip or with material on it, finding some wood now to know on…… one moment……… ok I’m ready to continue (don’t push your luck with this).
  6. Many more things can happen……

So where does the LaCie DJI Co-Pilot come in?

It’s so much more
The LaCie DJI Co-Pilot could be labeled as a hyper modern image tank. It’s not able to just work together with DJI products but it will actually do a lot more, in fact…. I think that it will be used by more people that don’t even own a drone than it will be by people that DO own a drone, as long as they realize the importance of a device like this.

So let’s take a look at some of the things it can do
First up the design.
You know I love the rugged drives, and it’s not just because they are orange (Hey I’m Dutch), but it’s the way that the drives are protected and don’t slide around in your bag or on a table.

Looks nice right?
Even if it’s not orange…. LaCie maybe a Frank Co-Pilot in Orange one day 🙂 ?

It’s not that big, although it’s by no means small, (137.2 x 111.8 x 35.6 mm) but it’s a very good design to just drop somewhere in a bag and don’t worry about it anymore.

But design is not everything (is Apple listening :-), ok that was harsh).
So let’s see what this baby can do.

Copy files from an SD card to the Harddrive.
Connect your camera directly to the device to download files to the Harddrive (wonder if that also works with my Phone, but I see no reason why not)
Talking about phones… it can also charge your phone via the internal battery
And the internal battery can be charged by the included wall charger… but also via the USB-c connector (I don’t know the time difference)
View the images and video via the Android or iOS app
Via the display on the drive itself you can monitor the progress of copying

Now this all breaks or succeeds by the app that is used.
And what I’ve seen so far I’m very excited about it. I don’t expect it to show my RAW sony files full resolution on my Phone, as long as I know they are there it’s more than enough for me, and the app does that flawlessly as far as I’ve seen so far (do remember I don’t have a review unit yet), with video it’s able to playback even 4K video and to be honest this is a very handy thing for me because I can than quickly check if all the video is well recorded and I can record it again if necessary. Of course you can do this also on the camera but I find it much easier via an app.

Ok so why am I so looking forward to this product
As mentioned before we shoot a lot, and I’m always afraid of losing my data, with the LaCie DJI Co-Pilot I can now make (incremental) backups whenever I take a rest stop somewhere, let’s say we’re walking in NY and we want a coffee, let’s just backup the card and leave with shop with the feeling that all my files are save, want to watch some video from what we shot, start the app and watch. Want to charge my phone on the road… no problem… just charge.

And the cool thing…. as soon as we are back in the hotel just connect it to my laptop via the fast USB-C connection and….. well it acts like an external harddrive and I can make a mirror copy of all the files on the rugged drive and have my mirror set in tact. For me the LaCie DJI co-pilot will literally mean that one of my Rugged drives will be replaced with this one, and from carrying around “dead weight” just to be sure that we have our images with us, we now actually can make use of that drive that we carry around.

Now what if you’re not obsessed by dataloss
Well let me first say that you absolutely should, but what about people that shoot less images, or even jpgs etc.? Well also for this group there is a huge benefit… you don’t have to bring your laptop anymore, well ok it doesn’t mail, or play games but loads of people just drag their laptops with them on a trip just to backup their images. For a fact I do all my social media and mails on my phone, and use the dictate function a lot, this has transformed my phone actually to the task that was first done with my laptop. So I can imagine that the LaCie DJI Co-Pilot makes it possible for a lot of people to just leave their laptop at home and bring only this on a trip and travel REALLY light.

There are many products I love, but not so often are products released that got me excited. I can’t wait to test out the Co-Pilot. I think for ANY travelling photographer, being a smartphone or DSLR shooter and even when you’re out in the field and just want to make sure your files are backuped up the Lacie DJI Co-Pilot will be an amazing new tool for this. A real review will follow soon I hope.

OH…. and I forgot one very important thing.
The LaCie DJI Co-Pilot OF COURSE is covered by the amazing data recovery program from Seagate.
Need more convincing to buy one…….. ?

First impressions of the DJI mavic

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (if you are interested in drones that is) you must have heard about the new DJI mavic pro. A very small drone that you can fold up and that is supposed to be rock solid with video/photography and flight. It’s jampacked with special features including anti collision sensors in the front and bottom, several follow/cine etc. modes, a sport modes and…… much much more, it doesn’t make sense to repeat the flyer in my blog 😀


I’ve been flying a Yuneec 4K for a while and it’s a great drone but the major problem I have with it is that the video signal is not incredibly stable, up till 200-300 mtrs no problems but after that it can show some hiccups, although I once (under good conditions and safely) flew it 800 mtrs with video link, although it did loose video sometimes but it always came back, also the display on the remote is not very good. Let me put it this way… it works great and it does the job. But time progresses. The main reason I bought the Yuneec and not a Phantom (DJI) was the noise level, the Yuneec is a wonderful drone and when it’s 50-100 mtrs away you already hardly hear it, something a lot of people appreciate A LOT when you fly somewhere, also the image quality was very good.
Now that I’m doing more and more with the vlog I love to include a bit more drone footage (it’s great “filler” material) and travelling with the Yuneec, let me put it this way, NO WAY, it’s too big, I never understood people dragging around Phantoms and Yuneecs on trips, we are already on the limit of what we can carry in both weight and volume and filling a suitcase just with a drone didn’t make any sense, however often I’ve been on location where I wished I brought it. So everything about the Mavic just screamed…. BUY ME BUY ME. And eventually today it was “that” time and picked the mavic up at Cameranu.nl. This is my very first impression after running 1 battery, so expect more but this is a VERY quick impression. I compare it to the Yuneec.


Flight is VERY stable and its fast enough for whatever you want to do, unless if you want to chase a car I guess (didn’t try sports mode yet, but it should be able to achieve app 65km/h)
The video link is rock solid and very detailed/sharp
Pans are a bit “nervous” but that’s me, just adjusting to a faster drone and even after 10 minutes of flying the pans were already smoother, but the Yuneec was incredibly good with this, I did see you can fine tune the gimbal and controls so I think you can pretty much ignore this remark.
Image quality for photos is better than the Yuneec
Video quality I’m not yet sure, but if it’s worse or better it’s not much than the Yuneec, and that sounds like a negative but it’s actually a very big plus, let me explain.


When creating content for a vlog or BTS video there is one thing incredibly important and that’s speed and easy of use, of course an Inspire will give me MUCH better video and image quality but in all honesty I would hardly ever use it, probably never, when creating the vlog I need something that fits a small bag (preferably my pocket) and give me great quality, if the quality is on par for example with my iPhone for video I would already be happy. So I expected actually that the Yuneec would win hands down, the difference however is MUCH smaller than I expected so that’s a huge plus, in fact I was planning on keeping my Yuneec for shots where I could carry the bigger drone, but I’ve probably decided that I’m gonna sell the Yuneec. The difference is just too small, if there is any.


Now if you read online there are some complaints about softness and image quality and I think that I know what’s going on, let me explain.
The lens on the Mavic is a more “tele” lens than on most other drones, this means your field of view is narrower, and as you might or might not know this also means that you’re DOF (Depth Of Field) is different. In previous firmwares there was only manual focus and often people didn’t know how to select the hyperfocal point I guess (focussing on infinity is not a good idea unless you’re way up in the air), in the new firmware there is center autofocus and also a button with which you can force autofocus, or check, or double check or whatever you press the button and it focusses. The thing is that if you do this correctly I find the focus fall off of the Mavic MUCH more pleasing than from the Yuneec, it gives everything a bit more 3D look, and when hovering closer to larger objects you can play with a more blurred background, so for me it’s a HUGE plus that the Mavic isn’t a Fixed focus or full auto focus drone, for a beginner I guess this is different but I love the control over what I see sharp and what not.
Also the video and photo quality of the Mavic has in the correct settings a nice clean look, where some other drones (not the Yuneec btw) could feel a tad oversharpened, this often throws people off. Video quality that is sharpened inside a camera or drone looks MUCH better at first glance but quickly you will find some nasty ringing around small details (white borders from over sharpening), I prefer a “softer” image that I can sharpen in post, and I put softer between “” because it’s actually not softer, it’s…… well not sharpened.


Also I feel a lot more secure flying the Mavic. The problem I had with the Yuneec was that as soon as it was a bit further away the video sometimes had hickups and that gave me the feeling something would go wrong, which never happened but still…. the Mavic was app 800 mtrs away and 75 mtrs high (open field, and still in sight (a bit)) this is MUCH further than I normally fly, I normally always have the drone not further than eye sight, but the video quality was rock solid at that distance, there are videos of Mavics flying 10-12kms away but I personally will never test this for the simple reason it’s against the law and you don’t need that distance for good shots normally.


So first impressions more than positive.
Only problem is that my iPhone needs to be out of the case, so I’m looking for another solution for that, the Ottercase I use is pretty stiff, but I think I’m gonna add it just to the front with some clamp or something else (any ideas are welcome). The usage of the iPhone is great, remember I did not own another DJI drone, but coming from the Yuneec it feels lightyears ahead, the display is clean but still shows a lot of detail, switching between camera and video is very fast, the buttons are in the right places to press, you can see the video and the map and the iPhone is bright enough to see what you’re doing, which with the Yuneec in sunny weather was a REAL problem.


I still have to try out the cinematic, follow etc. modes at the moment I just threw it in the air and ran some quick tests to see how it flew in an completely open area so I could also test the range safely.


here are some shots I just took.
Nothing spectacular, it’s just close to my home and it’s an open area so I could test the range a bit further, with 800mtrs I’ve hit MORE than what I need so I’m more than satisfied. Low light performance was ok I think, in any way much better than the Yuneec, I never fly at night, but for the testing I did one very quick up for the shot and down as you can see in the images below, it was shot while it was still a bit light outside and I darkened the shot just a tad to make it look later (flying after dark is not allowed over here) so I think if you want to fly the Mavic really after sundown and it’s very dark you’ll end up with unusable footage, but as far as I know it’s prohibited in most countries to fly in the dark anyway and pushing the time limit just before or just after sunset will yield some good results. I won’t be doing any night shots due to the law so don’t ask.


More video/photography will follow in the vlogs and other videos, review will be in a few weeks because we have several tradeshows coming up, but as you probably already read, for now I’m totally in love with this little drone, it’s pretty windy at the moment and I only saw the props once very quickly in the frame and the Mavic was rock solid in the sky, earning my nickname for it “the Tripod in the sky”. More will follow.


One quick note on drone usage.
I love drones and flying them, they give an unique view on the world and can be incredibly creative for both video and photography. If you fly drones PLEASE obey the laws in your area, in essence the good ones will suffer under the bad ones, yes the Mavic can fly probably 12KM (according to videos online) and yes it will give you great shots when you fly in a city due to the slightly more tele lens, but just don’t risk it. Also keep in mind the speed, the mavic is an incredibly fast drone but don’t use it as a race drone, the reason I love that extra speed is very simple, if you fly in a more windy situation you can at least get it back easier, a slower drone will loose from the wind. A drone is a flying circular saw and with that kind of “killing potential” you don’t want to take any risk, it’s great to have a long range option and speed because that means that under less perfect circumstances there is more than enough “headroom” to get your drone back home.


Feel free to add your ideas, suggestions and questions (and tips).