I bought my DJI Mavic Air drone back in February. Admittedly, I was a bit hesitant to invest in a drone. Over the past few years, I have been on many shoots where drones were involved, and they seemingly always had problems. Either they took a long time to get in the air, or they had problems once they were in the air. Furthermore, they were expensive and quite bulky. They simply were not ready, in my eyes, to be an essential piece of kit.
That said, my friend Jeff Lenosky changed all that! After I saw his DJI Spark review video (https://youtu.be/fz4Tid43NrU)
I started to reconsider owning a drone. Could it make solo shoots more feasible? The Spark was very tempting. The large stowed size and lack of 4k capability didn’t have me quite convinced. Then when Jeff and I were filming in Florida, I saw that same Spark sink into an alligator infested swamp (https://youtu.be/FZ-sTh5k1AU). This again made me reconsider #dronelife.
But all those hesitations were quelled with the release of the DJI Mavic Air. While not quite as cheap as a Spark, the camera was 4k capable, and the drone’s folding size would be much easier to fit within a normal Camelbak. I had an upcoming shoot, and figured that finally, it made sense for me to invest in a drone. I spent the $1000 for the DJI Mavic Air in the Onyx Black “Fly More” package, and eagerly began to annoy my neighbors with relentless aerial acrobatics. #nerdlife
Fast forward 6 months, and I’m a happy camper. I’ve completed about 50 flights with the Mavic Air, all around the world too, and it’s been a trooper. I did learn that it’s essential to update the firmware often. This is not a device to set-and-forget. I also learned that it’s easy to spend a half hour or more trying to get that rad drone shot, and then only use a few seconds of that footage in a final edit, thus resulting in a lot of wasted time. Drone footage, after all, is best used sparingly.
If I were a starving filmmaker on a budget and with minimal gear, I’d definitely invest in a more full DSLR kit than a drone. Luckily, I already have my DSLR kit fairly sorted, so the drone investment was a great option to add to my arsenal.
- Check out the DJI Mavic Air at Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2Pu4YEk
- Also check out the Polar Pro filter kit: https://amzn.to/2MKsqhQ
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