Beginner commercial investment: Best equipment & apps?

What commercial quad model and apps would you choose a beginning investment, given this combination of priorities (newest “package/models”):

  1. Videography - land, water, action from above. (Prefer starting here.)
  2. Agriculture and construction surveying & mapping (w/in he next 3 months)
  3. Am starting alone, yet want to at least be able to provide a service to begin generating income (Properties, roof inspection, competitive events, & DroneDeploy, of course.)

I passed 107 & will be taking additional courses this fall. With budget between $2,000-$4000 for first investment, could DJI Inspire 1 + ? be an option? Other essentials? Thanks a million!!!

For mapping I’d get a Phantom 4 Pro before and Inspire 1. It has a better camera with a 20mp sensor and mechanical shutter. It also claims a 30 minute flight time with the larger batteries. And, it fits your budget.

Depending on the size and detail desired of your projects, get batteries! With 4 batteries and 3 chargers I find I can fly almost continuously with my Inspire 2 if you include the time on the ground to review media and swap batteries. Bring an ice chest to cool the batteries before charging, it’ll save a lot of time! Set yourself up to charge the controller too. I run an inverter off my Prius for charging.

Unless you’re going to fly dual-ops and/or need interchangeable lenses, there’s no advantage to the Inspire 1 over the P4Pro for your #1 priority.

Congrats on your Part.107!

Erkq, You certainly painted a good picture! Buying batteries reminds me of buying a vacuum cleaner: Critical to have plenty of juice, yet chewing up cash that would be more fun to use for another model! Clearly with my starter Parrot I’ve learned to love having a bank from which to pull.

As I was viewing the Phantom 4 Pro I noticed it appeared really large and without the ability to tuck away any landing gear. (I expect to need to take it with me on flights, so wonder how that works.

Is there anything even a step up that I could also consider? Do any in this range allow for a camera with a zoom lens? Are most compatible with Drone Deploy? …or I heard that Inspire 2 was on the verge of compatibility…whatever that means. (1 week? 3 months? 1 year? Other?)

How or where else do you poke around to get other insights (in addition to the blogs)? This Drone Deploy app seems very diverse, yet wonder if there are groups in major cities as well. You’re the best. Thanks for the congrats on 107. :smile:

DroneDeploy works on the Inspire 2 (I used it on my last mapping job) and now specifically supports the X5S camera and various lenses when calculating flight path for resolution and overlap (I didn’t use that version… I estimated from the X3 calcs.). Both the Inspire 1 and Inspire 2 are quite a bit larger than the Phantom. People use cases for flights.

There are no zoom lenses for the Phantoms, but there are for both Inspires. The Inspire 1 has the Z3 camera which does 3x optical zoom and 2.5x digital for a total of about 7:1 in 1080p. If you are shooting 4k video you still get the 3x optical zoom.

The Inspire 1’s X5 and X5R cameras support both the Olympus m.Zuiko 14-42mm and the Panasonic 14-42mm micro 4/3 zooms. (So, 3:1 optical also) Neither are great lenses, but the Panasonic is a little better than the Oly. Really, when flying the micro4/3 system on the Inspires it’s much better to use prime lenses and just switch them out when you need to change focal length.

The Inspire 2’s X5S camera also supports these zoom lenses.

I have an Inspire 1 with the Z3 and an Inspire 2 with the X5S and a selection of lenses including the Olympus zoom.

For mapping the Phantom 4 Pro is equivalent, and maybe even better in quality to the Inspire 2 for all intents and purposes. The Inspire 2 will have better low light performance, but you shouldn’t be doing mapping in low light anyway.

I haunt RCGroups. There’s lots of good info about the aircraft and various software. It’s a huge site covering everything from boats to kerosene burning jets. You’ll find many sections about multirotors of all types.