My first impression is that this is a very capable drone, controls are solid and even more fluid then a Mavic, even if the build is a bit more bulky and not as solid. Camera quality out of the box is pretty solid, looking forward to finding the best capture settings for her. You can see some of my drone adventures at www.nycdroner.com and here is a link to the Autel https://auteldrones.com/pages/evo-ii-collections
So I love DJI products, from the Ronin to the Osmo and definitely their drones, but after buying the DJI FPV drone and not being able to fly it because my phone wouldn’t bind / connect to the drone, I nearly tore my hair out (and threw the damn thing out).
Finding a solution to the problem took a sec, but after many trial and errors, I found a solution that worked for me, and hopefully for you.
So this is how you bind a DJI FPV drone to your phone.
I’m working with a Samsung S21 Ultra on Android. MAC OS I hear doesn’t have this problem. I use Google Fi but your carrier really doesnt matter … it actually has to do with DJI’s Fly App. It … sucks.
Here are the steps. Follow them exactly, it’s like a screwed up ballet.
open the DJI Fly app, clear the cache (all of them – located in profile)
Log out of the app
Delete the app – Reinstall the app
Turn on the Drone outside, have at least 9 Satellites connected.
Turn on Goggles and Controller
log back in using a new account (make a new account, any dummy account)
Connect phone to goggles
power everything off
unplug your phone
clear all the cache in DJI FPV app
log out of the fly app
delete DJI FLY app
Reinstall DJI FLY app
log back in using your original account
outside turn on drone make sure you have at least 9 sats connected
turn on goggles and controller
then plug the cable back into the googles
turn everything off
unplug the cable
Now you should be able to turn on the drone, goggles and controller, without the phone, and not have an error message or be limited to how far you can fly. I hope this works, and if you’re interested, check out my honest FPV review … they are curious little drones for sure.
I recently got into the FPV game purchasing the DJI FPV Fly More combo because I, like many seasoned ops, want that fast action movement that you simply cant get from a non FPV quad copter like the Mavic. While I have mixed feelings about the new FPV drone, I need a case that can hold both drones, and man it’s not easy to find one, but, I did. The best one, and it is, perfect. A small miracle.
The Lowepro Dual Case is a magic little box … it can hold both drones plus a bunch of added goodies. You can set it up in a bunch of different ways but this is what I got to fit in mine:
DJI FPV Drone
DJI Mavic Pro 2
DJI FPV controller
DJI Mavic controller
DJI FPV googles
3 FPV batteries
3 Mavic batteries
1 FPV goggle battery
extra props, cables and filters
So you basically can put two drones, with three batteries, all your extras, all in one bag. Best part is besides taking off the props on the FPV drone, everything goes in assembled, meaning you keep the antenna on the goggles and the joysticks on the controllers. For me I need to have these guys up and flying quick so that’s a big deal.
Like always no one paid me or gave me stuff to write this… this is truly an honest review. Happy flying!
So I’ve been flying drones for almost a decade. I’ve been a fan of DJI since the Phantom, and have built my own rigs over the years. I have covered FPV racing which I love, but as a filmmaker I always gravitated to a classic cinema quad copter, like a Mavic. Recently thought, I decided it was necessary to get into the FPV game, especially after seeing shit like this:
So as a director, and someone that makes a lot of motorcycle content and commercials, I wanted to have the ability to get some shot like the video above. I decided to go with DJI FPV because I know the quality of the builds that DJI puts into their tech, and know that they offer a set of features that will make it easy to build up my skillset as an FPV pilot. What I discovered is that FPV is very different then cinema droning.
You can watch my breakdown or if you want the highlights here you go:
DJI FPV is BIG. Bigger then most FPV drones.
It’s expensive for something you most certainly are going to fly into a tree.
It’s heavy and can cause some serious damage.
It’s not buttery smooth video like you get from a Mavic
Flying is completely different then a cinema quad copter
It works pretty much right out of the box
It’s modular so replacing parts isn’t so hard
Video quality is excellent.
Controls are fantastic
It has three modes that let you learn easily
So, all in all, as long as you know what you’re in for, DJI has once again created a fantastic product that suits a particular need. Are there cheaper drones out there? Yes. Are there better drones to fly pure FPV? Yes. But if you’re just getting into the game, regardless if you have flown drones before, this is a fantastic entry if you can deal with the pricetag.
One tip you should heed… buy the insurance. I would be scared petrified to fly without it.
After years of shooting video, just last year I got into putting stock video online to try to make some money and earn a passive income. 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year for work, so it seemed like a good time to go through the Terabytes of footage I just had lying around and see if this stock footage business pans out. It turns out it does.
HOW TO START.
Obviously, you need to shoot something. I shoot video mostly so that’s what I focus on. I do a lot of travel films, so I have videos from all over the world, including a ton of Drone footage. What you shoot is up to you, but for me it was already footage I shot so the only work I had to do was comb through it and upload it to a stock service. If you are looking to shoot something, it would be wise to see what is selling on stock sites (which is as easy as putting in a search term and organizing it by “popular”) or you can just go off your gut and see what is in the news that day and focus on that.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR FOOTAGE
For me I made a dedicated drive that I would put all my stock footage on. Then I organised it at the folder level to make it easier to batch. For instance I would do most of it by city, so make a folder for New York, Rome, San Francisco and so on.
Next I would open Premiere (or your editing software of choice) and bring in that cities footage. I throw it all in one timeline and get to chopping it down into managable shots. This is where the real work comes in and there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Length of shots. Most stock places have length requirements. For the one I use it must be longer than 5 seconds, and less then 1 minute. Usually I aim for shots that are somewhere between 10 and 20 seconds long.
Quality of shots. Most stock places will reject footage that is not perfect. That means no jerky movements, no out of focus or poorly lit shots. They have to be clean, smooth and beautiful.
Subjects of footage. Obviously this will ultimately determine if your footage attracts a buyer. Try to be dynamic with your footage, interesting angles, or of a location or with people that are unique. Remember if you are shooting a location or people you will have to have release forms to submit the footage legally. No way around that.
Once I’ve got a series of clips, I will go through and do a color correct on them. Most stock places will tell you to make them look beautiful, vibrant and stand out. No one wants flat images to work with it would seem, they all want some sort of treatment on them. So this can go beyond color correct, and be more of a color grade. Give your footage a feeling and it will do better online.
HOW TO UPLOAD YOUR FOOTAGE
First, export all your clips independently. You can do this manually, or, you can get help from a plugin like EZ Clip or something similar. For me I batch everything and let it all export overnight into folders with the city names. This makes it easy to keep track of what I’ve uploaded already and what needs to go up. With stock, its a numbers game; the more pieces you put on line, the more potential you have at making money. So organization is key.
Once everything is exported I batch name everything with the city. I’m not sure this helps the bots find it, but cant hurt. At this point you can upload to a stock service like Shutterstock or Getty Images. I however take a shortcut and use BlackBox.
BlackBox, simply put, is an aggrigate that puts your stock on multiple stites for you. So instead of uploading to Getty, Shutterstock, Adobe and so on, you throw it on BlackBox and they put it on those other sites. They take a percentage of the amount if your stock gets sold, but to me it’s worth it to save me the time of uploading it 5 times to 5 different sites.
Another cool feature about BlackBox is that they have a community set up that can help you with any step of selling your stock footage. For instance they have people that will edit down your videos, color grade it, even upload and tag it for you. The way it works is that you hire these people through the site, they do the work, and IF the footage sells those that helped gets a percentage. You set the amount before the work is agreed upon. I personally have never used this feature but I think it’s pretty cool.
TAGGING AND NAMING YOUR FOOTAGE
On BlackBox you can batch process your clips which makes it easy if you upload a series of similar footage. This is why I group my shots by city, because the tags will all be similar. One thing I do do is make a unique title for each clip. BlackBox recommends this as it does help place your footage in front of more people. Once they are all tagged and named, you submit your footage and sit back. BlackBox will review it, make sure it’s up to snuff, and then place it online for you.
HOW MUCH DO YOU MAKE?
Well, I’m not going to say exactly but I will say it is definitely worth the effort. Considering everything I have is already shot, and was shot for some other purpose, the amount of work to go through footage and export and upload is not much, and making a passive income no matter how small is a no brainer. Instead of spending an hour on TikTok Ill go through a city and upload and be done for the day, and that is a good feeling.
Anyway, I hope this helps anyone looking to do something with all that footage on their drives, it’s a great way to make a little extra money without really doing much work at all. If you want to see the kind of footage that I’m putting online hop over to www.nycdroner.com and take a peek.
Took road trip with my lil’ DJI Mavic to the Central Valley in California and shot some drone/aerial footage over Tahoe, Mono Lake and Mobius Arch. It was perfect weather, albeit a bit windy up in Tahoe especially in Emerald Bay, but still got to capture the crystal clear waters where boats seem to float on air.
The Tufa towers at Mono Lake were particularly wild. This is an ancient saline basin that is an important part of the migratory ecology in the Central Valley. In the 40’s DWP diverted a ton of water from the lake and it dropped 45 feet if you can believe it, revealing these strange geological structures. The Central Valley east of the Sierras is a super interesting place to visit, and is a key component of one of my favorite films Chinatown, as this is where the Owen’s Valley is where LA stole all the water from, and they are still suffering from it to this day.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting to watch someone fly a drone to be so damn exciting. The Liberty Cup Drone Raceat the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, hosted this amazing event, where you can see some of the nations best FPV racers do their thing on a very involved course. These little beasts fly VERY fast, and the noise, while not as loud as Moto GP or F1, is amazing. The action is PACKED, and at any moment you will witness a horrifying crash. All in all it’s a great event you should keep your eyes out for, and all is truly welcome to come check out this brave new world. Young or old everyone here is super friendly and inclusive, which makes it that much more of an epic experience.
One of the most incredible trips I’ve ever taken was aboard the Academik Iofffe with One Ocean Expeditions. The ship is a Russian research vessel, that for a short period in the summer, takes on a few civilians to journey through the famed NorthWest Passage. Aboard a crew of specialist ranging from glaciologists, environmentalist, to historians curating the trip for you and explaining this amazingly complex and fascinating region or earth in extreme detail. It is by far the most amazing experience I’ve had, and to fly a drone above the Arctic Circle was a first in my book as well.
The world is being destroyed by tourism and I am the cause. There are currently 1.4 billion tourists out there and that number is only growing at an alarming rate. The world is addicted to travelling and I am one of the many pushers out there on the streets giving them their fix.
I have been travelling seriously since I was 15. An only son of two Airline parents I would hop a companion pass and take off with a few dollars in my pocket. Back then there was no internet, not smartphones, and the only information you had about a destination was what you brought in with you, usually in the form of a bent and beaten Globe Trekker guide that had 4 year old outdated information in it. It was an adventure to survive a city with every street a new possibility to have your mind blown. Not knowing what to expect was the greatest gift to travel.
I have watched the world, travel, and tourists change drastically over the last 20 years slowly building an acute awareness that we are destroying something that is not only a multi-billion dollar industry, but a true pure passion for most. Travel used to mean going someplace new, and more importantly, unknown. It meant discovery. It meant frequent bad meals, and quasi-dangerous hostels between getting lost, and very lost in places that simply had no use for another random person. However that environment yielded something that most travelers never even experience these days; discovery.
Cambodian children seeing a drone fly for the first time.
For most travelers they have already taken the trip before leaving their laptop or cellphone. They have had a full blown case of FOMO from seeing it on instagram, they know what the best restaurants are and even what the food tastes like, they know all the cool spots, secret menu items, and wifi passwords before stepping out the door. At best they will be walking through a memory yet had, expecting everything, being let down often, and seldomly being surprised. They will fake excitement to everyone not watching them eat something online, and they will return unfortunately with all the satisfaction of finishing a series on Netflix. Paint by numbers travel is the status quo, and I have been doling out these colors for years. No more.
I have extreme regret for what I did to destroy the world. Worse then what bankers did to our trust in economics, because I killed something living and breathing. There are so many voices out there forcing people to do this, see those, and eat that that we just seem to be running in circles of each other. Dreaded “top 10” lists are unnaturally formed, since most travellers only consider the most rated items on sites like Expedia, Kayak and Trip Advisor, which I have contributed nearly 1,000 reviews. I am the Baba Yaga of travel, and need to repent.
“We are drowning in tourists,” Guðmundur, one of the only locals that actually befriended me during my time there, passionately tells me over an 18 USD crap draft beer. “We can’t eat, we can’t drink, we can’t walk down the street. We are infested with tourists. And I hate you.” Harsh, perhaps a bit intoxicated words, but true nevertheless. Iceland opens its doors to over 2 million overnight visitors each year, which is 6 times the countries population if you can believe it. “The tourists are like locust. That are loud, and fat and only go to see the stupid waterfall or sit in a man made pool to take pictures.” Guðmundur clearly has had enough but his point is made. Iceland’s greatest export is tourism at over 40% of their GDP coming from travel. With the end of WOW air, the country faced yet another collapse in their economy, one that travel tried to save. It is wholly unsustainable however, and more gravely, destroys the exact thing people are coming there for, the culture.
Beer is 18 dollars a glass. A $5 foot long Subway sandwich is 25 dollars. Renting a car requires a down payment of 300k dollars. That last one isn’t true, but that’s the feeling you get. When I tell you it is easier to rent an apartment in NYC then go out to eat in Reykjavik I’m not kidding.
Worse of all the people don’t want us. They don’t like us. We make everything expensive for them, we crowd the streets, and we are consuming disposable culture. “We are only interested in the 5 year friend, not the 5 minute friend.” Guðmundur tells me is the reason why no one even wants to talk to me at a bar. They know I’m just passing through.
In all my years of travel I have never felt so disgusting in all my life. Despite always trying to be a model tourist, there was no salvation here. It was a wake up call, that my love in life was threatening to implode on itself, and there is no way of stopping it.
There is, however, a way to avoid it.
There is a way to bring back the discovery, a way to bring back that original, irreplaceable feeling of wonder that I have been trying to maintain for 20 years. It takes a little work, and definitely courage, but it for the most part will ease the pain of an over-touristed planet. People are going to be irresponsible. They are going to take the easy road and top-10 themselves to death never to know the true beauty of being a professional traveler. We can only lead by example, so here are my 5 commandments to being a good traveller.
1. Be nice.
I start with this as it is the most important tool in your arsenal. Niceness will always get you the most out of any situation, period. Flight oversold and you’re stuck? Don’t yell at the poor human that is in front of you. Be nice. They’ll help you out if they can, or they won’t, but yelling is never going to make the odds of that any better. Someone purposefully trying to be a dick to you because they don’t like your accent/shoes/man-bun? Be nice, because it’s an opportunity to open their world to a new perspective, or at the very least you’re less likely to get shived if that was their plan. Just be nice. In general everyone around the world will open up to you if you show genuine interest in who they are and their culture, and if you’re nice about it, they’ll want to share. Don’t be afraid, be nice.
2. Be different.
I love Instagram. I love Trip Advisor. I love AirBnB. They tell me exactly the places to avoid writing about at all cost. If a country, a city or an experience is part of a top 10 then there is no reason for me to write about it. It’s had its moment in the sun, and I guarantee you there is better amatriciana, a better little museum, or a better secret bar just waiting to be discovered, mainly, because it will be yours, and the people there will be so happy to see you. SPREAD TRAVEL AROUND. That is your job as a travel journalist, to find NEW experiences for people to have, not to regurgitate well tread garbage. Sure some things need to be seen like Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia or Machu Picchu, but don’t leave out Amsterdam’s Cat Museum or a visit to the oldest lightbulb in the world.
3. Be honest.
No one fails at vacationing. Or do they? I think failing is one of the most important parts of travel, yet, you would be hard pressed to find some of the most popular instagram accounts with anything less then impossibly perfect travel shots. This is garbage. Travel is hard. Bags are heavy. Communication can be difficult. Jet lag is real. Be honest. Be honest with your travel, and you will get so much more out of the experience of sharing it. If everything is so damn fabulous then how do you know it’s actually fabulous? Share bad experiences, and more, just be real with your audience about what is happening. Do they really have to eat this donut? Will it really blow their minds? I hundreds of reviews on Trip advisor, you know how many I’ve given 5 stars to? only 3. It’s no secret people find bad reviews more telling then good reviews.
4. Be ready.
If you like to make things to make things while you travel like me, you know that having the right gear is key. Too much and you’ll weigh yourself down, too little and you’ll be cursing yourself for not bringing “that lens”. Be ready. While technology changes constantly, I have a pretty solid set of tools I like to bring with me on any job. Here’s a quick little film I put together before my last trip:
And here is a rundown of the gear. Mind you I’m not sponsored by any of these brands. This is just my honest opinion from my experience as a traveller.
Perhaps the most important tip is to get lost. Getting lost is the only way to really discover anything about a place, and about yourself. If you research everything before you go, your experience will be predetermined. It is what is plaguing the world right now, channeling millions of people to the same city to eat the same meal in the same restaurant. How very boring, and dangerous, to the travel industry. Instead, be lost. Put the phone away, turn off the internet, forget the top 10 places and explore. Try talking with people that live in the city. If you are going to use social media, then reach out to locals for their advice. That’s what we did when we made films for WOW airlines and while TripAdvisor, Travel & Leisure and Culture Trip are great resources, we wanted what locals knew best about their city in hopes to give intrepid travellers a more authentic experience. If you are running into other tourists at places on trips, you may want to rethink your strategy.
They are simple guidelines I like to follow that hopefully will not contribute to the pandemic travel malarkey that is shrouding our world. I have always believed that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness” but unfortunately it’s becoming less effective. Hopefully this is a growing pain of a world getting smaller, and people will become more savvy looking for real experiences other then just virtual instagram moments. Finally, because I love “top 5” lists, I’ll answer the top 5 questions I get.
Q: Do you ever have any trouble with the TSA with all that gear?
A: Depends. There is no rhyme or reason when they will stop and search a bag of mine, despite literally packing it the same way for a decade. I do have TSA pre and Global Entry which helps a ton, but overall rule number one of “Be Nice” seems to be the only real salvation in a TSA situation.
Q: What phone carrier do you use? Is it not really expensive traveling as much as you do?
A: Google Fi on a Google Pixel. Before Google Fi I had AT&T for my iPhone, and yeah, it sucked. I did buy a cheap Samsung that I could pop a local SIM card in, but that was a pain too. Google Fi changed all that as I can literally go anywhere in the world and my phone works for the same data rate. It’s a game changer.
Q: Do you need a permit to fly a drone in all those countries?
A: Yes. You do. Legally. Drones are amazing tools that really take travel filmmaking to a new level. The key with them, as with anything, is be professional. I am FAA and IAA certified and licensed. I never fly in dangerous areas and don’t break laws. More importantly I don’t ever fly if I’m going to annoy someone or ruin their experience. Drones are loud, and people don’t like them, so be invisible, be quick, and be safe.
Q: Are there any specific clothing brands you like?
A: Socks I like Stance. PrAna also makes great travel gear that looks swank, great jeans and pants and shirts that don’t wrinkle. Buck Mason makes great lightweight clothes that look good dressed up or down. Duluth makes great tactical underwear. Yes tactical underwear.
Q: Do you know any travel hacks?
A: Hmm… well one thing I do is always keep an old hotel key with me in my go bag. Reason being is that most modern hotels these days require you put a key in to get the outlets to work, and if you’re charging batteries, then you best leave a key in while you’re out.
Come take a quick flight with us over San Lorenzo La Escorial, the Royal holy seat of the Spanish Catholic Church, and a beautiful complex that was built by King Philip II of Spain. Just one hour outside of Madrid this makes a perfect day trip to get into the middle of paradise.
Check out our other videos about the Monastery and town of San Lorenzo, or any of our other Madrid vids to get inspired travel ideas.
And stay tuned as I cover Madrid for Get Lost Magazine (www.getlostmagazine.com) this week, celebrating this ancient city who is about to host the amazing Davis Cup Tennis Championship in November.