I am a hobbyist looking to buy my first UAV. Ultimately I hope to make some money by offering services using the UAV, possibly something in real estate. I was set to buy the Iris but then I saw the Phantom 2 Vision has a 25 minute flight time. Now I am researching which of the two is better suited for me.
1. In reality does the Vision really get 25 minute flight time?
2. Which one has the better software?
3. Which one has better community and customer support?
I will use the unit in Indonesia just FYI.
Thanks a lot
The Phantom Vision 2 flight time is real, and it's hard to beat. The system is light, and the components are well-matched.
There is a good amount of Phantom community support (on other sites), but the Diydrones community is exceptional.
The software question is a bit of a religious question, and what's "best" depends on your needs. Many more sophisticated features on the Iris side. There is a decent ground control station software available from DJI - for a price.
3DR software and documentation has come a long way. The Iris, as a package, appears to aim for a simple user experience, as offered by DJI products. Without having experienced it personally, I can't say if it's there quite yet. I hope it is !
I wonder how much flight time you get once you add a GoPro and gimbal. i will agree the bog standard motors that come from 3DR are underpowered and this is really evident when you add a small item like a GoPro the flight time goes way down as the motor throttle goes above 50%.
Maybe one of the resellers in Europe or in the US might ship to Indonesia ?
You might try onedrone.com (Europe) or UAVDirect (disclosure: I have friends there) or another one.
Btw, you also brought up customer support. I've seen people have negative experiences with DJI, and I've had good experiences with 3DR.
I was looking at both of these too. I have a custom built Flamewheel F450 that I tend to experiment with, but I wanted an "it just works" copter to take with me so I know I can just fly if my custom copter is giving me trouble.
I looked at the IRIS, but DJI just nailed it on the Phantom 2 for flight time and ease of use. I ordered one from DroneFly.com out of California because a friend of mine recommended them. The are a DJI reseller.
On the custom copters though, I'm using 3DR stuff. I just received a Pixhawk, and I have their GPS module as well, and those are going onto on a Tarot frame. My current F450 build is using APM 2.6 + GPS. Giving 3DR enough time to sort it out, I think they will eventually surpass DJI in this market. This stuff is really just taking off, and I think we will see some neat stuff over the next few years.
Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with DroneFly....just passing the word on.
I am in the same boat, and was bouncing between DJI and 3DR/Pixhawk. My biggest concern for a newbie, who is just learning with WL V262 and similar toys how to not crash, was trimming, tuning and getting the system ready to fly reliably.
I too am concerned about range and 15 min of flight time at the upper end for 3DR.
Philosophically I would compare the two systems with the approaches for their ground stations. DJI uses an iPad as optional ground station, APM supports their mission planner on Android. That represents their approaches pretty well from what I read and learned:
DJI is a relatively closed system, easy to use but somewhat lacking features, flexibility and deeper insight. APM on the other hand is an open approach, lots of capabilities (that can go wrong, but that appear to be of good value), great logs, access to experts, who can quickly help to understand what went wrong when things went wrong.
The tipping point for me was one of the top discussion threads in this community (Arducopter or Russian Roulette) that gave me a good insight on the platform and the community.
As much as I would like to have the 20 min flight time with a GoPro and a gimbal, I decided to order my Iris within the next day or two.
The biggest drawback with the Vision/Vision+ is the built-in wifi downlink. Range is poor and you have to view everything on a smart phone. I always point people towards using a GoPro with monitor and video downlink. The Iris+ has a larger 'wingspan' and the arms sit back towards the body, so you don't have to deal with props dipping into the shot which is common with Phantoms.
The biggest advantage of the IRIS+ is the customer support from 3DR. I have flown both quite a bit and prefer the IRIS+.
I share some of the same points that others have made. It comes down to what you need and how you want to grow with it.
All my flying/operating is centered around photography/videography. Having owned a Phantom, then a custom 450 and now an IRIS+ I can say the IRIS+ for me is the clear winner. Well made, ever advancing hardware & software and is backed by people who want to see just how far this technology can go.
As for flight times. My 450 (with camera/gimbal) was getting close to 20min in the air but what I noticed is that I rarely flew for that long. I get my shots lined up, switch everything on and start filming. On average I was in the air 10-12min tops. So the battery issue, which really isnt much of an issue for me, is something you need to look hard at and ask yourself "how long do I really need to be in the air for?"
Lastly, customer support. In working with DJI in the past and now with 3DR I have never been more impressed with everyone who I have spoken with there. They answered all my questions, give helpful advise and in one situation went above and beyond what I was expecting to make sure I was taken care of. Truly top notch service.