Smaller motors, flatter props. I'd be wary of changing the PID's though; if you slacken them off to much it'll just handle poorly, not slowly. But the cheapest and easiest (it involves no airframe changes) would turning down your stick scaling on the tx - if you know how.
Not sure what transmitter you are using, but if you have 6+ channel you most likely will have options to tweak the Dual Rate & Expo settings. I came from the same approach you did and today I actually have my F450 setup with a KK2.0 board for acro and put the APM on a 3DR based frame for smoother flying. Still love my Phantom, but I am at the point where I am used to the manual flying and have stick scaling up on my 450 to do flips. Now on my 3DR with APM, I have the DX8, so I went in and messed with Dual Rates & Expo, actually all I really did was bump up Expo to 30% and it centers nice, but I can still whip it around with some hard sticking.
Check this link it may help you: YouTube - DR & Expo explained
Hi Mathew, there is a angle limit that you can reduce that seems to soften it once you have it tuned. I was playing with it the other day.
having said that it sounds to me like it is not tuned yet. can you post a log?
Learning to tune the APM compared to just being able to use the DJI systems may seem labourious and frustrating in the beginning, but hang in there it's worth it in the end!
I use the Ch6 tuning function ALOT during a setup and also find the modems a must have. If I had to tune a machine without modems again I think I would go insane!
Do a search on youtube for DAVE C tuning method..... ahh better still, here's the link, for an earlier version of code but proceedure is still relevant.
When it is right it should feel responsive but not touchy, and very "locked in" in stabilize.
also very woth while following Randy's setup tutorials step by step....
Good luck and hang in there!
By eye it look like DJI Phantom has 40 degrees max tilt. Less when flying in GPS mode. Arducopter has default 60 degrees max tilt.
This max tilt together With fast reaction to stick input is the difference.
Taking max tilt angle out as a user adjustable parameter would make Arducopter adjustable and possible to make much easier and safer for beginners to learn.
I don't know why this is not done already.
Only thing you can do now, is to put Down rate P a little bit, and use 30% expo on Your transmitter for ail/elev.
If you are able to compile the Source you can put Down the max tilt. I can help you compile firmware With reduced tilt if you can not make yourself. Need to know Your APM Version as firmware is different for apm 1 or apm 2x.
PM Your email if you want to test.
Sorry I am wrong about the APM Max tilt angle. APM has default 45 degrees as max tilt angle for Pitch and roll in stabilize.
These angles you can change by adding these two lines With lower value to Your APM_Config.h file and compile the Source:
#define MAX_INPUT_ROLL_ANGLE 4500 // 45 degrees
#define MAX_INPUT_PITCH_ANGLE 4500 // 45 degrees
For my kids I think I used 30 degrees, but try to Experiment until you find the value you like.
You should increase this value when you get experienced, as default APM is a very good setup when learned to fly.