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Trying to start w/ a Q500 4K, what is best & worst used for?

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Hello all, I'm new to drones and I'm wondering why isn't the Q500 4K isn't more popular, it seems like a steal for the price! A drone with a good battery life, reasonably priced, from a reliable company, that can be insured so if damaged it can be claimed, w/3-axis gimbal for good original footage as my previous experience with smaller drones is not professional to present to an actual business, good quality camera is great as well, pretty much all is covered for starting side work with a drone.

I am trying to do some side work with it for real estate or such and I can't afford the much more expensive drones out there especially since I'm just starting out and it's going to take a while to break-even.

Are there industries or fields the q500 can't work for? I read that it's not able to do mapping jobs or surveying jobs, and that it can only be controlled manually for such jobs, would someone please elaborate on that as I'm pretty new to the systems they all use.
Do you think there are better ways to start this? let me know what you've done.
Thank you
 
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For private use it is actually quiet popular. Like you said it is a pretty nice drone for a not very expensive price.

Are there industries or fields the q500 can't work for? I read that it's not able to do mapping jobs or surveying jobs, and that it can only be controlled manually for such jobs, would someone please elaborate on that as I'm pretty new to the systems they all use.
Do you think there are better ways to start this? let me know what you've done.
It is a very versatile drone but there are some purposes it is not that good for. If you are a professional photographer or videographer you will prefer the Typhoon H or Tornado H920 since it is larger, has a 360° gimbal and six rotors. Espacially the six rotors are very important since it is (in Germany) very hard or even impossible to get an allownes for flying over crowded areas without being able to keep flying while one motor has failed.

Furthermore the 360° gimbal is very nice since you can "park" your drone in the air and just look arount. In Team-Mode you can also just fly the way you want, while the camera operator is able to move the camera however necessary.

As you said mapping is also not a task where I would use the Q500 for. It is possible but a lot of work. It is way better to use the H520 instat since it can fly special routes while taking all the pictures needed.

What is your purpose exactly? Maybe it already satisfies your needs.
 
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For private use it is actually quiet popular. Like you said it is a pretty nice drone for a not very expensive price.



It is a very versatile drone but there are some purposes it is not that good for. If you are a professional photographer or videographer you will prefer the Typhoon H or Tornado H920 since it is larger, has a 360° gimbal and six rotors. Espacially the six rotors are very important since it is (in Germany) very hard or even impossible to get an allownes for flying over crowded areas without being able to keep flying while one motor has failed.

Furthermore the 360° gimbal is very nice since you can "park" your drone in the air and just look arount. In Team-Mode you can also just fly the way you want, while the camera operator is able to move the camera however necessary.

As you said mapping is also not a task where I would use the Q500 for. It is possible but a lot of work. It is way better to use the H520 instat since it can fly special routes while taking all the pictures needed.

What is your purpose exactly? Maybe it already satisfies your needs.
I appreciate your feedback jannislh, I'm trying to start doing some small drone work on the side while at school and thought I can find a drone that's not too expensive to do some jobs with, I thought mapping and surveying is a popular type of work that can make decent money but I'm not too familiar with the drone services industry, nor commercial drones as much. I'm just trying to see if I can start well on a budget.
What type of work do you think the Q500 4K can do well? do you think I should start with another drone instead?
 
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I take it you are aware that any commercial work of any sort is forbidden until you have your Part 107 Remote Pilots Certification ? I also think it would be a mistake to start even thinking about using this commercially until you have flown it for at least a year in a hobby only capacity while you learn the vital skills required, and get to know all the little foibles of your particular craft - if you don't take this vital pause to do that you will end up being horribly embarrassed in front of a client when you have some disaster your inexperience didn't allow you to control or recover from.... and if someone sees you crash or lose a machine, guess who they never hire again, and tell all their friends never to hire at all ? ;)

Like all things in life, don't try and monetize it until you can actually do it, and have the skills to a professional level ! Just remember to have fun while you are getting those skills :) You WILL crash at some point, you may even lose the machine, but make sure that happens to you in a nice empty field miles away from observing eyes and laughing mouths !!
 
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I take it you are aware that any commercial work of any sort is forbidden until you have your Part 107 Remote Pilots Certification ? I also think it would be a mistake to start even thinking about using this commercially until you have flown it for at least a year in a hobby only capacity while you learn the vital skills required, and get to know all the little foibles of your particular craft - if you don't take this vital pause to do that you will end up being horribly embarrassed in front of a client when you have some disaster your inexperience didn't allow you to control or recover from.... and if someone sees you crash or lose a machine, guess who they never hire again, and tell all their friends never to hire at all ? ;)

Like all things in life, don't try and monetize it until you can actually do it, and have the skills to a professional level ! Just remember to have fun while you are getting those skills :) You WILL crash at some point, you may even lose the machine, but make sure that happens to you in a nice empty field miles away from observing eyes and laughing mouths !!
I've flown smaller drones for fun and I understand the risks behind it. I'm studying for the Part 107 while I'm researching the right drone to buy and learning about insurance. I appreciate your drone safety advocacy, my concerns were more focused on equipment differences and how beginner professional drones compare.
Do you have any recommendations to minimize the risks involved other than practicing overtime?
 
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Fair enough, but you'd be surprised how many people imagine they can pop to the shops, buy a drone and immediately start earning money off it - just making sure you're not one of those :) Aside from all the safety rules and whatnot I'd say there is a list of things that will minimize the chances of disaster...

1. Don't fly at all in heavily populated densely suburban areas.
2. Make sure you develop a pre-flights list that makes sure you check all the main components of your craft every time you send it up.
3. Don't use battery packs you have any cause to question.
4. Don't fly out to sea, unless the prevailing wind is blowing back to land.
5. Do not stress your battery packs by flying down to first warning all the time. Learn when that is, and plan to land a minute or so before it kicks in.
6. Never leave your batteries charged for longer than 3 days.
7. Make sure your eyes are on your craft much more than they are looking at a screen.
8. Spend the time to develop nose-in manual flight skills.
9. Don't harass wildlife, and stay away from tree canopies during nesting season
10. When the unexpected happens do not panic. Remain calm, think it through, take action, save it.
11. If you do crash, take photos of the crashed machine / crash site in great detail, which can help in later determining the cause.
12. Monitor your telemetry regularly to check for error flags
13. Do a site survey / google maps exploration of every site you intend to fly, and have your legal paperwork with you so you can adequately deal with anyone who questions whether you are allowed to fly somewhere. Preparation and foreknowledge make for arguments you can win :)
14. Watch out for small yappy-type dogs. They have attitude that belies their size and can jump much higher than you'd think :)

If you can do all that, the chances of you falling out of the sky, or having some other terrifying emergency are very much reduced, although never to 0, so perhaps No 15 should be 'Expect the unexpected :)
 
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I'm wondering why isn't the Q500 4K isn't more popular, it seems like a steal for the price!
Actually it remains quite popular even after all this time. The original version was release 4-1/2 yrs ago which qualifies it as a museum piece in the drone world. Yet it is still flying and enjoys a good sale market. I think it has the distinction of being the most reliable consumer drone ever built. Considering your needs I would most certainly recommend it.
While it may not be suitable for extensive mapping, it is certainly usable as a training aid in learning the process and the software associated with mapping.
 
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Fair enough, but you'd be surprised how many people imagine they can pop to the shops, buy a drone and immediately start earning money off it - just making sure you're not one of those :) Aside from all the safety rules and whatnot I'd say there is a list of things that will minimize the chances of disaster...

1. Don't fly at all in heavily populated densely suburban areas.
2. Make sure you develop a pre-flights list that makes sure you check all the main components of your craft every time you send it up.
3. Don't use battery packs you have any cause to question.
4. Don't fly out to sea, unless the prevailing wind is blowing back to land.
5. Do not stress your battery packs by flying down to first warning all the time. Learn when that is, and plan to land a minute or so before it kicks in.
6. Never leave your batteries charged for longer than 3 days.
7. Make sure your eyes are on your craft much more than they are looking at a screen.
8. Spend the time to develop nose-in manual flight skills.
9. Don't harass wildlife, and stay away from tree canopies during nesting season
10. When the unexpected happens do not panic. Remain calm, think it through, take action, save it.
11. If you do crash, take photos of the crashed machine / crash site in great detail, which can help in later determining the cause.
12. Monitor your telemetry regularly to check for error flags
13. Do a site survey / google maps exploration of every site you intend to fly, and have your legal paperwork with you so you can adequately deal with anyone who questions whether you are allowed to fly somewhere. Preparation and foreknowledge make for arguments you can win :)
14. Watch out for small yappy-type dogs. They have attitude that belies their size and can jump much higher than you'd think :)

If you can do all that, the chances of you falling out of the sky, or having some other terrifying emergency are very much reduced, although never to 0, so perhaps No 15 should be 'Expect the unexpected :)
Lots of great tips, I really appreciate it. I'm just trying to get best practices from everyone so all the feedback is definitely welcome. Next, I'm going to compile and format a comprehensive pre-flight, flight and post-flight check list for the Q500 4K to make sure I'm minimizing errors on my end.
 
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Actually it remains quite popular even after all this time. The original version was release 4-1/2 yrs ago which qualifies it as a museum piece in the drone world. Yet it is still flying and enjoys a good sale market. I think it has the distinction of being the most reliable consumer drone ever built. Considering your needs I would most certainly recommend it.
While it may not be suitable for extensive mapping, it is certainly usable as a training aid in learning the process and the software associated with mapping.
I'm glad more people see the value in it still, I hope they can release another version sometimes in the near future as I think it would get a great advantage over DJI's if they were to open the software capabilities.
Would you mind elaborating on what you mean by using it as a training aid in learning the process and software associated with mapping? How does that work?
 

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How does that work?
Mapping is generally just a series of overlapping photos taken with the camera pointing straight down. Doing so manually was a precursor to all of the automated flight planning with more advanced software.

 
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Mapping is generally just a series of overlapping photos taken with the camera pointing straight down. Doing so manually was a precursor to all of the automated flight planning with more advanced software.

I've had people say that if it's not automatically done it's not "professional" do you think that's true for mapping or are they just doing it a simpler (more costly upfront) way as if there's no other way of doing it?
Also I appreciate the links, I'm also curious about your opinions comparing Pix4D vs other mapping softwares. Do you think it's worth all the manual effort? Or is it truly better to just invest in the automatic software & hardware compatible parts? (A.K.A. DJI & dronedeploy and such)
I appreciate the feedback.
 
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I've had people say that if it's not automatically done it's not "professional" do you think that's true for mapping
I think that is true. A machine that is controlling its own movement will do so more evenly and consistently than you ever can as a lowly human, especially bearing in mind the flight characteristics of that machine, which whilst not bad for most general flying about, couldn't be called 'precision' by any reasonable margin :)

Do you think it's worth all the manual effort?
No. It is A LOT of work to do this manually and you will be constantly frustrated that you can't get things straight and perfectly aligned without a lot of effort. And clients may stand behind you and quietly watch and laugh as they see you doing trying to do mapping by manually flying the route when most of them will assume you have software for that.

The Q500 is truly a great machine to learn on. But using it as your main (and only) mapping solution might be a bit optimistic...
 
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