As my flying menace spiraled out of controlled, the faint traces of an evil grimace formed on my face. In my head, I could hear the words: “Take that, you lousy piece of bleeeeeep!” For a trace second it hovered like an angel but then it decided otherwise, plummeting like my typical stock picks.
I didn’t mean to bury my DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter under the barren branches of an old oak but that’s where it ended up on Saturday. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it since last summer. But after a long, cold winter, I was anxious to take the investment out for a practice run. Instead, I killed it.
Shiny black, plastic props splintered and got tossed like in a salad. The 3-axis gimbal tore away from the shell and launched into the brush. One of the retractable arms bent like a bow. And the LIPO battery ejected and rocketed into the fourth dimension.
And, to think, I was, finally, almost good enough to pull off a 360-radius spin around church steeples, basketball nets and light houses – manually, mind you, which is no easy feat. Aerial mavens know how difficult it is to rotate around an object without the assistance of the POI (point-of-interest) feature.
The good news is that the newest DJI model (selling at B&H in 2 days) has collision avoidance and a visual tracking system. Will my competitive clients be able to wait until I can recoup my losses and re-invest? I hope so because it seems like drones are as valuable, if not mandatory, to a freelance videographer as the rest of our gear – camera, lights and audio kits. You can’t have one without the others.