3DR Solo Aerial Drone - Black
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- Live HD GoPro stream to iOS and Android
- Get the shot, every time with Smart Shots feature
- 880 KV motors work with self-tightening glass-fortified nylon props
- On-board 1 GHZ computer with Pixhawk flight controller
- ***3-Axis Gimal Sold Separately***
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PLEASE NOTE THAT THE GIMBAL IS NOT INCLUDED WITH THE SOLO DRONE. IT IS AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE SEPARATELY
Pilots must adhere to the CAA Flight Regulations:
You are legally responsible for the safe conduct of each flight
Before each flight, check drone for damage
You must keep the drone within your sight at all times
YOU are responsible for avoiding collisions with other people or objects
Keep your distance - it is illegal to fly your unmanned aircraft over a congested area or near airports and airfields
Don't fly your drone within 50m of a person, vehicle, building or structure, or overhead groups of people at any height
Consider rights of privacy
Permission must be granted to use drones for paid work.
3DR Solo Drone
No camaera included with the item.
From the manufacturer
3DR was founded in 2009 by Chris Anderson and Jordi Muñoz to supply the global hobbyist community. By 2012 it had grown well beyond this and in 2014, 3DR started to take their drones mainstream, introducing their first ready-to-fly consumer products. Today, 3DR is the smartest and most technologically advanced drone company in the world: they're putting computers in the sky.
3DR Solo Drone
Welcome to life after gravity.
3D Robotic's Solo Drone is the new generation of smart drone. It's the one and only drone to control both the copter and the camera (with the purchase of the 3DR Gimbal - sold separately). Solo's 1 GHz onboard Linux computer powers one-of-a-kind Smart Shots so anyone can get sweeping muti-axis cinematic video just by pushing a button. Solo goes much further than just getting cool shots. It gives you the full Hollywood toolkit as software - an automatic crane, dolly, jib, boom, slider, tripod and, of course, helicopter. Even if you've never flown a drone, the Solo controller will feel natural the moment you pick it up. Start flying and view live HD video from the drone to your mobile device.
Total Control at your Fingertips
With ergonomics inspired by popular video game controllers, the Solo controller feels natural from the moment you pick it up. Along with precise flight control sticks, its face features dedicated buttons for one-touch automatic flight, including auto takeoff and land, auto return home and land, as well as pause. The controller enables you to shoot like a pro from day one. Easily adjust camera tilt positions and speed, instantly capture a photo or even start and stop your GoPro recording during flight. All of this while a crystal clear HD view of the action is streamed directly to your mounted mobile device.
Shoot Like a Pro with the Push of a Button
Go completely hands-free. Whether you’re taking the road less travelled with your friends, cruising your boat around the lake or just out exploring the world, Solo will automatically follow along in the air. This mode keeps the camera centred on you at all times, capturing your every move.
Achieve an iconic wraparound shot by locking your GoPro onto any object with the push of a button. Orbit mode puts Solo on a circular track with an adjustable radius. Fly around the circle in either direction and Solo will keep the camera locked on your subject. You can also adjust the altitude and flight speed to create dynamic and sophisticated aerial shots.
With Solo locked on a virtual cable in the air, you’re free to pan and tilt the camera without worrying about piloting the copter. Solo can even memorise the shot at each end point and fly itself from one frame to the next, while working the camera for you as smoothly and evenly as a seasoned pro.
Automatically put yourself in the middle of a scenic aerial pullout shot. As Solo flies itself up and back, your surroundings expand, building and revealing more and more of the world around you – it’s a portrait and a landscape all at once. Record the clip directly to your phone for easy saving and sharing.
Turn Moments into Movies with the 3DR Gimbal (Not Included)
3DR worked directly with GoPro so that the Solo Gimbal would be the first in the world with in-flight access to GoPro controls. It taps Solo’s intelligence to get perfect shots automatically, plus rock-solid footage, GoPro control and long-range HD video feed. The Gimbal lets you start and stop recording with your GoPro while you fly and even powers your GoPro so the battery won’t die mid-flight. You will have fine-grain camera tilt control, including angle pre-sets and instant speed adjustment – or just hit ‘play’ on the mobile app and let Solo’s Smart Shots fully control the gimbal for the perfect shot.
Top customer reviews
Read the manual which is available as a download from the 3DR website prior to purchase.
Learn a few basics about flight trim and flying on a mini drone, such as the Hubsan Nano or Mini drone. If you can master one of these, you will find the Solo 10 times easier and will fly with confidence and awareness.
That being said, this is a great aircraft that coupled with a GoPro 4 and gimbal will enable you to get into some serious aerial photography. Learn about editing and produce some quality videos.
Fly safely and enjoy!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Then, on a standard landing after about 10 flights, it jerked sideways and went full speed at a hard tilt and slammed into a tree, snapping off a rotor and nearly hitting someone. It landed upside down, and when I picked it up, all the rotors turned on full blast and nearly sliced my arm open. I managed to turn it off while holding it from taking off like a zombie drone, then went immediately to write the incident to the support email.
I was offered an extremely dry and robotic-toned response of instructions to "download the log files from the vehicle and send them for review". No "sorry, that must have been a scary experience" or "wow, we're going to make this right". It's like the support emails are being fielded by backend software engineers.
Realizing I should take advantage of having made contact with someone (albeit not very helpful), I noted that I had an unanswered ticket on the broken GoPro issue. They said to test it on iOS and Android, as well as prove the GoPro works on a TV. I did all of this, taking a picture of the phone screen showing a magenta screen instead of a live video feed. The guy responded basically suggesting I was lying because he could see ceiling lights in the live feed view, citing that as proof that it's working. I promptly clarified that it was the reflection of the ceiling lights on the glassy phone screen when I took the picture, and that our ceilings aren't solid magenta. Idiot. You'd expect something instead like "I'm sorry to hear it's not working, let's get to the bottom of this to resolve the issue as soon as we can." Nope.
They finally agreed to address it by having me send the vehicle back so they can look at it to determine what's wrong and whether they can fix it for me. Again, no "we'll do what it takes to make up for selling you a broken expensive drone that almost hurt you and didn't work properly from the first use out of the box". Just a "we'll take a look".
They asked for my mailing address to create the shipping label. I sent it. Then they asked again 2 hours later. I sent it again. They said I'll need to go purchase a box to send it back in since I didn't keep the original shipping box. Then the shipping label they sent me has the wrong address under my name (remember how I sent it twice?). I just got their reply that I must have sent them the wrong address. No, I didn't.
Literally every touchpoint with the 3DR team has been absolutely horrible, and it's clear they put all the investment into the product and zero into handling customer support issues. Just no human touch or consideration at all. Cold, suspicious, and unhelpful tone of service.
While I'm at it, it's worth mentioning that after initially purchasing the Solo, they asked me two separate times to take photographs of my credit card to email them proof that I bought it before they'd approve the purchase. That process took about a week. Why they had to do this once is beyond me, and twice is just insulting.
If I were an investor with them, I'd have the ass of whoever forgot to build a support structure for customers spending $1500+ per purchase. If you buy and are lucky to get a great one, I'm sure you'll love it. But if you have 1 single issue to deal with, God help you.
UPDATE: I mailed the drone back to them about 10 days ago and haven't heard anything at all. I emailed today and still haven't gotten a response. Nothing to assure me it's arrived, or in the right hands, or status. Just silence. #thisJustKeepsGettingWorse
UPDATE #2: After 2 weeks of radio silence, I Tweeted the founder and company and the VP of support has commented here assuring it would be sent out the next day. Many days went by and I still haven't gotten the drone. I got an email 6 days after asking for tracking information, notifying me that there was a problem with delivery. Remember above how they botched my address and I corrected it twice to get the right return label? Well they sent the actual drone to the botched address instead of the correct one. They asked me to call FedEx to sort it out myself. I said I'd prefer if they would just fix it. They asked again for me to contact FedEx. I insisted that it's not my problem to fix, and I shouldn't have to spend my time cleaning this up. So he contacted FedEx and learned they'd addressed it incorrectly. Keep in mind, this is the level of service when the founder and VP of support are aware of the situation.
How many thousand of dollars in lost sales because of this review will the company have to eat until they get a single competent person from the support team to take a few minutes to get this right?
UPDATE #3: The unit was sent back to the billing address, which is my office in Los Angeles. I live in San Francisco (remember how I've supplied my address like 5 times now?). I had my office in LA overnight it up to me. A big sigh of relief that I finally had a fixed Solo abruptly ended when I opened the box. The controller screen was all scratched up now. It was missing the charging cable. The bottom of the Solo was also scratched up. The video feed still didn't work. One of the rotors had been replaced and the plastic was left stuck in the seam that I can't pull out. I called the support line and we were able to get the video feed working, though the app no longer had a record button so I couldn't actually capture any of the footage while it was in flight.
I've now asked for an entire replacement unit. We'll see how that goes. Here are the photos of the unit I got back that was "fixed" - (...)
The DJI is looking pretty attractive right about now.
UPDATE #4: I sent the unit back over two weeks ago to be replaced. I was promised that the moment my return shipment was logged by FedEx, they would get the confirmation it was on its way back and immediately ship the replacement overnight. Two weeks later, I haven't gotten an email or phone call, and the replacement hasn't arrived. I just called to see what the hell is going on and they said it hasn't been shipped yet, but they could offer me overnight shipping and send it out today. This is the final straw. I've asked for a full refund and never want to deal with this company again. 2+ months of my time wasted, countless frustrations, $1,500, and both the founder and VP of Support are aware - and this is the result. No human being should have to work this hard to get a company to simply get a working product to a customer who's paid for it.
This company is a nightmare. They'll happily take your money, but clearly don't care about you. KEEP YOUR MONEY AND STAY CLEAR OF 3DRobotics.
UPDATE #5: When I last called demanding a refund because they literally forgot to send me the replacement I'd been waiting for (and was promised would be overnighted as soon as they got tracking confirmation that I'd sent the broken vehicle to them), they confirmed that the replacement wouldn't be sent and instead they would process the refund. Days then went by, and it hadn't come through. I called and learned that instead of issuing a refund, they shipped the vehicle to me, and that I'd have to send it back to get the refund. Seriously!? So I waited a few days and received a small box with only a battery charger. I called and asked what's going on and they said their systems showed that I have received the new drone. I explained that I only got a battery, and they said it must have been (ANOTHER) mistake from the shipping department. So they emailed me a label to send the charger back, and promised the refund would be sent right away. Of course, 6 days later (at the time of this update), I'm still waiting with no update from them.
UPDATE #6: It's been 12 days now since I got the message that the refund was being processed. Still no refund. I'm currently on hold waiting for them to find someone in customer support who can figure out what's going on. This review is turning into a eBook.
Comcast is a customer support dream compared to this s***.
Customer service is another thing that initially sold many people on Solo with their fly away protection that claims 3DR will replace your Solo and GoPro camera in the event of a fly away (thats not pilot error). Although, there are many other things that could cause you to need 3DR customer support which I will get into further down.
Next lets talk flight times. Users were promised 20 minutes on a fully charged battery and when I first purchased my Solo I was getting around 17-18 minutes without a gimbal. 8 months later and I’m only around 11-12 minutes (without a gimbal) and light use.
What’s the range? Solo is the worst drone amongst its competitors in regards to range. Without upgrading to better aftermarket antennas your looking at around 300-500 yards before Solo hits Return To Home mode (known as RTH), results improve if your in a rural area with virtually no wifi interference. If your in a really congested area like NYC, it could be substantially less. Some say you want to always maintain eye contact while flying but depending on the situation for the shot you need, this is a major problem because that range is also the same for altitude but less. You also have to consider limitations when flying a programmed mission.
Upon Solo’s debut 3DR was scrutinized for pushing to release Solo in June 2015 despite complications with their camera gimbal that caused Solo users to wait months before it became readily available sometime in late August 2015, and still had serious bugs to be worked out. Even now users still casually report complications with Solo's gimbal.The major issue with the gimbal is that it produces a large amount of vibration and jello in your footage which is mostly due to the bad factory assembly of the gimbal's HDMI cable, which once in flight, picks up a ton of vibration thats seen in your recorded video footage. The only solution to this problem is to purchase an after market HDMI flat ribbon cable which is thin enough to pick up much less vibration and shake. It's now April 2016 and this issue has yet to be corrected by 3DR themselves. Solo also has an issue that requires it to take a much longer time than any of its competitor’s drones to get a satellite lock, and once again the only solution is to upgrade the satellite chip yourself. Also if you want to fix the range issue internally, you would have to upgrade the wifi card in both your Solo and the controller. Which brings me to my next point, unless you plan to modify/customize Solo to make it better, don't bother buying it. If your intimidated about taking things apart and putting them back together, I do not recommend buying Solo.
3DR also promised the addition of other camera gimbals to enable Solo users to mount other cameras besides the GoPro series action cameras. As we see at NAB 2016, that promise has not been upheld unless of course your looking for a strap on accessory to mount a 360 degree camera setup, or looking for a infrared camera that most civilian users have no use for, or even a commercial camera setup for 3DR's newest commercial software Site Scan, which retails at over $6,837-8,025. 3DR's spokesman Colin Guinn, mentioned several times last year and even at NAB 2015, that Solo users would see a gimbal coming for the new Black Magic Micro cams which has yet to be developed.
As far as customer service, unfortunately for me back around January 2016, 3DR issued an update for the newly added Smart Shots and functionality of controlling the GoPro through the Solo app (which we were promised when Solo debuted in June 2015), after updating my only 5 month old Solo, it wouldn't connect with my controller when I would power up Solo, the controller, and the app. I would have to restart Solo several times before finally connecting, which if out in the field is not good at all, especially with the already long satellite locking times. Also during this same time while out flying Solo upon landing Solo touched the ground and out of no where went into RTH mode and shot straight up into the air nearly crashing into power lines and costing me the $1000 I spent for it. SoI called Solo customer support only to get a message that customer service is no longer available over the phone and is now email support only. Once I submitted a trouble ticket I was contacted two days later by Mike Martinez who required me to first send photos of my receipt, and Solo's serial number despite me having already registered my Solo online, I also had to send a video of the incident (thank God I recorded it), and a log report from the already not connecting Solo. If this wasn't already overwhelming, he said he never received the first 3 times I sent the logs from the controller (of course from the connectivity issue I mentioned), this process alone took a week to complete. I ended up having to do a process that was pretty technical requiring me to connect my Solo controller to my Mac, then enter a series of different code in a Linux based MS-DOS system, which if one character is entered wrong will cause you to have to restart the whole process. This was a very annoying process that was a headache to do, and afterwards Mike simply told me everything looked fine and that there was no issue. I complained that I still had the connectivity problem every time I turn on my Solo but he just continued giving me task to do that were very technical and later passed me on to a engineer named Francisco A.. Francisco was no different than Mike and again after 20 days of dealing with technical support he sent me an email informing that the code looked good and there was no connectivity issue. This infuriated me!!! This problem was never resolved, and I never had my Solo replaced with another one. So there's your report on customer service.
Lastly lets talk about Solo's value, when I bought my Solo, I paid $1000 without the gimbal, and the gimbal sold for another $400. I wanted to shoot in 4k so I payed another $500 for my GoPro 4 Black and another $80 for a high bit rate 64GB SDChip. This doesn’t include the price of upgrades, so you see I spent over $2000 for my Solo. Then 5 months after I purchased it, for $1000 you get the Solo and gimbal, you talk about a punch in the face. Also Solo's resale value is really poor. Word has gotten around about the out of the box Solo performance and gimbal poor gimbal quality, and of course that means trying to sell Solo isn't an easy thing. I see guys online place their Solo's for sale and wait months with no buyer. Just go on Ebay and search used 3DR Solo and watch an item til it sells. You'll see guys selling Solo with a gimbal, backpack, and multiple spare batteries for only about $1100. Used Solo's by themselves are averaging about $500. And there's plenty of them for sale. Most guys put them up for sale on Facebook and forums and they never sell so they are forced to sell for nearly nothing or keep them.
As a Solo user who's apart of all the Solo forums and multiple Solo Facebook groups, if I did it all over again, I would have bought a DJI Phantom 3/4 or Inspire 1 over Solo.
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