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Pros and cons so far

Hiflyer808

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Pros
1. 60fps 4k in a drone costing 1k
2. Good colors in the eyes of most
3. Ability to fly fast/sideways/backwards in obstacle-rich environments without (much) fear allows for exciting cinematic shots very difficult to get with other drones
4. Best fast tracking in obstacle-rich environments of any drone
5. Dronie, boomerang, and other automated shots done in 4k unlike with DJI
6. Best OA of any drone
7. Can point gimbal up
8. No geofencing
9. Can fly near large metal objects (no compass)
10. All this for 1400 if you include beacon, controller, and extra battery

Neutral/mixed
1. Small USA company means better customer service but also backlogged orders
2. Having great OA always on allows for more confident manual flying but also causes the drone to move in ways you don't want it to sometimes
3. Slow tracking in obstacle-rich environments generally very good but can be worse than other drones sometimes because of hesitation and jerky movements as the drone decides how to avoid objects
4. Beacon very useful for tracking but has some serious bugs and limitations
5. Battery life ok
6. Fairly compact but not foldable
7. Good "height floor" option, but not paired with "height ceiling" option for environments where most obstacles are above a certain height, such as forests

Cons
1. Bad range
2. Can't turn off/limit OA
3. Can't fly at night
4. RTH behavior glitchy and not customizable
5. Manual flight not quite as smooth as other drones, even when no obstacles present
6. Can't track from as far away as other drones
7. Tracking at medium distance and slow speed with few obstacles not as good overall as other drones because of restless movements
8. "Uncrashable" claim overblown and misleading: it can crash in many situations
9. App doesn't show as much info as apps for other drones
10. Controller not as good as most
11. Camera doesn't automatically point toward beacon/controller when GPS tracking or using automatic RTH
12. Not as many options, such as hyperlapse or orbiting a large object, as other drones of comparable price

Despite the long list of cons, I still think that for most people this is the best drone to have if you can only have one. Even if I mostly wanted a drone for getting cinematic shots flying manually I'd want this, with the cinematic "pros," especially #3, #5, and #7, outweighing cons like bad range. And several of the cons are likely to be eliminated/ mitigated with firmware updates.
 

Lon Denard

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Hopefully you won't take offense but I saw a couple items that I thought were kinda strange. I don't know what drones you own, so perhaps your experiences are different than mine.

Here goes,

Pros

1. The Autel Evo shoots 4k60, costs $1000 and comes with a controller with a built in screen that gets 2 to 3 times the range of the S2.
2. Completely agree! The color science is quite good! However, I'll add this to the cons, no flat profile.
3. "Cinematic" is hard for me to agree with as the shots are almost always badly framed and jerky.
4. Agreed.
5. I'm not sure why you think autonomous modes on a Mavic 2 Pro, for example, aren't in 4k? I don't do a lot of these shots but I can't find any evidence that they aren't shot in whatever resolution you have the drone in. I'll have to try it and see.
6. Agreed.
7. Addendum, "can point gimbal up 45 degrees". The Mavic 2 Pro can point up 30 degrees and the Parrot Anafi can point up 90 degrees.
8. That should also be placed in the cons section. I saw a guy launch an Evo at the airport viewing area a few weeks ago. I'd rather have Geofencing, personally.
9. Agreed. It's why I purchased mine.
10. Not a bad deal for sure.
11. Full Obstacle Avoidance up to the top speed of 36 mph.

Neutral

1. I've never found that US companies inherently have better customer service. Comcast, GoPro, Apple and Sprint spring to mind immediately as examples of American companies with horrible customer service in my experience. I do like the small company aspect but that can also limit what they CAN do for you.
2-7. I mostly agree with.

Cons

1. Whew, you said it!!!
2-8. Agreed.
9. The app doesn't show as much info and the info it does show is inaccurate. I found the altitude to be off by 20+ feet close to the ground. Who knows how accurate it is at distance.
10. Not even close.
11. I'm actually surprised that the drone doesn't point towards the beacon when in GPS tracking mode. That would make sense to facilitate target re-acquisition. Strange omission on their part. I also, would like to be able to see where the drone is going during RTH.
12. Severe lack of autonomous modes on the "World's Most Autonomous Drone!" Waypoints, panorama, hyperlapse, point of interest, tap fly, task library, etc.
13. No color profiles and a severe lack of camera controls.
14. No precision landing in return to home or smart return to home.
15. ZERO control once the drone decides to auto land.
16. Inpercise battery data, lack of a clear "point of no return" gauge and a sometimes late battery warning.
17. Drone allows pilots to take off in conditions that the drone can't avoid obstacles in without any warning.
18. The drone often places itself in precarious situations without any apparent reason.
19. Somewhat limited indoor flight capabilities.
20. Inability to enhance crash avoidance with prop guards.
21. Super slow launch times.
22. Drone is very "drifty" and meanders quite a bit..
23. Desperately needs a "manual" mode that places the drone in the co-pilot seat.
24. 400' ceiling from launch point.
25. No Geo Fencing or provisions for Remote ID. People point at this as a positive but as far as being restrictive goes, the lack of range, 400' ceiling and inability to fly in low light is far more "restrictive" than NFZs in my opinion.
26. Top speed of 36 mph. Most drones in this range average 45 mph, with some flying much faster.

I agree that a large part of the cons can be resolved thru update but I disagree that this is the best overall solution, especially if the customer doesn't need tracking or following, for "most people". Most drones in the $1000 to $2000 range beat the Skydio 2 in every aspect except OA, 4k60 and tracking only if you include the beacon.

Alright, let's discuss!
 
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skydioconvert

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Thanks Hiflyer808 and Lon Denard for taking the time (raining outside or not... :)) to make up these well thought out lists.

Looking at both opinions really helps re-affirm whether or not our choice to buy an S2 makes sense.

P.S. For me the S2 still out performs any other drone out there. <GRIN>
 

skydioconvert

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<SNIP>

Neutral/mixed
1. Small USA company means better customer service but also backlogged orders
2. Having great OA always on allows for more confident manual flying but also causes the drone to move in ways you don't want it to sometimes
3. Slow tracking in obstacle-rich environments generally very good but can be worse than other drones sometimes because of hesitation and jerky movements as the drone decides how to avoid objects
4. Beacon very useful for tracking but has some serious bugs and limitations
5. Battery life ok
6. Fairly compact but not foldable
7. Good "height floor" option, but not paired with "height ceiling" option for environments where most obstacles are above a certain height, such as forests

<SNIP>
Can you explain Item 7 a little more?

Not sure what your implying...
 

Lon Denard

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Can you explain Item 7 a little more?

Not sure what your implying...
I can. In light obstacle, medium distance (Max distance for the S2) situations, a drone like the Mavic 2 Pro will track a subject in a smooth cinematic way, keeping it in frame. You can even adjust where the subject is framed within the shot. The drone will always keep the same angle that you set and rarely deviate from it.

The Skydio 2, on the other hand, has a tendency to dance around the subject at all angles and doesn't seem to be concerned with keeping it in frame whatsoever. In my testing, the drone will change angles, seemingly without reason or purpose. Even while following in absolutely wide open spaces.

Probably the most annoying and sometimes alarming trait the Skydio 2 has is it's inability to sit still! I liken it to a puppy after you've shown it the leash. After you lock it on target, the drone will randomly change positions while it's waiting for the subject to move. It's caused me some nervous moments as it seems to seek out small, bare branches just to test my nerves! Hahaha!


Skydio 2 example- I'm just walking around a park but I'm almost never center frame and the drone just randomly changes the shot angle.


Mavic 2 Pro example- same park but I'm almost always in the center of the shot until I move it and then the drone keeps me in that place on the frame. Obviously, I believe the S2 does a better job tracking and with OA but from a "cinematic" standpoint, not so much.


Here's a "bonus" clip illustrating to the greater distance capabilities of other drones in general. The M2P did a decent job framing but not perfect. In it's "defense", I hit 60+ mph a couple times in these clips and at least it didn't lose me. Obviously, the superior processor within the Skydio 2 would help in this situation as I believe the the M2P is sometimes slow to react to changes in trajectory. One advantage the M2P does enjoy is a top speed of 45mph.


Anyway, that sums it up for me. Hopefully this helps.
 
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Lon Denard

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Oh yea I missed one, top speed. Other drones have a much higher top speed in this price range. As far as whether it's a "con" or "neutral" is up to the operator's needs. The positive part is that lower top speed does come with full Obstacle Avoidance. Most other drones can't make that claim.
 
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skydioconvert

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I can. In light obstacle, medium distance (Max distance for the S2) situations, a drone like the Mavic 2 Pro will track a subject in a smooth cinematic way, keeping it in frame. You can even adjust where the subject is framed within the shot. The drone will always keep the same angle that you set and rarely deviate from it.

The Skydio 2, on the other hand, has a tendency to dance around the subject at all angles and doesn't seem to be concerned with keeping it in frame whatsoever. In my testing, the drone will change angles, seemingly without reason or purpose. Even while following in absolutely wide open spaces.

Probably the most annoying and sometimes alarming trait the Skydio 2 has is it's inability to sit still! I liken it to a puppy after you've shown it the leash. After you lock it on target, the drone will randomly change positions while it's waiting for the subject to move. It's caused me some nervous moments as it seems to seek out small, bare branches just to test my nerves! Hahaha!


Skydio 2 example- I'm just walking around a park but I'm almost never center frame and the drone just randomly changes the shot angle.


Mavic 2 Pro example- same park but I'm almost always in the center of the shot until I move it and then the drone keeps me in that place on the frame. Obviously, I believe the S2 does a better job tracking and with OA but from a "cinematic" standpoint, not so much.


Here's a "bonus" clip illustrating to the greater distance capabilities of other drones in general. The M2P did a decent job framing but not perfect. In it's "defense", I hit 60+ mph a couple times in these clips and at least it didn't lose me. Obviously, the superior processor within the Skydio 2 would help in this situation as I believe the the M2P is sometimes slow to react to changes in trajectory. One advantage the M2P does enjoy is a top speed of 45mph.


Anyway, that sums it up for me. Hopefully this helps.
I see your point about the Skydio not keeping you in the center of the frame as much as the Mavic 2 Pro but when you speeded up the videos it kinda distorts "cinematically" what the S2 does more so than the M2P.

I'm curious if Hiflyer808 interepts my question any differently.....
 

Hiflyer808

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Hi, thanks for the responses, I'll have a much longer answer later but for now just a couple of things.
First, regarding what DJI calls "quickshots," those completely automated shots like helix, at least as of last year they definitely went to 1080p even if you set it at 4k. There's a thread on the Mavic forum about this. Not sure about the Mavic Air, I have heard conflicting things, but I have the M2 Zoom and have been frustrated by this. It also goes to a non-flat color profile, making it doubly hard to match my other flat profile, 4k shots. If this has been corrected in firmware or someone has found a workaround, great. I would still prefer the automated shots in the Skydio though, because I don't have to worry about obstacles to the side and back.
Second, I want to make clear that my actual user experience is confined to the Mavic Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom, and my comparison with other drones including the Skydio is based on reading multiple reviews and discussions and watching countless videos. I'm not a fanboy for any drone and could easily change my mind about the Skydio being the best all-rounder if I got to use one or got new info in discussions such as this one. So, much more later, and in the meantime, can anyone confirm about 4k quickshots in the M2 Pro and Zoom?
 

OldBlueHeron

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I’ve had mine for a bit now. Love-hate relationship. It does one thing great, and then frustrates the hell out of ya. It’s just super unpredictable. Best way to describe it. I’ll explain in detail at a later time.
 

Lon Denard

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I see your point about the Skydio not keeping you in the center of the frame as much as the Mavic 2 Pro but when you speeded up the videos it kinda distorts "cinematically" what the S2 does more so than the M2P.

I'm curious if Hiflyer808 interepts my question any differently.....
Hmmm... That's fair but framing isn't affected by the speed and it's the same for both, so it's an equal playing field. Besides, YouTube is full of Skydio 2 tracking videos that show the drone all over the place while following. I merely wanted to show both in the same environment.
 

skydioconvert

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Didn't word my commentary clearly enough.... I wasn't suggesting the video speed up affected frame centering but rather that the speed up much more affected how the S2 video looked cinematically than how the M2P video looked cinematically.

Skydio will hopefully tone down the S2's tendency to think too much (especially in open areas) where obstructions are far and between.

How that can be done via built in intelligence will be the challenge.
 

VEGASROBBI

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The Mavic’s lose there composure at speed and especially from the side or front. Following from the rear(leash) is easy for a follow drone. Mavic’s use pure optical tracking so the subject stays in frame, Mavic’s do not have GPS backup.

Clearly there’s a software problem with the S2. The S2 uses the same optical/GPS tracking as Anafi and Anafi frames better most of the time. I say most of the time because sometimes the S2 is spot on. Optical and GPS have many advantages over optical only.

I had one flight using the beacon where the S2 would not look at me; I then switched to the app and again my S2 looked away(even though I reselected) from the subject but followed tight.

Anafi is King IMO at this point however the S2 has the ability blow it away if SD gets it together. The S2 has the potential of besting all it’s competitors IMO with software upgrades. It’s a new drone give it some time.

And I agree the S2 is always dancing and darting around like a dog waiting for you to throw a ball; then it pounces as soon as you start to move, they need to mellow it out. Have some grace like the Typhoon, smooth and deliberate moves.

Here’s a couple examples of Anafi and an M2.


 
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Ridefreak

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Ever since the software update where it started showing the subject in the blue "GPS" circle (I think the first update) the tracking seems degraded and more prone to loose lock and point at the ground for faster subjects.
 

OldBlueHeron

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I’m curious to see how often or with what kind of regularity Skydio will send out firmware updates. Hopefully it will be more often then Autel. So far just the one for telemetry that I’ve noticed.
 
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skydioconvert

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The Mavic’s lose there composure at speed and especially from the side or front. Following from the rear(leash) is easy for a follow drone. Mavic’s use pure optical tracking so the subject stays in frame, Mavic’s do not have GPS backup.

Clearly there’s a software problem with the S2. The S2 uses the same optical/GPS tracking as Anafi and Anafi frames better most of the time. I say most of the time because sometimes the S2 is spot on. Optical and GPS have many advantages over optical only.

I had one flight using the beacon where the S2 would not look at me; I then switched to the app and again my S2 looked away(even though I reselected) from the subject but followed tight.

Anafi is King IMO at this point however the S2 has the ability blow it away if SD gets it together. The S2 has the potential of besting all it’s competitors IMO with software upgrades. It’s a new drone give it some time.

And I agree the S2 is always dancing and darting around like a dog waiting for you to throw a ball; then it pounces as soon as you start to move, they need to mellow it out. Have some grace like the Typhoon, smooth and deliberate moves.

Here’s a couple examples of Anafi and an M2.


Your comments in the 2nd video about obstacle avoidance being a double edged sword pretty much identifies why the Skydio S2 often kind of stumbles when tasked to follow an object.

Being the first drone to introduce a really good OA means there are a lot of wrinkles that still need to be ironed out.

I share your opinion that Skydio is on track for leading the pack when it comes to the ideal OA system ... they just need time to perfect it.

P.S. Just subscribed to your YT channel.
 

Lon Denard

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Didn't word my commentary clearly enough.... I wasn't suggesting the video speed up affected frame centering but rather that the speed up much more affected how the S2 video looked cinematically than how the M2P video looked cinematically.

Skydio will hopefully tone down the S2's tendency to think too much (especially in open areas) where obstructions are far and between.

How that can be done via built in intelligence will be the challenge.
That's probably true... I have tons of clips. Those two were of the same place so... I could post them at normal speed but framing was my main point so I kinda stuck with that.

This one is sped up to but it shows the M2P keeping me absolutely in center frame the whole time. I didn't do this same walk with the Skydio 2 but anyone that owns it will agree that it would have been all over the place in these conditions. However, I think it would do a much better job with the obstacles. The Mavic 2 definitely suffers from a slower/weaker processor and lower res cameras.

 

UAVPilotMRG

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Pros
1. 60fps 4k in a drone costing 1k
2. Good colors in the eyes of most
3. Ability to fly fast/sideways/backwards in obstacle-rich environments without (much) fear allows for exciting cinematic shots very difficult to get with other drones
4. Best fast tracking in obstacle-rich environments of any drone
5. Dronie, boomerang, and other automated shots done in 4k unlike with DJI
6. Best OA of any drone
7. Can point gimbal up
8. No geofencing
9. Can fly near large metal objects (no compass)
10. All this for 1400 if you include beacon, controller, and extra battery

Neutral/mixed
1. Small USA company means better customer service but also backlogged orders
2. Having great OA always on allows for more confident manual flying but also causes the drone to move in ways you don't want it to sometimes
3. Slow tracking in obstacle-rich environments generally very good but can be worse than other drones sometimes because of hesitation and jerky movements as the drone decides how to avoid objects
4. Beacon very useful for tracking but has some serious bugs and limitations
5. Battery life ok
6. Fairly compact but not foldable
7. Good "height floor" option, but not paired with "height ceiling" option for environments where most obstacles are above a certain height, such as forests

Cons
1. Bad range
2. Can't turn off/limit OA
3. Can't fly at night
4. RTH behavior glitchy and not customizable
5. Manual flight not quite as smooth as other drones, even when no obstacles present
6. Can't track from as far away as other drones
7. Tracking at medium distance and slow speed with few obstacles not as good overall as other drones because of restless movements
8. "Uncrashable" claim overblown and misleading: it can crash in many situations
9. App doesn't show as much info as apps for other drones
10. Controller not as good as most
11. Camera doesn't automatically point toward beacon/controller when GPS tracking or using automatic RTH
12. Not as many options, such as hyperlapse or orbiting a large object, as other drones of comparable price

Despite the long list of cons, I still think that for most people this is the best drone to have if you can only have one. Even if I mostly wanted a drone for getting cinematic shots flying manually I'd want this, with the cinematic "pros," especially #3, #5, and #7, outweighing cons like bad range. And several of the cons are likely to be eliminated/ mitigated with firmware updates.

Made in the good ol' USA. That's my major "PRO" right now.

And, you are right, several of the CONs are likely to be fixed via firmware...something we can live with.

Thanks for the excellent list!
 
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Lon Denard

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Made in the good ol' USA. That's my major "PRO" right now.

And, you are right, several of the CONs are likely to be fixed via firmware...something we can live with.

Thanks for the excellent list!
Total agreement there! I got into an argument with a YouTuber over the merit of buying a drone or anything based on country of origin. While I agree that I wouldn't buy a piece of garbage just because it's American made, I'll always lean towards American products if at all possible.
 
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