3DR recently launched the Solo which is almost military in its design and resembles the DJI Phantom 3 in size. It sports a smart controller that is compatible with iPad mini thus rendering a large display for shot composition. It takes cues from several with easy to press buttons and a handy ‘FLY’ button for getting the drone up in the air along with a ‘return to home’ button to bring it back.
3DR Solo – First Impressions
3DR Solo is an impressive drone considering its 5200mAh battery allowing a flight-time of nearly 25 minutes. If one is using a gimbal and a high-end GoPro camera, the duration of the flight is restricted to 20 minutes. But that is a pricey proposition overall, as it will set you back by $2000.
Designed as a companion to GoPro HERO, the 3DR Solo Quadcopter features multiple aerial imaging-specific flight modes. It also includes a handy quad-rotor configuration, immense flight stability and seamless autonomous flying owing to its twin computer flight control system. The flight controller is dependent on GPS for navigational coordinates, data from gyrosensors, and the like for its aero-pyrotechnics. Solo is also designed to be used with Solo Gimbal that is a 3-axis stabilizer.
Connectivity and Flight Modes
3DR Solo has a ready-to-fly bundle, including a transmitter (radio controller) that is known for intuitive operation. It includes dual joysticks for flying the drone and dedicated dials for Solo Gimbal operation. Relevant mobile apps are available for iOS and Android devices too. One can mount your smartphone or tablet directly to the transmitter through the physical mount included in the kit.
The flight battery provides 25 minutes flying time during which one can change different flight modes for the camera shots:
Lock the Solo to a virtual cable at similar or different altitudes for a linear tracking shot and the provision to pan and tilt the camera. There would be no deviation from the path through this mode. Additionally, the 3DR Solo can record first and last frames and pan the shoot likewise although one has to guide the Solo up and down the cable for the same.
The Solo can circle any subject of your choice, keeping the camera directed to capture a “wrap-around” shot. One can get the exact frame through this mode, even mid-flight.
With one single touch, 3DR Solo can fly up and away but with lens directed to you in a dramatic aerial shot that is capable of clicking the best selfies with a fish-eye approach.
- Follow Me
The 3DR Solo can track a GPS-enabled mobile device, stay beside the subject, or fly in reverse as the subject goes farther and farther away from the cam.
- Dual Flight Control System
This mode facilitates advanced autonomous flying features where work is split between two computers and thus results in safer flying experience than any one mode.
- One-Button Flying
Let the drone take off, land, and return automatically. You can even pause the flight when you want it too. The pause button helps you to capture a static shot, with a fixed hover. Then use the toggle Pause button to resume flying.
- Safety Net
This flying mode limits range and altitude of the flight with ceiling of less than 400′ and a user-specified radius.
The full-featured apps provide the user with total aircraft control and one can operate the quadcopter and all its additional attachments. One can get the Solo to work with Solo Gimbal and GoPro action cameras with 3-axes of stabilization. The horizon shots are kept level too.
Additional Features and Pricing
For live monitoring in HD, an HDMI port is embedded in the transmitter. One can connect goggles or mobiles to the same. With accessory bays, several installations points for future upgrade components can be performed systematically.
The 3DR Solo will be available at a price of £979.