Action cameras, and drones, oh my!

I’ve had a pretty nice turn of events at work lately, getting approved for a few weeks of overtime pay, along with a new benefit my company announced: the option to cash out up to 40 hours of unused vacation time before the end of the year! That’s basically like an entire unexpected paycheck. (I currently get paid weekly.) Thanks to all of that, I’ve felt pretty steady in terms of my finances as of late.

It’s really been making me think that I can actually afford some nice Xmas presents for myself! I’ve already gone ahead and pulled the trigger on a new GoPro HERO 4 Black Edition action camera. This baby is a 4K capable camera that will go with me wherever I don’t feel comfortable bringing my vlogging camera, like snowboarding! Amazon currently has a pretty good bundle deal for the little guy which I wasn’t able to beat after I tried pricing the items in the bundle separately. So yeah, there’s that, and it’s on it’s way. It should be here any day now.

On to the drones! I’ve had my eyes on drones for a long time now, but only a few days ago did I really start thinking about buying one. It is my intent to combine it with the HERO 4 in order to grab some stellar aerial videography for my vlogs! The nicer drones out there fall into the category of “fairly expensive toys”, and it’s not entirely clear to me which one is the best for the various price points. Unless you’re able to spend a crap ton of money, then there are some clear winners, but in the sub-$1000 range, it’s very competitive. I eventually started to prefer the DJI Phantom 2 option, because it allows you to equip a gimbal system to hold the GoPro action camera. The only problems I have with the Phantom 2 are some fairly negative reviews and horror stories. To summarize, those basically say that DJI has bad customer service, and the drones can have “fly away” issues. But I’ve also read the replies to these “fly away” comments, and it sounds like it’s a matter of experience and seriousness with these devices. One of the responders summed it up nicely saying something to the effect of “this isn’t a cheapo toy RC car, it’s an expensive unmanned aerial vehicle.” That’s absolutely right. These nice drones cost substantially more money, and operate in a much more complex space (in the air, not on the ground) than little toy RC cars do.

Well, I haven’t bought a drone yet, but I’m still researching and trying to find the best bang for my buck. Once I come to a decision, I’ll most certainly share it by making my first video with the thing ASAP!