This week, the US Army issued a directive ordering soldiers to not use DJI drones and other UAVs due to cyber vulnerabilities and the potential for spying by the devices on the battlefield. DJI is shocked by the move without consultation. What would be the threat? Leo says that drones have radios and GPS, and often have internet connectivity. So it's possible that drones could be taken over by a third party and used for spying, especially for mapping terrain. But Leo says it's also likely there's could be a certain amount of paranoia at work here.
Mike wants to buy his first drone. Leo says when he's just starting out, he's going to crash a lot. Leo got a cheap Syma and it flew away almost immediately, but it was only $50. That's the kind of drone he'll want to learn and practice on. Once he can get that done figured out, then the DJI Phantom is a good option for starting a business as a professional.
John is a commercial real estate agent and he's looking to buy a drone for taking pictures of properties. Leo says if he's never flown a drone, he should learn to fly with a cheap drone first, or he may find his expensive drone will vanish on him. Amazon has plenty of cheap drones that he can learn to fly with and crash with. He should practice a lot. Then, the most popular is the DJI Phantom. The Parrot Bebop is a nice one as well.
Eric is doing some video editing and wants to know what the best software is for 4K footage. He also wants to know about the best drone to get. Leo says for drone advice, he should check out KnowHow with Father Robert Ballecer (PadreSJ). He does a lot of features on drones and has some tips and tricks on how to buy, build and fly them.
Ken got a Uni 4K drone and even when shooting 1080p, the recordings are terrible. Leo says that he'll need a really fast card, like Class 10 and above to get the 4K video quality of 95MBps. The faster the better.
Just in time for Christmas, if you're planning on getting a drone for the holidays, chances are you're going to have to register it with the FAA. The new rule, which will require most drones to be registered, whether new or old, comes with a potential fine of $250,000 and 3 years in jail for those who fail to comply.
Starting Monday, anyone who operates a drone from 0.5-55 pounds will be required to register that drone with the FAA. Leo says that the problem is that everyone's personal information will be publicly available, which is not a good thing. And the Academy of Model Aeronautics is encouraging drone operators not to register until the privacy issues are addressed. That kind of civil disobedience will get attention, but the fines of up to $25,000 and 3 years in jail for failing to do so is a steep one.
Louis says that drones delayed firefighting helicopters from getting to a brush fire, causing dozes of cars to be burned on a freeway in Southern California. Leo says that's not only terrible, but likely illegal. The FAA has been trying to work out rules to prevent these things.
Leo says that firmware updates to prevent flying in restricted airspace (an electronic leash) can only do so much. The chatroom says that there should be mandatory transponders on drones to be able to identify those who fly in restricted airspace. That could go a long way to solving the issue.
Jack is starting a Kickstarter page where he's selling his drone footage. He's having trouble rendering 1080p HD videos at 60 fps. Leo says it's the 60 fps that's catching him up. But 60 fps is the future. Leo says that it comes down to the computer, and the software should be able to handle 60fps. Adobe Premiere Elements should be able to, as does Sony Vegas.
Leo says he's really interested in Drones because they're one of the fastest growing technology categories out there, but they are extremely difficult to fly. Still, at the behest of PadreSJ, Leo bought a $40 Syma QuadCopter because it was cheap and if he crashed it, nobody would really get hurt. And in 10 seconds, it disappeared. That was his first experience.