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Product Review: DSLRPros Expedition Series P2 Aerial Kit

Adventure-Ready and Totally Portable P2 Aerial Photography/Videography System

Taking the popular and durable design of the DJI Phantom 2, DSLRPros has created a truly portable kit for the extended-travel road warrior, camper, hiker or outdoor explorer, with the DSLRPros Expedition Series PD Aerial Kit. I live with this kit for a couple of months and take it with me out in the country, down the coast and even on the job of a major sky rise construction site downtown. Durability and dependability… we’ll see how it holds up to the task!

DSLRPros Expedition Series P2 Aerial Kit

I’ve been testing and flying DSLRPros Phantom kits since the Phantom first came on the market in Dec 2012, and they’ve always managed to enhance the original product’s design and features/capabilities a bit more to make them a real professional choice for aerial video.

With features only available to the Expedition Series Kit, such as car chargers, field repair kit and spare parts, power packs, custom backpack and more, the new Expedition Series P2 Aerial Kit features a truly portable option that any serious remote aerial videographer should have in their tool chest.

In addition to the black shell, which makes it a bit easier to spot in the sky for LOS (Line Of Sight) flying, all of the motors and ESCs on the Expedition Series P2 by DSLRPros have been bullet modified. This allows you to change out the motors and Electronic Speed Controllers without soldering. You can be back in the air and shooting in minutes after performing your own repairs. (And in the backpack, this kit includes 4 extra motors and 2 extra ESCs)

Extended Flight Times

This kit comes with 4 DJI Smart Flight batteries and 2 charging blocks, allowing you to charge multiple batteries while shooting. Continuous charging means longer flight times and more impressive shots, even if you’re charging them in your car on location.

Everything fits neatly and compact in the travel backpack with water jet cut foam inserts, which keep the craft, batteries and components safe during transport. This is much easier to pack into remote locations or to toss in the trunk of your car when you’ve just gotta get up and go! It’s also an easy fit for the overhead storage on a commercial airliner and since the LiPo batteries are safely compartmentalized and secure, it’s no problem getting through a TSA checkpoint.

E300 High Thrust Motors

The DJI E300 is the Lamborghini of aerial motors. These motors are top of the line, high quality motors specially tuned for the DJI Phantom 2. The E300 motors allow the Phantom 2 to perform at its best even with the added weight of the H3-3D gimbal mount and FPV system. These motors allow you to fly longer and have more stability when shooting with the Phantom. 

I’ve run this copter through 7 charged batteries in one 4-hour shoot on-location and the motors never overheat or suffer from any kind of fatigue. 

And of course the Expedition Series P2 comes with the DJI H3-3D gimbal for GoPro and works with the HERO4 Black and Silver cameras, with an FPV connection through the side USB port of the GoPro. 

If you want to add a dedicated GoPro HERO4 to your kit upon ordering, the option is available.

Specs from Website:

  • DJI Phantom 2  (v2.0) GoPro Aerial Rig (with upgraded v2 ESC)
  • DJI Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal (3-Axis gimbal pre-installed and tuned)
  • DJI NEW Self-Tightening 9″ Props 9450 high-thrust (set of 4)
  • DJI NEW protected anti-static compass shell
  • DSLRPros 9″ Carbon Fiber Props (set of 4)
  • DSLRPros 9″ Prop Guards Black
  • DJI On-Screen-Display (OSD) – provides basic flight data over FPV Live Stream
  • DSLRPros Futaba D8FG Radio Transmitter (for Long Range, Reliability & Special Advanced Control Profiles)
  • Deluxe DSLRPros Radio Tx Lanyard
  • DSLRPros LiPo checker
  • 2 DSLRPros Long Life 2600 mAH LiPo Tx Battery
  • 4 Total DJI OEM 5200 mAH LiPo Batteries
  • DSLRPros TXS-8 Pro LiPo Charger
  • 1 DJI AC Flight Pack Charging Block
  • 2 DJI DC 12v Flight Pack Chargeing Block
  • DSLRPros Travel Backpack with DSLRPros pre-cut foam
  • Integrated 5.8 GHz Long Range Diversity FPV System (7″ HD Field Monitor, Long Range Diversity Rx/Tx, Pole Antenna & Long range video Rx antenna)
  • GoPuck 5x (6600 mAH)
  • DSLRPros Fire Safe LiPo Guard Bag
  • 4 DJI E300 Motors (Installed)
  • 4 DJI OEM motors (uninstalled with bullet connectors

DSLRPros Product Video:

 


Customized Expedition Series Futaba Transmitter Radio

The Expedition Series Futaba D8FG transmitter gives you the great range and dependability you need when piloting an aerial drone. Featuring multiple flight options, the Futaba offers superior control over your Phantom 2. This transmitter has been professionally wrapped, making flight controls easy to identify.

Just as important as batteries for the Phantom are batteries for your transmitter. With The DSLRPros Expedition kit you will have everything you need to keep your transmitter running for just as long as your phantom. With two high capacity DSLRPros 2600mAh LiPo batteries you’ll never be without power. Also included is the high capacity DSLRPros TXS-8 Pro charger.

Fluid Pan Mode

The new Fluid Pan Mode for the DSLRPros Futaba D8FG allows for a smooth turning motion in flight.  This critical feature smooth’s out aggressive movements while filming.  These special advanced flight profiles are exclusive to our special edition radios and make for spectacular results.

Features/Modes include the Fluid Pan mode in Full/50%/30%, POI (Point Of Interest) dolly around large and small circumference, as well as Cockpit mode which allow you to point the camera outward and shoot sweeping panoramas or spinning shots away from a central subject. These modes really come in useful for those cinematic shots that are really difficult to get with manual yaw control while simultaneously moving the craft sideways in a steady direction. (see some examples of this feature in my video below).

Sample video clips that I captured from a few of my various expeditions around the San Francisco bay area where I live:

Long Range FPV System with Mini OSD

The First Person Viewing system is a vital component to the Expedition Series Kit. The 7-inch HD field monitor easily mounts to the Futaba transmitter and gives you unbelievably clear in-flight images at distances of over half a mile. The DJI mini OSD displays vital telemetric data, keeping your craft safe and you in control.

Shotgun Antenna

Fly farther and with greater control by using the Shotgun Antenna. The Shotgun extends the range of your transmitter up to over 1 mile while staying lightweight and compact for easy use and operation. The Shotgun Antenna is a must have for serious drone pilots who do not want their imagination limited. The helical shape of the antenna allows for an improved range in a relatively small package. The antenna also boasts a beam width of 60 degrees, making it incredibly easy to aim at your craft.

 

Additional Features and Options

GO PUCK Battery

Just as important as the batteries in your craft is the battery on your GoPro. The GO PUCK battery rapidly charges the GoPro via a USB cable. The Go Puck is lightweight and fits into the palm of your hand while holding enough power to repeatedly recharge a single GoPro. Also included in the Expedition series are two 12v car chargers to better mobilize your charging capabilities. It will also charge or power your Tablet device if you’re running any kind of telemetry/mapping software.

Optional: ND/CP Filter Set for GoPro

A compact polarizer is a vital tool for any professional videographer. Using a polarizer in extremely bright environments reduces glare and saturates colors, giving you a beautiful image. This polarizer is compact enough to fit onto your GoPro Hero3 and so light that they can be used with the Zenmuse gimbal on your Phantom. ND filters are invaluable when shooting in ultra-bright conditions. The ND Filters reduce the amount of light coming into your camera by nearly 3 stops to prevent highlights from being blown out. This ND Filter Set will also give your footage a more natural motion blur in bright areas. 

FPV Goggles

DSLRPros also has their branded FPV goggles that allow you or your co-pilot to experience flight in first-person view.

 

Overview:

After testing this kit for the past couple of months, I think it’s the most complete and versatile aerial video package available for the price range and compact size. It’s small enough to easily maneuver around in tight quarters and not pose to be a safety issue when flown in parks, cityscapes or other areas where a larger hex or octo wouldn’t be appropriate. It’s durable and well configured – DSLRPros really put a lot of thought into designing this kit, and it won’t leave you stranded without getting that last great sunset shot of the evening!

You can learn more about the DSLRPros Expedition Series P2 Aerial Kit from their website.

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Jeff Foster is a published author of several how-to books and training videos in the motion graphics, animation and video production industries and is an award-winning video producer and artist. Visit his web site to learn more about his training methods, tips & tricks at PixelPainter.com


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Jeff Foster has written and contributed to several books and magazines, and has been producing motion graphics, photography and creative design for major corporations, television and film for more than 25 years. See his full…

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