• Alex Kavanagh

Updated: Jul 3


DRONEGEAR has used the DJI inspire 2 drone since it’s release in November of 2016 and are still using it on a weekly occurrence for various productions worldwide. An important piece of gear you can’t work without as a professional aerial cinematographer is a solid drone case.


As working drone pilots, we need a sturdy case to get our gear from location to location safely. We’ve flown drones in Patagonia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Australia and New Zealand as well as all over the United States for various film productions. I can safely say I’ve thoroughly tested the Pelican flight line series DJI inspire 2 case.

When out in the field flying for a client, I use the top of the case to set up the drone if I don’t have my Inovativ cart handy. Recently in Utah for a Honda Talon commercial, we used our Pelican case as a mobile work station. Here, we utilized the top of the case to launch the inspire 2 when in sandy/desert locations to prevent dust from covering the lens and drone.

When out in the field flying for a client, I use the top of the case to set up the drone if I don’t have my Inovativ cart handy. Recently in Utah for a Honda Talon commercial we used our Pelican case as a mobile work station. Here, we utilized the top of the case to launch the inspire 2 when in sandy/desert locations to prevent dust from covering the lens and drone.



What I love about Pelican is that after 10 years of being a customer my cases are all still in working order. You’re hard pressed to find much these days that lasts more than 3 years.

Since buying my first case for my custom hexacopter drone when I first started in the film industry in Sydney, Australia, Pelican has been the industry gold standard.


In this line of work we need reliable cases that will get our equipment safely to wherever the job is.

Here’s the full review video below with the breakdown of all the features of what to expect in this case.


Check out the custom made DJI SSD reader and memory cardholder case we co-designed with Pelican.

These two review videos were not paid for by Pelican. We do receive free products from Pelican but our views and opinions are our own.


  • Alex Kavanagh

Updated: Jun 27



The biggest question we get asked at DRONEGEAR is what drone do we use? The answer is many different types depending on the application we’re using it for. In this blog post, I want to focus on the best drones for beginners looking to get high quality photo/video at a relatively good price point BETWEEN $500.00 - $1400.00USD.

Pro tip: If you’re brand new to drones, we highly recommend buying a cheap toy drone to get a feel for the remote control as well as a drone without GPS. Fly these little drones to get practice on the stick input, the same flight input as DJI remotes. If you can master this, flying your more expensive drone will be a walk in the park and minimize the risk of a potential crash.

The Husban H107C+ X4 CAM PLUS is the one to get at only $39.00


Budget is another big factor when considering the right drone. Many of the below drones are manufactured by DJI, one of the most trusted brands in the industry. When DRONEGEAR entered the market many years ago, a few other competitors existed and have since faded into the abyss, not being able to compete with DJI’s fast paced product development. The lead company integrates camera, brushless gimbal, obstacle avoidance and smart feature technologies that’s all user-friendly, portable and extremely reliable.


Let’s start with my recommendations from economical to premium drones.


DJI MAVIC MINI

This small drone is extremely portable and folds up to fit into the palm of your hand. It’s portable and can fit into handbags and backpacks with ease, the perfect gear for those who are tight on space.

With a long flight time of up to 30 minutes, 2.7K resolution video and 12 megapixel photos, this is a very affordable entry-level drone at $399.00. We recommend the ‘Fly More Combo’ at $499.00 which includes two extra batteries, a case, spare propellors and other accessories.


Below are all the notable features of this drone.

Video resolution - 2.7K

Photo megapixels - 12MP

Flight time - 30 Minutes Max

Range - 4km HD Video Transmission

Vision sensor + GPS precise hover

Weight - 249g


Smart features

  • Auto take off and landing

  • Quick shots including Drone, Rocket, Circle & Helix

  • CineSmooth mode

Our rating - 3/5 stars


DJI MAVIC AIR 2

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is a very impressive follow-up drone to the original Mavic Air. DRONEGEAR worked with DJI on this product launch in Los Angeles a couple of years ago. Highlights include the 4K resolution camera at 60 frames per second which is becoming industry standard for premium cameras and is highly sought after when filming. The ability to slow down the footage and still have a high resolution is a nice option. The 48-megapixel camera is very impressive for a half-inch sensor (although we’re personally waiting to see this on the new DJI Mavic 3 with a one-inch sensor apparently being released later in the year).


OcuSync 2.0 has a video transmission distance up to 10 km in 1080p which is a phenomenal range to have. Please note, you cannot fly 10km with FAA part 107 rules limiting the pilot to flying only within visual line of sight.


One of our favorite features of this drone is the newly designed remote control. I use my cell phone as the monitor which is now placed above the controller instead of underneath like in all previous Mavic models, a bad design due to the tendency to bump settings whilst flying. See pictured below, new to the left and old to the right.


Below are all the notable features of this drone.

Auto take-off and landing features of this drone:

Video resolution - 4K/60fps

Sensor size - 1/2 Inch

Photo megapixels - 48MP,

Flight time - 34 Minutes Max

Range - 10km

Vision sensor - forward, backward and downward sensors

Weight - 570g


Smart features

  • Auto take off and landing

  • Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS) 3.0

  • 8K Hyperlapse

  • HDR Video

  • Smart photo

  • Active Track 3.0

  • Spotlight 2.0

  • Point of interest 3.0

  • Quick shots including Drone, Rocket, Circle & Helix, Boomerang & Asteroid

  • CineSmooth mode


The Mavic Air 2 is $799.00. We recommend the ‘Fly More Combo’ at $988.00 including two extra batteries, a case, spare propellers and other accessories.


Our DJI Mavic Air 2 rating - 4/5 stars


DJI MAVIC PRO 2 (Hasselblad Camera)

The Mavic Pro 2 drone is approaching its two year anniversary since the release on August 23rd, 2018, and has been my personal go-to drone. I travel a lot with my fiancé and find the Mavic Pro 2 always gets the job done whether I’m filming video, taking photos or doing a quick hyper lapse. It’s very discreet when flying with the low noise propellors. I use this drone on documentary films, online commercials and travel lifestyle content. The Mavic Pro 2 will be a good earner for you knowing that this has been used on many T.V productions and sought after by directors in the industry. I have a job booked this week (June 2020) and will be flying indoors for an architectural documentary. The director specifically requested the DJI Mavic Pro 2 for flying indoors.


Below are all the notable features of this drone:

Video resolution - 4K/30fps

Sensor size - 1 Inch CMOS

Photo megapixels - 20MP

Flight time - 31 Minutes Max

Range - 8km - 1080p video feed

Vision sensor - forward, backward and downward sensors

Weight - 907g


Smart features

  • Omni directional Obstacle Sensing with APAS

  • Hyperlapse

  • HDR Video

  • HDR photo

  • Active Track 2.0

  • Spotlight 2.0

  • Point of interest 2.0

  • Waypoint 2.0

After nearly two years of using the DJI Mavic 2, I’ve noticed one drawback being the poor battery design. One of our batteries had a bad cell, puffed, and is no longer useable. This happens over time or if batteries are run below 20%. To prevent this from happening, always land your drone by 20%-25%. If flying below the 20% mark, droners damage batteries cells that will ultimately lower their life span. Once my drone reaches 30%, I think about beginning the journey home.


One of our friends had the same issue of a battery puffing and unfortunately, this happened mid-flight where the battery ejected which lead to a loss of power and crash where the drone was totaled. I, personally, have not crashed in the nearly two years of flying the Mavic 2 with hundreds of hours logged. I wanted to disclose the above information so that you're aware of the issue and take care of your drone batteries.


The DJI Mavic Pro 2 with Hasselblad camera is $1599..00

Our rating - 4/5 stars


When buying any DJI drone, we advise you to purchase the DJI care refresh. This will help minimize the cost of repairs and drone replacement if you have an accident. I’ve also heard and read in the fine print that DJI will only cover these repairs and replacements in the country where you purchased the drone and DJI care refresh. If you bought your drone in the U.S.A and the DJI care refresh in the same transaction, you won’t be covered if you try and get this repaired in a country outside the U.S.A.


Below photo taken in Peru with DJI Mavic Pro 2 and Tiffen ND16/PL filter.


If you’re purchasing a new DJI drone we’d appreciate it if you click through our affiliate links in this blog post to support the production of this content.


Feel free to reach out to me, Alex Kavanagh, if you have any questions - Alex@dronegear.tv

I’m here to help!


Happy and safe flying droners!

  • Alex Kavanagh

Back in January of this year, our team took part in the production of a BIG music video for BTS (a.k.a. the Bangtan Boys), a seven-member group out of South Korea that has taken the world by storm since they first formed in 2010.

This music video, shot at various locations throughout Southern California, sure surprised the heck out of our Chief Pilot Alex Kavanagh, as it more resembled Scotland or Ireland in autumn with the dramatic rolling green hills. A fantastic memory and scene.

You know you’re working on a BIG one when you have two full scout days prior to shooting!



Location scouting is an essential part of production and really helps us drone pilots assess the flying area, check for hazards, carry out test flights, and even give the director sample shots so he can get a better understanding of the perspective leading up to the shoot day.


This was our first time shooting at this beautiful location and I’m sure it won’t be our last.

In regards to permitting and airspace waivers at these two locations, Loc A was Class-G airspace and located on a private preserve with the permits being taken care of by the locations manager and by the production company. Loc B was on private property and again in Class-G airspace with no waivers needed to fly. A perfect scenario!


Our two shots in this music video are at :52 seconds and :59 seconds, which you can easily tell are all drone as opposed to helicopter. There were plans for more drone shots as per the original storyboard, but as can happen with any production, circumstances out of our control became an issue and the drone would have to be repurposed. It pays to be flexible and encouraging when working in time-crunch scenarios.


For all of you gearheads out there wondering what #dronegear we used on this shoot, it was the DJI inspire 2 X7 using the 24mm and 35mm lens, paired with the Tiffen NATural ND filter line.

We’re incredibly grateful to have worked on such a massive music video for BTS and thank the production company for having us on this one. With over 144 million views it’s great to see it doing so well!




© 2019 DRONEGEAR PRODUCTIONS