Video gear update – First flight with the DJI Mavic Pro

As the departure for the Crimson Trail draws closer, I decided to make a major change in the setup of my photo and video gear. It has been updated with a DJI Mavic Pro, as it is pretty compact and light, packs small and shoots both 4K video and RAW photos. There’s only a little snag; I don’t know anything about drones, let alone about flying them. So I rode out yesterday with my friend Derek, and did some dronin’. I guess I should have read the manual beforehand, but it seemed really low on pics and instead full of tiny print. Either way, the flying part was pretty easy, except when the controller lost the connection with the aircraft. Luckily it returned back to the takeoff point and hovered there for a while until the RC controller reconnected.

There are several great reviews online about the Mavic Pro, along with endless debate about video and photo quality. I’d rather avoid that debate and sign off by saying, that the Mavic Pro is harsh on highlights, so it needs quite a bit of underexposing to get the image fairly acceptable, especially if you are shooting a white bike in full sunshine. Other than that, it seems like a nice addition to the video gear.

By |2018-08-27T18:29:01+00:00May 28th, 2017|Gear, Photography, Video|14 Comments


  1. joenuclear May 28, 2017 at 15:07 - Reply

    Nice! How will you haul it?

    • The Rolling Hobo
      The Rolling Hobo May 29, 2017 at 09:33 - Reply

      Hi Joe, for now, I carry both the drone and the controller in form fitting padded cases, which fit easily into my CamelBak Chaos. I will look into relocating them into one of my panniers, but they’ll be more at risk there most likely.

  2. J-P Monette May 28, 2017 at 17:17 - Reply

    What a cool video!!!

    • The Rolling Hobo
      The Rolling Hobo May 29, 2017 at 09:33 - Reply

      Thanks J-P!

  3. Christian May 29, 2017 at 14:21 - Reply

    Hi Hobo
    Put the gear in the tank bag. It fits and is the most protected place of them all in the event of a crash.
    Backpack will strain your shoulder too much (hard learned experience) and hence your cervical muscles. You can then connect the remaining dots yourself. I’m still not riding 1.5 years down the road because of neck imbalances.
    Also. Should you take a heavy crash your items in the backpack will suffer.
    Safe riding!

    • The Rolling Hobo
      The Rolling Hobo May 29, 2017 at 15:38 - Reply

      Hi Christian, sorry to hear you’re still off the bike!

      The advice you have is solid, except I don’t ave a tank bag. It was interfering with my riding position so I ditched it. I’m not concerned about the weight of the drone as it weights only 950 grams with the carry case, so it will not make a huge difference to the backpack weight. I second you on the damage to backpack items in tumbles, but to be honest I’m more concerned with spinal injuries in those cases. So I just might put the drone in to one of the panniers, as I still should have plenty of space in my 2 x 15 litres. Especially if I leave out the tripod.

      Anyhow thanks for your input and looking forward to seeing you hit the trails soon. I’m kind of thinking about Morocco in the winter….interested?

  4. Laurens May 29, 2017 at 19:21 - Reply

    Nice review, but be aware that the rules regarding drones are different between countries! They might get you in trouble like being fined, the drone might be taken away from you, and in a worst case scenario you might get jailed. I suspect that the last option is mainly in less developed countries, because they can see it as a spying instrument.

    • The Rolling Hobo
      The Rolling Hobo June 6, 2017 at 11:36 - Reply

      Hi Laurens, and thanks. The world is indeed perilous to the novice drone pilot. However, I’ve done my homework concerning the restrictions and legislation of the countries I intend to ride and shoot in.

  5. Peter June 7, 2017 at 16:31 - Reply

    Hi Hobo
    I just finished a southern Africa trip on a 690 and took a Mavic along to film the show. It didn’t last very long though!!!! I stored it in the panniers, but the vibrations from the bike and – even more so – from the corrugations – destroyed the gimbal. The little clamp, which holds the gimbal when not in use, attaches to the back of the camera via a very very small piece of plastic which broke off on my first day on really rough terrain. The gimbal then vibrated itself to death! In hindsight I think it may be worth doubling up on the clamp with some elastic bands to hold the gimbal into the clamp.
    Good luck with it! If you do come up with some Hobo-esque solutions to this – please let me know. The Mavic is now back at DJI getting open heart surgery that will probably cost a fortune.

    • The Rolling Hobo
      The Rolling Hobo June 8, 2017 at 00:05 - Reply

      Hi Peter, sorry to hear your Mavic got damaged. However, I’m extremely grateful for the information and will try to devise something to keep the gimbal holder in place.

      BTW do you have a site or a channel where you publish your footage? I’d love to take a look….

      • Peter June 8, 2017 at 13:10 - Reply

        Cheers Hobo – hope you can find a solution! It’s a great piece of kit if you can keep it alive.

        We have some stuff up on our Youtube channel but no video from this year yet. I’ve got loads of raw footage that I have to find the time to put together in a sensible way! Have a look – warts and all…

        • The Rolling Hobo
          The Rolling Hobo June 12, 2017 at 16:04 - Reply

          Subscribed 🙂

  6. #thomastravelsaround July 10, 2017 at 13:20 - Reply

    I am in Mongolia and also my Mavic broke at the same place like Peters Mavic.
    I am really disappointed.
    Looking forward to a solution.
    Take care,

    • The Rolling Hobo
      The Rolling Hobo August 3, 2017 at 16:57 - Reply

      Sorry to hear about your drone getting wrecked. I solved it with gluing some foam on the inside of the gimbal protector. The idea is that it holds the gimbal clamp in place. Also, I carry the drone in my CamelBak, and never in the panniers.

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