4. Vivi-what?

Previously:  My First Take Off

I realized if I plan on keep running this toy in small areas, I must have a proper propellers guard or I will break many props and many things around me.

Thanks to Amazon, I got my guards after a couple of days and installed them waiting for the weekend to be able to test it again.

To my surprise, I also got the camera I won that week as well! I was so excited to get my Sony Action cam… wait…  but this doesn’t look like the Sony Action cam, coming to think of it, it doesn’t look like any Sony product. I look at the case and realized my memory was playing tricks on me… Did I say I won a Sony Action Cam… I guess that was wishful thinking. What I won was an action cam, no doubt, but it was a Vivitar Action cam. That’s fine, tell me when you are done Googling for Vivitar… I’ll wait…

Welcome back…, and don’t feel bad, I didn’t know it exists either…

Bottom line, Vivitar is a <$50 worth knockoff  of the GoPro. Same size, same packaging, just none of the quality features.

I looked online and people show they could hook the Vivitar Action cam to their dji Phantom, and I was able to mount it perfectly because they even copied the mounting arm. So I mount the Vivitar on my dji Phantom and waited for next day to test it. Planning ahead I also ensured I have a couple of spare batteries so I don’t run out of juice too early.

Speaking of juice, a short comic relief: I saw this recently on Facebook: – Why doesn’t Apple call their power supplies “Apple Juice”?

Back to my drone story. I got all my batteries charged, the Vivitar camera is charged, mounted and loaded with a micro SD card. I went to sleep setting up my clock to wake up early so I can finally have a flight documented by a mounted camera.

I was thinking of the first spot I want to try it in, and came up with a nice place called the “Lost Dog Trail” in my area.

I packed my drone, the extra batteries, some spare propellers, just in case, and went on my merry way…

It seems that many people like to hike, probably too many because I could barely find a parking spot.

To cut a long story short, here I am ready to kick the air-tiers off I found a nice spot and turned on the camera, made sure it is running and off we go…

The results were, well I’ll just say it: disappointing!

The camera was shaking like crazy causing the moving-shutter effect, also known as the Jello effect, the picture quality was really bad, and the shooting was not smooth at all because the camera is mounted directly to the body of the drone.

By the way, the video above was treated for anti-moving shutter, and with color correction to make it somewhat “watchable”.

It was clear to me, for what I’m trying to do I have to upgrade to a GoPro with a proper Gimbal so that I can get the cinematic effects I need.


The good news, with a total of 4 take-offs and landings,  I had zero (0, none, nada) crashes!!!!

I think I’m starting to get the idea…

Other lessons learned:

  • What you see from the ground is not what your drone sees from the sky
  • Getting a smooth ride is not easy at all
  • Direct sun at your camera in combination with the propellers will cause some black rolling stripes artifact on your video
  • Picking the correct camera angle is almost impossible
  • When you think you are high enough, you are not. Go higher to get the effect you want

One thought on “4. Vivi-what?”

Leave a Reply