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Skydio 2 | A Complete Review | New Firmware Update


what’s up guys siggi here and welcome to another tech gear talk today I’m gonna tell you why the sky do 2 is not a perfect drone why I use it more than all my other drones combined I’ll tell you about some accessories that I think every user will find useful we’ll talk about some really exciting new developments with a recent firmware update and then I’m curious to know if this is a drone that you would use if you’re watching this video you’re probably considering buying this drone or maybe you’re just curious to see what all the hype is about I’ve been waiting for the sky do – ever since it was announced I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now so I can share my experience with you I’ll tell you all about this newer version and then also compare it to the sky do r1 and the Maverick Pro platinum we’ll take a look at some sample footage and finally I’ll give you my opinion about who I think this drone would work for I have this video broken down into chapters with timestamps in the description so you can skip Iran if there’s a particular topic that you’re

interested in of course if you’re seriously considering investing in this drone I’d recommend that you watch the review all the way through so you can make an informed decision if you’re already familiar with the sky do brand then you have an idea of what makes this drone different there’s really no debate that Scott EO has the most advanced obstacle avoidance capabilities in the drone market and it’s really not even close if you watched my r1 review which was the first model that Scotty are released then you already saw how impressed I was with that system in wide open spaces it was easily able to track and follow a subject and even in densely wooded environments the r1 dodged trees and branches and it was able to follow me but even though the obstacle avoidance and tracking were ridiculously good and I was able to get shots that I couldn’t get any other way I still saw some opportunities for improvement it was kind of big it was expensive and it had some limitations in terms of range and control options and then when I heard the sky do – is coming I knew I wanted one I have other drones both large and small and they’re great for what I’m doing a job and I’m trying to get very specific shots while manually controlling the drone and the

camera but for what I do most of the time for this channel where I film videos alone I wanted a tool that I can easily integrate into my workflow so let’s take a deeper look into the sky do – and you expect to see some follow-up videos about it and more footage from this drone in my future videos so the first thing I want to talk about is autonomous flying there’s simply no other drone that can accomplish with this drone can in terms of autonomous flying and tracking instead of the 12 720p cameras that we saw in the r1 the sky do 2 uses 6 4k cameras each with a 200 degree field of view lens to create a 3d model of the world and it uses these six overlapping feeds to be able to navigate avoid obstacles and predict where the subject is going you’ll notice that the rear props are facing up and the front ones are facing down and that’s that the three cameras on top and the three cameras on the bottom have an unobstructed view to be able to create a complete 360-degree model now each camera also has this little notch next to it to protect it from being damaged or scratched you should treat these cameras with the same level of care that

you would the main camera and make sure that they’re clean before you fly now the tracking and obstacle avoidance is even more ridiculous with this drone than with the r1 instead of the stereo pairs of cameras that the r1 used which combined for three megapixels of visual sensing the sky do 2 now has 45 megapixels of data so clearly another leap forward they also upgraded from the Nvidia tx1 to the tx2 chip which allowed for a much more advanced algorithm I flew the sky do to in some pretty open spaces but then I also pushed it into areas that were beyond the recommendation just to see what it can do so while I don’t recommend that you do some of the things that you see in this video it was important to me to show you just how advanced the AI and this drone is and it’s funny to say but you can almost see it thinking and trying to figure out how to make it through some super challenging environments something else that I noticed about the sky do tube but I can’t really quantify it is

that it seems to be better than the AR one when it’s predicting or anticipating movement and I don’t know if this has anything to do with the additional visual sensing data the upgraded chip or the new tree access gamble instead of the two axis one that we saw in the r1 but it feels like it’s predicting my next movement better and it’s better able to keep me framed properly now one limitation of the Scottie o2 is low light flying since the drone uses the six cameras for navigation and obstacle avoidance and needs to be able to see and since the system can’t be turned off the drone simply won’t take off when there isn’t enough light and I’ve seen some users say why can’t I just turn this feature off and then fly the drone like I would any other drone using the controller which I’ll get to in a minute and I think this is a legitimate question and I don’t know the answer but my guess is the sky do demo has always been that the drone shouldn’t crash that’s their priority and if you fly within their guidelines they have a pretty serious warranty where they’ll fix it for free if it crashes and at the same time I can see a user saying look I accept that responsibility and I know that it will void the warranty but I want to

get this shot and if I crash I’ll pay for it but as it stands if you want to drone that you can fly at night this is not the drone for you for what I do i almost never fly at night so this isn’t a deterrent I can still get the sunrise and sunset shots with the sky do – I just can’t fly it when it’s super dark out and that’s good enough for what I do 99% of the time before I move on to the next section if you like what you’ve seen so far let me know by giving this video a thumbs up it lets me know what kind of content you guys like so that I can make more of it and if it’s your first time here go ahead and hit the subscribe and notification buttons to stay up to date on all the latest gear and tutorials next I want to talk about the camera and image quality now one area where I wanted to see improvements coming from the r1 is the camera I felt like the r1 was more of a proof-of-concept and I knew once they saw the response they were gonna cause some serious ripples in the drone world I remember people saying to me

that my r1 footage was good when there was plenty of light but not that great in lower light situations and they’re asking me why I was so excited about it and my response was first of all the r1 can already do what no other drone can do but I told them that I wasn’t just excited about this drone I was excited about the next one because the camera sensor is the easy part there are plenty of good sensors to choose from on the market and those are available to essentially every drone company but the obstacle avoidance and guidance technology and the r1 and now the sky do two is unmatched the new camera on the sky do 2 has a 20 millimeter full-frame equivalent field of view and of 2.8 it gives us 4k 60 and standard or HDR versus 4k 30 standard on the r-1 we also get 1080p at up to 120 frames per second versus 60 frames per second on the r1 and I was very impressed with the image quality in terms of sharpness dynamic

range and color rendering the sky year reports 13 stops of dynamic range which is very good and I felt like I could use the footage right out of the camera or I could do some color grading and post if I wanted to I really wear sky do had included a flat color profile even if it wasn’t a log but just something like neutral I’m Canon so that we get a softer or less contrast II and less saturated footage to start with that would have been really cool and who knows maybe that’s something they can add with a firmware update finally even though it’s not something that I do a lot of you can also shoot 12 megapixel stills in both JPEG and RAW and again the image quality is quite good next if you use the r1 you’ll notice that the gimbal and the sky do is improved we now have a 3 axis gimbal instead of the two access that we saw in the older model so the r1 did not rotate on the yaw axis which is used for panning this wasn’t a big deal because the art one could account for that by rotating the body but the new gimbal is more versatile and now can pan left to right to more effectively track a subject and keep it in frame ok so moving on the next thing I want to talk about is portability and one point of friction that I had with the r1 was its size neither drone can be folded but the r1 was 13 by 16 inches in the sky do two is eight point eight by ten point seven inches so it’s significantly smaller it’s about the size of my Mavic pro platinum

one extended now of course the Mavic pro can be folded and you can get a much more compact and easy to transport configuration this was more of an issue for me with the r1 because the case just didn’t fit in most of my bags the sky do two has a much smaller hardshell case which comes with a shoulder strap and it fits the drones spare propellers charging cable and then either two batteries or one battery and the wall charger also because it’s smaller I can get that case in most of my bags or sometimes I just clip it to the outside of the bag now as far as weight the sky do two is of course lighter at one point seven pounds in of 2.2 on the r-1 and naturally I’m always happy to get gear that weighs less although my last camera purchase would suggest otherwise okay so next I want to talk about performance and battery life in terms of speed we’re looking at fully autonomous flight at up to 36 miles per hour which for the types of shots that I’m using it for is plenty it’s also a significant

improvement from the 25 miles an hour we saw in the r1 another advantage is it’s a sky do two is a lot quieter than the r1 I haven’t tested the actual noise levels but it is noticeable now as far as actual flight we’ve already discussed the obstacle avoidance in tracking which in general is spectacular there is an important option for hight floor in the app which changes the behavior of the sky do two so if you have it enabled it will stay at least eight feet above the ground while tracking a subject so it’s a safer way to fly now the downside is that the drone won’t go under low obstacle so it may have to fly over a branch or a tree when it’s following you instead of under now if you disable the hight floor then it can fly close to the ground and has better tracking in more challenging environments but you need to be more mindful of your surroundings all right so now let’s talk a little bit about the battery so each battery is rated for 23 minutes of flight time versus 16 minutes on the r1 it’s somewhere here and it’s pretty hot I’m getting about 20 minutes of flight time from each battery I’m also pretty careful about the battery life so I don’t like to push it into single digits if I can avoid it you just never know what you

might run into it it’s always a good idea to play it safe and the battery must be charged in the drone using the provided USB cable so if you have two batteries you’ll need to take the one out and put the next one in in order to charge it and of course you can charge it while you’re flying now if you get multiple batteries which I highly recommend you should also pick up a dual charger and this lets you charge two batteries with one USBC cable and it also has a USB C pass-through so you can charge another device like your phone the controller or the beacon which I’ll get to in the next section now in my case I have four batteries so I have two fully charged batteries in the case plus two more at hats to the charger and when I finish using one of the batteries in the drone I put the used one on the charger and then I have it plugged into my power bank that’s in my bag I use the anchor power core which is awesome and this way I’m charging my batteries even when I’m on the go all right now I want to talk about two things that I was really excited to try out the controller and the beacon now there are two limitations with the r1 that I could see would be immediate deal-breakers for some people first there was no

controller for manual flight control and second the range was limited by the phone’s Wi-Fi you can use the app to fly the drone if you needed to using the on-screen controls but it wasn’t great you could use it to get to drone out of trouble and then back to a safer area or to position it for landing but you couldn’t get any cinematic shots with it because the controls are clunky and again the range was very limited so Scotty have solved both of these issues with two optional components the first is the controller and the second is called the beacon the controller is borrowed from pair and it’s a Skype controller 3 which was used with the anafi it’s a medium sized controller it’s pretty comfortable to hold and overall I like the ergonomics and this controller more than my maverick pro controller but not as much as the Mavic air 2 control and of course this is a personal preference but I’m just sharing my experience you activate it by just flipping the phone holder up and I found that it does fit my iPhone 10 s with my speck case on it but it was important that I first put the top of the phone against a holder and then slide the bottom into place for the best grip it didn’t feel like the most secure hold but my phone never

came out of it still I would probably want a little better grip I did like how much easier it was to plug my phone in than it is with my maverick pro controller where you have to get that lightning cable through that little tiny thing on the side as far as range the controller is rated for 3.5 kilometers or 2.1 seven miles versus twice that on my Mavic pro platinum for how i fly that’s not a big difference because i don’t usually have the drone that far away from me but if you do like to fly your drone at greater distances that’s something that you’ll want to keep in mind I also noticed that the feet on the controller is not as consistent or as reliable as with maverick Pro platinum even have pretty short distances now that was until I actually read the instructions which tell you to turn your Wi-Fi off on the phone when flying with the controller and that made a huge difference so if you fly using the controller turn off your phone’s Wi-Fi while you’re flying having that controller means that I not only need to bring one drone with me because I can let the sky do to fly autonomously when I want tracking and when I want more control or want to get a specific shot I now have that option and the controller is not as precise

as what I have with my maverick Pro and every once in a while there seems to be a very slight lag and responsiveness but it does have a huge advantage if you’re flying manually you’re still getting complete obstacle avoidance up down left right front back it doesn’t matter it just won’t fly into objects the other day I was flying in between some trees and someone walked up to me saying wow you’re amazing like I would have definitely crashed my drone had to tell them that I was actually aiming at the trunks of the trees and I was trying to crash and the drone was avoiding them on its own so what’s cool is that there are times when I want something in the foreground to be fairly close to the drone to show movement but I don’t want to risk hitting it with my other drones I wouldn’t attempt some of these shots but now I know that worst case scenario the sky do two will simply stop if it doesn’t think it can make it through okay so that was the first issue being able to fly using the controller and the next issue had to do with the range of the phones Wi-Fi with the r1 if you are separated from the drone to a distance that was beyond your phones Wi-Fi it would be stuck and you’d have to go back to it until you got close enough to control it with the sky do – we have a new optional accessory called the beacon which is this little handheld gizmo that wirelessly connects you to drone and then extends the range

up to 1.5 kilometers or 0.93 miles and you can basically control the drone using the beacon instead of having them mess with your phone and I find it much more comfortable to use the beacon and I like that the controls are tactile so I don’t have to look down like when I use the app if I want to closer I just hit the minus button I want it farther away I hit the plus button if I want to change the position of the drone around me I can just use the left and right arrows and if I want to initiate a droning I can just double-click on the sky deal logo another cool feature is this drag-and-drop control so if the drone is in front of me but I want it a little bit higher or I just want to move it to another angle I can just point the beacon at the sky do two and then hold down the sky do logo button and then while I’m holding it down I just point it anywhere else in the sky and the drone will fly there and then I let go and continue to move so it’s really like dragging and dropping with a mouse and maybe the most important feature of the beacon is that it enables GPS tracking so if the sky do two loses visual contact with the subject like let’s say I’m riding under a tree now the drone will use the GPS and the beacon to continue to track its position until it can regain visual contact with me and that prevents the issue that I was describing before where you’ll be out of range of your

phone’s Wi-Fi because now the sky D of two is communicating directly with the beacon so basically you wirelessly connect the beacon to the drone and then your phone to the beacon and I wanted to mention that some of the really exciting improvements in the latest firmware update have to do with the beacon and I’ll get to those later on in the video next I want to talk about the app which I really like it’s a very simple interface and there’s basically no learning curve it’s really straightforward it’s not as sophisticated as something like what you get with the DJI drones but for what I use this drone for I don’t really need it to be I’m able to launch land position to drone where I want and then select a subject for tracking I can also select skills which are things like motion track which will have the drone identifying and track a subject and you can select one of eight positions around the subject so you can have it follow you from behind or lead you from the front you can have it on either side of you or at four different 45-degree angles and in this mode as you’ve changed directions the drone responds that change and then moves accordingly and this is where that predictive quality that I mentioned earlier is important because if the drone can make an educated guess regarding where you might go next it can frame that shot better another option is

that I can select fix track which will always film you from the same angle regardless of the direction of your movement we also have something called orbit where the sky do too will fly around you in circle and track you even while you’re moving and then again you can dictate the height and the distance cable will fly between any two predetermined points and then hover will stay in place while reframing the shot to track the subject now there are some other options called one-shots which include a drone II rocket boomerang and vortex and like I said it’s super easy to initiate and control each of these using the app ok so now that we covered the sky do two in detail let’s look at this new firmware update and I love seeing a company continue to improve a product through these types of updates rather than holding on to all new features for like the next model I’ll quickly go over the new features and then let’s talk about who this drone is right for so the first improvement has to do with extended tracking range when using the phone only we’re now

getting double the range so going from 33 to 65 feet or 10 meters to 20 meters when using the beacon tracking distance now increases to a hundred and thirty feet or 40 meters now next we have some added functionality where we can initiate orbit from the beacon and use GPS for long-range orbits you can also change the speed and direction of the orbit from the beacon using that drag-and-drop functionality that we talked about now sky do also enabled GPS for the hover skills so that the sky do – can locate the subject even if I can’t see it and again you can drag and drop in hover mode our next subject selection was made easier by tapping the sky do button with the subject standing in front of the camera and because it has GPS if it starts tracking the wrong person it’s going to realize that that person is not holding the beacon Scottie also improved some landings specific behavior so first there’s case landings so the sky do – will automatically detect and then land on the case by recognizing the logo so basically you pilot the drone over the case you

tilt the camera down to see the logo and you’ll see in the app that the drone recognizes the case and it will automatically land on it now another addition has to do with nudging the drone during landing so if you feel like it’s landing an unsafe area you can use the joysticks in the app or the controller to move to a better spot you’ll also see that during landing obstacle avoidance is turned off because you’ll see the LEDs turned from blue to yellow that way you know not to reach for the drone while the LEDs are still blue alright so this was my first video about the sky do two and I shared with you the things that I liked about it and some opportunities for improvement and like I said in the beginning this drone isn’t perfect for everyone neither is any other drone on the market so let’s talk about why I choose to use this one and who I think this drone would work for if you want to capture any kind of outdoor sports or activity the sky do two is a no-brainer I wouldn’t even really consider another drone at this point the fact that you can hand launch and land in the mountains and have it follow you while you’re skiing snowboarding mountain biking or any other similar activity is just ridiculous there just isn’t anything else

on the market that can get you the type of footage that the sky do to Ken period end of story with the r1 I felt like I was compromising on image quality but that’s definitely no longer the case because I love the 4k 60 footage I get from the sky do to with the r1 I also felt like I was really limited in terms of manual flight so if I got to a location and wanted a few establishing cinematic shots there’s really no way for me to do that with the sky D of 2 I can just grab the controller get those shots that I want with the added benefit of incredible obstacle avoidance and then put the controller away and start using the tracking capabilities alright so now let’s talk about who this drone is not for if you want a drone to primarily fly manually if you plan on flying your drone at night or if you plan on flying your drone where it’s miles away from you then I would tell you that there are some other options that would be a better fit for you and they will still have some rudimentary tracking and obstacle avoidance I wanted a drone that can essentially act as a second shooter for me to help me capture a bureau for the type of content that I create I wanted to make sure that I can trust it not to crash and I still wanted the flexibility to manually get specific shots so like I said now that I have the beacon and

the controller I feel like I can take one drone with me and all my needs are covered and I do want to emphasize that I really underestimated how much I would like the 360 degree obstacle avoidance when using the controller now when I’m trying to get a certain shot let’s say a parallax shot so I’m essentially doing a slide and panning at the same time all I have to do is concentrate on my framing if I got too close to a tree or a structure or anything else I know that the sky do – we’ll stop on its own it might mean that I have to try that shot again but I never worry about it crashing and that’s hugely valuable to me okay so now I want to know what you think is this a drone that you’d consider getting and then why or why not and if you have any questions or topics that you want me to cover in a follow-up video let me know in the comments section I’ll put links in the description to where you can buy the sky do – as well as the

accessories that I mentioned in this video and I really hope I was able to give you a good overview of the sky do – if I did please let me know by giving this video a thumbs up tweet it share it and if you haven’t yet join the community by hitting the subscribe and notification buttons you can also find me on Instagram Twitter and Facebook a techie er talk you know what I always say buy it nice or buy twice good luck and see you soon I can just point the beak and its really good and in this mode as you change directions the drum the dome the dome still I probably would want a little belt it did I would want a little bit of bit of booboo if you were already familiar with the sky to your brand then if you’re really that’s what we’re doing for what I do bad day but bad for what I do for what I do what is it that I do I keep saying that this is what I do but what do I do and the sky do – estate and ask idea the sky do

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