The advances in consumer Camera Drones have come quite quickly, outpacing similar technologies such as smart phones, computers and flat screen TV’s. As one example, an iPhone 3 in 2009 sold for a similar price as an iPhone 6 in 2016 (when inflation is considered). Of course, the newer iPhones are much more powerful and capable due to increased processing power.
When it comes to consumer camera drones, the price/performance (value) evolution is much more drastic. As an example, we will use the first Phantom/Gimbal combination to illustrate the point.
Mid-2013 Consumer Camera Drone Example
The first models of the Phantom (Phantom 1) were followed by an optional gimbal (stabilizer) – designed for the GoPro Hero 3 models. The gimbal was named “Zenmuse H3-2D” the “2D” meaning it was a 2-Axis gimbal. The Gimbal sold for $700 US, however existing Phantom owners also had to buy a PMU (power management unit) as well as the GoPro 3 Camera. A basic unit would therefore be:
$650 Phantom 1
$780 – Gimbal with PMU
$400+ – GoPro Hero 3
This setup required installation and tuning – the Phantom had to be opened up to install the wires and the PMU. Having this done by a dealer…plus a couple extra batteries, would bring the minimum price up to approx. 2K. [Read more…]