Build-a-drone. While DJI has quite the lineup of drones / quadcopters ready to go out of the box, nothing compares to the maker movement. While opening a Phantom 4 and flying it out of the box is great, it’s the tinkerers in the garage that push technology to the limit.

DJI is thanking the garage builders of the market it dominated by offering its line of professional controllers at steep discounts. The A2 advanced stabilization controller for Multi-rotor platforms is shipping at 59% discount. Normally, the system prices out at $1300. Today, it’s $539.

Pulling a trick from Amazon, you can bundle multiple pieces together for a steep discount. Combine the A2 with the iOSD Mark II for $579 or the A2 + iOSD Mark II + 2.4G Bluetooth Datalink for $719. You can piece together a similar deal from Amazon if you prefer to take advantage of Amazon Prime.

Not that I take complete advantage of the free shipping at all points…

DJI Controllers, Now What?

There are a plethora of forums to get you on the right track. Diydrones is my go to spot for everything quadcopter. Tips for the novice to the seasoned pro. You only have to invest time to get the homebrew drone you want.

DJI phantom sideview

You can stick with the aerial platforms offered from DJI or go with the recommendations from forum members that are battle tested when it comes to assembling a drone from parts. Check out the Aerial platform section of Diydrones to get a primer on what you might need or want.

The DJI controllers allow you to slap a gimbaled camera on to take full advantage of the skies. With the Z3 shipping, you can have the zoom capability without the added weight of a camera body and lens. Better battery life will always win out.

In the end, it’s all about the camera on the drone. You can choose from off the shelf DSLRs, the GoPro you have lying around or DJI’s proprietary Zenmuse line.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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