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Autel Evo II Pro Observations

Autelpilotsnumpty

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I come from a graphic design, photography, and retouching background and was interested in getting a drone to add to my photography kit.

I bought Parrot Anafi's, and then worked my way up to DJI Mavic 2 Pros, then I went to Evo II Pro.
I've given them all a fair crack.

For anyone wanting to purchase a drone, here are my simple observations of the Evo II Pro vs Anafi, Vs DJI Mavic Pro 2.

The Parrot Anafi is a cheap lightweight, quiet drone with extensive features and a camera that cannot do low light effectively without a lot of post-production due to its small sensor. The controller is easy to use, intuitive, and feels good in the hand, though it cannot handle phones bigger than 6" with a case on. loved the controller software as it was easy to use and totally understandable. For the ones I had, I had never had to call support as it seemed to just work to spec, though I was overall disappointed with its low light capabilities. The Anafi seemed to be a drone you could just shove up in the air and play with straight away.
Overall a toy with abilities and image noise.

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a mature but expensive, moderately larger sized, amazing flying experience drone with a great camera that can do low light, to a degree. Out of the box, the picture is a little soft but can be set to have great sharpness in the settings and if worked on further in post-production you get some pretty decent to awesome shots, though the few I had all had minor corner blur issues and the video had a barrel distortion that needed to be fixed in post. The flying experience is a massive step up from the Anafi with a quality and stylish and super smooth feel to it, though the overall experience is marred by restrictive Geo-Fencing and a fiddly controller. The software layout is well thought out and useful. Their support dept is awful to a degree that eventually made me return or sell the drones I had to look for another option.
Overall a solid platform, great camera with autocratic geofencing, and major post-purchase support issues.

The Autel Evo II Pro is a super expensive untamed stallion. It has so much potential and yet is marred by unfinished software and camera and gimbal quality control issues. If you are lucky enough to get a slightly tamed stallion with a good pedigree then you have an amazing drone with amazing sharpness let down by a little or a lot of chromatic aberration. That said, out of the box, compared to the DJI, it flys a little like a brick, though with a lot of finessing in settings you can get close to the flying experience of the DJI. Close but not to completion. The controller is, whilst initially odd in shape and size, surprisingly easy to use, being able to use it without the phone is a huge bonus though slightly limiting. The software however needs a redesign, there are lots of swiping left and right, flicking and prodding to be done to get a setting you want and to change that to something else, more flicking poking and prodding. Some settings reset after each startup. Video and stills settings are stupidly linked in color settings which is frustrating but at least you can take out your frustration by flicking pocking and prodding in a more aggressive way.
Sadly every one I have had had drifting or focusing issues, the drifting was largely fixed with a beta firmware update. Beta!!!? This whole drone system is Beta!!! From day one the online support chat was amazing. Then, 4 weeks in and 2 more drones later, speaking to support went from super responsive, to being DJI like, and then went MIA for a couple of weeks, it's like the whole company went on holiday. That said, the bit of focus I could get out of the drifting drone is a leap above DJI. Had I known there was going to be a firmware fix for the drifting, I just wish I had kept the first drone as it had the least amount of issues, the awful drifting aside.
Overall a super but unfinished drone system with (kind of) responsive support.
 
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alex_markov

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Can I add some points as I came to E2P from M2P too?
M2P Had a lot fewer flares and more reliable AF in the Camera (I use MF with E2P due to an AF losing focus every now and then :( );
M2P controller is more ergonomic for me - gimbal control weel is far easier in my hands;
M2P felt more predictable in flight - E2P sometimes speeds up some times not so ;)
E2P is a far smoother sport mode/Ludacris flyer - I fly most of my landscape shots with 72 km/h and can even speed up my footage being butter-smooth - something I can not do with M2P
E2P has Better range - both signal strength And battery life wise!!!
I miss my sport mode switch on M2P - here I spend some good seconds blind flying changing menus to Ludacris - OK - 53 to 72....
Regarding support on my AF problem nothing ;)
 
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xval

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Probably I'm not looking hard enough, but so far no drift, focus or sharpness problems. Flare is the main thing I can complain about. As for flight characteristics, with OA off, some adjustments, and practice if's ok. Predictable and controllable. Longer sticks option would be nice. Everything changes with OA on. Most impressive is tracking in the woods, it works :)

PS: one more thing to complain about: camera doesn't keep horizon line very well.
 
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Autelpilotsnumpty

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Probably I'm not looking hard enough, but so far no drift, focus or sharpness problems. Flare is the main thing I can complain about. As for flight characteristics, with OA off, some adjustments, and practice if's ok. Predictable and controllable. Longer sticks option would be nice. Everything changes with OA on. Most impressive is tracking in the woods, it works :)

PS: one more thing to complain about: camera doesn't keep horizon line very well.
Like I said, if you get a good one its all good. My experience was I had bad ones, in a row. For others they will have no problems or not notice them. Like yourself. Glad you got a good one.
 

Fishhead3

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I have never had an Anafi and have only had a Mavic Air (which is a great drone) but your observations are spot-on. I have a love/hate relationship with my Autel Evo 2 Pro. I bought it for the camera but it is a dog to fly. I am an amateur video person and can't afford to ditch it (either literally or when DJI releases a better version of their own kit). There are lots of 'wish it had this' comments which I get but there are a lot of basic performance attributes that need to be sorted.
 

phantomrain.org

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Evo 2 - Great Potential but simply unfinished and rough around the edges of the software ,
The problem is by the time they catch up DJI will have already launched its new attack and Autel will always be 1 step behind.

When Autel messes up you have Some people speaking up , but when DJI screws up you have thousands of Minions screaming as loud as they can on every youtube channel and I fear that does make the difference.

There build Quality is superior to that of DJI but they need to hire a new Software Team that really understands they have to do better,

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly your Autel in the rain/Snow
 

EarthImage

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I agree with many of the comments on the limitations of the EVO 2 Pro. I feel like they have one person in China working on the software maybe 1 day a week. I bought this drone for mapping and it works pretty good for that, but the software for mission planning is almost funny. I have to use Ardu Mission Planner to gauge the height I need to fly to get a correct pixel resolution, because the Autel app is out to lunch on its calculations (pix res of by 1.5-2x). This tells me the app was never beta tested by an independent outfit. Also that the drone stops at every way point is insane. Many have been complaining about this for months, but no response from Autel. My 8 year old 3dr Robotics Solo is far superior for smooth flight and transition thru way points. What gives? I'm beginning to think Autel is a 1 or 2 person operation. How long before DJI releases the Mavic 3 Pro and crushes Autel? I want to believe in Autel, but so far I am not convinced. They need to be very aggressive with software updates and keep us informed about what is coming. It is like after the hype of last Spring they have disappeared. Don't get me wrong, I like the EVO 2 Pro and have got nice results from my mapping efforts, but it feels like a half completed project that has stalled.

I have to admit that if it wasn't for the DJI geofence restrictions I would think hard about switching.

Note to Autel: WAKE UP!!
 

SeanCC

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Thanks for the post, OP. I have M2P, and after watching everyone's experience on these forums for the last few months, I see no benefit to switching over to EP2. My Mavic handles commercial work just fine. Gonna wait for mavic 3, and if Autel has upped their game at all, maybe I'll have a tougher decision down the road. for now, staying put.
 
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Paulemus

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Despite LAANC approval, my DJI “cannot take off” so I would use my Anafi as backup. Then in an urban area there was too much WiFi interference on a hot day and I couldn’t do a 400-foot orbit. So I got the E2P and love the smart orbit, although it drifts sometimes. I like the Anafi look up mode and it’s portability for hiking. (It was used for the movie Solo climbing in Yosemite.). The E2P has beautiful HDR video and wonderful range. My Phantom 4 Pros fly better and can do panoramas, but are locked out at places like Mission Bay here in San Diego where I can get LAANC approval.
 

xval

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Thanks for the post, OP. I have M2P, and after watching everyone's experience on these forums for the last few months, I see no benefit to switching over to EP2. My Mavic handles commercial work just fine. Gonna wait for mavic 3, and if Autel has upped their game at all, maybe I'll have a tougher decision down the road. for now, staying put.
The main reasons to switch could be far superior video quality and ability to take off in restricted areas. This may or may not worth 2K, it all depends...
As for complains, have you looked at DJI forums? ;) Most pilots, who have not much to complain about, don't post and you don't see them. Like in other forums balance is shifted, which is normal.

Mavic3, hm.. they probably just started. DJI was till recently like Canon 20 years back. Near monopoly with slow development plans, a few features a year.. Then everything has changed, now we have strong competition and quick progress. The same is gonna happen to drones market. I'd like to see more strong players. One thing is obvious, drones are here to stay, like cell phones.
 
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Rubik3x

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So far, everyone has been comparing the E2P to DJI products. I came from the Yuneec Typhoon H. I wanted something more portable and with a better camera. I got those things with the E2P. One of the first things I noticed is that the E2P is much more stable in a hover. This can make a difference in video quality, especially if the drone is near objects. I like the ability to adjust aperture and flight characteristics. I like that the E2P gives a more reliable video signal at distance and seems to ignore a few trees between me and the drone. I really miss the integrated 7" screen and controller of the YTH. Still, I'm happy to have made the switch.
 
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Autelpilotsnumpty

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Sadly I have returned my Evo II Pro and fly more combo and accessories for a full refund.
I'll give this drone situ some time to sort its quality control issues out before I try again.
 

Fishhead3

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I am wondering whether a much more strategic approach to this is the way forward. In reading many posts on this forum it seems that:

1. Autel drones have a lot going for them - the hardware and cameras seem to be pretty good;
2. The software seems to be problematic and does not provide a basis for confidence by those using the drones for business or recreation;
3. The user support seems to be hit and miss. Information for users as to how to use the drone and its features is poor and third party sources are far better;

Comments from users cover a mix of issues but two categories predominate:

1. Wish it performed as expected;
2. Wish it did more.

To me, getting the basics under control would seem to be a priority. Without this the reputation of Autel drones will suffer and market share will decline.

Also, to me, if the company is not delivering, its a CEO issue and so a well reasoned case needs to be put to the CEO. It shouldn't be a great long shopping list of 'wish it did this' or a long list of complaints. Such an approach needs to be constructive and be contributed in the best spirit of wanting Autel to be a major player.

My suggestion is that a well argued letter to the CEO be prepared that sets out the commitment of users to having a serious DJI competitor in the marketplace, the need to have an internal focus on sorting out the software issues and the need to have a more customer focused support system in place.

We should form a small group to progress this and seek an online meeting to discuss our suggestions.

Thoughts?
 
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EarthImage

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I am wondering whether a much more strategic approach to this is the way forward. In reading many posts on this forum it seems that:

1. Autel drones have a lot going for them - the hardware and cameras seem to be pretty good;
2. The software seems to be problematic and does not provide a basis for confidence by those using the drones for business or recreation;
3. The user support seems to be hit and miss. Information for users as to how to use the drone and its features is poor and third party sources are far better;

Comments from users cover a mix of issues but two categories predominate:

1. Wish it performed as expected;
2. Wish it did more.

To me, getting the basics under control would seem to be a priority. Without this the reputation of Autel drones will suffer and market share will decline.

Also, to me, if the company is not delivering, its a CEO issue and so a well reasoned case needs to be put to the CEO. It shouldn't be a great long shopping list of 'wish it did this' or a long list of complaints. Such an approach needs to be constructive and be contributed in the best spirit of wanting Autel to be a major player.

My suggestion is that a well argued letter to the CEO be prepared that sets out the commitment of users to having a serious DJI competitor in the marketplace, the need to have an internal focus on sorting out the software issues and the need to have a more customer focused support system in place.

We should form a small group to progress this and seek an online meeting to discuss our suggestions.

Thoughts?
Does Autel actually have a CEO? The rate at which software updates are coming out for critical issues makes me think the company is a 1 person operation. Autel's silence on this forum to me say's it all. I don't have much hope. We shouldn't have to write a letter to the CEO to fix basic software issues. It is frustrating because the guts of EVO 2 Pro is a good foundation for competing against the DJI Mavic 2 Pro -- but it has to be finished in good time! I bought my EVO 2 in June and since that time there have only been a couple software fixes. It's crazy. It is like they don't care. Arg. I'm at a point in my business that I need to purchase a backup drone and some more batteries. But hell if I am going to make that investment with Autel right now. They need to have some clean messaging to their users on coming updates and developments. Not silence. Autel, tell me why I should invest in you! The only advantage Autel has over DJI is no geofencing. That's it. Having 6K and a I" sensor is BS if the software is weak.
 
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Agustine

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Does Autel actually have a CEO? The rate at which software updates are coming out for critical issues makes me think the company is a 1 person operation. Autel's silence on this forum to me say's it all. I don't have much hope. We shouldn't have to write a letter to the CEO to fix basic software issues. It is frustrating because the guts of EVO 2 Pro is a good foundation for competing against the DJI Mavic 2 Pro -- but it has to be finished in good time! I bought my EVO 2 in June and since that time there have only been a couple software fixes. It's crazy. It is like they don't care. Arg. I'm at a point in my business that I need to purchase a backup drone and some more batteries. But hell if I am going to make that investment with Autel right now. They need to have some clean messaging to their users on coming updates and developments. Not silence. Autel, tell me why I should invest in you! The only advantage Autel has over DJI is no geofencing. That's it. Having 6K and a I" sensor is BS if the software is weak.

Autel does not come and read posts on our forum. They are not allowed to from a conversion I had with one of the CS people. Yes they have a CEO. Not sure how much he has control over the China part of the company. I think he is just a letter head for the company in the USA.
Delayed updates and very poor updates has always been Autels down side. They always claim they are not a large company and are trying to compete with a monster competitor. Its been this way since day one and really do not think its going to change. At least not in the foreseeable future.
 
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Rubik3x

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Come on folks. I've seen some excellent results on YT coming from E2P users. This bird flies well (with patience and adjustments) and takes great pictures (with patience and adjustments). I feel like I'm still learning how to get the most out of my E2P. Of course, we always want more/better performance and want to pay less $$ for our products. Nothing new about that. Before jumping all over this little company, make sure you have extracted all that is possible from this flying camera first.
 

Justin Allen

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Delayed updates and very poor updates has always been Autels down side. They always claim they are not a large company and are trying to compete with a monster competitor. Its been this way since day one and really do not think its going to change. At least not in the foreseeable future.
For what it's worth I came to these boards to learn more about the Autel Elo 2 Pro. I loved the footage from the 6K camera and had decided to purchase it. Until I started reading through all of these posts.

For me it's not about the money but the reliability of the equipment I buy. This is a work drone, not something I want to play with. I am OK without some of the bells and whistles but infrequent updates, drones that literally fall out of the sky, and lack of information from the company are all red flags to me.

I went from being 100% on-board to thinking there is a very very low chance that I will buy this drone. That's a shame because I really wanted to get it.
 
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Autelpilotsnumpty

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For what it's worth I came to these boards to learn more about the Autel Elo 2 Pro. I loved the footage from the 6K camera and had decided to purchase it. Until I started reading through all of these posts.

For me it's not about the money but the reliability of the equipment I buy. This is a work drone, not something I want to play with. I am OK without some of the bells and whistles but infrequent updates, drones that literally fall out of the sky, and lack of information from the company are all red flags to me.

I went from being 100% on-board to thinking there is a very very low chance that I will buy this drone. That's a shame because I really wanted to get it.
Hi. Apologies. I originally created this post after I received three Autel drones from the same supplier, which all had issues. After months of testing, I decided to write an observation of my experiences with the Parrot, DJI and Autel drones I had bought and used from the last two years.
I tried to be as objective as I could based on my experience with Autel. I do think the Evo 2 Pro has massive potential, its just the execution they have fallen down on.
Like you I want a drone for business and do not have a lot of money to throw around at testing a Beta system which the Autel appears to be.
Since writing my observations, it appears, from other posters, there are a few things I wish I had known prior to buying, but, in any event, I already seemed to have worked through them, while using them as there were updates happening during my test period attempting fix the issues I had, hence my OP.

That said, I am giving Autel one final chance and have bought another E2Pro from a completely different reseller in the hope it was just bad luck on my part with that original reseller.
The new one comes tomorrow.
If it sufferers from the same issues then It will also be returned and I will no longer buy from Autel until they get their act together.
In fact, my backup plan is to go back to the Parrot Anafi, with its severe limitations in low light, and just use that until DJI, Autel or hopefully Sony bring out a drone which just works without restrictions or limitations in hardware or software.
 
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Autelpilotsnumpty

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Update. The New Autel Evo II Pro came yesterday evening. I waited until this morning to do the same test I did for the others.
I may be over-enthusiastic and tempting fate, but, stills & video in my kitchen straight out of the box, as you would expect them to be. Fantastic. Lovely and sharp.
That said, there is a slight softness (super slight) in the bottom corners but when stopped down to f3.2+, are workable. And if anything the bottom of the images would normally be slightly soft anyway.
A tiny bit of chromatic aberration in the top left. but again workable in post.
But this is a 'controlled' test.
So the next hard test for this is a flight. This will get done later today.
Only a couple of differences between the UK reseller to Ebay reseller.
1/ A European plug instead of UK.
2/ On the controller, (via the phone) a dude's voice rather than a lady. Which I think has something to do with my last phone update.

Fingers crossed the flight goes well.
 
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