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Autel EVO II Pro - User Experience from a DJI User

herein2021

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For over a year now, I have flown the EVO 2 8K and Mav 2 pro. Strength and lift, EVO 2 wins. Agility, Mavic wins. Photos and video are much higher resolution on the evo 8k and can be blown up to levels way beyond Mavic's images. As far as color and beauty Mavic wins relative to the 8k evo, due to sensor size. Battery life, EVO 2 wins. Even though the batteries don't need to be cooled down as much, DON'T RECHARGE THEM WARM !. I've done this and they get puffy sooner and can short circuit mid flight. Distance, out of the box, Mavic 2 pro wins. I put an active powered 2.4ghz booster on the Evo, now it flies farther than the Mavic, which has a passive antenna booster. And, because the Evo has a longer battery life, it can fly extremely far. Ground spotters needed. I've never had a problem with geo fencing with my Mavic. But, it is pain to use an internet connection each time you need to validate a flight in controlled airspace. I don't depend on the validation from the previous day's flight, as it may expire suddenly. The Evo's battery and the active antenna booster allowed me to fly it up to 20,000 feet away and back, a total of 7.6 miles, weather and spotters permitting. Oh, there is one thing i like about Mavic's camera that Evo seems to not have done. The manual panning back and forth during flight on the Mavic is great. Why the EVO can't or the designers won't implement it is beyond me. I have to fly sideways with the Evo to get the same shots as the Mavic

Regarding the REMOTE CONTROL HANDLES OF THE EVO 2. I bought a roll of anti skid tape for stair cases. I cut a piece to size and wrapped it around the Evo 2 handles. Now there is no slippage whatsoever. One handed grip no problem. Drops, never happen. I put the stuff on my phones too. No more dropping my phones. That anti skid tape is incredible. Got it at Lowes.
flying forward.

I might try the anti-skid tape, the handles aren't too bad yet, probably because it is not summer time, right now my main problem is how you have to focus on keeping them from closing while you are flying. I am used to making mods when it comes to getting things to work the way you need them to work, but I haven't had to make mods like these since the Phantom 2 and it cost far less than the EVO II; that's why I say it feels like the EVO II in some ways is about 2-3yrs behind DJI.

I don't really need longer range, but the problem is interference in the cities. Since it has a shorter range than the P4 or Mavic even where there is no signal interference; I know it will have more problems than the DJI drones when there is signal interference; there are certain places where I commonly need to fly that reduces the range down to less than 1500' for the DJI drones due to interference so I'd imagine the EVO II would be down to around 800' or 900'.
 

Anzacjack

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I find the lifthor bracket with lower plate solves the issue with the handles folding or moving when I don’t want them too. As for range, I’m a long time DJI pilot and don’t know and unfortunately stuck in CE radio mode. Without any boosting or modding I don’t really find much difference in the range of signals
 
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Quad808

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Changing the antenna on the RC does wonders for the range of the Evo II, even non-boosted. It's a simple process, and remember that the Evo II doesn't have DJI's Occusync 2, which gives you incredible range, and strong signal in noisy wifi environments. Boosted RC will give you just as much signal strength, or even more than Occusync 2. A lot of us have gone with the Alientech booster. ALIENTECH PRO 2.4G Amplifier Signal Booster with Antenna Range Extender for DJI Autel Drones
 
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OldBlueHeron

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Changing the antenna on the RC does wonders for the range of the Evo II, even non-boosted. It's a simple process, and remember that the Evo II doesn't have DJI's Occusync 2, which gives you incredible range, and strong signal in noisy wifi environments. Boosted RC will give you just as much signal strength, or even more than Occusync 2. A lot of us have gone with the Alientech booster. ALIENTECH 2.4G/5.8G Antenna Signal booster long Range extender f DJI
My EVO 2 flies as far as any of my Occusync 2 drones with its stock antenna. On some days it actually betters them.
 
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AndrewS

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Great write-up, thank you! Since I am almost exclusively a stills-only shooter, your comment about "Highlight Rolloff" caught my eye. I've never heard of it before. What exactly does that refer to?
 

herein2021

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Changing the antenna on the RC does wonders for the range of the Evo II, even non-boosted. It's a simple process, and remember that the Evo II doesn't have DJI's Occusync 2, which gives you incredible range, and strong signal in noisy wifi environments. Boosted RC will give you just as much signal strength, or even more than Occusync 2. A lot of us have gone with the Alientech booster. ALIENTECH 2.4G/5.8G Antenna Signal booster long Range extender f DJI

I may consider it in the future, for now I will stick with the stock setup. That's my point about DJI though, DJI has Occusync 2 with their newer drones so its another area where the EVO is behind.

Also, I watched Alientech's demo video on how to install their antenna onto the EVO remote...just in case anyone else watches it he made a major mistake towards the end; you are never supposed to turn on the remote without an antenna attached; it could fry the transmitter amplifier circuitry so if you do one of these antenna mods make sure that you never turn on the remote without the modified antenna attached.

My EVO 2 flies as far as any of my Occusync 2 drones with its stock antenna. On some days it actually betters them.

That is interesting....so far I haven't seen mine win any range tests over my DJI equipment, the signal drops at the exact same distance as my P4 which still uses Lightbridge 2 technology which was released almost 5yrs ago.

Great write-up, thank you! Since I am almost exclusively a stills-only shooter, your comment about "Highlight Rolloff" caught my eye. I've never heard of it before. What exactly does that refer to?

The quick explanation is how a camera handles the transition from light that is within the sensor's dynamic range to light that is above its dynamic range (over exposure / highlights). As you know from shooting stills, you typically expose for the highlights and hope the composition is within the dynamic range of the camera so that you do not crush the blacks. If you are shooting a portrait and the talent is underexposed you simply add fill light until you achieve the desired look.

With video you do the same thing; except when you can't. If you are shooting video of say a model and the sun is setting behind him/her and you do not have a way to add fill light then you have to instead expose for the model's skin which will of course over expose the highlights. How pleasing or displeasing that transition is from proper exposure to over exposure is the highlight rolloff. Many modern camera sensors handle it horribly and some of it depends on the vendor's LOG curve and how it handles the upper end of the curve.

Highlight rolloff performance applies to both photography and video, but you don't hear about it as much with photography because, for one thing a lot of people just don't know about it, and it is easier to properly expose the scene using studio strobes and speedlights. With video, you need continuous lighting which requires a nearby power outlet or huge expensive batteries so in the video world you are more likely to just over expose the highlights and expose for the talent instead; but here is where the highlight rolloff performance is important.

When shooting drone video you will run into highlight rolloff all the time; anytime the sun and the ground are in the same frame you will have highlight rolloff since exposing for the sun is impossible.

Attached is a sample image where I checked for the highlight rolloff performance. If you look closely at where the sun transitioned to the proper exposure you will see it is not a perfect gradient but its also not completely displeasing to the eye (i.e. ugly rings). This is also why you should always shoot LOG profiles if you want the best color grading experience; the highlight rolloff is nearly always worse when you use a baked in profile. Also, to improve highlight rolloff performance you can play with the curves, contrast and blackpoint; but all of this will only be effective if you started with a LOG profile.


Noam Kroll, a famous Hollywood colorist has a better writeup on his blog.
 

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AndrewS

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I may consider it in the future, for now I will stick with the stock setup. That's my point about DJI though, DJI has Occusync 2 with their newer drones so its another area where the EVO is behind.

Also, I watched Alientech's demo video on how to install their antenna onto the EVO remote...just in case anyone else watches it he made a major mistake towards the end; you are never supposed to turn on the remote without an antenna attached; it could fry the transmitter amplifier circuitry so if you do one of these antenna mods make sure that you never turn on the remote without the modified antenna attached.



That is interesting....so far I haven't seen mine win any range tests over my DJI equipment, the signal drops at the exact same distance as my P4 which still uses Lightbridge 2 technology which was released almost 5yrs ago.



The quick explanation is how a camera handles the transition from light that is within the sensor's dynamic range to light that is above its dynamic range (over exposure / highlights). As you know from shooting stills, you typically expose for the highlights and hope the composition is within the dynamic range of the camera so that you do not crush the blacks. If you are shooting a portrait and the talent is underexposed you simply add fill light until you achieve the desired look.

With video you do the same thing; except when you can't. If you are shooting video of say a model and the sun is setting behind him/her and you do not have a way to add fill light then you have to instead expose for the model's skin which will of course over expose the highlights. How pleasing or displeasing that transition is from proper exposure to over exposure is the highlight rolloff. Many modern camera sensors handle it horribly and some of it depends on the vendor's LOG curve and how it handles the upper end of the curve.

Highlight rolloff performance applies to both photography and video, but you don't hear about it as much with photography because, for one thing a lot of people just don't know about it, and it is easier to properly expose the scene using studio strobes and speedlights. With video, you need continuous lighting which requires a nearby power outlet or huge expensive batteries so in the video world you are more likely to just over expose the highlights and expose for the talent instead; but here is where the highlight rolloff performance is important.

When shooting drone video you will run into highlight rolloff all the time; anytime the sun and the ground are in the same frame you will have highlight rolloff since exposing for the sun is impossible.

Attached is a sample image where I checked for the highlight rolloff performance. If you look closely at where the sun transitioned to the proper exposure you will see it is not a perfect gradient but its also not completely displeasing to the eye (i.e. ugly rings). This is also why you should always shoot LOG profiles if you want the best color grading experience; the highlight rolloff is nearly always worse when you use a baked in profile. Also, to improve highlight rolloff performance you can play with the curves, contrast and blackpoint; but all of this will only be effective if you started with a LOG profile.


Noam Kroll, a famous Hollywood colorist has a better writeup on his blog.
I may consider it in the future, for now I will stick with the stock setup. That's my point about DJI though, DJI has Occusync 2 with their newer drones so its another area where the EVO is behind.

Also, I watched Alientech's demo video on how to install their antenna onto the EVO remote...just in case anyone else watches it he made a major mistake towards the end; you are never supposed to turn on the remote without an antenna attached; it could fry the transmitter amplifier circuitry so if you do one of these antenna mods make sure that you never turn on the remote without the modified antenna attached.



That is interesting....so far I haven't seen mine win any range tests over my DJI equipment, the signal drops at the exact same distance as my P4 which still uses Lightbridge 2 technology which was released almost 5yrs ago.



The quick explanation is how a camera handles the transition from light that is within the sensor's dynamic range to light that is above its dynamic range (over exposure / highlights). As you know from shooting stills, you typically expose for the highlights and hope the composition is within the dynamic range of the camera so that you do not crush the blacks. If you are shooting a portrait and the talent is underexposed you simply add fill light until you achieve the desired look.

With video you do the same thing; except when you can't. If you are shooting video of say a model and the sun is setting behind him/her and you do not have a way to add fill light then you have to instead expose for the model's skin which will of course over expose the highlights. How pleasing or displeasing that transition is from proper exposure to over exposure is the highlight rolloff. Many modern camera sensors handle it horribly and some of it depends on the vendor's LOG curve and how it handles the upper end of the curve.

Highlight rolloff performance applies to both photography and video, but you don't hear about it as much with photography because, for one thing a lot of people just don't know about it, and it is easier to properly expose the scene using studio strobes and speedlights. With video, you need continuous lighting which requires a nearby power outlet or huge expensive batteries so in the video world you are more likely to just over expose the highlights and expose for the talent instead; but here is where the highlight rolloff performance is important.

When shooting drone video you will run into highlight rolloff all the time; anytime the sun and the ground are in the same frame you will have highlight rolloff since exposing for the sun is impossible.

Attached is a sample image where I checked for the highlight rolloff performance. If you look closely at where the sun transitioned to the proper exposure you will see it is not a perfect gradient but its also not completely displeasing to the eye (i.e. ugly rings). This is also why you should always shoot LOG profiles if you want the best color grading experience; the highlight rolloff is nearly always worse when you use a baked in profile. Also, to improve highlight rolloff performance you can play with the curves, contrast and blackpoint; but all of this will only be effective if you started with a LOG profile.


Noam Kroll, a famous Hollywood colorist has a better writeup on his blog.
Ok, got it! Thanks so much for the detailed reply. Now I need to learn about "LOG profiles!"
 

herein2021

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Ok, got it! Thanks so much for the detailed reply. Now I need to learn about "LOG profiles!"

Sure no problem, shooting in LOG is a whole new discussion and there are many YouTube videos that will help you out. I don't recommend jumping into shooting LOG right away, if you are not familiar with color grading LOG footage your footage will look much worse shooting in LOG than if you shot using one of the standard profiles; similar to shooting RAW in photography, most people start out with JPG and only switch to RAW when they reach the limits of what they can do with JPG.

The good news is when you do start shooting in LOG, the ALOG out of the EVO II is far better so far than the DLOG out of the DJI drones. ALOG will also greatly help you match other cameras during a shoot. I have had to to match 5 different cameras on a single shoot and it's not easy with the DJI drones because DLOG is not useable and Cinelike is not flat enough.

You will also need a good NLE to get the most out of LOG footage; just like with photography if you don't have a good RAW image processor you will not be able to properly process RAW photography footage.
 

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I decided to share my own personal user experience and initial observations of the Autel EVO II Pro 6K after having flown it for the first time. During the first flight I went through all 3 batteries and mainly focused on the camera features, the app, and how the drone itself flies. I also put it through a range of different tests that I have developed over the years of owning DJI drones. My sole use of drones is for commercial work; everything from promo videos to real estate to music videos, large events and more. So the tests that I put my drones through is in preparation to use them in many different situations where the success of the project depends on the drone being reliable and delivering on the client's image quality expectations.

Background

I have flown or owned every DJI model since 2014 and never even considered another maker until DJI's geofencing kicked in mid flight 2wks ago and force landed my Mavic Pro into the ocean. So some of this review will be comparing the EVO II to the DJI Mavic Pro or the P4 since the P4 also has a 1" sensor. I'll keep this post updated as I find new good and bad things.

The Bad

I have decided to start with the bad since it is a shorter list than the good.

  • Tablet Holder - This problem hit me before ever even taking off. There are no good tablet holder options. One option doesn't fold at all so it doesn't fit in any of the current rugged cases and the other option does not hold an iPad mini which I found out the hard way. I ended up with the GPC tablet holder but had to make some serious modifications to hold my iPad mini. The GPC mount also feels really flimsy where it attaches to the holder.
  • Horizon Tilt - Yes the horizon definitely tilts far more with the EVO II than it ever did with any DJI drone I have flown. It is still easy to fix with keyframes in video and rotation in Lightroom but it is literally always tilted; with DJI drones it would tilt occasionally if the drone took off from an uneven surface or there was a strong cross wind; the EVO II tilts at least 90% of the time. This one was user error, after performing an IMU, compass, and gimbal calibration the horizon is now perfect.
  • The App - The app is nowhere near as good as DJI's app; the worst part about it is when you run it on a tablet it will not use the full screen so a lot of screen real estate is wasted as if they never thought people would want to use anything except their phones. Besides the scaling issue, it can be difficult to get the camera information quickly. In the DJI app you can always see things like frame rate, EV, resolution, etc. at a glance; with the Autel App you have to scroll around quite a bit to see all of your settings.
  • Obstacle Avoidance - Obstacle avoidance feels like it is way too sensitive; a few times in the middle of the air with nothing around it it kicked in and slowed the drone. Also, when flying lower to the ground it was a real pain to deal with and seems overly cautious. I know it can be turned off but it would be nice if it had a lower sensitivity setting.
  • Lens Flare - It suffers from really bad lens flare at certain angles to the sun. Of course all lenses have lens flare under certain conditions but the way the 6K camera handles it is not good. The flare was very uncomplimentary and pretty much made that particular angle in relation to the sun unusable for professional work. I never had that kind of lens flare problem with the DJI drones.
  • No One Button Ludicrous Mode - With the DJI drones I use Sport Mode all the time to return quickly after completing a project or if there is a strong headwind or cross wind I use it to improve the handling of the drone for the return flight after filming. The Autel remote does not have a dedicated button for this and you could lose valuable seconds in a strong headwind scenario having to go into the app to enable ludicrous mode.
  • Controller Battery Life - The remote's battery life so far seems worse than the Mavic's probably because of the display screen. This could still be because the batteries haven't fully broken in yet, but I noticed just updating the firmware made it drop by 20% and a single flight cost around 15% of battery life.
  • Custom Color Profiles (New Finding 31 Jan 2021) - I plan on shooting exclusively in LOG and also like to turn sharpness down to -2 and contrast down to -1, but the app does not save the settings. So now I have to remember to set the settings each time and lose battery life while doing so.
  • Remaining Battery % (New Finding 5 Feb 2021) - The EVO II started force landing when the time remaining still showed 4min, if I had not been able to cancel the landing process I would have lost it in the ocean. I'm not sure yet if the time remaining is just wrong, the EVO II is overly aggressive with forced battery landings, or if it just can't properly detect the remaining percentage. I never had this problem with DJI drones and could fly them until they showed 0% remaining.
  • Car Charger (New Finding Feb 6 2021) - I bought the car charger thinking I could use that combined with my Goal Zero 400 battery pack to recharge the flight batteries at long events....well its a complete waste of money for me. It has circuitry to prevent draining your car's battery to the point to where it won't start and there is no way to turn it off. So when I tried to use it with my battery pack it would not charge the flight battery even though the battery pack was fully charged and can charge about 5 flight batteries before it dies.
  • Battery Level Indicator (New Finding 6 Feb 2021) - I know this seems minor, but it is very difficult to see the battery level indicator on the back of the batteries in direct sunlight. You have to shade the battery from the sun to see the level. With the DJI drones the light is bright enough to see even in direct sunlight.
The Good

  • No Geofencing - Without a doubt my favorite 'feature' by far. It was a relief just knowing there was no chance geofencing could kick in during the flight and risk downing the drone.
  • Range Test - While the range was acceptable it was not exceptional. This was a little disappointing; I have taken every drone since 2014 that I have owned to the same park and performed the same tests over the years so I know for a fact that the EVO II started dropping its video signal at the exact same range as the DJI drones; and yes I pointed the controller in the direction of the drone and I had the antennas pointed down.
  • Straight Line Test - One of the tests that I do is position the drone exactly aligned with railroad tracks and see how long the drone can fly in a straight line over the railroad tracks before it drifts off course. I have the center cross hairs turned on for this test. The EVO II performed better on this test than any DJI drone I have ever tested this way. DJI drones tend to turn slowly left without constant slight correction during forward flight.
  • Orbit Test - Orbiting is one of my favorite drone movements so I always see how a drone performs during orbits. With the center cross hairs turned on I orbit clockwise and counter clockwise around an object. Once again the EVO II straight out of the box with no tuning performed flawlessly. Orbits in particular require very precise control input and the drone must adhere to the input without drifting to perform a smooth orbit which is why I like this test.
  • Camera Angle Feedback - I have wished DJI would add this feature since 2014...I even emailed it as a feature request to DJI and of course got no response. It is nice to see the camera angle shown in the app. There are plenty of times when you want to mirror a specific camera angle such as if you were filming something and had to land to change the batteries then took off again and want the footage to look like a single take; or when you are creating progression construction photography and want each visit to the site to look identical to the last visit.
  • Overall Handling - Many YouTube reviewers stated that the EVO II does not handle as well as the DJI drones; I don't feel that way at all, straight out of the box settings feel very smooth to me, the only thing I am going to do is turn down the gimbal tilt speed which is the same thing I did with the DJI drones.
  • ALOG - The EVO II's ALOG is way better than anything I have seen come out of DLOG. DJI in my opinion is overly aggressive with their LOG profile and they tend to throw away data that cannot be recovered. Autel's ALOG was a joy to color grade; it took seconds in Davinci Resolve to grade it to the Rec.709 standard.
  • Highlight Rolloff - So many people get caught up in dynamic range and low light performance; few people discuss highlight rolloff. A camera can have great low light performance and dynamic range but terrible highlight rolloff and the image will be unrecoverable when the highlights are over exposed. The EVO II 6K camera has great highlight rolloff from what I can tell so far.
  • Camera Settings Buttons - This is a nice feature that the DJI drones don't have; I was able to change all of the camera settings without having to touch the tablet screen.
  • Flight Time - Flight time was ok, it did not seem any longer than the DJI drones though; its supposed to be 40min but that must be when it is just sitting on the ground with the blades spinning because just getting it into the air and my remaining time dropped to 33min. The batteries will probably perform better after a few charging cycles but for now its nowhere near 40min. This really isn't a bad thing though, 30 useable min is still plenty to me.
  • Initial Setup - DJI's initial setup where it demands your email address and account information always irked me. I felt like they were demanding far more information than should be needed just to fly the drone. The EVO II's setup was much less invasive although it would be nice to know exactly what information is sent during the "Activation" portion of the setup but I was surprised that it did not even ask for an email address.
  • Battery Temperature Recovery Time (New Finding 31 Jan 2021) - The EVO II's batteries do not seem to make you wait until they cool down to start recharging. This was always a major annoyance with DJI; you had to wait sometimes up to 2hrs just to start recharging their batteries starting with the P4, so mobile charging was impossible.
  • Alerts / Warnings (New Finding 5 Feb 2021) - I've noticed the alerts and notices are much less invasive than DJI's. With DJI they would cover the whole screen midflight and force you to clear them by hand. Also, they popped up more and more; high wind warning, above takeoff altitude warning, line of sight reminder, airspace warning....and on and on, so annoying. Autel's Explorer app stays out of your way, auto hides the alerts after a few seconds, and doesn't nag you with useless information.
  • Quieter Props (New Finding 5 Feb 2021) - I added the new quieter props to the EVO II and it did make a difference in sound. The EVO II was already quieter than the P4 or Mavic Pro, but now it is even quieter both the dB and pitch decreased while I did not observe any loss in stability or performance.
  • Ludicrous Mode Stability (New Finding 5 Feb 2021) - I flew in ludicrous mode most of today because I was filming boats who were averaging 30-40mph. The EVO II is surprisingly stable even in ludicrous mode compared to the DJI drones whose gimbals seemed to lose control in Sport mode. It really feels like the EVO II's gimbal is much stronger than the ones DJI uses.
  • Gimbal 30 Degree Angle (New Finding 12 Feb 2021) - Now this is seriously cool, you can point the camera up by up to 30 degrees without seeing the props in the shot. This opens up a whole new area of creativity for establishing shots, flying under tree cover, bridges, etc. anything where there is something above the drone. I am going to leave the 0 degree limiter on most of the time, but its great to have another creative option when the situation calls for it.
  • Incognito Mode (New Finding 13 Feb 2021) - The EVO II lets you turn off the front AND rear lights, this is seriously useful in many situations and I have been using this feature a lot more than I initially thought I would. DJI never let you turn off the rear lights going back as far as the Phantom 2.

Wish List
  • WFM - Its always annoying to me when camera makers add a LOG profile but leave out the waveform monitor which is the number one tool you need to expose for LOG footage. It would be nice if they would add a WFM option. In lieu of a WFM I used the histogram to set exposure and its ok but nowhere near as useful as a WFM for LOG footage
  • Monitor LUT - Another tool I wish they would add when shooting in LOG. A Rec.709 monitoring LUT would be great to improve visibility. The good news is that the ALOG footage is nowhere near as flat as DJI's DLOG so it is not as hard to monitor even without a monitoring LUT.
  • Better Remote - the current remote just feels really odd in the hands; the ergonomics aren't great and the handles feel like they are going to close at any moment. Also the remote has no way to attach a lanyard, the P4's remote is still my favorite to date (built in tablet holder and lanyard loop). I know this is meant to be smaller but I still think there's room for improvement here. Lets not forget those terrible buttons on the underside, they are so easy to push that its best to just not assign anything to them. I wish I could disable them completely because the remote still beeps when one is pressed.
  • Different Color - The orange is pretty hard to get used to.
  • Altitude Limit - The altitude limit is set to a generous 2600' or so but it would be nice if there were none at all. Prior to the pandemic I travelled outside of the USA quite a bit and frequently took a drone with me; when you are going up a mountainside with a drone it records how high you are from your takeoff point not based on AGL, so I ran into a few situations with DJI drones where it refused to go any higher because it thought it was 1500' AGL when it fact it was only a few hundred feet above the mountainside. Even stateside the FAA lets you go above 400' when you are close enough to something higher than that in certain airspace.
  • Controller Charging Interface - Getting brand new consumer products that still use the old USB standard are just annoying at this point. As consumers we will never be able to get rid of our old chargers and standardize on USB-C if we keep getting brand new products that don't have USB-C ports. So it would be nice if the charging interface were USB-C.
  • Shutter Angle - It would be nice to have a shutter angle option to keep from having to adjust the shutter speed during ISO / Aperture changes.
  • AGL In Metadata - I noticed in the RAW images metadata that the EVO II only stores the altitude Above Sea Level (ASL). It would be nice if it also stored the altitude Above Ground Level (AGL). AGL is much more useful when doing precision work like commercial elevation views and virtual staging.
Other

This is just general information that I'm finding out on my own as I use the EVO II. These are things that either are impossible to find in the documentation or that aren't documented at all.

  • Crop Factor - It appears the EVO II 6K has a crop when shooting 4K60FPS, I'd estimate the crop factor to be around 1.2x or 1.3x so not much of a crop but it definitely looks like a crop when you go from 4K30FPS to 4K60FPS.
  • 10bit vs 8bit - The 4K60FPS HEVC H.265 footage is only 8bit 4:2:0 footage where as the 4K30FPS HEVC H.265 footage is indeed 10bit 4:2:0 footage, I'm not sure what 1080P is or if changing to the MP4 container or H.264 will matter.


The Verdict

As long as the EVO II continues to perform exactly as it did during its test flight today then I am happy with my purchase; once again because the completely oppressive geofencing system is gone. I am sure Autel will continue improving the app and the drone and as long as the drone does not do something that is completely beyond my control then it could easily become my main drone in the future.
Thanks so much for this highly-detailed assesment. I am planning on buying an Evo II Pro and this information is important to know. - Robert
 

herein2021

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Thanks so much for this highly-detailed assesment. I am planning on buying an Evo II Pro and this information is important to know. - Robert

Glad I could help...that was my intention; to document in a completely unbiased way my own personal experiences likes/dislikes and feature requests from the perspective of a photographer/videographer. It is a bit quirky as is the app, but I would without hesitation pick it over any DJI drone I've flown to date. I did just add a new bug that I encountered which is the remaining percentage indicator got stuck on a recent flight.
 
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herein2021

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I'm adding two new pros to my list: barrel distortion and vignette; the EVO II's lens seems to have the least barrel distortion of any lens I have seen from a drone this size. Sure it can be fixed in post but if you start with a lot of barrel distortion fixing it in post is a destructive process that makes the edges stretched and blurry which is especially problematic if you are shooting a panorama which you need to stitch together later.

Back in the day with the Phantom 2, the GoPros were the worst; practically fisheye lenses and the best way to minimize it was to keep the camera perfectly level which can be difficult when it comes to filming with a drone.

Below are two comparison images, with one I applied the lens profile fixes to the image, the second one does not have any lens profile fixes applied. As you can see, the barrel distortion and vignette is very minimal. If they weren't side by side either image would probably be acceptable.

The camera was angled down by 7 degrees. The more you angle a wide angle lens down or up; the more barrel distortion most wide angle lenses exhibit; this holds true for $2000.00 handheld camera lenses as well, which is why I never angle the camera up or down any more than is necessary especially when shooting real estate or landscapes..

Project-03102021-AP-Sunset-LensCorrection.jpg


Project-03102021-AP-Sunset-NoLensCorrection.jpg
 
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Eagle928

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This is a photo I took with an F11 Pro 4K to illustrate how that barrel/fish eye effect, especially in the corners, can make a photo look really wonky.
mini-20210202-112135.jpg
 

herein2021

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This is a photo I took with an F11 Pro 4K to illustrate how that barrel/fish eye effect, especially in the corners, can make a photo look really wonky.
View attachment 9897

Yes...exactly, there's no free ride, fixing barrel distortion comes at the expense of clarity and proper image rendition especially when shooting panoramas; to counter this problem when shooting panoramas you have to overlap the pano images by a greater percentage; which then introduces its own problems because the more images you need to complete the pano the greater the chance of stitching errors. That's why it is impressive when a sensor/lens combination starts out with very little barrel distortion.
 

UasDriver

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Changing the antenna on the RC does wonders for the range of the Evo II,
curious what is "stock range" for the evoII?
I just flew my longest distance 2 days ago, 4820' zero indication of drop out, i even rotated RC 30 degrees either way from center and still rock solid.
 

Eagle928

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curious what is "stock range" for the evoII?
I just flew my longest distance 2 days ago, 4820' zero indication of drop out, i even rotated RC 30 degrees either way from center and still rock solid.
They claim 9K under perfect conditions. I too flew out to around 5600' last weekend with no issues. That is about as far as I would ever want to push it considering VLOS. Being orange helps. I recently applied a neon orange skin to an Air 2 I have just to triple the VLOS capability. It's butt ugly but I can see it and that is what counts.
 

herein2021

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curious what is "stock range" for the evoII?
I just flew my longest distance 2 days ago, 4820' zero indication of drop out, i even rotated RC 30 degrees either way from center and still rock solid.

The range is only limited by the battery when there is absolutely no interference. In a straight line over the ocean and back 26,400' (5 miles) at 200' AGL is possible. Longer is unlikely due to battery limitations. I suppose if it were a one way flight with somewhere to land on the other end it would be possible to find out just how far it could go when battery life is not a concern.

The biggest benefit you get when using aftermarket antenna mods is increasing the range when there is interference. I once shot an event so completely saturated with cell phones that the controller's signal started dropping less than 200' away and this was with a DJI P4. With some of the aftermarket mods that distance might have been extended to 1000' or more in the exact same situation.

Those mods might also help reduce signal dropout caused when a building or other large obstacle gets between you and the drone. I say help reduce vs. eliminate because it would probably still occur at some point.

@Eagle928 One way that I have seen others push VLOS is to add an anti-collision strobe to it and use it even in daylight...but its debatable if this meets the FAA's intent.
 

Quad808

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herein2021 is spot on. If you are flying with stock and have great range...you don't need to change antenna. My flying area is bad as far as wifi saturation, so for me....changing the antenna and not even using a booster works wonders, and the booster just increases the strength of the signal that much more. It's no fun to fly out and lose signal. I don't do long range flights, but do want as good a signal as I can get, so for me a boosted signal works great. But again, it's not necessary for everyone. The EVO II does well in most places.
 
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UasDriver

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Thanks, I don't ever expect to go beyond 5280' , 90% of my flying is away from humans and their interference ;)
 

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