Now it’s important to know I’m a drone snob, and a drone enthusiast, so when a $599 drone that fits in the palm of your hand hits my desk I come at it with some scepticism – but perhaps, just maybe – this little guy is just right for those wanting to get into drones without the bulk and complexity and cost of the bigger boys.
So you’ve never heard of Zerotech? That doesn’t matter, it’s not like any of the drone companies are exactly household names, available in Australia through retailers like HobbyCo and Camera House it’s just $599 for the Dobby and there’s just a drone it’s all controlled with your smartphone.
Out of the box it’s an impressive unit. Not cheap light plastic, but solid build – the four prop arms fold out from the body which is about the size of a fat smartphone.
No need to attach the blades, they are the new swing out and spin style which make flight super easy.
My first issue came in downloading the do.fun app for the Dobby Drone. For some insane reason they require that you sign up with an account with them before you can get into the app. Crazy folks, crazy, lets hope they fix that – because I had issues signing up which prevented me flying. After that it’s more the simple question of why? why do we need to sign up – you already have my cash!
Once installed and working, you connect your smartphone to the Dobby Wifi network and control is ready.
A tap to take off (and land) button gets you in flight, with some familiar drone controls then on-screen. Touch left thumb and slide up to go up, down to go down. Left to spin left right to spin right.
On the right side you place your thumb on-screen and tilt the drone to fly forward back left and right.
I found it always “backwards” but that’s because I’m used to shooting “away” from me, where as the Dobby is made to be a “selfie drone” – once you realise this, it all makes sense.
The camera is fixed to the body, but can be manually tilted down to 45 degrees.
Photos are ok, in fact pretty darn good considering the tiny lens!
Videos are not so great, they are amazing – and if it’s your first drone you’ll be blown away.
The problem with the videos is the lack of stabilisation for the camera. You “see” every shake and movement the Dobby Drone makes.
However, top marks to Zerotech, they’ve mastered the “follow me” smart modes available in some of the most expensive drones on the market – and it works well!
Look overall, this is not a videographer drone, this is a selfie drone and if you can stump up the $599 it’s probably the best entry-level drone you can buy if you are looking to have some fun flights and take simple videos and photos.
Battery flight time is around 9 minutes, but extra batteries are small and easy to carry so no point not having a spare.