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Attention: RC-CAM.com will be closing down August 2021.

The RC-Cam.com forum was the very first online community dedicated to the advancement of wireless video cameras on radio controlled (R/C) models. This is now called "FPV" (First Person View). We are proud of the contributions that our members have made to the FPV hobby.

We've seen significant changes over the last twenty years. Initially there were a lot of eager R/C hobbyist that built their own video systems. Allowing these creative individuals to share their work was the purpose of this site. Now the FPV market is flooded with low cost systems; Sadly DiY FPV video projects are now rarely discussed.

RC-CAM.com (main site and forum) will be closing down August 2021. This is being announced now (March 2021) so that everyone has time to download any information that is important to them. After the site is shutdown the information will no longer be available here.

We appreciate every member's involvement with advancing the FPV hobby. It is indeed sad to say goodbye to all our online friends. Be safe and stay healthy.

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I would like to ask the group for their estimates approximations on how much they spend per year on their quad flying hobby.

Obviously, there is cost for gear, spare parts, repairs, batteries, software, etc, etc..

If you were to total it all up and estimate how much you spend per year, I'd greatly appreciate it.

It would be nice if in addition to an one number estimate you could provide: initial costs and on-going maintenance cost as separate estimates. Again, of course, costs differ based on what you fly and what equipment you have on-board, so please add that kind of info to your estimate as well.

This would be an interesting poll to see how much this hobby costs /year. Will help me a lot to budget it. With different people providing different estimates, we can aggregate it and come-up with a true average and a mean, which should be a very good estimate of actual costs.



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Yes, I intend to do this commercially, but part time.

Initially I'll learn to fly as if it was a hobby, but as soon as I'm comfortable flying the GAUI quad and shoot a few vids and stills using cheap cameras, I intend to upgrade to a mikrocopter or other comparable quad capable of lifting SLR and will try to get jobs as a pro.

I don't expect to be too busy initially, so I'll maintain my regular job. But if I'm successful getting jobs, I'll "cut the cord" and go rc flying full time. (pun intended)

My intention is to focus on sports aerial photography. But it may change if I discover that there is no money in it for me.

I then try anything else that works: commercial real estate, events, weddings etc.



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Yeah this is where it can vary a lot...

For hobby flying you might be set with a $400 GAUI, and "maintnenance" not exceeding $100 for a couple of new $20 batteries and some prop sets per year if you're not smashing it too much.

For pro work, you'll probably want an octo MK if you want to lift an SLR, which is about $1500 in parts for the base version and self-assembly.

But you might also want to buy one already assembled and set up, with the GPS assistance options, with a camera mount your SLR fits in, and with the downlink equipment for about $5000... a $3500 premium that would make most hobbyists cry for ripoff because "I can buy the parts and do this myself and save $3000", not counting a week worth of work, but that for a pro might be worth saving the hassle - knowing he can ask about $800 for half a day of aerial photo shooting and will recover the extra cost in no time.

Maintenance is the same - props because you'll wear them mostly during transport and will want to replace them to keep them properly balanced if you do video, and batteries because you'll want extra ones or replace those that get old, they'll be a bit more expensive but nothing more than a couple hundred $ per year either. And I won't factor in crashes, because you'll NOT want to crash it, and will be a lot more careful with what you do than with the GAUI. If you do, what would take most is the payload, i.e photo/video equipment. It takes a lot to break aircraft parts, the expensive electronics are quite well protected (unless you ditch in water), and the "arms" that can bend or break are just cheap aluminium tubes.

Do consider real estate, it's easy and pays well.

Edited by Kilrah
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