XDynamics Evolve 2 a frustrating first impression
Dynamics was basically fixing all of the things that we had complained about with the evolve one. If you remember the evolve, one, it sort of fell flat on its face. There was a lot of shortcomings with that drone and the evolved two was poised to fix all of those problems. Then the pandemic happened and they went silent and i honestly thought that this would never make it into consumers hands. But a couple of weeks ago they reached out asked if i was still interested in taking a look at the drone, and i said yeah. So this is going to be my first impressions since going hands on with the evolve 2. buckle up because im not holding back Music whats going on everybody, ken here youre watching original dobo. This is my first impressions. Video of the x dynamics evolve. 2.. Im really passionate about technology im, really passionate about products like this. I love seeing new things in the marketplace, but before we elaborate a little bit more on this lets go over some standard disclaimers with this video first off, i did not purchase this drone x. Dynamics did send this out to me to review this is a pre sale, drone theres, actually a stamp somewhere on the bottom. That says not intended for resale. This is a pre production model matter of fact, this model is so pre production. It was so beat up by the time i got it. The lens has dings in it, theres scuffs on the carbon fiber, it looked like it was kicked around by ups and then just to top it all off.
While i was at the beach a dog pissed on the bag that they included with it so yeah its been torture tested for sure so x dynamics is not seeing this video before i post it. So the first time i post this is the first time that they will see it as well. However, with that said, i have been in constant communication with them, probably to the point that theyre tired of me about my happenings with this drone with that said, lets go ahead and just talk about the build quality and overall design of the evolv 2.. So the evolv 2 sports, what they call a monocoque design, the top chassis of the airframe, is completely carbon fiber. It is incredibly rigid and really durable. It feels amazing. The video is not going to do it any justice as far as the overall beauty of this they improved over the previous generation evolve. The previous generation was a bit chunky. It was fat it. Actually, it was a weird looking drone. They made it a lot more sexy and streamlined with the evolve 2.. The aircraft is crafted out of just polished, beautiful carbon fiber. It really does look. Stunning theyve also went ahead and improved the motors these motors. Now sport, a quick release, design. They are calling these. The dyno wing 2 props – and these props are quite huge, youll notice that the front props are slightly more raised than the rear, and this allows for them to pass one another without colliding its a pretty unique design.
And despite these props being so huge and the motors being so large on this drone, its actually pretty quiet with all that being said, the landing gear is a plastic sort of polycarbonate landing gear. It is not removable, so they dont clip in and clip out, which i thought that would have been a better idea to make this a little bit more compact. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The underside of the aircraft is made out of magnesium. That also acts as its heat sink its on right now, but, as you can tell, there is no fans so its not spooling up or spooling down its completely silent. So i probably wont leave this on for too much longer because i dont want it to overheat, because again, part of the cooling process is the fact that it does need air moving against those fins. I could be wrong about that, but i am in the hottest climate out of all the reviewers, so i dont want it to damage any internal components, but that is something to keep in mind that there isnt a fan built in, but they did test this in Death valley and supposedly it came out on top so take that for what it is the camera on. This is the astra micro, four thirds camera its a 12 megapixel sony sensor in there, its micro, four thirds. So if youre familiar with something like a gh5, it has the same sensor as the panasonic gh5 cameras.
So, quite literally, i can take lenses that i use on my dslr camera and put them on this camera system which, as a matter of fact, as we start talking about the filming process, i did in fact have to do that with the uh, the lens and Ill talk more about that in a little bit in this video, but you can interchange the lenses which i think is pretty cool. The gimbal also seems to be pretty strong. It is a great build quality and it just sort of snaps on here to front. There is a clasp here, you press the button in and you are able to disconnect the gimbal exchange, the gimbals for other gimbals if they produce other gimbals or replace any damaged components, pretty cool underside of the motors youll notice. There are leds. These leds are able to be changed to any color that you desire. I think that is an interesting touch, theres also sort of another sort of heat sink. I dont know if it serves a massive purpose, but underneath there it does look like there is some form of cooling additive. With that magnesium touch again, it could just be for looks but im going to give them the benefit of the doubt that it actually does something. As far as obstacle avoidance on the build design, we have two forward facing cameras on the bottom. We have a camera as well, along with the lidar sensor and the ground position sensor at the time of recording this video.
The obstacle avoidance is not functioning, which is sort of weird its only been two years to get the obstacle avoidance functioning, i dont, know sort of weird. Overall, it looks interesting as far as the build quality and design goes. I really dont have much of a complaint with the aircraft itself. As far as that regard goes, it does take an sd card or you can put a cfast 2.0 card in there. I have been opting to use a cfast card as its the fastest form of writing, and it also allows you to take advantage of the prores lets talk about the build quality of the ground station yeah. This ground station is quite massive. It is a clamshell design. It also sports two separate screens ill, be completely real with you. I am not a fan of this ground station. I think its absolutely unnecessarily bulky and um im, not a fan of it. I dont need two screens its just another thing to distract me from whats. Going on with the drone, they could have saved size, they could have saved weight if we just had one screen and they could have saved cost. But again, part of what theyre trying to do is really like emulate this. This dual screen option here, which again not a fan of the dual screen uh the screen is bright 1000 nits of brightness and in my testing it works well. What i do like is that the clamshell design does sort of block the sun from either side.
There is also a webcam on this uh, this device as well in the front here, theres a webcam im, not really sure why thats there it has to be there um that is sort of weird. It does have android on board its a very heavily customized version of android, but deep down underneath all this, it is android now youre, probably thinking yourself well, ive seen other reviews. Why does your drone or your ground station have antennas? Well ill? Talk more about that in the issues section of this video, but i went ahead and ordered some antennas that are specific for the 2.4 5.8 gigahertz bandwidth, because i wanted to try the external option. One of the things that this machine allows you to do is to switch between internal antennas and external antennas, so i did test both ways um during my time with this video theres, also a plethora of custom buttons. On this i mean all in all i mean this would feel like a very comfortable rc, but i just feel like um. It is clunky one of the things that they did not send me was a lanyard when i opened the box. Actually, my unit has been used for a while batteries were laying on top of the evolve unit. The presentation was was a complete show, there was no lanyard in there. This is a clunky controller and you either put it on a quarter 20 and put it on a tripod or youre going to use a lanyard.
A lanyard is a must. With this. I dont care who you are unless, if youre youre, andre the giant and you have these massive hands its going to be cumbersome to hold this, it also the counterbalance of this its. As you can tell im, not a fan of the controller, the ground station. They want us to call it the ground station Music lets talk about the battery life all right, so these are the batteries. They are 6700 milliamp hour batteries. So this is quite a large battery and uh one interesting thing about this battery. Is it does charge relatively quickly with the included charger? You can charge both the ground station and the battery, and in my experience using these, i have two batteries. Both batteries charge really quick, so you never really find yourself waiting too terribly long for these charge. The batteries are better than the first generation evolve. So if you had any access to the first generation, youd know that the batteries were hit or miss with the build quality and the performance. These are definitely better. With that said, im averaging about 22 to 15 minutes of flight. It widely varies. I know that is a huge number to talk about, but the flight times that i have been seeing have been really really sporadic as far as um time like and also being safe, like im landing with about 20 battery. So when i talk about this yes theres battery left, i have about 20 percent left to the battery by the time im landing because im trying to be, you know, how would a consumer fly this? Would they fly this to 10? No most are going to fly to about 20 battery and then land and thats what ive been doing and um yeah the battery life.
I dont think its the best does that have any effect on the fact that there isnt a fan, cooling, the internal components. Could that be a reason? Why were seeing decreased times im not really sure, but i will say last night flying. I was getting about 20 minutes of flight time during the day, ive seen about 15 minutes of flight time, so uh flight time is something that needs to be improved upon. Luckily enough, i believe you do get two batteries when you buy one of these so theres that the evolv 2 improves upon a lot of the shortcomings with the evolv 1.. The top speed is 53 miles per hour, which, in my testing, i have been able to hit those top speeds in sport mode. One of the biggest things that i dont like in sport mode is the fact that it does lose altitude. When you are, you know ripping along 53 miles an hour. You do have to be mindful that you will lose altitude, but it can exceed those speeds even and you will actually get speed warnings as well. Now, in my testing with the flight, it flies very stable. However, it doesnt really hold its position. All that amazingly, i would expect better for it having lidar. It seems a little bit floaty at times, but its not terrible its, not terrible by any means its just, not perfect, and unfortunately, at 3 600. I think the whole positioning hold needs to be perfect theres been times when i was flying this, where the camera would completely disconnect, and i would lose all video which i talked to them about this and they pushed out an update, and since that update it hasnt Happened but one of my biggest gripes with this unit this aircraft specifically, is the fact that there is artifacting in the screen as im flying.
If i yawed, left or right or moved, left right pitch forward or backwards or hit up, i was getting artifacting now they did put out an update which resolved some of those issues. It resolved some of those issues, but the artifacting and transmission issues still persist enough to the point where, while i was flying in the city, i honestly did not feel as confident as i was with the uh mavic or any other drone like the evo to be Quite honest, i was not as confident with this drone as i was with the other ones. The other thing, which i think is more disheartening than the actual transmission issue, is the fact that the transmission has a hell of a lot of latency. There is so much latency when im landing. I have to be going pretty damn slow. Otherwise i will overshoot my landing and, as im coming down, the drone will still be moving forward. You really do have to take an account for the latency, because if you dont, you will miss your shot now. Can that be fixed? I dont know i hope it can be fixed, and that was part of the reason why i ended up using external antennas. I wanted to rule out the fact that the internal antenna was actually the problem now im going to do a brief demonstration here on the screen, so you can actually see the latency on the screen, and now you may say to yourself: well, the ground station is Really close to the aircraft.
Well, that honestly shouldnt matter, we should still see some of the best latency, giving the fact that they are both in the same vicinity. But, as you can see, we have a problem here with latency, and that is a dangerous thing. When you have an aircraft in the air milliseconds matter and in this case actually seconds matter because thats what it really does feel like so as far as performance goes, there is a lot of room for improvement. Okay, so if youre buying this drone youre probably buying it, because you can exchange the lenses and its a micro, four thirds sensor – and i will tell you that the color science on this drone looks pretty damn good. Everything looks really super cinematic and filmic. It has a very soft subdued feel to the color science now thats not going to be everybodys cup of tea, but for me i found the color science to be pretty solid. However, if you are somebody that just wants a straight out of the camera experience, this drone is definitely not going to be for you in that department. This drone does require a little bit of post processing and work to to get the images to be where you are, but the same could be said for a cinema camera when you, you know spit your images out, theyre not ready to go like a sony. You know a7 iii or something you have to mold those images to get them to look exactly how you would want them to look so the same can be said for this as well.
Now the interesting thing about this system is that it does shoot in prores. You have prores 422 prores lt, which is their light version and then prores proxy. Now, with each version of prores that you decide to shoot with, there are some compromises in prores 422. You can only shoot in 23.97 or 24 frames per second theres. No high speed frame options or 2997, which this timeline, this video is in a 29.97, but if you want those higher than normal frame rates or of 29.97 or 30 frames per second step it down to prores lt, and you have those options available to you. Stepping down the prores proxy or dropping the image quality to you know, 2.7 k enables you to have those higher frame rates, such as 60 frames per second. Of course, you can go ahead and shoot in h.264 and h.265 as well. Just like you could on dji drones, however, unlike dji drones, 10 bit, color is not an option in 264 or 265. on the mavics youre able to shoot in 265 d log 10 bit, but on the evolve you can, i think, thats a huge, miss and something They need to reconsider. I dont think the only profiles you should be able to shoot 10 bit color on is the prores versions. Thats just thats, just my thought. You know from from somebody that does work professionally. Sometimes i need smaller files smaller than normal files, and to be able to have that option of 10 bit and h.
265 would be a better option. Another thing that i did notice with shooting prores there is a subtle, gamma curve that raises the shadows on this drone. Specifically and when it does that it does increase the noise. So if youre gon na shoot this at night, i would highly recommend you stay away from prores, at least for right now, until they can revise that color profile, because it raises the shadows way too high. And if you have your iso over 800 or a thousand its going to introduce way too much noise to the image, but in h.265 i was able to push the iso all the way up to 5000. What i would consider pretty cleanly and have very very minimal noise in the image which i thought was pretty impressive in that regard. Im gon na go ahead and play some sample footage here that ive shot over the past couple of weeks. So you can see the results of color grading pro res and well talk about the images after you watch this Music alrighty. So for the opening clips. All of that was shot in prores, lt 422 lt uh and it was color graded. It was iso 100, and the lens that you were seeing is not the standard lens that ships on this. This is a 17 millimeter olympus lens the lens that i ended up using for that shot. Along with the night, shots was a laowa 7.5 millimeter fixed lens thats, a manual focus lens now, theres, a reason why i did this because the night shots i ended up having to go out twice for the night shots.
The first time i used the 17 millimeter lens and when i used that lens, there was nothing but problems with it. It wasnt focusing on objects: aff afs, autofocus, wasnt, able to lock on a target, and all of my images were really super soft, which was a bit of a bummer because its an f 1.8 lens, and i thought they would have looked great when i flipped it Over to manual focus manual, focus wasnt functioning when i asked them about that. They said manual. Focus with this lens was not functioning, so i was really pissed off that night i came back. I looked at all the images and every single photo. I took looked super soft looked terrible. There was crazy amounts of noise in the prores and i was frustrated. I was really upset because i wasted an entire evening filming footage that just looked like, and i was mind boggled, because this sensor should be capable of so much more. So what i did was, i ended up going back out again with the micro four thirds sensor, along with the laowa 7.5 lens, that i used on my center lifters, because the lens was just slightly bigger than this. I didnt have to do a counterbalance and because its light enough, it worked fine and my end results were much better sharper images every single photo. I took looked amazing, but it was such a wide field of view, so you had to get really close to things and sometimes your verticals can be a little bit skewed because of that wide angle.
So it made things a little bit harder to shoot, but the end result was the images. Looked exactly how i had in my mind. I was hoping they would look, so i think theres going to need some work as far as the lens and camera combination, but i do want to point out again. This is pre release firmware and my camera lens was dinged up. Like i dont know, if you can see it, but the front here like if i put my finger on this yeah its its pretty rough, like it, was dropped or b like im sort of pissed, that they would send me a aircraft in this condition. Simply because you know out of everybody, you sent the drone to one im, not gon na hold back and two im the most critical of them all. Why would you why? Would you even risk a video like this? Knowing that i am that critical, why you need to fire your marketing guy for one for even not approving and and no no quality assurance for sending these units out when you put a product out like this, you put your best foot forward and this what you Provided to me is not your best foot forward as far as the condition i received it in, which is which, which is an absolute shame and im just a little bit pissed im a little bit pissed about that all right. Let me just jump into the conclusion of this um because i i think we need to well wrap this video up all right.
So in conclusion, this is a beautiful drone that isnt perfect and, i think, thats the biggest takeaway. They made a lot of improvements, they made a lot of improvements, but the improvements are negated by a lot of its shortcomings: the transmission, the glitching, the software not being 100 perfected, not giving your pilot confidence to be able to get the shot. I was able to get some amazing shots. Im im im considered a good pilot and im able to get those shots, but it took me a few times to get those shots. If i was flying this professionally on a set flying those routes, multiple times would be unacceptable for a professional and no dp would put up with that whatsoever. This is touted as a professional utility and it doesnt provide professional performance if they make corrections. If they fix the issues, then it will be a amazing aircraft and it will be an amazing performer but thats if they fix the problems. Im im just frustrated because, as somebody who who has to work with clients work with companies, brands like this benny benny, this is your company. This is your company. You want the best possible experience, the most different experience that you can possibly bring to the market. Why? Why was this released in this fashion? Why was this released like this? Why is there so much not functioning and in the hands of reviewers? Why, if its to rush to beat the mavic 3 to market thats, not the right reasons, because your target customer is somebody who needs to fill a void between an inspire and a phantom that does not exist.
Thats your target customer, not the mavic. This should be perfect right now, its its its okay, its, not good its, not great, and okay, just isnt worth 3 600. All right im done. Send me a um. A pre addressed um. Send me a ups shipping label, so i can send this back to you. Guys i got the message: homie aint no flexing on me. My attorney gon na call and collect blessings on blessing. For me, my successors only made them envious. They got upset. I had to put all their egos in check. I want the money to power, respect and i heard you know so and so youre not a threat cause.