Flying drones is one of the new trends amongst gadget lovers. Several brands managed to stand out and these days, they come fully equipped with ever-advancing features and technologies. As the price comes down, more and more pilots able to get their hands on the most recent, cutting-edge drones.
The high-resolution camera and flight handlings are some of the improved features that many drone pilots get to enjoy these days. In this drone reviews, we will take a look at six different models and compare the performance of their cameras and flying experience.
Drones Brief Overviews and Specs
1. DJI Phantom 3 Professional – DJI is well-known drone manufacturer that has produced many advanced quadcopters. DJI Phantom 3 is their latest flagship that starts to gain a reputation amongst avid drone pilots. It features several innovative technologies including Lightbridge Technology and Vision Positioning.
It also packs every little feature that you normally expect from a high-end drone – auto takeoffs, auto landings, high power flight battery and powerful camera. The camera can capture 4K videos at 30 frames per second, and the attached gimbal provides stable recordings and snaps 12MP still pictures.
2. Phantom Aerial UAV – DJI Phantom Aerial UAV is an RTF flying machine that can satisfy the hearts of any beginners, intermediate and advanced flyers. It comes with GPS positioning, fail-safe function, and Intelligent Orientation Control.
There is no included camera but with the GoPro-friendly camera mount, you can use your Hero3+ or Hero4 for your aerial photography. With the use of GoPro action cameras and an additional gimbal, you can expect high-quality 4K videos from this drone.
3. Robotics Iris+ – It is another quadcopter that can capture high-quality photos and videos from an aerial view perspective on your behalf. The 3PV feature sets the drone on an auto-pilot mode. It moves in agreement with the GPS positions that you set before the flight. The recommendable Tarot gimbal allows you to tilt and pan the camera and shoot centered and balanced videos. You may purchase the drone together with the Hero3+ Silver version or buy it separately.
4. DJI Inspire 1 – Inspire 1 is also one of the sophisticated drones produced by DJI. It is an upgrade version of Phantom 2 and comes with a bigger body size. Besides than the regular GPS positioning, it comes with an ultrasound and optical technology to guide the drone when there is no GPS signal. With the 3-axis gimbal stabilization, you can expect the video recordings to be highly cinematic and professional. This DJI inspire 1 also are rated : Best Professional Photographers.
5. Q500 Typhoon – It is a product of an aviation company called Yuneec. It has a bigger body size than DJI’s Phantoms models, and that translates to extra stability. The attached camera can capture 1080 pixels high-definition videos and the 3-axis gimbal ensures the recordings to be stable and clear.
One cool thing about Q500 is that the transmitter includes a built-in FPV monitor, and this allows you to control and view your shots all at the same time.
6. GHOST – GHOST is a drone manufactured by an American/Chinese company. It collaborated with Duke University to come up with a flying machine that follows its pilots. With the smartphone controller, the drone intelligently follows the users by using the signal from the smartphone as its guidance. If you install a gimbal on this quadcopter, you can do extra camera controls such as tilting and panning.
Gimbals to Support Stable and Smooth Video Recordings
Let us share with you a little bit about gimbals. It is one of the helping tools when it comes to capturing professional video shots. Even if you have an outstanding flying skill, a drone without a high-performing gimbals will still fail to capture the best results for you.
You need to know that some drones arrive with a preinstalled gimbal, and some do not. In the latter case, you may buy it separately and attach it to your drones. Gimbal helps in providing extra stability to your camera. A good gimbal provides easy control, smooth transition, and a seamless change of movement.
They come in a single axis, 2D and 3-axis. A 3-axis gimbal assists smooth tilting, panning and canting of your camera. A 2-axis gimbal can only operate your camera in an up, down, left and right movement, but it does not support panning. A single axis moves the camera in a forward and backward position only.
Camera Capture Qualities
All six cameras above feature or support the use of an excellent camera. The GoPro and proprietary cameras can shoot high-definition videos easily. As you can see in the product summary section in this drone reviews, all drones can record 4K videos. Therefore, you cannot differentiate the quality of the videos on the camera per se.
After reading the gimbal section above, you should know that the gimbal is another factor to consider before buying the best drone for yourself. A 3-axis Gimbal provides a more stable video recording during the flight. It stabilizes the video on three different axes that are pitch, roll, and yaw. The 2-axis gimbal can only support camera movements on pitch and roll axis. Therefore, a Jello effect (a jittery horizontal movement) is more frequent on videos captured on 2-axis gimbal.
When we compared all six high-end drones, it seems like there are several winning models when it comes to camera capture qualities. Phantom 3, Inspire 1 and Q500 Typhoon comes fully equipped with 3-axis gimbal and powerful cameras. Phantom Aerial UAV and Iris+ do not include any gimbal, but the company recommends specific 2-axis for these models. Ghost drone has a 2D gimbal.
With the 3-axis gimbal and excellent camera, Phantom 1 is the winning model as it can shoot 12MP still images and 4K video resolution. Plus, there is an additional F2.8 lens and a 1/2.3-inch sensor that can adjust lightings in your videos. All these settings are adjustable directly from the transmitter as well as the mobile app. Phantom 3 Professional and Q500 might have similar a video quality and gimbal setting, but their camera specs are not as powerful as the one on the Inspire 1.
The drone that captures our attention when it comes to the flight handling is DJI Inspire 1. Even with the big size and heavy weight, these two features might come in handy in providing a flawless flying experience. This high-end drone can fly in the sky even on a windy day. It also takes off relatively quicker than the Phantom drones and can reach a speed of 22 meters per second.
Plus, it can change its direction quite suddenly and smoothly. Plus, there are three different positioning on this drone – GPS, ultrasound and optical. It makes an outstanding indoor flight and can remain stable when flown under extreme condition. With such advanced flying technologies and premium body quality, it is not a surprise to see it comes with the most expensive price tag at $2,899!
If we have to select our second favorite drone for flying experience, the Phantom 3 must be it. It has a longer flight time at 23 minutes compared to Inspire 1 (18 minutes). Plus, the body is much smaller, lighter and costs a fraction of the Inspire 1.