Opinions on Cheerwing CW4

Introduction:

Cheerwing CW4 looks like another Syma X5C drone. But this Cheerwing model is so much more. It has some mind-boggling features which will be loved by every pilot. It is a great value for the price and you can find many improvements over the X5C model in this quadcopter.

Specifications:

2000D101_8

PROS:

ALTITUDE HOLD:

This feature is usually seen in many advanced and costly quadcopters like DJI models. It is one of the most well-performing and promising features in the world of aerial photography. When you let go of the control stick of the transmitter, this feature enables to keep the quadcopter flying at the perfect level.

Surprisingly, this feature works amazingly well in Cheerwing CW4 as well. The drone will hover at precisely the same altitude. It can just drift slightly.

AUTO TAKE-OFF AND LANDING:

At the press of a button, the drone will take off and land automatically. If you hold onto the auto landing button for 2 seconds continuously, it will act as an emergency switch and will eventually turn off the motors. This is a very useful feature in case you want to prevent a flyaway or crash. This saves your drone from unnecessary damage.

PACKAGING:

Like many other toy quadcopters, CW4 also comes with almost everything in one single package. You get the following in the package:

  • 1 user manual
  • 1 CW4 quadcopter
  • 4 propeller guards
  • 1 USB battery charger
  • 2 landing legs
  • 1 2.4GHz controller
  • 1 4GB Micro-SD card
  • 2 500mAH Lipo batteries
  • 1 screwdriver
  • 1 card reader

The only you will need to get is 4 AAA batteries for your transmitter.

TRANSMITTER:

It is one of the most differentiating offerings when compared to other toy drones. The highlight feature of CW4 transmitter is the battery telemetry feature. As per this feature, the transmitter starts beeping when the drone battery turns low.

Another great advantage with Cheerwing CW4 is that the transmitter has an ergonomic feel to it. All the important buttons are easily accessible.

Last but not the least, the throttle stick of the transmitter is very flexible. Whenever you let go of it, it automatically centers. This is pretty unusual for regular drone transmitters.

FLIGHT PERFORMANCE:

Cheerwing CW4 flies effortlessly. The drone has three grades of flying where each grade increases the speed of flight by a notch. These grades or modes are called beginner, intermediate and advanced.

CAMERA:

The 720 p camera might not be the best thing in this drone. When compared to its closest competitor, Syma X5C, both have the same camera but the quality of the picture taken with CW4 is better. This is mainly because of the greater jello effect in X5C.

DURABILITY AND DESIGN:

CW4 has a premium look. Its all-white DJI drone style body gives it a highly polished and expensive look.

CONS:

  • The camera quality is not as good as some other drones in the same price range.
  • The chances of drone body heating up quickly are high.

FINAL VERDICT:

Sturdy and well built drone . Can probably take a beating.

Holy Stone X300C – Not even the best HS out there

Introduction:

Holy Stone X300C has more of a sci-fi vibe to it and is a kind of generic starfighter.It is all chromed up with some flashy paint as well. Is it worth it ? Maybe ,maybe not. Read on to find out . Also,check out our review on

Also,check out our review on Holy Stone HS110 .

  Specifications:

PACKAGING:

This ready-to-fly quadcopter comes with the following components in the packages:

  • A user’s manual
  • A USB charger
  • Drone
  • 2.4 G transmitter
  • 4 blades
  • Goggles
  • A screw driver
  • A handling gear
  • A spare battery

It is worth noting that the batteries for transmitter do not come in the package.PITA when companies do it . Batteries cost $2 or something , well that's a different story.

Holy-Stone

PROS:

DURABILITY AND DESIGN:

Starfigher'ish looks with some aerodynamic advantages. X300C is available in two colors: red and silvery white. Though I really do not know who would buy a red one. Silvery white is prone to getting crusty after a few falls .

When talking about durability, the plastic material of the body seems to be durable enough to sustain some crashes. You may, however, want to take breaks between each flight (approx. 10 minutes) to avoid the drone from overheating.

CAMERA:

The 2 MP camera quality is clearly not the best but it does provide a First Person View. Images and videos can be taken by the camera and be stored into the SD card. It can even be directly uploaded to the phone. Due to this very feature, this model is quite suitable for commercial purposes. Videos and photos come off grainy. HS110 has a 720p camera, just saying.

Apart from ease-of-control, this drone also has an additional feature of Phase-detection auto-focus which helps to adjust the camera with the speed.

BATTERY AND FLIGHT TIME:

Holy Stone X300C comes with a lone 3.7V 750 mAH battery. This battery takes around 72 minutes to charge up fully. A fully charged battery can last for about 10 minutes.

CONTROLLER:

Holy Stone X300C has the strength of TX transmitter. It combines with an application to help in the piloting of the quadcopter. The TX controller gets you an easy-to-connect access via the manual controls and 2.4 G connectivity. This feature helps you to get signal strength and it also helps to mark the altitude of the quadcopter.

UNIQUE FEATURES:

This drone comes equipped with three different flight modes (beginner, intermediate and experience) and 360 degrees flip feature.

FLIGHT PERFORMANCE:

This marvel can make instant swings, 3D rolls and spins, throttle and other interesting acrobatics. There is also automation of take-offs and landings.

CONS:

  • The model is capable of heating up very quickly. This makes long breaks between the flights important. There is a review somewhere which says the drone caught on fire on the first flight! Yea this thing heats the crap up.
  • There is also a time lag of 5 seconds for the drone’s control signals.
  • Buying this drone isn't easy. Amazon doesn't carry it almost half the time.
  • HS110 is better, I think - that being said you get what you pay for. X300Cs generally had more quality control than the HS110.

IONIC Stratus – Should not be your first drone

Introduction:

This quadcopter comes equipped with a mount for GoPro. It is a medium-sized drone and is armed with surprising flight features which can make the flight worthwhile.

Super cheap quad with some nifty features.

  Features:

Ionic-Stratus

PROS:


  • STABILITY AND DURABILITY:

Ionic Stratus has a very sturdy frame. It is highly shock resistant and seems crash resistant. The main frame and the arms are made to offer a higher level of strength altogether.

The drone has a sleek body. The replacement parts are also very cheap and easy on one’s pockets. That is if you find proper spares.

  • BATTERY:

The battery of Ionic Stratus can last up to 10 minutes. The battery takes 150 minutes to charge from 0%. This quadcopter does not come with any additional battery. So you must get spare ones as soon as you can.

  • CONTROLLER:

The controller works on a 2.4 G GR-246 transmitter. The remote controller alone needs 3 x AA batteries to function. This quadcopter is highly customizable to the extent that even the throttle can be customised by the pilot. The quadcopter supports the following functions: justifyward, backward, forward, rightward, downward, upward, rolling of the copter, justify turn, right turn and 3-D flips.

  • FLIGHT PERFORMANCE:

Even the people with minimal experience can work easily with this quadcopter. The controls are easy to maneuver and the ride is super fun with this model. The multirotor stays highly stable when in flight.

  • VALUE FOR MONEY:

This drone is a perfect one for the price. It is compatible with the GoPro Hero camera. Along with the drone, you even get 1 screwdriver, 1 charging cable, 1 remote transmitter, 4 rotating blades, 2 landing skids, 1 Go Pro Holder, 1 user manual and 4 protection frames. A complete package eh?

CONS:


  • As the drone is extremely cheap for the value it offers and it comes with no extra batteries or motors.sigh
  • The drone parts are hard to find and can take a long time to ship.
  • The shock mount of Ionic Stratus is not the best one. This makes the Go Pro highly unstable.
  • The battery takes a lot of time to charge and it only gives a 10-minute long flight. Many quadcopters in the market have a better flight time and the industry standard for a 10 min charge is about 75 mins.

FINAL VERDICT:

Feature rich drone if not for the lack of spares and for the super long charging time.Really shoudn't be anybody's first drone.

Only USP is the attached shock mount for some GoPro action.

Potensic F183DH Pros and Cons List – Cheap but packed

Introduction:

Potensic F183DH is a sturdy piece and is worth the dollars you spend on it. It is one indestructible, agile and fast drone which will make your flight worthwhile.

  Features:

Potensic F183DH 2

PROS:


  • RTF
  • It comes with 2 spare motors, 4GB TF card, USB battery charger, USB card reader, 1 charging cable, user manual and 4 extra blades.
  • The drone comes in a very well-designed, compact and attractive case.
  • The drone has built-in air pressure sensor which stabilises the drone
  • Great drone for beginners to intermediate hobbyists.
  • The drone has one-key take-off and landing feature which makes the drone easier to fly.
  • The company also offers 1-year free replacement for spare parts .
  • F183dh flies like a pro in breezy and windy conditions.
  • Extremely sturdy and stable with foam padding inside and metal reinforced edges.
  • Decent picture and video quality.
  • It is an unbreakable model that bounces off the ground upon falling. As the quadcopter is extremely light-weight and the propellers, batteries and motors are small, this quadcopter does not get mutilated upon crashing or falling.
  • Emergency stop functionality

CONS:


  • It produces a weird buzzing sound that can be very irritating for the pilot. Sometimes its too loud
  • Batteries are too small to last the flight for more than 8 minutes.
  • Motors don’t last too long. They may give away after 3 long flights at max.
  • There can be some issues in fitting the batteries and motors in case either of them burns out.
  • Beginners may get confused in understanding the build of this quadcopter. There have been many cases of children confusing the front of the drone with its back.

FINAL VERDICT:

Overall, Potensic F183DH is a great buy if not for the inconsistent motors. It is a compact, lean and lightweight model. It does not require any FAA registration and is ready to fly out of the box. It is a great value for the price.

Eachine E50 Foldable Pocket Selfie Drone Overview

Introduction:

Today we are looking at the Eachine E50 Drone, which is a tiny, budget selfie drone. The drone is clearly marketed towards the novice user who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money, but is it worth buying? We will look at the features and how user friendly the drone is, along with whether the image quality is as low as the price!

ARRIS-Eachine-Elfie-E50

  Features:

First Impression:

The main thing we see here is fun! Being able to control the drone with your phone is great and makes it easy for everyone playing games on their phone. When you first see the drone you will notice just how small it is, this really is a pocket drone. Unlike others with a separate remote control, there is no bulky extra thing to bring with you when you go exploring, just use your phone.

The gyro function is especially good for newcomers, enabling you to control the E50 just by tilting your smartphone. Combined with the altitude hold, the E50 should be a very beginner friendly drone. “Headless” mode is another great feature and means than you won’t get disorientated. It allows you to control the drone justify/right, back/forward based on its location relative to you, rather than its orientation. A live feed from the onboard camera to your smartphone really adds to the fun and means you can see your selfie as you take it.

eachine-e50-FI

When looking at the image quality we really do have to consider how cheap and small this drone is. For the price we think that the image quality is very reasonable considering that this is a flying camera. That said, in real terms and comparing to a smartphone the image is low quality. You won’t be using the E50 for aerial photography or entering any competitions, but for taking a group photo from above, the E50 gets the job done.

The other side of this drone is the toy aspect and as a toy, we think this is great. Being able to fly for 8 minutes on a charge means that beginners can get a reasonable amount of flying time in before landing. For more advanced users, the flight time will be long enough to set up a small course and race around it. The E50 could be a great first FPV drone for those who are on a tight budget. If you are going to be using the E50 for more than the occasional selfie, we recommend picking up extra batteries and a multiple battery charger. With these you could potentially stay flying indefinitely and if you are out and about you will have a reasonable amount of time in the air.

The light weight and small size are both great for making the E50 portable and very easy to carry around with you, but do make the drone a lot less suitable for using outdoors, particularly for capturing images. As the drone has no image stabilisation, even a gentle breeze will make your video shaky and your images blurry. This isn’t a problem if you are just having a fun fly around the garden, but if you are trying to take a group shot, we think this could get tiresome pretty quickly.

PROS:


  • Compact but manages to retain key features
  • Price point very competitive compared to other options in the market

CONS:


  • No image stabilisation
  • Very light, so will struggle outdoors

Verdict:

With technology in general we like to tell people that you generally get what you pay for and not to expect something for nothing. For the most part this is true with the Eachine E50. You get a camera drone for not a lot of money and so shouldn’t really expect great quality, but what you do get is a drone that is great fun to fly and is capable of keeping you entertained for hours.

The DJI Mavic can rest easy, there is no competition here. For the likes of the popular Hubsan X4 though, the Eachine E50 provides some real competition. We often recommend that people don’t bother spending that little bit extra for a toy drone with a camera, because it’s essentially wasted money over the base model, but the E50 has changed our opinion!

Walkera Rodeo 110 Mini FPV Drone Overview

Introduction:

With the ever increasing popularity of drone racing, users are demanding faster, more agile and smaller drones, to help them complete tighter courses. But does progressively smaller mean less power, speed and ultimately less fun? Today we are taking a first look at the new Walkera Rodeo 110, a Mini FPV Drone that is being marketed as a racing drone.

The Rodeo 110 follows the Rodeo 150, but with some important changes to improve the overall experience. The most obvious change is given away by the name, the Rodeo 110 has a smaller 130mm (not 110mm as the name suggests) diagonal motor span, down from 150mm. This makes the drone overall more compact, but means that smaller props are used (70mm down form 96mm). At only 101g without the battery and 148g with the battery, the Rodeo 110 is a very lightweight drone!

Walkera Rodeo 110 Mini

  Features:

First Impression:

The biggest change we found was that the frame is mostly 2mm carbon fibre with small amounts of non-structural plastic pieces, which should make the drone very sturdy and able to withstand fairly substantial crashes. In close second is our favourite change, a top mounted battery! The Rodeo 150 has the battery contained within the body of the drone. While this is nice and neat, it did mean that you were very limited in the size of battery that could be used. The Rodeo 110 has the battery mounted on top between two plastic plates (front and back), so while you are not completely free to choose any battery size, it looks like most will fit quite nicely.

Walkera Rodeo 110

The biggest thing that lets the Rodeo 110 down is the FPV camera quality, which appears blurry and has poor light sensitivity. We don’t expect top quality when purchasing a budget drone, but the camera is one area where we really wish manufacturers would spend more of the budget. For anyone buying the Rodeo 110 as a first drone, the FPV experience should be as good as possible if Walkera want to retain them as a customer and this is a real negative in our opinion.

PROS:


  • Carbon fibre frame
  • Top mounted battery
  • Light weight
  • Reasonable price
  • RTF option

CONS:


  • Low quality FPV camera
  • No OSD
  • No telemetry

Verdict:

The Rodeo 110 offers a lot of fun in a small package, it has some great upgrades/features when comparing it with the Rodeo 150, but is ultimately let down by the FPV camera. For a drone marketed as an FPV racer, we would like to see better image quality to help with navigating tight courses. The bottom line though is that this is marketed as a racer, but a racer it is not. You simply won’t be able to compete with 5” racing drones when using something this small. That said, for the money the Rodeo 110 ticks a lot of boxes and we would still recommend you strongly consider it if you are looking at mini RTF options or want something smaller to fly around an indoor event.

Courtesy of images : Gearbest.com

FrSky X4R-SB Receiver Overview

Introduction:

There are various suppliers and protocols out there, but recently FrSky (pronounced Free Sky) has been growing in popularity thanks to the good blend of features, reliability and price on offer. As flight controllers become more advanced and allow users to customize additional features such as flight modes, buzzers and lights, the basic 6 channel receiver isn’t going to cut it. If you want to do more of these things at once, then a good option is the X4R-SB from FrSky.

The FrSky X4R-SB receiver is a compact, full range, 16 channel SBUS (digital) receiver, with an additional 3 PWM channels. The receiver allows you to use 16 channels with only a single signal wire, which is fantastic for putting together a clean build. The receiver has a smart port and can provide telemetry back to your radio, which is handy for low voltage warning and battery consumption, as well as a number of other readings depending on your flight controller.

X4R SB recever FrSky

Receiver diversity is a great feature and means that you have a more reliable, stronger signal even while cornering at long range. It is important to note that the antennas should be installed at a 90 degree angle to one another and that the exposed tip of the antenna is the most important part. This should be kept as straight as possible to get the strongest signal. Most builders now make a lightweight support using a cable tie, which the antenna is then attached to using heatshrink. This keeps the antenna up and out of your props, but is still a flexible enough solution not to just snap in a crash.

Installation is simple, as like most receivers the X4R-SB is powered by a 5V supply. Binding the receiver to your transmitter is straightforward and just involves holding the pair button as you power on the receiver. A single signal wire to a suitable receiver channel on the flight controller is all that is needed before you can get started and make any changes needed to your flight controller’s software configuration.

We have been using the X4R-SB for a few months now after making the switch to FrSky from a Turnigy 9X transmitter with 8 channel receiver. The X4R-SB provides a reliably strong signal when flying in areas that the Turnigy system had lost signal, such as behind trees and at longer range. On top of this, the X4R-SB provides the backup of giving audio warnings when you have low signal strength.

PROS:


  • Reasonably priced
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Detachable/replaceable antennas with IPEX connector
  • Diversity
  • Telemetry

CONS:


  • No CPPM output
  • SBUS is not compatible with some older flight controllers, such as the popular NAZE rev5 (rev6 is ok) without some work around

Verdict:

We think the FrSky X4R-SB is a great receiver. It is simple to install and configure in the flight controller and provides us with telemetry back from the drone. More importantly, the rock solid reliability of FrSky has given us complete confidence in our control signal. Though we will admit we haven’t flown anywhere near the claimed “>1.5km” range, it has never lost signal where our previous system did. The receiver is compact enough to fit in all but the smallest micro build and has been robust enough to survive numerous heavy crashes.

Overall we would recommend the FrSky X4R-SB!

FrSky Taranis X9D Plus RC Transmitter Review

Introduction:

There are various suppliers and protocols out there, but recently FrSky Taranis has been growing in popularity thanks to the good blend of features, reliability and price on offer. The Taranis X9D Plus has become arguably the most popular transmitter used by FPV drone pilots because of its solid features and fantastic price. The transmitter has a range of features which are very useful for FPV drone pilots, particularly those not using an OSD.

  Features:

First Impression:

The Taranis feels really good in your hands and is comfortable to hold, having the same form factor as most transmitters currently available and a similar weight . The switches and knobs are easy to reach and use and the transmitter has a quality feel to it with multiple 3 position switches, where you might normally find just one or two. The gimballs have a reasonable quality feel to them, in-line with the price point. The backlight makes the screen easy to view in low light as well as sunshine and allows you to view reasonable amounts of menu information or telemetry on the 212x64 pixel display.

FrSky Taranis:

The customisation/settings available on the Taranis make the radio very versatile and mean that tweaking the radio to do exactly what you want is almost always possible. For example, using telemetry the radio can provide you with a voltage readout at the flip of a switch, or provide a warning when voltage is below a set value. This is invaluable if you are not using an OSD and means you can throw away that annoying battery warning beeper! Timers can be set up to time your flights or provide a countdown if you prefer to fly for a set time period. The menu system however is not friendly and will take some getting used to.

There are a large number of pages to navigate and buttons to press short or long for different functions. For an experienced user who is familiar with the radio, changing the settings will not be a chore, but for a new pilot unfamiliar with the menu system, the Taranis could take a while to master. This also means that you are unlikely to be in a position to bind and immediately fly, as there is some setting up to do.

Taranis a viable option:

The JR style RF module slot allows you to install external modules, giving you the option to run on other protocols and pair with models you already have, not running FrSky receivers. However, unless you are regularly flying a large number of models, the low price point of the FrSky receivers should mean you can swap over to FrSky without spending huge amounts on receivers. Where this does become very useful is for flying toy grade models or things like the Inductrix/Tiny Whoop, as a compatible receiver can be installed into the Taranis, meaning you no longer have to use the typically low quality transmitters that come with them. This makes the Taranis a viable option for people who prefer to fly mostly micro quads.

Taranis provides strong signal:

We have been using the Taranis for a few months now after making the switch to FrSky from a Turnigy 9X transmitter. The Taranis provides a reliably strong signal when flying in areas that the Turnigy system had lost signal, such as behind trees and at longer range. On top of this, the Taranis provides the backup of giving audio warnings when you have low signal strength. We have been very happy with the change to the Taranis and the features it provides.

One of the first modifications recommended for the Taranis is to switch from the stock NiMH battery, to a LiPo or LiFe battery. The stock battery takes a very long time to charge and does not give very much flight time in comparison to a LiPo.

PROS:


  • Great radio for the price
  • Telemetry
  • Audio/Voice and vibration feedback
  • Customisation options
  • Open TX software allows updates and further customisation

CONS:


  • NiMH battery that comes with the radio does not last long
  • Menu system is difficult to navigate for beginners
  • Balance arm blocks easy access to the power switch

Verdict:

The FrSky Taranis is a well designed and built radio, with a feature set and performance normally reserved for much more expensive models. We love the telemetry and customisation options available, allowing us to run without an OSD but still with the comfort of knowing that we aren’t over discharging our LiPos. After replacing the NiMH battery with a LiFe battery (an extra $10 if that), the radio is very much satisfying. There are some minor downsides to the radio and we feel that the biggest is the menu system, but this is just a side-effect of the huge number of customisation options available. Setting the radio up with basic settings isn’t an overly onerous task and it is to be expected that when doing something more advanced a level of research and time will be needed.

It is clear to see why the FrSky Taranis is such a popular radio, the level of quality and functionality provided for the price make the radio a clear choice for a range of different users. Whether you intend to use it for racing drones, micro quads or larger more advanced craft, the FrSky Taranis deserves some serious consideration and comes with a recommendation from us.

Runcam Swift FPV Drone Camera Review

Introduction:

Flying a drone by line of sight is great fun, but by adding a camera to the front of your drone and streaming the image live to video goggles or a screen, the experience is so much more. The sensation of flying and being in the pilot's seat is something that has attracted so many people to the hobby and is why it continues to grow. As with any popular new technology, things improve rapidly and there are a lot of options out there.

Currently the most popular option by far is to use an analogue camera with 5.8Ghz transmitter. With the camera often limiting the video quality achievable, it's important to use something that provides a reasonable level of detail, so that you maximise your flying experience. One very good option is the camera we have been using recently, the Runcam Swift.

DSCF4145

The Runcam Swift is a variant of the popular HS1177 camera, but with a number of tweaks that make it easy to install and use. It has a CCD sensor, which is generally accepted as superior for FPV because of its ability to handle a higher dynamic range and transition from dark to light much quicker. The Runcam Swift comes in black, silver and orange cases with both IR sensitive and blocked options. A number of mounts are included with the camera to maximise compatibility with current and future frames.

The cables that come with the camera use silicone wire, which is a nice touch and means that you are less likely to have a broken cable after some crashing and general quadcopter vibrations. The camera can be powered with anything from 5-17V, but we like to use a regulated 12V supply from the PDB.

In theory you could power the camera directly from a 2S-4S flight battery, but any voltage spikes or noise would then be passed onto the camera.

DSCF4144

Before using the Runcam Swift we had been using a standard cheap 600tvl CMOS camera. We are happy to report that after upgrading we noticed a very good increase in camera quality. The wide dynamic range makes a huge difference and overall we noticed a significant increase in image quality (we can now see those ghost branches that take you out). In our book, anything that improves the flying experience is very worthwhile.

The Runcam Swift comes with a separate osd/menu cable, that allows you to modify the camera settings without running a video pass-through. Instead, the video is transmitted by your VTX and you can view the video through your video receiver/goggles as normal. This is different to the standard and is partly why we chose to use this camera over others. Another nice

feature of the OSD/menu system is that you can add a simple text overlay with your name on, making it easy to find your video feed when flying with others.

Unfortunately, both the power/video and menu cable connections are at the bottom of the camera and so can foul the bottom of your frame if running a high camera angle and using the supplied bottom mounting bracket. The top mounting bracket limits you to about 35 degrees, so for those wanting to run the higher camera angles now becoming the norm, you will need to consider a 3D printed mount or a frame that supports mounting the Runcam differently.

DSCF4146

The other design flaw in the camera is to do with how the image sensor is secured. In a hard crash the sensor can break loose because the case back door does not hold the circuit board firmly enough. This can be easily resolved using a thin piece of foam between the door and circuit board and we have not had any problems with either of the Runcam Swift cameras purchased. We have had some very heavy crashes but have not experienced any issues, so do not think durability is a problem once the foam fix is conducted.

As well as the foam modification already mentioned, we replaced the standard 2.8mm lens with a wider angle 2.5mm GoPro HD Hero 2 lens. These are readily available and the modification increases the field of view, providing better peripheral vision. When racing or flying through tight turns this helps seeing around corners and also means if your camera angle is too high or low you can still see reasonably well, rather than just seeing sky/ground only. Being able to change the standard lens with a reasonably cheap alternative is a big plus in our books as it provides longevity if you break a lens in a crash and also provides customisation options.

PROS:


  • Excellent image quality
  • Wide dynamic range, ideal for FPV
  • Ease of menu access/settings modification
  • Customisable OSD/name display
  • IR sensitive version is great if regularly flying at dusk
  • Form factor makes the camera widely compatible with most frames
  • Wide input voltage range
  • Compatible with GoPro HD Hero 2 lenses

CONS:


  • Potentially fragile until modified
  • Camera tilt is limited to about 35 degrees with the provided mounting options.

Verdict:

We love the Runcam Swift and for the money it is a great upgrade. The camera has some downsides, but nothing that cannot be overcome with some minor modding that any drone builder should be used to. The price tag may seem hefty if you are used to buying cheaper CMOS alternatives, but the improvement in image quality is certainly worthwhile for all but the most basic budget builds. Flexibility provided by multiple mounting options, interchangeable lenses and an easily accessible menu to change settings all add up to make this our favourite when it comes to FPV cameras.

DJI Mavic Pro Review – Specs , Pros and Cons

Introduction:

DJI has never failed drone lovers.DJI Mavic Pro's release date is 15th October 2016. This drone will be incredibly satisfying to fly. No drone ever made offers so many features in such a small package and at such an affordable cost. This drone of DJI is all set to give a hard time to the newly launched Go-Pro drone, Karma.

Karma is priced about the same ($750) but it cannot fly as long as Mavic Pro in one charge. It does not have obstacle avoidance and cannot follow you automatically. It is also believed that the new model of DJI will give a tough time to its own brother, namely, DJI Phantom 4.

Highlight of this model:

The highlight of this model is that it is foldable

This small and foldable drone has big brains and awesome built-in features. Built-in obstacle avoidance, self-piloted return landings, geofencing, subject tracking and front and bottom-mounted sensors increase the appeal of Mavic.

Mavic Pro can achieve maximum 65 kph of speed in the sport mode. This makes it a decent model for drone racing. Mavic Pro can also fly steadily even the face of 39 kph winds.

dji mavic aircraft
button_check-price-on-amazon

  Specifications:

What Is In The Kit ?

  • Mavic Pro drone
  • Remote Controller
  • 3 DJI batteries
  • 16 GB Micro SD card
  • Charging Hub
  • Battery to power bank adapter
  • Car charger
  • Shoulder Bag
  • 4 Extra propellers
dji-mavic-big1

DESIGN:

When folded up, the size of this quadcopter is 3.27 x 7.8 x 3.27 inches. This is nearly the same size as your water bottle. This drone weighs only 743 g and is perhaps, one of the lightest drones ever made. This is mainly because of the new aerodynamic and ultralight neDJI Mavic Pro is the first model of DJI company which is small enough to be carried in the pocket of a winter coat or in a purse than a hard pack which is specially designed for it.

This foldable model has two front arms which can swing back and two rear limbs which can flip downwards and towards the main body of the quadcopter. It is a solid small-sized yet a feature-rich model.

There is also a small cover which hides the micro SD slot. The model of Mavic Pro also includes a small switch with which you can switch between your phone and the remote controller for flying the drone.

SCREEN UP:

The greatest barrier with drones has always been the intimidating controls but DJI is trying to change this situation with its offerings. Mavic Pro can be simply used with its bundled controller. After partnering your drone controller with a smartphone and latest DJI app installed, you can take full advantage of the gimbal controlled camera feed which is displayed on the screen.

Basically, you can do this simple set-up by opening the hinged side panels present at the bottom of the controller.Here you can place your smartphone between the rubber grooves. There is also a range of adapters to make hardwire connection to the remote controller. This has no WiFi pairing.

The meaning of this discussion is to prove that the controller is very to set-up once you have released the two antennas at the top.

REMOTE CONTROLLER:

The new controller of this model is entirely different from those of the previous models. The controller of Mavic Pro has a new LCD screen which displays a lot of information. It also has signal meters for motor RPM, GPS and the drone's speed. It also shows the battery level of the drone and the controller. The bottom of the screen shows a 'clearance' indicator. Just like a gaming console, there are two buttons on the back of the controller which can be programmed to do different things. The top-left corner sports a gimbal tilt wheel.

remote-controller

The shoulder buttons allow you to take a photo and start or stop a video. The jog wheel on the right-hand side of the controller can be set to change the exposure, ISO and other image settings. The controller is built to be universal. It can accept any iPhone or Android phone. So it can be a little tricky to plug the Lighting connector to your phone. The fold out arms of the controller has rubber inserts which can tightly grip your phone. So it will be important for you to remove the cover of your phone (if any).

button_check-price-on-amazon

VIDEO AND IMAGES:

The 28 mm lens of the model finds a perfect balance between getting everything in the frame without being too wide so that everything gets distorted. The level of control to tweak the exposure is pretty complex. Some other serious drawback is that you cannot take off the camera for non-airborne adventures. This is mainly because of the non-removable gimbal.

Apart from this, the camera quality is excellent and at par with other models of DJI. It can record 4k video at 30 fps 1080 p footage at 96 fps. Users can also snap 12 MP images in Adobe's DNG format. With Mavic Pro, it will also be possible for users to take two second long exposures. The three-axis gimbal promises to deliver sharp results. The gimbal is designed to turn the camera 90-degrees for capturing tall architecture.

dji-mavic-pro-drone-2602-0

The drone can easily set ISO sensitivity and white balance automatically in flight. You can easily gauge aperture and speed on the screen. You can set the focus by tapping the screen and selecting whether you want to shoot RAW files or JPEGs. It is extremely important to remember that you must tap the screen before you click any picture with the drone camera.

In case you miss it, you will get a blurred image as the lens would not have a fixed focus. You will be blown away by the stabilized and ultra-steady video made by Mavic Pro. If you allow your drone to hover in one place and record a video, you will think that you are looking at a photo. This is the height of stability in the model.

After taking most incredible images and videos, you can even edit them with a few taps in the DJI Go Editor. Then you can share the final piece of art with everyone.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Mavic Pro is like a one-man army. You do not need a film crew when you want to shoot with this model. All you need is Active Track. The Active Track feature helps you to shoot like a pro. All you have to do is to tell the drone who it has to track.
  • The Trace feature makes the quadcopter fly behind or in front of your subject. It can also make the quadcopter circle as and when it moves.
  • The Profile feature enables the drone to fly alongside the subject.
  • The Spotlight feature is a very interesting one. Using this, you can keep the camera trained and focussed on your subject while you fly almost anywhere.

MODES:

  • The Gesture Mode is a new feature in the world of drones. This feature enables you to take 'dronefies'. With Mavic Pro in the air pointing at you, a gesture by your arms or hands is all that the drone takes to take a photo. You can wave your hands to get the attention of your quadcopter. You can signal a 'Y' with your arms to tell the drone to focus on you. If you mimic a photoframe with your hand, the drone will click a 'dronefie' for you.
  • The Tripod Mode ensures that every move of the Mavic Pro is slow, steady and precise. This mode comes in handy when you are flying indoors or when you do not want to fly the model very fast.
  • The Sport Mode unlocks the full speed potential of this model. This mode is perfect for drone racing. This mode will allow a speed of up to 64.8 kph.
  • The Return to Home Mode of DJI Mavic Pro ensures that the drone automatically returns to its launch point in case the battery is low or if it loses signal with your remote.

BATTERIES:

  • The batteries of DJI Mavic Pro are smarter, easier and safer. The Intelligent Flight Batteries of the model have taken the safety levels of DJI models to an entirely new level. Many powerful drone batteries have been unreliable but with their own integrated brains, DJI batteries have stood the test of time and are as easy and safe to use as a regular rechargeable.
  • Each battery costs $90 and takes approximately 75 minutes to charge. A fully charged battery will go for as long as 27 minutes. This is the best flight time which has ever been delivered by any drone in the drone market.

SENSORS:

One of the most common problems in drones is that the sensor may not work properly. This may lead to some avoidable crashes and flight failures. For this very reason, Mavic Pro has front-facing sensors. It is an important feature which prevents the quadcopter from crashing. Whenever the drone approaches an obstacle ahead of it, it jerks to a halt and hovers at a distance of eight feet from such obstacle.

HEADSET:

New DJI Goggles headset has been launched for this model. It displays an 85-degree view from the drone on a 1080p display. The Goggles can deliver amazing clarity and lag-free quality of pictures. Most users would not need this until and unless they are racing the drone in the Sport Mode.

button_check-price-on-amazon

PROS:


  • DJI Mavic Pro is incredibly small and easy to carry.
  • The flight time is excellent when compared to other DJI models. Mavic Pro has a competitive edge over other drones in the market as it offers additional 2 minutes of flight.
  • You do not have to mess around screwing the propellers one by one. With Mavic Pro, you have to simply flip the four legs out. On powering up, the propellers automatically slip out into their position.
  • Mavic Pro is quieter than many other quadcopters.
  • The model is highly stable and steady even during a 20-mph wind.
  • You can also pair up two Goggles to a Mavic Pro. Each Goggle receives a 1080p video feed from the camera.
  • You can orchestrate the flight of your drone with your hands. You can give gestures for a particular direction and the quadcopter will follow your suit.
  • Mavic Pro also takes a video of the launch spot before taking off. Due to this very reason, it can land within one inch of its take-off point.
  • The all-new transmission system (OcuSync transmission) offers 7 km of transmission range is at your command with just a tap on your screen or a push of your thumb.
  • The drone comes with many interesting built-in features and modes. The Active Track feature is the highlight of the model.
  • The 'Gesture' feature makes Mavic Pro one of its kind. You can simply park the drone in the air, aim the camera at yourself and then ditch the remote controller. You can trigger the quadcopter to take a 'dronfie' (like a selfie) only with your hand or arm gestures.
  • Mavic Pro is a very safe model and all the drastic moves of the drone are kept at a bay.
  • Front facing sensors make the quadcopter crash proof and ensure a safe flight. This positioning can help the drone in seeing the obstacles from a distance and prevents it from crashing into any hurdle.
  • The flight autonomy technology enables Mavic Pro to see obstacles as far away as 15 m in front and provides absolute precision.
  • You can fly Mavic Pro by phone or over Wi-Fi for even easier flight
  • Vision positioning is paired with GLONASS and GPS and ensures precise positioning, both indoor and outdoors.

CONS:


  • The field of view of Mavic's camera is not very wide. In this respect, DJI Phantom and Karma are better options.
  • In certain lighting conditions, you may get certain blue casts in your pictures or videos. The Automatic White Balance setting of the drone can be better.
  • It is a complex model and you need to learn about all the features and settings before flying this.

FINAL VERDICT:

There is no doubt that folding drones will be the future of the drone market. As DJI has unveiled Mavic Pro, we are sure that this will become the bandwagon on which most of the drone-making companies would like to jump. Mavic Pro may seem to be expensive but it is definitely worth it. It seems to be the most accessible drone made by DJI till date.

The model has a better technology inside it when compared to Phantom 4. The number of its pros outweigh the cons and you cannot find a better deal at this price. Between gesture controls and improved smartphone app, DJI has made a drone that is much easier to use and control for the less technical minded people.

Mavic Pro should appeals those classes of people who have been watching drone for long by the wayside and are itching hard to make their own. There is only one significant downside in the model and it is that you cannot remove the gimbal and the camera for ground-based filming. But Mavic Pro's portability and durability are real winners.

DJI has got rid of its biggest turn-offs and you would not have to carry a big lug case to carry the drone. It is a highly recommended model and you should grab a piece as soon as you find it in the market. In case you want to check out the quality of video yourself, follow the link mentioned below.

button_check-price-on-amazon