Aerial video used to be the domain of filmmakers with the money and ability to rent a helicopter or even a plane. Not anymore. Thanks to the advent of quadcopters, amateur and professional videographers can now take breathtaking aerial footage without breaking the bank. But what if you’re looking for a great quadcopter? What is the best quadcopter on the market?
Let’s first look at some general info about quadcopters. We’ll also cover some of the major advantages of using a quadcopter (or drone) in your projects. If you’d like to just skip to the quadcopter models, just click this link to go to that section of the article now.
A quadcopter is a small, unmanned aerial vehicle that can be used to take aerial shots. A quadcopter is a rotorcraft, which means that it generates lift by using a set of rotors. It is similar to a helicopter but with four rotors, compared to a helicopter’s two rotors.
To fly, quadcopters use two pairs of propellers. One of these pairs moves clockwise and the other moves counterclockwise. A “pilot” operates the quadcopter using a remote control transmitter that sends signals to a receiver built into the quadcopter.
From the ground, the operator can change the speed and pitch of the propellers to control the movement of the quadcopter. To take aerial photographs, quadcopters designed for photography or videography can have cameras or gimbals mounted on them. They also incorporate three-axis gyro technology to minimize shaking and allow them to capture clear images.
Best Quadcopters – The Advantages
With the use of a quadcopter, you can easily and cost effectively add the ability to shoot aerial footage into your video filming resume. You can take panoramic photos of places and events and get shots in hard to reach or even dangerous places. Really advantageous!
One great example of how versatile a good quadcopter can be is the way they were used during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
If you watched the skiing and snowboarding events, there is a good chance that the breathtaking and exciting images you were seeing were being taken by a quadcopter that was remotely controlled to follow along and film the action.
A standing camera or even one handheld by a moving camera man would never have been able to keep up as well as the quadcopters did.
Another advantage that a quadcopter offers – that a standard helicopter would not – is its ability to fly almost soundlessly. Also, because of it’s smaller size, a quadcopter allows you to get closer to your subject without getting into the shot or disturbing the scene.
The Best Quadcopter
Here’s our list of what we consider the best quadcopters currently on the market.
This quadcopter comes with a Dual 1GHZ Linux CPU which allows you to control both the quadcopter remotely and change the position of the camera as needed. Because of it’s powerful CPU, this is considered one of the most “intelligent” quadcopters available.
This quadcopter is easy to use, even for beginners. It’s flight is GPS satellite-guided and there is an auto “take-off and land” and a “return-home” feature.
There’s also an e-brake that allows you to quickly stop the drone’s flight and let it hover in mid air. To access these features, you can either use the Solo’s remote control or download the mobile app and control it from the device of your choice.
The Solo also has a patent pending computer-assisted technology called Smart Shots. According to the manufacturer, Smart Shots will allow users to set up the shot they want in real time, then tap “play” on the app. The Solo will then execute the shot with a high level of precision.
3DR Solo Quadcopter (No Gimbal)
- Solo’s video game-style controller will feel familiar the second you pick it up, even if you’ve…
- In case you missed it in the picture…that’s a high-quality HDMI port directly from the controller…
- Full-featured app for iOS and Android puts total craft control at your fingertips.
The Phantom 3 is fast. The motors on this drone are some of the most powerful on the market. This means that it can accelerate and decelerate a lot faster than other quadcopters.
The Phantom has an average speed of 36 miles per hour. It’s maximum ascent speed is 13 mph and it’s maximum descent speed is 4 mph.
Aside from it’s powerful motors, one other reason this quadcopter can move so fast and be so easily manoeuvred is it’s extremely lightweight. This is mostly due to it’s small but powerful battery. The Phantom 3 has a 4480mAh battery but it still gets a good amount of flight time, around 23 minutes per charge.
The Phantom can be controlled via phone or tablet. It’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Using your device, you can get a 720p HD live feed of what your drone is seeing and recording – always an advantage.
You can also use your mobile device’s data connection to stream this live feed directly onto YouTube, if you so wish.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter 4K UHD Video Camera Drone
- 4k UHD video recording with fully stabilized 3-axis gimbal; Vision Positioning system allows stable…
- Lightbridge digital streaming allows live viewing of 720p video (full resolution video is…
- Included flight battery and rechargable remote controller means this system is ready to fly out of…
- DJI Pilot app for iOS and Android allows live viewing and complete camera control (phone/tablet sold…
- Kindly refer all the Tutorial Videos given in the Image Section on the Catalog before use for the…
The DJI Inspire is probably the most popular 4K quadcopter available on the market. People love the Inspire for its ability to capture video with 4K resolution. The Inspire is certainly one of our absolute favorites!
The Inspire’s design might appear at first as a little ungainly. It has large propellers driven by some very powerful motors, but it’s actually very light-weight and quite easily maneuverable. It’s propellers are mounted on carbon fiber arms that are strong but lightweight.
The Inspire uses 3-axis gimbal technology to ensure it’s camera takes steady footage with minimal shaking. It has a 94-degree wide-angle lense that helps to eliminate distortion and ensures the captured footage is crisp and clear.
We’ve already mentioned the great video resolution of the Inspire. What we didn’t mention is that it also captures incredibly good still photos at 12 megapixels. Both the camera and the gimbal are detachable, so it’s easy to upgrade or customize the Inspire.
If you’re planning on using a quadcopter to shoot indoor footage, the Inspire is a great quadcopter to use. It uses sonic waves and Optical Flow technology to ensure smooth indoor flying (if you’re daring enough!)
The Inspire is equipped with DJI’s Lightbridge technology that allows it to transmit video from a maximum distance of 2km. This means you can view a real-time feed from the quadcopter as long as you are within range. The Inspire can transmit 720p HD video directly onto your mobile device.
There are provisions for dual control use with the inspire. This means that one person can control the quadcopters flight and the other can control the gimbal and the camera. This allows you to take more precise images, as everyone involved has a very specific aim in the production.
The Inspire’s smart battery management system allows you to see the remaining battery life and also calculates the amount of time that the drone can still stay airborne and recording. It can also calculate the amount of time that will be needed before the Inspire will need to fly back and land.
Highly recommended by us!
DJI CP.BX.000103 Inspire 1 v2.0 Quadcopter with 4K Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal
- This Item Includes: DJI Inspire 1 V2.0 Ready-to-Fly Quadcopter – Remote Controller – Camera with…
- Capture 4K Video and 12MP Stills
- 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizes Camera
- Up to 1.2 Mile Radio Range,GPS-Based Flight Control System,Vision Positioning for Indoor Flying,Live…
- Thrust-Boosted Motors / New Propellers,Retractable Carbon Fiber Arms,Unobstructed 360°…
This ready-to-fly quadcopter has an integrated 3-axis precision gimbal camera that can shoot 4K/3fps HD video. It can also shoot 1080p / 120fps video. The Typhoon can store up to 128 GB of video footage.
It has an aluminum case, making it quite sturdy while still remaining lightweight and easy to maneuver. It has a maximum flight speed of 35mph and a fly time of about 25 minutes. It can easily be flown both indoors and outdoors.
The Typhoon has a 115-degree, wide-angle, distortion-free lens and a steady handheld grip that allows it to capture clear and steady footage at a variety of angles.
If you’re just starting out using quadcopters, one feature of the Typhoon you will really like is it’s Home Mode. When set to Home Mode, the Typhoon will automatically fly back to the pilot. Home Mode ensures the quadcopter lands around 4 to 8 meters from where you stand. Awesome!
Recommended as a great entry level option.
This is a fun but effective quadcopter for beginners. It has a 1080p HD camera, which is kind of basic compared to the other quadcopters on this list, but still takes some clear and useable footage.
The Hubsan provides about 20 minutes of flying and shooting time. It uses brushless motors for a quiet flight, so it eliminates some of the background noise you might otherwise capture on video.
It also has the capacity to send back a live video feed to the controller, so you can see what the quadcopter’s camera is seeing and filming in real time.
Another cool feature of the Hubsan is it’s Follow Me Mode. If you place the Hubsan on Follow Me Mode, it will automatically follow you around. This means you can easily shoot footage on the move and get some really cool action shots. The Hubsan can follow whoever is holding its controller even as they walk, run, or if they’re on a vehicle such as a car or a bike.
The Hubsan also has a return to home function, which many people, especially those who are just starting out flying a quadcopter like. It ensures that your fancy new piece of equipment safely comes back to you at the end of it’s flight.
Best Quadcopter – In Conclusion
Like with anything, purchase decisions for video gear are built around a number of things. First and foremost is cost.
We think we’ve presented a number of options here for the best quadcopter in a range of price points and budgets. The best quadcopter is no use to you if you can’t afford it! That’s why we’ve tried to cater for every type of budget in this article.
The other major consideration of use case. What exactly are you going to be using your quadcopter for? You might be looking to use it for hobby purposes, in which case you might look at more of the entry level type of quadcopters.
On the other hand, you might be looking to use the quadcopter on bigger budget video projects or for narrative filmmaking purposes. In this case, you might consider some of the more high-end models mentioned here.
We hope this guide to the best quadcopter has been useful to you. Did we miss out your favorite quadcopter? Let us know in the comments below here.
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Published at Thu, 04 Oct 2018 13:30:31 +0000