Category: RC Drones

Best Quadcopter Reviews for All Skill Levels

Every quadcopter pilot needs high-tech equipment and the best quadcopter that works perfectly for their skill level. There are hundreds of different types of rc helicopters such as quad, hexa, tri and DIY quadcopters so there is bound to be one that fits your skills perfectly. I myself started at the bottom flying beginner level copters. Since then I have worked my way up to advanced level copters, giving myself knowledge of the features and skill level necessary to fly a variety of quadcopters and rc helicopters.

Over my years of flying I have flown some of the most simply built quads to the most intricately designed allowing me to put together an in-depth compilation of the best quads for novice, intermediate, and professional fliers. Every quadcopter has specific features that make it better suited for a beginner versus a professional or vice versa. After all the times I’ve crashed and burned, I can definitely put my two sense in on the quads that are more difficult to fly than others. Regardless of what skill level you’re shopping for  you will have much more knowledge when it comes to finding the best drone for you by reading our quadcopter reviews. From mounts and gimbals, to DIY and RTF quadcopters, we have it all!

If you are just starting out, chances are you’re not going to be ready for an fpv quadcopter. You will just need a simple quadcopter without many special features; the best quadcopter for beginners is one that you will be able to part with when it’s crashed and  won’t be too expensive to replace or fix. I wouldn’t want you to make the same mistake I did and buy a $1,000 dollar quad to practice on. No matter how big of a man you are, I guarantee you will shed a tear when your pride and joy torpedoes into a tree right before your eyes.

For more advanced fliers a quadcopter that is more heavy duty, can handle the weight of a gimbal, or is already fitted with a camera will be your best bet. By now you can control almost any quadcopter and are ready to start focusing more of your attention on your aerial photography and video skills. Now that the major learning curve is in the past it’s possible for you to turn this hobby into a profession! Who wouldn’t love to get professional aerial photography taken, or their taco delivered via drone?Below I have compiled a list of the best quadcopters based on their quadcopter reviews and my individual experience flying them to make your decision easier for you.               http://amzn.to/1IpBPPE

Quadcopter Reviews

 

When deciding on what is the best quadcopter to purchase you need to make sure you get one that is suitable for your skill level. There is no need to go out and buy the most expensive version you can find when you have absolutely no experience. Start off with something halfway cheap and get some flights under your belt before moving on to the best of the best. Here are some of the top rated, and what I find to be the best quadcopters based on skill level. Always remember to read the quadcopter reviews to see what other people have to say about the copter you want.

 

Beginners

Hubsan X4 H107

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There are many different versions of the Hubsan X4 quad and they all have good quadcopter reviews. The best one for abeginner quadcopter enthusiast though is the original Hubsan X4 H107. This one is 100% ready to fly and includes a 2.4GHz radio and a rechargeable 3.7 V 240 mAh battery. Considering it comes with everything needed to fly out of the box, the only thing you need to do before you get flying is charge your battery. The battery takes about 30 minutes to charge and allows you to get almost 10 minutes of flying time. Due to the lightweight airframe, ultimate stability, and small size of 60 mmx60 mm, you will get longer flight time which equates to more practice time! This is the best drone for flying indoors or outdoors but just be sure it’s not windy while flying outside.

Syma X1

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The best copter for beginners in my opinion is the Syma X1 and the quadcopter reviews will agree. It is equipped with the latest 3-axis flight control system enabling it to have an incredibly stable flight. You’re going to want to practice most of the time but it’s also nice to be able to have a bit of fun. Even when I was first starting out this quadcopter gave me the ability to perform tricky pirouettes, flips, rolls, and more. It has a full 3D flight which gives you the freedom to go up, down, left, right, forward, backward, leftward flight, and rightward flight. There’s so much learning potential with this quad and at such a great price!

 

 

Estes 4606 Proto X Nano

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Great for enthusiasts just starting out, the Estes 4606 Proto X Nano has a plastic body and should only be flown indoors. This was actually my first quadcopter I bought after reading it’s quadcopter reviews and I’m thankful it didn’t break every time I flew it into a wall. For the rare occasion when I broke a blade, there were conveniently 4 spare rotor blades included with the quad. There are even LED indicators on both the front and back which help you stay oriented during flight. Unless you’re holding your quadcopter in your hand, it’s very difficult to determine the front and back so the lights are a lifesaver  especially in dim light. Included with the Estes 4606 is a 4-channel 2.4 GHz radio and a 100mAh 3.7 V LiPo battery making this a complete RTF quadcopter right out of the box.

 

 

 Intermediate

DJI Phantom Aerial UAV quad38 This quad is a good step up from an inexpensive, simple beginner quad, but this is the largest jump I would make going up from a beginner version. You remain to have the simplicity of a RTF quadcopter but you also gain multiple innovative features with the higher price. Before stepping up to this level be sure you have a pretty good handle on basic controls to avoid demolishing the Phantom into the side of a tree. Once your Phantom arrives the only tasks you will need to complete before your first flight is charging the battery and attaching the landing gear and propellers. The transmitter included with the Phantom is pre-tuned by the factor and only needs 4 AA batteries installed before your first flight. The speed is a big jump between the toy you used to have and the technical beast that has just landed in your possession. The maximum speed is 22 mph and still allows you to capture action shots of any event, sport, or scene. The Phantom comes automatically fit with a GoPro mount but the camera must be purchased separately. You will be able to take aerial photos and videos like never before with the Phantom and GoPro super team.

 

  Parrot A.R. Drone 2.0 quad39 There are many cool perks of this quad that makes it the best quadcopter if you’re kind of in between skill levels. First off, it has an incredibly robust structure which is built to withstand crashes and absorb impacts. The body is crafted out of foam which isolates the expensive parts to keep them safe and absorb vibrations creating a smoother flight. Also included with the Parrot A.R. Drone 2.0 is an inside hull which further protect your quad from damage. Even if you’re not fully advanced to an intermediate level yet, you can still move up to the Parrot and use the hull until you’ve reached perfection. The most advanced feature incorporated into the Parrot is the ability to control your drone via iPhone, iPad or any Android device. From your device, you can view life steaming video from your Parrot and fly via FPV. You can also record and share photos and videos directly from the FreeFlight 2.0 app. This may seem like a huge jump from a basic toy quad but as long as you start out with the hall and work your way up to fpv flying, the Parrot should last you many years of flying. DJI Phantom 3 Standard quad40 While I wouldn’t normally consider the DJI Phantom 3 an intermediate level drone, DJI has made the standard model affordable enough to barely make the cut. However, I wouldn’t recommend going straight from a mini drone to something of this caliber. Even though the Phantom 3 is extremely easy to fly, you would be better off having more experience under your belt with something like the UDI U818A. Initially, I was going to recommend a cheaper quadcopter, but frankly if you’re willing to spend anything in the $400 – $600 range, you’re better off saving up for the Phantom 3. All of the other drones in that price range simply can’t compare to capabilities of DJI’s new Phantom. For starters, this model comes equipped with a camera that can record video in 2.7k HD and take pictures in 12mp. While this is pretty great quality, what really should make you happy is the new f/2.8 lens with a 94⁰field of view. What makes this lens so great is that there is no more unwanted distortion, or in other words no more fisheye effect. This is awesome because not only does the video quality look better, you can also easily upload it online without a ton of boring editing. With the new DJI GO app you can even watch the footage live as you’re flying in 720p. This app can also be used to change your camera settings, perform auto takeoff and landing, edit and share your videos, as well as perform many other impressive tasks. One task that I’ve found to be quite useful is the new interactive flight simulator. This feature is great when first starting out as it allows you to practice flying in a safe virtual environment. While flying the Phantom 3 is honestly fairly easy, you should be warned it’s slightly more complicated to take pictures using the standard model’s remote controller. This is only because DJI left out all the fancy buttons for recording and taking pictures on the standard remote. This leaves you having to do everything on your smart phone or tablet, which can be inefficient if you’re wanting to take professional video or aerial photography. If so, you may want to save up for either the advanced or the professional model.  

 

 

Professional

DJI Phantom 3 Professional quad41 When many people begin flying drones, they dream of the day that they’ll own a Phantom and take rule over the skies. Whether they’ve watched some videos of the Phantom online, or maybe even seen one flown at a concert – they just knew they had to have one. Sadly enough there is a problem that most people end up facing in their conquest of getting the Phantom 3. This worrisome problem is whether to get the standard, advanced, or professional model. Okay, maybe it’s not so big of a problem; but if you’re planning on getting the Phantom 3 then it’s one you’ll have to face. Essentially, the Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional are internally exactly the same. The only notable difference is that the professional model comes with a camera that shoots video in 4k UHD. So, if you’re anything like me and want the best quadcopter possible for aerial imaging, go with the professional model. If you don’t care about the 4k camera though then just go with the advanced. No matter which model you choose, you’ll still get all of the same beneficial features besides the camera. The most important feature having to be the now built-in DJI Lightbridge system. This system effectively increases the range of your live video feed up to 15,000+ feet out while simultaneously connecting you with GLONASS satellite positioning. The extra satellites really help with improving flight stabilization and making sure the drone is where it needs to be at all times. This improved flight stabilization coupled with the 3-axis gimbal results in aerial video footage like you’ve never seen before. If you’re lucky enough to ever get the chance to fly a Phantom 3 Advanced or Professional, one of the first things you’ll notice is a light clicking noise after you turn it on. This clicking is actually known as the Vision Positioning system. DJI implemented the VPS to help with flying close to the ground and indoors without the aid of GPS. Essentially DJI installed an optical camera and ultrasonic sensors that scan the ground underneath the drone when you reach around 10ft off the ground. Even though DJI says the Vision Position technology helps with flying indoors, I still wouldn’t recommend it in close quarter environments. In a large enough room such as a warehouse or concert venue though you should be good to go.  

 

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K quad42 Another great drone that is steadily gaining popularity is the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K. While I wouldn’t quite compare it to the Phantom 3, it does come with a few benefits that some may prefer. For starters, included with the Yuneec Q500 is their handheld Steadygrip system that holds the CGO3 camera with the 3-axis gimbal. With this device all you have to do is attach your smart phone on top and you now have the ability to record seamlessly smooth 4K UHD footage right from the palm of your hands. This is a great addition for anyone who wants to take footage while on the ground without all the shakiness you would normally expect. This would have been amazing back in my skateboard days.. The next big advantage of the Yuneec Q500 is the ST10+ personal ground station. What’s so nice about this all-in-one controller comes is that it comes with a 5.5 inch Android tablet. This is awesome news because it eliminates the need of having to buy an extra one just to use with your drone. Since the quad itself already cost so much, the built-in tablet is definitely a nice bonus. Another “unique” bonus with the Typhoon Q500 is that you can watch the footage back in slow motion. All you have to do is record the footage in 1080p at a high FPS, then go back after and slow the footage down. This is extremely useful when making some cool videos. When comparing the footage from the Phantom 3 and the Q500 4K though you will notice that the colors from the Phantom are much more vibrant. Also I prefer the 20mm lens on the Phantom as it makes the footage not as blurry around the edges. Though the lens on the CGO3 camera is a little wider so I guess some people may like it better. Where the Typhoon Q500 could really use some help though is in the speed category. While it can reach a top speed of around 40+ mph without GPS, with GPS it can only go around 15mph at most. When you’re used to flying a Phantom 3 which can reach a top speed of around 30+ mph, this can seem a little slow. Since we’re on the topic of speed though I do have to admit that the Yuneec customer service is much better than DJI’s. This alone might just be the biggest reason to go with Yuneec as they’re much more pleasant to deal with if you run into problems. Which in the drone world is highly likely to happen.

 

  DJI Inspire 1 quad43 It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s the most expensive drone on the market – the DJI Inspire 1! Haha, with all jokes aside, if you’re looking to get the best quadcopter that money can buy, short of building your own, then the Inspire 1 is what you want. This drone makes capturing amazing aerial footage more simplistic than ever before. While the camera is essentially the same as the Phantom 3, the Inspire 1 does have a lot of added perks that set the two drones apart. If you’re used to flying the Phantom series, as well as many other quadcopters, then you’re all too familiar with the propellers and landing gear sneaking its way into your footage. It’s so annoying trying to perfectly angle the camera to avoid seeing them, and when they do show up, it usually ruins the video. DJI avoids this with the Inspire 1 by giving it retractable landing gear that moves up while you’re flying. You can either press the auto take off button while you’re on the ground and it will do it for you automatically, or press the transformation button while you’re in the air and it will do it on command. Once the landing gear is finally up though you no longer have to worry about any part of the drone coming into view of the camera. This revolutionary design made it possible for the Inspire 1 to have a camera that can turn and film in 360°. While it may take some skill to fly the drone around and fully utilize the potential of the camera, you could always buy the upgraded package with two controllers and have someone fly or control the camera for you. Having the ability to control the camera while someone else is flying really brings me back to the days of doing airstrike missions on Call of Duty. Besides simply making the flight experience more entertaining, the dual operator feature also makes capturing the perfect footage or picture easier than ever before. For the most part, the Inspire 1 is a lot like the Phantom 3, just improved in many ways. One of the first differences you’ll notice is that the Inspire is much faster than the Phantom. While the Inspire can reach top speeds of up to 45+mph, the Phantom 3 can only go about 35mph. Another advantage the Inspire has is better Vision Positioning technology. This is the technology that allows the DJI drones to fly indoors and without access to GPS satellites. With the Inspire you can actually detect the ground up to a range of 16ft below, which is slightly better than the Phantom 3 at only 10ft. You can also upgrade the camera at any time thanks to the detachable gimbal. This comes really useful if you ever want to change or upgrade your camera, or if you want to use the DJI OSMO. There is one area where the Phantom 3 does outperform the Inspire 1 though and that is in range. Using the Lightbridge technology I can manage to watch the live feed with the Phantom 3 at a range of over 15,000ft. However using the Inspire 1 I can only watch the live feed at a range of over 13,000ft. Though compared to the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K which only has a live feed range of about 2,000ft, both DJI quadcopters seem pretty impressive .   Credits: http://bestquadcopterreviews.org

 

 

 

Hands-On with DJI’s Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Drone!

Published on May 3, 2015

We take the new DJI Phantom 3 Advanced and Professional quadcopters out for some test flights! Eric Cheng of DJI joins us to discuss how these new quads differ from previous models in terms of their flight capability and cameras, bringing in features previously introduced in the Inspire 1. We then put these quadcopters up in the air to test the new stabilization systems and 4K video!

Thanks to Eric Cheng for some of the Phantom 3 video footage. http://

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