This category includes a review of each individual drone with full details.

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The Xiro Xplorer

The Xiro Xplorer Review

For the full review and video, visit http://www.mediahalo.com/articles/xirofirst/
The Xiro Xplorer comes in the sub $1000 market to compete with the DJI Phantoms and alike. There’s not much to know about the company, they seem fairly new, but being that this is their first drone, it’s a really good first foot forward. It ticks off a lot of feature boxes, but does have some oddities I took it for some test spins. So, how does it look?
The first thing I really liked was that the gimbal can be easily detached, which is good for travel storage, and perhaps upgraded camera units in the future?
A physical issue is the way the battery attaches, with very tiny little tabs. There have been some users who report having the battery fall off in mid flight, likely due to improper mounting. A careful eye is required when mounting the battery. 
The gimbal functions well overall, but occasionally gives some visual jitters. This may be due to using a different model gopro than recommended during testing. You can also get a model with a built in camera.
Another big quirk is the documentation, it’s a folded travel map style sheet which does have a lot of info, but some info is either conflicting/unclear or not present. there is a port and a switch on the gimbal which I could find no reference to anywhere.
The controller is clean and simple, I like the pop out phone holder, but it’s not big enough to hold a tablet. Connecting the live feed was also an issue because of the lack of documentation, I had to dig into the forums to figure that one out. 
Overall the flight is stable, not rock solid, but stable. The motors spin smooth and the flight is very predictable. 
It’s an intriguing drone, it hits a competitive price point and feels like a well constructed platform. At this time Xiro is working on several new models which look to step things up even further. Looking forward to giving those a spin as well!
For the full review and video, visit http://www.mediahalo.com/articles/xirofirst/
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phantom 4 review

DJI Phantom 4

DJI Phantom 4 Review

Once again DJI have cheered up drone flyers introducing a new drone in the market, this time Phantom 4. This exciting drone is a game changer and it has totally different story to tell comparing to its predecessor, phantom 3. A closer look at Phantom4’s features, one could easily tell that DJI is now focusing more on beginners and adventurists, just like what GoPro have been doing. Phantom 4 has enhanced  the vision positioning system, you will be less engaged with controlling the unit and be more focused on your shots or your sport activity, however some professional photographers and experienced pilots doubted that if buying phantom4 is a good investment as apposed to previous models, they believe there has been not much considerable enhancement in the camera aspects that motivates them to opt for the new model. Lets review phantom 4 in more details and see if its good choice over phantom 3.

Buy DJI Phantom 4 here – Free shipping

Phantom 4 Specs and Features

Weight (including battery and propellers): 1280 g

Diagonal size (including propellers): 590 mm

Max ascent speed: 5 m/s

Max descent speed: 3 m/s

Max speed: up to 45 mph (sport mode)

Flight time: up to 28 minutes

Camera range: up to 3.1 miles

Battery capacity: 5350 mAh

GPS mode: GPS/GLONASS

Considering the main changes, there are 4 sensors, two infront and two underneath the aircraft that do sonar detection. These are the eyes of the aircraft, they help the drone see (detect) if there is any obstacle about 50ft infront and 30ft underneath. The interesting part of this system is that, if the aircraft detects any object on its way, not only it avoids the crash, but also find its way around the object to continue the flight mission. However if there is no workaround, the drone will eventually stop and hover in place waiting for new inputs from the pilot. This feature can make a difference if you are flying around the trees, where a small branch could bring your drone into pieces back on the ground.

As I mentioned earlier, Phantom 4 is perfect for beginners and adventurists. The powerful object recognition software used in Phantom 4 helps the drone for visual tracking, all you need to do is to tell the drone who to follow by selecting a person or the moving object on the touchscreen and let the drone do what it is good at. This will save you a big time while doing your sport activity without being worried about controlling the drone. It is not the first time we hear about a drone featuring visual tracking, but what makes DJI outstanding is the software, which helps the drone for more accurate and prices detecting and tracking of the person/object without losing or confusing the target during the flight.  The new capability that you can find in Phantom 4 but not in previous models is that the drone can literally turn into a racing drone, It can speed up as fast as 45 mph flying in a sport mode shooting videos of you on the go.

The Phantom 4 can also fly in TapFly mode. If you are familiar with the terms, this is the same as mission planning, the difference is that the function is more simplified and you only need to tap on the screen the location on the map that you need your drone to autonomously fly to. All the features have just made the flight super easy and controlling the phantom 4 is absolutely a no-brainer. Tap on the screen and you are all set.

Dji phantom 4

 The Phantom 4 Camera 

Needless to say the 4K camera is all you need to shoot breathtaking videos at 30 frame per second or 120fps at 1080, you also can shoot images in 12 megapixel Adobe DNG RAW. Although DJI claimed that Phantom 4 can transmit live video as far as 3.1 miles(5 km) away from the pilot, but this flight range is way beyond the FAA Limits on maximum altitude. Anyways, lets get back to camera aspects, If you are wondering the changes made in phantom 4’s camera, it is mostly about the lens that gives 94° field of view reducing distortion by 36% and chromatic aberration by 56% comparing to the one for Phantom 3If you are a professional photographer and you can not afford to buy Inspire 1 Pro with Zemuse, your next best option, with no doubt, would be phantom 4.

The Verdict

As a beginner, for sure, this drone is a very good choice for you, the adjustable maximum height and distance can also be set, so that you could practice flying with peace of mind. The phantom 4 is ready for pre-order as of todate (March 3, 2016) and it costs you 1400USD, a bit more expensive than phantom 3, considering the features it is definitely worth the price, but the question is, if you are a professional photographer who already have phantom 3 4k and you live in the area where there is no considerable obstacles that endangers your drone, should you be upgrading to phantom 4?

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bebop 2 review1

Parrot Bebop 2


Parrot Bebop 2 Review

Here we go with the Parrot’s new drone in the market, Bebop 2. If you are not familiar with the Parrot, just a quick note that the company is not all about drones, their core is to create consumer technology products and communication services, however in just a few years they have attacked drone industry to get their own bite of this pie. Previously the introduction of Parrot bebop, in my idea, was not much satisfying as there were complaints about a few issues especially the loss of WiFi signal during the flight. Ok, I’m not here to bring them down, at the end of the day every drone has it’s own dark side, so let’s talk about the good stuff. To DJI lovers who were proud of 20-25 minutes flight time, now bebop 2 is also giving the same flight duration thanks to 2700 mAh battery, No fight! just saying. let’s dig out more;

Parrot Bebop 2 Specs & Features

Flight time :up to 25 minutes

Dimension: 382 x 328 x 89 mm

Weight: 500g (17.6 ounce)

Max horizontal speed: 37 mph

Max vertical speed: 13 mph

Max climbing: 6 m/s

Controller app : FreeFlight 3 ( iOS , Android)

Controller: Skycontroller

Operating range 300m (without Skycontroller), 2km (with Skycontroller)

Communication: WiFi, GPS

Battery:  2700 mAh LiPo

Bebop 2 is equipped with anti-shock propellers which lock in the event of contact, the three-blade 6-inch props are designed to be flexible for safe flights. There is also a rear flash LED which gives you a clear visibility of the drone when flying in low light. About theWifi signal, you can either connect the drone to your tablet, or, connect it to your Skycontroller and then make another connection from the controller to you tablet. The second option lets you use the powerful antenna enjoying the higher operating range, but the bad news is that the controller is not included in the package,  you need to buy it separately and it costs you around 250USD. One good thing about the controller is that there is a HDMI port where you can connect your goggles for FPV, and also if you are a developer you can connect it to your computer to control the drone through the ARDRoneSDK.

Bebop 2 Camera

The integrated fish-eye camera features 14 MP stills and takes 1080p shots @30fps storing the files in a 8G flash card. The camera’s 180 degree vision gives you wide field of view,  simply move you thumb on the bottom right of the screen and it lets you control the camera view without a need to move the drone. The Bebop 2 does not use gimbal for image stabilization, instead it uses a software to compensate. You may wonder about the vibration of the motors and their effect on the footage, inside the drone, the camera is separated with rubbers to absorb the vibration which give a surprisingly stable footage.

The Verdict

Parrot Bebop 2 is worth it for the price (549USD, as of todate), It has a eye-catching design, safe props, high quality and stable camera. However, with this price, you don’t have the controller, and you should use your own tablet, then there are two concerns here, first of all, the WiFi signal between the drone and your tablet is not much strong, on the other hand there is a little but noticeable lag between your command and the drone movement. One more thing is that if you want to use features such as waypoint, you need to make some in-app purchases. That doesn’t make sense to me, you can build a drone and add waypoint for free, its an open source software! why should customers who already chipped in over 500USD buy this features, something that can be easily found in many other drones. And about the Skycontroller, it adds to the cost up to 800USD, so this price puts Bebop 2 next to phantom 3 Standard, which is 700USD these days, and it has 2.7k camera, and making our buying decision even harder.

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turnado2

Tornado H920


Tornado H920 Review

It’s not long ago since Yuneec entered Drone business, their first drone was lunch on December 2013, and so far the company has become one of the market leaders in this industry. The recent release of Tornado H920, the hexacopter, made a buzz among drone lovers. What made everyone impressed with this drone is the long flight time with the use of three Lipo batteries ( about 40 mintues) , the modular design which lets the pilot use 3 different professional camera gimbals, and the smart radio controller. Moreover, the drone is capable to carry up to 5 kg and continue flying when one motor stops working during the flight. If you are looking for a serious professional aerial photography and cinematography, this incredible hexacopter is the one that you don’t want to miss in your list of choices. Read on the review of the Tornado H920 to learn more.

The Tornado H920 Specs & Features

Dimension: 38.1×33.4×18.1in (969x849x461mm)

Propellers: 17.3 inch

Weight (including camera and gimbal) :176.0 oz (4990g)

Transmitter: 24-channel 2.4GHz with 5.8GHz video downlink

Maximum Flying Height: 4000m (13124 ft)

Maximum Horizontal Speed: 11m/s 25MPH 40KPH

Control Transmission Distance/Range (Optimum Conditions) : 2km

Operating System: Android

Battery: LiPo 6s

Hexacopters mostly have huge frame and of course more arms than quadcopters which makes them bigger and not really easy to carry. The Turnado has made a solution for that, the foldable arms make drone much more convenient to carry. Plus, when it comes to taking aerial videos, the retractable landing gears gives you the opportunity to take 360 degree videos with no limitation.

Modular Design

Many drones in the market have limitation on their choice of camera gimbals, some have integrated cameras, others, the gimbal is only compatible with only one or two camera like GoPro. The modular design of the Turnado gives you more options, With GB603, you can mount a Panasonic Lumix GH4 micro four thirds camera sensor with a 3x optical zoom lens or Sony Alpha 7R II. You can also use V18 professional gimbal stabilized camera with 18X optical zoom. Lastly, there is an option to use CGO4 gimbal camera, and for ground shots you can use the Proaction, a dual handheld, which is compatible with all the gimbals that I mentioned earlier. With all that siad, you have everything you need to begin your professional imaging.

st24

The Transmitter

The ST24 Transmitter has 24 channels to communicate with your drone on the frequency of 2.4 Ghz, which actually is the same for most of the drones. It also receives live video feed on the 7-inch screen with on frequency of 5.8 Ghz. The touch screen lets you easily have full control of the drone and check for all the necessary information including the RSSI, battery leftover, flight coordinates and all. You can also connect the transmitter to your goggle or TV to watch the live feed simultaneously, however, the screen is wide enough to give you a clear view.

How Much Is The Tornado H920?

Of course, you may have already come up with the thought that this is not going to be one of those cheap drones in the market, but the good news is, with all that capabilities you get with this drone, it is not as expensive as it supposed to be comparing to other drones with mind-blowing prices in the market using the same technology. The Tornado H920 with the bundled CGO4 camera will cost you around 5000USD, the package includes a travel case, the ST24 transmitter, Proaction handheld, two batteries and a charger.

The Verdict

In general hexacopters are more expensive than quadcopters, they provide more flight time and of course consume more batteries. If you fly a quadcopter and one of the motors fails during the flight, there is no way you can land the drone safely. The situation gets worse when you have your pricy camera on it. This is one considerable advantage that the drone can continue flying with 5 motors, at the end of the day you are investing on an expensive drone for a serious business, you don’t want to risk your business in anyways. About the flight time, having two batteries on board, the drone flies (realistically) 25 minutes including the camera, and it is said to be up 40 minutes of flight time with three batteries which is a big deal with that price. Most of professional drones give you around 20 -25 minutes of flight time but typically not more that. The long flight time has been a real challenge for most of the companies, and you can check other drones with long flight time, their price is just jaw-dropping.

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Hubsan-X4-H109S-PRO-X

Hubsan Ora X4 Pro


Hubsan Ora X4 Pro Review

Ora X4 Pro is one of the amazing drones of its kind. Hubsan have already made a good reputation with production of mini drones, especially the H107l, it was my own favorite drone. Now that company have taken steps forward into building professional drones and competing with big players such as DJI and 3DRobotics.

So, what is the advantage of Hubsan in compare to other brands? the fact is, looking at Ora X4 Pro’s design and features, the first thing that comes to your mind is that the company cares more about customer satisfaction rather than sales. For instance, the drone color and the design is a result of a survey taken from 850 Hubsan fans. In terms of features, the Ora includes a parachute just to make sure there is a minimum risk of damaging your drone. You don’t see this feature from many other brands, and of course they don’t bother, you’ll buy another one leaving them with more sales! Read on the review of Hubsan Ora X4 Pro to discover more impressive details.

Hubsan Ora X4 Pro Specs and Features

Diagonal: 370 mm

Weight: 1.06 kg (2.3 lb)

Flight time: up to 30 minutes

Operating range: 1000 meters

Video distance: 300-2000 meters 

Frequencies: 5.8GHz FPV, 2.4GHz R/C

Power system: brushless motor & ESC

Onboard navigation systems: GPS, barometer & compass

Return To Home with Intelligent Orientation Control Headless mode

Transceiver battery: 2S, 7.4V 5400mAh LiPo 

Camera battery: 1S, 650mAh LiPo 

Flight battery:  3S, 25C 7000mAh LiPo

Video format: MP4, Photo format: JPEG

Yes, a 30-minute flight time with camera is true and the company is not exaggerating. Ora is one of the drones with the most flight time comparing to other brands. This is partially because the drone is very compact, the motor to motor size is only 260mm. On the other hand the 7000mAh LiPo is dedicated to RC and the camera takes its own separate battery.

The camera can be held by three gimbal options ( 1, 2, or 3-axis gimbal) and is capable of capturing 12 MP stills and record 1080p videos at 30fps. The gimbal can be remotely controlled by the pilot and is designed for mounting GoPro cameras.

Moreover, Ora includes automatic fly mode letting you focus more on visuals during the flight by setting waypoints using the company’s built-in Android app. During the time when the drone is flying on GPS mode to reach destinations, you can easily switch to manual mode to take a full control of the drone, however, switching back to GPS, the drone will continue reaching the the pre-defined points. Ora also includes an Actual Direction Control, it prevents control reversal confusion during manual flight.

Hubsan-X4-H109S-PRO-Transmitter

The Controller

The controller includes a 7″ touchscreen for live video feed without latency. In addition to the touchscreen navigation, there is also an OLED telemetry screen displays on the top of the controller to show the vital information of flight, so if for any reason the FPV loses connection or the touchscreen goes off, the OLED can still provide the pilot with the drone’s current flight status. Lastly, if the screen on the controller is not satisfying, the controller is compatible with Fat goggles.

The Last Words

The Ora with 3-axis gimbal will cost you 1500.00USD and it just gets hard when comparing this drone with Phantom 3 Professional as their price are very close. They are both well-designed and easy to control, although with Ora the camera is not 4K, for sure it gives you all the features you need to have a stable flight and to take amazing aerial shots. Ora’s smart controller is also very impassive, especially the use of OLED on a separated screen. On the other hand, considering the price tag, a 30-minute flight time makes Ora an unbeatable drone. At the end it all depends on you which drone and brand you want to go for, but as far as i know the majority of Hubsan fans who have experienced the company’s previous models, they would not easily switch to DJI drones.

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Zenith ATX8

Altura Zenith


Altura Zenith Review

Made by a Dutch company (Aerialtronics), the Altura Zenith ATX4 and ATX8 drones are very identical in terms of design and features, however there are just a few but important differences that I’m going to cover further on this review. In general, The Altura Zenith is an high-end drone and is, without a doubt, a perfect choice for applications such as photography and cinematography, VOC capabilities (detection of gas leaks and hazardous materials) and providing GIS mapping. Let me put it this way, you have all you expect from a drone with latest related technologies in one package, or better say in a very expensive package. The Zenith is not an average drone for its price and is one of the best commercial drones in the market, so it only make sense if you have a serious business plan before buying it. Read on the review of Zenith to uncover the most interesting facts about this drone. 

Altura Zenit Specs and Features

Brushless motor:

ATX4: 4 motors , ATX8: 8 motors

Max flight time:  

ATX4: 45 minutes,  ATX8:35 minutes

Take off weight:

ATX4: 4.6kg,  ATX8: 5.6kg

Max payload:

ATX4: 1.4kg,  ATX8: 2.9kg

Max cruise speed: 20 m/s

Operating range : 1000 meters

Battery: 22.2V – 20.000 mAh

Wingspan 600 mm

Propellers: 16″

LED color direction indicator

Aerialtronics-Altura-Zenith-ATX42 Aerialtronics-Altura-Zenith-ATX81

The ready-to-fly Zenith is one of those sturdy drones that can fly in any weather condition, no matter if it’s heavy rain, freezing snow or strong wings. With a flick of a switch you’ll have it up in the air and with the help of the joystick RF control module you can either choose to fly it full manual or in GPS mode. When using GPS assisted control,  you can take nice and steady photos by enabling the altitude hold or position hold mode, but it is not all about taking images, you can also use the Dog mode (Follow me mode) to let the drone fly autonomously and record a video of your action on the go. Moreover, the Zenith is capable of flying along pre-defined paths for the purpose of  surveying and monitoring the field. All you need to do is to set way points and let the drone do the rest for you. Not to mention, you’ll have all the necessary flight information including the battery status transmitted to the controller using a telemetry.

Gimbals, Cameras and Sensors

The Zenith is compatible with most gimbals in the market, however, the company supplies their own AV200 and AV130  servo-driven “Click ’n go” gimbals which are best for medium and large-sized cameras, these 2 -3 axis brushless stabilised gimbals can carry cameras that weigh up to 1 kg. The drone features a modular payload system and it is much flexible that you can simply interchange variety of cameras and sensors, for instance, the sniffer sensor can be used to detect and analyse chemicals, or, the multispectral sensor to show you new perspectives on the health of crops (GIS mapping). The Zenith’s Altura Cardan payload adaptor is a platform compatible with many choices of gimbals and payloads to mount in a few seconds, the adopter has integrated vibration dampening system which enable the drone to carry any kind of payloads. 

The Controller

The Altura Ground Control System (GCS) with an attached tablet gives you full control over the drone. You can choose either to use Joysticks or the touchscreen tablet using the in-house app, which can simply navigate the drone either fully manual or autonomously. Aside from the attached tablet, there is also another tablet to just bring every possible solution to control your drone with ease.

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 4.43.57 PM

The Last Words

This drone can give you a good opportunity to run your own unique business providing aerial monitoring and industrial inspection services, and for sure, if you start early when there are not many competitors in this field yet, it leaves you with a good profit margin and with only a few projects you’ll eventually balance out the cost of the drone.

As I mentioned earlier,  there are a few differences between ATX4 andATX8. For instance, with ATX8 you have the feature called Heading Lock which reminds the drone where the forward is during the flight. At the end, it depends on you and your allocated budget whether you need ATX8 with more features or the ATX4 just gives you what you need at lower price. Speaking of the price, it is based on combination of solutions that you want from the Zenith, you need to contact the company and request a quote. However the Zenith ATX4 may cost you up to $32000 and The ATX8 costs you up to $42000. So, if you are just a hobbyist, think of buying 42 DJI Phantoms instead!

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cheersoncx22(1)

Cheerson CX-22


Cheerson CX-22 Review

Cheerson Hobby have been producing RC toys for about a decade. If you are a fan of mini drones, then you probably know about Cheerson products, especially the little famous CX-10 drone that comes in fancy colors. However, the company found their way up to build bigger quads to compete with professional drone makers. The CX-22 is one good example that I’m actually going to review here. It is a drone for hobbyists and sport flyers at an affordable price. Sometimes pilots complain about the poor quality as witnessed their drone suddenly fell off the sky. There can many reasons but for the most part this type of incidents happen when the drone is not well-wired and soldered, this is the issue that you should not expect from CX-22 as the company promised to their fans.

Cheerson CX-22 Specs and Features

Weight: 700 grams

Payload: 500 grams

Operational range: 800m

Flight time: 25 minutes

Charge time :3 hours

Lipo battery: 3S 11.1V 5400mAh

Brushless motors

Built-in Mission Planner

The accuracy of landing is an important fact and could save your drone from crashing, for instance, there have been pilots who lost their drones just because the return home function was not precise, and their drone landed somewhere unsafe and farther from home e.g. on the lake or on the trees. The Cx-22 is a dual GPS auto positioning quadcopter which gives more accurate and stabile flight in compare to other brands. On the other hand, with smooth hovering performance, the drone can greatly help the pilot to take professional videos. The CX-22 is not only serving photographers, but also it lets sport flyers to benefit from a couple of handy features such as Circle Hovering and Follow-me mode. The two big LEDs indicators at the front give you to opportunity to fly the drone at nights. The Return Home key and Uncontrollable Return to Land function will save your drone if you think there is risk of losing the sight or connection of your drone.

Cheerson cx22 review

For FPV transmission, the controller includes 7-inch LCD Monitor with 800*480 Pixels resolution, and for aerial imaging, the unit carries a high quality built-in camera recording up to 1080P videos and capturing 14MP Stills with the help of 2-axis brushless gimbal.

Cheerson CX-22 Price

It is common to see different price tags for the same drone when searching online stores.The CX-22 price has dropped dramatically and nowadays the lowest price you can get is 649USD from here. Moreover, with your purchase you’ll also receive waterproof backpack which is not offered by many sellers. CX-22 is an RTF drone, so you should expect to get everything you need to fly in one package.

The Verdict

Considering the price with all that features, the CX-22 is an attractive deal, you have almost everything you want from a professional drone. Although I’m not a fan of 2-axis gimbals, but it’s still worth buying it if you are a recreational photographer. There have also been a couple of complaints about the drone’s useless manual which seems to be a common issue with most Chinese products, but after all this drone has already gone viral, so you won’t have any problem looking for more information, you can go to this forum and find your answers.

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align

Align M480L


Align M480L Review

The Taiwanese based company Align have long been producing multicopters and are famous for their unique design and the art of engineering. You can rarely catch the company’s name out there in the market, but this is not because they have flaw in their products or bad reputation, indeed they offer high quality aerial equipment, maybe the intense price competition is one reason that they have not become as popular as DJI.

Speaking of quality, the multirotor M480L is one great example that I’m going to review here and it’s only fair if you compare this drone with Inspire 1. When you have your M480L box ready to open for the first time, you’ll find yourself with a well-designed and a sturdy drone that is definitely worth the price. The M480L is a perfect choice for professional photographers and powerful enough for payloads. The aircraft is as wide as 800mm, and for sure, this drone is not a toy. If you are a beginner looking for an affordable ready-to-fly drone, you don’t need to read any further, the M480L is considered a high-tech drone and is not your best option to begin your first flight with.

M480L Specs and Features

Height: 430mm
Airframe diameter: 800mm
Flying weight:2.7kg
Flight time: 20 minutes
MAX altitude: 700m(2297ft)
BL4213 (370KV) brushless motors
40A Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
Retractable landing skids

A unique design of the M480L lets you have a quadcopter, a hexacopter or even an octacopter with the same platform, all you need to do is to add more legs and upgrade the battery if you need it for lifting heavy weights. Speaking of the battery, Although the company suggested a 20-minutes flight time on empty M480 using a single 6S 22.2V 5200mAh battery and 9 minutes with G3 gimbal + Panasonic GH4, a few buyers believe there is a bit of exaggeration in it. However, there is enough space allocated on the platform to upgrade using either two 6000mAh batteries or a single 6S 12000mAh battery, which give you a longer flight time. The M480L supports G3-GH and G3-5D gimbals, plus, you can use DJI Z15 gimbal which is perfect for GoPro.

Align M480L review

The controller gives you the choice of different flight modes including attitude, GPS speed, GPS angular, intelligent, and manual. In addition, the APS-M Control Unit features OSD(On Screen Display) signal output for live feed, gimbal control and fix-point survey functions. The fix-point survey feature works in a way that you set points on a map and your drone only flies over the predefined path to reach these points and to take aerial images. This is all done with the help of GPS, you don’t really need to control the drone as it flies automatically. I’ve recently found out there are a few companies making radio guns for governments to freeze the drone with by jamming the signals, just for your info,when you use fix-point function there is no gun to stop your drone as it won’t bother flying with jammed signals. This feature can be found in some other drones as well, but with different names e.g. DJI Waypoints. Needless to say, for the safety of flight the M480L includes Return Home option along with failsafe auto return home and low voltage failsafe features which bring the drone back to where it started.

The M480L Price

The price of this unit has dropped to half, nowadays you can buy M480L for 826.97USD, this is what you pay only for the kit, but there is more. You need to buy a radio system, the battery and the charger separately before you can get it up in the air. Of course, the drone is not satisfying if we could not use the camera and FPV. For that, you can either buy a G3 gimbal for 1,126.36USD or G3-5D gimbal for 1,190.28USD. For FPV system including the transmitter and the receiver, the Walkera Devo F12E could be your best option which has a 5 inch LCD and costs you around 300USD.

The Verdict

The M480L  is a perfect drone but here is the problem. As i mentioned earlier the drone industry is very competitive along with each drone there are a couple of other drones with the same price range to compare with. Let say I want a drone and I don’t have any camera, choosing the M480L I need to buy the kit, the gimbal, the camera and the FPV system, all that will cost me over 2500USD, the price is close to inspire 1 which already has all I need in one package. everyone has different preferences, but in my case, to be honest, If I had an easier drone as my second option with somehow the same capability I’d definitely choose that one.

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ideafly storm 800

IdeaFly Storm 800


IdeaFly Storm 800 Review

IdeaFly is the ShenZhen based company specializing in in R&D, manufacture and sales of drones. With their main focus on aerial photography and videography, so far, they have produced quadcopters for drone hobbyists. However, by introducing the Storm 800, the hexacopter, IdeaFly have shown interest in the field of commercial drones. Usually, If you want to buy a hexacopter, the price tags for these type of multi rotors blow your mind, but the Storm 800 is surprisingly affordable and efficient. The drone is PNP(Plug-N-Play) type, meaning, you need to buy a few extras separately before you can fly it, I’ll be explaining in more details of what you need to buy later in this review. Although this drone may not be the best option for beginners but it has eye-catching capabilities making it a demanding drone for semi-professional pilots and medium-sized payloads. Read on the review of storm 800 to discover more interesting facts about this drone.

The Storm 800 specs and features

Distance between shafts : 34.6 inches (800mm)
Weight: 2.6 lbs (1180g) without landing gear
Max flight time 30 minutes
Operating range 3280ft (1000 meters)
Max flight altitude: 3280ft (1000 meters)
Max Payload: 3.96 lbs (1.8KG)
Max ascent speed:10.2 m/s
Max descent: 6 m/s
15inch carbon propellers
Retractable landing gear
Foldable frame

As you may have already noticed from the specs, the Storm 800 is a one of those big drones, which makes sense if it is built for lifting purposes. With the payload capacity of near 2kg, along with 30 minutes flight time make this drone a perfect choice if you are looking for delivering items such as small parcels or maybe the customers’ pizzas! The frame is made of strong technic plastic and is designed to protect the drone when flying under rain, snow or in dusty weather.

IdeaFly Storm 800 review

Not to mention the vast uses of drones have been for professional photography and cinematography. The storm 800 is very stable for taking aerial shots, however, the quality of your images also depends on the camera and gimbal that you need to buy separately. The drones is compatible with all size of GoPro cameras or if you are a fan of Sony cameras, you can use your Sony RX100 II & III and Sony NEX-5 with this drone, and for gimbal you also have pretty much good options to look for e.g. Walkera G3 S.

How much is the Storm 800?

If you choose to buy the Storm-800, the various pricing options may confuse you as it is a PNP drone and I’ve seen in a few websites that are selling this drone with a title of “RTF drone”, which is misleading to buyers. Nowadays, the most expensive Storm 800 costs you $879.99, it but includes only the hexacopter frame, landing skid,  6 x 40A ESC, 6 x 4114 brushless motor, propellers and the CD manual. So, depending on what you need there are certain items you may buy separately such as the remote controller, flight controller and GPS, battery, charger, camera and gimbal, . The choice of battery depends on your budget, but If you want to get a 30-minutes flight time, get a 22v 6s 10000 mAh battery, which cost you around  112 USD. For radio and receiver buy Spectrum and for flight control system use YS-X4-V2 from ZeroUAV.

The verdict

Usually the hexacopters are not as much demanding as quadcopters are and they are not the best options for beginners, but they have their own considerable benefits . If you want to buy a quadcopter for professional cinematography, usually the drone costs you more than 1000 USD and a high-end quad eventually cost you more than 1500 USD, after all most of these units won’t give you more than 20 minutes of flight time, nevertheless, a hexacopter is more stable than a quadcopter. As a video professional, what you need is a stable drone, a perfect camera and a long flight time. if you have your compatible camera then the Storm 800 will take care of the rest for you, and if you need a drone to lift stuff, hexacopters are definitely your only options.

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Toruk AP10

Toruk AP10


Toruk AP10 Review

Developing wireless transmission technology as the core, AEE has now diversified to build their own flying robots. Aside from their high-end police drones with mind-blowing prices, the production of the Toruk series has been their ticket to enter hobbyists drone industry. The Toruk AP9, Toruk AP10 and Toruk AP11 are the drones that you may want to look for and for the ease of research, you should know that the Toruk series mostly share the same features and their major difference comes from the camera. In this review I mainly focus on Toruk AP10 and briefly compare it with the rest of Toruk series. Buy here!

Toruk AP10 specs and features

Weight:
Without Battery: 2.6 lb / 1.2 kg
With Battery: 3.3 lb / 1.5 kg
Dimensions: 14.6 x 14.6 x 5.5″ / 370 x 370 x 140 mm
Flight Time: Up to 25 minutes
Battery: 5300mAh 11.1V LiPo
Operating Range: 1640ft (500m)
WiFi Video Downlink: 2.4 GHz,
WiFi Range:
Up to 164ft (50 m) without extender
Up to 1000ft (300m) with extender

Toruk AP10 review

The Toruk AP10 has two flight modes, GPS and normal. The GPS mode gives the pilot less control over the flight, however, it’s a perfect condition for taking aerial shots as the drone is fully stabilized and if you are a beginner, it is advised to begin with this mode and make sure the GPS is calibrated, otherwise if the drone loses connection with your transmitter, the Return Home button will not save the unit for you. With the maximum flight speed of 25 m/s, the Toruk AP10 is one of those fast and responsive drones, So if you already learnt how to fly it and you are looking to have some excitement, just switch to normal mode. Although it is semi-stable, in this mode you have full control of the drone.

Toruk AP10 Camera and Transmitter

The AP series have a few different details including flight range, package and flight speed,but As i mentioned in beginning of the review the main difference comes from the camera. The Toruk AP10 has integrated camera, letting you take 16MP stills and capture 1080p videos at 30fps(frame per second). The reason i mentioned “frame per second” is because Some people simply miss the fact that the 1080p is different from 1080i, for instance the camera for Toruk AP11 captures 1080i at 60fps(field per second), so don’t make this mistake and think the camera for the second one gives 30 more frames than the other one. On the other side, comparing Toruk AP10 with Toruk AP9, the second model does not come with a built-in camera and it only has GoPro and AEE camera mounts.
The WiFi connection for live streaming is at the range of 164ft, however the extender, which comes with the package increases the range up to 1000ft, the transmitter itself does not have display for FPV, what you need is a compatible mobile device to view, both extenders and your cellphone can be attached to the transmitter. You can basically control the camera with the transmitter – the record start/stop and photo – but for more settings you need to go through the app.

Toruk AP10 Price

This is a RTF drone, so you don’t need to shop extra to fly this unit, but if you are looking a fan of FPV, you need to have a your own iOS or Android mobile device. The drone will cost you $699, the package includes Limited 1-Year Warranty on transmitter, Wi-Fi range extender, camera and AP10 (the aircraft).

A Final Verdict

In my judgment, the Toruk AP10 is not the drone you want for professional photography.The built-in camera is not as efficient as a 3-axis gimbal is, however considering the high speed, long flight time and the price, it is exciting to fly one of these units. One last thing is about the after-sale support; the company seems not really taking care of its customers.I hope the company consider this important fact that once the unsatisfied customer is gone, you will lose them forever.

Update: please check the latest price here!

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