Saturday, March 4, 2017

GoPro Karma – GoPro Makes Quite The Entrance On The Drone Market

I have been waiting for this to happen for quite some time and, needless to say, I was thrilled when GoPro unveiled their first drone back in 2016. It’s been a lot of time since then and now I have finally laid my hands on the drone itself. My initial expectations were exceeded when I took the drone in my own two hands. It was unbelievably sturdy and felt indestructible. It became pretty clear that GoPro made sure the design is nothing short of brilliant. Moreover, there’s just one more thing I’d like to add before proceeding to the GoPro Karma review – with its foldable propellers and a generally small size, this Karma is most certainly not a bitch!

Specifications

Flight Duration: 20 minutes

Flight Range: 1,000 meters

Camera Support: Hero 5 Black, Hero 5 Session and Hero 4 (special harness required, sold separately)

GoPro Karma Battery and Flight Range

People usually expect awesome specifications from GoPro products, and that’s exactly the case with their new drone too. People expected it to have AMAZING specifications and were left kind of disappointed when GoPro released them. I, for one, was not that disappointed, but that’s most likely due to the fact I was not expecting anything groundbreaking from them. Needless to say, most of my friends did and they were enraged when they found out Karma could only travel up to 1,000 meters and fly for around 20 minutes. These specifications aren’t that bad if you compare them to the rest of the market. The main problem is that most people have had way too big expectations in the first place, and their hopes got shattered once the specs sheet came out to the public.

Aerial Photography

Of course, for a drone made by a company that primarily makes action cameras, it comes as no surprise that Karma does miraculously when it comes to aerial photography. As you can see the in technical specifications list, it supports the following cameras: Hero 5 Black, Hero 5 Session and Hero 4. For the latter, you will need to buy a special harness which is sold separately and will cost you roughly $35. Regarding actual image and video quality, in terms of stabilization and smoothness, I have to admit GoPro Karma is one of the best models on the market. It’s so easy to take perfect shots with this despite the lack of smart features (we’ll discuss that in the next paragraph, don’t worry). Videos are extremely smooth and don’t have that annoying jittery effect I noticed on other drones. All in all, aerial photography wise, GoPro Karma is as good as they come!

GoPro Karma Features

We have come to the biggest downside of this model. If its specifications were bad to most of its potential buyers, then the features are surely the tipping point that made them pass on buying this drone. You see, even though it is priced extremely high, GoPro Karma does not have such a good set of features. More precisely, it lacks several smart features which most of us were expecting from it. Even I expected it to have at least some sort of smart flight features, and we all know I usually don’t expect future products to be all that great. Unfortunately, GoPro Karma failed to deliver even the simplest of smart features such as the ever-so-popular Follow Me which is often seen even with more affordable drones than this one. What’s even worse is that it does not even have downward positioning sensors which are crucial for worry-free indoor flight. Bad Karma… Baaaad!

Final Verdict!

Now that you guys know more about GoPro Karma, I feel like it’s time to conclude. Without going into too many details, I would just like to point out that GoPro Karma is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. With average specifications, great aerial photography capabilities and outstanding design, I believe its primary audience will be professional photographs and art students and not tech enthusiasts, myself included. This is mostly due to the lack of many popular smart features us tech nerd have already gotten accustomed to with other models on the market. Still, despite that, I believe GoPro Karma will have its fair share of the market and definitely looks to make a good name for itself out there! Let’s not forget that this is the first GoPro’s drone ever. With that in mind, I am more than satisfied with the end result.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Upair One – Is This The Best Bargain On The Market?

Drone market is being heavily saturated by budget models with questionable quality. Their specs sheet might look good at the very first glance, but they fail to deliver in other aspects. Most of these drones are made with cheap materials and they tend to break after the very first collision. But, today, we have an interesting one at display. I’m talking about the Upair One which seems like a great budget option for an all-around drone. But, is it any good? Well, that’s exactly what I wanted to share with you guys! So with that in mind, let’s get straight to business and to the actual Upair One review!

Upair One Review

Technical Specifications

Max range: 800m
Max FPV range: 500m
Flight duration: 18 minutes
Camera: 2.7K and 4K versions available
Motors: 2212 brushless motors
Propellers: 9450 (same as DJI Phantom 3)

Check price on Amazon

Battery and Flight Range of the Upair One

Upair One comes with a powerful battery that exceeded my expectations by a mile. It’s a smart 5400mAh battery that we often see with more expensive drones. Under full load, it can endure for roughly 18 minutes which is decent enough for the price this drone goes for. It possesses the quick charge technology which allows it to charge as fast as 1 hour and 30 minutes, allowing you to be back in action in no time at all… especially if you have 2 of them.

Flight range is pretty good as well, almost to the point of being on par with some of DJI’s older models. Without FPV, you can easily reach 800 meters, but I doubt any of you would like to travel that far away without any sort of visual feedback. If you, on the other hand, turn FPV on and monitor it via the built-in display (more on that later on), you can still achieve respectable 500 meters, which is pretty good for the industry’s standards.

Upair One Camera

Now, the interesting thing about Upair One is the fact it comes in 2 different versions; 4K and 2.7K. Of course, the 4K version is a bit more expensive (nothing drastic though, you can find it for roughly $50 more than the 2.7K one). Both versions come mounted on a 2-axis gimbal which is not that great. Not only does it rotate only on 2 axes (in comparison to 3 axes which is sort of a standard in the industry as it provides the maximum stability and smoothness while recording) but it also has some issues every now and then. It does not tilt and rotate accordingly which gave me quite a few problems when I was trying to take some awesome aerial shots with it. On the other hand, both cameras are pretty good. The quality is excellent although you will notice a bit of shakiness due to the bad gimbal stabilization system.

Features

As you all know, all good drones have excellent features to go along with them. In most cases, these features are what separates the good from the awesome ones. That’s why I want to say a couple of words about the features of this little fella. First off, I would like to thank the folks over at Upair’s HQ for providing us with such a cheap drone with built-in GPS. Yup, you read that right – Upair One has a fully fledged GPS system and it’s surprisingly precise. In addition to that, it sports all the standard features such as One Key Return to Home, Failsafe Auto Return and even Low Voltage Auto Return. I wanted to see a couple more advanced features like the ones I saw on DJI’s new line of drones, but I guess it was too much to ask for such an affordable price.

Controller

Let’s start last paragraph of our Upair one review by saying that Upair One’s controller is absolutely amazing. I love it! It does look hell of a lot like DJI Phantom ones, but it still has some finishing touches that allow you to differentiate them. The biggest difference is definitely the huge 7-inch display mounted on top of it. It works like a charm and allows you to indulge in a fantastic FPV experience every time. In addition to that, it is also important to mention that the controls are rather intuitive and that no one will have any problems with them.Upair One is really easy to control and is suitable for pretty much all ages.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

10 Drones With Follow Me Mode [2017 Edition]

I am sure you already know that drones possess all sorts of useful features that you can use to your advantage. One of the coolest ones is definitely the Follow Me function that will surely get you excited. If you didn’t already see follow me drone in action, I’ll try to explain it in following sentence. What it does is basically allow the drone to follow its transmitter wherever it goes. While it’s on its route, you can easily shoot videos and / or capture images, leading to amazing footage every time. This new technology is awesome, and if you are interested in it, here’s a list of top 10 drones that are equipped with it.

UNDER $200

Hubsan H502S

The cheapest drone that follows you on this list is made by Hubsan, a stellar drone manufacturer which has made quite a name for itself on the market. This drone sports a solid 720p camera that supports FPV via the built in 4.3-inch LCD display on its respective controller. Feature wise, this little fella is equipped with 6-axis gyro system, altitude hold mode and follow me function which is something we are not used to see in this price range. Still, with up to 12 minutes of flight time and excellent build quality, the H502S proves that Hubsan still knows its way with making great budget drones.

Check price on Amazon

 

$200 TO $400

XIRO Xplorer G

Xplorer is a bulky drone made out of top quality materials, making it exceptionally resistant and shock proof. The G version does not come with an action camera, but to compensate for it, the folks at XIRO introduced an amazing 3-axis gimbal that supports GoPros. It allows great stability and is able to provide your GoPro with smooth flight, making up for some top quality aerial footage. In addition to the follow me function, Xplorer G also possesses circle around me feature that will help you capture great videos with your friends and family. And finally, this little fella can reach up to 500 meters away from its transmitter, and endure cca 25 minutes of flight time due to its smart 520mAh battery. Not bad for a drone that costs less than $300.

Check price on Amazon

 

3DR Solo

Solo is a beautiful drone with glossy finish that will surely capture the looks of everyone in your household. It is quite lightweight for its size, and even features 2 microprocessors. Due to this, 3DR markets is as the world’s first smart drone. When it comes to its features and specifications, Solo is equipped with oribing mode, follow me, cable cam and selfie mode, all of which you will greatly appreciate across a lot of different scenarios. Things are amazing in the specifications department too. With more than 800 meters of flight range and cca 20 minutes, it is pretty clear there’s a bright future ahead of it.

Check price on Amazon

 

$400 TO $600

SPEEDWOLF VAJRA80

This follow me drone has not been on the market for very long, but it has already attracted a fair share of buyers with its stellar performance all-around. From such an unknown brand like Speedwolf, it’s always a great surprise to see an awesome product. This is exactly how we can characterize the VARJA80 (not exactly the prettiest name though) who sports powerful brushless motors who are capable of lifting up to 1.5 kilograms. This means you can easily mount your own professional photography camera to the VARJA80 for awesome aerial footage. If you don’t plan on doing that, there’s still the built in full HD camera that is able to provide you with decent image quality. Its flight range goes up to 1000 meters and it can endure up to 25 minutes in midair. All in all, a great new drone that deserves all the attention it can get.

Check price on Amazon

 

DJI Phantom 3 Standard

And we have come to the first DJI’s drone that follows you on this list and it is the Phantom 3 Standard Edition. This little fella sports all the features you’ll ever need, such as GPS, FPV, follow me, point of interest, waypoints and even more. Its build quality is, as always, nothing short of brilliant, and the specifications are top notch for a drone that costs less than $500. It can fly up to 25 minutes with its smart battery that can be easily charged (charger included in the packaging). Another great thing about this drone is that it comes with a great 2.7K camera and you can seamlessly shoot videos up to 1 kilometer away from you. Inside the 1km area you won’t need to worry about losing connection, but even if you do, Phantom 3 won’t crash because it has failsafe security system.

Check price on Amazon

 

$600 TO $1000

3DR IRIS+

This compact drone has a set of handy features that will leave you craving for more. Even though it has quite a good price for such a small drone, the IRIS+ has more than enough to justify it. For instance, it features a great 2-axis gimbal, has 400g maximum payload and supports 3DR’s well-known autopilot system. In addition to that, this little devil also supports waypoints, follow me, failsafe functions and colorful LED status lights. With its 20 minutes of flight time and cca 1 kilometer of flight range, it is pretty clear that Iris+ means business. Great features and specifications from such a compact drone completely justify the $600 price tag.

Check price on Amazon

 

Yuneec Q500

If you are willing to spend $$$ on a brand new follow me drone that will serve you loyally for many years, then Yuneec Q500 might just be the one for you. It comes bundled together with a top quality CGO3 camera capable of shooting 4k videos at 30 frames per second. Additionally, it can even shoot slow motion footage in full HD, which is pretty amazing, if I may add. Alongside the camera, this little fella also comes with an ST10+ controller and steady grip, allowing you to have an amazing flying experience with seamless controls. It is nothing short of spectacular in specifications department either – 25 minutes of flight time and up to 800 meters of flight range make it a viable choice for everyone wanting a top-class drone of their own.

Check price on Amazon

 

Autel Robotics X-STAR Premium

If you are looking for a premium drone in every sense of the word premium, then you cannot go wrong with the Autel Robotic’s XSTAR Premium. This drone is well versed in all of its respective aspects, making it one of the best all-around drones currently available on the market. It sports a top quality 4K camera that is bound to provide you with nothing but exceptional image quality time and time again. In addition to that, it has a range of up to 2 kilometers and can fly up to 25 minutes. Combine its excellent specifications with dual mode GPS, follow me function, awesome controller with a built-in LCD display, and you got yourself an amazing premium drone for just $700.

Check price on Amazon

 

OVER $1000

DJI Mavic Pro

And we have come to the 2 most expensive drones with follow me ability on this list. The first one is Mavic Pro with a fine set of features that you will greatly appreciate. The most interesting one is surely its ability to fold, allowing it to be an extremely compact device that can fit pretty much everywhere. Combine that with a state-of-the-art 4K camera with extreme stabilization and crisp clear smoothness, and you will begin to understand why this drone is so special. It features both GPS and GLONASS systems allowing you to have pinpoint accuracy no matter what’s your latitude. And finally, it is important to add that this little fella has up to 7 kilometers of lag-free long range (HOLY MOLY) and cca 27 minutes of flight time, which are both amazing. Still, everything mentioned above is not exactly dirt cheap – you will have to make a $1k dent in your budget if you want to buy this drone, but with everything we’ve just mentioned, it’s still a great bargain!

Check price on Amazon

 

AirDog

The most expensive drone on this list is actually a sports drone with a unique look and feel to it. Say hello to AirDog, one of the most innovative drones on the market. It specializes in extreme sports and has a wide set of features to back it up. It focuses on autonomous flight and has several different fight modes depending on the sport / activity you are into. Instead of a big and bulky remote control we are so used to seeing with all other drones out there, the AirDog actually has a wearable transmitter called AirLeash. It is completely water proof which means you can easily control your drone while surfing, swimming or doing any sort of water sport down at the beach. While it does not come with a built in camera, it features GoPros (Hero3 and Hero4 models with built in support while Hero5 adapter is bought separately), meaning you can easily mount your own camera for an ultimate aerial footage experience. With a unique look and wide array of flight modes, the AirDog seems like the best choice for people who enjoy extreme water sports.

Check price on Amazon

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a lot of great drones that sport the Follow Me function. While the budget models aren’t really that much represented with this features, mid-tier and premium ones adopted it without any issues. To summarize, if you are looking for a great drone that can follow you around while you do your routine and presumably take pictures and videos, you can’t go wrong with any of the ones that are listed above.

The post 10 Drones With Follow Me Mode [2017 Edition] appeared first on DronesFella.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

How To Fly A Drone Without Getting Into Legal Troubles


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How To Use Drones Legally
Drones are an exciting area of technology catching the attention of hobbyists and entrepreneurs alike. Given how new they are, drones are not yet fully regulated, so using them can be risky.

In general, business use of drones is prohibited and frowned upon by the federal government. But this doesn't mean there are no professional applications as of yet. Filming crews and photographers are able to use drones for shots from higher vantage points. Farmers and shepards use drones to monitor crops and even shepard some herds.

Professionals and enthusiasts alike do need to follow certain rules. Many locales have an altitude ceiling of 400 feet for drone use. Flying within 5 miles of any airport is also usually asking for trouble.

Do respect the privacy of others if using drones for photography. Owners of land typically have domain over their immediate vertical airspace up to 400 feet.

They are also entitled to some privacy. For instance, even if a home is visible from a street, a potential realtor can't take pictures of a home from the air without explicit permission of the home owner. It should go without saying that using drones for spying on neighbors or family is also in violation of privacy and civil rights laws.

How To Fly A Drone Without Getting Into Legal Troubles
Flying a drone is a lot of fun but there are a few legal issues you need to be aware of. Always use common sense when flying your drone and you will be fine.

There could be legal problems if you hurt someone or cause damage to someone's property with your drone. As an inexperienced drone owner, you might make a mistake that would result in the drone crashing. You need to practice flying your drone in an open field where no one will be hurt and nothing will be damaged if the drone crashes until you are more comfortable.

A drone is technically considered as a remote control aircraft. There are some local ordinances against flying such aircraft. You need to find out more about local laws for your city, township or village before flying your drone. If an ordinance against remote control aircraft exists, you will have to fly your drone in a different area.

Video guides

 
There are potential issues regarding invasion of privacy with drones equipped with a camera since you can take pictures or record videos from above without people necessarily realizing what you are doing. Flying a drone equipped with a camera can be a lot of fun but do not use it to record people that are unaware of what you are doing or to fly over private property.