Best Quadcopter for GoPro Camera

RC quadcopters are without a doubt one of the hottest innovations in the personal photography market since the advent of the digital SLR camera.

These amazing flying machines bring together the best of several worlds to give you a new and exciting way to enjoy photography, personal flight devices and social media.

With today’s RC quadcopters, a top quality camera and a compatible mobile device the sky is truly the limit when it comes to the amount of fun you and your friends can have.

RC quadcopters have been around for a while now, the earliest models first appearing on the market in the mid 1980’s. Those of course were a far cry from the highly advanced models of today. Early models required a lot of practice and expertise in not only adjusting the four different motor assemblies but controlling them as well. Those early models were also much heavier than the ones of today and battery life was horrible, getting maybe 15 minutes of flight time out of a full 8 hour charge if you were lucky. The first RC quadcopters were at best a hobby that was reserved for the most avid personal aviation enthusiast at best.

Today’s RC quadcopters are lighter, faster, more economical, have better batteries that provide longer life and are, thanks to the increase in micro and sub micro computing power easier to fly for everyone from the novice to advanced users. One of the main reasons why quadcopters have come so far is the recent buzz about “drones” and public interest in personal drones and using them for aerial photography.

The increased popularity of quadcopters today can be attributed directly to the increase in high digital photography accessibility and the proliferation of social media in our culture. Today with a high quality digital camera such as the GoPro line of cameras anyone can become a cinematographer and share their vision with the world. Aerial photography has given rise to a new breed of amateur and independent cinematographer.

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Specifically cinematography using a quadcopter with camera setup as the steady cam for the shooting can give anyone the chance to become a movie maker. Who knows with the right kickstarter campaign and a good script the next academy award winning independent feature could be made by you and with the help of your quadcopter with camera attached, you could even shoot your won acceptance speech and upload it to social media in a matter of minutes.

Of course if you are serious about getting into the exciting and fun world of aerial photography and cinematography, be it to film the next great motion picture, just for the fun of sharing your view of the world with social media, or merely wanting to create awesome home movies and vacation videos that will leave your friends and family speechless, you will need to have a top of the line quadcopter with camera setup and a great camera to attach to it.

The best cameras on the market today are indisputably the GoPro Line of digital multi-use high definition cameras. So you will need to know which is the best quadcopter for GoPro system you should be investing in.

So here it is the best quadcopter for the GoPro Camera.

DJI Phantom 2 with Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal

The best quadcopter for GoPro, just about anyone will agree is the DJI Phantom 2 with the Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal. This revolutionary new system will bring you the power of the most advanced personal drone technology available in the personal flight market combined with a new and innovative gimbal system that makes using it with your GoPro camera not only easy, but a dream come true for those who are interested in aerial photography and cinematography.

The DJI Phantom 2 with the Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal provides you with the ability to turn your GoPro HERO3 digital Multi-Use camera into a flying steady cam. The Autopilot DJI systems on the Phantom 2 can communicate with the servo controls of the Zenmuse H3-3d gimbal and the onboard stabilization features of the HERO3 to give you simply the best imaging available no matter what you are shooting.

With the addition of the Video Downlink system “Lightbridge” available through your DJI dealer you can turn your drone into a full featured HD video camera, streaming your video to your portable device or laptop for near limitless recording space. You can also interconnect the streaming feed to your favorite social media site or personal website for live on the fly streaming directly from your quadcopter.

The most wonderful thing about this system is that after the initial installation, which is quick and easily explained in simple to understand videos on the DJI website, the unit operates on a plug and play platform. Each time you are ready to fly and shoot, just attach your camera and connect the cable form the quadcopter to the gimbal and you’re ready to power up and fly with full color high definition video and total GoPro camera control at your fingertips.

First let’s look at what makes the DJI Phantom 2 such an amazing quadcopter with camera choice. First the copter looks awesome; the sleek European design is sexy and smart. Of course the good looks are for more than just eye candy, the smooth flowing unibody style with the gentle curves and graceful lines are also all about aerodynamic while still providing a solid protection for the internal electronics.

DJI Phantom 2 with H3-3D gimbal

 

The landing legs are stable and strong providing full protection to the gimbal and your camera. The large LED running and clearance lights are bright and easy to see from a distance, even at higher elevations. This means that when combined with the bright white finish you will have no problems locating your copter in the sky even at night.

The copter features a CAN-Bus expansion system allowing you to add new features to your copter with no problems. The onboard Mini-USB connection means that you can make firmware upgrades quickly and easily by using any Windows based PC. The system features self-tightening propellers and of course the revolutionary DJI auto pilot system which means that you can program you copter from your IPAD or Andriod Tablet and take advantage of the 16 waypoint system with automatic NO WAY POINT filtering to ensure that you stay clear of no fly zones without any worry.

New and Improved Smart Battery

The copter gets great battery life with the included and latest DJI Phantom Smart Battery. This latest battery packs a 5200 mAh lithium-polymer battery and the battery packs are easily changeable so that you can keep the fun going with an optional external charger and additional power packs. With this 5200 mAh powerhouse, the DJI Phantom is capable of performing up to 25 minutes. The copter uses a single power cell for all functions including powering the video data link device if installed, the gimbal if installed and the GoPro Camera.

You can even charge your GoPro’s battery from the copters on board power system if you like. The battery also includes a one touch built in power meter that allows you to see at a glance how much juice you have left. There is little wonder with features like these why this is considered one of the best quadcopters for GoPro.

DJI Phantom 2 Remote Control

DJI Phantom 2 Controller

The remote control provides easy two stick flight controls with self-stabilizing and GPS assisted guidance. When combined with the auto landing and takeoff functions and the waypoint system you can be assured of smooth and graceful flight even if you are a total novice to quadcopters with camera drones. The remote has the option of being equipped with a holder for your handheld device so that you can view the video feed from the camera in real time.

With a full 1 kilometer range on the remote and an incredibly strong radio signal, you can take your copter to new heights and go places that other copters just can reach. Of course there is always the chance that the copter might fly out of range of your controller. In the old days that meant watching your investment crash to the ground or fly about erratically, but with the Phantom 2 you get peace of mind thanks to the AUTO RETURN HOME feature that scans for the base station or controller as it reaches the edge of its signal range and locks on.

As soon as the signal is lost the GPS system kicks in and auto pilots the copter back to your location and auto lands safely. You can also trigger an auto return home feature with the pressing of a single button on the remote at any time you like.

The Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal 

Now let’s look at the Gimbal used on the awesome combination. The Zenmuse H3-3D provides you with a real 3 axi gimbal solution for pairing your quadcopter with your GoPro HERO3 and HERO3+. Designed specifically with these bestselling cameras in mind, this state of the art gimbal offers you a single plug and play solution for not only powering your camera while in flight, but also for using the copters on board autopilot system to control automatically Tilt, Pitch and Roll features of the gimbal.

This means no matter how far, how high or how fluid your flight is you will always get perfectly stable and properly aligned footage from your camera. The system uses a triple servo motor system that features brushless servos.

The gimbal is calibration free and self-balancing at each power on. All you have to do is connect the gimbal to your copter via plug and play and then connect your camera to the gimbal via the micro USB connection built in and you are all set to fly and record stunning HD video that you know will be perfectly balanced and focused.

With the video down link data system DJI Lightbridge, you can even see that video in real-time on your handheld device and stream it to your computer for recording on large volume media for editing or uploading to popular social media sites or a live video feed outlet such as UStream or LiveStream.

The H3-3d uses online upgrades to its on board software and was designed with the DJI flight controller command set in mind. Installation is quick and simple; you can get it done in less than 10 minutes using basic tools and by following the simple step by step video tutorial that walks you through the entire process with easy to understand instructions.

Bottom Line

There are a lot of clear reasons why this is one of the best quadcopters for GoPro on the market. The most impressive of all is the price, coming in at under 1500 base model and with an extra battery included you won’t find a more economical solution for getting into the drone photography craze anywhere else. The quality is amazing, the features are unsurpassed and the value is right on the money. This is truly one of the best quadcopters for GoPro, and within a few minutes of having it in the air, you will see why for yourself.

One word of caution. There are some reports from DJI Phantom owners experiencing flyaways. This is when the controller loses control of the DJI Phantom and the quadcopter flies off by itself often resulting in lost. However there are ways to avoid this incident from happening issued by the manufacturer and also by regularly updating the Phantom firmware with the latest version.

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2 Comments

  • Relatives have a ranching operation with many square miles of land, fencing around all of that, a crop of thousands of round bales of hay this year, plus the cattle to go with all of the above. They don’t think a multi-rotor copter and camera would qualify as ranch equipment for the IRS. I tend to differ with that view. Can you prove one way or the other for a possible investment to monitor their cattle, fences, watering equipment, tenant and energy operations, etc. being accepted by the IRS as ranch equipment?