Camera Drone: A Few Aspects Discussed

One will not really be able to appreciate the significance of drone photography, if we say that it allows us to capture breathtaking aerial views of places through pictures or videos. It would be more appropriate to say that it makes it possible for us to capture those shots that could earlier be captured only from planes or helicopters. Very simply put, camera drones are drones fitted with cameras. Drones are multi-rotor, remote-controlled Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or flying devices. The camera drones are the ones equipped with cameras. There are not one but several purposes for which camera drones are employed:

  • Surveying
  • Filming
  • Photography
  • Inspection
  • Mapping

The Basic Functions of Camera Drone Explained

Drones with cameras actually open up new ways to access spaces and forge compositions that could hardly be envisaged before. They are largely used in weddings, sporting events and while traveling. If you are willing to invest in a new camera drone then you should acquaint yourself with the factors that you should prioritize while buying them.

Which Factors should you Consider while buying Camera Drones?

The most important attribute of camera drones that you should look out for is the image quality itself. Now, what is it that affects the quality of the image? It’s the sensors! So, it is important for you to know which company uses which sensors before buying the same. Mavic 2 Pro remains one of the most popular consumer drones and it uses a 1-inch sensor, which is currently hailed by the market today. THe 1-inch sensor is also being used by professional photography drones like Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. You can also educate yourself about the 4/3 inch CMOS sensor used by Inspire 2. If you are investing in a larger CMOS you will be able to shoot very high-quality images in low lights. If you are not shooting at nights you don’t necessarily have to invest in it. Both Phantom and Mavic Pro offer great image quality.

Gimbal Quality

Make sure your camera drone is backed by good gimbal quality. Your camera drone will need to stabilize itself before taking those spectacular aerial shots. So, it is important to choose camera drones backed by top gimbal quality which ensures that the flight doesn’t shake while capturing photographs. The best bet would be to settle for the 3-axis gimbals though there are cameras with 2-axis gimbals available as well.

RAW/DNG format

You will not really require RAW/DNG format support if you are not doing your post-production with the help of Photoshop or Lightbroom. RAW/DNG format is required by those who need to access multiple editing options during post production.

Resolution

The video resolution that you should settle for depends on the reason why you are taking these videos. If you are just going to upload them on Instagram or Facebook then 1080 p would suffice for you. However, you should ideally settle for 4K videos when you are vlogging – quite simply because you want sharper images and with 4K videos you actually have several pixels to play with. Watch out the camera specs for the fps (frame per second) details. You can settle for something between 24 fps and 30fps. 60fps is needed if you are looking for slow motion videos.

Intelligent Function

Why are good drones so expensive? Because they offer you good image quality? That’s only one of the reasons – not the only reason. They generally cost more because they offer several intelligent features that the others don’t. These drones can actually find you automatically, take selfies with gestures, fly along waypoints, take close-up shots without perturbing the subject, shoot objects at high speed and do a lot more.

Reviews and Recommendations

It would be prudent on your end to settle for drones after gauging their popularity through social media, online reviews and personal recommendations.

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Holy Stone HS170 Predator Review

Cheap is the first impression that you get when you see the price of the Holy Stone HS170 Predator drone. However, before you dismiss it, you remember that Holy Stone is one of the most renowned drone makers in the world.

This is a cheap toy drone. With that in mind, many buyers do not expect much from it. However, they end up pleasantly surprised because this small drone packs many features, even some of which you mostly find in the big boys.

Although this mini drone is not equipped with a camera, it comes with other features that an awesome starter drone should have. It has a rugged build, and it looks ready to withstand all the rigors that are bound to happen with beginners. It is user-friendly and affordable. In this Holy Stone HS170 Predator drone review, you can see more of its features.

Holy Stone HS170 Predator

Holy Stone HS170 Predator Features & Technical Details

The very first thing that will draw your attention to this drone is its sleek, compact and lightweight design. This drone measures 5.3 by 5.3 inches and weighs only 13.6 ounces. Thanks to its small size, weight and a short transmission range, it meets all the FAA regulations. Thus, you are not required to register it. Just get it ready for flight.

The small size makes this quadcopter suitable for flying in both indoor and outdoor settings. It is made from premium quality polycarbonate material, which makes it strong and durable. Due to its robust, windproof and shockproof construction, it is able to withstand a lot of abuse and it can fly well in unfriendly weather conditions. It is fitted with powerful motors, sturdy propellers and a stabilization system that ensures it performs excellently while on-flight even in windy conditions.

This drone is sold with an extra set of blades, propeller guards and many replacement accessories. You can fly your drone without having to worry about crashes. To ensure that you enjoy a thrilling flying experience even at night, there are blue and red LED lights that flash. These lights enable you to trace your drone easily even in low light conditions.

For the battery and flight time, the Predator mini drone uses 3.7V 350mAh battery. This is a small yet powerful battery. You can expect 6 to 8 minutes of flight time. The battery is removable and it takes only 45 to 60 minutes to be fully charged.

If you would love to extend your flight time, get an extra battery, so that you do not have to wait for one battery to recharge to fly again. To ensure that your drone parts lasts a long time, it is recommended that you take a 10-minute break between the flights to help the circuit board and the motors to cool down. They tend to heat up during flights.

The Holy Stone HS170 Predator is one cheap toy drone that offers users an easy and smooth flight experience. It has features that ensure even the novice pilots enjoy a great time with it. First, this drone is highly responsive to controls, which makes it easy to fly even for the first-time pilots.

This mini drone comes with headless mode that makes it so easy to fly for kids and beginner pilots. The headless mode enables the drone to fly in the direction of the controller regardless of the direction in which its nose is facing.

Another nice feature that makes this drone ideal for pilots of all skill levels is that it comes with three different speed modes. Beginners will particularly enjoy the slower speed as they cut their teeth in drone flying, while the pros will be more thrilled by the higher speeds.

The 6-Axis Gyro Technology that is used in this drone ensures that your drone remains stable in the air during flights. It also enables the drone to perform various stunts in the air. This technology allows the drone to do various rolls and flips in the air in just any direction.

The only tricky bit about flying this mini drone is to know when to fly it back home for recharging. It neither has a return to home feature nor an alarm that alerts you when the battery is draining out. The only way to know when the battery is running out of juice is when the drone becomes hard to control. It is recommended that you fly the drone back home for recharging after every five minutes of being in the air.

The Holy Stone HS170 Predator comes with a big controller. This is unique given the small size of the drone. The controller is powered by six AA batteries, which are purchased separately. It is able to control the drone within a range of 200 feet. Despite its big size, the controller fits perfectly on your hands and it is easy to operate. The buttons and the joysticks are easy to maneuver and operate.

Holy Stone HS170 Predator

Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners

Given its size and price range, this is a powerful toy drone, which is great for kids and beginners. I am neither a kid nor a beginner but I love taking her for a spin too. Zack C

This is my first drone and I already love it. It is easy to fly, sturdy and stable in the air. Now that I have gotten it an extra battery, I am looking to enjoy even a more enjoyable flight experience. I am planning to upgrade to a big camera drone in a month or two. Loren W.

I was able to fly this drone right out of the box. Despite the short flight time, I must admit I am having more fun than I ever thought a drone sold at its price could give me. This is my favorite toy drone. Anne D.

I find the Predator a reliable and durable drone, it is easy and fun to fly. It is a tough drone too as I have crashed it severally and the propellers remained intact. It lacks altitude hold, but it still comes with other features that make it easy to fly even with the least of flying experience. Richie H.

Pros of Holy Stone HS170 Predator

  • Easy to fly
  • Ideal for indoor or outdoor flying
  • Capable of performing various flips and rolls
  • Convenient LED lights for night flying
  • Very affordable
  • No need to register it with FAA
  • Highly responsive to controls
  • Has headless mode

Cons of Holy Stone HS170 Predator

  • Lacks a camera
  • No altitude hold function
  • No return to home feature

Who Should Buy the Holy Stone HS170 Predator?

This drone is a perfect purchase for any drone hobbyist regardless of their experience. It is designed with features that ensure that the pilot enjoys a good time with it. This drone particularly offers the beginners a big space to advance their skills because of its ease of use and user friendliness.

If you are looking for a nice birthday gift for your children or you want to get someone started on the drone culture, buy them the Holy Stone HS170 Predator as a gift. It does not cost much, but it packs many features. It is highly reviewed as one of the best cheap toy drones for beginners in the market.

Conclusion and Recommendation

With features like headless mode, different speed settings, beautiful LED lights and more, the Holy Stone HS170 Predator is a good cheap toy drone to buy. Although it has some few drawbacks as you have seen in the above review, the overall experience with it is simply incredible. Besides, it is a toy drone, so you should buy it looking forward to few features.

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Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Racing Mini-Drone Review

For years now, Chinese drone maker Holy Stone has been making drones to meet different kinds of needs. From excellent camera drones, kids’ drones to racing drones, they have it all. If you are looking for an affordable racing drone, the Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone is a good option. This racing drone is packed with many features. It is designed to not only ensure that you enjoy the flying experience, but to also make you feel like a real pro when it comes to drones.

With the ability to achieve a maximum speed of 50km/h in a few seconds, you can feel the aggression and thrill of the HS150 Bolt Bee. I think it also helps that it amply bears the name of one of the fastest runners in the world, Bolt.

The HS150 Bolt Bee mini-drone has sturdy features to withstand abuses and crashes. Thus, it can be used by beginners. Crashes are bound to happen with the experienced or inexperienced pilots. That is why every drone should have some protection. The icing on the cake is that you get to own this incredible drone at a very affordable price.
Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Racing Mini-Drone

Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone Features & Technical Details

The physical features – There are reasons why this drone is referred to as the Bolt Bee Mini. Firstly, it is because it resembles a bee. Secondly, this drone comes in a small and lightweight design. It measures 5.7 by 4.2 inches (width by length) respectively. It weighs 68.9g only, making it perfect for packing in your travel backpack without adding any considerable weight. This drone is exceptionally fast with most of the mini drones in the market being unable to match up to its speed.

Its small size makes it ideal for flying both outdoors and indoors where space is limited. You will receive this drone when it already assembled fully. You can begin flying it within minutes of getting it out of its box.

Other than the quadcopter, the package also includes a controller, 2 batteries, a charging cable, 4 propeller guards, 8 spare propellers, a propeller crowbar, 2 landing mats, 4 screws, a screwdriver, a note book and the instruction manual.

Battery – The HS150 Bolt Bee Mini sells with not one but two high-powered 3.7V 600mAh Lithium-Polymer batteries. The bonus battery is for doubling your flight time so that you can enjoy the flying experience even more.

The batteries are easy to install and each battery offers you a flight time of about 7 minutes. The batteries take about 90 minutes to be fully charged. There is a red indicator light showing you that charging is in progress. It turns off once the batteries are fully charged.

Safety features – First, this drone comes with protection guards that protect your drone in case of a crash. Second, it is equipped with a 2.4GHz 6 Axis Gyro system that enables the drone to be quite stable while on flight. It has a headless mode that is very helpful to the beginners because it makes it easy for the pilot to easily control the drone and to fly it back once it flies out of sight.

Flight – As we had already said earlier, the HS150 Bolt Bee Mini was built for speed. It is fitted with high power motors that are able to accelerate extremely quickly, achieving a maximum of 50km/h within seconds, giving you a very thrilling performance. The drone has a flight range of between 50 to 70 meters.

It has five different speed modes that range from low to high. These make it suitable for both the novice and expert pilots. You can adjust the speed depending on your level of experience.

Adjusting the speed is easy because you just have to adjust the throttle fitted on the remote control. You are also able to perform different flight movements as well as continuous rolls. You can impress your friends when you perform various acrobatics with your drone. This drone is able to do flips in all directions, left, right, forward and backward.

With wind resistance, you can fly it out in the park and still have a good experience.

The controller – The controller resembles a mini briefcase. It is easy to maneuver and the joysticks are responsive. It also comes with a convenient handle for easier handling when moving from one place to another.

Short Summary of Feedback From Existing Owners

Among all the Holy Stone drones that I have at home, the HS150 Bolt Bee is my favorite. It is agile, can quite race and I find it small enough to pack in my coat pocket when I want to fly it in the park. Harry C.

Being a beginner drone enthusiast, I have been very cautious with this one. I started flying off on the low speed setting but I have now worked my way up. I find it a very enjoyable little buddy and I would choose it all over again, especially for its speed. Andrew W.

For the very affordable price, I did not think this drone would amount to much, but its features have pleasantly surprised me. Different flight modes, different speed settings, acrobatics… you name it. It is a joy to have the drone. Chloe W.

The Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee has no camera, offers a short flight time even with two batteries and long charging time. I bought this drone for its low price, didn’t expect too much for that price so I cannot say I have been disappointed. Terry B.

I bought this small drone for my son when he turned 9 but it turned out to be a bit complicated for him to fly it without crashing it. Now, we fly it together and we have incredible fun. Chad K.

Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Racing Mini-Drone Image

Pros of Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone

  • It is sold fully assembled
  • Affordable price
  • Sold with 2 batteries for extended flight time
  • Sturdy construction
  • Performs at high speed
  • Can do flips and other flight acrobatics
  • Has wind resistance even in windy conditions
  • Different speed modes to suit all skill level pilots
  • Has headless mode for novice pilots

Cons of Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone

  • It does not have altitude hold for hovering
  • No return to home
  • No camera
  • Short flight range

Who Should Buy Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini Racing Drone?

Any drone enthusiast looking for a great drone with incredible speed performance should buy this drone. Whether you are just starting out on drones or you are the real pro, this quadcopter has features that will favor every pilot regardless of their skill level. If you are looking for an cheap yet reliable and well-built drone that can withstand crashes, the HS150 Bolt Bee Mini is a perfect choice.

Conclusion and Recommendation

With features like flight acrobatics, spare propellers, high speed of 50km/h and the small weight, this drone can make a good addition to your line of Holy Stone products. Sold at a very affordable price, you can be sure of getting great value for your money. The Holy Stone HS150 Bolt Bee Mini drone is made for racing only, so you should have no more expectations when buying it. Consider this money well spent.

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Which Features Should you Consider while Buying Drones?

As someone looking forward to investing in drones – you have various options to select from. There are several types of drones made available in the market and you can choose one based on the purpose you would want it for! Fundamentally, drones actually let you do a lot of things together – right from surveying your surrounding areas from atop to taking beautiful pictures of the same. 2018 remains an exciting time to purchase drones because they cost lower than before as well.

What Kind of a Drone do you Want?

Depending on your choice you can opt for the lightweight drones sans cameras or the fliers bearing cameras. If you think that you will not invest in something which doesn’t let you capture aerial views – then you need to start off your search with the latter. And, if you are satisfied with a cheaper airborne camera-free counterpart then you can opt for the former. However, for the most seasoned droners out here the real deal is, was and always will be the racing drones designed to satiate their need for speed.

Professional drones are primarily accessed by broadcasters and offer excellent video quality and cost several thousands of dollars. However, if you are really planning to make the most of the merits that these drones have to offer, you should definitely make yourself aware of the technical nuances. Before delving into the features that you must check out while buying these drones, we would like you to educate yourself about the fundamental regulations governing the use of drones:

  • Stay at least 5 miles away from all airports
  • Make sure you are not being rude to the police if you are ever approached by them
  • Don’t fly over public or private property
  • Don’t fly over crime scenes
  • Don’t fly over fires
  • Don’t fly above 400 feet above the ground

Now, for the features that you must look forward to before investing in drones— kindly read on in order to be duly guided.

Battery life

This remains the primary consideration. As much as we are talking about those expensive high-end drones, let us tell you that even they grapple without charge once they cross 30-minutes of flying. We are not telling you that investing in extra batteries is a must. However, you can have them handy if you want to – of course only after bringing the cost of the spare batteries into the equation.

Range

How far can you fly your drone without really losing control over the same? This is what the range of a drone will tell you! Needless to say, the more expensive professional drones offer you better range than that of their cheaper counterparts!

Camera

This is for everyone who is looking forward to capturing magnificent aerial views through the lens. You must look into the resolution offered by the integrated camera of the drone. If we are ruling out the toy-drone models, then we can say that most of the other standard units offer integrated cameras. There might as well be some which offer you the opportunity to add your own. Indoor drones notably come with cameras with low quality footage.

Integrated GPS

Do you know about the RTH feature? It means Return to Home. That’s exactly what he integrated GPS allows your drone to do. The integrated GPS lets the refined machines know where exactly they are and find their way back home – thereby bolstering its overall navigational skills.

Follow me mode

This is for the more ambitious souls out there. The GPS tracker allows the drone to track you – so that when you are busy with your own ground activities like cycling – you can just expect your drone to follow you by recording your progress.

Headless mode

Headless mode is a feature geared towards beginners who are yet to get a hang of the controls. The headless models make use of the controller stick. If you press it in one direction then the drone starts moving in one direction relative to you instead of where the joystick is pointing.

Obstacle avoidance

The more expensive rather refined models come with this feature. It means that your drone is automatically adept at avoiding obstacles such as trees. It is important on your end to check out reviews to figure out whether these drones actually offer you what they publicize or not.

Altitude hold

The Altitude Hold enables your device to maintain a more or less steady altitude. When in stabilize mode, the throttle doesn’t really allow you to maintain the current altitude but the altitude hold mode works in a completely different fashion by enabling you to control the ascent and descent of the unit with the help of a throttle stick. You are in a position to control the heading and the roll and pitch lean angles.

DROCON U818PLUS Drone Review

When you are buying your kid a drone, you are very sure that they are going to crash it a number of times before they can learn the ropes of flying. They may even crash it just for kicks, to see how long it will hold together.

Not to fret though since the DROCON U818PLUS is available. This hardy drone is built to withstand the abuse that first-time pilots are sure to give it. With videos and photographs being used for research in school, there is every reason why you ought to buy your son or daughter a drone. For less than $200, you will get the U818PLUS and when you fly it, you will agree that it is the best cheap drone for the money.

DROCON U818PLUS Image

DROCON U818PLUS Features & Technical Details

This is a big drone, measuring 14.3 by 15 by 7.5 inches in size. It weighs 2.75 pounds. It is big, but light at the same time. You will not be required to register it with the FAA. It is made of plastic, but it does not feel too “plasticky.” You will see that it can get through several crashes without becoming disposable.

Flying it is such a daisy, as Doc Holliday in the movie Tombstone would say. It comes with one-button takeoff and landing. Even a kid will find this drone easy to land and take off. The propellers are protected to make them last as long as possible.

Other features that make this drone good for beginners and children is the emergency stop and the headless mode. Usually, drones will fly in the direction that the nose is facing. However, as soon as you activate headless mode, the drone can fly backwards and sideways if you like.

If the drone’s battery drains low, the drone will alert you so you can recall it. It will also alert you if it goes out of range. These features are very important for beginners because they can prevent the drone from getting lost.

This drone also comes with real time transmission through Wi-Fi, and FPV technology. This means that when your kids are flying it, they can be able to see what the drone is seeing. As long as it is within the Wi-Fi range, this drone delivers excellent transmission.

It has a wide-angle camera, with 120 degrees field of view. This camera can see quite a lot from above there and it can thus offer some of the best footage when your children are flying it in the yard, the park or any place. The quality of the footage is good too, at 720P. This camera can shoot video footage in HD, capturing all details in vivid clarity. It is best used for taking photo and video footage outdoors.

When you buy the drone, you will get a card reader and a 4GB TF microSD card. Just insert that in the slot provided and you can start recording footage as soon as you fly the drone. If you think the 4GB card is too small for you, you can extend. Just buy a bigger memory card and you can record as much footage as you like.

Can this drone hold at an altitude without drifting away? Yes. It is equipped with the barometer altitude hold feature. You can fly it to a designated level and it will hover there and take footage at your command.

Using an advanced motor conversion technology, this drone is able to retain power much longer when hovering than most drones in its category. Thanks to this technology too, the drone can fly for about 15 minutes, far longer than other drones in the same class, which mostly fly for 8 to 9 minutes. The 7.4V 1000mAh Lithium Polymer battery takes a bit long to charge at 180 minutes. However, you can buy extra batteries to extend your flight time to 30 minutes or even longer.

The flight range is 150 meters. Well, the truth is, on paper they say it is 150 meters but realistically, it is lesser than that, maybe 100 meters. But hey… 100 meters is still good enough for a beginner drone like the DROCON U818PLUS.

Some features like the three speed choices and the ability to do flips and rolls mid-flight makes many people doubt whether this is a beginner drone. It is, and it is incredibly good.

The controller is stylish and has a stand for your smartphone. Just download the seamless DROCON app and you will be ready to get some real first person view, see what the drone is seeing as it flies. The controller is black in color and the drone is black and red. Its batteries are easy to get.

Short Summary of Feedback from Existing Owners

I was hunting for a drone that my twin boys could play with for some time. Because of the low price, I did not expect this drone to last more than a couple of months. I am surprised it is going strong six months later. Bradley H.

For its low price, this drone packs a marvelous camera that shoots videos on HD. Who says it is for beginners? I have been flying drones for years and I love this one for what it can do. Henry H.

I bought this drone to practice with it before I can get a more advanced one for my photography business. I was not aware it could take such nice photographs, so even after I upgrade I will be keeping it for backup, or just for fun. Sharon B.

This being my fifth drone, I can say without fear that in this price range, the DROCON U818PLUS is the best of them all. With incredibly stable camera, altitude hold and a considerably longer flight time, this is a good purchase for everyone and not only children and beginners as alleged. Tonia W.

DROCON U818PLUS Picture

Pros of DROCON U818PLUS

  • Light in weight and big build for better handling
  • Camera takes good quality footage
  • Incredibly long flight time, double what similar drones do
  • FPV feature allows you to share videos in real time
  • Simplified one button take off and landing
  • Very affordable
  • Can do flips and rolls mid-flight
  • Stable altitude hold

Cons of DROCON U818PLUS

  • It does not quite achieve the 150-meter flight range the manufacturer says it does
  • Battery takes too long to charge fully

Who Should Buy The DROCON U818PLUS?

Many DROCON U818PLUS reviews say that this drone is for beginners and children. However, advanced drone enthusiasts disagree and say that they found it perfect, especially considering that it is sold at a very low price. Anyone can buy this drone for fun, but it is not recommended for professional photography and video work. If you buy it for your children, or to cut your teeth on piloting before you upgrade to a more advanced one, you can be sure it will withstand crashes. For any user, this drone gives great value for money.

Conclusion and Recommendation

With altitude hold, FPV, 15 minutes of flight time, 720P camera with 120-degree field of view, at this price range, you can be sure there is no better than this made-in-Hong Kong drone. You can buy it online without hesitation, with full assurance that you will get more than enough value for every penny that you spend on it. The DROCON U818PLUS drone does not come with spare batteries though. Buy one or two and extend your fun flying moments with the best cheap drone.

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