The quadcopter mania is catching up and thanks to its heavy media exposure the demand for these toys is rising. If you are one of those who want to buy an RC quadcopter then read on and pick up some key information about these cool flying crafts. The best quadcopter can be had at a low budget. It all depends on your preferences and also compromises in features, even size.
What is a quadcopter?
Many people might have heard of the term and some might have a faint idea of what these miniature choppers might be. But to better choose the best quadcopter for you, you need to know key characteristics of these multi-rotor machines.
The first thing you need to know is that these machines have a total of four rotors that are rotating opposite to one another. One pair is spinning clockwise and the other pair is rotating on the opposite direction. This allows the chopper to stabilize its flight because it does not have the conventional tail rotor and the single main rotor seen in RC helicopters.
The four rotors in a quadricopter are often positioned in an “H” or “X” configuration. Quadcopters are known to be very stable machines and this is why it is a favorite by photographers and videographers as it can provide for easy aerial coverage. But what makes this machine so stable? The answer is basically in its design and control electronics. The reason why these quadcopters are just surfacing now is because the technology that allows it to fly finally exists. To fly a quad rotor machine is no easy feat.
If RC hobbyists would fly these things manually they would really have a hard time. Flying a four-prop chopper demands continuous adjustments to the individual rotor speeds to compensate for flight instability.
Thanks to the computers on board a quadcopter the flyer only has to direct the machine where to go. This makes control very easy and flying fun. These quadcopters also has auto pilot sensors that allow it to hover with no difficulty to the one flying it. These quadricopters would just hover on their own even when the pilot puts down the remote control. It is that reliable and stable in the air.
What makes a great quadcopter?
If you are convinced to buy one of these machines, the best RC quadcopters for you can be had by carefully considering the following things:
- Price and value for money – if money is not an issue then you may skip this part. But if you want value for your purchase, the first thing you need to set is the budget for your quadcopter. Just how much do you want to spend on a quadricopter? If it is your first time to buy it is best to settle on a budget below $100.
- Suitability – there is really no “best” quadcopter for everybody. There is however that one quadricopter that is suitable to the needs and preferences of its flyer. For example, if you just want to try flying a quadcopter, to “test the waters” of RC flying, purchasing the best mini quadcopter might be the way to go. Not only it is easier to manage or store, it should also cost significantly lower than bigger RC quadcopters. And if ever you find the hobby very interesting you can always upgrade your gear or buy into bigger RC quadcopters, even buy DIY kits that allow you to tinker with the machines first before actually flying them.
Camera-equipped quadcopters must-haves
The best quadcopter for video have unique qualities. The closer you get to these qualities the better you are off in your aerial photo and video coverage.
- Good camera – a “good” camera is a relative term. If you are just an RC hobbyist or someone who just want to fly a quadcopter and maybe experience a first person view (fly thru the images brought in by the camera on board the quadcopter), then your camera needs can be basic, just enough to give you a clear picture and adequate refresh speeds so that you can see where you are going.
But if you are a photographer or videographer that takes aerial shots professionally then your camera needs to be better than just an off-the-mill kind. Perhaps you need a Hero 4 camera mounted on the quadcopter or other HD cameras that can take 1080p resolution photos and videos from the air. In this case you might need to invest more for a “good” camera.
- Decent battery life – The power needed to spin the four rotors carrying the overall weight of the quadcopter, to drive the flight control electronics, and to operate the camera, can be a lot so the capacity of the batteries is an important consideration in purchasing the best quadcopter for video. You need to have a significantly longer flight time when you are taking videos and photos from the air. Also you need longer time in the air to really enjoy first person view flights. So ask about the quadcopter’s battery capacity and its average flight time per charge.
- First person view transmitter – there are quadcopters that are equipped with digital antennas that allow the flyer of the machine to control it at the same time use the same transmitter to receive video feeds from the on board camera in the quadcopter. Although this is a great option for RC hobbyist this may not be suitable to professional photographers as the feed is often sent through standard definition. Static can also be an issue. However there are also quadcopters that use Wi-Fi signals to control the quadcopter at the same time receives the video feeds. Because of the more reliable image stream, the images sent back from the on board camera can be in HD. Very ideal for professional aerial coverage.
The best quadcopter out in the market right now are often made by trusted brands like Parrot (check out their Parrot AR Drone 2.0!), DJI, and higher end brands like Draganflyer. Set a budget, be clear about your purpose for buying, and then have fun with your purchase!