Buying a drone?

A guide to buying into drones

We are taking a look at just two of the big drone protagonists in this article, being DJI and Yuneec. Although there are many more manufacturers, which we will discuss another time, the offerings from both companies are very comparable.

For starters, both offer training modes on their controls, with DJI putting training modes in their App DJI GO, and Yuneec offering a dongle to plug into your TV to practice before you fly.

45degree

The standard entry for DJI is the Phantom 3, which comes in various guises, and for Yuneec it is the Typhoon Q500, which also comes in various guises. So we have chosen the Phantom 3 Professional and the Yuneec Q500 4K Pro.

gallery

Starting with the camera:

Both offer 4K video recording, with the DJI giving UHD: 4096x2160p 24/25 f/s, 3840x2160p 24/25/30 f/s, FHD: 1920x1080p 24/25/30/48/50/60 f/s, and HD: 1280x720p 24/25/30/48/50/60 f/s. The Yuneec offers slightly different capabilities with UHD: 4K at 30FPS,  2.7K at 30FPS,  2.5K at 30FPS, FHD: 1080p   at 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 120FPS and HD: 720p      at 24 / 25 / 30 / 48 / 50 / 60 / 120FPS. The main difference being slow motion capture at FHD and UHD on the Yuneec.

Both have 12.4 megapixel cameras for photography, with f2.8, and 1/2.3” sensors. The DJI offers a field of view of 94° and the Yuneec 115°. Both cameras are fixed with 3D gimbals, but cannot rotate so you only see what is in front of the drone.

The Yuneec does have a built in microphone which can be on or off, whereas the DJI does not.

The Aircraft:

The take-off weight, or MTOM for the Yuneec is 1700g with the DJI considerably lighter at 1280g. Operating temperatures also differ, with the DJI able to fly in 0° to 40° C and the Yuneec -5° to 60° C, something to consider depending on where you might want to fly. Maximum speed for DJI is 16 m/s and for Yuneec 8 m/s, with ascents speeds of 5 m/s and 3 m/s respectively. They both use 11.1V LiPo batteries, which give the Yuneec an estimated 25 minutes and the DJI 20 minutes.

They both have special flight modes, with the Yuneec having Smart (Follow Me, Watch Me) Angle and Return Home and DJI has Course Lock, Home Lock, Point of Interest, Follow Me and Waypoints.

Costs:

Taken directly from their websites, the DJI ‘Everything you need kit@ including 3 batteries, spare blades, backpack, battery charging station, etc is £1,873.00. The Yuneec comes with 2 batteries, spare blades, hard carry case, charger and car charger, and a ProAction Steady Grip for the camera at £959.99.

View user reviews for:

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

Yuneec Q500 4K

Is there a game changer coming?

Yuneec are offering their new Typhoon H which is due in April 2016. We haven’t seen one yet, but look forward to testing one soon. With input from Intel, Yuneec are really putting a marker down with this UAV. The camera is very similar to the Q500’s 4K version, but because the landing gear retracts it is able to rotate 360° for amazing photography and videography. It has an Ultra-Sound anti-collision system which is the real innovation. As well as this system it has 6 rotors, thereby providing some redundancy if you loose on rotor, and giving an exceptionally stable platform to film from.

Typhoon H

With 22 minutes of flying (hovering) this could really change the mid-market for purchasing. With flight modes including curve cable cam, point of interest, orbit me, journey, dynamic return home and watch/follow me.

And the price point? Not confirmed as yet, but Yuneec’s website is showing around £1,399.00.

Keep watching this space, the battle for supremacy of the drone market is well and truly under way.

Simon Hughes (Ed.)

2,150 thoughts on “Buying a drone?”

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