Why Get a Quadcopter With Camera?
Flying drones is a fun experience however that experience is brought to the next level when you introduce a camera to the mix. Not just a camera that that requires you to fly, take shots, then wait until you upload them to your computer to view the results, but a camera that has a live feed.
That means you have a bird’s eye view and see things in live time just as the drone sees it. Having this ability is essential in my mind to getting the full enjoyment out of in person drone flying.
There are a wide mix of live feed drones as well as still shot drones. My first review will focus on a very popular live feed quadcopter with camera capabilities, the Phantom 2 Vision+.
Phantom 2 Vision+ Review
At the top of my best civilian drone list is the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+. Many who are looking for the best quadcopter with camera capabilities find themselves ending their search with the purchase of this drone and for good reason too; reliability, capability, and durability.
The Phantom 2 Vision+ is the complete package; quality drone, camera, controller, and charger (and depending on if you get the upgrade package, an additional battery too). It’s ready to go out of the box (less a little charge).
Phantom 2 Vision+ Specs
- Maker: DJI Technologies
- Flight time: 20-25 mins
- Camera capabilities: Yes
- Resolution: 14 megapixels
- Video capabilities: Yes
- Live feed: Yes
- Flight range: 550-765 yards
- Max speed: 49 feet/second
- Climb rate: 19 feet/second
- Additional features: Program a flight path using your smartphone with our 16 waypoint Ground Station system. Tilt the camera up and down, take photos and shoot video all while the Phantom 2 Vision+ flies autonomously.
- Experience level: Expert
What Makes this Drone so Great?
#1 – Gimbal System
Well a few things, but to start the camera and gimbal system on this drone are exceptional. If you’re not sure what the gimbal system is I’ll give you the rundown…
What the gimbal system does is allow stabilization of the camera while in flight. In example, if you were to tape a camera to a stick and record while walking it would be all shaky right? Well imagine that the camera can move with you yet act as if it were free floating.
That is what the gimbal system does; regardless of the drone’s body movement the camera remains stable and on target. Check out the video below from HeliPal to see what I’m talking about.
#2 – Autonomous Fly
While most drones require you to manually fly them, the Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter with camera gimbal system has the ability to be preprogrammed to fly in a flight path you designate via GPS landmark points.
The Ground Station system allows you to use your PC or mobile device to select waypoints for the drone to fly to capture footage without you having to manually fly it there.
This is a great feature considering you can focus on the images you are collecting as opposed to being focused on actually flying the drone.
#3 – ‘Return Home’ capability/Radar
If you’ve ever been worried about running the battery so low on the drone that it drops from the sky either into rocks smashing or into water sinking to the bottom of a lake this drone relieves you of that concern.
The Phantom 2 Vision+ has what DJI calls a “return home” function meaning once the battery drops below a designated power level the drone automatically returns safely to its take off location.
While using the flight radar via the Ground Station system you can see the current position of the Phantom 2 Vision+ in relation to you, something very helpful if you are navigating anywhere that isn’t an open area location.
Additionally if you fly the drone out of range it will also trigger the return home sensor so that you do not lose control of your $1,200 investment!
#4 – Built in WiFi/Live Feed
While some other drones require a WiFi connection to be accessible for you to have live feed, the Phantom 2 Vision+ has a built in WiFi transmitter so you can be anywhere and still get that live feed giving you the bird’s eye view.
One of my first drones required me to take photos and once the quick flight was over remove the SD card and run to my computer to view the results, sometimes of which I’d forget at home or forget to charge leaving me with a dead battery.
If the photos didn’t come out great I wouldn’t know until we’d already left, meaning the whole day was nothing but wasted shots.
The live feed capability is amazing and completely resolves this issue. You not only can see everything as it happens for efficiency benefits but the experience in itself is amazing.
Out of the Box
Finally, DJI put together a great introductory video that I thought I’d share with you so you know what to expect when you get your Phantom 2 Vision+.
You can find numerous other videos on Youtube of testimonials and ‘how tos’ just by a simple search.
In conclusion if you are looking for a quadcopter with camera, GPS, and live feed capabilities like no other for a reasonable price the Phantom 2 Vision+ is the way to go.
If you don’t think you’re ready for the power packed Phantom 2 Vision+ or are just looking for something a little less pricey then you may be interested in my next review of another quadcopter with camera capabilities. Read my review of the Parrot AR 2.0 next.