Drones! The best quadcopters have been all over the news recently because of their controversial ability to rain hell from the skies on unsuspecting terrorists, but did you know that drones can also be a ton of fun?! A RC Quadcopter is a great way to introduce yourself to flying remote controlled vehicles. These machines provide hours of entertainment on their own but are also great for taking videos and photos from great heights.
With birthdays and Christmas always sneaking up these fun little flying machines make a great gift for young and old, and let’s face it, yourself. I purchased the Phantom (reviewed below) for my 57 year old father and he loves it, and at the same time it’s simple enough that my 11 year old brother is able to fly it. Kids these days are so tech savvy. Even my mother likes to use it as she does photography as a hobby. I might have to buy her one too!
Now some people might use these aerial drones with a camera for mischief like taking photos of sunbathers in bikinis 🙂 but also they can be used for all kinds of applications in various hobbies. Even if you are a beginner, there is certainly a drone for you out there. In fact, I went ahead and reviewed a bunch of them, so you can pick the best quadcopter with camera or without for your personal use.
DJI Phantom – Best Drone For Video And Advanced Users
The top rated drone for video currently available is the DJI Phantom series (original Phantom and Phantom II). There are a few variations of this model but I will review the original Phantom because it is a good starting point for someone new to this hobby such as myself. This rc quadcopter is great for beginners and more advanced users as it is very easy to fly right out of the box. I love that this copter is able to use my GoPro Hero 3+ camera rather than the cheaper cameras that are available on other models (Other cheaper models generally can’t handle the weight of add-on cameras).
At first I was very concerned that I might lose this copter as well as my $400 camera but I’ve been put at ease with how easy this thing is to fly. It comes with the Naza-M autopilot system which is unique to DJI and has a lot of great features.
Once you download this and install it via USB you can access all of the Phantom’s amazing GPS features. The GPS enabled functions allow you to use the “safe home” function as well as making it super easy to hover with the craft rather than fighting it with the stick to stabilize the unit.
The Orientation Control flight mode makes it easy to know which way the craft is facing while steering, a problem that I’ve encountered with some other rc quadcopters. Even if you do crash into a tree it is quickly able to orientate itself which makes it rather difficult to crash the unit accidentally. If you don’t have a GoPro this model is also available with a 14 MP camera included. Once I was comfortable with the unit I added a gimbal mount (some models come with one already attached) which allows you to change the camera angle while in flight. In the future I may review the top 5 best cameras too.
This machine succeeds in being both advanced yet easy enough for beginners to use and has plenty of features that are absent from the other models reviewed below. Obviously this means it’s more expensive than the others but the extra features are well worth it in my opinion. Click the video below to see what happens when a Phantom hits a tree! It’s hosted on Amazon so while you’re there, be sure to read all the awesome DJI Phantom reviews by real customers!
Syma X5C – The Best Beginner Quadcopter
The next 4 quadrocopters are significantly cheaper than those of the Phantom series and are great for those looking to spend less than $100. While you won’t get the range or the battery life they are still more than capable of fulfilling all your quadcoptering (is that a word?) needs.
This model is available with or without a camera. I recommend getting this unit with a camera, not only for the Syma X5C but for any model you can purchase. They add another element of fun and enhance the whole experience while only costing around $10 more than the models that don’t have the camera.
The included camera on the Syma X5C drone has a resolution of 1280 X 720 and shoots video at 30 fps. One of the factors that went into ranking this copter ahead of the others in this price category was based on the quality of the picture and video I was able to take. If you are worried about picture storage this unit comes with a 2 GB micro SD card so you can snap away without worrying about running out of space. It was very easy to get into the position I wanted and the quality was better than expected.
While advertising a range of just 30 metres (90 feet) I managed to fly it over 100 metres away without any difficulty. It was very easy to control in flight. One downside to this model as well as the others is the short battery life. One charge only gets you about 6-7 minutes of flight time.
You can buy some extra batteries which are easy to swap out which I would recommend as 6 minutes just really isn’t enough time and I found myself wanting to keep flying. There are also batteries available that last a bit longer that can be had in the $5-$10 range. Click here to check out this drone for sale really cheap on Amazon!
Hubsan H107L X4 Mini – The Most Popular And Cheap Micro Drone
The Hubsan X4 is probably the most popular model of rc quadrocopter available. Not only is it affordable on any budget, it is so small it fits right in the palm of your hand! Weighing only 1 pound with dimensions of 3” X 3” X 1”, this unit is great for flying indoors as well. I had some fun chasing my cat around with this one until I got it too close to him and he swatted it out of the air! Luckily it’s a tough little thing so I had it flying again in no time. I also crashed it into a concrete pad outside attempting some flips and it was able to survive the punishment. If you are worried about durability this is definitely the best quadcopter for you.
This micro drone is available in many different models and colors. I went with the royal blue one for its exceptional amazon customer reviews as well as its great look (blue is my favorite color!). Since its small size makes it great for indoor flight I think this is a great unit for kids as you can let them fly it all they want inside without having to worry about them flying it too high and having the wind carrying it off into the unknown.
Another great aspect of this copter is it is probably the most solidly built out of the 4 lower priced units. The Syma X5C feels flimsy in comparison.
The specs are very similar to the Syma, though this unit advertises a 100 metre (300 feet) range that I can confirm can be exceeded. Battery life is similar at about 7 minutes, though due to the smaller size the battery charges in half the time which is approximately 30 minutes. All in all the Hubsan Mini micro drone is probably the best just for raw flying fun. Check out the highest rated machine right here along with the excellent price and free shipping options at Amazon!
Dromida Ominus UAV – One Of The Coolest Looking Quadcopters For Beginners
I bought this one because it looked really cool, yet I was really surprised by how much fun it was as well. What stood out immediately about this machine was that its battery life was far superior to the other models as I got a full 15 minutes per charge compared to the 5-8 minutes of the other models I’ve owned and reviewed. That alone may be enough to persuade someone to purchase this unit over the others especially if you are unwilling to purchase a few extra batteries (though in all honesty, I want about 8 batteries because I want to keep going for hours!).
This top 5 best quadcopter RC didn’t have the blade protectors that the other units I purchased came with; however, it does come with extra blades which are helpful if you need to make some repairs. I had a blade break off and it was really easy to fix I imagine that most people would have no difficulty making these repairs.
Available on these drones are 4 different flying modes ranging from beginner to expert so it can adapt to the abilities of the user so it is a great choice if you want to progressively learn how to fly these machines. I am new to this and I definitely recommend sticking to the lower difficulties until you get more practiced.
The knock on this particular model is that the durability isn’t great. Expect to replace many parts, although the motor itself is great and repairs are really easy. This model is available today on Amazon in 4 different colours, blue, green, red, and yellow. You can get more information and consumer opinions by clicking here and seeing if this is for you.
Estes 4606 Proto X Nano – The Best Micro Quadrocopter Of All
If you thought the Hubsan X4 was tiny that was nothing compared to this thing. The nano in the name is not exaggerating as this micro quadcopter measures out at a minuscule 1.5” X 1.5” and weighs less than one ounce! It is also very affordable and can be had for around $30. Due to its small size this one is for indoor use only which is fine because it’s so small you probably wouldn’t be able to see it if you tried to fly it up 100 feet.
Unfortunately with this unit you cannot replace the batteries so you are limited to the 6 minutes you get per charge with about a 40 minute charge time. Really I just liked this one because of its small size and weight. It’s great to fly around the house and like the Hubsan it’s great for kids. Its small size allows you to make maneuvers in smaller space than any of the other best quadcopters so you can get this and practice up inside before you take your skills outside.
The Estes Proto X Nano was slightly more difficult to get acquainted with than the Hubsan but once I had it figured out by the second flight I was able to control it as easily as the others. The LED lights are great to provide orientation for which direction you are flying in.
While I had no problems with my unit there have been some reliability issues that other reviewers have brought up with the Estes 4606. That being said, for its relatively low price, it’s not that big a risk to take. Personally I would choose the Hubsan because they provide replacement parts. Once this unit fails on you it is not as easy to fix. For more info and to buy click on the link here!
You can buy a remote control helicopter, but it requires a lot more skill to fly than these machines. Not only that, for photography or anything like that, you definitely want the best quadcopter with camera for sale or even just attach a camera to one of the above drones.
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