As full high definition cameras like the GoPro Hero or the Drift Ghost series become smaller and smaller, more and more people are getting into the habit of using them in the trickiest and most breathtaking shooting situations.
One of these popular situations is aerial filming. aerial filming basically refers to any videography or photography done from a very high point, usually from a flying object. Until only a few years ago, professional quality arial shooting was done from full sized helicopter and heavy professional film cameras. Now with the help of high quality action cameras and small sized quadcopters and drones, equipment need and has become much more compact, portable and cost effective.
DJI Phantom 2
The Phantom 2 is the more popular of the two and has seen many a few upgraded editions since its cult favourite, the Phantom, was released in early 2013.
Firstly, design wise, you might be forgiven for thinking the Phantom 2 is simply a toy. It features a smooth white plastic shell with additional red or blue stripping for a racing/speedy type look. Although the design might look ‘kidish’, the Phantom is far from being a toy. To control the 4 rotor machine, the Phantom comes standard with AA powered remote which controls the quad and features two spring loaded control sticks for each thumb. Distance on the remote is just about 1km, so controlling the quadcopter within range is not a problem.
The Phantom allows for mounting of a GoPro Hero camera with its included thumbscrew mount system. One can mount the Hero 2, Hero 3 and Hero 3+ and achieve stunning HD video from awesome heights and arial views.
It is relatively easy to fly and comes standard with all the parts you would need for out-of-the-box flying. Remote; hi performance 5200mAh battery and charger are all included in the set. Its build in GPS receiver connects with a minimum of 3 satellites which assist the copter is determining where on earth it is. This feature, combined with the Naza – M feature, also allows for the quadcopter to make use of a feature called ‘Auto Go Home’ which will automatically returns to the person with the remote control, if a connection is ever lost.
Key Features: GPS flight assistance, high performance 5200 mAh, compatibility with the H3 2D gimbal.
To mount your GoPro camera to the Phantom 2 and to achieve stable, shake free footage an added Zenmuse gimbal is needed. The gimbal is extremely handy as a camera can remain independently stable regardless of the Phantom 2’s movements. The down side on this point though is the H3 2D Zenmuse gimbal’s cost, which easily can cost more than half the price of the copter itself.
Accessories on the Phantom 2 can be exclusive (think of it as the iPhone of quadcopters) with certain parts not available in a generic version.
Action Gear Rating * * * * *
Blade 350 QX
Now the 2nd choice in this battle of the quad copters is Blade 350 QX. The QX is placed slightly below the Phantom in terms of price. The overall design of this quadcopter is compact and gives off a more edgy, more masculine eye pleasing shape.
Much like the Phantom, the Blade is also GPS enabled and additionally features 3 SAFE modes which 1st time flyers will find helpful.
Smart Mode will help the Blade stay within a pre-selected radius of the controller and will turn back should it reach that limit. This mode will also enable stick relativity which will readjust left and right stick control directions on the remote, relative to where the Blade is pointing. Also, should the control disconnect from the remote control, Safe Mode also allows the Blade to lock onto its position until a connection is re-established.
Stability Mode keeps Safe Zone and GPS Position Hold features but drops Stick Relativity.
Agility Mode will disable all assist features.
Key Features: Light weigh design, 3 controlled safe modes, ready to fly, anti-vibration GoPro mount included, GPS enabled.
The Blade is small and compact and can easily be disassembled and packed away for travel.
The Blade also allows for GoPro mounting and includes an anti-vibration GoPro mount in the box.
Accessories on this model are available in both OEM and aftermarket versions with most users opting for a more powerful heavy lifting propellers.
Users have an option to purchase a Wi-Fi interface to enable a live view features onto a smartphone via the Blade App.
The body of the 350 QX is slight fragile and is defiantly not meant to withstand heavy Impacts.
The GPS parts of the copter are very integrated and are quite hard to replace and have repaired.
All in all these two quadcopters are both top of the range flyers`made for lovers of shooting from the sky. The Phantom 2 offers an all in one solution for first time quadcopter owners. The Blade is the newer of the two and offers a price range slightly lower than the Phantom 2.
Action Gear Rating - * * * *
Action Gear will leave the final decision to you and allow you to check out even more extensive info on both of these items through our details product pages.
DJI Phantom 2 http://www.actiongear.co.za/dji-phantom-2
Blade 350 QX http://www.actiongear.co.za/blade-350-qx
If a one on one discussion on these two is what you’re looking for or if you require info on pricing and specs, why not give us a call on 011 781 1323 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org