Drones have come an incredibly long way in a short time. I can remember unboxing the DJI Phantom with great anticipation. Everything from the set-up to calibration seemed complicated and finicky, but at the time who cared – I was about to take a video from the sky and that in itself was just amazing. I was less than impressed with the vibration and jello affect that the footage had but after some modifications and work arounds with duct tape and popsicle sticks I was able to cut out almost all of the distracting wiggles.
Then like smartphones, consumer drones improved by leaps and bounds each year. First a gyro-stabilizer was added to smooth out the rough video clips, then came integrated cameras, then 4K video and don’t forget beginner flight modes, more responsive controls, more accurate telemetry and battery monitoring, improved flight times – and the market became flooded with models. As a video review specialist for B&H Photo and Video, I had the honor (and sometimes frustration) of reviewing many consumer drones starting with the very first DJI Phantom. I have not flown them all, but enough of them to know that the experience is pretty similar across all platforms. The one thing that seems to vary drastically is the quality of the footage.
One of my favorite drones for capturing video is the Yuneec Typhoon 4K. I simply love the footage that came out of this camera without any post processing work added. The video is sharp and despite a wide angle lens, there is no barrel distortion or fish-eye effect. And best of all it’s smooth as silk. The camera is incredibly stable in-flight and the 4K footage is just stunning. The actual user experience is similar to other models, but the images floored me. Now before you troll this post with comments about how (insert another model here) is better, let’s agree that every model out there right now has some incredible features. After flying at least one model from many of the other manufacturers – I just like this one – for now. There are some I still want to get my hands on like the GoPro Karma. If you have not seen footage from the Typhoon 4K treat yourself to quick look here at a review I did for B&H when it was first released.