I got my Yuneec Q500 Quadcopter about 2 years ago and I absolutely love it, but I have a few issues now that I have a few projects in mind, and I’m thinking about upgrading to the awesome looking Yuneec Typhoon H Hexcopter.
So, I ended up getting a YUNEEC Typhoon H Hexacopter with Intel RealSense, GCO3+ 4K Camera, Wizard Wand, and Backpack kit courtesy of BHPhoto. I’m going to test out the new unit in great detail over the next few weeks, and then publish a full review in the near future as well as some tutorials possible. I may end up buying Typhoon H in the end, but I really want to try out the New Typhoon H Plus Pro first, to see how much better the larger camera performs. After that then perhaps the DJI Mavic, Phantom 4, and what else?
If any of you have suggestions or recommendations on a quality aerial solution, please let me know below in the comments area!
My Yuneec Q500 story:
About 2 years ago I was really looking to get some arial photography and video, so I began searching for a solution. After re-searching for months, I ended up pulling the trigger on the Yuneec Q500 unit due to it’s best bang for the buck turn key solution. Below is my detailed review for those in the market. The Yuneec Q500 series is still one of the best aerial photography and video options out there for the money in my opinion!
I have been flying my Yuneec Q500 (non 4k version) a lot lately, because a friend of mine proposed a project to film the town I live near in order to promote tourism to the area and what not. He had a vision of flying over the Catskills and showing off the town he has been a part of for a very long time. I told him I would give it a go and so far I have gotten some pretty good footage, but I am troubled by the distortion of the lens and the ultra wide angle field of view in general.
Because the CG02gb camera lens is so wide (130-degree FOV lens), I need to fly way closer to subjects then I would like. In addition, the wider angle invites a lot of extra stuff into the scenes I don’t necessary want, which also makes me want to move closer. Getting closer increases risk and takes better control skills, which I am still developing. I still have a lot to learn and finessing the controls is an art in itself. I’ve racked up a lot of hours, but if you are familiar with the classic 10,000 hour rule for mastery, I have about 9,900 hours to go at this point. Still, ~100 hours of studying/ practice is a decent amount and I have learned a lot so far.
So, I’m looking at my recent aerial video footage in Final Cut X, and it looks ok, but I just don’t feel like it looks professional enough I suppose. I can correct the distortion a bit, but not all the way, and my eye just can’t escape the imperfection levels… The distortion is especially noticeable in architecture situations, so the square buildings ballooning out to much for effective correction.
For a potential professional applicable project like the one I’m currently working on, I can’t get around this distortion and ultra wide angle field of view. This would not really be a huge issue for landscape style shots and things like that though in my opinion. It’s really only if you plan on selling to footage and demand the best quality within reason. Years ago this was the best I could afford. Nowadays, the options are literally 10x better!
Typhoon H Advantages?
Being a huge fan of Yunnec and the technical support I received on 3 different occasions, I can’t help but want to stick with them. Clearly there are many awesome options, but for the turn key solution I am looking for, the Typhoon H seams like the best option all around so far.
For starters the lens is a 14mm F/2.8 which works out to a 98-degree FOV, and offers very low distortion! Also, the camera can now rotate 360 degrees independent of the copter, and thanks to the retractable landing gear, the view is completely un obstructed. This is amazing and a super powerful feature in my mind. 4k Video is also a huge benefit and desired upgrade for me. Remember, I have the original Q500, not the current Q500+ 4k equipped model…
The camera situation is much better for what I want to accomplish. Of course I would love a larger sensor equipped camera with more dynamic range and control, but that is significantly more money in most cases….. They New Typhoon H Plus for example is going for ~$1900 vs the standard Typhoon H which starts at $1000. The Typhoon H kit I got goes for $1150 however, because it has the amazing real sense obstacle avoidance system, backpack, and wizard wand remote accessory tool.
Obstacle Avoidance Technology is included on this unit and appears to be amazing, but I am nervous to try it out/ trust honestly. Clearly it works, but fear of crashing the drone is real, and it sucks when it happens. Plus this unit is not mine, so I don’t want to take to many chances with it. This feature is huge however, and a possible game changer for the fallow me modes in particular. The downside is, the copter slows to a max 11.5mph when using this feature. It can go ~ 40mph otherwise!!!
Additionally the Typhoon H is a hexacopter, meaning it offers 6 blades. If one motor or blade were to fail, the copter can still fly and land safely.
Another feature I am really loving so far is the super easy blade instillation. It’s now just a quarter turn and lock in design, as apposed to the threading on screw design that the q500 offers. This makes the blade instillation much faster, easier, and I’m 100% confident they won’t come off. The Q500 I was never 100% sure how tight to put the blades on and occasionally they would come undone when landing due to the motors going from fast to slow. That would very rarely cause a blade to unscrew… It was not that big of a deal, because this would only happen in that scenario, never when flying, because the torque was always forcing the blades to tighten as apposed to loosen.
Another great feature is the 6 arms on the Typhoon H fold down when not in use, which makes the unit very small form factor wise. This makes it easier to transport, and with the backpack it’s just awesome. Very light weight as well compared to the standard camera bad weight with normal gear and lenses I’m used to. The loaded backpack feels very light!
Flight time appears to be about the same as the Q500, so no real advantage @ ~ 20-25min
Other Typhoon H Features of Interest to Me:
- Orbit Me
- Point Of Interest
- Journey Mode
- Curve Cable Cam
- Return Home
ST16 Ground Station Radio Remote
Lastly for now, the Typhoon H comes with an incredible ST16 Ground Station Radio Remote control with a built in 7inch HD screen. This unit goes for ~$700 on it’s own, but is included with the Typhoon H package. This is incredible and one of the main reasons this turn key solution is the best option and value for the money when it comes to what I’m looking to do. Capture killer footage with the most power/ versatility possible, and the least amount of effort required…
When compared to the ST10 remote for the Q500, this new St16 remote is leaps and bounds better. It is larger, but I like that personally, because it gives more space for the larger screen, and spreads the buttons out a bit more for less initial confusion. I can see how some might think this remote is to large, it honestly does not bother me at all. So far the remote is working flawlessly and it connects to the copter way better for much longer distances. 1 mile, vs ~1400 feet when compared to the q500… This is amazing and more than enough distance/ range for anything I plan on doing.
Typhoon H In The Lab
I took some video on the turntable and a few photos of the Typhoon H in the Lab yesterday and below are a few snapshots that offer a more detailed view.
Here is what you can expect when you first open the box:
The backpack is really awesome for an included item I must say! It’s wears comfortable and is very light weight with full load as delivered.
When you open the backpack for the first time, this is what you see. It’s filled with a foam infrastructure that holds everything you need in place and safe for travel.
I took a quick snap with the Typhoon set-up so you can get an idea of what to expect…
A Few More Thoughts…
I am super excited to utilize this new toy for a few weeks and really see what it can do. I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot to learn and lots of practice will be required to use a unit to it’s potential effectively in my opinion. It’s very easy to fly around and use in a basic way, don’t get me wrong, but getting the best clip possible and being as safe as possible, while utilizing the powerful features can be a lot to take in. Planning out the flight path is key for example and you get better at this over time like everything else in life.
My palms get really sweaty when flying a drone in general, because the fear of crashing or something is always looming in my mind. What if a bird fly’s into the blade!!
The more I use it, the more comfortable it will get for sure. However, that is the reality of the situation when it comes to flying a $1000 plus unit around taking photos and stuff. In a large field there is really nothing to worry about, but getting the good clips requires close fly by’s turning and changing elevation while flying, etc…
Judging distances takes time because as the copter gets farther away, you must rely on the video feed to help judge, and this process of looking at the screen then back at the drone in the distance takes some getting used to for sure!
So, what do you guys think? Any interest in this sort of thing? Any Questions you might have? What Drone are you using? Do you want me to test anything specifically?
Please leave a comment below and I will be happy to try and help and I always enjoy reading your comments in general, so don’t hesitate.
That is about it for now, but please stay tuned for more on my Yuneec Typhoon H Hexcopter Story as it unfolds…. I plan on creating tutorial articles for some of the features I like best, and perhaps other drone related tutorials. So if you’re interested be sure to let me know which feature you want to see and anything else you might want to learn about as it relates to the copters/ aerial footage in general.
Thanks again for stopping by, be sure to have a wonderful weekend, and my very best to you and yours 🙂
Yuneec Typhoon H Hexcopter kit for $1149 @ BHPhoto (Click Here)
Yunnec Q500+ Quadcopter for $699 @ BHphoto (Click Here)
DJI Mavic Pro for $999 @ BHPhoto (Click Here)
Check out this cool song I recently found by Bishop Gun called “Shine” as an article closer if you like…
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