GoPro CEO, Nick Woodman, has confirmed recently that his company is committed to making a huge difference in the fast-growing drone market. Even more, Woodman talked about a spherical six-camera that can capture content for virtual reality applications. He maintains that GoPro is making a quadcopter, but he didn’t give further details on the design, specs, and cost of the quadcopter. However, he is confident that the company will launch it in mid-2016.
Being a consumer-oriented firm, its drones will compete with other well-known brands like Parrot’s Bebop or the DJI’s Phantom series, instead of the high-end professional gear such as Alta.
Some schools of thought argue that it is better or more profitable to buy a quadcopter for Gopro than other related products. The benefits are not farfetched, they get up in the air as fast as possible, and they have replaceable parts.
Top 5 best-selling GoPro quadcopters in the market
Do you want to buy a quadcopter for filming amazing videos and stunts but don’t know where to start? Are you interested in buying any of the top quads in the market? Then, you don’t need to worry because you have landed in the right place. We will carefully take you round the top 5 ready-to-fly drones that support GoPro for sale. This will help you make the right choice.
Each of these quads was picked based on the following criteria:
- Ease of use, and
When buying your drones, it is necessary to consider these factors. Also, take the time to read through some of the drone reviews online. As a new drone pilot, ensure you acquaint yourself with general rules of safe flying and airspace regulations in your country.
DJI Phantom Aerial Drone Quadcopter for GoPro
The DJI Phantom comes as a complete quadcopter and has a remote transmitter. It can be ready to fly within a few minutes as all you need to do is charge the included battery, attach the landing gear, the 4 AA batteries and propellers.
Gopro id sold separately but the versions that have been tested with these amazing models are:
The combination between the GoPro (the version you choose) and the DJI Phantom produces cinema-quality results in the air. The best part is that it can be configured to fly and land anytime, anywhere. The DJI Phantom Aerial Drone Quadcopter for GoPro has a fail-safe function and advanced GPS positioning so you can recover it in the case of damage or lost signal. Also, it can be used both indoor and outdoor.
The combination is so great that you can even use it to capture events or sports competitions (GoPro’s initial start, actually). The DJI is perfectly adapted with GoPro cameras and users can attest that it is simple, highly convenient and easy to use.
Users will also receive an instruction manual which may come in handy, even if the drone is ready to fly from the box. This little quad will definitely get you the value for your money as the build is solid and you have the GPS module included. Besides offering the location and the possibility to return home, the quad is also equipped with GPS Attitude mode. This one allows the aircraft to stop and hover in the air for an unprecedented amount of time, instead of careening off into something like a tree or crash landing. Quite cool, right? To find out much more about these series of models from DJI, we suggest checking out our article about DJI Phantoms.
Like this great product? Then you can buy it on Amazon.
Blade 350 QX3 RTF
This product comes with a GoPro camera mount (camera not included) directly from the box. All you’ll have to do is simply mount the GoPro, charge the battery and start flying! Of course, you can mount other types of camera on it as it is designed for low-weight action cameras.
The maximum flight time is 15 minutes on a single battery charge, and its maximum range is 300 m. Still, this varies according to the weight of the camera or wind conditions it has to face.
Those looking for a GoPro drone will find solace using this quadcopter as it is designed with reliable features that will enable you to shoot high-quality videos and photos. It offers excellent safety features, simple controls, and great GPS performance.
The Blade 350 QX3 RTF is designed to fly smoothly and can be controlled by beginners quite graciously. Even more, it has a mast-mounted GPS antenna which allows for the return home function and stabilizes the quadcopter when something happens or it simply goes out of range.
Blade 350 QX3 RTF is surely a wonderful choice for your GoPro camera. However, users recommend investing in a gimbal for extra stabilization. Its affordable price and excellent safety features make it a unique product.
For more insight on this model, we suggest taking a look at our Blade 350QX3 in-depth review.
3DR Solo Quadcopter
Basically, the 3DR Solo quad is a new release, but it is still widely recognized as the world’s best drone. To make sure you get the best aerial photography experience possible, the drone is powered by 2 x 1 GHz computers and it promotes a sturdy build and a high-quality case.
Definitely, it is an exciting drone and a real contender with Phantom 2 and 3 series. You can even say that the quad was specifically designed with GoPro in mind as it is equipped with a gimbal that will enable you to start/stop recording or adjust the angle from the ground.
The best part is that it provides HD streaming directly to your phone or tablet (compatible with iOS and Android devices), using the WiFi connection available. The Smart Shoot technology was created to enhance the quality level already supplied by the GoPro. Now, you won’t have to make extra adjustments as all your footage and stills will look amazing even in automatic mode.
The drone can be easily controlled by beginners as it allows for a video game style controller. Still, given the fact that it packs so many professional features (for video and photography) many people use it for professional aerial imagery. You can find out all about its features and what makes it one of the best model on the market, by reading our 3DR Solo in-depth review.
3DR IRIS+ (915) Quadcopter
The 3DR IRIS quadcopter is compatible with GoPro Hero but it doesn’t come equipped with a gimbal or a camera support. These will have to be purchased later, adding to the overall cost of the drone. However, the fact that it doesn’t have a pre-set camera mount opens the door to new possibilities and tweakers will definitely be thrilled!
Another great feature on this quad is the “Follow Me” mode. The drone can be programmed to follow a specific pattern or follow the controller on the ground keeping a safe distance. Even more, you can set it to shoot the same spot from various angles, which allows you to explore new filming techniques. To program the drone, you simply have to connect with an Android device, a PC or a Mac.
To up the challenge, the quad is equipped with an advanced GPS system which allows it to return home when the signal is lost or the drone loses its pre-set path. This makes it great for beginners.
Most users who own this drone love the “Follow me” module as it allows them to film their adventures without another person’s help. Do you want to jump with your bike from a cliff? Simply set the drone to follow the controller, put it in your backpack and do your thing. The drone will come following.
If you think that this model could be useful for you, then you can also read our 3DR Iris+ review, where you can find out much more about what it offers.
DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter
This quad is extensively designed to work with GoPro Hero cameras. It is easy to control, stable, easy to fly (even by beginners) and safe. This is the main reason why DJI Phantom 2 is essentially recommended for any action camera that is used to record high-quality videos.
It comes with a return to home function, an integrated GPS system, plus other amazing features, which prevents it from crashing. Even more, the 3-axis gimbal is quite advanced as it offers excellent camera stability and smooth video recording.
The DJI Phantom 2 is delivered pre-tuned. Thus, you can start flying it anytime you wish, directly from the box. Simply charge the battery, attach batteries to the remote and propellers, and fly. Since the quad is quite large in size, you should avoid tight spaces (unless you’re a pro pilot), and favor open spaces. The quad is equipped with one LiPo battery (5200 mAh) and is capable of remaining in the air for about 25 to 28 minutes on a single charge
One thing to keep in mind: the drone doesn’t allow WiFi streaming because there may be interferences with the remote control. So, you’ll have to wait until the quad gets back to see what you’ve recorded. And, to get much more familiar with all the features this model offers, we suggest checking out our DJI Phantom 2 in-depth review.
Do I really need a quadcopter with GoPro?
Quadcopters with GoPro are the newest inventions in the drone world. Not only are they magical in design, but they are also unmatched in performance. They are currently in use in almost all industries thus, it is almost certain that you will need one.
However, the problem as always is that you too may be wondering why in the world you will need to have such an expensive staff. Allow us to examine with you a few guiding questions.
Do you love aerial photographing? Believe it or not; these bots are taking over the aerial filming industry at an alarming rate. Drones like the DJI Phantom Aerial version have already been utilized to film live local football matches in the UK! You can have a look at one of the awesome video shoots below. This owes to their feature of powerful cameras and an accompanying long battery life of even up to 300 minutes. Surely that will thrill you.
Do you mind piloting? Many people love the idea of exploring the airspace. These quads have the ability to let you explore the air like never before. They are safer as one doesn’t need to be on a plane to enjoy the pleasures of flying. In addition, the drones with FPV feature will give you an experience similar to the plane. Lastly, these quads are incredibly easy to control thus will ensure you have the flight experience of a lifetime.
How about fun …fun and more fun? If you are wondering of the best toys to bring back the fun in life; these drones will be your solution. They are able to perform air acrobatics like rotating (360 degrees) with speed, sway with ease, and make many other movements while the cameras record every single move. For instance, the DJI Phantom Aerial, the Blade 350 QX3 and the 3DR IRIS quadcopter have an added feature of remote controlling via the GPS. This makes their flying space limitless. In addition, almost all of them are programmable and thus will allow you to develop customized pre-programmed moves that will suit you.
Keep in mind that… These quads aren’t the best for training. Since these quads are quite expensive, these are not recommended for beginners. In addition, most of them use apps and not the popular analog controllers. If you make a slight mistake, they could lose the signal or hit a wall and that could mean you may need to dispose of $500 in the garbage!
Use of these drones follows varied state regulations: most of the quadcopters with GoPro have very high-performance features and are likely to be used by malicious people for illegal activities like spying. Thus, most states have regulated laws that limit their usage. Thus, be sure of the safe activities to perform with your drone lest you land behind bars.
Buying guide: important features to consider
Quadcopters are small works of art that pack a lot of technical stuff like wires, batteries, flight controllers, motherboards, and others. This is why it’s important to understand the main technology before actually thinking about buying one.
- RTF – This simply means ‘ready to fly’. Just like the name suggests, it comes with all the things you really need to fly starting from the transmitter to the batteries.
- BNF – It means ‘Bind-n-fly’. You may wonder why some quadcopters on eBay and Amazon tend to be cheaper. The reason is not farfetched; they don’t come with any controller. If you are using these quads, you must have a transmitter or a controller. This model is not recommended for beginners.
- FPV – It is regarded as First Person View. This drone comes with a live video feed. With it, you can easily view whatever the camera is seeing.
- Gimbal – This piece of machinery stabilizes your GoPro on the quadcopter. If you are interested in having a smooth video, then it is recommended that you go for this piece. We know that there are few quads that come with gimbal, while there are some you will need to buy it separately.
Here are some of the features you will need to crisscross before you buy the drones:
- Flight time: flight time is determined by the batteries. Most Gopro quadcopters have a varied flight time of between 20 to 60 minutes. Always opt for drones with a longer flight time since longer flight times mean more fun. Drones like the DJI Phantom Aerial and the DJI Phantom 2 have an ability to stretch their flight time up to 300 minutes if you add more batteries. These makes then the best in this feature.
- Camera quality: the GoPro quads are suited for commercial uses. This is why the quality of images is central to the preference when buying. So, don’t just buy cheap, buy quality. If the two meet, the better. In this classification, the DJI Phantom Aerial UAV, the 3DR IRIS+ and the DJI Phantom2 reign. On the other hand, the 3DR Solo Drone and the Blade 350 QX3 drones are also preferable as their cameras aren’t welded. This gives you a chance to select the very best camera for your drone.
- Ease of setting up and usage: most of the drones reviewed above are easy to set up. Then again, some of them that are modifiable like the 3DR Solo drone, and may prove a little challenging to some. The designers of the drones intended to have them easy to control via mobile phone applications. Thus, all of the above drones should be easy to control.
- Cost: here you will examine two types of cost. First, you will examine the buying cost of the drone and later the drone’s maintenance cost. In the maintenance cost, you will need to evaluate the cost of replacing malfunctioned parts e.g. batteries, cameras etc.
- The accompanying components: never rush to make an order before you agree with the accompanying components of any of the above drones. Most of the drone sellers sell the drones in parts. This may turn tricky if you just buy without confirming.
Additional things you may need to look out for are:
- Drone warranty: some of the drones like the DJI Phantom drones and the 3DR Solo Drone have varied warranty from different sellers. Drones with a longer warranty have an assurance of durability. So, always be keen and negotiate terms with your seller.
- Buyer & Seller reviews: if buying from an online source, the reviews will help you a lot to decide on the best drone and the best drone sellers. The higher the ratings, the better the drone or seller.
Note. When buying these quadcopters, the design may be good, but not of extreme importance. If anything, the design may at times be misleading. So, make sure to pay attention to features that matter.
Who should buy a GoPro quad?
We had already examined a few guiding questions above. Below are suggestions of people who will soon need to consider a quadcopter with Gopro in their lives.
- Hobbyists: if you have prior experience in flying drones and you love the experience they create, these quadcopters will bring a breath of fresh air. They all have cameras and they have the latest designs. Thus, you can be sure of the very best. Go ahead; buy one and have some fun.
- Photo freaks: if you love taking photos or your career demands a lot of photos, the quadcopters with GoPro will obviously thrill you. Not only do they bring a new experience in photography but they are also very effective for shooting live events like parties.
- Surveyors: the ability of most of the quadcopters with GoPro to be controlled remotely via GPS makes them an ultimate companion to survey wide areas even from remote locations.
GoPro vs. built-in cameras
The DJI Phantom drones have an inbuilt camera whereas the other quadcopters have only a slot to accommodate the camera. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages of both the two designs:
- Drones with included camera are easy to set up as they come already welded while the other GoPro drones will require you to set up the camera.
- The cameras are always tested thus can hardly have camera compatibility issues. The quads that only come with the mounting support may have problems with certain Gopro cameras.
- However, quads that are already equipped with a camera are difficult to upgrade (camera wise).
Not sure what model to buy?
Day by day, newer trends, brands, and inventions surface the market and the GoPro camera on a smooth flying quad is definitely one invention you should try.
Below are a few pros and cons associated with these particular quads.
- Improved image & video quality: drones with the new GoPro feature are unmatched when taking pictures as most of them have advanced cameras. In addition, the ability to rotate the camera alone separate from the entire drone makes them best in recording videos.
- Longer control distance: since most of them can be controlled by the GPS, they are easy to locate and control even remotely.
- Are quite easy to control: this is because most of them are controlled by applications, unlike the traditional analog drone controllers.
- Longer battery time: unlike most quadcopters that have less than 15 minutes, most of the GoPro quadcopters have a flight time of between 20 and 60 minutes when fully charged.
- They are expensive to acquire.
- Some of them are likely to experience connectivity problems when being controlled remotely.
The GoPro quadcopters are still a new trend in the market. These drones do not just look great, they have proven to work great for many users. On a scale of 5, all the 5 drones surely deserve a 4.5 rating as they all have a wonderful performance, an undisputed durability and are easy to control.
Nonetheless, these drones may still miss being a darling to most drone users owing to their high buying price. In addition, some of them aren’t easy to set up and they do experience connectivity issues. Even so, they are surely drones worth yearning for!