Why would I want a quad copter for video?
Quad copter technology has come a long way and now provides a stable platform to carry video devices.
What type of video devices are available?
There are two types of devices best suited for copter based video: video recording and first person video (FPV). A video recording device allows you to fly and then download the video after flight. A first person video device allows you to view the video while in flight and requires a larger copter to carry all the weight of the camera and radio devices to send the signal back to the ground.
Why would I use a quad copter as opposed to a single prop helicopter?
Four blades equals more stability. The controllers that run all 4 motors have advanced to the point where the controller is doing most of the work. The quad copter now can remain level and stable enough to shoot video.
What type of things can I shoot with the video?
There are unlimited possibilities here. You can take photographs or video from angles that never have been possible before. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Outdoor parks.
- City and state monuments.
- Live action shots of sports or extreme sports (skate parks, mountain biking runs, ski jumps, rock climbing).
- Bring on hiking trip to shoot video of an area you can’t get to easily.
What is the best quad copter to get started for a low cost?
The amount of options out there are stagering and there are many new comers to the market so watch out. There are copters built from older RC technology and there is new technology that is being developed to make flying a quad copter really easy.
Radio: Spectrum DX7 $299.00 Retail
All options require a radio transmitter so get a good one. Spectrum seems to have the market cornered and provides a lot of functionality for a low cost. The Spectrum DX7s seems to be the best all around option. The DX7 retails for $299 but you can find it used for around $150. 7 channels seems to be better because in the long run you may want a larger more advanced copter and the 7 channels allows for a smaller receiver and plenty of channels for any future configuration.
Best option for low cost entry into the hobby: Blade mQX $169.99 Retail
This is the easiest to fly and the lowest cost. It can only carry up to 50 grams so a light weight camera is necessary but this is a good quad copter to get started with. The controller software make all the difference here. It auto corrects for stability so you can focus on flying and getting the shots that you want.
Video recording device
The video recording devices are getting smaller, cheaper and higher quality at an incredible rate these days. The Easy Shot Clip HD video camera comes in at 18 grams for around $110. Can’t beat that.