GoPros or any other action cameras for that matter are the biggest assets of every passionate photographer who constantly looks forward to the advanced technologies to improve their photography skills. Now, with drones that are compatible with action cameras, you can also become a professional aerial photographer.GoPro drone is a boon for those hobbyist using which they can even take breathtaking footages and crispy clear photos from high up in the sky. If you are new to this whole business, then here is a detailed information on GoPro drones along with the unbiased reviews of 7 best GoPro drones available in the market.
GoPro drones, similar to any other drones, fly with good speed, features some of the useful flight features and comes with a camera mount. Yes, they come with the camera mount and not the camera. In fact, that is the whole concept of GoPro drones. Without featuring their own built-in camera, they offer you the flexibility to use the camera of your own choice. It is a true advantage in disguise indeed.
Usually, most of the GoPro drones are compatible with models like Hero 3, 3+ and 4 or XiaoYi etc. However, please go through the drone specification and have a clear idea about the models of action camera that are compatible with the drone.
Now that you are clear with this straightforward concept of GoPro drones, its time to discuss some of the important aspects that need to be considered while buying a GoPro drone.
Gimbal: Gimbal of a drone helps greatly in taking more stabilized videos. It not only provides solid support but also gives the luxury to move the camera lens at different angles.
GPS functionality: Though not mandatory, GPS technology in a drone is not just one but offers a bundle of surprises. With GPS, the drone can feature ‘follow me’, ‘orbit me’ and much more help you greatly to take amazing aerial footages.
One button return home functionality: Now, this is one functionality that I personally feel, very much important in a GoPro drone. The reason is simple, with the return home functionality, once the drone goes out of the control range, it returns back to its original takeoff place automatically. Without the ‘return home’, there will be a risk of drone getting last. In the worst case, it makes take your GoPro along with it.
Plase note that we have discussed only a few aspects to be considered while purchasing GoPro drones, the list never ends but grows bigger and bigger as you try to achieve perfection in every shot you take from the air. Drones like GoPro Karma even offers karma grip that works with GoPro body mounts to take ultra steady body-mount images.
With the above chart, we got the brief of the drones. We will now learn the details of each of them to choose the suitable one for our requirement.
Here is the first GoPro drone that we have carefully picked from the long list. Known for their best in the class quadcopter, the Force 1 provides great flying experience to everyone from beginners to experts.
The powerful brushless motors not only ensure quieter flight but offer great stability as well. The controls are quite simple and easy. The two different speed levels make the Force 1 RC drone ideal for everyone irrespective of their flying skills.
The maximum signal distance is 1640 ft as specified by the manufacturer. However, it is better not to fly the drone too high or too far away especially during the initial flights and unfavorable weather conditions.
Now, coming to the main point that makes the Force 1 the topper in our list of seven best GoPro drone is its best quality GoPro ready camera mount. You can attach a GoPro Hero 3 or hero 4 to the camera mount and enjoy the aerial image of your house and surrounding.
In fact, this is the beauty of GoPro drones. Learn the drone flying first, expertise in it and then attach the GoPro. No more crash landing, damaging the camera and repenting on the big spending. If you already own a GoPro, it is golden. You will be paying only for the drone.
I admire the whole idea of drones that are compatible with action cameras like GoPro but not featuring their own built-in camera. It is always better to buy the drone that is easy to fly and attach an action camera of your choice than spending a lot of money and end up buying the one with poor picture quality. This particular GoPro drone from Drocon is one such affordable quadcopter that is compatible with action cameras like GoPro Hero 3 etc.
The Drocon MJX Bugs 3 is one of the reliable and highly durable drones in this affordable price range.the credit goes to the new brushless motors that make the unit a lot stronger. Let me tell you why in case of the brushless motors there is no risk of overheating. So no melting and also longer flight assured. Also, the brushless motors won't wear out like brush motors and hence last longer.
Talking about the ease of use, the quadcopter is very much easy to control. When I said easy, I mean really very easy. The reason I am stressing the ease of use is that of its two-way control system of this blue bug. Most of the drones usually receive the signals from the transmitter aka remote control. But in case of the Drocon blue bug, the drone communicates back to the receiver. So there will be a very negligible delay in control.
It always obeys your command like a good kid! Because of the same reason, you will be able to have 100% control over the drone flying even up to 300 to 500 meters of range.
Fun with Drocon bug 3 just never ends. You can even try the different tricks and stunts with its 360 degrees flip function. The drone can be flown at greater speed because of the six-axis gyro technology.
Even for the serious photography hobbyist, the Drocon will not disappoint. The drone comes without its own built-in camera. But you can easily mount a GoPro or Xiaomi action camera to enjoy the incredible shots of your surroundings.
I get little philosophical each time I think about this drone – GoPro Karma. It is mainly because of the term ‘karma’ in the name and every time I sincerely admire the intelligent brain behind this product who rightly named it. Karma is nothing but ‘good or bad luck, as a result of one’s action’ and applying the same logic, here in case of the drone, it is - you get what you paid for.
The drone costs you nearly $800 and worth every penny.
Starting from the package to flying and everything in between is well designed and engineered. The GoPro Karma is super portable. The foldable drone fits inside the lightweight case. Just pack it and take it anywhere.When you want to fly, unfolding and attaching the propellers won’t take much time.
The one-button take off and landing makes the drone easy to fly for the first-time flyers.The built-in tutorial gives the detailed information starting from setting up the drone, camera controlling to flying.The flight simulators let you learn and expertise the art of drone flying before the actual first flight. After all, practice makes man perfect!
Once you become that perfect pilot, you can use smart controls for flying and focus on controlling the camera to get perfect shots. Please note that GoPro karma is compatible with HERO 5 black.
GoPro Karma Done is often described as ‘more than a drone’. It is mainly because, of the multipurpose stabilizer. It helps in capturing steady pictures from the air.Now, the interesting part is that the stabilizer can be removed from the drone and attached to a grip.The Karma grip can be used with GoPro body mounts or sports pack to record every moment of hiking or biking with the loved ones.
The controller of the GoPro Karma is also made user-friendly with no much fancy controls but only the necessary buttons and controls. The touchscreen displays clear bright first-person view in real time.
Have you ever thought of an intelligent computer flying up in the sky following wherever you go and also can capture high-quality photos?! No, it is not a fairy tale but reality. The 3DR Solo quadcopter has made it possible.
Equipped with twin 1 GHz computer – one in the ground station and another in the drone, the Solo SA11A is not just a drone but an intelligent flying computer.
The quadcopter is compatible with GoPro action cameras of model Hero 3, 3+ and 4.
The Solo quadcopter has a large number of autonomous flight modes like orbit me, follow me and cable cam and much more. The highly intuitive remote controller that can be compared to that of a video game is worth to mention here. Because along with the many autonomous flight modes, the easy-to-use controller makes the whole drone flying a lot simple and easy.
To conclude, if you already own an action camera or ok to buy one separately to try taking aerial footages then go for the Solo drone quadcopter without any second thought. The drone flies super fast, controls are easy to use and it features a lot of autonomous flight features. There are no major limitations of this drone.
The Ionic quadcopter is one of the cheapest, in fact, under $100 GoPro drones in the market yet packed with lot many useful features. The quadcopter is compatible with any models of GoPro Hero. The shock absorber in the camera holder is a well though and the greatly designed feature that avoids unwanted shaking of the camera unit while flying. The shock absorber very well dampens the vibrations caused by drone itself. Along with this, the six-axis gyro ensures more stability, so that clear and shake-free image is guaranteed every time.
This iconic Ionic quadcopter lets you witness real aerial acrobat. You get to have a lot of fun trying out different tricks and stunts using the drone’s one button 3D roll.
One more addition to the never-ending features of this amazing drone with an affordable price tag is its headless mode. The headless mode is a ‘must have’ feature for beginners and an added luxury for the experts. In this mode, you can fly the drone easily without worrying, which is its head and which is the tail. The drone flies according to the remote
The remote control of the Ionic quadcopter is a simple nice ground station with no unnecessary fancy buttons and works on 2.4 GHz frequency. There is nothing much to get confused while using this remote control. The central single button to turn on/off the controls is a nice feature. Also, synching the remote with the drone is also very easy and can be done in no time. Please note that while synching the remote with the drone, both of the extreme left and extreme right buttons need to be pushed either up or down. Otherwise, the remote will not synch.
Overall, if you already have a GoPro camera and looking for a drone to try shooting some decent aerial footage of your surroundings, then go for Ionic Quadcopter. The drone is stable enough to click some decent pictures. It is a nice drone at this price range.
DJI is the leading brand when it comes to drones whether it is a toy drone or some serious hobbyist’s drone. The Phantom series of DJI is well known for every drone enthusiasts. One such drone is this DJI Phantom 2.
It is nothing but a great bundle of surprises. To start with, the quadcopter is pre-tuned in the factory itself. See how well DJI can understand your excitement; you don’t have to spend any extra time setting up the unit, just buy and fly.
You can fly easily for 20 to 25 minutes on a single charge. The credit goes to the intelligent circuitry and 5200mAh LiPo battery. The battery is easy to remove and also features an indicator to show the remaining battery life thereby making the drone safe and reliable.
Now talking about the main aspect that is flying the drone, there are no major gripes. The drone has got a lot offer every pilot with any level of flying skills. Using GPS technology the drone offers autopilot option. Along with the altitude lock, the autopilot is going to be very useful for expert drone pilots wherein they can focus mainly on controlling the camera unit without having to actually fly the drone.
GPS also make sure that the drone won’t get last by featuring Auto return home.OMG! Losing the drone that too along with the mounted GoPro is the worst thing to happen and that is been taken care by Phantom 2. If the drone goes out of the control range, failsafe protection will get activated and the drone flies back and lands automatically.
Now, the favorite part that is the picture and the video quality; well again GPS owe big thanks here. As GPS allows stability in flying and altitude hold for easy hovering, taking high-quality footages and still images from up in the sky is made a lot easier. The three-axis Zenmuse Gimbal also contributes greatly to taking smooth videos. However, please note that the gimbal is included but not installed. The installation itself takes nearly 30 to 45 minutes.
Undoubtedly the Phantom 2 is complete quadcopter. The one little gripe is its FPV functionality. Though the drone features FPV, it is not straightforward. The problem is that the GoPro’s WiFi cannot be used because of the interference with the drone’s transmitter. The only solution is to get a separate 5.8 GHz video transmitter and receiver. This initial Phantom 2 FPV set up does demand your effort, patience and time, but once done, believe me, it is a beautiful feeling to see the bird-eye view of your surrounding in life.
One more bug in the best GoPro drone list. Sorry, don’t be confused, I am talking about the model MJX Bugs 3 here. The second drone on our list was the blue bug from Drocon and this Goolsky MJX red bugs 3.
Both the drones look alike but are of different color. The comparison won’t stop here. They are pretty much similar in most of the aspects. I can say, the Drocon blue bug and the Goolsky red bugs are like cousins
Jokes apart, let us review the Goolsky quadcopter in brief.
Aiming to provide engine durability, the quadcopter comes with the 1800KV brushless motor. Lesser friction during flight lesser chances of heating up and the end result is not just the durable product but the long battery life.
The high capacity 1800mAh battery lets the drone fly for about 18 minutes on a single charge.
No matter whether you are a beginner or an expert, you can fly the drone like a pro in no time. The independent ESC (Electronic Speed control) allows you to try your luck without any worries.
One more interesting characteristics of the MJX Bugs 3 is the 2.4 GHz two-way communication. Most of the drones receive controlling signal from the ground station and fly accordingly. In case of the 2-way communication, the drone also can communicate back with the ground station. This has two major advantages. One is that the two-way communication enhances the controlling distance to 300 to 500 meters. And the second is that there will be very less and almost no delay in control.
Now, for the serious photographers out there, if you wish to take aerial footages and still images, the Goolsky quadcopter has taken care that too! You can attach your action camera like C400 GoPro or XiaoYi to the camera mount the quadcopter. The 6 axis gyro of the drone offers stable flight so that you can capture shake-free still images and/or high-quality aerial footages.
The Gorgeous videos are sure to go viral on social media in no time. While flying the drone with the camera attached, please make sure that the landing gears are attached. The landing gears avoid any possible damages to the camera upon unfortunate crashes or landing on rough terrain.
This article is brought to you by Drone Trends’s Editorial team. Drone Trends team is passionate about drones and quadcopters.