Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter Drone RTF with CGO3 Camera, ST10+ & Steady Grip
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- Personal Ground Station with built-in touchscreen, Integrated 3-axis precision gimbal camera
- 4K/30fps ultra high definition video, 1080p/120fps slow motion video
- User controlled video resolution, white balance and light exposure
- 12 megapixel photos with No-Distortion Lens
- Does not include Aluminum case, includes one battery
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The Yuneec Q500 Typhoon Quadcopter with 4k CGO3 3-Axis Gimbal RTF Camera is a complete air and ground imaging solution that captures unparalleled 4K video and 12mp still images while maintaining the Typhoon family tradition of being easy and safe to fly. The Q500 4K Typhoon arrives factory-assembled, test-flown, ready to fly and film out of the box. The Typhoon Q500 4K includes the aircraft, CGO3 Camera and 3-Axis Precision Gimbal, ST10+ Personal Ground Station, Battery, Charger, SteadyGrip and 16GB micro SD card.
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I read reviews for months, watched about a hundred YouTube videos, and put my money down here. I am a photographer and I will tell you why for me this is the right choice, and maybe not the same choice for you. I am no fanboy- I could have gone with the Phantom 3 just as easy if it met my needs.
1. This is a complete package, and it's put together well as a package. The included case beautiful. Two included batteries, big selling point. Two sets of rotors nice touch. The transmitter which already has the tablet like screen built in, major difference between the Phantom. I have an iPad so I could have easily gone Phantom. The included steady-cam grip, how cool is that! And it all packs up in that case. Sure the interior is styrofoam so what. I must have received the newest model as my styrofoam inner was grey, not white like I have seen previously, and also mine came with two BLACK batteries not white as shown in photos. Very nice package.
2. I could have had this out of the box and charged and been flying in an hour. But I took my time and went through everything before even thinking about it. Again this is no toy. Charged the transmitter and battery, installed battery, and calibrated the gimbal and compass. Installed the SanDisk 64GB Extreme card I purchased to go with it. Checked all the settings- camera was defaulted to record 1080p which is fine- I don't have anything to watch 4K video on anyway.
3. Up and flying literally within 5 minutes of going outside and powering on. Even in a 5mph wind and my first time flying (in the turtle mode), was up in the air. Easy and I mean easy to fly and rock solid stable hover even in wind. Took it up to 300 feet and just flew around shooting video to see how it performs. Landing rock stable very easy to fly.
4. Put the memory card into the Mac, the video is absolutely beautiful and crisp. It's actually stunning how good it looks. Pictures came out equally sharp.
So again what will you use this for? For me I will use this at relatively close range to shoot events and couples. For me, the adjustability of the speed is a plus. I want it to move in predictable ways and I'm not looking to run races with it. It is quiet, large, and easy to get the kinds of shots I will take with it. The other features such as look at me and follow me are great, just not what I purchased this for. You shouldn't be flying drones like this out of sight range anyway- so for people that want to bag on the wifi connectivity of the FPV screen for "only" going so many feet, you are likely the people I see in all of these Phantom videos going into the water or running into a tree. I don't need automated way-point flights where I can no longer see the bird in the air. I want to fly this myself and not rely on automation. Not once did my signal drop off or did I lose connectivity, didn't have an app crash, or have to purchase a new phone or iPad to make this work.
Dollar for dollar- this package for my needs wins hands down. I have not had to use Yuneec customer service yet so I can't chime in on the Yuneec vs DJI service comparison. I can say I did explore the parts available to repair the Q500 myself something you can't easily do with a Phantom, and replacement parts for the Q500 are very inexpensive and readily available.
Very happy with this purchase, and amazing how much fun this was to fly!
* 1/13/2016 Update: When putting back in the case after my second flight, noticed a smudge on the camera filter. Took off the filter and tried to clean with a Nikon lens wipe- would not come clean, must be something in the coating of the lens. Emailed Yuneec customer service, got a personal reply back within 24 hours and they UPS me new part on the way. Very satisfied with the service, love the quadcopter.
Also purchased this and makes all the difference flying at night in the dark:
Safety Bike Light Set by Classic Glow - LED Bicycle Lights - Durable Aluminum LED Lights - Features 2 Front & 2 Rear Ultrabright Lights - Fits Bikes, Bicycle Helmets & Backpacks - Easy Installation
LED bike lights that I mounted on the quadcopter legs, with the white lights facing forward and the red rear. This way I can set the front lights to be solid on, and the rear lights to flash so that when I fly at night I know orientation wise what direction the drone is facing when it is up in the air. Works great and looks amazing- like you have searchlights mounted on the front- and with the lights mounted on the legs still fits in the factory case with the lights mounted, very cool.
In August 2018, I put the drone up after not using it for 2 months. The batteries were fully charged. Within 30 seconds of liftoff, the controller started beeping and the read out showed MOTOR ERROR: ENTER 5 ROTOR MODE – LAND IMMEDIATELY. The problem is, there are only 4 rotors on the drone -- so why is the software switching to 5 rotor mode? This is definitely a software glitch! The first time this happened, the unit came done hard instantly from about 35 feet in the air onto grass. One propeller blade broke, but the unit was otherwise in one piece.
Perplexed, I took the unit home and examined it carefully, verified that the batteries were fully charged and tried again. Within 60 seconds of lift-off, the controller beeped, and the unit immediately fell out of the sky -- but this time from a bit higher altitude. On both failures, the drone ceased to respond to the controller after the error flashed on the screen. Since the drone was higher on the 2nd flight, the landing was much harder -- destroying 2 props and shearing the camera from its mount! At this point the drone could only blink and beep, but could no longer fly!
I contacted Yuneeq's customer service on their website -- which is ONLY a chat box. It took about 5 attempts over 2 days to get anybody to "pick up the chat". Most times you simply get a "try later" message. When I finally got through to a CSR, he immediately told me that I needed to send the unit in for repair, and issued me an RMA number.
I did receive an email with instructions to ship the unit to Kansas City... the only service center in the country for this product. Yuneeq claims that you can also take their drones into any Best Buy store for repairs -- but that is NOT TRUE. I went to my local Best Buy, and they were perplexed with the request -- making calls to managers and regional service centers for guidance -- and utterly confused about whether they could fix the drone or not. Best Buy then told me that they could not do the repair locally, and would have to ship it to a regional repair depot... what's the point?
So I shipped the unit to KAV Service, who is not Yuneeq, but rather contracts with Yuneeq to service the entire United States. KAV took about a week to diagnose the problem and provide a repair estimate of $174 to replace 1 rotor motor and solder the sheared wires on the camera mount. KAV had the drone for 6 WEEKS! And FYI: KAV isn't too keen on answering their customer service lines either! It was very difficult to get a status on the repair, as they didn't provide online updates after the estimate was approved. After numerous failed attempts to get an update, I finally got though to somebody who was able to track down an update for me.
I finally got the drone back in late October, but hadn't gotten a chance to test it out until today. What a disaster! The drone did fly... for about 20 seconds before it gave me a GPS error and came crashing down onto a concrete driveway from 50 ft. I was standing in the middle of a wide open area with 15 GPS connections for the controller, and 13 connections showing for the drone! I've never seen that many GPS connections before, yet the drone dropped from the sky yet again, shearing the camera mount one more time.
Once again, I tried contacting KAV Service, and got an answering machine. When you call Yuneeq, you get an automated message directing you back to the chat line on their website. Of course, there is never anybody available to chat. So I called a sales line, and sure enough they picked that line up. They want to make sales, they just don't wan't to deal with after the sale service!
Buyer beware of Yuneeq. The product has serious design flaws which cause the units to crash, and when it does, there will be nobody to help! It's starting to look like $1,000 down the drain!