Yuneec's New Drone Offers Pro-Level Images For Cheap

For the last few years, serious drone buyers have really only had to ask one question: whether to buy DJI's (excellent) $1200 consumer Phantom, or shell out $5000 for the pro-level Inspire 1. Chinese dronemaker Yuneec has just created a whole new option with the $US1800 ($2550) Typhoon H. For your 2.5 grand, you get a six-rotor drone with retractable legs and a 360-degree gimbal, which lets you frame shots independent of the direction of flight, which is probably the biggest practical difference between a pro-level drone, and something like the Phantom 3 Professional, which also offers 4K video.

Thanks to those extra two rotors and a partnership with Intel, Yuneec is also touting this as one of the safest and most redundant drones: lose one rotor of a six-rotor craft, and you should still be able to land. Add in an Intel RealSense camera (something the company is promising to do in the future), and it will be able to sense and detect obstacles before it flies into them.

For control, you get an Android-powered controller with physical joysticks. It's a slightly different approach to the DJI system of plugging in your tablet to the controller, but it should allow for the same kind of flying experience. There's also a few autonomous flying features: Orbit, which circles an object keeping the camera on it, Point of Interest, which keeps one thing in frame and Curved Cable, which should allow for smooth panning shots.

On paper, the DJI Inspire 1 and Typhoon H are fairly similar: 4K video and 12 megapixel stills, a powerful medium-range controller with a handful of autonomous flying features, and a 360-degree gimbal.

The Inspire 1 has more imaging chops, thanks to the ability to add a micro Four-Thirds camera or a thermal imaging sensor, but those things will all cost you: a fully tricked-out Inspire 1 is upwards of $10,000, which puts it in a different league to the $US1800 ($2550) Typhoon H. Add in the object-avoidance and extra rotors that the Typhoon H brings to the table, and Yuneec could well have a killer mid-level drone on its hands.


Comments

    Phantom 3 is US$1250.... cheaper and more trusted brand than Yuneec.... lol.

      But the Phantom 3 is a consumer drone, this thing competes with the Inspire 1. And, for the record, you can pick up a Phantom 3 quite cheaply at the moment - a Pro model will only set you back Au$2199 and the Advanced model, which I reckon hits the sweet spot for non-professionals, is just $1399 (from DJI's website). I am actually quite tempted meself.

        I picked up the pro in the states cause I was there on launch, pretty amazing.

        I film most stuff in [email protected] becuase I prefer the frame rate, so I'd be fine with the advanced.

      question, is cheaper always better?

      A polaroid snap is cheaper than a nikon D5, does that make it better or more versatile?

      just askin.

        In this case, yes. DJI completely knocked it out of the park with the P3. When it launched at $1250 in the states it had a camera which is almost identical to a gopro4 (450 at the time) and it has lightbridge built into it (500 unit). If you break it down further the cost of the battery is about 120 and the controller would easily be 100 bucks. Just those parts alone were the cost of the drone.

        The inspire one is pretty much the same as the P3 minus a few quirks which make it "prosumer" (can control with two controllers, but the quality is the same) and that was retailing for 3x the cost, so yeah they absolutely killed it when they brought the P3 out at that pricepoint.

        DJI has a shitload of money/experience with their past products and are almost touting themselves as the "Apple" of drones. Their app is slick and everything is pretty damn good. They have their haters like Apple but the other 90% of people use their products almost flawlessly. I would never take a chance on yuneec for more money.... take a look at the 3dr solo or all these kickstarter drones which claim to do everything, just not worth the risk in my eyes.

        Sorry for the rant but I feel like I've done my research on this stuff for like over a year and for a consumer grade filming platform, it's hands down a phantom 3 at the moment.

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