Best drones for GoPro: Updated June 2016
The ‘drones’ listed in this article are divided into two price ranges: above $200 and below $200. We’ve handpicked and distilled to the drones that are the ‘best’ under each price category. Note that none of these models come with GoPro. We assume you already own one or you will be purchasing it separately.
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The crafts mentioned in this article are thoroughly reviewed and tested for different traits including the GoPro capability – gimbal and/or mount, design and build, ease and flexibility of control and flight characteristics!
At the end of each model’s review, we have listed what is awesome and what is not so awesome for each model to help you quickly glance over the pros and cons before making a decision to purchase.
Weighing at 2.5 pounds, the Yuneec Typhoon G is quite big and heavy for a drone. The build material is plastic but it doesn’t take away from its sturdiness and durability. This thing can definitely go through a lot of rough use and come out unharmed. You may want to invest in an additional carrying case, given its size because it is not the most portable drone.
The gimbal for GoPro sits beneath the mean body, between two large landing rods which are really effective at protecting the camera, gimbal and the body during rough landings. Overall the quad is beautifully designed and looks elegant and professional. We think that the ‘Steady grip’ could have been made with another material instead of plastic. But other than, this machine has excellent design and build
The ST10+ remote control has an LCD screen that displays telemetry data and live video feed from the quad. The remote control comes with a hood, so you won’t have trouble looking at the screen during bright days.
The craft comes with three flight modes: The smart mode, which will enable you to turn on functionalities like the ‘follow me’ and ‘watch me’, angle mode for more experienced pilots giving you more control of the drone including increased range and altitude height and the home mode, which is essentially the return to home function, making the drone return to its take off point and land (lock the GPS before take-off).
Overall the craft flies excellently, without hiccups even in windy conditions. The gimbal does a good job at maintaining video quality even at high speeds.
The main drawbacks we noticed with the craft is that for one, the camera cannot be controlled by the remote control. You have to turn on the camera before take-off. You also have to uninstall the GoPro for charging. Second, the video signal range is pretty mediocre and lastly the drone is not fully autonomous. Meaning there is no GPS routing.
Note: Has GoPro mount but gimbal not included. Requires additional blade gimbal purchase. Comes in BNF version, which is cheaper but does not include transmitter or camera
The blade 350 QX3 RTF has a very sturdy and durable build. Right out of the box, the RTF version comes with 4 extra propellers and other useful tools like screws and screwdrivers which is a nice bonus.
The landing rods are long and strong to withstand rough landings, but we think it could have been a bit longer, to protect the camera in case the craft lands on bumpy and uneven surfaces.
Overall, the design and look of the craft is pretty decent, although we think the craft does have a ‘toy’ like look to It which may be appealing to some and not to others.
Overall the blade 350 QX3 is an excellent flyer. It comes with a Spektrum DX4 transmitter and is a very stable craft even in moderately windy conditions and offers unique flight modes and features for flying which are often not found on other drones. The SAFE technology is pretty unique and it includes a feature called the ‘circle barrier’ that prevents the copter from getting too close to the pilot.
The craft even defaults to auto hover when you let go off the controls and has ‘Smart mode’ for beginners, which is essentially the ‘headless mode’ found on most drones.
The major drawback to the drone is the flight control range. Expect to start losing signal at about 100 – 110 feet, which is pretty short relative to other drones in this price range. The other drawback to this drone is its mediocre flight time. 15 minutes may be enough to have fun, but may not be enough for many aerial photography/ videography endeavours.
Note: Gimbal not included. Requires additional ‘Tarot’ Gimbal purchase. Has the best features in this list
The Iris + is a lightweight yet well-built craft. The body is made of plastic polymers and Zytel Nylon legs, which also makes it heat resistant. It is pretty sturdy, durable and can withstand some harsh use.
The IRIS+ may not be the most portable because of its large footprint, however. It measures over 21 inches diagonally, which makes it even less portable than the DJI phantom models which is about 13 inches diagonally.
The other downside to the build is the battery placement with the power cables. Removing and installing the battery can be annoying and awkward at times.
Overall, the craft boasts a pretty unique look and design. It looks pretty elegant and professional, arguably the best looking drone you can get in its price range.
The IRIS+ is a craft that can fly extremely well. It is very stable thanks to its size, maneuverable and pretty reactive to control inputs. You can either control it using the transmitter that comes with it or with PC, Mac or Android. It can also travel decently fast, reaching up to 40 miles per hour.
Given the price, this is the drone that offers the most features including GPS navigation and autonomous flight, scripts for cinematography and repeatable flight plans. The drone also boasts follow-me mode and RTH function.
The craft doesn’t come with a gimbal or a mount for GoPro. It requires an additional Tarot gimbal, which can be quite expensive depending on your budget. Make no mistake though, the gimbal works extremely well with the GoPro giving awesome videography and photography experience.
Mount for GoPro comes free, but you have to contact them. No Gimbal.
The DBPOWER 3 FPV is compatible with GoPro and comes with a 1 MP 720p SD camera with it. The mount for GoPro comes free, but you will have to contact them for it. Over all the build quality is of this craft is pretty decent, giving it durability. We wouldn’t recommend using it too harshly though.
The instructions that come on assembling the quadcopter is also pretty readable – make sure you install the propellers correctly.
The quad, although made from white plastic looks pretty slick and badass. This is a nice little bonus to it. If you want a cheap quad with GoPro capabilities that is also durable and looks good, this is the craft you should get.
This quad comes with Wi-Fi FPV capability. Couple this with a GoPro installation, and you’ll have an amazing FPV experience for the price range. Note that there is no gimbal, only mount that comes with it so don’t expect camera angle flexibility like the more expensive drones.
The drone offers flip and roll feature at the press of a button which is a nice little bonus. Overall the craft is pretty stable and very manageable even in moderately windy conditions at high altitudes. For the price, the flight and control features and capabilities are well worth the moolah.
No Gimbal – Comes with a GoPro mount. Cheapest of the listing
A cool looking, affordable GoPro capable drone with a sturdy body. It comes with a shock absorption cradle that enhances the GoPro experience on this moving quad.
We think that the propellers could’ve been built stronger, however. We also have a bone to pick with the instructions that were given in the box. The craft is also capable of handling and protecting the camera on minor harsh landings on moderately uneven surfaces.
Overall for the price, it is a pretty good bargain.
The craft can fly pretty decently without any major issues. The stability is decent but not in windy conditions. For a beginner, this drone may behave weirdly and may not be stable enough. It comes with a headless mode, however, which may help with control.
Be wary of going too high with this aircraft. It is a nice little aircraft and the cheapest one you can find for your GoPro. Excellent deal, overall.
Decide on your budget first. The GoPro capabilities, including having a gimbal vs a mount or flight features like the GPS autonomous features and RTH functions are definitely better at the above $200 category. Videography capability is definitely better at higher price ranges.
However, if you are only looking for a fun craft to mount your GoPro and go for a fly, you can purchase something under $200.
That’s all folks! We hope you loved this buying guide. Let us know what you think down in the comments below 🙂