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Best drones for GoPro: A buy guide for GoPro owners

Best drones for GoPro: Featured Image
Written by V Kadamatt

Best drones for GoPro: Updated June 2016

Selection criteria

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.

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.


 

Best drones for GoPro over $200

Yuneec Typhoon G RTF with GoPro gimbal and steady grip

Best drones for gopro : Yuneec Typhoo G RTF

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

Features and specifications

  • Watch me and Follow me modes
  • Professional stable shots on the go
  • Aerial Video with a GoPro HERO
  • 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizes Camera enabling smooth and stable video capturing
  • ST10+ Ground Station / Transmitter
  • GPS Tracking, RTH function when the signal is lost
  • Distance and range up to 1200 feet before getting control lost messages
  • Flight time : 17 – 20 minutes
  • GoPro feed sent to the controller
  • Well built : Durable, can even survive crashes into water

Design and build

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

Flight and control

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.

What’s awesome

  • Gimbal included with the drone
  • Extremely stable and can hold a particular position pretty well
  • The gimbal adjusts very well, enabling the camera to take unperturbed videos and photos even when the quad is moving fast, even in heavy winds
  • RTH function
  • Hand held for the GoPro
  • Quickly take off and land easily
  • Responsive and informative flight controller
  • Customizable system
  • Well packaged

What may not be so awesome

  • Propellers may show up in the shots if you angle the gimbal up too much.
  • Cannot switch on your GoPro after taking off nor can you start or stop videos and take pictures with the controller
  • Have to uninstall GoPro for charging
  • No autonomous feature like GPS routing
  • Mediocre video signal range
  • The battery can get really warm
  • Slow gimbal movement

Click here to check current price on Amazon


 

Blade 350 QX3 RTF

Best drones for gopro : Blade 350 QX3 RTF

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

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

Features and specifications

  • Fit a GoPro and be ready to go (GoPro camera not included)
  • Easy to fly
  • Flight time : 15 minutes
  • Advanced SAFE® (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) Technology, making you look like a pro even if you are not
  • Different flight modes for beginners and advanced flyers
  • Mast-mounted GPS antenna for improved GPS performance
  • Smart Mode
  • AP (Aerial Photography) Mode

Design and build

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.

Flight and Control

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.

What’s awesome

  • SAFE technology – switch into flight modes specially programmed for aerial videography and photography. RTH function included
  • Easy to fly for beginners due to ‘Smart Mode’ which will make the copter fly in whatever direction the control stick is pushed, regardless of the orientation of the craft!
  • SAFE circle barrier : prevents copter from flying too close to the pilot
  • Easy to switch between different flight modes, which makes the copter controllable by beginners and advanced pilots alike
  • Agility flight mode for advanced quadcopter pilots that enable aerobatics
  • Defaults to auto hover when you let go off the controls due to the on-board GPS and gyros
  • Camera mount absorbs vibrations pretty well
  • Readily available spare parts

What may not be so awesome

  • Basic transmitter that doesn’t have many features
  • No autonomous features like GPS waypoint
  • No Gimbal included
  • Smart mode maybe confusing for people who are used to standard quadcopter flying
  • GoPro mount may be difficult to set up
  • A very toy like look
  • Poor battery life (only 15 minutes, which is far less than other models at a similar price range)
  • Mediocre range

Click here to check current price on Amazon


 

3DR IRIS+

best drones for gopro : 3DR IRIS+

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

Note: Gimbal not included. Requires additional ‘Tarot’ Gimbal purchase. Has the best features in this list

Features and specifications

  • Controller built with on-screen telemetry for instantaneous information
  • Fly manually with the RC
  • Fly autonomously with Mac, PC or Android device, draw Autopilot Flight Plans with App
  • Follow me mode that tracks your android device
  • Wi-Fi for Control Using Android Device
  • Compatible with Tarot Gimbal
  • 16 – 22 minute flight time
  • Easy orientation awareness from the integrated LEDs on all arms
  • 5100mAh 3S battery
  • Transmitter and Flight Battery Included
  • Payload capacity : 400 g

Design and build

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.

Flight and Control

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.

What’s awesome

  • GPS navigation and autonomous flight
  • Comes with a static GoPro mount, compatible with Tarot Gimbal
  • Automatic landing and RTH function
  • GPS tracking, follow me function
  • Very stable and can fly fast, even in windy conditions, can go as high as 3200 feet
  • Very strong and durable
  • Tarot gimbal is effective at absorbing vibrations
  • Slick design – looks elegant and posh
  • 90 day warranty included

What may not be so awesome

  • Does not come with a gimbal – requires separate purchase
  • Mediocre flight times for a 5100mAh battery
  • No FPV kit
  • Documentation incomplete

Click here to check current price on Amazon


 

Best drones for GoPro under $200

DBPOWER FPV RC Drone

best drones for gopro : DBPOWER FPV drone

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

Mount for GoPro comes free, but you have to contact them. No Gimbal.

Features and specifications

  • Easy to fly
  • 3D split screen display: Compatible with 3D VR HEADSET on MJX FPV APP, use your own VR HEADSET (NOT INCLUDED) to see the world in a different way
  • Flight time: 8 – 10 minutes
  • Range : 100m
  • Free GoPro mount
  • Two modes: Headless and non-headless. In headless mode, the forward direction will be the same direction the transmitter is pointing at – an incredibly asset for beginner flyers
  • Built-in 1 MP 720p camera with free 4GB micro SD card, that also enables FPV real time transmission to your phone in either iOS or Android.
  • 4 control modes to choose from according to flying habits
  • Throttle limit mode to protect the drone, especially useful for beginners

Design and build

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.

Flight and Control

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.

What’s awesome

  • Decent control range for the price : Can get up to 250m as opposed to the claimed 100m
  • Decent flight times for the price
  • Very stable
  • Very durable
  • Free GoPro mount
  • WiFi mode for phone
  • Comes with extra blades, screws, screwdriver and other useful stuff

What may not be so awesome

  • No Gimbal. Static GoPro mount only
  • Lag during FPV
  • Battery may die out really quickly while using the camera
  • Poor instructions

Click here to check current price on Amazon


 

Ionic Stratus Drone Quadcopter

best drones for gopro : Ionic stratus drone

(Clicking on image will take you to Amazon)

No Gimbal – Comes with a GoPro mount. Cheapest of the listing

Features and specifications

  • 6-axis gyro system
  • One key return
  • Headless mode : Don’t have to worry about the orientation of the craft
  • Shock absorption cradle head, compatible with GoPro hero 4
  • Compatible with all models of GoPro hero
  • 1 key 3D roll function. Perform a 3D roll with a stroke of a button
  • Battery Capacity: 7.4V 1200MAH
  • Flight time: 10 minutes
  • Flight range: 150 meters

Design and build

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.

Flight and control

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.

What’s awesome

  • Can attach a gimbal, removable mount
  • It is compatible with all models of GoPro hero camera
  • Headless mode
  • Cheapest GoPro drone
  • Elegant looks
  • Looks cool
  • Cheap repair and replacement
  • Excellent as a first drone, although it may not be the easiest to control for a beginner

What may not be so awesome

  • The shock absorption cradle may be ineffective at times, making the videos vibrate and be overall mediocre
  • Replacement parts, although cheap may be hard to get your hands on
  • May not be able to withstand really windy conditions at all
  • Poor instructions
  • Weak propellers
  • May not be stable enough for a complete beginner
  • Battery may die quickly in windy conditions
  • Takes a long time to charge – around 150 minutes

Click here to check current price on Amazon


 

Conclusion

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 🙂

Best drones for GoPro: A buy guide for GoPro owners was last modified: September 17th, 2016 by V Kadamatt

About the author

V Kadamatt

Artificial Intelligence , UAV and RC enthusiast. Software professional, part time philosopher and star gazer.
I also love physics, mathematics, economics, psychology, fantasy, Sci-Fi and futurology.

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