Quadcopters and camera drones
Camera Drones, quadcopters and multicopters - everything you need, from beginners to pros, for the perfect flight experience. Build your own drone or buy a Ready-to-Fly quadcopter from our highly experienced team at FirstPersonView.
How to fly RC Quadcopters
Flying your quadcopter starts with understanding how some of the parts work, on both the quadcopter and on the controller. Take your time to read through the manual (often the full version of quadcopter manuals can be found online) and understand the features shown in the quadcopters ‘quick start guide’ that is often provided in the box. We have provided some ‘how to’ video explanations on this at our blog, but the best way to learn is to start with test flights.
Once you have charged the batteries and learnt how to switch on your quadcopter and controller in the correct process (always have the controller switched on first), then you can set it up in a safe location, turn on (or connect) the battery and check the initialisation process as the quadcopters GPS learns and stores its new position on the planet. (Light signals indicate progress with this process - you need to wait for the correct light signal telling you that the home point is stored and that the GPS has a good fix.) Assuming you have suitable weather (calm conditions are best for learning) your first flight exercise should be learning how to take off and land from a low height of around 1m. Stand behind the drone, with the drone facing away from you.
Practise these techniques and build up to taking your drone higher and further as you get a feel for the way it reacts to your controller inputs and your reaction time for corrections. Don’t go too high, too far or too fast on your first few test flights: just learn the basics and you will have a much longer lasting relationship with your quadcopter!
And remember, when flying quadcopters in the UK there are laws and rules to abide by, so please ensure you research these and have a safe and responsible flight.
Choose the right quadcopter for your skill level
To enjoy the best flight experience, getting the right airframe for your hobby drone is essential. For those new to flying, you may want to start with a Ready-to-Fly quadcopter, from the likes of Hubsan or, for a more developed outdoor quadcopter, DJI are the world’s leading brand of mid-level products for the ameratuer and pro quadcopter pilot.
For the more experienced pilots, a more satisfying project may be the building of your own drone platform. This may take shape in the form of a smaller drone racer, or if you are looking for something with a higher capacity payload then the multicopters, such as something from the DJI Flamewheel range - the F450 Quadcopter and the F550 Hexacopter, would be more up your street. You can add a range of customer items to these platforms, such as the DJI Naza or products and accessories from Team Blacksheep.
Many of quadcopter and drone platforms here are compatible with products from Fatshark, DJI and Immersion RC. If you need more information on quadcopter builds then please do have a look at the blog or contact one of the team at FirstPersonView.
Watch our DJI Phantom 2 Vision video
Choosing the right camera for your quadcopter
There are a variety of options when it comes to adding a camera to your quadcopter - to make it a camera drone. This is dependant on what you want to do with the quadcopter. For example, if you are seeking to undertake aerial photography and video then you will almost certainly want to install a camera gimbal on the quadcopter airframe, so that the camera is stabilised and produces smooth images. (Some quadcopters come with their own camera and gimbal ready installed.) At FirstPersonView we offer packages that include gimbals with the quadcopters, but remember to tick the box if you want this included.
Additionally, if you want to fly the quadcopter via FirstPersonView (FPV) then this would require linking your existing camera or a separate FPV camera to the systems onboard your quadcopter. To find out more about this have a look at our ‘how to install an FPV system on the DJI Phantom 2’ as an example.
Difference between a drone and a quadcopter
The main difference between the term ‘drone’ and ‘quadcopter’ is one of classification - drone is the generic term for all unmanned aerial vehicles, whereas quadcopter relates to a specific set of drones with four motors that create lift for vertical take off through their propellers. So, an unmanned fixed-wing plane shaped aircraft can be classified as a drone along with a quadcopter, but a plane could not also be classed as quadcopter.
Difference between a quadcopter and a quadrocopter
There is no real difference in the meaning of quadcopter and quadrocopter, other than the spelling. The common term in the UK has become ‘quadcopter’, but often in the media there is some discrepancy between quadcopter, quadrocopter, drone and camera drone, which may lead to some confusion. In most instances these descriptions are related to a four motor drone or quadcopter, such as a DJI Phantom 2.
Quadcopters and Camera Drones
Quadcopters are often sold with cameras either pre-installed, as with the DJI Phantom 2 Vision, or with the capability to install a camera via the mounting of gimbal bracket to the undercarriage of the airframe. A camera drone is usually a term for a quadcopter with a camera attached, though not all quadcopters are camera drones.