The Quadcopter Syma X8HG Review
7 Min Flight Time
8 MP Camera
In this article, we present the Syma X8HG review, outlining all of its pros and cons. The release of this quadcopter was very much awaited by the quadcopter community. At the time of its release, the DJI Phantom 3 was the cheapest quadcopter available that would allow you to take decent aerial videos and photos. The Syma X8HG drone is less than 50% this price, and is an affordable alternative to more pricey camera drones.
However, the X8HG is by no mean comparable to a fully equipped aerial drone that has brushless motors, and camera stabilized by a gimbal system. It remains a good next step for those moving up from cheaper camera drones.
The Syma X8HG model has been upgraded from the X8G with the addition of altitude hold. Everything else about this quadcopter is essentially the same as the X8G including the camera and transmitter.
Pros and Cons
Fix the height of the quadcopter so you can take better videos.
Smooth Flight Performance
Gyro stabilized flight allows decent tolerence to medium winds.
Good Image Quality
Not as great as a GoPro camera, but better than toy grade drones.
No FPV View
This makes framing images a bit more challenging.
This does decent job of stabilziing images, but could be better.
Low Flight Time
While using the camera, this drone has a small flight time.
Battery and Flight Time
The Syma X8HG comes with a 7.4V 2000mAh 2S LiPo battery. You can expect a 10 minute flight time without the camera active, and even less time with the camera on. This also depends on how aggressively you fly, which will also reduce the flying time. The battery does take about 2 hours to charge, so extra batteries are a must.
To find out more about quadcopter batteries, read our article The Advanced Quadcopter Battery Guide.
The control range of this quadcopter is a bit disappointing for a so-called camera drone. You will only be fly this quadcopter out to 100 meters.
The camera on this drone can take 720p or 1080p videos at 30 fps. Still images can be captured at a resolution of 8 Megapixels. You will find the image quality to be surprisingly good, considering the low cost of this drone. It’s definitely not GoPro quality, but it will get the job done.
The camera is mounted on the drone using a quick release connector. Power and camera control is provided by a connection cable. The gimbal is fixed, and does not provide any additional camera pointing control. There are some rubber dampers that do help to reduce image jitter.
The X8HG camera does look like a GoPro or a SJ4000 camera. However, the camera mount was not designed to accommodate these cameras. Though it is possible to fit a Sj4000 camera on this quadcopter by purchasing a separate camera mounting bracket.
You will be pleased at the image quality obtained by the camera, especially since you are moving up from cheaper toy drones with poor cameras. The color saturation and decent contrast provides for sharp images. The white balance could be improved somewhat.
Wind conditions need to be compensated for when taking aerial videos, which is where a good gimbal comes into play. The fixed gimbal on the X8HG makes this drone better suited for taking still images instead of videos.
Even though this drone does have a good camera, it does not have a live video stream like FPV drones. This means that framing shots can be tricky, and will need multiple attempts before getting the perfect shot. It is possible that you could mount a wifi enabled camera, if you insist upon having a FPV view. However, the drone controller already works on a 2.4GHz frequency, which is the same as that of wifi. This could cause control interference issues.
Quadcopter Syma X8HG Review Video
Like other well designed Syma quadcopters, the Syma X8HG is very stable to fly, and easy to pilot. The altitude hold makes throttle control of this quadcopter easier, and makes flying this drone much easier for beginners. With altitude hold active, it allows you to focus your attention on taking videos, instead of flying. Roll and pitch maneuvers can be used to keep the imaging target in frame.
Altitude hold, as its name suggests, is a feature that allows the drone to roughly maintain a consistent altitude. This is achieved by means of barometric pressure sensors. With altitude hold active, you will not have reduced flying agility. However, the X8HG was not designed as a FPV racer to fly fast, and do fast action maneuvers. It was designed to be a low-cost aerial video platform, which is why the altitude hold was included.
This drone also has headless mode which is highly useful for new drone pilots. Surprisingly, this drone also has a 360-degree flip mode. Flipping a drone will cause it to lose altitude before it can recover. Performing this maneuver on a large drone like the X8HG with a camera attached can be problematic. I do not recommend that you activate the flip mode while you have the altitude hold mode active.
The bulky size of the X8HG does have advantages. It is very stable in light to even moderate winds.
Syma X8HG Review Summary
The Syma X8HG is a good upgrade to the X8G with the addition of altitude hold. For those looking to move up to a decent image capture drone, but don’t want to pay a hefty price, then the X8HG is a very good choice. You will get very decent image quality, for an affordable price.
There are some drawbacks which include a lack of FPV view that makes framing shots tricky. The fixed gimbal does not do a great job of reducing camera image jitter. However, you are not paying that much for the X8HG which makes up for these shortfalls.
The next steup up from toy drones.