GPS Positioning

Compass Sensor

1080p Camera

Advanced Technology

PROS

  • Very stable and steady flight
  • LCD Screen Integrated into controller
  • Turnkey video solution
  • Smart flight control

CONS

  • Does not include custom white balancing
  • No collision avoidance system
  • Lens is blurry at edges of frame
  • Not good for indoor flying

Introduction

This article presents the Yuneec Q500 review which summarizes all of the unique features of this advanced quadcopter. This drone is perfect for first time buyers and people who have no previous flight experience. Also, the Q500 is a turnkey solution for your aerial video and photography needs. It feels very stable and provides plenty of control for the pilot

The build quality of this drone is absolutely amazing. Durability and solid construction are highlighted in the design of this drone. This is a very well designed aircraft.

What Is In The Box

  • 1 x Yuneec Q500 drone
  • 1 x ST10 ground station controller
  • 1 x LCD screen sunshield
  • 1 x Neck strap
  • 1 x USB charger
  • 1 x USB to micro USB cable
  • 2 x 5400 mAh 11.1V LiPo Batteries
  • 1 x Battery charger
  • 1 x 8 GB Micro SD card
  • 2 x Sets of spare props
  • 3 x Quick guides
  • 1 x User manual

Battery and Flight Time

The drone batteries will take about 2 hours to charge. On a full battery charge, you can expect a flight time of 21 to 25 minutes. Included with the drone, is a second battery, but you may want to grab a few more batteries to get even more available flight time.

The range of the drone flight is approximately 600m.

Camera

The camera takes videos in 1080p quality video at 60, 50 or 48 fps in mp4 codec, and has a 130 degree field of view. The camera is also capable of capturing stunning 12 Megapixel pictures at any altitude. The live video stream is very stable, but you may experience some outage if there is a large obstacle, such as a building, in the way.

The three axis stabilizing gimbal that supports the HD camera provides for a very smooth and stable imaging platform. Being able to adjust the gimbal easily via the remote is a plus, allowing the camera to be tilted and rotated while the drone is in flight. The camera mount is built to be able to remove and replace the camera on the drone. So when future cameras with better imaging capabilities are released, you can always upgrade your drone easily. You can also detach the camera and use the camera with the Yuneec SteadyGrip handheld gimbal.

When the camera is pitched all the way up, you may capture the front rotors in the video. So it’s best to angle the camera down slightly to get a better shot.

Controller

This controller is absolutely incredible. The Q500 comes with a 10 channel 2.4 GHz transmitter. Unlike other FPV drones that require a smartphone or table to display the camera scene, this controller has a built in video display. You can see a live video stream from the camera directly on the controller 4.5 inch touch screen. Not having to configure an additional piece of equipment to get your drone flying is a bonus. Real time flight data from the drone is also displayed on the screen. All flight and camera configurations can be quickly changed from the simple and intuitive touch screen interface. The designers put a lot of thought to the layout of the user interface.

If you are not sure how start this quadcopter, you may notice the big red start/stop button on the controller. It does not get any simpler than this.

Flying a quadcopter can be intimidating, especially the more expensive models. However, the Q500 has a number of features that will reduce the stress of the pilot. There are three different flight modes available: smart, angle and home.

The smart mode is perfect for beginners, and is designed for pilots with little to no flying experience. This is basically a headless mode, but with a fancier name. When facing the quadcopter, the control stick will move the drone relative to the controller regardless of which way the drone is pointed. In this mode, you can’t fly the drone to within 10 feet of the controller. This will save you from crashing the drone into yourself while flying. It also sets up a virtual 300 feet fence around the controller, preventing the quadcopter from flying too far.

The smart mode also has a follow me function where the quadcopter will track you from a preset distance, but the camera is not pointed in your direction. You will need to compensate for this if you plan on taking videos of yourself in this mode. There is a GPS unit in the controller, so the quadcopter can easily track your position.

The angle mode is for experience pilots who are comfortable with flying a drone of this size and capability. The Q500 will automatically hold altitude, and position when there is no control input. However, it will respond to commands and move accordingly.

Activating the home mode will command the drone to return to the exact spot that it took off from, and land safely. However, do not activate this mode if there is a building or a tree between you and the drone. It will take a straight line route from where it is, to the landing point, and you do not want to accidentally cause a crash.

There is a dedicated button to activate the video mode, and another to take still pictures. On the right side, there is a sliding throttle that controls the speed of the drone. On the left side, you can control the pitch of the camera.

The operating range is about 600 feet. The controller does not display any sort of telemetry, or orientation data. It is best to keep this quadcopter close, since you will not know how far way it is, or in which direction it is pointing.

When your drone battery starts to run low, the controller will start vibrating. When it does, hit the home mode to get your drone back. The controller has built in rechargeable batteries which you charge using a micro USB cable. Also included is a baffle that you can put over the video screen, so you don’t get any glare on the view screen and can fly in the sunniest conditions.

The controller, or ground station, is very impressive which is why it occupies the majority of this Yuneec Q500 review.

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Flight Performance

Remember that the entire purpose of this drone is to prove a stable platform for the camera. So it shouldn’t surprise you that this drone is not a speed racer, or has high maneuvering agility. This drone is designed to provide smooth and comfortable flight. The pitch, yaw, and roll response are conservative, which results in smooth control which in turn results in very smooth video.

When you first activate the drone, you will need to go through the GSP calibration procedure. The instructions for this procedure are clear, and it follows the standard toggle switch and rotate vehicle process similar with other drones. The drone will not take off until a GPS lock is established. It is possible to fly the drone without the GPS, but this is not recommended. This drone flies very smooth and has solid stability when hovering. There is no lag between the controller and the drone.

When you land the drone, you will notice that the drone hovers over the landing spot, goes back up a bit, and then touches down. What it is doing is giving its onboard sensors a better measurement of its altitude before it touches down.

Yuneec Q500 Review Summary

Overall, this drone is a solid investment and offers affordable and profession aerial photo capabilities at a very attractive price point. This is perfect for those who want to capture smooth aerial videos and high quality pictures. The HD camera provides stunningly smooth high quality video with rich vibrant color and detail.

Thank you for reading our Yuneec Q500 review. Below you will see two other quadcopters that we feel are comparable to the Hubsan X4. Have a look.

References

  1. Yuneec Quadcopters

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