There are many quadcopters in the market today, with at least six manufacturers providing a high-quality product that stands out from the rest. There are certainly many types, but often they are clones or copies of the big name brand manufacturers. While UDI, Cheerson, Syma, Parrot, Nine Eagles, DJI, and Walkera are some of the more popular choices, some utilize quadcopters with GPS technology to increase their functionality.
The best Quadcopters with GPS works through a WiFi signal that connects the radio controller to the quadcopter. Many of these quads will operate just fine with the RC controller, but the pilot will not be able to take full advantage of the GPS features which require communication with a satellite. A smart phone or tablet takes the functions of the RC controller and becomes the controller.
These are run with an app, and may show live streaming video, or offer the pilot an option to select the flight path based on a GPS map. It’s not surprising that you’re going to have to pay a bit more to have these extra features.
Should I Buy a Quadcopter with GPS Drone?
Many people who have been searching around for a drone may wonder if they need quadcopters with GPS. There can certainly be some benefits when hunting around for the best quadcopters with GPS, rather than one that doesn’t. Since not all quadcopters have GPS, there can be a few notable differences.
Most quadcopters with GPS rely on radio control technology to enable communication between quadcopter and radio controller. But if there is no radio controller in the box, you may need to download an app to your smart phone or smart device. This will enable you to fly your quad with the aid of the app, and to also watch live streaming video.
There are some quads that can run with both an RC controller, and an app. Others will allow the smart device to be hooked up to the end of the radio controller, which will then allow you to watch live streaming video on the screen, but still retain full control of the RC controller too.
Before choosing a quadcopter you’ll have to decide which you prefer. It can certainly be beneficial to take full advantage of GPS technology if you do plan on filming aerial footage out in the mountains, or wilderness, as you don’t need to worry about carrying an additional piece of equipment in your backpack.
What Is GPS Technology?
GPS technology is used to help connect the quadcopter with the RC controller, or to a smart device. GPS stands for: Global Positioning System. Not all quads this technology. WiFi is required to provide that connection between units, while GPS is a wireless communication service with a satellite that provides exact coordinates.
Within smart phone that runs the app will be a GPS receiver. This receiver must lock onto the signal of at least three different satellites that circle the earth. This enables is to calculate the latitude and longitude of the drone. If it can connect to four satellites, the receiver can calculate latitude, longitude, and altitude.
This is beneficial when flying a quadcopter out in the wilderness. The RC controller can make note of its exact positioning. This is where other features can come into play. A return to home function will enable the quad to find its way back to the beginning. The pilot may also be able to plot out the quadcopter’s path in advance on a map, so that it flies around in a predetermined path.
How to Find Best Quadcopter with GPS and Camera
Many quadcopters with GPS are considered premium quadcopters, or at a higher cost than ones that don’t have quadcopter camera GPS. Many GPS quadcopters also have cameras too, increasing their functionality. In fact, it can improve video footage to be able to plot out a flight path in advance.
It can also be beneficial to have the return to home function, so that you don’t lose your quadcopter while it’s out filming some great footage. This is why GPS and camera do go together. There often is no point in buying one without the other.
To begin, you’ll want to have a look around local stores for quadcopters with GPS. This will give you a good idea as to what they look like. You also get to see the details on the packaging, which may not be possible when searching online. After you’ve done this, you can begin your online search. You can check the reviews to see what others are saying. Check and see if the manufacturer provides a warranty, or a guarantee, and if it’s simple to return a defective product. By now you’ll have a good indication of what exactly you’re searching for.
Nine Eagles Galaxy Visitor 3
Nine Eagles Galaxy Visitor 3 may be new to people who love their DJI, Parrot, or UDI quads. This quad comes in a white upper casing, with lower black casing, short landing feet, and landing legs. It has a GPS auto-return, and camera.
The pricing is around $150, making it a worthwhile look. The Nine Eagles Galaxy Visitor 3 has a headless flying mode which makes it easier for beginners to learn. Once you’ve mastered flying, you can begin to film video. The auto return function also makes it simple to return your quad without worrying about losing it.
There is an altitude hold setting which is perfect for capturing some great shots such as moving waterfalls, or birds in flight. There is also a brake function should you feel you are losing control of it. There is an altitude sensor, and signal loss protection. The camera is a two megapixel HD camera.
It takes seventy minutes to charge up and has fifteen to twenty minutes of flight and recording time. It also comes with card reader and two gigabyte card so you don’t have to worry about buying them.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional
The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is a premium model of quadcopter that comes with a high definition camera and utilizes GPS technology. It has a sleek white case with gold stripes, and white propellers. There are two long landing legs on either side of the quad to protect the camera.
This quad is priced at $800, but the pro camera makes it worth the cost, considering that a good digital or video camera is going to cost half that anyway. The camera is 4K UHD 720 pm.
To utilize GPS technology, the user must download an app that works on their smart phone or device. They can then watch live streaming video on their screen, as well as choose from a variety of settings. Usually when one takes advantage of GPS technology, one gives up the option of the separate RC controller, as the smart device is the one who communicates with the satellites.
The DJI Phantom 3 Professional utilizes two different positioning modules, GPS and GLONASS dual positioning modules. GLONASS is like GPS, but it’s the Russian GPS system. This ensure that no matter where your quad is in the world, it can benefit from GPS technology.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is another quadcopter that has an HD camera and utilizes GPS technology. It has a black body with four black arms or legs arranged in an X pattern. There are four red propellers. The price is reasonable, at around $300.
What’s notable about the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is that it comes with circular black blade guards that are quite similar to the UDI models. At first glance you may think it’s a UDI, until you look more closely. This drone can be updated so that it meets the latest FAA requirements. It can follow these requirements through its GPS technology—thus avoiding prohibited airspace for government, military, etc. It works with the Freeflight 2.0 app, which is always free to download or update.
You can operate this quad through its intuitive smart phone or tablet control system. It can be flown indoors or out, and has an automatic stabilization system which will help you to record the best live streaming HD video. It also has thirty-six minutes of flight time, quite impressive for a drone at this price point. You can fly the Parrot out to a distance of fifty meters.
You may be surprised to learn that Cheerson CX20 makes a GPS quadcopter too. Most people know them by their line of micro quadcopters. The Cheerson CX20 comes in a shiny white case with red stripe, two long white landing legs and black and white rotors. This model costs about $270. It has black windows to represent a cockpit, for those who appreciate a drone that looks more like a toy.
The quad runs at a 2.4G ISM frequency, providing an effective control distance of up to three hundred meters, in the best flight environment. It’s also built with anti-interference so other drones on the field won’t affect or be affected by it. The flight system is an integrated MX GPS auto pilot system.
Cheerson CX20 has attitude and altitude control settings enabling pilots to switch between modes. The IOC also enables intelligent flight control. The LED lights are high intensity and will help with orientation during flights. One charge will give you fifteen minutes of flight time. You will still need to connect an app or computer in order to experience the full benefits of the GPS feature.
Walkera Runner 250 Advance
The Walkera Runner 250 Advance is an unusual looking drone that on first glance doesn’t appear it will get in the air. It has four propellers and is in black and red material. Each component appears to be connected to a frame, but like a home build would look. This costs about $450 but does have a 1080 p camera and utilizes GPS technology.
Walkera Runner 250 Advance has three different antenna, which is necessary for its navigation. Other notable items are four landing legs, and a variety of onboard equipment. It’s made from CFP material for the main body. It has 5.8G real-time video streaming and an OSD function. In order to take full advantage of its GPS function, you will need to add a WiFi converter and use an app.
There is a dual GPS module. It can be held in a holding pattern, as well as return to home on the press of a button. This quadcopter can fly at ultra fast speeds despite its look, to thirty-five to forty kilometers per hour. It can reach a distance of 1000 meters from the controller. It takes two hours to charge up, but only provides about eleven to twelve minutes of flight time, perhaps due to its speed.
GPS is beneficial for the professional photographer or videographer who offers photography or videography services to their clients. It means that your quadcopter will be designed for professionals, and also eliminates the need to take bulky RC controllers out into the wilderness, or have to carry more equipment up a mountain range or waterfall path.
There may be many more uses that you’ll discover when you purchase a quadcopter with GPS. They may be a bit more tricky to learn to use, but often there are tutorial videos and manuals online. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t find one in English, often many quadcopter forums will provide links, as someone, somewhere, will have provided a translation, or their own instructional videos. Check out Youtube too, there are plenty of great videos online that will teach you how to fly nearly every type of quadcopter available.
There are at least five great quadcopters to choose from, but you’ll find many more as your begin your online search. Do read product literature carefully, to ensure that it does what your intentions want.
No matter which GPS quadcopter you’re chosen, you’re sure to have fun engaging in this fun and wonderful hobby. Who knows where it may lead you—perhaps to your own quadcopter filming or photography business?
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Originally posted 2016-05-17 16:23:45.