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Game of drones

Joan Ng
Joan Ng • 3 min read
Game of drones
These top-of-the-line flying machines make excellent weekend toys.
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These top-of-the-line flying machines make excellent weekend toys.

Shenzhen-based DJI makes more small-scale drones than any other manufacturer, and the Phantom series is among the world’s bestselling consumer drones. The Phantom 4 Pro boasts a powerful camera for professional photo and video creators, with a one-inch 20-megapixel sensor and almost 12 stops of dynamic range. Its intelligent flight mode allows operators to draw lines on the controller display and direct the drone to fly that route. And an Active Track feature can recognise people and bikes, following them from any angle while maintaining camera focus.

Small and foldable, the Karma drone is designed to fit in a small backpack. In fact, it comes with a lightweight, compact case. The controller looks like a handheld game and has two joysticks and a touch display. You can mount a GoPro camera on the Karma and control both with the controller. GoPro claims the controller is so easy to use that even if you have never flown before, you can easily control the Karma and your GoPro at the same time. If you like, though, you can also pair the GoPro with the GoPro Passenger App. This app lets friends view your flight and control the GoPro while you fly the drone.

The Bebop 2 is a sturdy and reliable drone, weighing less than 500g and with a 25-minute battery life. The Skycontroller 2, used to control the drone, does not have a screen. But Parrot has created an immersive drone flying experience with the Parrot Bebop 2 FPV. This pack combines the Parrot Bebop 2 drone, the Parrot Skycontroller 2 and the Parrot Cockpitglasses. Fit the Cockpit glasses over your head to view the world from your drone’s vantage point. There is also a Follow Me feature that uses visual recognition technology and the GPS tracking system on your smartphone to allow the drone to film you autonomously.

Typhoon H boasts capabilities previously only found in high-end professional offerings, but at a consumer price. Flight duration is up to 25 minutes while filming with the CGO3+ 4K UHD camera. This camera shoots 4K ultra high definition video and has an unlimited 360- degree range of motion and a 115-degree field of view. Use the Android-powered ST16 Ground Station, a controlling device with a seven-inch touch screen, to display live footage of your flight in HD 720p resolution. Yuneec also offers a second controller called Wizard. It can be used to control the Typhoon H, leaving the camera operator free to focus use of the ST16 on capturing images and videos.

This article appeared in Issue 775 (April 17) of The Edge Singapore.

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