We were quick to get our hands on the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K drone when it launched this summer. A field test, however, yields more than a product announcement, but insight on where it stands in a rapidly developing consumer market. We’ve taken the Typhoon out on multiple occasions, familiarized ourselves with the way it operates—and captured a series of 4K video and 12MP images (presented here without any editing) that demonstrate its versatility. This high flyer carries a Three-Axis Gimbal CGO3 4K camera and sees through a 115-degree distortion-free wide angle lens, but the main takeaway here is that while drones aren’t for everyone, and should be used cautiously, this is one anyone can operate.
The drone responds quickly and accurately to direction, and its controls are easy to adapt to, though we found that does mean piloting it while looking at what it sees, via the touch screen controller with monitor, as opposed to watching it in the air. Rising, dropping and moving laterally happen in responsive, predictable manner. And activating video or snapping a quick picture happens with the touch of a button. This imagery can be streamed directly to a smartphone, though it’s a better, safer experience to use the screen on the Ground Station controller. The drone’s camera itself can also store up to 64GB of footage and stills (on a micro SD card).
The drone itself easy to transport, though its carrying case weighs in at much more. Fortunately, assembling the parts is easy, and from then forward it can be transported in any way deemed safe when it’s not up in the air. One final feature worth mentioning: the propellers are fragile and can chip with accidental contact to many things while it is flying (which, should never happen if you’re flying safely, but may happen if you’re just learning the ropes, as we were). They’re very cheap to replace, however, and ultimately, this propeller feature actually protects the motor from receiving any damage during an accidental encounter.
While it’s an advanced piece of technology, there’s an ease of use from start to finish. It also manages to be fun, all while offering a bird’s eye view for collecting new angles and perspectives for photo and video. The Typhoon Q500 4K system is available through Dronefly online for $1299.
Images by Cool Hunting