DJI Phantom Quadcopter for GoPro Cameras

The latest buzz (no pun intended) for Flying GoPro cameras is the new DJI Phantom Quadcopter designed specifically to mount the GoPro Hero cameras. Unlike the more complicated copter systems out there, the DJI Phantom comes in a fully assembled complete kit (found here) where you just need to mount your GoPro (or other light cameras) and you are literally ready to start flying.

phantom_overview
find-price-button DJI Phantom GoPro Quadcopter Kit GPS + NAZA-M - Ready to Fly

Even though it looks like a toy, it's a pretty advanced little copter. Check out a few highlights about the new DJI Phantom GoPro QuadCopter:

Phantom has an integrated flight dynamics system, the Naza-M + GPS multi-rotor autopilot system, as well as the dedicated remote controller and receiver. The proven stability of the Naza-M autopilot system allows you to easily achieve great flight performance.

With the built-in Naza-M autopilot system plus a GPS module, the Phantom has GPS Attitude and Attitude Control Mode. Pilots can switch between the two modes to achieve a particular flight experience.

Phantom also has the Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) function of the Naza-M autopilot system.

Phantom also has the failsafe function of the Naza-M autopilot system. This means when the communication between the Main Controller and the transmitter is disconnected, the outputs of all command sticks from controller will go to the center position. If the GPS signal is good enough, the system will automatically trigger Return To Home and landing safely.


DJI Phantom GoPro Hero3 Flight

The DJI Phantom Quadcopter was announced several weeks ago, but only on a Pre-Order status. They are now showing In Stock status ready to ship. You can find additional photos, videos, and specifications following the link via eBay (click here).

GoPro DJI Phantom Quadcopter DJI QuadCopter
find-price-button DJI Phantom GoPro Quadcopter Kit GPS + NAZA-M - eBay

The DJI Phantom Quadcopter Ready-to-Fly kits are also available via Amazon (click here)

DJI Phantom QuadCopter GoPro Hero Flight
find-price-button DJI Phantom QuadCopter for GoPro Video Cameras - Amazon

Don't forget that the latest GoPro Hero3 (white, silver, and black editions) are smaller, lighter, offers more features, and higher video quality than previous GoPro cameras. Should be a killer match up with the DJI Phantom. You can get more information about GoPro's latest Hero3 from the official Official GoPro® Store.

GoPro Hero3 Black EditionBuy GoPro HERO Camera at GoPro.com
find-price-button GoPro Hero3 Black, Silver, and White Editions

DJI Phantom Quadcopters Currently on eBay



 58 Comments





58 thoughts on “DJI Phantom Quadcopter for GoPro Cameras

  1. Tony Lee

    Great video Kaz! It seems the RX100 camera was really well stabilized during flight. Didn't see any jello effects either, I wonder if it's because the Rx100 isnt as wide angle as the gopro is

  2. @emm @steve my S800/Zenmuse combo said and done has run me well over $20k... $3000 won't even buy the gimbal. The phantom is great for novice flyers to get enough experience to step up later. It runs the dji naza controller for stabilization, the same I run on my F550 and it's pretty stable. Again I think the phantom is a great starter as anything else would likely run over $2000 with radio gear and accessories.

  3. pops

    @Kaz - Thanks for the response. I know you're right... it's a case of you pay for what you get. With that said, I'm not shooting motion pictures. If I can get a 10-20 second clip here and there then I'll be content "I think".

    Please post a link of yours in flight with the RX100. I'm very interested to see how you've rigged it etc. Vibration mount?

  4. Kaz

    @pops I just got my Graupner props but I need to bore them out and balance them - I haven't done anything to my Phantom except add a vibration mount for my camera and added some foam tubing on the bottom legs to get more vertical height since the RX100 is a bit tall for the unit. The Phantom is tiny, when you take off the props the thing can fit in a backpack. I'll take some video tonight with the stock props and the RX100. I'd echo what was said earlier in the thread it's great for getting some shots - it's nothing though like what the huge spider drones with 3axis gimbals can do. But for what I need it's perfect, will be looking to get a larger unit but I like this one too for just taking hiking or something.

  5. pops

    @Kaz - I would love to see the footage. Have you balance the props or any other kind of tweak prior to flying?

  6. Derrick (formerly Diesel)

    @AR...The Foundry makes a pretty good Rolling Shutter remover aptly named...ROLLING SHUTTER.

  7. Kaz

    Just writing to confirm with everyone that the Phantom can carry the Sony RX100. Flew great today, just the props work pretty hard and battery life is less than flying the GoPro. I think I got about 4 minutes of flight time with the RX100.

    Looking at footage right now...

  8. @AR - There are a number of factors to that, most important is a fairly smooth flying copter (I balanced all the prop blades and hubs which helped a ton). I also have a floating isolation plate between the copter and gimbal, the gimbal stabilizes on 2 axis (pitch and roll) which helps keep the camera level when flying around, and the camera itself has a fairly decent stabilized lens - though all of that was defeated slight on that day due to 30mph - 40mph winds. So finally on a number of the clips I also used Mercalli in post to smooth things out a little more.

    I'm assuming you mean jello that is throughout the frame, caused by vibrations. From my experience that kind of jello is pretty much a done deal, I haven't seen any stabilization or other software that can remove it. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but if it does I haven't found it.

    If you mean the less intrusive rolling shutter effect caused by quickly panning (which causes things to sway / not look straight), there are some filters that will help reduce (sometimes remove) that effect. Mercalli actually does this, I think other video stabilization programs do too. How well it works depends on how bad the rolling shutter effects are.

  9. We just got our Phantom's today. Below is a link for the unbox and test video.

    No post stabilization was added and we didn't spend a lot of time tuning the GoPro mount but with a little dampening for the low frequency vibs, the GoPro HD3 should be able to get decent image acquisition. http://youtu.be/wAdLYCOLzYE

  10. pops

    @sKiZZiT - you are correct. I like many have been looking for a flyer for a while. I tried the first generation AR Drone and found it to be very unrealistic to use outdoors. Gen 2 I'm sure is much better. However, It left such a bad taste in my mouth I swore off dealing with parrot. Anyway, when building your own it really is a process imo.

    If this is anything close to what's marketed... it will be a winner. I simply don't have the time or patience to evaluate what parts, modules, controllers etc. If this thing will carry a gopro and be remotely stable I'm sold. Since I will use it for very basic aerial footage. It will just be another tool in the tool kit.

  11. sKiZZiT

    Isn't this too expensive? For $700, I can get a Gaui 330X + Futaba remote, but of course, the 330X is not assembled, more difficult to fly... Still?

  12. Steve

    @ marklondon - you make me laugh, I am probably running the fastest computer in this blog and yes I still hate rendering footage that is nonsense footage that you would not have to render if you do it right in the first place. Why try to post fix a problem on crap footage when you can get the right tools for the job and do it right the first time. I guess if your only having to render out a 5 second clip then your fine but when you have tons of footage that your going to use for a project then that takes time. Stop being so cheap and get the real deal.

  13. kaz

    @Emm oh and...like it's almost indestructible. I've crashed in spectacular fashion over and over and it just keeps on ticking, again great way to learn control. It has hit lights stands, cement walls, fell from 30 feet up, etc. Also one thing I didn't figure out until later, once you throw the battery in the unit place it on a level surface as it synchronizes (lights will flash quickly), otherwise it will fly off balance. Bought some extra batteries on eBay -

  14. Those videos do look very good Chris, probably about as good as can be expected from any copter without a stabilized gimbal.

  15. MN

    Looks like Chris is better at PR than Phantom's own folks.

    Regardless, I could see employing this device (on a calm day) to do a quick overhead sweep for a commercial or sports promo. A shot that only had to last a second or two rather than a minute.

    It would be a nice tool for a specific task.

  16. kaz

    btw I got this cheap quad from Amazon to learn flight controls and it's pretty amazing for the price of a dinner. It doesn't have Naza or GPS or anything so it's been good for me to learn on - after getting past hovering nose in and all directions banking and turning has been fun to learn. Highly suggest anyone new getting the Phantom or 450/550 to get one of these to learn control with. $35!
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00906PKQ4

  17. chris

    here is the phantom with the GoPro 3. Shot without any stabilization:

    I'm wondering if this quad could lift the SOny RX100?

  18. Derrick (formerly Diesel)

    I'm pretty into the multicopters. Still learning and getting my skills up.

    The S800 is one of the "top shelf" ones out there right now but there's also the Cinestar 6 & 8, Droidworx and more. The S800 is specifcally designed for the NEX series and Pana GH2 cams when using the Zenmuse but other gimbals can be attached...you're getting into DIY'ing a bit at that point since it's "made for" the Zenmuse and above mentioned cams but I've seen it with Photohigher and other high end gimbals attached.

    I've seen really good footage come from all sorts of builds and from the GoPro to the Red Epic and even Sony FS series cams (sick slo mo stuff! http://vimeo.com/45762381). It's about careful planning and most importantly having the skillset and, last but not least, using whichever camera in the environment that it shines best in. The GoPro can produce acceptable results even indoors in something like a well lit car dealership (http://vimeo.com/18716510)...but again, skillset.

    It can take an immense amount of practice and cash (for rebuilds/repairs, because you WILL crash during the learning process and perhaps even once you're competent at flying). The latter brings about the whole issue of insurance and legality which an entire blog could be devoted to the latter. Right now...it is illegal on ANY LEVEL to operate a multi for commercial purposes (in the US) for all but the select few who obtained the certification before this hobby turned commercial opportunity started to unfold. Some countries are more open and some employ tight restrictions. In the very near future the FAA will be finalizing requirements to commercial exist and share US airspace. I'm really interested in seeing what the criteria will be as many in the hobby are who want to take it into a profession. I have a feeling...just a feeling that it will take a certain "class" of multi to fly professionally. I don't think the "off the kitchen table diy build" is gonna "fly", pardon the pun, with the FAA regs....but who knows, maybe?

    A good and safe to start is right in the box, literally. If you have a transmitter you can INITIALLY train in your computer with http://www.aerosimrc.com/j/. It's a great way to familiarize yourself with the feel without jeopardizing money or safety. The software even has training sims to test your reflexes and get you accustomed to reacting to small circumstances...it's usually by telling you to throttle within a certain "space" designated by arrows, or by telling you to fly in one direction or the other with the copter pointing away and toward you which reverses your stick inputs. As you progress there are obstacle courses you can fly through. It's the best way to see if you have the chops to do aerial flying because everyone isn't cut out for it quite frankly.

    @kaz...try this...http://www.ecalc.ch/xcoptercalc_e.htm. As you're aware, there are equations that define what motors, batteries, props combinations are best for ideal flying situations and flight time lengths, payload/copter weights etc. I'm still figuring much of that out as well, lol. It's an electronics thing. The Graupners are great props...a bit more expensive but the quality is why. Some peeps fly with XOAR wooden props also which take flexing out of the equation and are thus more consistent with proving thrust.

  19. D.B. Cooper

    >you’re not literally ready to fly, you need to learn how to safelu operate copters first. These toy can kill, don’t forget.

    I do not recommend the add-on napalm or cluster bomb packages. They are a bit dangerous, but moreover the extra payload reduces fly-time.

  20. This is a good AP starter copter. The DJI Flamewheel 550 with a decent gimbal would be the next logical step. After the F550 then there are a bunch of options and the price jumps exponentially. The camera gimbal is always the weakest link in AP. Without a good gimbal AND gimbal controller, images suffer regardless of the AP platform you are flying.

  21. @emm seems like this camera is more then usable for shots specailly with the hero 3 @60fps for aerial shots using protune even this night shot doesn't seem bad http://youtu.be/hTrZRAwB7IA they were just testing it but seem like with some prep better camera and slow motion it could be perfect and good or travel too u could pretty much shoot any where in and out in a flash. Yes i am looking into one to carry a red epic but this will be first im sure and u could use the wifi and a video monitor right...

  22. @kaz, I can't find exactly what size the Phantom props are but would guess for a 350mm quad they are either 8x5 or 9x5.

    In regards to batteries, that can get complicated! Basically a higher Mah rating will give you a longer flight time (but with diminishing returns, as a higher Mah rating means a larger & heavier battery), and in the case of the Phantom you might be limited on how large a battery will fit inside of it. The C rating for a battery basically tells you how much current it can deliver during use (I think in more technical terms it is a measure of how much the voltage will drop under a given load, but I'm not that technically inclined). For a quad with smaller motors 35C should be plenty, I've flown with as low as a 20c battery on my smaller quad and it worked ok, though my low battery alarm would go off if I give it a large burst of throttle. I generally try to stick with no less than 30c batteries, and prefer 40c for my large hexa.

    I would suggest waiting until you have the Phantom before buying larger batteries, there might not be a lot of extra room for them...or there might be plenty. It's impossible to tell from the photos I've seen of it.

  23. marklondon

    Wow that @steve is quite the moron. Long renders? No post stabilization? Are you posting from 2009?

    Anyway, I will be ordering this product TODAY for my G3. I only need copter shots about once a month, and here in LA wind is not often a major issue. I've worked with a ton of different copter products and have been looking for a decent cheap quad.

    Cheers Emm.

  24. DJI makes some high end stuff and some entry level stuff, this looks like somewhere in between. The price actually looks ok for a complete kit, though for the same amount of money you could get at least as good if not a better quad with a much better transmitter / receiver that would also work with any future copters (or planes) that you might want to build / buy. The transmitter included with this kit looks pretty limited, and the receiver probably won't work with any other transmitters, so if you ever buy / build another copter or plane you will probably have to buy another transmitter and receiver as well.

    As for it's aerial video abilities I would consider it a fun flyer that lets you record your flights, not really for use for doing high quality work. I'm sure you could get some usable video out of it but as the preview videos seem to (inadvertently) highlight, it will probably be very short clips that look good with a lot of not so good footage. If you just want to record your wild flying adventures, or if you are going to just shoot aerial photos then this would work fine since that doesn't require a really smooth flying copter. But for for really nice video footage you will need a smooth flying, stable copter and while not exactly required, a 2 axis stabilized gimbal is highly recommended.

    Emm (or anyone else for that matter), if you are seriously considering getting into aerial video with a multi rotor, skip this kit and build your own large quad or hexa copter (I recommend a hexa). I tried doing it the cheap route, starting with a small ready to fly quad that cost me $450 (not including transmitter & receiver, which I already had) and like this one it could also only handle a GoPro. It flew fine but just couldn't deliver the aerial video I wanted. I then went through too much time and money trying to buy or build an inexpensive copter and gimbal that would work but still couldn't get the results I wanted. After a year of that I finally found a couple of good quality kits from one place that worked very well, and while not exactly cheap, I wish I had bought this setup from the start and saved myself a year of utter frustration (and all the money I spent on the other stuff!). I haven't added up everything (I really don't want to know!) but figure I have spent over $4000 on copter and gimbal parts since I started, and just today I created a parts / price list for my current setup which came out to $1915 (before tax / shipping). So if I had just spent the money up front and done it right, I would have saved over $2000 compared to trying to do it the cheap "RTF" route that I took initially. That parts / price list and my build log can be viewed at http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1765407#post23198860.

    There is still some effort involved in putting everything together since everything I bought came as unassembled kits, but the advantage to that is that you also really get to know your copter and how it works, making adjustments and repairs easier to do. Plus now I know how to build my own small inexpensive quads for fun flying, capable of carrying a GoPro, and many of the components I have can be shared across different copters.

  25. kaz

    @Steve (and anyone else how knows) I preordered the Phantom for some quick shots...been practicing on a cheap quad for control in the meantime. I am wanting to get some extra rotors and read that the Graupner Electro ones would be great to replace to stock ones with, how do I size them for the 350 chassis? 8x50? and batteries? don't quite understand the way it works, am I after more capacity for longer flights so the mAH go up or am I looking for a higher than 35C 3 cell? thnx for the help. I'm sure with the Naza the Phantom will be easier to control than this cheapy quad I am practicing on (though I can do figure 8's now lol)

  26. martin

    Anyone interested in shooting aerial video footage via a remote control quad, hex-copter or multirotor should research openpilot.org ...if you are good with electronics, mechanical and have good pilot skills. Build your own for your own desired payload. Parts and kits are available, but an individual is going to have to put in the money & time to build his/her own.

    BELOW = links to small copter video clips ...pretty interesting.

    Here's a demo video of the SF Bay area: click here

    Demo video in Dresden: click here

    At the beach: click here

    Nice demo of the agility of a quad copter: click here ..not sure openpilot was used for the build.

    Bikini girls and multirotor: click here

    Bikini girls & multirotor (this clip starts with the copter underwater): click here

    flying beer: click here

    surfing: click here

  27. Austin

    For the price I have seen better ones, usually regular quadacopters that have been slightly modified for DSLRs and they give amazing footage but thats because the pilot has hours of practice. I really love the arial shots and while I want to buy one I know I wont get much good footage without tons of practice.

    On the other hand if you have a specific project you might be able to find some local flyers and maybe they would be willing to fly one for you?

  28. MN

    "GoPro...is limited with dynamic range, sensor size, lens quality"

    The most common assumption most image gear consumers make: comparing irrelevant specs such as resolution --while not understanding the ones that truly make a piece of gear superior.

    That said, the GoPro is decent for certain things under certain conditions. One only need to see their PR video to understand that it can make a good picture. Problem is, you gotta know how to do that, (and have editing skills) otherwise your experience with it is only going to yield great shots as successfully as a broken clock during 24 hours...

  29. Steve

    @Steven - Well, you wont be getting 2.7K anymore since your cropping it in. seriously though who wants to apply post stabilization to footage. I know I don't have the time to wait around for long renders. If you really want to save some money then take your route but time is money so you would actually be wasting it. The S800 is the best way to go hands down and if you want to put a GoPro Hero3 on there then that would be fine as well. Even though the GoPro has high specs it still is limited with your dynamic range, sensor size, lens quality, etc...

  30. Steven

    @Steve - Would you lose pixels? At 2.7k don't you have some wiggle room to crop and apply some post warp stabilizer?

  31. Steve

    @ steven - If you are going to crop in to 1080 then not only are you loosing pixels but loosing a lot of your shot. Most of the time when shooting Ariel's you want to be on a wide lens. Your not going to make the video look any smoother by just cropping in on it either. I would never use a GoPro for this anyhow. I would shoot it with the Sony NEX-7 camera.

  32. Steve

    @ arturo sanchez - To get everything you need you would be looking at around 7 to 8 G. That is not a bad investment if your looking into offering this as a service to people. You can make that back just from a few jobs so it would be well worth the investment. Do what I am doing and go half with a friend then it wont be that expensive. Insurance and permits are another expense you would have to look at as well.

  33. theo

    the sony actioncam stabilization is only offered in the narrow field of view option (120 degrees, not 170) & the image is a little degraded, so sounds like it's just like using the smoothcam filter in finalcut.... i'm thinking a hero w/ protune & stabilized in post would look better than the sony w/ stabilization on....

  34. Steven

    @Emm & Steve - Doesn't the new gopro (back) have the ability to shoot 2.7k video? Can't you just fly the thing and then crop to 1080? If the hero3 Black has less jello effect, would that be usable? Just thinking out loud here.

  35. I have been eyeing on this unit for a while but dare not take the risk of the shaky footage. The S800 and Zenmuse catch my eye long time ago but it is USD 7k for complete set and fine-tuned for Ready-To-Fly package from most sellers. It is again, as @Emm mentioned, too expensive for my blood right now.

  36. Emm

    Post author

    @Steve - The S800 looks pretty good to mount up better cameras, but i'm guessing it would be closer to $3k at final assembly. Too rich for my blood at this time, but looks great.

  37. Emm

    Post author

    @Sam - I agree the Promo should have shown some video footage, but there are slowly some examples showing up online. Looks pretty good. I'm betting that the mounting can be improved to dampen the vibration from unbalanced rotors to prevent the jello effect on cameras without IS. I may even try to tackle this project to see what results I can get with a better mount and camera with image stabilization.

  38. arturo sanchez

    Hello Steve,
    Such an amazing system the s800+ dji zenmuse z15!
    How much would cost a complete package?

  39. Sam

    It's a little alarming when their own promo video doesn't feature more than a couple of seconds video (and that was from outside the unit, everything else was stills), and even the second video only showed a couple of seconds from onboard (which clearly showed the jello effect). Hero3 may help, but if the vibration is there, shaking that sensor, that can never change...

  40. Steve

    I forgot to mention you will also need to add the DJI Zenmuse Z15n to the S800 for an amazing result it control and stability. Will probably cost about 8G once you have all the parts you need though so kinda pricy but will pay itself off after a few jobs.

  41. Funny how their whole promo doesn't actually show any real footage of how it looks like in flight... hmm

    Skeptical. Seems like a toy to me.

  42. Steve

    @Emm - I was not really referring to the jello effect. I was speaking about the wobbling back and forth from the choppers movements. It needs some sort of stabilization. If you want a a great chopper for aerial work then I would recommend the DJI S800 found here.

    http://www.dji-innovations.com/products/spreading-wings-s800/overview/

    I am planning on getting this one for my Sony NEX7 camera. After watching footage from the S800 I was really impressed. This is what I would recommend for professional workload.

  43. Roberto

    you're not literally ready to fly, you need to learn how to safelu operate copters first. These toy can kill, don't forget.

  44. Emm

    Post author

    @Steve - The hero2 suffers from jello shots more than the hero3. Aside from that Sony's action cam has image stabilization which i think would work in this unit also. There is not much footage out there yet on this unit, but one user has something on YouTube that seems very stable with a GoPro.

  45. Steve

    I would not waist my money on this since all the footage is going to look like crap. Look at how unstable and shaky the footage is. Totally unusable so you could not do anything on the professional side with this at all. So it really is a toy.

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