Yuneec’s Q500 4K Typhoon is a popular, ready to fly aerial camera drone system designed for high-quality aerial photography and film making. It’s perfect for amateur film makers and for professionals who are happy with the included camera and software.
The Q500 is also a better value than its closest competitor, the Phantom 2 Vision+.
Some say it’s better than the Phantom. It is larger and feels more sturdy, that’s for sure.
This makes sense, because Yuneec is a major aviation manufacturer in China.
Yuneec designs and manufactures a wide range of aircraft for military and commercial applications. They also supply some of the components in Blade drones.
Like the Phantom 2 Vision+, the Q500 is equipped with a 4K/1080p camera, a 3-axis gimbal and a 2.4 GHz transmitter with separate 5.8 GHz live video streaming channel.
The 4K CG03 camera and gimbal in the Q500 are the same as the ones used on the Blade 350 QX3 Quadcopter Camera Drone .
The Typhoon is shipped with the ST10 Personal Ground Station, an RC controller that combines traditional joystick controls with a built-in Android 4.5″ touchscreen that provides live telemetry data and live FPV video streaming from the camera.
It’s not the largest screen, but it’s perfectly usable – and you don’t need to worry about charging a separate device.
Another useful feature is the always-home arrow, a directional marker that remains superimposed on the screen that points in the direction you need to fly in order to get your Q500 back home.
Video and stills are captured in HD on the included 64 GB microSD card, while lower-quality video is streamed to the Ground Station.
Optionally, you can control the Q500 and view the camera image on your personal mobile device using the free CGO2 app available on Google Play and iTunes.
The Q500 4K Typhoon makes it easy to safely graduate from beginner to advanced operator using three distinct operating modes (all require proper GPS calibration):
- Smart Mode. For beginners and training. Smart mode sets a GPS-defined 26 foot safe circle around the pilot where the Q500 cannot fly. The craft also cannot fly outside of a radius of 300 feet, which prevents fly-aways and damage while you’re learning. Flight controls are simplified so the Typhoon will always move in the direction the stick is pressed, regardless of where its nose is pointing.
- Angle Mode This mode is optimized for experienced pilots using the Q500 for aerial photography. It provides more control and steeper bank and pitch angles, helping open your work up to a greater variety of possible shots. In this mode, the Q500 will hold altitude and position if you don’t touch the sticks – which is a nice safety feature.
- Home Mode By flicking a switch on the controller, the Q500 Typhoon will return and land within 10 feet of its original take off location (not the current location of the operator). If the transmitter signal is lost, Home Mode will automatically kick-in, returning the craft to its launch position until signal is restored or the aircraft lands.
The Q500 also provides a GPS-guided Follow Me camera mode.
Finally, Yuneec offers a really cool and unique way to control your drone mid-flight, called the the Typhoon Wizard ($200). It’s a simplified flight controller that allows users to pilot Yuneec Typhoon drones using simple “point-to-fly” commands executed with one hand. Instead of using both of your thumbs to control the aircraft’s position, you just point the Wizard stick in the direction you’d like the drone to fly.
If you don’t have a single hand to use, the Wizard controller enables a few hands-free flight modes including:
- Watch Me, where the drone remains still and pivots the camera to follow you
- Follow Me, where the Typhoon follows you on the move, for chase scenes
- Return to Home
The Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon camera drone is a great value and is perfect for first-time film makers who want to dive right into filming 4K/1080p video without having to tinker too much. It ships with plenty of spares, too.
Note: If you’re looking for even more advanced camera modes than “Follow-Me”, then take a look at the 3DR Solo Quadcopter.
- Capture Up to 4K / 1080p 120 Video
- Integrated 3-axis precision gimbal
- ST10 Personal Ground Station integrates flight controls and video streaming with on-screen telemetry into a 4.5″ touchscreen
- Handheld SteadyGrip for capturing video footage
- User controlled video resolution, white balance and light exposure
- 2.4 GHz flight control
- 5.8 GHz video streaming
- Follow-Me mode
- Safe Mode prevents aircraft from flying into operator
- Return Home and Auto-Return Home
- 2 batteries
- 2 sets of propellers
- Hard case for transport
- adjustable flight ceiling
- 20+ minute flight time
- 1-2 km range
Features We Like
- Maximum flight altitude can be locked to keep the drone below 400′ AGL
- Safe Mode is a really smart way to train new operators
- Great value
- Complete and ready-to-fly
- Works with any Android or Apple device
- Proven and reliable
- Follow-Me Mode
- Return Home
- Auto Return Home if signal is lost