After seeing an ad online for a mini quadcopter with a camera, I got an idea — I could use one to film coffee farms!
I picked up a Hubsan H107C, which is a very affordable and durable quadcopter; perfect for my first one.
The camera is mounted to the body of the copter facing forward and slightly downwards, which is unfortunate because forward movement requires forward pitch, which points the camera down at the ground on low and fast flights.
The copter comes with a 380mAh LiPo battery, which lasts about five or six minutes so I bought five extra (they cost about S$3 each) along with extra USB chargers.
They take just over an hour to charge and they do not get hot when they charge, leading me to believe the chargers charge them slowly enough to not quite kill them, though a proper charger/discharger/meter would be better.
I have had the copter for a few days now and found it is easy to learn quickly by following these guides in the following order:
About its durability…I have crashed this thing many times on different surfaces, including our tiled floor and it simply takes it.
The bumper that surrounds the props is made of a soft-ish, flexible plastic that protects the props from impacts and also absorbs shock in a crash. After flying it for a few days, I have already broken three struts on three different corners of the bumper, but I would rather have the S$4 bumper break than the S$100 copter.
I have also lost a prop, broken one, and marred many. You can certainly feel a performance change once they get too damaged, but they are cheap; S$1.25 a pair. And while the copter still flies fine with all the damage, I am beginning to see “jello shakes” in recorded videos as a result of the broken struts vibrating. I would also recommend getting white and red props to use for the first few days if you will be flying outdoors. The one prop I lost was a green one lost in the grass.
Lastly, the video quality is great, considering how much I have spent on the whole thing:
Here are some stills from a recent flight:
Stay tuned for more videos next month, after I have visited Bali again!