By Bob Hammell
Remote control quadcopters are really enjoyable and you can have a fun time flying them. There are smaller sized beginner quadcopters that are especially great if you are just starting out piloting them. These smaller quadcopters are much easier to control and stay balanced easier than remote control helicopters for example.
This is one of the reasons why quadcopters are becoming so popular in the field of aerial photography and cinematography, because if you mount a HD video camera on it you will get some pretty great pictures or videos. If you didn’t already realize this, a quadcopter is pretty much just a helicopter with propellers. There are also tricopters, hexacopters and octocopters but we don’t get into those. For now we will just present to you the best quadcopter for beginners assuming you are just now starting out.
The best beginner quadcopter for anyone starting out is the Parrot Bebop. It is not exactly a remote control quadcopter because you don’t fly it with the usual remote, but instead you fly it by using a mobile device such as any iPad, Android tablet, iPhone or other device that is compatible with their latest app.
The app that is used to fly Parrot’s AR Drone 2.0 is completely free so there are no hidden fees you need to pay in order to be able to fly it. The AR Drone 2.0 is also great for beginners because it has a camera pointing forward and an additional camera on the bottom. The camera on the bottom of the quadcopter primarily exists so the AR Drone 2.0 knows exactly where it is and can hold its position in hover mode. However, you can still get live feed or record flight from the bottom camera although it will be a little grainy.
The front camera on the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 has more functionality, allowing you to take pictures, record flights and get a pretty good live stream to the Android or iOS device you are using to control it. The feed can become glitch but that is almost entirely dependent upon your Wi-Fi signal strength, so you may not always want to consider flying in First Person View.
The cool thing is the pictures you snap can be uploaded directly from your phone while the drone is still in flight, as far as video goes you will need to use the 4 GB flash memory flight recorder to upload videos quickly or you will have to wait a while to upload the videos remotely. The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is a great beginner quadcopter as it is easy to repair and will only run you about $300 compared to the more technical drones that can cost around $1,000 and are more expensive to repair.
Another good beginner quadcopter that comes with a camera and is fairly inexpensive is the v959 which will cost you just under $100. Its camera is lower quality than the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 which makes sense considering its reduced price, but ironically it is the faster quadcopter. It being faster helps prevent your recorded video from being super blurry when making movements that jerk it from side to side.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to stream the video your controller and fly in First Person View, it only records. So if you want to stream in First Person View with the v959 Quadcopter you will have to purchase separate equipment and set it up yourself if you can figure out how to do that. The v959 Quadcopter also has an aesthetic appearance that is worth taking note of.
This quadcopter’s hull is designed to look like some type of spaceship or UFO and it also has two blue lights which definitely come in handy when flying in conditions with low light. The v959 Quadcopter is not as high tech when compared to the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 but it costs significantly less and is still fun to fly around.
If you are not too fond of owning a quadcopter with a camera or it isn’t particularly important to you at the moment, then another beginner quadcopter you may want to consider owning is the Syma X3 quadcopter. This quadcopter looks great and the fact that it comes ready to fly is a big plus in my book.
When hobbyists say it’s ready to fly, what that means is that there is no assembly necessary in order for you to start flying it. The only downside is that although you can fly it straight out of the box the battery will likely not be fully charged so you won’t be able to fly it for too long without putting the battery on the charger first. With the charging out of the way, the Syma X3 is a basic quadcopter that just works and is a beloved remote control aerial quadcopter.
Mini quadcopters are always great for beginner pilots and the Hubsan X4 H107L is perfect. The reason the Hubsan X4 H107L is called a mini quadcopter is because it is small enough to where it can fit in the hand of an adult. If you want a quad copter that is small enough to fly around on the indoors of your home without causing much damage to anything in the event that you have an accident, then this quadcopter is the right choice.
Ironically it also has a beginner mode you can set it to, where it will fly slower and responds more gradually and overall is just much easier to fly. On the contrary, it also has an expert mode and in this mode the quadcopter is much more nimble. Expert mode is typically used to fly in wide open fields outdoors and for a small little quadcopter, it can fly at pretty quick speeds. The Hubsan X4 can also do acrobatic flips and has a preset series of commands so that it can flip forward and backward then left and right.