GoPros and Drones can be awesome fun. Capturing footage on a GoPro camera and flying the latest iteration of drone technology are both incredibly addictive.
GoPros cameras have created a new era of action footage, and coupled with drones, have transformed the remote control hobby from a pastime to a global phenomenon. So, what happens when you want to mount that robust little adventure camera on your drone or quadcopter of choice? The answer is some pretty awesome movies shot all the way up in the clouds.
With so many drones on the market it’s not always easy to know which ones are best suited to the job of aerial photography. Here are some of the best.
DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter (with Zenmuse H3-3D 3-Axis Gimbal)
If you’re looking for a drone that’s safe, robust and simple to fly, then the Phantom 2 from DJI is the onefor you. GoPro cameras aren’t cheap, so when it comes to attaching one to a flying bit of technology, you need to know that expensive camera is in safe hands. The Phantom 2 is one of the most sturdy drones you can buy on the and even comes pre-tuned so all you have to do is attach the propellers, attach the battery, mount your GoPro and your drone is ready to fly.
The 3-axis gimbal gives some really versatile camera angles, while the 25 minutes of flight time makes it the best choice for longer, outdoor-based sessions. There’s also some great safety features, including a ‘back to home’ ability that will send it flying back to safety should you lose control or have it disappear from view.
However, there is one small caveat – the Phantom 2’s custom gimbal only supports GoPro Hero models so you’ll need to have a more recent iteration of the camera to ensure its compatible with the Phantom 2.
Blade 350 QX3 RFF
The Blade 350 QX3 is all about bridging that gap between simplicity and an affordable price, and it manages to offer a sturdy little package that’s perfect for carrying lighter cameras over shorter distances. It’s compatible with most types of GoPro, so it’s gimbal is included with the drone, and it should hold your camera nice and firm while flying.
The battery only offers 15 minutes of flight time on a single charge, but its simple controls, GPS antennae for more precise movement, pre-planned flight paths and straight to home feature make up for the flight time.
3DR Solo Quadcopter
Advertised as the first true smart drone, the Solo Quadcopter from 3DR is one excellent bit of kit if you’re looking to capture footage with versatility and style. Unlike most of other drones on the market, the 3DR Solo was designed specifically for filming footage with the latest GoPro cameras, meaning every feature has been fine-tuned for aerial camerawork.
It can stream in HD direct to your phone or tablet via Wi-Fi, offering extremely crisp footage on the fly. There’s even features that enable you to lock onto a single object or person and perform fly around shots or attach your drone to a virtual cable. Being able to shoot in first-person view without having to buy any extra bits of kit, makes this drone one superb gadget.
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Power/Elite Edition Quadcopter
Versatile and lightweight, the Elite and Power Editions of the Parrot AR drone is an idea choice for GoPro users looking to shoot footage both indoors and out. It includes an impressive 36 minutes of flight time, however this will more than likely drop once you add the weight of a gimbal and GoPro camera. You can also perform 360 degree flips, meaning it’s ideal for stunt moves as well as GoPro capture.
The Parrot AR also steps away from traditional analogue controllers, opting for a bespoke application instead. Controlling your drone via the gyros in smartphone or tablet may seem a bit quirky, but it’s actually easy to use. The app, AR FreeFlight, is available on both Android and iOS and with its virtual joysticks you’ll be able to capture the perfect shot with a direct feed.
Walkera QR X350 Pro FPV
The latest drone from the Hong Kong-based manufacturer is a big upgrade from its earlier versions of the X350, giving an impressive 23 minutes of flight time and a G-2D gimbal included as standard. You can record in first person view and live stream that footage direct to the radio controller, making it perfect for shooting footage from the angles you want.
It comes pre-tuned right out of the box and has been redesigned with GoPro cameras in mind. The GoPro friendly mount which is also included in the package, enables you to get your flying device in the air in no time, without the need to re-calibrate. Walkera are really trying to compete with the DJI Phantom 2 and the 3DR Solo with the QR X350, and it’s a big upgrade on its previous efforts.
Ghost Drone Aerial 2.0
The Ghost Drone is one of the most versatile drones on the market. Just like the Parrot AR, the Ghost Drone drops the traditional analogue remote controller and goes for a live feed direct to your smartphone or tablet. It’s designed to carry relatively lightweight cameras such as the GoPro series, although some models may reduce its impressive 25 minutes of flight.
The Ghost Drone isn’t lacking on features either. There’s a special night mode that uses a series of LEDs to keep your drone visible in low light, and a track and follow mode that will enable the drone to track your movements as it follows you and your smartphone. Perfect if you want it to track some parkour sessions or a slope-based adventure on a snowboard without the need to strap your camera to a selfie stick.