|Oct 21, 2013, 12:48 AM|
Review: Hubsan X4 H107C v2 HD micro camera quad
Today I am reviewing the Hubsan X4 H107C version 2. This is a micro quad with a built-in high definition video camera. Mine came from BangGood.com, and I would like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to review this product fairly, and honestly.
NOTE: You can skip to the part labeled, "Video Capabilities" if you are familiar with Hubsan x4 quads and just want to read about the improved camera.
Arrival and unpacking:
The product arrived in the standard BG wrapper of packing tape covering foam padding. This surrounds the actual product box and provides basic protection. As with many products I receive from oversees, it had minor cosmetic damage to the product box. This is not unexpected when something travels halfway around the world. While the product on the inside was fine, just know if you intend to give this as a gift, the outer packaging may tell some tales of its travels. Also, the color of the product is randomly chosen when it is shipped to you. The style is denoted on the side by a checkmarked box.
Opening up the package, the first thing I noticed was the small size of this quad! It can easily fit in the hand, and is not much bigger than most smartphones. For its small size, it is very well constructed, and feels a lot more dense than one would imagine when first picking it up. This extra weight was not of concern when flying though, as I will explain later.
NOTE: To pack so much into such a small space, Hubsan has manufactured this quad with hard soldered parts. This means while spares are available for all parts, electronic component replacement will require soldering. This is a durable quad, and should not have many problems, but it is something to consider when purchasing.
I found the contents to be very well packaged, and neatly laid out. This product box does not have a carrying handle, opens from the top, and requires the inner packaging to be removed completely to access the quad. This makes using the original package as a carrying case not as easy as some other quadcopters, but it is not a burden either. I have found the size of the product box is small enough to fit in a standard backpack, which makes this quad extremely portable. While I have been successfully carrying mine around in its original package, I do intend on finding a smaller carrying case later.
This quadcopter comes with a very thorough instruction manual, and I would advise anyone to read through it first. However, if you decide to forgo the manual, you definitely need to read this:
It is a simple, "quick start guide." The most important thing to note on this piece of paper is the calibration technique. When you first power up the quad, you will need to reset the default calibration. Not doing so could result in unusual flight characteristics for your first flight. Again, if you read nothing else, READ THIS PAPER!
Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the instruction manual, but again, it is very well laid out and informative.
The actual working pieces in the box include the quad itself, the controller, a battery (mine was in the quad when it arrived, so look there before thinking it was left out of your package), a charging cable, and spare blades.
The charging cable attaches to a standard USB port, so you can use a computer, a USB jack in your car, or a wall outlet USB charging adapter.
NOTE: There is no wall adapter included with this quad, only the cable. Also, there is no SD card supplied.
Charging up, and first flight.
Charging the battery for this quad took about half an hour. There is a red light on the charging cord which turns on when the battery is charging, and off when it is complete.
NOTE: Please follow all safety instructions when charging LiPo batteries. Hubsan has put basic instructions on their box, and in their manual, so please read these if you have never dealt with a LiPo battery before.
Once the battery is charged, I put it into the quad, did the calibration reset suggested, and took my first quick flight. I noticed the quad seemed a little off while flying, and so I landed, checked, and found it to not be sitting with all four legs touching the ground. A quick look at the quad from the bottom revealed the problem. Hubsan has built the arms of the X4 quad to flex, and actually temporarily snap apart to dissipate the force of a crash. In my case, the quad appears to have come out of the box this way. It is easily fixed by snapping the arms back into place, and it got my quad back on the level. Unfortunately, at the time I did not think to take a picture, so I will add a shot later to better explain this.
Once fixed, and re-calibrated, the quad flew as smooth as silk, and can easily get 7 minutes of flight from a battery. The LED lights start to blink when the battery is low, but they are very hard to see from any distance. I set a timer for 6 minutes, and land when it goes off. Landing before the battery gets low is good practice, and helps extend the life of the battery.
NOTE: Buy more batteries! Believe me, one will not be enough, as you will want to keep flying this thing!
I have heard others make the statement about a quad flying like it is, "on rails." This is definitely a quad which could be said to do so. The response on this quad is amazing! There are dual rate which can be changed by pushing down on the right hand stick, and are generally set up as beginner and expert modes. YOu can change the defaults on the transmitter to suit your skill level and style. Out of the box, I found the beginner settings were great for indoors, and the expert mode worked well for sport flying outside. Expert mode also allows for flips, which can be completed with a quick back and forth of the right hand stick in the direction you want to flip. Outdoors, this little quad handles wind very well, and I had no problem flying it in very strong breezes. I do find that the beginner mode is better suited for taking video indoors and out, as it provides smoother flights, which leads to smoother videos.
If you have come to this thread with prior knowledge of Hubsan x4 quads, we are now getting to the good part. This quad has larger motors and a higher capacity 380mah battery to help offset the weight and power pull of the camera. If you have previously had an x4, this quad to me seems to have more power, even though it weighs more. It can definitely move quick, do tricks, and gain altitude as good as the regular version.
If you have an H107C with standard definition camera, this quad has improved upon that design with a 720p HD module. There appears to be no difference in this quad vs. the H107C version 1, so I would imagine when the HD board becomes available as a spare, it could be substituted in place of the standard definition board on that older model. Also, I did test, and this quad is compatible with older Hubsan x4 remotes, so if one can be purchased BNF, you could go that route.
After my first few flights, I have noticed the video from my quad is slightly blurred as the scene moves outward towards an infinite focus. The lens can be adjusted, and I should be able to refocus to get a sharper infinite depth of focus. Unfortunately, with no USB out, it will be not be as easy to do as with the 808 #16 camera.
In mid-range and closer shots, the quality of video is almost comparable to an 808 #16 camera, in my opinion. The lens is not wide-angle, but it doesn't detract from the video given the wider field of view inherent with HD shots. I know that Bangkomit on here has affixed a wide angle lens to his H107C HD with good results, so I may go that route eventually. Please see updated videos in my post section below labeled, "Videos."
NOTE: The Hubsan does not come with an SD card. I have used a SanDisk class 4 4gig card without issues
ADDITIONAL NOTE ACCIDENTALLY EXCLUDED FROM INITIAL REVIEW: Recoding is started by a button on the side of the quad. A very small internal LED will start blinking red when it is recording. Once you are finished recording, you need to push the button again, and make sure the red LED stops blinking. If you do not stop the video recording before pulling the battery, you will lose footage from that flight.
As I spend more time with this quad, I will update my thoughts and opinions in the post section below labeled, "Additional Notes." For now, my early opinion of this quad is very good! It carries on the tradition of the small, inexpensive, fun to fly quadcopters which Hubsan started with the x4. Of course, this time they have added in the additional fun of recording HD video! That is one of the biggest draws for me with this quad. A micro aerial HD video platform is something I could have only dreamed of just a few years ago!
If you are just getting into aerial video, this a great platform to start with. In beginner mode, it is very stable, and could be easily learned by someone who has never even flown before. It has also proven very durable for me just in the few days I have had it. It has bumped into walls, playground equipment, landed hard from altitude, and kept going.
If you have been flying for awhile and want a fun little quad to play around with this is a good one to get. It can certainly fly in places the bigger quads cannot, and it is literally small enough to fit in a pocket, although I would not recommend doing it often.
I have listed my pros and cons below. I should note while I listed several cons, most are only half-cons in my mind. They are things which would have been nice additions, but don't detract from the package as a whole.
For me, the only truly potential drawback and con for this quad is the need to solder replacement parts, or buy a new quad if you don't have the skills. I imagine Hubsan went this route to minimize weight and size, but other small quads manage easy disconnects. So far my x4 quads have been durable for me logging many hours of flight time, and I have no reason to believe this one will not be as well. But, all of us in the hobby know it is not IF, but WHEN a component fails.
Given my previous track record with Hubsan, and considering the price, I would still recommend this quad.
Powerful motors and battery
Spare parts are available, but electronic components will require soldering
No wall plug for charging
No SD card
A wide angle lens out of the box would have been nice
Only one battery
(additional pros added after initial review)
Handles wind VERY WELL!
(additional cons added after initial review)
Video recordings will not save if the battery is pulled before the camera is turned off.
Recording LED is small.
Again, I want to thank BangGood for giving me the opportunity to do this fair and honest review of the new Hubsan H107C upgraded HD model.
The Hubsan H107C updated version can be purchased through BangGood here:
|Oct 21, 2013, 12:57 AM|
|Oct 21, 2013, 12:58 AM|
One thing I did neglect to mention is the camera recoding is started by a button on the side of the quad. A very small internal LED will start blinking red when it is recording. Once you are finished recording, you need to push the button again, and make sure the red LED stops blinking. If you do not stop the video recording before pulling the battery, you will lose footage from that flight.
I will edit initial review to include this.
|Oct 21, 2013, 12:59 AM|
This slot is reserved for FAQ answered by the reviewer.
|Oct 21, 2013, 12:59 AM|
Hubsan H107C HD self portrait. This was a screen capture from video taken as it flew past a polished black granite wall. I thought it looked cool!
|Oct 21, 2013, 09:40 AM|
Thank you! This quad is a lot of fun, and I hope it is soon available for people to buy. There will be more video coming, believe me. Given its portability, it is inevitable.
This quad is small enough to take anywhere, and flies great. I have the v959 and v222 from WLToys, and while they are great small quads, and carry an 808 #16 camera easily, they are still sometimes a hassle to carry around. They went MOST places with me. This quad will easily fit in a backpack, and since I carry one of those nearly as frequently as most women carry a purse, it will almost certainly always be along for the ride.
I will post up a short little clip of an airplane I filmed with this quad, using it as a handheld camera. My cellphone was dead, and the plane was a giant cargo flight. I was nearer to the airport than I normally am, and wanted to get a shot of it. I pulled the quad, attached a battery, and started recording. No intention of flying even, just used as a quick video camera. I bet Hubsan never expected that from this product.
|Oct 21, 2013, 11:03 AM|
Glad you have the HD version Very good review indeed.
Hopefully you enjoy the fun as i do everyday with it.
Since now i also have H107D, i take both C and D version on my backpack everyday to my office.
|Oct 21, 2013, 11:18 AM|
Joined Sep 2010
I would say there is no big difference, just a little better. Its not worth paying 28$ more comparing to a regular 107c. Too big price difference.
|Oct 21, 2013, 11:29 AM|
Thanks for the compliment on the review. This little quad has quickly become my favorite in just a few days. Hopefully I don't kill it somehow.
|Oct 21, 2013, 11:40 AM|
For me, the HD version is very enjoyable, and the quality of video is very good. That said, there is nothing wrong with the C standard def version. I have that one as well, and it gives good enough video for most things. Having flown around an 808 #16 though, I have come to enjoy HD aerial video.
As I said in my review, when the HD camera becomes available as a spare part, I don't see why it wouldn't be able to be substituted for the camera on the SD version. That may be a route some might go eventually, and save some money.
For first time buyers, I would still say getting this quad would be a good choice, especially if they ever think they may want to try HD.
|Oct 21, 2013, 11:53 AM|
For a short time, I once owned a small pelican case designed to carry around some electronic something. Not sure what, because I picked it up at a flea market. Anyway, after a few months of it sitting in a closet, I sold it to a guy I know at my cost, so he could put his camera in it. I wish I had that back now.
|Oct 21, 2013, 02:37 PM|
They sell it for guns, but I've used them for my expensive RC TX and other delicate electronics for years. Recently figured out they hold a whole micro quad setup quite nicely.
There is a thread about cases here, with photos and stuff:
|Oct 21, 2013, 02:51 PM|
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