Your recommendations: A RTF Multi Rotor setup for under $2400 - RC Groups
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Sep 29, 2012, 05:04 PM
Registered User

Your recommendations: A RTF Multi Rotor setup for under $2400

Hi everyone

My name is Herman and I am from South Africa. I just signed up after finding your amazing forum and reading many helpful discussions here.

I am a complete newbie to the world of flying RC models. I want to invest in a RTF Multi-rotor setup with remote to be used for the primary purpose of aerial photography. I am thinking of using something like the Canon S100 or Sony Nex... do not need DSLR carry capabilities at this stage.

I am not interested in building a kit or programming, but instead want to buy a setup that is easy to fly and reliable for my needs. I will be shooting houses in residential areas for my real estate clients. The Go Pro 2 looks interesting, but I am concerned that the image quality of the stills is not at the level I am aiming for.

If you had a budget of $2400 dollars for something ideally suited to my needs, what would you suggest I get and please kindly list the website where I can find the unit in question. Keep in mind that I am in South Africa so parts may be harder to come by - minimal maintenance will be ideal.

I look forward to your feedback.


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Sep 29, 2012, 06:18 PM
Registered User
Just a tip- you might want to do some simulator training or buy a crappy quad to learn on before splurging $2400 and then crashing it along with the camera gear. There's nothing wrong with being a "complete newbie" but you don't want to lose $ if you don't need to. That being said, you might want to look into something DJI based (w/ gps) in terms of flight control, I'm not sure about the frames since I've always designed and machined my own.
Sep 29, 2012, 06:29 PM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
I'll second that. Learn to fly with something cheap and very durable first. My choice would be a Blade MQx or WL Toys V929 (it's a MQx copy). They are tons of fun without the worry and setup problems.
Sep 29, 2012, 06:37 PM
Registered User
tstrike's Avatar
If you want a straight outta the box no programming required arial photography setup that you don't need to learn how to fly, go with this...
even has a cool name!
Sep 29, 2012, 06:38 PM
Registered User
if i had a $2400 budget i will buy an hexacopter with 16mm carbon tube, i will deeply look at the clamping system and the motors holders. Then buy some sunnysky motors with simonk ESC. Put wooden prop or tri blades props. Put a crius board with GPS or Naza, depends on the money. Buy Turnigy 9X flashed ER9X + frsky. Spend something like $600ish to get a nice 2axis gimbal from RCG user. Buy 10' screen + camera + 5.8ghz VTx + CL antennas. Buy batteries + charger.

check my $600 investment (quad $200 + Tx $100 + Gopro $300)

GOPR1967 (2 min 21 sec)
Oct 13, 2012, 01:00 PM
Registered User
Thanks so much for the feedback gentlemen.

@Lpbug abd Balr14
Based on your recommendations, about two weeks ago I purchased a V929 quad and have been flying with that everyday to practice. I can comfortably control and steer as long as I have the tail facing me - both indoors and out with some wind. But my co-ordination goes out the window as soon as I turn it around and have the nose face me:-) As soon as I get a proper radio I will use a simulator as well for further practice in this area. It needs to become second nature.

Also, I have been investigating more options and have done a TON of reading. For now I have decided to start with the following setup. Kindly let me know your thoughts are on the following please:

DJI F550 with Naza and GPS Upgrade (RTF & tested) - proven and reliable with spares easily accessible.
Futaba 8FG Super OR JR XG8 with receiver
Alware Swing 2 Axis Camera Mount Combo (with landing gear)
Battery Buzzer
Extreme Power 6200 Mah 3s x4 units
iMAX QUATTRO B6 Super Charger (can charge 4 batteries simultaneously)
10" Graupner or APC props to replace stock DJI props, or are newer dji props reliable since their update?
Strato Snapper for my Canon S100

Still trying to find out if the canon s100 can do FPV AND still take photos at the same time. If not, I will need to look at FPV options in the 1.2Ghz area as 900mhz as well as 1.3Ghz and above are used by our cellphone providers her in South Africa. The FatShark goggles look great for my purpose.

From what I have read, I am also keen on eventually getting a FPV only setup from either hoverthings or TBS. Really amazing options from these guys.

Oyibox, thanks for your suggestions too...but I do not think I have the technical know-how yet to custom build a hex just yet:-)
Oct 14, 2012, 03:36 PM
Registered User
I am now having second thoughts regarding this frame as fellow South Africans warned me that the F550 frame is prone to too much vibration.

Do you have any alternative suggestions?
Oct 18, 2012, 03:10 AM
Registered User
Got all the stuff you wanted?
Oct 18, 2012, 11:37 AM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
With regard to your orientation problem, you may wish to investigate "carefree mode", which is virtual orientation (the quad is virtually always tail-in, regardless of the actual direction it's facing). It's not for everybody or every occasion, but does come in handy.

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