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Nov 05, 2019, 12:43 AM
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GEPRC CinePro 4K HD 3-4S FPV Racing Drone Advanced Version


GEPRC CinePro 4K HD 3-4S FPV Racing Drone Advanced Version (aff)
(Use Coupon Code: AFfbG10 ~$27 off.)

GepRC CinePro 4K HD Drone (Full Review & Flight Video) (18 min 2 sec)


Video Quality

The camera is the most important thing in a cinematic drone; you want to take good video... and the CinePro can do that. It has a Caddx FPV Tariser 4K camera. The dynamic range and color on this is excellent; and there's good reason why. It consists of two sensors and lenses; one is for your FPV, or First Person View. The other is for the high definition video. This compartmentalization of sensors keeps your First Person View experience lag free, while not compromising on HD video. It has multiple resolution options, with the ability to shoot up to 4K @ 30 frames per second.

My personal recommendation when using this camera is to shoot at 1440 @ 60 frames, or 2.7k @ 60 frames and actually skip 4k. The video in the introduction was taken in 1440 @ 60 frames per second in a 4:3 aspect ratio. You get the most of the entire 4:3 sensor this way, which is why I did that.

But of course I didn't upload it as raw 1440, in post production I dynamically stretched it using video editing software. This produces a superview-esque effect which looks a lot more natural. You can then upscale to 4K @ 60 frames per second in 16:9, and upload it to YouTube to squeeze the best quality you can get from the site. It looks GREAT if you can tolerate the extra time to do the post production work and processing time on the footage!

Buut if you don't want to do any editing you could just shoot in 2.7k @ 60 fps. That produces a more stretched or fisheye distorted video, but you still get great color and quality. And... I just have to point out while we're watching this to notice how SMOOTH and jello free this flight is... let's just take a minute to enjoy some of this raw 2.7k footage before we move on. I really think it speaks for itself.

Acro Cinewhooping?

The main point of a CineWhoop is video, with acro/freestyle usually taking a back seat. But it's always nice to see what kind of moves cinewhoops can pull off. I can happily report that the CinePro is awesome at acro. Very capable -- I don't get any wash out even while doing inverted yaw spins and recovery is flawless. Whatever you want to do, power loops, split s's, spins, rolls, dives... the CinePro does it. While other small cinewhoops I've reviewed can pull off some freestyle, by far this one shines the most in this category.

Build Quality

GepRC is known for making high quality drones which are typically more polished than no-name brand counterparts; and the CinePro is no exception. Let's examine this 3K carbon fiber build. Guarding the camera is an aluminum protector at the front, which is nice -- but you can see it sticks out just a little bit so keep that in mind. There's aluminum bars on the frame in the back as well with a TPU cover that houses the antenna tubes, a buzzer on one side and a capacitor on the other. I'm happy with how they mounted the camera, the rock solid mount in this frame is definitely one reason the video quality is not affected by vibrations.

At the heart of the stack is the GEP-STABLE PRO F7 flight controller with dual gyros running 8k/8k. That's because the F7 is soft mounted by GepRC with custom BetaFlight 3.5.7 PID settings factory tuned to perfection. You do not need to change anything; just put in some rates, and go fly. We also have a video transmitter on top that goes from 25mw to 500mw; and a BLheli_32 4n1 DShot 1200 ESC supporting 35amps constant / 45amps burst.

One of the downsides of F7 flight controllers as I found out is that they run hot. If you're working with it on the bench for extended periods of time -- I recommend using a fan. Again, the heat is a downside of all Betaflight F7 flight controllers running the STM32F745 chip, unfortunately. I enabled the core temperature sensor in Betaflight just to keep an eye on it, which you may elect to do as well. It hasn't given me any issues and seems to be designed for it. The heat in flight is absolutely no problem at all because the airflow keeps it cool, similar to our video transmitters.

One gripe that I have about where the flight controller is mounted is that they made it really `finicky` to get a usb connection plugged in due to the ducts. I feel like when I plug it in, I'm stressing the port out. I could fix this by getting an angled adapter but I'm not going to bother. Once I'm done setting up my quads I hardly ever need to change anything ... and I suspect it's probably the same for most others as well.

Speaking of gripes, a similar problem exists on the Tarsier side of this build. Inserting and removal of a micro SD card for the camera requires awkwardly bending the duct down to get to it. These issues which are both duct related -- feel ridiculous to me on a premium build. While they aren't dealbreakers I do hope they try something different next time.

The motors are GEP-GR1105 5000KV naked bottoms; and work best with eMax Avan EMAX AVAN 2-inch triblades. You don't get any extras of them; instead they include DALprop which I didn't try as I'm happy with the eMax props. These Avan props are pretty durable and the guards help protect them further but eventually you might have a crash where you bust them so I'd get an extra set.

One thing to keep in mind is that IF you attempt to remove the guards around these props you CANNOT use the same screws to re-fit the motors. They will be too long and touch the motor windings, frying your ESC and killing your motors. It's best to buy shorter screws if you intend to take these off for any reason.

It comes with almost every popular receiver option, even crossfire! I opted for the plug and fly version since I already had a receiver and mounted it here on top of the video transmitter. Then I wired the antennas through the included tubes. For sensor telemetry, I wired the yellow wire to T1 here on the board. Besides crossfire, you can also get it with Flysky, Spektrum DSMX, and of course FrSky R-XSR or XM+ preinstalled.

Finally, let's switch gears a little bit and talk about support. Should you end up with a defective unit, GepRC support doesn't have the greatest reputation for being fast to respond... or sometimes at all. Part support for their drones is plentiful which is good. If any main component is defective or breaks there is a replacement part you can get and install for it; but you'll only be able to find some or most of those parts from China. The CinePro costs some decent coin, so this is something you'll need to weigh the risk of when buying it. Again, GepRC's drones do have a high build quality, and you will most likely get something awesome from them compared to taking a chance on an offbrand. But like everyone else in the hobby; they aren't flawless so it's something to keep in mind.

Tarsier 4K Setup & Control

The Caddx Tarsier 4K is configured via an app called Caddx FPV an iOS or Android which we'll briefly go over. But first, you need to insert a micro SD card with adequate speed rating. I recommend a SanDisk Extreme gold card; either 32gb or 64gb. These are always a good bet no matter what type of camera you have.

Now for the hardware interface to the Tarsier it's the button closest to the back which you'll be using most often. It starts and stops video recording with a short press, and allows access to the app network. A blinking green light indicates recording is in progress. Video automatically starts recording the moment the drone is powered on, so there is no need to press it unless you want to stop it.

To use the app, you'll need to connect to the camera by activating its WiFi network. Hold down this button for 5 seconds and let go. You'll then be able connect to the camera over a Wi-Fi Network. Once connected, you can open the Caddx FPV App to edit camera settings.

You'll find the standard options for camera image quality and the different resolutions, as well as device settings. The only settings I changed here other than 1440 @ 60 or 2.7k @ 60, was the bitrate. I set that to high, to get the absolute best quality possible. We don't have enough time to go into every option here in detail, but the defaults are good.

To format your micro sd card, which you must do in order to record any video -- go to device settings -> format sd, this is the fastest way to do it and might as well get it done while you're in the app.

The camera's app is also useful for playing back footage that you've captured on your phone to make sure that you got the video you wanted.

The CinePro at the time of this video is shipping with Version 1 of the Tarsier 4K. Well, 3 or 4 months after the CinePro came out, Caddx released a Version 2 with an improved lens. It's awful that they released a second version so soon after the first one, and many people were rightfully angry about this. The good news is that if you already own Version 1, Caddx will send you the new lens to install yourself, and an ND filter for free. Just contact them about it. You actually do NOT get an ND8 filter with this one -- around an $8 value, so to be able to get one free is not bad. I actually just got my new lens today, after waiting just over a couple of weeks.

Batteries

My choice is the GNB 650 4 cell skinny high voltage LiHV battery. These batteries are some newer style skinny ones from GNB. I consistently get around 4 minutes on the 650. If you're indoors or just want to shed some weight, go with the 450... but if you push it you won't get more than around 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I think the size of these batteries is excellent for center of gravity and weight distribution.

As I'm using LiHV or High Voltage batteries, I changed the maximum voltage to 4.4 in BetaFlight's Power & Battery settings. I also had to adjust the vbat scale down by one as well. That's because the CinePro kept detecting my 4 cell batteries as 5 cell -- causing a false alarm regarding battery state when the voltage tapered off. Once I fixed that, everything worked perfectly fine.

There is one last small thing -- the batteries come with a lot of heatshrink from the factory on the already short wires, making them difficult to plug in nicely. I used a knife to remove most of it, giving just enough flexibility to plug it in properly.

Disclaimer

I’ve received this product from Banggood.com for the purpose of evaluation and review.

It is welcome to post review videos, questions, or links to good deals for this here (keep it reasonable), please just label your affiliate links and review for responsible disclosure. Thank you!
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