Backed by a user-friendly Smart flight mode and an intuitive controller, the Yuneec Typhoon Quadcopter is one of the easiest drones to operate. If you’re a beginner looking for a drone with a 4K resolution camera under $1,000, the Yuneec Q500 is an excellent choice. Capable of capturing crystal clear ground and aerial footage, the Q500 has 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160 pixel) video quality at 30 fps. Yuneec’s high-speed slow motion camera captures video at 1,920 x 1080p at 120 fps.
Yuneec, like most camera-mounted drones, uses a 3-axis anti-vibration gimbal to capture steady shots no matter the flight pattern. The detachable camera may be the one feature that separates the Q500 from the competition. Equipped with a SteadyGrip handheld mount, the 4K camera simply detaches itself and captures images from the ground.
As for the Q500’s aesthetics, this is considered a rather large drone in size. Compared to DJI’s Phantom 3 measuring 390 mm motor-to-motor, the Typhoon has a diagonal measurement of 510 mm. For the newbie pilot, this is actually a good thing. You won’t have any issues finding your drone during an overcast day or while it navigates through the trees. If you’re planning on taking your new drone on vacation, it’s not very travel-friendly. The Q500 comes with a James Bond-like silver carrying case and is not designed for just throwing it inside a backpack.
Inside Typhoon’s carrying case you will find two sets of propellers, the ST10+ controller, a neck strap and sun shield, a car charger, the SteadyGrip handheld mount, and the Typhoon Quadcopter drone. Out of all the accessories inside the case, the ST10+ controller is worth mentioning. Whether it’s the built-in 5.5-inch touchscreen display, the video recording buttons, the camera angle sliders, or the buttons that control climbs/descents/directional speed, the ST10+ is a rather intuitive device for beginner pilots.
Piloting the Typhoon is rather foolproof with most of the flight modes designed specifically for the novice pilot. The Smart mode, for example, keeps the Q500 within a designated area – called a geofence – inhibiting the drone to fly more than 300 feet away from the pilot. The Smart mode also features the Follow Me and Watch Me modes. If you’re interested in capturing aerial footage of friend while she rips down a mountain bike trail, simply keep the ST10+ controller on her. The drone will follow the action. The Watch Me mode keeps the person holding the controller framed in the camera at all times. The 4K camera tilts with the controller.
To land the Typhoon Quadcopter, just simply make sure you’ve got a lock on GPS satellites and switch to Home mode. The return-to-home safety feature will autonomously fly the Q500 back and rest down 13 to 26 feet (4-8 meters) away from the pilot. The remarkably quiet Typhoon is designed seamlessly takeoff and land with propellers that sound like an oscillating fan. Just simply press and hold a button on the controller to set the motors spinning and press up of the left stick for takeoff. Switch to Home mode and the drone will land accordingly.