SOLID RTF video platform for GoPro, including 3axis gimbal, 30minute battery, and advanced video radio controller AND the iLook+ 1080 camera.. How does less than $2000 fully loaded RTF sound?
Hold the presses, were you thinking walkera was not innovating, well, take a deep breath, here comes the new pro hexa-copter from Walkera, with plug-in battery, retracts and 3axis GoPro gimbal, offering 25minutes flight time and hexa-redundancy. AND the new F12 video controller
Click through for the release video, thoughts and estimated ship dates.
***Scroll to the end of the article for ETA and Pricing of the new awesomeness.
*** Make sure you check out my YouTubeChannel for so many other cool copters and reviews.
Sure pretty ain't she.?
EDIT May 23 2014 - First test flight, in pouring rain. Gotta say, this is a thing of beauty.!
You are looking at a lot of steps for Walkera here, Personally I think its a lot of very smart moves.
Intro video for the new F12e radio, awesome form factor, can't wait to get this in my hands.
New form factor,
Unibody design, clean and smooth like a phantom quad, but looking much more professional.
Modern industrial design, this don't look like a spaceship toy with tail-lights like the x350
6 rotor redundancy and stability. (don't forget the optional prop-guard)
Born with retractable legs
Ship with 3 axis brushless GoPro gimbal. (but can easily fly a RX100 on a 3axis gimbal)
Flight time is a meaningful 25minutes (60 minutes is meaningless for 90% of video production)
RTF in flight-case option, charge battery and go fly
EDIT.. the h500 will be available in white and a "CF" pattern black finish, pick your favorite color of sexiness. As far as Im concerned, the black is soo cool looking, Im not sure why they bother make the white.
Why do these things matter?
Oh its very simple, for starters, the x350PRO is a very well made video quad, it flies nicely and do exactly what you expect it to, but it looks like a toy with speed-stripes on the side. but the DJI Phantom suffer a bit from the same thing, the Phantom have become the "poster-child" of the "Drone revolution". everybody use it everywhere, and everybody know that its the drone the neighboors kid have. So when you show up at a video job, no matter how much your phantom have been modified and upgraded, everybody know its a toy. the H500 LOOKS business, its born with the legs most people put on a Phantom. and its born with 3axis gimbal.
On top of looking the park, the H500 utilize a modern battery cell with a plug in brick, and remaining power indicated on the outside of the brick, that means you can tell how much battery remains before starting, and without having to use a tool to measure the power. Yes Phantom have this, but so do my Mac Laptop.
GoPro camera? Yes for sure, by the time teh H500 ship we will probably have a 4k 30fps GoPro4 (black), do a Ripcage modification on that and you have quality lenses on a 80gram camera. there is no reason to fly a bigger camera for 99% of users in the world.
*** and IF you must fly a bigger one, the H500 can fly a sony RX100 just as fine with a dedicated gimbal. that should satisfy even most indie-film makers.
Walkera is being smart building a pro-level multirotor for the pro GoPro users.
What about the gimbal then? Its probably going to be named G-3D, and be a lightweight 3axis GoPro gimbal. most of my video work flying is doing with a 3axis brushless gimbal (DJI zenmuse) I fly it in the YAW dampening mode and fly FPV., meaning I fly single operator and pan the aircraf to pan the camera. because of that I have no reason to retract the legs, (I could but never use it so why do)
But making retractable legs standard, appeals to all the guys out there who think they need retracts for one or another reason. and some of them may even fly the airframe with a separate camera operator. retracts are really just two $10 servos and legs on hinges, so its a cheap option to apeal to a lot of potential customers with a dedicatd "PRO" feature. why not do it.? its a bit like putting a ground effects kit on a honda civic, it do work, but chances are you never actually will notice driving around on Hollywood blvd. Right?
What Im guessing is that most multirotor users will not use retracts for budget real-estate video shots, but they will appriciate the legs folding up, and the aircraft looking all business when they show up for work.
BUT WAIT. there is more... the new F12s FPV video controller, The F4 and F7 and finally grown up, and its looking VERY good. there are sliders on the side for gimbal operation, switches are easy to reach and no annoying buttons in the wrong places. this is a radio I REALLY look forward to using. notice the huge screen, finally a radio with a useful screen, and YES Walkera have seen the light and included a OSD in the system.
*** NOTE again, Im commenting on a new concept shown in Walkera video, please note walkera have not yet announced this radio, they are currently selling the $599 Devo F12 based on their traditional radio design with the screen at the bottom of the radio Click to see the F12
they claim 1000m video range, that is more than enough for professional video use.
So where are this going to land money wise.?
The F12 will be the new flagship controller from Walkera, the current D12 run about $500, lets guess this will be $600-750 (its hard getting more for a radio when you are just breaking into the pro market)
What about the h500?
Well, lets look at the current products, think BNF, the x350PRO is about $400 and the production X800 is probably going to stabilize BNF around $1200+ at some point (its right now about $1500)
and then remember there are several "new" features under the hood, the retracts, brick battery, OSD, 3axis gimbal and (maybe) digital video. so with these in mind, lets guess the h500+F12 probably will be right about $1500 to start.
EDIT: Somebody just dropped a bomb on me.....
It seems I was close and that appearently this will hit the shelves, FULLY LOADED, RTF aircraft, with battery, charger, 3axis gimbal AND the iLook+ 1080p camera, and the advanced remote controller with build in telemetry and large video screen.. for LESS than $2000 delivered
Guys, I know that not everybody have two grand in their pocket.. but I gotta say, that is a VERY respectable price for a hexa aircraft with 3axis + camera and video screen etc included. Keep in mind the guys at DSLRpros sell "loaded Phantoms" for $2500 and the h500 will be significantly more powerful than a loaded phantom. This could get really interesting.
Last thing, I was tod July, but am guessing we will be seeing these around August September.. just in time for the new GoPro4 with 4k 24 and 30fps video.
Last LAST though.. WOAH.. New form-factor, smart features, probably a meaningful pro price-point and a very professional looking radio system.. this is really the first "system" from Walkera, that don't look like anything I have seen before, its NEW and its FRESH. Well done Walkera.
What do you guys think....? am I guessing right or am I in the woods?
EDIT: Walkera have published the product page, so this is quickly becomming a real product. Click for Walkeras page