Compare Prices on Blade 350 QX3
If you’ve never heard of drone flying, you’re missing out. The Blade 350 QX3 is a light-weight aerial flyer that resembles a small helicopter. The pilot of this mini helicopter has the ability to record smooth high-quality video footage and snap still photos that are all stored on an internal micro-SD card. For first time drone flyers, this is a great starter tool that provides the gateway to an addictive hobby.
Blade 350 : Tech Specs
To awaken our inner nerd, here are the technical specifications of the Blade 350 QX3. All of these specs are wrapped up into a nifty little package that turns recording video and taking photos into an adventure.
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- Blade® 350 QX3 Quadcopter
- Blade CGO2 GB HD Camera with Integrated 3-Axis Brushless Gimbal
- Micro SD Card for Camera
- E-flite 3000mAh 11.1V Li-Po Flight Battery
- E-flite DC Li-Po Battery Charger with AC Adapter
- Spektrum™ DX4 Transmitter with Mobile Device Mount
- Mast-mounted GPS antenna for improved GPS performance
- GoPro compatible camera mount
- Field of View (camera range) of 155 degrees
- Gimbal Roll Range of approximately 45 degrees/pitch range of -90 to +45 degrees
- Four AA Transmitter Batteries
Blade 350 QX3: Features
Flying a remote controlled gadget might not seem very easy, but there have been a few upgrades to this newest model that the earlier version did not have. It’s now much easier to fly, and the Agility Mode makes it more proficient than before.
Using Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope (SAFE) technology, there are two flight modes – Smart Mode and Aerial Photography (AP) that have been developed specifically for capturing aerial video and images.
Both flight modes feature self-leveling which alleviates “shaky camera syndrome” to provide smooth recording. These modes can be manually changed to Stability and Agility modes.
In Agility Mode, the bank angle limits are removed. Now this awesome quadcopter is able to perform flips, rolls, and other cool aerobatics in very tight spaces. The flight modes also use a global positioning system (GPS) and altitude sensors which allows it to hover in place, ascend, descend, move forward, and return to its home position.
The Return Home feature means that it will return to the spot within a few feet of where it was originally started.
The camera is the probably the most important part since the main purpose is to take videos and photos. The “eye in the sky” camera is an eyeball-like unit called the “CGO2.” It’s very similar to a GoPro camera, just a mini version of it. Just like a regular digital camera, it can take photos in the .jpeg format or videos using the .mp4 format.
One of the perks of the camera is that there is an app for it that allows your smart phone to control it while you watch live streaming video. This app (available in iTunes store or Google Play) gives you the power to control the CGO2 by tapping into the built-in 5.8GHz Wi-Fi link through a smart phone (iOS or Android).
Yup, you can use the CG02 app to capture still photos, and turn the video recording on or off. To view your photos or videos after they have been captured, just remove the micro-SD memory card from the camera and insert it into your computer’s card reader. Then you can enhance and manipulate them any way you want just like regular digital camera photos.
The camera is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal which helps to stabilize it as you’re flying around so there’s no rocking side to side. The pilot is in control of the pitch (tilt) of the camera. The camera is capable of taking 16 mega pixels (MP) stills and 1080p/60FPS video.
Since the quad utilizes a GPS, it must have an antennae and a transmitter. There is a flip-up mast on the top of the quadcopter which helps to improve signal reception by isolating the antenna from electronic “noise” created by other surrounding components that might interfere with the GPS reception.
The Spektrum DX4 transmitter is a full-sized radio that comes with a removable clamp for attaching to a smart phone. There is a 3-position toggle switch on the top left-hand side of the transmitter which allows the pilot to select one of the two flight modes or engage the “Return Home” feature mentioned earlier. The transmitter is preprogrammed to allow a 100 meter distance out and a 50 meter high barrier.
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RTF stands for Ready-to-Fly and it means the model you are buying comes complete with everything you need to get started – straight from the box!
BNF stands for Bind-N-Fly. Bind-N-Fly products come with everything you need except for a transmitter. With BNF products you can use the transmitter of your choice and bind it to the receiver included with the model.
Blade 350 QX3: Programming Interface
The Blade 350 QX3 drone comes with a free computer programming interface in which you can monitor the drones systems, adjust default setting, and calibrate the sensors from your desktop with a standard point and click method.
If you want to increase the geo-referenced flight boundaries (the distance between you and the drone), then you can manually change these settings by downloading the graphic user interface (GUI) and connect with the programming cable to your home computer to adjust that barrier to a wider enclosure area. Keep in mind that the legal altitude limit for a drone is 400 feet high.
From the calibration screen, you can access the camera gimbal and calibrate the accelerometers to keep the recording smooth. The sensor information screen shows the status of the quad’s sensors and speed controls as well as the battery voltage and accelerometer operating status. The GPS screen allows you to verify the GPS accuracy, latitudes, longitudes, and altitudes.
Controlling the Blade 350 QX3 is relatively easy. Just like the old school video games, the controls are in the throttle stick. This significantly simplifies the art of flying. Push the stick forward to climb upwards. Pull the stick back towards you to descend. In an upright neutral position, the quad will take a hover stance and hold its current position. The throttle stick can also be used as tilt control for the camera.
Check out this video to see the XQ3 in action….
Blade 350 QX3: Flight Time
Flight time for the quadcopter can range anywhere between 8 – 12 minutes, depending on how demanding the pilot is. The harder it’s flown, the shorter the flight time. On a steady flight, the battery can last up to a full 15 minutes – plenty of time to grab some awesome footage. When the battery is at its life’s end, the QX3 will recognize this and automatically slowly descend and come to a soft landing.
As with all technology, this gadget comes equipped with safety features. It utilizes SAFE Circle™ barrier which is basically an invisible bubble surrounding the pilot. This barrier prevents the drone from flying too close to the pilot and prevents bodily harm.
As mentioned earlier, the Return Home function can be useful. If you lose sight of your quad and don’t want to risk a landing in an unknown area, simply activate the Return Home feature until it comes within sight and then deactivate it to regain control. If there is interference with the transmitter signal, the Return Home function will automatically activate itself and return to its starting point to land or until the signal is restored.
The Blade 350 QX3 has a lot to offer and seems to be worth the price tag. A high quality camera that provides smooth steady image quality is a photographers dream while the simplified flying controls allow for easy manoeuvrability regardless of experience level. Amateurs and pros alike can enjoy the various levels of flight modes and aerobatic abilities.