What I like about the 3DR Solo is its build for the future design, like being able to add features as new ones are developed via expansion bays, firmware, etc. The Cable Cam feature is particularly awesome also as it allows you to rehearse a shot, and then replicate it with zero effort when it comes to game time. One feature that is optional — but really shouldn't be — is the 3D axis gimbal.
The 3D gimbal allows for the camera to maintain a level horizon regardless of the drone's orientation in 3 different planes. It also provides much needed image stabilization for the completely lacking in image stabilization GoPro camera. So not only does the gimbal make horizontal movement possible with a level camera shot, but it also reduces the amount of vibration to the camera, and thus eliminates the dreaded "jello" effect from the high frequency vibration caused by flight.
3DR Solo Without A Gimbal
- Expect camera vibration and "jello" in your GoPro footage
- While fixing the camera more firmly to the helicopter with tape did provide good results in terms of vibration, it also caused the helicopter to fly off balance and crash land. The cause of this I am still not sure of...(I'm guessing either it's very temperamental about balance, or the tape was blocking one of the vital sensors on the drone. I shall try this again.
- Cheaper price point, which may work if you're into shooting stills only. If you're shooting video, expect to upgrade promptly, or better yet, just buy the Solo with a gimbal and save yourself the wondering.
3DR Solo With Gimbal
- As soon as I have one in my hands I will let you know how it goes, but given the test footage, I expect that it will be much much better!
Chris Stenberg is a creative director, photographer, filmmaker, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.