Drone Comparison — How Does the Yuneec Compare to Phantom 4 Pro and Inspire?

Drone U
Drone U
May 20, 2018 · 5 min read

In today’s blog post, I compare four extremely popular entry level drones — DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Inspire 1, DJI Inspire 2 and the Yuneec H520. Which drone offers the best value for money? Which is the best drone for 3D mapping? What makes the Inspire 1 such a joy to fly? And, why is the presence of a linear rolling shutter on the Yuneec H520 such a big disadvantage for 3D mappers?

It is important that you get a detailed real world insight into the pros and cons of each drone. Choosing the right bird that suits your work application will help you meet your client expectations.

Is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro the Best Drone for the Money?

DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro is one of the most popular drones for the first time buyers. And rightly so. In spite of being small and extremely affordable, it is highly versatile. You can capture some great footage using the 21.2 MP sensor. By the way, this is the same sensor that you comes with the Inspire 2.

Using the Phantom 4 Pro you can shoot in 4K as well as point of interest mode. The presence of attitude mode guarantees buttery, smooth footage. One more big advantage? You get a global shutter on the Phantom 4 Pro (more on this later).

Another huge advantage is the massive value for money proposition offered by a Phantom 4 Pro. At $1,499, the Phantom 4 Pro is a steal.

Inspire 2 Starts at $2,999 — Is This Price Justified? Yes and No

The Inspire 2 is an imposing machine. When you snap open your drone case and pull out the Inspire 2, you can rest assured that you will make quite an impression. And in business, the importance of perception cannot be overlooked.

The Inspire 2 is a great bird with excellent hardware. Excellent wind handling capability means that you can fly more days in a year. Because this bird comes with features like high altitude props and self-heating batteries, you can fly your Inspire 2 in cold weather also.

The motors on the Inspire 2 are taller and wider. Another interesting fact is that weight distribution is uneven — the bottom portion of the Inspire 2 is heavier. And this results in a pendulum like motion. How is this beneficial?

Because of this uneven weight distribution, you can get into safe flight quicker than a Phantom 4 or an Inspire 1.

For mapping, the Inspire 2 is a better alternative than the Inspire 1. You can fly the X4S camera with ease (The X5S sites heavy on the Inspire 1). We recommend the X4S over the X5S. The X5S has some major exposure and focus issues which can affect the accuracy of your mapping data.

The cons? I was not really impressed with the sport mode on the Inspire 2. Another downside is that the Inspire 2 does not fly as aggressively as the Inspire 1. It is difficult to eke out a hard banking turn from the Inspire 2. This is because of the various software constraints in place.

Inspire 1 is Still a Great Option

There are many UAV pilots who swear by the Inspire 1, and rightly so. For an attractive price, you can get thermal, zoom and cinematic capabilities from this drone. A huge plus for me is that I can push my limits when flying the Inspire 1. Unlike the Inspire 2, you do not encounter excessive software restrictions on the Inspire 1. So you can fly aggressively and get great shots with this bird.

There is also a much greater chance that you will have to redo your shots if you are using the Inspire 2 as compared to the Inspire 1.

How Does the Yuneec H520 Compare to DJI Drones?

The first thing that you notice when you fly this hexa-copter is that this bird is extremely quiet. Which is great! You won’t attract pesky intruders while out flying. Because this bird comes with 6 blades, you get greater redundancy too — you can land the Yuneec with 5 blades. If you lose a prop on a quad-copter, you lose your drone. Another huge advantage is the excellent GPS capabilities of the Yuneec H520. You can get more data points with the Yuneec H520 than with the Phantom 4 Pro.

Initially Pix4D integration was not available on the Yuneec H520. And you had to use their in house platform, DataPilot. But that has changed now. This is a huge advantage for mappers — Pix4D is certainly the gold standard of mapping applications.

Let’s talk about cons now. The Yuneec H520’s effective range is less compared to the Phantom 4 Pro. But still, I could fly line of sight (2250 feet) and not lose my signal.

Another important thing for 3D mappers — the Yuneec H520 comes with a linear rolling shutter. And the Phantom 4 Pro has a global shutter. Why is this important? In a linear rolling shutter, rows of pixels in the sensor are triggered at different times.

Whereas in a global shutter, the sensor opens, captures the images and closes down immediately after that. Because of this, you can fly faster and still get precise data using a global shutter.

If you are using a liner rolling shutter for 3D mapping, just fly slower!

Conclusion

Phantom 4 Pro is hands down the best drone for the money. This bird gets a huge thumbs up from us for its versatility, agility and affordable pricing. If you need to fly in unfriendly weather conditions, the Inspire 2 is a great option. The Inspire 1 is great for folks who want thermal, zoom AND cinematic capabilities. And while the Yuneec H520 has some great features like six blades and excellent GPS capabilities, the presence of a linear rolling shutter and less agility are factors you should consider before purchasing this drone.

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