Hands on: Up in the air with two 'flying camera' drones

With modern drones, the technology needed to capture great photos and videos from a bird’s eye view is right in your hands

The Chroma 4K quadcopter

As drones gain popularity, drone makers are looking to distinguish their devices from each other by adding features aimed at specific customers. Every generation of drones has become increasingly easier to fly, and offers more high-end features such as ultra high definition video and autonomous flight modes at lower prices. With modern drones, the technology needed to capture great photos and videos of people and scenery from a bird’s eye view is no longer the sole purview of RC pilots and hobbyists.

Anyone with a little bit of money to spare can now get in on the aerial action.

With that in mind, I recently tested two "flying cameras" that are vying for your attention. The $899 Chroma 4K quadcopter from Horizon Hobby and the $599 Dragonfly from SimToo both want to be your aerial camera. But they tackle that goal in different ways. While each kit comes with everything you need -- quadcopter, camera and controller -- it’s how they do the job that separates them from each other. In essence, the Chroma 4K is a manual flyer with a variety of autonomous flight modes, while the Dragonfly is an autonomous flyer that offers some manual controls.

The question to ask as you contemplate which one would be better is how much hands-on flying do you want to do and how much do you want to leave up to the drone?

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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