Whether you’re on your surf board, snow board, hover board, or alternative vehicle, follow me drones let you capture all the action and scenery from a unique vantage point. For 2017 we have collected the top 5 follow me drones, from the best value, through the most unusual, to the most feature laden. You are sure to find your perfect follow me drone for here.
The Hubsan H501S is a sleek looking follow me drone with a menacing black and gold finish. This is backed up by an impressive specification. The H501S boasts a 108oP camera and 5.8Ghz FPV system with a built in FPV monitor featuring a swathe of telemetry data, including a battery voltage, pitch, roll, altitude, distance from base and speed. This highlights helps highlight the greatest strength of the H501S – its basic performance characteristics. A set of brushless motors push the H501S up to speeds of 45mph, whilst a large 2700mah battery pushes flight time over 20 minutes, allowing this drone to pursue motorised vehicles using it follow me mode. The H501S also includes altitude hold, headless mode and return to home functionality, with both the drone and transmitter including built-in GPS. The only feature the H501S lacks is a gimball stabilised camera, so video is going to be a bit more jerky. But at a price point of $270, the H501S represents incredible value for money.
Buy the Hubsan H501S here
Baby brother to the H501S, the H502S is the first drone to feature follow me mode at a price point of $185. The H502S inclused a 720P camera with 5.8Ghz FPV and built in FPV monitor. Just like the pricier H502S, the FPV includes built in telemetry data such as remaining battery charge, altitude and speed. With its 600mah battery, flight time is a competitive 11 minutes, whilst brushed motors push this more compact drone to speeds of up to 25mph. Follow me mode is most effective at distances greater than 10m from the subject and control distance is an impressive 200m. This drone also included altitude hold, headless mode and return to home functions. With a weight of 150g, the H502S is also a smaller and safer drone than the H501S, not requiring FAA registration.
Buy the Hubsan H502S here
A drawback of follow me drones is that you still have to carry a bulky transmitter on your person. The Flypro XEagle follow me drone solves this problem by replacing the transmitter with a GPS enabled watch, letting you focus on the task at hand. All drone movements are controlled through a set of buttons and scrollers, including one button for take off and one scroller for altitude. Unlike the Hubsan H501S and H502S, the XEagle features a gimball stabilised 4K camera, which at all times points towards the GPS enabled watch. The XEagle features a smart battery, preserving long term battery life by automatically discharging to a safe voltage if left sitting charged for extended periods. The Flypro XEagle always maintains a relative position – if the drone is facing you and you turn around, the XEagle quickly flies over your head to face you once again. Just be careful to plan your route – the XEagle does not automatically detect and avoid objects during such manoeuvers. Although lacking FPV functionality, an impressive 20 minute flight time and 35mph maximum speed provides ample capability to capture the best action shot.
Buy the Flypro XEagle here
DJI Phantom 4
The DJI Phantom 4 is much more than a follow me drone, it is a technological masterpiece. The Phantom 4 uses the same technique used by bats and submarines, sonar, to automatically detect and avoid objects in its flight path or vicinity. Compatible with the Apple iPad, the Phantom 4 allows a user to track a target by simply touching that target on the screen, or select a destination by touching that destination on the screen. The Phantom 4 further boasts an impressive technical specification – 28 minutes flight time and a 45mph maximum speed from a fan cooled 5350mah battery, a 3 mile FPV and control range and 3 axis stabilised gimball 4K camera. Even considering a price point of around $1000, no other drone comes close to matching the Phantom 4 for follow me aerial film.
Buy the DJI Phantom 4 here
Hover Camera Passport
Revealed at CES 2017, the Hover Camera Passport follow me drone or ‘Selfie-drone’ impressed with its protected, fold up propellors and one touch launch system. Designed primarily for close proximity filming, the Passport does not feature GPS, instead recognising and locking on to your face. Meanwhile, downward facing sonar and visual sensors maintain altitude. The Passport comes with two 1360mah easy to swap batteries, each giving 10 minutes flight time. The passport also features a 4K camera and ‘Orbit’ mode, where the drone circles your location to capture your immediate environment. Although easily disturbed by unfavourable wind and lighting conditions, the elegant design, ease of use and safety of the Passport could bring drones into closer proximity with humans and spell an end to the selfie stick.
Buy the Hover Camera Passport here