Cheap Drone for my Iphone for only $100

by Timothy West on February 4, 2016

My First Drone – Syma X8C with an Iphone Video Camera

Post-ImageFirst why did I get a drone.

Each week I film a YouTube video for my wife’s Yoga channel, Namaste Yoga with Dr. Melissa West and as a result and in an effort to improve the quality I felt that having about 5-10 seconds of footage from the location as an “Establishing” shot would help improve the quality of the show. As a result I needed something that would provide relatively reasonable footage as a background to the intro/rolling credits.

I researched and found that a DJI Phantom would meet my needs but with a price of around $1500 it seemed like an expensive venture for 5-10 seconds a week. So I started to research drones and finally found out about the Syma X8C.

I purchased one and was immediately impressed with the drone for it’s stability and size. I knew the footage from the video camera would prove to be unusable as many YouTubers had mentioned so I tossed it aside and jerry rigged an attachment (gimbal) for my Iphone 4s. The result was much better but the jelly/jello effect (rolling shutter) was really bad. I researched it and found that the vibration of the flight/wind and perhaps to a degree the props not being perfectly balanced all contributed to the rolling shutter.

Again I researched it and found that a 2D gimbal with a vibration resistant mount would probably help and if I chose to fly on non-windy days I might be able to get some adequate footage. Alas being impatient and cheap I elected to go a different way. I chose instead to take the head off an old Iphone tripod and mount it inverted on to the quad copter with a credit card gimbal between the two items and found the to be much better.

Today’s test flight, even with high winds, produced footage good enough for my needs, and when the time comes to recording footage for an actual episode (it’s winter on the island so we don’t start filming outdoors until the end of the month), I think this setup will suffice.

Ask questions and I’ll do my best to help…I must say for $100 and some YouTube help and ingenuity this setup works perfectly well for my needs.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Timothy West February 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm

Quick update. I purchased an Action Cam and found the footage to be quite a bit better 🙂 Here’s a video

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