|Overall rating 4.7 / 5|
We always love testing drones, airplanes and cameras, which are especially easy to use for beginners.
The Skydio R1 4K camera is something completely new for drone pilots and hobby photographers.
In fact, this unusual model cannot be called a drone, because it can be controlled almost only autonomously and it has earned the name “flying camera”. For the purposes of this report, we will continue to refer to it as “drone” or quadcopter, even if this is not the case. The Skydio R1 4K camera is not very suitable for model aircraft pilots. But photographers pay off.
Here you will not receive a toy, but a real high-tech device with many functions. There is no remote control included, but the model can be controlled to a limited extent via a smartphone app.
The drone works in a similar way to what you probably know from the Active-Track modes, only much more efficient and accurate. In our opinion, it definitely lives up to its name as a stand-alone or flying camera.
After activating and selecting an object, the camera fully automatically follows the object, such as a person, animal, or vehicle.
A special feature of the Skydio R1 is that it detects obstacles and flies around them. According to the manufacturer, you should avoid flying near power lines and very thin objects such as trees with thin branches or objects with a lattice structure, as the Skydio R1’s visual recognition of objects may not detect these small objects.
The Skydio R1 airplane camera looks very modern and in no way looks cheap.
The propellers are quite resilient and well protected by a sturdy frame. Overall, the Skydio R1 has the following dimensions: 33 cm x 40.6 cm x 5.1 cm and also weighs 1000 grams.
It has a top speed of 40 kilometers per hour and has GPS for coordination and Wi-Fi for communication with other end devices.
The aircraft camera is equipped with 12 small navigation cameras and a computer-controlled vision system for autonomous navigation through narrow spaces and lanes, as well as for detecting obstacles and objects. These components are likely to be the most expensive.
Camera, resolution and storage
The main camera is a ½, 3 “Sony IMX377 sensor with a field of view of about 150 degrees. The cam is attached to a 2-axis mechanical harness.
You can shoot video with the camera in 4K resolution at 30fps and 1080p at 30 or 60fps.
An internal storage medium is used as storage, which, unfortunately, cannot be expanded. You have the option to record up to 1.5 hours in 4K and up to 4.5 hours in 1080p at 30fps, after which the memory is full and you have to clear it.
The Skydio R1 was designed for flying in light winds, but the system easily balances small gusts of wind. In addition, the gimbal system ensures jitter-free recording. We recommend flying in sunny weather, as the drone is not truly waterproof and the cameras can then better capture light and produce particularly high-quality images.
Menu navigation, operating and recording modes
To be able to control the Skydio R1 camera, you need to install the corresponding app on your smartphone or tablet. The connection quality is high, there are practically no blackouts.
For you to start recording video, you just need to turn on the camera; when you turn it off, recording automatically stops and is saved to internal memory.
The system can also record audio tracks via a smartphone.
It is also possible to launch the “drone” manually or from the ground.
You can set different camera modes in the menu.Standard mode is the follow mode in which the Skydio R1 operates at the factory.
The camera will automatically recognize you after turning on and then follow you completely automatically. Then you can use the app to set the height at which the camera should fly.
If the camera can recognize multiple people, you can also use the app interface to specify who the camera drone should follow.
But you can set several other camera effects, including the following:
Guidance Mode: Here the drone takes a position directly in front of the object / subject.
Droni: The Skydio R1 drone takes off and captures the surrounding landscape behind the tracked subject.
There are other features that you can choose from within the app such as Rocket, Boomerang, Orbit, Tripot, and Car Follow Mode. They can be selected quickly and easily in the app.
Pros and cons
Buying a camera in this price segment certainly requires special attention. That is why we have clearly presented the most important advantages and worst disadvantages for you.
- Reliable Sony sensor with high quality
- Advanced vision system with 12 small cameras
- GPS and Wi-Fi interface
- Flies completely autonomously and independently
- Many different flight modes
- Superior 4K 30fps main camera video recording
- Quite expensive
- Can’t fly like a regular drone
When a manufacturer claims that the camera flies on its own, he is not exaggerating. This thing really works and does almost everything automatically, so you have nothing to worry about. Obstacle detection works very reliably and the tracking system is also very sophisticated.
Of course, this amount of high technology also costs a lot of money, but in our opinion, it is definitely worth buying, especially for amateurs and professional videographers.
Check out the Skydio R1 Self Flying 4K camera here!