The JJRC Aircus looks the part. It was built to resemble a mini DJI Phantom, right down to the battery. It has GPS and a working two-axis gimbal that carries its 1080p camera. For less than $200 it sounds like a great buy. Is it? Keep reading…
The Aircus is a small X-form drone that looks like a scaled-down version of the awesome DJI Phantom 4. It has small brushless motors and even a brushless two-axis gimbal. The Aircus has a flight time of up to 20 minutes. The camera will take 1080p pictures and video and it has a handful of intelligent flight modes. You can even get a package with two or three batteries for less than $200. If all of this sounds too good to be true, then it just might be.
Is it too good to be true?
I had a handful of issues with my JJRC Aircus. It wasn’t easy to get into the air. Calibrating the compass was a pain. Once I finally got it in the air it wasn’t able to handle the wind. On a calmer day, I wasn’t pleased with the way that it flew. It is very fast and twitchy. This isn’t something you want from a camera drone.
The camera is another story. The colors look pretty fantastic. I couldn’t get it to record video initially, but on my third flight, it finally decided to cooperate.
The gimbal works well but there is still jello present in the video. The camera skips frames and there is some heavy compression. Even with the gimbal, the video is pretty shaky. The frame rate is 25 fps and I’d say at a minimum you want 30. People say I’m too picky but think consumers deserve better. You can get an iPhone 6 camera for about $3 and it is light years better than the garbage that is going into these quads. I’d gladly pay an extra $10 for a better camera. Manufacturers need to step up their game.
Should you buy a JJRC Aircus?
There is a lot to like about this little drone. It looks good. It has a working gimbal. Even the remote has a nice working LCD screen showing important flight information. However, I am not a big fan of how it flew or the camera.
Drone manufacturers need to start doing better quality control. Cameras need to be better. Ryze was able to build a $99 drone with a good camera and electronic image stabilization. Why can’t we get something comparable in the $200 price range? I even prefer the MJX MEW4. It flies really well, but again it has a poor camera. Hopefully, soon we will get something even better.
|Buy a JJRC Aircus||Buy a Ryze Tello|
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