SJ R/C Z5: A Brushed GPS Drone Under $100
The SJ R/C Z5 is a foldable GPS drone with an HD camera that is under $100. There aren’t a whole lot of drones with features like this one has at this price point. It is basically the same drone as the SJ R/C F11, but instead of brushless motors, it uses less expensive brushed motors. The drawback of brushed motors is that they are less powerful and efficient. That means that the Z5 will have a shorter flight time than the F11 (16 minutes instead of 25).
The SJ Z5 Camera
The SJ Z5 camera is capable of shooting 1080p video but only at a maximum frame rate of 25 fps. The specs on the camera aren’t certain, but we would expect it to be a 2 MP camera. It does seem that the angle of the camera is adjustable so you can angle it downward 90-degrees if you choose. I expect the quality to be very similar to the C-Fly Dream.
The Z5 will stream live video via a WiFi connection. Unlike the F11 it is not a 5G connection so the range will be limited but it will be compatible with more devices. There is no gimbal or mention of electronic image stabilization so you will have to fly slow and steady to get good footage. Taking still images may be the way to go with this quadcopter. If you want to stabilize footage you’ll have to up your game and go for something like a DJI Spark.
The SJ Z5 Specs
The Z5 has a solid flight time of 16 minutes. While that may be less than its big brother the F11, it is on par with the impressive DJI Spark. The Z5 battery will fully charge in about an hour and a half, which is twice as fast as charging the F11 battery. The drone has a controlling range of 600 meters but only an FPV distance of up to 150 meters. If you want to see the video feed we’d recommend you stay even closer. WiFi range varies greatly and can be limited to half that distance and sometimes in some areas.
The Z5 Flight Modes
The SJ R/C Z5 does have a handful of intelligent flight modes. GPS will help keep it stable as well as aid in getting good shots. It has an orbit feature, follow me and a return to home. It also has some gesture control features to help you get that perfect dronie.
SJ Z5 Specs
Controller frequency: 2.4Ghz
Camera: 90° adjustable angle by remote controller
Video resolution: 1920 * 1080P
Photo resolution: 1920 * 1080P
Frame rate: 25fps
Motor: 1020 brushed motor
Drone battery: 7.4V 1200mAh
Flight time: About 14 mins
Charging time: About 90 mins
Controller battery: 3.7V 300mAh
Control distance: 600m
Wifi image transmission distance: 100-150m
GPS/GLONASS double mode: YES
GPS follow me: About 30m
Image follow me: About 3-10m
Storage: Support TF card (not included)
Quadcopter size: 300 * 290 * 65mm (unfolded) 145 * 100 * 65mm (folded)
Weight: About 242g
Should You Buy the SJ R/C Z5?
The SJ R/C Z5 is most definitely an intriguing drone for less than $100. It has an HD camera, GPS and a handful of interesting flight modes. The 25 fps frame rate does raise a red flag. If you are looking for another solid drone under $100 take a look at the Ryze Tello. While it may not have GPS it still is pretty stable and it does have electronic image stabilization.
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What Is the BEST Drone?
So what is the absolute best drone out there? That question isn’t as easy to answer as you’d think. BUT…for most people the answer is the DJI Mavic Air. It is portable, has an awesome camera and excellent flight modes. Learn more about the Mavic Air HERE.
What Is Our FAVORITE Drone?
The Mavic Air is great but the drone that has us excited to go fly the most right now is the Parrot Anafi. The camera and gimbal setup on this drone allow it to do things that no other drone can. Plus, having the ability to zoom in on what you are filming is priceless. Learn more about the Parrot Anafi HERE.
What Drone Is the Best VALUE?
The best value on the market today has to be the DJI Spark. Now under $400, this little dynamo can do things that once upon a time cost over $1000. Learn more about the DJI Spark HERE. Still too much money for you? There are still some great options. Check out our list of the best drones under $200.
Want More Options?
Every month we update what we believe are the best drones on the market. Check out Best Drones Now. We have also created the one-of-a-kind Half Chrome Drone Cipher™. You answer a few questions and we’ll pair you with the best drone for you.
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Do you want to search by price? Click on your menu above or we can break it down for you. Check out drones under $50, from $50-100, from $100-200, from $200-500 or over $500. Maybe you like a good Top Ten list, we’ve got you covered.
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If you want to learn more about taking great pictures or flying FPV then check out our comprehensive guides on those topics. Also, take a look at our articles on how to choose the right drone for great aerial photos or for getting started flying race drones. Learn more about drones and how to get the most out of them in our Drone Academy. In the Academy, we also detail some of the advanced testing we do including drone thrust testing and camera quality testing.
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