Syma X8HG Full HD Camera and Altitude Hold
Overall Quality8.0 /10
Ease of Flying/Stability8.0 /10
- ▪Best in class 1080p HD Camera
- ▪Nice Altitude Hold Feature
- ▪Lacks FPV
- ▪Difficult to access memory card
- Range: 100m
- Flight Time: 7-10 min
- Weight: 1.5 lbs (must register)
- Size: Full Size
- Camera: 1080p
The Syma X8HG is one of the best drones from their X8 model line. However, if you are looking for the newest model of the X8 then click here. The X8HG sports their best camera and has their new altitude hold feature. Like the other Syma X8 drones, the X8HG is a good drone for first-time pilots, but also fun for intermediate flyers. It appears almost identical to the other X8 models, but sports a shiny red paint job and is carrying the Syma 1080p action camera.
The Syma X8HG is an excellent beginner/intermediate drone. It was designed to look like the DJI Phantom. It is a full-size drone and will need to be registered with the FAA if you are flying in the United States. The X8HG is very stable and the altitude hold feature does a good job of keeping the drone at the altitude you want to fly it at. Altitude hold allows you to focus on lining up your video without having to fight to keep the drone in place. It is not as precise as a DJI Phantom or any other drone that relies on GPS, but it is a very helpful feature and a great feature for a beginner pilot. If you already have one of Syma’s excellent X8 drones you need to check out our accessories page to help make this fun drone better.
Check out our flight test and review.
The camera on the X8HG is very good and is the best drone camera in this price category. There are very few quadcopters that offer true 1080p video recording in this price range. Unfortunately, Syma can’t provide a 2-axis gimbal in this price range, so the camera moves with the drone. You can still record quality videos, especially in good lighting. The recording is stored on a microSD card in the camera. We even replace the camera with an inexpensive DB Power EX 5000. There are a lot good alternatives to a GoPro if you are filming on a budget. Check some out here.
There are two things that distinguish the other different Syma X8 models. One is the camera. Syma makes a 2MP camera, a 2MP camera with WiFi and an HD 5MP camera capable of 1080p video. The other difference is that the newest models have the altitude hold feature. Those models are all distinguished by an H. This particular model the X8HG has the altitude hold feature and the best camera Syma has to offer.
The camera mount is identical on all Syma X8 drones, so you can swap the cameras among the drones if you chose. There is an even better option, especially if you own your own action camera. You can purchase an upgraded gimbal with some vibration dampening on Amazon for about $10. It is easy to attach your own camera to this gimbal and you have instantly upgraded your drone. We show you how to do it here. You don’t have to break the bank with a GoPro to get a great picture. GoPro is the best with its 4K capability, but really a nice 1080p action camera will also take fantastic pictures. The DB Power EX5000 is an excellent low-cost alternative to the GoPro. The DB Power action camera takes 14MP pictures and shoots very good 1080p video. It comes with a handful of action camera accessories and an extra battery for around $50. It also can be controlled using an app and WiFi to stream live FPV video to your phone. We even used it as a “selfie drone” using the DB Power’s WiFi to line up the shot with FPV and actuate the camera.
Adding your own action camera to your Syma or other drone is a nice touch, but it might not be for everyone. You’ll have to purchase a few items from Amazon to make it happen. (We’ve got all the links for you here.) The other drawback is that you can see the legs in the wide angle lens of the DB Power action camera in video mode, it’s not an issue for photos. There are a few options to get the legs out of the video: You can crop the video, you can remove the legs, (we did, it looks pretty darn cool), or you can alter the legs so they aren’t in the field of view. You can even purchase some inexpensive wide legs from Amazon.
The Different Syma X8 Models
The Syma X8C is the most inexpensive of the X8 line and can be found for $10-15 less than the X8W. The X8C is around $65 on Amazon. It is virtually identical to the X8W. This drone comes in the same three colors: black, white and orange. The X8C has the same motors, board and chassis as the X8W Even the camera is the same 2MP camera. The big difference is that it lacks WiFi and FPV capabilities. Because it doesn’t connect via WiFi the video is recorded to a micro SD card on the drone. That actually has some advantages because if the WiFi is spotty on the X8W then your recording is also spotty. That isn’t an issue with the X8C. The Syma X8C is an excellent beginner drone for those that aren’t interested in FPV.
The next step up is the Syma X8W. As highlighted above it is an excellent FPV starter drone. The only difference between the X8W and X8C is the addition of WiFi to allow for FPV. This drone is one of our favorites and can be purchased for less than $80. Like the X8C it can be found in black, white or orange.
The third model Syma produces is the X8G. Like the prior models very little is different about this drone. The motors and chassis are the same. This version is silver, distinguishing it from the other models. The important difference is that this drone comes with an action camera that is capable of taking full 1080p HD video. The 5MP camera will either shoot 720p HD at 60fps or 1080p at 30fps. The higher frame rate can also be fun for action shots that you want to watch in slow motion. This is a very good drone and camera for under $120. It is a great idea for an intermediate drone pilot that is not quite ready to commit financially to a professional quality drone. The camera mount is even GoPro ready if you want to swap out the camera for your own. The Syma camera will not work on its own and must be connected to the drone, so don’t expect to remove the camera and mount it to your skydiving helmet like you can do with a GoPro. The video is stored on the included 4GB memory card. The X8G does not have WiFi and is not an FPV drone.
Syma H-Model Drones with Altitude Hold
The Syma X8HG is the first model that updates the internal components of the drone. The X8HG adds an Altitude Hold feature. The Altitude Hold feature allows you to hover the drone at a specific altitude allowing you to release the left stick on the transmitter and maneuver the drone with the right stick for that perfect video. The Altitude Hold feature works really well, but we would recommend you always monitor the altitude of the drone while flying. With the exception of altitude hold, the X8HG is identical to the X8G in every other way. The chassis, motors, and camera are the same as the X8G. The X8HG is red to help distinguish it from the other models. The X8HG typically costs around $160.
Syma has added other H-models to their lineup. The X8C becomes the X8HC and the X8W becomes the X8HW. Again the only differences are the addition of the Altitude Hold feature and different color schemes for the drones. Both of these H-models come in gold. We do like the altitude hold feature and it is nice for beginners, but it does add a cost to the drone. The X8HC typically costs around $110 and the X8HW is around $125. The H-model to own if you like the Altitude Hold feature would be the X8HG.
Now that you have your new Syma…
You probably don’t want to stop flying your new drone. We’d suggest picking up some spare batteries. Maybe you want a better camera or a nice case to transport your drone. We can help. We will discuss the best accessories for your new Syma X8 drone, whichever model you fly. Click here to read our article on the best accessories for a Syma X8.
What is the best drone for you???
No worries, Half Chrome Drones has you covered. Maybe you want an aerial photography drone, or maybe you want a fun toy. Want FPV? We’ve developed an advanced system to match you to the right drone. We call it our Half Chrome Drone Cipher™, go check it out. We also are constantly updating our Best Drones Now page to help you stay current.
Maybe you want us to do the work for you???
We’ve flown, crashed and taken pictures with a ton of drones. You want to know which one we think is best? Sure. Are you on a budget? Of course. We have three great articles breaking down the best drones in your budget. Check them out.
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