Woohooo!!!! yes!!! finally i got myself an affordable 4K Ultra HD mini drone! 4K baby! 4K! But that's not all about it, the all new 'HUBSAN ZINO H117S' packed with everything you need to start your dream having a legit 'Aerial Photo/Videography Drone' hobby without burning hole in the pocket with almost the same price range as DJI SPARK which only do 1080p HD. I'm so disbelieve and stunned for such drone at such price with everything packed with full automation plus other high tech feature build into tiny foldable quadcopter frame...it flies so perfectly out of the box full FPV view on my phone. Let's took a flash back into the past rewind back into my yester years where i have to build myself a HD AP drone by hand DIY at home before...the struggle was real *tears*
Even with my skills and experience able to build any drones i want FPV or UAV model still i always dreamed wanted to own a proper 'precision' flying Aerial Photography drone lugged with high definition 4K HD drone capture great stabilized videos can be a struggle, usually my top list will be a DJI MAVIC but yeah the most bottom pit i could settle is tiny DJI SPARK..if i have spare budget. Ironically my plea landed me a C-FLY DREAM mini drone (previous review) which was fun (thanks Banggood.com) ..but not as close to what a SPARK can do. However there's no way i could afford a DJI SPARK even if i could its not 'mentally' sensible enough just to put minimal $300 for a drone that only has 1080p HD and flies for 15 minutes or less. How about DJI MAVIC?...most of my friend took personal bank loan or credit leasing to own this! Why would anyone need to mortgage plan to pay loan a small AP drone? That is insane $$$$! Most of my friend who bought stuff like DJI MAVIC or DJI PHANTOM 4 ADVANCE/PRO runs an aerial photography business/aerial mapping so more likely those income return will cover it all but for normal hobbyist like us its not gonna happen. Owning a proper AP drones is getting hard nowadays but everyone including myself wants a slice of tech pie..but i won't fall for Apple iPhone yet cause my HUAWEI and ASUS phone rocks. So living in tech world can be a struggle for everyone. This season of 2019 the ZINO came down to us to save the day!
FYI my ZINO has been flown for many weeks now before this article was written so if you wanted me to put my experience in short words it will be: "Awesome and so convenient". In just less than a year ZINO popularity sky rocketed with many Youtube videos, social media and online discussion board sprawled with talks about ZINO which means majority people finally could afford proper quality drone that has pricing within reach for people who have low to normal income while others/some 'you know who' who owned professional expensive drone doesn't like the attention ZINO gets and throw it aside by saying it doesn't have this and that for a proper drone to qualify as real aerial videography drone. But majority speaks louder than words as you Google'd around, HUBSAN finally hit the spot doing a good job to reach the community who really wanted to fly a great drone at a price where people don't have to save up and eat noodles on daily basis. Do note that this is HUBSAN's first flagship model to step into serious aerial photo/videography drone after long season building a fun sport recreational FPV multirotor. Lets read further below about my experience with ZINO.
Specification (as describe by vendor/manufacturer)
Brand Name: Hubsan
Model name: Zino
Model number: H117S
Product Size: 30.4 X 25.2 X 9cm
Flying Weight: 700g (excluding propeller guard weight)
Drone Battery: 11.4V 3000mAh (Included)
Transmitter battery: 3.7V 2600mAh
Flight Time: up to 23mins
Charging Time: About 180 minutes
HD WI-FI Video Transmission
Transmission Distance: About 1KM
Flight Range (Recommended total flight distance): About 2.5KM
Top speed: 60 km / h
Camera: UHD 4K
Video Resolution: 3840 X 2160 30FPS
Lens: Fov 89°Wide-angle
Micro SD card (not included): Support class 10~, 64GB
Camera Processor: Ambarella A12
Sensor model: IMX258
Video format: MP4
Picture format: JPEG
Camera and FPV video broadcast: broadcast video to the console (5.8 GHz)
Working temperature: 0 ° to 40 ° C
Advertised drone features:
- GPS in the device
- FPV online broadcast
- Follow Me
- Waypoint circumnavigation of given points
- Orbiting point of interest
- Altitude Hold Mode
- Headless Mode Intuitive Orientation
- Automatic Return Home Failsafe
- Automatic Take-off and Landing
- 3-axis stabilized 4k camera equipped with F2.2 aperture and 89° wide-angle lens.
- Use image tracking, select the area to record and keep the wonderful moments.
- Breaks the traditional aerial photography limits, whether you are swimming, climbing or contesting in a competition.
- One-button record mode: Panoramic filming, Line Fly mode, and a video with movie qualities.
- Low Power Failsafe Mode/Flight Control Failsafe Mode.
Highlighted Flight Functions:
- GPS Hold height
- Return to takeoff point
- Flight by points
- Headless mode
- Follow function (Tracking)
1x HUBSAN ZINO H117s drone
1x Stick controller
3x Variable mini USB connector between controller and smartphone (iOS plug, mini USB plug + Mini C-type USB plug)
1x Balance Charger + Battery charging connector + wall socket power adapter + Car 12v power connector plug
1x A set of CCW + CW spare props and screw driver
1x Small programming jumper plug for firmware upgrade use
1x Manual book
1x Storage shoulder sling bag
*Extra requirements (Smartphone):
- Support smartphone that runs iOS or Android.
- If you're running on latest Android platform must have minimum using ANDROID KITKAT 4.4.4 version and above.
- Smartphone must support USB OTG connection.
- Must equipped with GPS built-in for 'Follow-me' and other autonomous features.
Quality, performance and builds.
Its a HUBSAN baby! Even before i opened the box i knew i'm getting a quality solid build drone even without looking at it!....and not to expect it looked like that typical drone with retarded UFO design under $100 or something i've reviewed before; YIZHAN TARANTULA X6..does that rings your bell? At least the ZINO designed so techie something you can carry on your hand in public places or in Aerial Photography clubs which non-verbally screamed 'Check out my new gadget weebs!'.....don't felt ashamed placing your ZINO near DJI MAVIC or a YUNEEC either. So i guess this is my first pride 'up my nose' good looking portable 4K UHD Aerial Photography drone....rest in peace my home made DIY ARDUCOPTER/iNAV/MULTIWII multi-rotor, did i backed stabbed my own build?, lol. To be honest with you guys its useless to build DIY home made Aerial Photo/Videography Multirotor/quadcopter nowadays because with the same build budget you better off buy out of box ready to fly that's already has all stuff build in, flies perfectly, does the job, now has good live and smooth HD FPV view on smartphone apps and has better support online should the drone have technical problem....you'd go flying than building. To be rational its saved time, sweat and money too. On the flip side of the coin the industry still can't build affordable and efficient fixed wing FPV/UAV plane for general hobbyist yet, so that makes us special as an LRS fixed wing drone builder,lol.
When unboxing the HUBSAN ZINO H117S it comes with lots of accessories; most importantly its comes with nice looking padded hard body bag which is useful since i move around a lot. Guess what i got 2x batteries!!!! yay!! ...that means i'm going to spent more time outside flying! (thanks again Bangood.com). Other normal stuff eg; spare props, charger and some USB connectors to support several type of phone from iOS to Android. For everything that comes with it compare to normal AP drone package the ZINO is definitely a great value starter pack for first time AP drone operator especially if you're looking at approximately USD$300 category drone. The HUBSAN ZINO that i have is in white color because i've requested such color after an incident where i accidentally lost my greenish grey colored C-FLY DREAM into the dry bushes which coincidentally blend in like a camouflage making it harder for me to located my downed drone, took me hours of bush whacking and fly swatting just to locate my C-FLY DREAM that is just a meter away went unnoticed. So all white color drone should help me out if this event happen...*touch wood*. The size of ZINO is very 'hand fully' bigger than C-FLY DREAM but still portable just by grabbing with one hand for few minutes but a bag or big waist pouch should help to carry around on a long trip since it won't fit inside your jacket but still i was able to strap behind my cycling back pack like how strapped my C-FLY DREAM before. Although looks small when the rotor arm unfold its actually quite huge pretty much almost more than my standard 350 class DJI PHANTOM V1.1.1 drone but flat in terms of height. I guess being at that size and having bright white color helps visual L.O.S (Line Of Sight) knowing i can see my drone where's its going or if its has returned back from distances, plus most importantly not easily get sunk into bushes through nooks and crannies thanks to its expandable size. The camera gimbal indeed a 3x axis mechanism and best of all its come with detachable protective camera dome which is a plus for you who transport things very roughly. Since the ZINO are build to be compact and portable the most annoying part of was the folding propellers seems to swings around much freely even when the rotor arms folded in compact form, looks cheesy if you look at it and hearing the propeller blades swinging and clanking around was to much as i walk about. Some how a quick solution by using elastic rubber band or loose strap should help grasps the propeller rather than rattling/swing around freely during transport. I don't see any Optical Flow sensor under the belly nor any 'Collision Avoidance sensor' aka Gesture sensor in front neither like you might find on some high end DJI's. The entire design outlook of the drone is pretty much its very own unique HUBSAN style doesn't not imitate any replica looks of any other folding drone on the market like MAVIC, FIMI X8 SE or its similar rival even it looks almost like one, glad no one in the forum try to criticized the ZINO as MAVIC clone yet even though the folding rotor arm and composition looks almost the same but overall its just another different drone design from back to rear which means its battery pack also a proprietary build specially for ZINO too. The battery pack is rated 3s 3000mah 11.4v with discharge rate at 8C 34.2Wh which means you can fly between 17~23 minutes based on my observation and also few owner review in forum and Youtube.
The controller is nice or should i say very solid when i hold it on my hands. I don't feel struggle holding it nor try reaching the buttons it just felt just right for my Asian hand size and the best part was the smartphone mounting cradle is located underneath the controller via slide out and snap in style. Having mounted smartphone as live FPV screen under the controller really and ideal way to view live FPV feed because this helps to put heaviest center gravity of the controller (CG) on the lowest base on the controller so that my hands doesn't felt tired battling to hold "overhead weight" which can be tiring like i did on C-FLY DREAM controller and also it helps to keep the phone radio frequency interference (RF) factor away from sensitive antennas above the controller, good moves HUBSAN! Another most important factor which makes the ZINO more alluring for all drone enthusiasts is it really doesn't need a phone with special WIFI such as 802.11ac 5.8G protocol to connect the controller, its connected via USB OTG cable connection into smartphone USB port. Finally i can used back my new HUAWEI Y9 android phone!...no more MEIZU X4 anymore which still needed to fly my C-FLY DREAM. The ZINO already supplied all type of USB cable interface from micro USB to latest Type-C USB to iOS - iPhone cables, you don't have to shop around the store to buy this connection anymore..nice!!.
The HUBSAN android Apps (X-HUBSAN) i used to install on my smartphone is also really impressive! To make the summary short if you're first timer or dumb at operating a drone the app pretty much explained everything you need to know how to work this and that, guides you and teaches you few bunch of quick tutorial on the screen to let you know what each of those function do. It also warns you in advance if bad thing or error is going to happens. Nobody is dumb when flying ZINO through this apps, dumb proof...well almost if you know how to read but i'm sure (i assume) everyone who own this ZINO is very literate and well educated..hmmm. In terms of app's UI (User Interface) design is its very own HUBSAN stuff, not a clone of any apps unlike what you see previously with C-FLY DREAM = DJI SPARK. The ZINO apps looks very 'technological awesomeness', there to many stuff to touch, click around, play those function and stuff using your finger. It truly makes you feel you own a top notch high dollar AP drone or in your own feeling "so this is how close a real drone feels like huh?"...but not that close just worth your money spot on.
Video & Photo Quality + 3 axis gimbal
For it current price the aerial photo and video quality is surprisingly very good both from 720p,1080p, 2K to 4K UHD video footage. From camera to gimbal setup everything is tune-able thanks to frequent firmware and apps updates from HUBSAN developer. The exposure control can be set to auto or manual, white balance is good, 30fps to 60fps choices available for super smooth video on computer. Just to mentioned a few that the camera also run the same imaging CPU; the AMBARELLA A12 core similar CPU brand popularly used on lines of GoPro HERO cameras so this justify much of ZINO satisfying video footages. Most importantly it i'm glad it doesn't ended up like most of fake 4K HD camera that is all made of stretched up videos which consequently looked pale, pixelated or interlaced. During daylight when the sun is up ZINO excel well taking good video footage in automatic setting. When the lighting is not favorable you can always manually tuned the while balance, exposure and other necessary parameters but at night when there no source of sun light or even moon light in pitch darkness its recommended to manually adjust the camera video ISO setting to lower a good start is at ISO 1700 value and below to get non 'grainy' quality night footage above low lit places.
**Below is the raw video file details produced during recording:
- Resolution: 3840x2160
- Data rate: 54965kbps
- Total bitrate: 54965kbps
- Frame rate: 29.97fps
- File format: *.MP4
On average when recording on full 4K resolution the ZINO recorded video are partitioned as 10 minutes per-clip rather than continuous big clip with file size stored at average 3.6GB per-file/per-clip. The photo resolution and quality pretty much the same as what is displayed on video as if it looked like a frame capture from 4K video itself which is why the Photo tweak interface is integral part of Video mode.
Overall considering the price of HUBSAN ZINO H117S with 4K almost the same as the price of the later model GoPro HERO3~4 (you can check sample from my old DJI Phantom on GoPro HERO4 here) on 4K this makes the ZINO drone more appealing because this camera has extra wings plus with 3 axis gimbals! Speaking about the ZINO's camera gimbal it did perform very flawless damping all those vibration, stabilized the footage perfectly even on windy days and the extra axis helped much with its 'tracking' (Follow-Me) mode too...however caution with backlight issues during tracking mode as shown on my early videos. HUBSAN also did a great job providing extra lens + gimbal detachable protective plastic dome to avoid the camera and the gimbal from hitting about when transporting and handling this is very crucial feature for me since i strapped my drone a lot in and outside my travelling backpack during cycling which risks knocking the front end of the drone....yeah my C-FLY DREAM mini drone gimbals took some frequent hit too. To put my explanation short about its 4K quality you can watch my raw 4K UHD video footage on my Youtube channel, Yes! videos speaks louder than words.
Flying experience with ZINO
To be honest with you all those video i've publish about ZINO (you should watch all of my videos); as shown it doesn't take much effort to control, just auto take off and take aerial videos up in the air with just gimbal control. It pretty much fly by itself without me thumbing around on the control stick but just moving the camera gimbal only so i can concentrate which landmark i wanted to have it in video view window. With a press of the button it pretty much go and take videos on assigned location and i just wait there like a sky tourist watching out from the window until it returns upon completing a mission....ah! yes it reminds me of my UAV drone the Wing-Wing Z-84, lol. That means even people who never own or fly a drone can actually fly the ZINO straight away out of the box....only after they read the manual indeed. You can fly manually by hand using the stick control as usual but with so much cool automated flight an old guy like me would rather just pin point my finger on the screen and click to let it fly automatically. Of course the ease to fly through automation came with a reason; HUBSAN ZINO H117s is purely build intended for Aerial Photo/Videography platform..not as FPV drone that many end user hoping to go far distance, duck down the tree at high speed or fun flipping around like GP drone...nope this is a drone build for take beautiful steady shots of aerial photos and videos only. That's explained why ZINO does not include Optical flow sensor and collision/gesture sensor like in most high end drones have because there's nothing to scan and avoid when its actually flying high up in the air which is why most ZINO reviewer got it all wrong about ZINO intended usage.
As you all know i have lots of drone most are hand build at home just for the purpose to explore the area autonomously (UAV), to discover new places and enjoy via FPV flight at long range above those puffy clouds just to get the feel of adventurous and adrenalin kick, all of them perform marvelously!!. But i'm lack of having a true Aerial Photo/Videography drone that capable to take steady footage at close localized area which can be used for commercial publishing, property development, social media, local events footage, groups sports/action recreation shots, Selfies and others that concentrate on take video on particular object, moments or person on high resolution 4K Ultra HD. DJI drone fits the job but for normal 'peasant' income its way out of the budget. XIAOMI or YUNEEC?...well still too much to fork out some cash. The ZINO?...yes!!!!!!!!!! The 3x axis gimbal stabilization is indeed amazing for its price; extremely stable even in windy condition! almost no vibration! and all of my video recorded recently seems to be so perfect i won't need software stabilization tools to work on my video editing to null it out. I showed my ZINO's raw 4K video footage to my friend who owns a hobby shop that sells DJI drone and he really very impressed with the quality and the camera gimbal stabilization on ZINO especially for a drone at such price range.
However i don't play around much with ZINO's extra features such as ORBIT, PANORAMA, LINE FLIGHT, FOLLOW-ME and other creative video tools but because i like to take nice beautiful video shots of certain venue and landmarks. I always use WAYPOINT flight with POINT OF VIEW (POI) feature to let the drone flight at designated path, point the focus towards intended target and from there i just concentrate moving the camera gimbal smoothly/manually while ZINO flying on its own until the waypoint completed or before the battery hits low level. This is why i love the ZINO so much, so easy to use and take great footage without messy thought how to manually maneuver the drone in the air...a dream come true for aerial photo/videographer without breaking the bank. To make it more convenient; if you've lost connection both control and video from the drone during its 'WAYPOINT' flight mode the drone will continue to fly as planned with video recording still on until it finished its waypoint path or when the low battery level triggered...then it will 'Return To Home' automatically so you won't have to worry about loosing your drone or your precious planned video footages...so cool!!! Even if you're in the wrong place or something in advance going to happens the X-HUBSAN apps will give warning of impending danger before flight or during flight to give you heads up for you to decide either you should abort flight, continue or etc. It will give warning of nearby electromagnetic interference, low GPS count, heavy winds, camera gimbal malfunction, calibration warning, your distance too far and etc just to make sure your flight is safe. If you're stubborn enough to ignore the warning the ZINO refuse bind to the controller, refuse to execute any flight mode, refuse to take off or do other stuff depending on subsequent scenario....so pretty much the ZINO protect itself from dangerous noob or beginner operator from doing something that drone operator shouldn't do which is very good feature indeed!
I've guess by now you've seen all my HUBSAN ZINO HS117s videos; i've flown in cold morning, in heavy windy days, at hot noon, in the park, in crowded town, at the back of metal industrial warehouses, after dark at night and i even show you how portable it is to move around with ZINO on my back pack as i cycle to work. ZINO indeed great travelling companion for those who love to travel and take photo and video all over places without to putting to much cash to start drone hobby. And because of so much task my ZINO endure throughout the week the white colored body started to stain with dirt and soils a bit, lol....that's a sign of hard work right there.
Differences between HUBSAN ZINO H117S vs DJI SPARK & DJI MAVIC
I don't own a DJI SPARK neither a DJI MAVIC (only owned an old DJI PHANTOM V1.1.1 on GO-PRO HERO 4) but i did tried out my friend's SPARK and MAVIC since they are really pocket loaded owning these luxury toys, i manage to experience how it felt like flying these drones so i knew what's the differences or stuff missing out on the ZINO. The most obvious differences on HUBSAN ZINO are:
- No Collision Sensor which can detect what is coming in front if it fly towards an obstacles.
- No hand gesture / movement recognition sensor that can be used to control drone without controller.
- No Optical Flow sensor under the drone to detect ground movement so that the drone can positioned itself more rigid and accurate rather than rely on GPS positioning. This feature is useful for indoor hovering.
- Not so efficient track or lock its assigned moving target/object most of the time when in visual Tracking/Follow Me mode especially if you walk pass behind and object eg: trees. Intense background ambient light can be a problem for ZINO during 'Tracking' mode.
- Of course DJI MAVIC have more superior 4K video sharpness and intensity especially with background visual vegetation/terrains details.
So these are the few contrast differences that was lacked on HUBSAN ZINO H117S when compared to its rival the DJI model. But do we all really need those features? However if you look from rational AP drone consumer perspective the ZINO was designed intentionally for Aerial Photography without much 'gimmicky' automation and emphasized more getting the camera footage up in the air. ZINO 4K resolution is also adequate enough for general aerial photo/video use. For its affordable base price all those feature that this drone lack was nothing much of 'extra gimmick' which is not necessary to use if you are planning to fly manually to take great shots of photos or video up in the air. So i guess HUBSAN understand its target user who just want to fly, take a great photos/videos and remove what is not necessary from the drone while keeping the price down at large margin without cutting corners on its build quality yet still maintain great aerial footage on the budget for AP fans.. As you can see from all my video i don't need all those fancy feature to obtain great aerial photos and video. All i need (including the rest of us) is live WIFI video feed, 3x axis camera stabilization, good range, smooth WIFI, GPS for return home function and extremely good camera to capture quality moments in pure HD, thats it!...and its already 4K..Wow!!!..i meant yeah consider 4K HD drone that cost almost the same price as GoPro HERO but with wings! and triple cheaper than MAVIC or almost of that SPARK on 1080p HD only. And let's not forget the name HUBSAN is no stranger danger in drone world...that's a legit famous branded drone company among the community.
Important thing you should or 'must' know when using HUBSAN ZINO
Here are few important thing you must or need to know when operating the HUBSAN ZINO so you don't caught yourself in trouble or surprise because some of this thing i going to point out is not well elaborated by ZINO owner both in social medias, forum or even in some Youtube videos. Sometimes its not even mentioned on manuals either. However this 'points' i will mention are not hazard issues a special quirky feature that may overwhelm the owner/operator for not knowing the actual attributes of the ZINO.
- ZINO will refuse to bind with controller or smartphone in heavy WIFI interference area
This is something i found out when i try to fly in the city area where WIFI tower is all over places. If the area is not suitable to fly the ZINO will give you a hint that it will refuse to connect or bind with your controller no matter how much effort you put into it unless you need to move away from the noisy RF area. If you have hard time to connect or bind its not ZINO's fault, you'll need to move out from the area and find a safe spot to fly. Consider this feature as safety measures.
- Upon re-connection of control and video it will hold in 'Position Mode'
The batch model i have is 2019 July releases, so if you lost both video and controller signal from ZINO the drone will immediately RTH automatically until both video and controller connection restored, then it will stop RTH and remain in 'GPS Position hold' which means immediately you'll need to take control over the drone. I will return home automatically if the battery is at lowest point.
- If you lose only video/visual signal & signal bar indicator for controller is still available you still have control over ZINO
If you lose only video/visual signal from the screen (blank or static screen) don't assume it will trigger RTH because if the radio controller indicator bar still visible that mean controller is still connected and the drone still listen to you command which mean it will RTH only when you press the button manually unless the battery level is at lowest point.
- ZINO will force itself to RTH and land if the battery going really low
Between 29~35% battery level it will request to RTH and at lowest point it will RTH by force. So consider it as fail safe for safety sake. Don't force to fly further more. Ironically if you land with 29% battery you might surprise when you charge the ZINO's 3s 3000mah battery pack using digital charger you might notice you only fill in just half of its used capacity instead of consumed at 71%. I guess the extra 'unused' capacity is reserved if you're stubborn enough not to land the ZINO ethically.
- ZINO will not engage visual focus to moving object in 'Follow-Me' mode if camera set to manual setup
If you set your camera video recording with White Balance manually configured to Sunny or Cloudy the object tracking reticule will not work in 'Follow-Me' mode. If it happens set you camera back to everything default or auto. Sometimes if your overall clothing or physical body is as bright as the surrounding or blend well with the surrounding it doesn't track well nor engage frame focusing either.
- 'Fly-away' ...Never fly in windy days
Based on my weekly experience with ZINO its is practically impossible to have 'Fly-away', 'Run-away' or out of control drone that flies on its own uncommand away from you unless you followed the instruction what the apps instructed you to do. Do not heed any warning that pop-up/show up on the X-HUBSAN apps screen. Most flyaway as shown on Youtube are due to owner/user negligence by flying into high windy condition that is not fit for ZINO to fly. Famous fly-away incident to most drone like multicopters are due to compass or GPS error and if it should happen to ZINO it should pop-up a warning screen in advance that an error is going to happen and you should have quick control to let it back to safety before the problem escalate. Glad to say since 2018 till now no one has lost their ZINO to technical flaw other than owner/user negligence...oh yes saw a video got ZINO carried away by high winds.
- Micro SD-CARD must be at FAT32 format regardless of size/capacity
Note that regardless what size of Micro SD-CARD you use the format storage must be running on FAT32 format to use for ZINO onboard recording. Usually WINDOWS 10 pc able to format up to max 32GB micro SD-CARD storage in FAT32 but anything higher than that from 64GB and above the Windows 10 will format it as 'exFAT' which is not compatible for ZINO use. If you have difficulty finding tool to format 64GB and above you can format the micro SD-CARD inside ZINO via your smartphone X-HUBSAN apps tools. Extra note that upon recording make sure to turn off the recorder before switching off the drone else your recorded video inside ZINO will be corrupted.
Future support and aftermarket parts
Yes we all worries about what happens if you damaged it, crash it or burned it but let's not hope it happens...*touch wood*. DJI was successful not only because of its quality AP drone but also their support; their spare parts are very globally available in every corner of the cities and has a DJI technical support center all over place....if you have the money for it, those stuff are very premium. Once you have HUBSAN ZINO H117S in your hand you shouldn't worry much should it got nicked by your cat or slammed into trees, as long you have internet there's tonnes of spare parts available online shop all over places...of course its a HUBSAN! ..branded label. Plus HUBSAN spare parts are extremely extremely cheaper too ...i'm sure once you get a ZINO you'll need a spare battery without eating noodles at the end of the month to save up for it, lol. One of the most respected service by HUBSAN is their software and firmware support always keep updated by HUBSAN developer via their support section in their website and also there are always community forum of those ZINO owner opened up discussion board, Reddit, Facebook or other social media platform just to get more info, helps or technical know how on HUBSAN products. You can see in the forum all ZINO owner keep updating their firmware to get more stability, performance and extra features out of their drone. For example early releases user may not able to tweak their camera, select the video resolution and other attributes, weeks later new firmware and apps finally they can tuned their cameras and much more! Thumbs up! So no worries of old firmware, lacking parts or support in the future for this drone. FYI they still have support base for old HUBSAN drone which means that's a good indicator that support for ZINO going to stay longer lifespan.
The truth: ZINO, its an Aerial Photo/Videography drone.
Again as i highlighted before lots of people don't realized why HUBSAN ZINO H117s was build in such a way stripped out unnecessary option such as optical flow sensor, collision/gesture sensor, solid tracking mode and features that would other wise could compete 1 to 1 with their rival DJI or XIAOMI in favor to cut cost but not cutting corners like many budget drone maker and i must say the (HUBSAN) did good job making their first flag ship drone into the market. Yes finally they build a pure AERIAL PHOTO/VIDEOGRAPHY drone.....it does the job well as intended if you treat it as it is.
As an aerial photo/videography drone you don't need few stuff to accomplish a goal:
- You don't need optical flow sensor because it not going to fly low for a Selfie if your purely like to take aerial view.
- You don't need collision sensor because their no obstacles when you're high up in the air, you only hit building or trees because you asking for it.
- You don't have to go beyond 1KM (1000m) just to take aerial footage of property. Most common pure aerial photo/videography enthusiast would travel to such location and take aerial video on the very close spot which mean they have permission to enter public or private space to make video/photo legal. Most people who going beyond that must have mistaken the ZINO as serious budget FPV'er drone but actually not designed for such thing. Its best done flying something that has better battery capacity and radio range...or go fly an FPV plane for more logical task.
To add more sense quality camera the feature that comes with ZINO and all the tunable parameter via apps directly pointed out that its was solely build for that reason...taking great aerial videos as smooth as possible and presentable.
- It has selectable resolution, smooth 4K HD 30fps, 2K 1080 at 60fps even had lowest up to 720p.
- Has ISO and exposure setup.
- White balance tuning.
- Grid lines
- Camera gimbal manual movement speed adjustment
- Assisted aerial photo/videography flight mode from waypoint, orbit to straight line flight.
...and more feature to take great footage instead concentrating trying going to far away from operator which make ZINO usage sound clueless which many FPV think it should for the money that they've spent. Don't forget i'm also and FPV pilot but do fly long distance but i knew ZINO exist for a different purpose. As shown on my video during my daily life commuting back and forth to my office the ZINO has become great companion for me to take localized aerial footage and picture to impress my social circle and online community my beautiful place where i live instead of "Hey look how far i go!"...so now you know what ZINO should be treated as.
Here are sample of video of i posted on my Youtube channel contain test review on HUBSAN H117s 4K UHD multirotor drone.
- Product gallery: HUBSAN H117s 4K UHD multirotor drone
- Video: HUBSAN ZINO H117s 4K UHD drone -Part 9: The Race Track
- Video: HUBSAN ZINO H117s 4K UHD drone -Part 8: 4K ISO 1700 raw video at night above town
- Video: HUBSAN ZINO H117s 4K UHD drone -Part 7: 4K ISO 400 raw video at night above town
- Video: HUBSAN ZINO H117s 4K UHD drone -Part 6: 4K raw video of Marina footage
- Video: HUBSAN ZINO H117s 4K UHD drone -Part 5: Waypoint & POI aerial photography with sharpness adjustment
- Video: HUBSAN ZINO H117s 4K UHD drone -Part 4: 4K raw video of park footage
- Video: HUBSAN ZINO H117s 4K UHD drone -Part 3: Waypoint & POI aerial photography
- Video: HUBSAN ZINO H117s 4K UHD drone -Part 2: Max distance test
- Video: HUBSAN ZINO H117s 4K UHD drone -Part 1: Unboxing & maiden
Here are list of reputable vendor/seller which i bought from and also verified by community forum discussion groups. Also i've experienced buying from these places that have good support and services:
- Seller Banggood.com: Hubsan H117S Zino GPS 5G WiFi 1KM FPV with 4K UHD Camera 3-Axis Gimbal RC Drone Quadcopter RTF
- Seller AMAZON.com: HUBSAN Zino Drone Foldable Quadcopter 4K UHD Video Camera 3-axis(Yaw,Picth,Roll) Brushless Motor with GPS 5.8G WiFi FPV
- Seller AMAZON.com (PRO version): HUBSAN Zino Pro Drone with 4K UHD Camera 3-Axis Gimbal FPV RC Quadcopter, 4KM 5G WiFi Transmission Brushless Motor GPS Return to Home Foldable Arm RTF
Spare parts & Accessories
Below are list of parts & accessories available for this drone, actually there's more but the listed are my favorite picks:
- Hubsan H117S Zino GPS RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts 11.4V 3100mAh Intelligent Flight Battery
- 3-in-1 Charging Cable Charger Adapter for Hubsan Zino H117S 11.4V 3100mAh Battery
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts Carrying Storage Bag
- Hubsan H117S Zino RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts Quick Release Foldable Propeller Props Blades Set
- B3 20W 1.6A Balance Charger for Hubsan Zino H117S RC Quadcopter
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts Battery Balance Charger
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts Brushless Motor CW/CCW
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts Gimbal Damping Shock Absorber Ball 4Pcs
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts Lower Body Cover Shell
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts Upper Body Cover Shell
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Quadcopter Spare Parts Drone Arms Elastic Spring Buckle Set
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts Motor Arms
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Quadcopter Spare Parts Drone Arms Garnish
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts Pressing Piece Swivel Axis Cover
- Hubsan Zino H117S RC Drone Quadcopter Spare Parts HT016B Transmitter Remote Controller
- Waterproof Portable Protective Carrying Case Bag for Hubsan H117S Zino RC Drone Quadcopter
Places where you can find help and resources related to this product:
Topic: Rcgroups.com - Hubsan Zino - 4K camera, 3 axis gimbal, foldable design
Topic: Rctech.com - Hubsan ZINO H117s 4K Ultra HD foldable drone...awesomeness!!..DJI Mavic rival?
Company website: https://www.hubsan.com
Support files/manual: https://www.hubsan.com/na/index.php?main_page=support
What can i say people, after a month trying out and enjoying HUBSAN ZINO H117s all around places travelling on my bicycle on my daily commute to work i immediately fall in love with it because its fun to explore from above particularly for taking great beautiful view of my town and places worth discovering. Its small, portable 4K Ultra HD, affordable, full of support resources not to worry breaking it, lots of useful 'automated' aerial features, extremely stable footage thanks to 3x axis gimbal, fail safe is great definitely noob proof and most importantly its easy to fly without me controlling the stick all the time so i can concentrate taking a perfect photo/video shots up in the air ...you can say i started to become extremely lazy taking over the stick control. Btw, first of all would like to thanks to my sponsor Banggood.com for letting me pick my choice of drone which is the HUBSAN ZINO H117s for me to review and have fun with this coolest drone for the mid year 2019!
The ZINO was spot on on everything i need just to get the job done taking great shots with nothing to lose both in flight quality and also HD imaging production. It makes sense to me that why do you need to spent more when you can get less that can do the same thing. After spending times with ZINO i started to forget the need for me save up for DJI MAVIC (MAVIC was almost out of my picture especially the price almost like putting down payment on new automobiles) when this white knight can do the same thing. Since i post most of ZINO's produced footages and aerial photo on social media everyone though i took these shots from expensive drone or something expensive else flown on GoPro HERO cam on gimbals but its was after all its on ZINO! I'm not really good on video editing nor photography 'yet' still the quality of footage from ZINO speaks louder than words even in raw format. Of course ZINO can't beat the 4K quality on pro level drone such as DJI, YUNEEC or on XIAOMI but still the quality surpasses than those on 'ordinary' 4K HD generic cams. By common sense the audience who watch your aerial video and photos doesn't really care much which drone does that, if it produce decent beautiful footage it was enough to impress the crowds and ZINO did extremely well without extra gimmick feature added to unnecessary premium price to this drone.
As usual from today and onwards what was once clinging behind my backpack a C-FLY DREAM now replaced with my new trusty travelling companion the HUBSAN ZINO H117S. Oh don't get me wrong C-FLY DREAM is still fun little drone to bash around for quick aerial discovery thanks to its solid WIFI FPV connection. Yes i've you're observant at my website you might notice my DJI PHANTOM been sitting for years in the corner of my relaxing room collected dust under that black tripod, lol. Man i really need to buy third spare battery pack for ZINO soon. :)