Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma with ST10 and 3-Axis Gimbal for GoPro Hero Review

If you’re a videographer and you already own a GoPro Hero3 or Hero4, then the Horizon Hobby Blade Chroma with ST10 and 3-Axis Gimbal might be the drone for you. The 3-axis gimbal does a good job stabilizing your video footage and it streams video back to the drone’s remote control. While this aircraft doesn’t have an integrated 4K camera like the DJI Phantom 3 professional, the Blade Chroma is still a good option.

DESIGN & FEATURES

The first thing you may notice is this model shares the same features and designs as the Blade Chroma with CGO3 4K Camera model. Therefore, you can expect the same flight time of about 28 minutes. If you’d like to know more about the drone’s performance, features, and other details, you can refer to that review. The Chroma does weigh about 3 pounds, so you’ll have to register it with the FAA before you take to the skies.

The Chroma is slightly larger than a DJI Phantom, it measures 9.5 by 15.7 by 15.7 inches (HWD). We suggest that you invest in a carrying case, as it doesn’t come with one. If you’re looking for a more compact design, you may want to take a look at the Xiro Xplorer G.

 

 

Instead of including an integrated camera, the Chroma comes with a 3-axis gimbal that will fit your GoPro Hero3 or Hero4 action cameras. The video transmission system will stream video from your camera to the ST10+ remote control seamlessly. You’ll have to install the transmitter yourself by clipping it on to one of the landing struts, which is a very easy job with a screwdriver.

The gimbal itself is easy to install and remove. A plus side to this model being exactly the same as the Chroma model that comes with a camera is that you can purchase a CGO3 separately and use it if you’d like. All you’ll have to do is bind the remote control to the CGO3.

A small antenna is required to be plugged into the side of the transmitter. There’s also cable that plugs into the transmitter and then splits into the gimbal and the GoPro’s mini USB port. The cable that plugs into the GoPro will need to be threaded through the gimbal and plugged into the camera before the camera is locked into the gimbal. We found that this process was actually easier to accomplish than it sounds.

During our review, we were able to maintain a solid video transmission range of about 1,400 feet. This was in a semi-suburban area with no visual obstructions. This isn’t quite as far as we saw with the Chroma that comes with the integrated CGO3 camera – with that model we saw about 1,600 feet when flying in the same location.

While this aircraft is capable of flying 1,400 feet away from the remote control, the default setting is 650 feet. Therefore, if you’d like to fly longer distances, you’ll have to use the Chrome GUI to extend the limit. Within the GUI, you’ll also be able to specify the maximum altitude. The default is set at 400 feet, which is the FAA limit for drone flight in the US.

The video quality is obviously dependent on which GoPro camera you’re using. We used one of our Hero4 Blacks, which records video at 4K quality. While the GoPro is capable of capturing audio, it’s dominated by the buzzing sound of the four rotors.

The gimbal does an awesome job stabilizing the video footage. The aerial video is very steady and smooth, even when changing altitude, turning, and doing sudden maneuvers. Occasionally you’ll notice the propellers in the frame due to the ultra-wide field of view captured by a GoPro. However, it’s possible to capture video with a narrower field of view, or even crop the 4K footage down to 1080p or 2.7K when editing it.

The gimbal can tilt down and up. We noticed that there is some lag when adjusting the camera tilt using the ST10+ remote control. It may take you some time to get used to this lag, and can be slightly concerning when trying to make the camera move midflight. This is actually an issue with the ST10+, as we’ve noticed this problem while flying other drones like the Yuneec Typhoon G and the Typhoon Q500 4K.

CONCLUSIONS

If you already own a GoPro camera, you can definitely save some money by purchasing a drone that has a GoPro gimbal mount rather than an integrated camera. The Horizon Blade Chroma with ST10 and 3-axis Gimbal for GoPro Hero is a top choice. It’s smaller and easier to transport than the Yuneec Typhoon G, but it’s not quite as small as the Xiro Xplorer G.

While the operating range is slightly limited when compared to the DJI Phantom 3 and the Phantom 3 Advanced, it’s not much of an issue for those who are comfortable keeping the geofence engaged to keep the Chroma within a 650-foot range of the launch point. All you need to do is slap your GoPro on and you’ll be up in the air capturing great aerial footage in no time.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

GENERAL
Approximate Flight Time: 25+ minutes
Battery: 11.1V 6300mAh 8C
Control Link: 2.4GHz
Flying Weight: 50.66 oz (1.7kg)
Height: 11.4 in (290mm)
Length: 12.8 in (325mm)
Main Frame Material: Plastic
Main Motor Type: Brushless Outrunner
Prop Diameter: 10.0 in (253mm)
Rotor Type: Quadcopter
Weight: 45.9 oz (1.3 kg)
Width: 12.8 in (325mm)

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