The camera might be the biggest enigma of the Yuneec Typhoon Q500, its sold as a 12 megapix still / 1080p video camera with 3 frame-rates 48/50/60fps, a 130deg lens and automatic color balance. The camera is build into a 0.02 deg stabilized brushless gimbal. For those not in the know. 0.02 deg is seriously stable!

In the air, the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 camera / gimbal delivers with ROCK SOLID stable video.To the point that I am tempted to call the video “impossible stable” .

How stable?  The native raw video from the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 is the most stable I have ever seen from a RTF quad, particularly at this pricepoint. Honestly it’s so stable that it seems almost un-natural.  So I started investigating a bit.

Digging into the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 camera.The first thing you notice is the overly rich colors, I’m dismissing those hoping they will soon fix that with a firmware update. (besides a simple curve can fix the colors in post as well)

The second thing, the camera seems a bit “fuzzy” just enough that it’s not crisply sharp. So I scaled the video UP to 400% and played it back alongside a identical shot from my GoPro 4silver set to 1080p medium FPV.   BINGO. instantly the jagged lines on the diagonal branche … turns out the video is actually rezzed-up 720p video. Thats a bit disappointing at first.

Before you loose too much sleep over the camera, lets really quickly remember, the camera is less than 1080p, however its also “impossible stable”  I’m guessing they are stabilizing the video live in the camera, and that’s probably the real reason we get less than 1080 resolving power.

What the story with the Blade 350AP quad having the same camera, BUT  while the Blade is a 16 megapixel camera, the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 camera is rated at 12 megapixel.  I asked the good people at Yuneec, and were told that they made a choice to crop the still image a bit to avoid vignetting at the corner of the image.

We have been wondering why the video from the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 camera is a bit unpredictable, so today I cracked it open to take a look at the antenna,  well dang, turns out there is a circular polarizer antenna, but mounted sideways, so basically you only get solid video to the SIDES of the quad, some bonehead designed that, pop off the black cover over the lens part.. and pull down the antenna, it should be pointing down to the ground.  Done.. now you have MUCH more solid video connection. how is that for a cheap fix?

The correct position for the 5.8ghz antenna, this will hugely improve the video stability.Before you start modding your Yuneec, the antenna have issues ether way, if you “drop” it, like I did, it turns out that then you can loose video doing a straight up climb (crane shot), because the antenna offer little video signal on its center when pointed down. however I flew this out to about 1500 feet horizontal distance without any breakup of the video. Just keep in mind, for close distances in the city, the original position is probably pretty good.

One more mod,  after a couple weeks of flying, my gimbal developed a buzzing sound in the yaw axis. I called Yuneec Support (those guys are incredible great), and they told me the balancer on the back of the gimbal can be turned to screw in in or out to tune the gimbal. I did that, but could not entirely get rid of the buzzing, so I stuck a quarter on there with some double-side tape. Buzzing gone.

I’m pretty sure a smaller coin would have done the trick, and you can do a nicer install by cutting the tape nicer.

 

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