I love doing reviews for products that just work out of the box, but unfortunately, I cannot say that for the iFlight Cinebee 4K that was provided for a review by Banggood.
Although it is flying very well, my main complain is the recorded video quality.
The drone arrived just in time for a shoot that I had for a client and judging by the previous reviews by some fellow pilots I planned on filming with it, so I have just inserted my rates and went on the shoot. I regret that I haven’t even had time to record a test video footage before doing that commercial shoot, since it turned out that the QC at the iFligh has failed at certain point or I’m just out of luck.
There were a sporadic jittery movements in the recorded video, without any given stick command, which did not go away even by making drastic PID changes which pointed out to a hardware issue that turned out to be a case of bad motor bearing. This issue was causing unusual high noise that was getting through the filters to the gyro.
Here is a screenshot of the Blackbox log displaying resonance on the pitch axis that is causing the D-term spiking.
The Cinebee 4K comes in the usual iFlight black box packaging. Included in the box there is the drone, four spare propellers, a lot of spare screws, spare battery strap, L shaped usb connector extender needed so you could plug in your FC to a computer, since there is not enough clearance to use just a regular cable because of the prop guards, joystick for setting up the Caddix camera, and some stickers.
Going on to the Cinebee 4K, it weighs 106 grams and it is 107 mm motor to motor diagonal size, iFlight has used BeeMotor 1104 8300KV motors with 1.5 mm shaft, spinning HQ triblade 2025 props.
The stack is SucceX Mirco F4 Flight Tower System 16x16mm with F4 flight controller with OSD and 12A escs that could take up to 4S voltage, the stack also includes a 200mW vTX with a Foxeer lollipop v3 antenna connected on an UFL antenna connector.
The Cinebee 4K uses XT30 battery connector and it comes in two variants; one intended for 2S batteries and the other one for 4S batteries. The difference between these two is the motor KV 8500kv and 5000 kv correspondingly.
The main star of the show is the Caddx Tarsier 4K camera that enables this drone to shoot 4K video with 30 fps and 2.7K video with 60 fps.
Caddx is the first company that has started the trend of using two integrated cameras in one casing, lately followed by Runcam with the newly announced Hybrid 4K camera. The upper camera is used for FPV flying and the bottom one is used only for recording videos.The recorded video has solid quality that could not be compared to the GoPro 6 or 7 video quality, but it is a compromise enabling you to have a 4K video recorded with a micro drone.
The Caddx Tarsier stack is located in the back of the drone behind the FC/Esc/vTx stack.
The camera is protected in a cage that doubles as a vibration dampener at the same time by using a TPU printed mounting parts. This is an excellent solution for getting jellofree videos.
There are several drone options with different receivers based on FrSky, FlySky and TBS Crossfire. The version that I have received has the FrSky R-XSR receiver.
iFlight are famous for the excellent build quality, solder joints are done professionally and the layout of the components is well thought-out without excessively long wires.
The stack is dampened by using rubber grommets between each stack component.
The carbon parts have great finish with beveled edges.
In my case the quality of the motors turned out to be somewhat questionable because of the one motor that had defective bearings out of the box.
Other than that all components are with top notch quality which is expectable for that price range.
Putting aside the jitters on the pitch axis which is visible in the fpv feed and also on the recorded video, the Cinebee 4K flies really well and has good power to weight ratio for a cine drone.
During the troubleshooting I have removed the prop guards and found out that it greatly improved my flight time and overall battery consumption on a 3S 450 mAh battery. I have found some spare shorter motor bolts from a micro build and replaced the original ones, but you could use the original bolts and a 3D printed insert below the carbon frame. I have taken my time and created an STL file that you could use for this purpose, you can find a link to it in the video description.
I have also tried installing a different Betaflight version and ended up using the latest BetaFlight 4.1 tuned with the latest configurator using only the sliders for PIDs and filters which gave me satisfactory results. My PID and filtering suggestions are also provided in the video description below.
- Great build quality
- 4K on a micro sized drone, great for presentational walkthroughs
- The Tarsier FPV camera video quality is really good
- Provided Lollipop v3 vTx antenna
- Tarsier connectivity and easy setup with an android app compared to the other similar types of cameras.
- Heavy propguards that are limiting the flight performance and that could break eventually based on the experience of other reviewers
- 2.7K video looked squished on my camera, not sure if this is just a camera setting or it is like that from the factory
- Quality control
My personal experience was not so good, for a type of drone that should be good to go out of the box and also considering the price.
Based on other experience of other reviewers it seems that I’m an isolated case of not so good quality control, a thing that could and should be improved on the iFlight side.
My plan is to do a thorough check by swapping out components and solve the issue that I have with my Cinebee 4K drone and I will report back with my findings.
You can get the Cinebee 4K here: http://bit.ly/2p4pnHe
Use coupon code BGNDcb4k to get it on discounted price of $186