There aren’t a lot of good GPS drones with HD cameras and intelligent flight modes for less than $200. The JJPRO X5 Epik an exception and currently is on sale for less than $130. It is one of the best beginner drones you can buy and is an excellent option for anyone looking to get into aerial photography.
To be clear the JJPRO X5 Epik ($126) isn’t going to compete with a Mavic 2 Zoom ($1249) or even a Spark ($399). It doesn’t have a stabilized camera and that is the biggest drawback to the Epik. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable option for a novice. It is a solid beginner drone.
It is incredibly stable, has a good range and a respectable 18 minute flight time. This is a drone for someone that isn’t ready to commit to the large price tags that come with some of the more well-known drones. But if you want to get into flying you need to start somewhere and the Epik is a great place to start. In the past, I have recommended the Ryze Tello ($79) as the best beginner drone, but the Epik is also a solid recommendation.
The Tello ($79) is a small drone and that limits a lot of what it can do. While I actually prefer the camera on the Tello to the Epik, the Tello has a shorter flight time and a limited range. The biggest advantage of the Tello is that it uses electronic image stabilization to smooth out jittery video footage. However being a smaller and lighter drone the Tello can’t handle windy conditions half as well as the Epik.
The Epik is a bigger drone and is capable of much more. If you aren’t satisfied with the 1080p camera of the Epik is actually quite easy to add an action camera like a GoPro for better footage. While a better camera would make this Epik drone truly an epic beginner purchase that would likely push its price tag north of $200. The Epik is a good choice for beginners largely because of its lower price tag coupled with its GPS features.
What is the JJPRO Epik?
The JJPRO X5 Epik is a brushless GPS drone with an HD camera. There is one feature that sets the Epik apart from most GPS drones under $200. Unlike a lot of the inexpensive GPS drones out there the camera on the Epik can be adjusted from the remote. While it isn’t a gimbal it is still helpful for lining up shots. Be careful not to move it manually, the servos are sensitive and it tends to stick if you try.
JJPRO Epik Camera
The quality of the 1080p video isn’t the best. There is a bit of distortion and the frame rate is a measly 25 fps. You can get decent video if you fly in good light and if you fly slow and steady. The photo quality tends to be better than the video in my opinion. I’ve strapped a GoPro style action camera to similar drones on many occasions and that is a simple way to upgrade. However, after flying this a few times you’ll likely be hooked and the next step up is the DJI Spark($399). The distortion is visible in the picture below. It is more noticeable on the edges. The pictures and videos are decent but you won’t be producing Hollywood films with the Epik.
Take a look at a photo from the Epik. Look closely and you can spot muskrats swimming in the pond.
JJPRO Epik vs MJX Bugs 5W
The JJPRO X5 Epik is essentially a clone of the MJX Bugs 5W. That isn’t a bad thing. The Bugs 5W is one of our favorite inexpensive GPS drones. Like the JJPRO Epik has an excellent 1080p camera and the GPS does an excellent job of keeping the drone stable. Personally, I prefer the styling of the X5 Epik to the Bugs 5W.
The JJPRO X5 Epik is powered by powerful 1806 brushless motors. That makes it efficient and is the reason it has the impressive 18 minute flight time. It has a maximum range of 300 meters but the 5G WiFi video feed likely will only last about half that distance. Because the WiFi is over a 5G connection it will be limited to certain smartphones that have this capability.
JJPRO Epik features
The GPS features of the JJPRO X5 Epik work quite well. The follow me, orbit, return to home and waypoints all work as expected. I do not recommend using waypoints on most inexpensive drones as it has caused problems for me in the past. Make sure you calibrate your drone and understand the scale of your map before you attempt to fly via waypoints.
Yes, the JJPRO X5 Epik is essentially a rebranded MJX Bugs 5W. That is actually a good thing as the Bugs 5W is an excellent quad. The only real difference is the styling. If you are looking for a solid, inexpensive GPS drone with some flight modes for under $130 then you really don’t have any better options. Click here to take advantage of the JJPRO Epik sale ($126) happening now at TomTop.
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