SJRC F11S Pro 4K Review, Part 1 Drone Features
This really is a neat drone. This is the sjrc f11s model pro 4k. Now that s means this comes with optical flow. There is two versions of this with and without optical flow. The basic um f11 pro 4k does not have optical flow. This does the s version and i’ll discuss that here shortly: um i’m, going to break this review down into two separate reviews: uh the where i go over. This is the tabletop review and then i’m gon na do the flight review following that, the reason being folks, i’m in erie pennsylvania now and i have not seen the sun in three weeks: okay, lots of snow lots of rain and lots of wind as soon as I get a nice day. I will take this outside because it’s very important to fly this in the sun and i’ll discuss that here shortly: okay, but let’s go over the drone and what you get with the drone uh, what it can do, uh describing it before. We actually take it out into the field because there’s a lot of lot to cover here, and it really does need to be broken down into two separate parts, uh first off um. This drone does come with a very nice carrying case. I always forget to show the carrying case so now. I do this in the beginning of the review um for the drone, the controller and it’s optional, um features or optional things that might you might want to include with the drone in the case.
Okay, but let’s talk about the drone itself. First, starting off with the drone. It is a folding drone to make for portability and again for portability. It does come with a carrying case, so you can fold it up and shut it, like so close. The back uh back ones first and then the front ones first and close it up and they open up like so so again, folding drone for portability. Now this is not a lightweight drone folks. This weighs 585 grams, okay, very it’s, somewhat of a heavy drum, and with that in mind, it is going to require registration in most countries. You get this drone you’re likely going to need to register in your country. Now it is a gps drone, gps glonass, which means rapid gps lock on with this drone, and on top of that you can. This drone will return to home and land on itself, then, where it took off from on command on loss of signal from the controller or if um on low battery state will also return to home and land. So let me i’m just showing you the belly of the drone circling it. So you can see the drone um other things about it. I did mention this is the s version with optical flow sensor. Okay, now keep in mind the f11 version. Without the s, the f11 version does not have this optical flow sensor, it’s, not there, but the s model which this is does now you notice down here in the belly.
That also suggests that it has acoustic sensors. These are not acoustic sensors folk folks, there’s. Nothing in there they’re just for, looks right now, but again someday. They may include a follow on version with acoustic sensors for booking helping with altitude hold control. In addition to the barometer control, uh acoustic versions, um do well in maintaining altitude very steadily because they’re using sound, bouncing off the ground like a radar or a sonar system bouncing off the ground. But this version again does not have acoustic sensors, but it has little slots here which i guess for a future version. They will include acoustics with this. Okay let’s talk about this optical flow sensor. Here i only touched upon it earlier. You know saying the difference of f11s versus the base f11 immersion, but what is optical flow optical flow looks down. It is this: is a camera folks. This optical flow sensor on the s version is a camera that looks down from the bottom of the drone uh from the belly of the drone directly below it and what it does is it uses that view that it’s seeing to help maintain stability in the horizontal Plane to keep this from wandering around right and left, you know horizontally like that. Okay, in addition, now the gps also does that okay tries to keep it but there’s still a little bit of an error when the gp from the gps signal. So the drone might still wander around just a little bit with gps, so that optical flow sensor helps lock on a horizontal um, a horizontal flight of this drone, so that’s the advantage of that okay keep a nice horizontal position of the drone.
So again that comes with the s version only not available with the f11 version. Now it is a brushless motor drum for improved durability and longevity of the motors so that’s a good point about it. Also, it comes with an 11.1 volt battery 3s battery. Now this is a big battery. Folks, let’s take a look closer look at the battery. It is charged through a micro, usb port here on the side of the battery, now being that this is 11.1 volt and uh 2500 milliamp per hour. This battery is going to require that you use a good wall charger with this. A good i’d recommend a 2 amp wall charger to charge. This particular battery do not try to charge this through your computer port, the usb computer port on your phone or not your phone. Your computer, as computers generally have only like a 500 milliamp output. You are going to need two amp okay to charge this big drone. Otherwise, you’ll be charging it for days on your computer, which, instead of hours using a wall charger to recharge this one thing about it. If you wish additional batteries, if you want to keep flying when you go out in the field, i strongly recommend you you purchase spares when you purchase the drone because of lipo shipping restrictions. Uh international shipping restrictions can be somewhat difficult for some countries. Okay. So if you wish additional batteries, consider purchasing additional batteries and having them bundled with a drone when you purchase this particular drone.
Okay, i want to talk about the beat and potentials of this drone. What makes it really special is? It has a 4k camera, a true 4k camera, even though i do notice that it is labeled full hd on the front of this, i don’t think they’ve updated from the previous 1080p version the the front screen of this, but this is a 4k camera. It is a 4k camera um. However, if you i don’t know if this shows up or not, but the aperture on this camera, the little opening there is rather small and it does not have a a fisheye lens over the front of it to help collect light. Going in there, what that means is folks and what i’ve discovered is. This does not have good performance in low light situations: okay, such as cloudy days, which i’m experiencing right now: okay, that’s, why i can’t fly this? I need a sunny. You need a sunny day to to really see the 4k performance of this camera. You fly this on cloudy days and, and it really um, the camera looks like it’s 1080p instead of 4k is what i’m trying to say. You need good lighting for this camera to work at its peak performance, so i just wanted to mention that, in addition to that 4k camera notice, we now have a two axis, stabilized gimbal, okay, to help improve the stability of the video, keep the video stable as The drone pitches and bounces around in the wind, in addition to this two axis stabilized camera, it had also has electronic image stabilization.
So what that means is, in addition to stabilization from mechanical, it also has electric or digital stabilization to provide a very smooth, uh video from this particular drone. This drone should box around quite a bit before you even notice any movement on the video now there’s, there’s, good and bad in that okay. First off this drone only records the 4k video to a micro sd card slot on the side of the drone right here, and you cannot change it or downgrade it to 1080p. It has to be 4k, it only records 4k to this uh camera and when i’m saying 4k, i’m talking 3840 by 2160 pixel that’s, both for uh the video from the drone at 30 frames per second by the way and also for photos, the photos are simply Frame grabs of that video? Okay, now you, since this is 4k and it only records 4k, you are going to need a good card, a very good card. Now this can understand 32 gigabyte up to 128 gigabyte. But in addition to that, you are going to need a u3 card. Why don’t? What i mean b3 – i mean the write. Speed of the card is u3. I don’t know if that’s coming in or not there’s a little tiny little. U there with a three in the center of it. That is what that is the speed of the card that you are going to need to properly record 4k video.
If you went with just a class 10 card, i guarantee your class 10 is probably going to choke, as it tries to record 4k video, okay you’re, going to get intermittent breaks in the video um stuttering in the video um. A class 10 card just cannot keep up with for writing down 4k video, especially at 30 frames per second resolution or frame speed, um other things about it. I mentioned the sd card recording now i i only brushed on it, but i said that you can’t downgrade it to 1080p. Okay, it has to be recorded at 4k. What this means folks is for those of you that have older computers. Like me, you’re going to have some problems, editing that 4k video, okay uh, you might even have problems viewing that 4k video on your computer. It might also not break up and slow down and see a lot of frame dropping that’s, because your computer can’t keep up with it. Can’T keep up with uh processing a 4k video, okay, so uh. What i need to do in my case is: i have, to separately, take each of the videos that’s recorded from this drone and then use a video processing program to downgrade it to 1080p and, in fact, that’s. What i’m going to do with my video that i post on youtube: okay, uh the flight video um, but i know a lot of you are interested in seeing the true 4k. I am also going to upload uh separately, a third video of uh directly from the sd card to to show you what the true 4k video is from this uh particular drone i’m, not going to edit it i’m just going to upload it raw from the 4k Onto youtube youtube will process it.
Some, but they’ll they’ll keep it in a good, true, 4k resolution, so you can see the actual performance of this camera. Okay, this drone also has fpv capability, along with advanced flight control capability. A circle me follow me and wait points, and the way that is done is through an app it’s done through your phone, and the name of that app is the sjf pro app available on google play and itunes. Now that particular app requires 802.11 ac, wi fi and, as always, i need to stress that not everybody has 802.11 ac wi fi on their phone. Okay. So before purchasing this drone, you will i strongly recommend that you first verify that your phone indeed does have 802.11 ac wi fi, or you will be very disappointed when you get this drone, and you see you can’t view the video through this through your phone, because Your phone’s, too old, okay, it doesn’t, have 802.11 ac, wi fi and a way that you can verify if your phone has 802.11 ac is to google, your phone’s name along with 802.11 and the other term specifications. So 802.11 your phone’s name and specifications and then see if 802.11 ac shows up in the search results. If you find it, if you don’t see 802.11 ac with your phone’s specifications, don’t buy this drone or you will be disappointed. Okay, other improvements on this drone is it. They say that this drone has 1200 meters up to 1200 meters fpv range.
I find that hard to believe and the reason why is the controller does not have a relay in it. That means they’re, depending that the transmission power from this particular drone will take you out to 1200 meters. I have yet to see a drone that uses wi fi as its transmission system. Reach extended ranges like that. You know. Digital extended ranges like that without using a relay in the controller, so i i have some doubts about that and really i can’t demonstrate that, where i am here in erie pennsylvania like i used to be able to do out in the desert, because i just don’t Have the real estate to fly that far out here, so i do have some doubts, but i will not be able to verify that in my review. I’M. Sorry folks, okay, let’s talk about the controller. Now this controller is said to have control range up to 1200 meters. Now that might be possible. Okay, i have seen controllers very good control range out to 1200 meters or so, but um one thing about it is these antennas here are fake they’re, not real there’s. No wire going up inside them: okay, um i’m. Looking through the gaps there there’s no wire, so they are fake. You can leave them down if you wish, but the real antenna in this is runs up alongside the back of this of the case here, it’s internal to the case, but again it supposedly gives you good range after 1200 meters.
Now this is a good feeling controller. It does not feel fake at all. It feels like a good quality controller. In fact, it’s phone holder, i just turned it on it’s phone holder – is, is not very, is actually very good. Okay, it holds my large phone. I got a big thick phone. Most of these drones have toy toy grade controllers that hold very thin phones. This would hold up up to my big armor. 6E. Okay, you know uh rugged, phones, the big thick ones. This will do it okay. So i like i like this particular controller because of that. Let me turn this off here. Um other things about it: let’s go over the buttons on this first off this drone can’t. This drone has a zoom control right here for controlling the zoom from the camera. However, when you use this zoom control, all it does is zoom uh this digital zoom through your phone, only through the fpv video that you’re receiving on your phone, it does not have zoom control over the video that’s been being recorded on to the sd card, and I think that’s an oversight on the sjrc’s part here, because that would have been really would have set this drone over the top. If you could zoom that 4k video, that would have been a very effective means of zooming, even in digital zoom of 4k, would have looked pretty good. However, when you’re recording, you know, zooming fpv or yeah uh you’re, recording uh, the uh received wi fi fpv video that’s low resolution to start with around 720 to 1080p and when you zoom in and you’re going to get a lot of pixelation of that particular video.
So again, i think sjrc missed the mark. There missed the opportunity of in including zoom of the 4k video that would have been awesome if they would have been able to do that, but let’s go with this other other features of this particular controller. Again, it feels nice, it looks nice too nice shiny face. However, it does not have any telemetry on the front here that’s another on this particular controller that i wish they would have included. You know been able to see the distance. You know the range of the drone, the altitude of the drone and maybe even the heading of the drone that would have been nice if they would have been able to control it, but what they do is they have the flight modes of the particular drone. Let’S talk about them real, quick here um you can change the flight mode rates of the drone. It comes up in normal mode, which is normal flight by this button. Here by pressing that button, it goes to sport mode, which is high speed flight of the drone. But if you’re using the camera of this drone you’re going to want to keep the drone nice and steady and not jerk around too fast with that, so you want to go to what’s called camera mode. The drone will fly very slow, it’ll, yaw, very slow, but that’s what you want when you’re taking video. So you can do that with this drone by pressing that button there um it does, have emergency stop, and i only you only want to press and hold this button.
If you end up in a tree or a bush, you want to protect your motors press that button and the motors will stop, do not press that button. While the drone is in the air flying or else the drone will drop from the sky and crash don’t want to use it that way, other buttons on this particular controller. This button is for taking photos, quick press and it will take a photo. This button is for taking video, quick press and it will start a video. Another quick press will stop the video and, if you hold this button down for three seconds and drone will enter into headless mode, so be careful there. Folks um, i had i seen a a person on rc groups that was wondering what happened to the drone, because they couldn’t control uh the direction it was uh flying with uh yaw it’s, because they turned on accidentally turned on headless mode. By holding this button down too long again, i did mention that this is for controlling the zoom of the app okay, the fb video that you’re viewing on the app you can control through there and that scroll there and finally, on the right here. This is for raising and lowering the gimbal of the camera. You can point the lens up or down by using this scroll wheel here it does have automatic return to home and landing on command by pressing this button here or say: um let’s turn that off.
If you notice the drone going into toilet bowl effect, and you want to come out of gps mode which, when it goes in the toilet, bowl effect, that means you need to recalibrate the drone’s sensors compass sensors. But then you don’t want to be going in toilet pool effect, because you can crash that way. You can turn off the gps is what i’m just trying to say is by pressing this button and holding it down for three seconds like so, and that turns off gps. If you want to turn it back on you press, it again hold it for three seconds: it goes back to gps mode. Other things about the controller. You know this is throttle up down left right, yaw, pitch and roll, but also you can enter compass calibration mode by bringing both sticks up and inboard, and then the drone would go into compass, calibration mode and i’ll. Go into detail on that when we go flying out into the field, and you can also calibrate the gyros on this drone to maintain uh steady, horizontal flight, especially in optical flow mode. By going up and outboard like so, and i i’ve got to go talk about optical flow here in a second and finally to start the motors and stop the motors, you bring the sticks, down and inboard hold them like so, and that will start the motors and Also stop the motors you can also control orbit from this drone orbit position without using the app by using this controller, only by pressing and holding both buttons down here.
These uh photo button and the video button simultaneously and that will enter or start uh orbit mode and the position where the drone is will be the center of the orbit. And then you control the diameter of the orbit by pushing forward or pulling back on the pitch stick and then, when you’re ready to start the orbit. You press both these sticks together both of these buttons together again and then it will start orbit. And finally, before we uh, let me turn this off. You turn this off. You do a quick press, then a long press, and that turns off the controller. Okay before we quit here, let’s go over what you get with the drum again. I mentioned the box, the nice carrying case that you get, but also with this drum you get a little cover for the camera itself. This is a little camera that you should keep in place when you’re not flying the drone. It goes on like so in the belly like that and snaps in place should snap in place, but there we go. I think that’s in place. You also get an instruction manual and it’s in english, so that’s that’s a plus right there. That covers the features of this drone and what the drone can do so make sure you read your instruction manual thoroughly before you go fly it. You also get a spare set of propeller blades for this particular drone. They come off and the uh yeah there’s.
Two little screws on each side that hold these propellers down so that’s how you change those particular blades. Also you get a charging cable for charging the drone’s battery along with charging the controller. And finally, you get the controller itself that goes with the drone. Okay, that’s the tabletop review. For this again, i need to wait until i get a nice day to fly this so uh in the near future expect a follow on review of this drone, where i take it out into the field and see how it flies so hope you enjoy that flight. When that opportunity arises, so i’ll see you folks, hi quadcopter 101, here again hey if you want to get your own shout out in one of my future videos make sure you subscribe to my channel it’s real simple, just go to my channel page and click on That subscribe and also make sure to click that bell button right next to the subscribe button. That way you get notified when i release a brand new video immediately and give you a chance to get that first, shout out, so give it a try.