SJRC F7 Flight Test and Review
This is marcus crawford with the idaho quadcopter channel, hey im out at heroes park in meridian today, and i have a new drone to show you uh sjrc uh is the outfit that made the f 11 pro. In my mind, of those bargain price drones right around 200, its the best one out there right now now i see the prices have gone up on it, a little bit but thats another story, but in the meantime they came out with a drone, the sjrc f7. So the people at tomtop sent me one for review, so heck were just going to take a look at it here. So first thing is just you can see here. It comes in a really nice case and it just amazes me this drone. I looked on the website yesterday, retails for 229 dollars and comes with this. I mean just a really nice high quality case. Of course, the case doesnt doesnt fly the drone, but it is good that they give you something to keep things organized so lets. Uh lets. Take a look at what we got so in the top compartment here they give you a kind of a cardboard envelope. Thats got the the owners manual in it and sjrc if youre listening, something a little bigger than this would be great because it could be difficult for old guys like me to read, but anyway i guess thats a whole nother aside, but as you look in the In the bag here on the uh on this flap that that uh owners manual set in the drone is under there so lets pull it out and take a look at it.
So the sjrc f7 im calling this kind of a hybrid drone because, as you can see, its got folding arms, but it also has legs kind of like a traditional phantom style drone. So its a little bit different and its pretty good size too uh lets see weight wise here. Let me take a look. This drone weighs 569 grams, so you absolutely are going to have to register it and put a sticker on it, but lets take a look and see how it unfolds its got. A little uh kind of restraining strap here on the top to hold the arms in its easy. You just pull that right off and then the arms just fold out so uh unfold, the uh, the rear arms backwards. It says its got instructions on there and you know im pulling them out. This is the first time ive pulled them out and theyre definitely a little bit stiff. Oh these, this this these front arms. I was trying to pull straight out. They much like a dji drone, they rotate, so they rotate forward and thats. How they come out does have one piece props on it. It includes an extra set of props, as well as the screwdriver to take them on and off, but uh, and it does have uh brushless motors, which is always a good thing. These are 1806 brushless motors. The battery is a slide in in the back lets. Uh lets pull this guy out and im.
Looking at my notes here as i as i do this but uh, this is a 2600 milliamp lipo battery and its got a usbc charge port on the back and again its just simply a slide in in the back of the drone clips in, and you can Feel it snap in there pretty good uh so yeah that seems to work pretty good and oh the to to turn on the drone. Its just. You just hold down the button, its not the short and long press that youre used to with dji drones and others. You just hold it down, i think for three seconds and then looking at the front of the drone. You can see this little window here and you know you kind of hope that maybe it has obstacle avoidance or something it does not thats just there for looks. Lets look at the bottom of the drone at the bottom of the drone. Here, youll see a couple of sonic sensors. This looks like it might be, an optical flow, but its not theres, really nothing there uh and then the the camera. I mean this is a pretty good sized camera. This is like something you would see and let me take the uh, the gimbal restraint off here, uh and so its a pretty darn good sized camera, and it has its on these silicone mounts like you would see. You want the gimbal to be isolated from vibration, and that does that, but it is its a three axis gimbal, so lets hope for a nice, stable video.
If its like its big brother, the f11. It does a good job at that, so well see how this guy does now this camera its a 4k both for photographs and for video. Now the problem with video. Is it shoots at 15 frames per second? So what that means? You may not see that so much in forward flight, but when youre yawing you will definitely see a little bit of jerkiness with 15 frames per second, but if we can get good quality nice, stable, jello, free video in my mind, thatll be a win and while I dont have an sd card in it, yet theres an sd card slot right there and by the way you can record your mobile device, but it will only record video to your mobile device at 1080.. So i would suggest that you put an sd card in there. I am absolutely going to do that before we fly and yes, i do see that there is a cover on that. A little plastic cover on the lens ill. Take that off before we fly as well so thats about it. For the drone, i mean its pretty straightforward, its an interesting design, i kind of like the idea of these legs when im out in a park like this. You know that way you can land in the grass without worrying about you know, mowing the grass or anything you cant, like you do with some of the smaller folding drones.
So uh now lets take a look at the controller. Okay, lets take a look at the remote here uh, so this is a pretty decent, remote control, so its got handles on the bottom. That kind of pull down now youd look at these and you think well thats, where you put your mobile device. Theyve got slots in them and so forth. No, you dont uh theyre just handles uh, but it does have a usbc connector there at the bottom, for uh charging the controller so thats a good thing. Its got an internal battery uh, which makes it for a more powerful controller. This is where you keep your mobile device and i got to pull this piece of plastic, but the mobile device fits up above uh and then the antenna lets uh lets pull those out, and let me see if i can swivel those around youre going to want Them pointed down like that and the cool thing about these antenna is, they are functional. They both have wires in them, so thats a good thing. So that means this is a pretty decent remote control. The other thing i will tell you, though, is your phone. Does not connect via an otg cable to the controller, it is wi fi to the drone, so that is going to have some limiting factors with regard to range, however, lets talk about what we can see on this controller and im going to move around here.
So i can see what im doing this button right here is the speed mode so high and low speed next one over is a stop button emergency stop! You would hold that down to to stop the drone uh. If you know if it was flying away or something now understand that, if you do that, the drone is simply going to fall from the sky, so you can destroy your drone, so you know you want to be careful about that. You do have to hold it down, for i think five seconds or something like that. I cant remember quite a while to engage it so youre not just going to inadvertently touch it and your drone fall from the sky on off button right. There uh, obviously thats self explanatory uh, and then this is the return to home button. Push that button. The drone will come back and land and it does have an led display and yeah ill peel. This off before we take off that, has all the usual telemetry range distance, speed, signal, strength, number of satellites, etc, uh, the normal stuff that you usually see, then on the back here, uh, the the one would be on your right as youre facing the drone that Controls the angle of the camera points that camera up and down this, then is for starting uh recording video. This button on this side is for just taking a picture and this scroll wheel on this side.
On the left hand, side is for zoom, although its a digital zoom. So i wouldnt i wouldnt, get too excited about that as you crop in on these drones, with cheaper cameras that its going to get pretty grainy, so it really isnt terribly useful but pretty decent remote control, so im encouraged by that now. That brings me to talking about range range, wise theyre, saying three kilometers on both fpv and on a control range now control. Maybe, although i even i doubt that fpv theres no way because your drone is going to get fpv via wi fi directly from your mobile device, so if you get 300 meters youre going to be pretty darn happy with that, and you know, control range wouldnt go Kilometer i dont know, but what good does that? Do you, if you cant, see what youre looking at so understand that this drone is going to be a short range drone youre not going to be flying it out there long range, and i dont know why they make those kind of claims, but but they do. I i guess just for advertising so im, looking uh at my screenshot here, weve got about eight mile, an hour winds today, 16 mile, an hour gusts. This claims to have level five wind resistance. So thatll be plenty. I mean the drone should be able to handle it. Fine well find out uh and its about 60 degrees outside today. So hey, okay, thats about it.
Let me get all the stickers peeled off of the remote control and the drone and uh yeah lets quit messing around lets. Get this bird in the air. Okay, so ive got an sd card. Uh loaded onto the drone and uh got all the stickers peeled off everything, so uh. The first step according to the instructions are to fire up. The drone. Excuse me the controller first and then the drone so lets turn on the controller, so that just gave me battery percentage. Maybe i was holding it down too long. Lets do a short press now that gives me battery so lets do a short and a long press. There we go and then it says connecting so now. The next step is to power on the drone, and i can hear the tone on the drone and it says connecting on the uh on the elf uh led screen here. Okay, i was about ready to give up and do some troubleshooting, but it it finally connected im going to say that it just took longer than i thought less than a minute uh and it is in gps mode. So evidently its got satellites already. So the next thing we do is fire up the app, and that is im trying to remember here the sjrc pro app. I believe so. The app that were looking for is the sjrc sjf pro app. So we got that fired up and well have to make sure that thats connected.
I ive connected to this app before oh its uh, and evidently it doesnt change orientation. So im gon na have to switch my phone around here and uh. So then, im looking for im gon na select the f7 here so theres, the f7 selected and uh yeah lets see if we are connected uh to the drone and if not were going to do that. So let me go to my settings and wi fi not connected so were not connected and theres the drone right there im going to click on the drone and it shouldnt require any password lets see if it connects here and it is so its connected. So were good to go. There lets uh lets, go back to that app, so theres the app and uh yeah its got. The guide learn to fly controls, i assume were gon na click on controls and i just want to make sure that were connected. So the first thing were going to do now is the uh, the compass calibration, which is the two joysticks uh up and in and basically it just says one spin around and then hold it down and one spin around again and it did beep and uh the Light is on solid, got a little dizzy. There hey and i even see fpv on our screen uh. The next thing were going to do is the the gyro calibration and so thats both sticks up and out, and i heard a beep there and it should give us another beep.
Well, i didnt hear any beep. Let me check and see what the light says. Weve got a solid, green light, so im going to say that as successful and now as you can see, we have fpv on the app and im going to check the yeah. The gimbal ive got control of the gimbal here, as you can see, moving it up and down lets go into the were going to turn beginner mode off and use cellular data. So for some some reason here, its not letting me adjust these oh there. It is now it is letting me adjust the sliders so im going to move that up to max the flight altitude. I dont know what that is on this guy, but looks like 120, so were good. There were gon na thats. Maximum legal return to home altitude is set at 20. Meters were going to go a little higher lets go to 30 meters with that and those sliders work pretty good, so lets hit save again save successfully lets click on track now, uh max mileage flight records. That looks like its just flight records image photo quality 4k 16×9. So, as you can see, there 4k 15 frames per second its. There is a selection there for 2.7 k at 25 frames per second now that was not in the manual and it didnt light up. So, im going to click back on that 4k again. So when i clicked on that 2.
7 k, it did not light up so im going to assume that thats, not there now ptz adjust okay, so thats for tuning your your roll and pitch and yaw so were going to leave that on factory settings. So it looks like were good to go. The only thing im looking at is that looks like our its telling us that our im looking at our battery meter and it doesnt, look like its saying the battery is full. However, i i know that it is from uh, you know i completely charged it so lets im gon na on the app here, although maybe we can just do it on the controller lets start recording im gon na hit the record button here. Oh and you know what now were connecting again for some reason: went we lost connection and its. I wonder if the drone shut down from sitting there so long and it did lets fire up the drone again yeah. So what happened? There is the drone just shut down, as i was messing around there so lets. Let it connect again boy ill. Tell you what this thing takes a while to connect there. Okay, weve got it so lets. Look at that menu again make sure nothing changed and it didnt so were good to go. There im going to hit that record button and see if we can start recording and if we did it doesnt say on the app so im going to do it im going to switch on the app and im going to start recording on the app, and it Is indeed giving me the countdown number on there? So you know i dont know what i did with that record button, but it wasnt giving me the countdown so i didnt feel like i was recording so lets, go ahead and hit take off on the app.
So im going to hit in the top left there you see that up arrow and then its got a slider and nothing. I wonder if you have to arm the motors first, let me do that so im going to go both sticks down and in that arms the motors lets hit, take off again and hit the slider yeah. I dont know why i cant do an auto takeoff uh, but lets just try it on the controller here. So i hit up on the left stick and i got it to take off there. So jeez its hovering, nice and steady here uh and were recording video lets turn it around and there again you can see that 15 frames per second, i can even see it on on on looking at fpv and im. Looking at my fpv screen, it looks a little squished, but that doesnt mean anything well see what comes off of the card lets, bring it in ill. Tell you. What i like is the fact that this guy is uh its really stable. I mean this is awesome. This is perfect now, one of the things im not seeing on my app here is im not seeing any of the uh the the telemetry on the app. So it makes me think i need. Maybe i need to reconnect the app so Music lets mess around here. A little bit, i dont know thats kind of odd isnt it i dont know well lets lets rock it back and forth, and we can see that gimbal is working pretty good and watch when i go backwards with it.
Let me let me get it back: over a little bit were going to go backwards and youll see that camera tip down and as i go forward, youll see it pitch up so yeah all right. So im not going to worry about that telemetry on the screen. Lets get it out and were going to try a return to home and lets see how that how that works out once we do that, so reverse it up now reverse and up and ill. Tell you what this guys pretty quick, i dont know uh and thats me trying to yawd a little bit okay, so we are out there, according to the controller about 80 meters, so im going to hit return to home im going to try it on the app And see if itll go into return to home, see thats not taking any control any uh commands from the app so lets bring it back in and land it im gon na hit return to home on the controller and that actually its just landing in place. Wow, that was weird, so i hit it again. So the first click it looked like. It was just landing in place and i hit it again and i thought it was in return to home thats me dropping the gimbal yeah its coming home. It just took it a second, so lets uh. Let me drop the gimbal down here, and you guys can see where were at lets, see how close it can get and im going to im going to get out of the app and restart the app now im going to give the drone a pass on this.
Because i think it may have been affected by the fact that the drone uh shut down on us now, one of the things here. This drone does not have uh precision landing so but were not worried about it, because its got those legs on the bottom and even if it doesnt uh, you know, even it doesnt hit the pad its not going to hurt it its not going to mow any Grass lets see if we can pick that camera back up and its looking down its going to be fairly close here. You should yeah youre, seeing it on the gopro now and as soon as we land here, im going to stop and restart the app and its taking it a while to shut down okay im, stopping the app or the recording and that stopped okay, i put it Back on the landing pad, i am going to get out of the app completely and restart it. Okay, i uh cycled everything and we got it all fired back up, so uh lets see where were at its still connecting, and i am not uh. I am not getting any kind of fpv says were in gps mode. Let me uh, let me see if i can start recording image disconnected. It says i guys i do not know what the heck is going on here. Let me shut down this app again. These are the kind of things that i worry. If you are a beginner youve, never flown a drone that is going to be so frustrating so f11 lets switch back to the f7 and lets hit controls and it takes us to this page there.
There we go there, it came back uh, i dont know what we did different, but its telling us were ready to fly, lets tap on that ready to fly and see what it says: yeah, nothing so were ready to fly uh and so lets go ahead. Let me see if i can record with the button on the controller, and it did it started this time. Okay, so this looks a little bit better lets go ahead and lets try and do and were also getting. We must not have had telemetry at all before, because even the battery is up now. So whatever happened before i dont know what but weve got it now. So lets hit take off on the app and again in that top left and im going to slide the slider over. Maybe well, it tried you know it didnt it looked like i didnt get that slider. All the way over were going to do it again. Yeah. I dont know guys so im going to go ahead and do a manual takeoff manually arm the orders, the motors by the sticks down and in and im going to go up on the on the left, stick and theres the drone. We got a little bit of wind now so were recording lets quit messing around. We did a return to home once already and you guys got a close up. Look at the drone, so lets go ahead and fly out here.
Ways and lets just see what we can get for video quality. I can tell you it looks pretty decent on the on what i see on fpv, although you know we talked about the frame rate. I had a a little kind of weirdness on the yaw there. Weve got telemetry on the controller. Now, as you guys can see, lets take it up a ways. Lets go up and boy ill. Tell you what this things fast were going to. Uh lets go out here to the corner and im going to scroll around and take a look at uh and that and thats weird see so so you guys saw me yaw to the left and then it came right back its weird. So you out of the left, let go of the stick well now now it stayed there, so you guys have seen this view before i can tell you. The picture looks really good on on fpv were down to 60 percent battery here so, and ive only got one battery so and i am trying to yaw to the right fair amount of lag in these controls. Im telling you i dont know yeah exactly what that is so im going to let off the stick now. Well, there it stopped okay lets, go full stick forward here and lets see how fast this baby will get up to, because its man, it is its moving. Pretty good and it and its moving yeah, i mean im trying to yacht it.
It definitely was moving to the left and you see it snap back there thats odd, i dont know what thats about, but it tends to snap back so about six meters per second. There – and you know from what im seeing the horizon looks pretty good lets. Uh lets turn around again im going to go to the left. Let go the stick yeah. No, it stayed its weird. It snapped back the other times so lets get turned around here and im going to check our speed mode. I dont even know if were in high speed mode or low speed mode, and you can see the cloud shadows there. So i am lets see speed. It says at the top, but i doesnt say if its high or low speed im going to hit that button, and it just says speed. So i dont know yeah im a little bit, uh guys im, not sure. So two we got two beeps, so maybe its just the beeps it doesnt. I was hoping it would say, on the telemetry on the app or excuse me on the controller, but it didnt. I didnt notice anything on the app either, but lets go full stick forward. We got two beeps and there is about five and a half meters per second and the drone. You know its thats thats, pretty quick thats about i dont, know 15 miles an hour or so so thats in the same speed. So lets hit that button.
One more time now that gave me three beeps that time so lets turn around sorry for this quick yaw and lets go the other way lets see what kind of speed we get pull stick forward now on that right, stick yeah, thats a lot faster there we Go look were at about not. We were at nine meters per second there for a little bit so drones moving right along. I tell you, the controls are just a little bit laggy, but i can tell you the video looks pretty good were down to 44 battery. So i am going to uh im going to drop the gimbal. I meant to be just a little bit there. So there we go so im going to stop recording im, going to take a picture here and it says picture receiving so well get to look at a picture. As you can see, the smoke is blown out of the air here in boise were back to having nice, clear skies, start recording again here right now and and yeah lets turn it around here. Lets bring it back and lets see if we can try uh, maybe some orbits and so forth. So let me bring it back to us, Music and well drop some altitude as we come ill. Tell you the the controls on this thing. Are it it? You know its okay, but if youre used to more precision controls on some other drones, i mean i im trying to think of how to say this: its not horrible, but it but its not the most precise either okay.
So i wanted to get out here far enough uh that the drone would be away from any structures and trees or anything so im gon na click on that what looks like a little joystick kind of in the middle left hand side, and we can see uh Uh interest point so were gon na click on that and were gon na click. The radius up lets, say 16 meters and were gon na slide. This slider yeah it took that Music, so the drone flew back. I walked under it and the drone is flying back from me now yeah now its turning around and i dont know what its doing its not really doing an orbit. I can tell you that its moving through space, but its not in orbit thats me dropping the camera yeah. I have no idea what its doing here were gon na lets. Just let it lets just see what its uh, what its up to it, is its basically moving in a straight line: uh yeah guys. I i dont know what to tell you. Okay, let me uh turn that off, so i shut it down were back im backing it back up. Oh, this is fun bringing it back over the top of me. Okay were gon na. Try that one more time here so click on that little joystick interest, point and radius uh lets just lets, make it a smaller radius lets, say eight meters and lets slide it and see what it does.
So now again the drone is moving away and then it should turn around and it is Applause and its just moving in a straight line again uh yeah. I got no idea whats going on here. I i can tell you what thats not is its? Not a point of interest so uh interesting but uh, but thats what it thats. What its doing, i wonder if itll stop, we set it at eight meters, thats more thats way more than eight meters, so we better. We better tell it to stop here. So im going back in there stop lets, bring it down and lets see. Weve got 23 percent battery. Wow were uh were about out of battery here. So let me bring it in to me and uh lets. Try see if we can get a uh a follow me. Music, okay, drop that camera down a little and lets go into that little joystick looking thing again and were going to go to image, follow and three well lets see. It seems like its got me: Music. Well, i yeah lost, so i was moving it forward. Lets try that again, image follow one more time image follow. Let me move sideways this time, yeah so its its uh. The drone is not moving, but it is following me. Oh no, then it says lost. So i dont know lets try that again lets go in and lets this time lets do. Uh lets do uh, gps, follow and it okay.
That made me a little nervous, so sometimes that can mess these guys up. When you do that, let me see yeah its its coming. So, as you can see, the problem with gps follow is: is it struggles to keep you in frame yeah? So i think we went into return to home yeah. It went into return to home, so im gon na go yeah, so it took itself out of gps. Follow were lets, walk back to the camera, see that was it 15 16 battery, so thats good. The drone did what its supposed to do and its up at its uh 30 meter return to home height. Let me drop that camera down, so we got the camera looking straight down. Lets see how close this guy will get to the uh to the landing pad. Its coming down ever so slowly yeah, so the drone is not descending uh, so i dont know whats going on oh and it took itself out of return to home, so uh im gon na hit that button again yeah. So now its coming down yeah, i dont know what happened uh if yeah, maybe you know when i was messing around – maybe i touched it and took it out of return to home, but anyway, its coming down now lets pick that camera back up Music and you Can see you know its uh, its pretty darn close to the uh pad here you can see that on the uh on the gopro and, like i said i like those legs, it uh keeps it from.
You know keeps the the blades out of the grass takes it a while to shut down, but it does okay lets. Uh lets remember to stop recording. I hope i did that earlier. So lets do that right now and it did it stopped, recording and were at 15 battery. Let me get everything shut down and well do a quick conclusion: hey okay, uh, the sjrc f7 kind of a hybrid uh, folding drone. It does fold, but its got legs on it as well. Uh. You know mixed results, i would say it it. It flew okay, not great, but okay, it wasnt terrible its got good power. I mean it. I think we had it up. Nine meters per second, which is roughly 21 22 miles an hour when we, when we got into high speed mode when we finally got three beeps there. When we push the button. Interestingly enough theres, nothing on the that i saw on the app or on the controller that told you what speed mode you were in, so you just had to listen to those beeps flight time. You know i didnt measure it exactly, but we got probably maybe 15 minutes, i would say roughly somewhere around there, which is okay for a drone like this. I wish i had another battery for it, wed wed check out waypoints and some other things as it was. Where it kind of fell down where those intelligent flight modes, we tried the orbit and that just plain didnt work, the drone it did, what ive seen other drones.
Do it you, when you set the radius it flew to the radius turned around, but instead of starting in orbit it just flew forward. So dont know what that was about. We tried the image. Follow me. It just didnt work very well. It kept losing me. You know i would draw the little box around and i tried to move towards the drone and push the drone backwards. It wouldnt do that and it was pretty clear it was going to lose me. We tried it again. Moving sideways had a little better success. The drone didnt seem to move. It just seemed to kind of rotate in place as it followed me and then, finally, even then it lost me so uh. You know i its not terribly useful and then we tried the gps. Follow me: ive had issues with gps. Follow me before with some of these lower priced drones, so i was a little nervous, but we hit that button and the drone started moving away uh, but then it stopped ive had drones, try and just go nuts when you did that, but this one didnt it Stopped finally – and it did seem to follow me, but the problem with that gps follow me – is that it doesnt keep you in center of frame on the camera. Well whats. The point of follow me on a drone youre trying to take video or pictures of yourself. Its not keeping you in frame it doesnt.
Really. Do you much good, so im going to say those are of limited value, but that said, it flew just fine and it was very stable thats. The other thing i will say about it is man. It was a very, very stable gps work good and evidently these downward facing sensors definitely kept it right at the same height off the ground, so that was good as far as video quality. You guys are going to know that already ill find out when i get home and look at whats off the sd card. I can tell you what i saw on fpv looked good. The the colors looked good. I liked the color science. It looked really good and it was nice and clear. I didnt see any jello, i didnt see any shakes so, like i said you guys will have seen that already, and that is. Let me stress this. That is the most important thing. Is that what you get off of that video card, because thats, the reason you buy a gps camera drone is to get good, uh aerial, video uh. The other really good thing about this guy is you know what i was talking about control before this is a very challenging wi, fi environment. Here in this park, theres a lot of wi fi interference. We didnt have a single problem. This guy was solid as a rock, as we went from one end of the park to the other.
I had solid fpv. I had solid signal strength the whole time now i didnt try and fly it across the road to see how far out there would go before we lost fpv. We might try that sometime and i would like to try out the waypoints. We simply ran out of battery and and tomtop just sent me the single battery version i wish they would have. I would have had two batteries and then we could have done that today, but but well uh. Hopefully we can try that another time like i said i saw this on tomtop for about 230 bucks. I will put a link down below in the description the i think. If you look around, i think you can get the f11 for about the same price. That f11 pro, if you look around a little bit, i think you can get it for about around 250 bucks. I think i saw it on tom top for like 280, something like that. So maybe it was 270 in any case, ill put a link for the f11 on there as well uh, but uh yeah. I mean decent little drone uh. You know if youre really looking for uh video quality and range and so forth, you know, maybe you would want the dji mini sc, the mini sc at 299, bucks man that just you know, i just think it makes it tough for drones like this to compete. Uh but uh, you know this is uh still a solid product, so uh yeah, i guess thats about it uh.
This is marcus crawford with the idaho quadcopter channel out and if you like this kind of content, please consider subscribing to my channel and most of all, of course, i appreciate you watching this video and yeah.