The HoverAir X1 is a pocket-sized self-flying camera that shattered its funding goals on Indiegogo. After earning nearly $2 million from backers, the $350 aerial camera is now shipping, marking a nice change of pace from some crowdfunding campaigns that take years to deliver a product or never come to fruition at all.
Weighing just 125 grams (4.4 ounces) and featuring a foldable enclosed design, the HoverAir X1 is not just super lightweight, it is also easy to fit into a large pocket or small bag. Unlike a large drone, photographers don’t need a large case to bring the HoverAir X1 with them on their outdoor adventures.
Another advantage of the HoverAir X1 is that it is self-flying, so users do not require experience flying drones. In fact, the HoverAir X1 does not even require an app for use. It sports five pre-programmed flight modes to capture cinematic photos and videos.
The flight modes include hover, follow, zoom out, orbit, and bird’s eye, with each mode offering distinct advantages for specific situations.
In hover mode, the autonomous flying camera stays in a fixed position and frames the user by rotating the onboard lens. With follow flight mode, the camera follows the user at speeds up to 20 kilometers per hour (12.4 miles per hour). Zoom out gradually moves the camera further from the subject, showing more of the environment. Orbit circles the user from a specific distance, keeping them in the center of the frame. Finally, within bird’s eye, as the name suggests, the camera goes straight up and gets a top-down view.
These five modes are all available directly on the device. However, a pair of additional advanced modes are available through the app. Snapshot mode will automatically snap a photo while the user stays still, while dolly track follows the user from the front, backing away and keeping the user in the frame, replicating a dolly used in on-the-ground video productions.
As for the camera technology on the HoverAir X1, it cannot quite match expensive high-end drones. Of course, at $350, it would be unreasonable to expect top-of-the-line imaging. The X1 shoots 12-megapixel JPEG photos and 2704×1520 (2.7K) video at up to 30 frames per second. The X1 can also shoot Full HD and Full HD HDR video at 60p and 30p, respectively.
Pricing and Availability
The HoverAir X1 is available to order now and is shipping to customers in the United States and the United Kingdom, with additional availability expected in the future. The $350 device-only variant, available in black or white, is currently sold out. The “combo” kit adds an extra battery and a charging hub and is currently in stock for $400. The complete specifications for the HoverAir X1 are available on the company’s website.
Image credits: Zero Zero Robotics