Introduction: Quadcopters - Capturing the View

One trick to make sure that you get the best shot of your surroundings is to use a quadcopter equipped with a camera. The high flight of around 400 feet lets you view the whole landscape. Through this instructable I will show you how I modified a Syma X5C-1 to carry a sony action cam and also give a couple tips of how to get the best photo, in the AIR!

Step 1: The Quadcopter

To achieve this capability, you're going to want a machine capable of flying a camera up in the air and holding it steady. Some people might build there own quadcopter to do this or modify an existing one.

What I did (MOD. SYMA X5C-1)

  1. Swapped out the motors - more lift especially since I change the camera
  2. here is the url to the website that I got them from ( these were pretty cheap and left me satisfied with the result.
  3. Bigger props - I increased the prop size to its max.
  4. Taking off uneeded hardware will allow the quadcopter to gain altitude quicker and make the battery last a little longer
  5. Upgrading to a more powerful battery - the stock batteries aren't very good so I bought some 3.7V 750mAh nano-tech LI-PO battery

Step 2: The Camera

My quadcopter came with a 2mp camera to start out with, a decent bargain for the price but soon came the time for an upgrade. After becoming confident in my flying abilities, I swapped the camera for a 11.9mp sony action cam.

This camera was much heavier at 2.9 oz (83g) but with my upgraded motors it wasn't an issue.

Step 3: Mounting the Camera

At first I was using the old fashion ways of strapping the camera on (tape, rubber bands, etc.) but as I wanting to improve the professionalism of the video I looked to a more permanent solution.

I found some action cam mounts from thingiverse of which I 3d Printed and modified to attach to the quadcopter. Several screws did the trick holding the new 3d printed mount on.

Step 4: Features + Advantages

Using a quadcopter to capture the moment has many advantages and you have fun doing so. Instead up trying to crawl up on a rock or tree to get an image, I can just easily fly to a perfect vantage point and start the recording by simply pressing a button on my phone (the action cam comes with built in wifi). This technique also lets you capture more than you would have using more standard ways, because of the FPV ability to see the video right on your phone and find the object you want to have a glimpse of. (see video)

Flying Tips

  1. Slow speed and turning gestures help the viewer be able to understand the scenery better
  2. Going high in the sky - lets you capture the view
  3. adjust the mount - Angling the camera can make a huge difference
  4. 360 turns amongst the clouds
  5. Steady movements
  6. DON'T fight the wind - let the quadcopter drift with the wind making for a smoother video
  7. Capturing a specific object - fly up and circle it while aiming the camera in the right direction


Step 5: Video

Here are some of my videos so far from this project.


High Flight

Colorado Flight

Citations: google.images thingiverse

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