How would you like to capture an aerial 360 video without the drone anywhere in the shot? Here are nine drones that can capture a 360 view without the drone visible in the shot, with sample videos.
Why use an invisible 360 drone?
Why should you use an invisible 360 drone? The most important reason is that they let you focus on flying and then reframe the video to show any perspective you want after the flight.
360 cameras are sometimes called invisible flying cameras because they can capture a third person view without the selfie stick being visible in the shot, as if there was an invisible drone following you around. But there are some drones that are truly “invisible flying cameras.” They can capture an aerial 360 view while being totally invisible to the camera.
New! Insta360 Sphere for DJI Air 2 and Air 2S
Insta360 Sphere is a 360 camera for the DJI Air 2 and Air 2S to turn them into invisible 360 drones with GPS stabilization.
The newest invisible 360 drone to date is the BetaFPV Pavo 360, which is designed as a 3-inch cinewhoop, but with 6S power, it can also fly outdoors. Here is my review.
Shramko Invisible 360 Drone
This is the slimmest 360 drone in this group. Andrii Shramko’s invisible 360 camera drone is so slim that it can be invisible to any consumer 360 camera — even the Ricoh Theta SC2! More info here.
Newbeedrone Invisi360 is the newest BNF quad in this group. Like most of the other 360 quads here, Invisi360 uses the Insta360 One R. However, unlike the other FPV quads here, it is available only in digital (for use with DJI FPV goggles), and is also unique in having two batteries for longer battery life and better balance. Check out the preview here. Here’s a sample video I shot with it:
Hawk21 (details here) is a 360 camera drone that can capture 8k 360 video using a Qoocam 8K. Adapa360 is currently testing prototypes and has invited me to serve on its board of advisers. You can see sample 360 videos here.
X-KNIGHT 360 by BetaFPV
X-Knight 360 is the first 360 camera FPV drone by a major manufacturer. It is designed for Insta360 One R and can capture aerial 360 videos without the drone in the shot. It is available for $249 with an analog FPV camera or $359 with an HD camera compatible with DJI digital FPV goggles. X-Knight uses a custom low-profile (23mm tall) 4S battery. There is also an X-Knight frame kit for GoPro MAX which you can build yourself.
CINE-BIRD by StanFPV
Cine-Bird (Full review here) is a low-profile FPV drone that can be used with either a GoPro MAX, Insta360 One R, or Rylo to capture an aerial 360 video without the drone being visible. The Cine-Bird also has a regular FPV camera which allows it to be flown with FPV goggles.
Cine-Bird has 3-inch or 4-inch props and runs on a 3S battery. The 360 camera is inserted into a flexible TPU frame that holds the camera securely. Here’s a sample video, shot with GoPro MAX on the Cine-Bird:
The Cine-Bird is available as a frame kit or as a preassembled RTF (ready to fly) quad. I actually have this drone but I haven’t been able to test it due to lack of time. Please note that this is heavily backordered. It took me two months to get it from the time I ordered one. The other thing to note is that Cine-Bird doesn’t work with the Insta360 One R lens guards. However if you have the GoPro MAX version, you can use the MAX’s protective lens covers with it. You can order it here (around $519 for the preassembled one).
COVERT 360 by Ki FPV
The Covert 360 is a larger invisible FPV drone with 5 inch props and 6S battery, and is designed to carry an Insta360 One R. As with the Cine-Bird, the Covert 360 has a mount for a regular FPV camera as well.
Unlike the Cine-Bird, the Covert 360 works with the One R’s standard camera bracket. This enables it to use the One R’s lens guards or even the Freewell ND filters for One R.
Here is a sample video:
The Covert 360 is only available as a frame kit. You’ll have to build it yourself, which is quite challenging and is better reserved for experienced FPV pilots. Available here for $99.
STEALTH360 by Rob FPV
Stealth360 is an invisible FPV drone that works with Insta360 One R or GoPro MAX. It has a similar size with the Covert 360, and uses 5 or 6 inch props and a 6S battery.
The Stealth360 is designed to hold the 360 camera at the back of the quad, with a standard FPV camera in front. Like the Covert 360, the Stealth360 can be used with the standard One R bracket which enables you to use the One R lens guards.
Here’s a sample video:
Stealth360 is available only as a frame kit, and you’ll have to build the FPV yourself. The kit is available here for $85.
INSTA360 ONE R AERIAL EDITION for DJI Mavic Pro or Mavic 2 Pro
The previous drones are FPV drones that require full manual control, with no GPS, altitude hold, or other features to assist you, which makes them much more difficult to fly than the more popular drones such as from DJI or Parrot. FPV drones also usually have relatively short flight times of less than 5 minutes per battery. For consumers, it may be easier to fly with the One R Aerial Edition for Mavic.
The Aerial Edition has a split 360 module that is placed above and below the Mavic, rendering the Mavic invisible in the 360 video. Moreover, you’ll be able to fly with altitude hold, making it much easier to control than an invisible FPV drone. It will also have longer flight times thanks to the Mavic’s larger batteries. Finally, the Aerial Edition includes a pair of lens guards.
The One R Aerial Edition’s disadvantage is that it has a large distance between the lenses, which means that the stitching will not be as smooth. Other users have also complained about a jello problem from vibrations. Here’s a review by CreatorUp:
As you can see, there are no easy solutions for invisible 360 drones. I plan to test the CineBird when I have more time.