The Cine Bird is an invisible 360 camera drone that defies explanation with excellent handling despite its modest specifications. This is a review of the analog version. For a review of the digital version, see here.
Here is a sample video:
- Dry weight (with GoPro MAX mount): 189.5 grams
- Weight with 1100mah 3S battery: 298.2 grams
- Weight with 1100mah 3S battery and GoPro MAX: 450.9 grams
- Motor: BetaFPV 1505 3600kv T-mount
- Recommended battery: Lumenier 1000mah 3S. I used a GNB 1100 mah 3S battery.
- Props: 3 inches
- BetaFPV Toothpick F4 2-4S AIO Brushless Flight Controller 20A (BLHeli_S)
- Camera (analog version): Caddx Turbo Eos V2 (14mm x 14mm x 16mm)
- Optional carbon fiber prop guards
- Optional low-profile ducts
StanFPV Cine Bird Hands-On Review
The Cine Bird is an invisible 360 camera drone with mounts available for Insta360 One R, GoPro MAX or Rylo. Cine Bird can also use ND filters with the Insta360 One R and optional clips to enable the use of slower shutter speeds. It also has an optional mount for a GoPro Hero or other action cameras with GoPro’s fork mount.
The version I have is analog, although there is also an HD version for DJI Air Unit (or the new Caddx Air Unit) which mounts the Air Unit on the opposite side of the camera for balance and better weight distribution.
Although being invisible to a 360 camera is its most important feature, that capability would not mean much if the quad handles poorly. On paper, the Cine Bird seems like it would would not fly well. It has a strange design that seems unbalanced. With 3 inch props and 3S motors, it seems underpowered for what it was designed for because 360 cameras tend to be heavier than conventional GoPros.
The strange thing is that the Cine Bird is one of the smoothest-flying cinewhoops I have, and it flies more smoothly than other cinewhoops with better power-to-weight ratios. Even when carrying a GoPro MAX (around 160 grams), the Cine Bird is both stable yet agile. I’m not a freestyle expert but it’s been able to handle any acro moves I’ve thrown at it: rolls, flips, s-turns, Immelman turns, power loops, power dives — it handled them all with no complaint. Whereas some of my more powerful cinewhoops like the Pavo 30 would get prop wash or would jerk at the bottom of a dive, the Cine Bird flies smoothly. I have no idea how the Cine Bird does it. FWIW, it uses Emuflight 0.3.5 and has been tuned by StanFPV.
The Cine Bird does have some disadvantages. First of all, I don’t know what VTX it uses, but it’s not very good. I get breakups as little as 100 yards away with nothing in between me and the quad even when I set the VTX at full power (the power seems to be 200mw).
Second, it’s a bit fragile. The carbon fiber frame and optional prop guards are only 2.5mm thick and I’ve managed to crack the prop guards at three thin joints (I superglued them back). I’m not even sure how I cracked them, although I did hit a wall while flying backward at very low speed the other day.
A minor complaint is that mine was built with an XT30 connector, whereas most 1000mah 3S batteries seem to use an XT60, so I need to attach an XT30 to XT60 adapter. I’m thinking of replacing it with an XT60 connector but the capacitor is attached to the XT30 connector so it’s a little bit of a hassle.
The Cine-Bird flies so well that I’m tempted to upgrade it to digital to improve the video reception, although I’m worried that it might become underpowered or might become unbalanced.
- Excellent stability
- Excellent handling for cinewhooping
- Can handle acro as well
- Very low profile can fly through short gaps
- No jello
- No prop wash observed even with power loops or power dives
- Can use Insta360 One R lens guards or ND filters.
- Compatible with three 360 cameras: Insta360 One R, GoPro MAX, or Rylo.
- Optional traditional GoPro mount.
- Less powerful than X-Knight 360
- Wider than a conventional 3-inch cinewhoop
- Weak VTX
- Comes with XT30 connector.
Conclusion; Price and availability
Cine Bird is an excellent tool for cinematic FPV videos and can capture unique videos that are impossible on a conventional cinewhoop. Based on its excellent handling for both cinewhooping and acro, and its versatility for 360 cameras and even regular GoPros for aerial videos, I highly recommend it.
Cine Bird is available from StanFPV as a kit that you can assemble yourself, starting at $319 for analog version with Frsky all the way to $499 for digital version with Crossfire receiver. Occasionally, StanFPV also sells BNF versions that he hand-builds and tests (that’s the version I ordered) but he is currently overloaded and already has a long waitlist. Just check his website to see if the BNF becomes available. Or learn to solder and build your own quad (I will have a tutorial).
If you are interested in Cine Bird, you can also check out other invisible 360 camera drones here.