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Old September 26th, 2014, 02:13 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Posts: 729
New Align drones

Align has finally made a contribution to the drone market. For those that don't know, Align has been the leading manufacturer of recreational RC helicopters for a number of years now.

They have just released their first aerial photography/video platforms, the M480 (quad) and M690 (hex). From what I can tell, both use the same frame. 2 arms can be added or removed to change the copter to quad or hex (don't quote me on this).

Both models take a GH4 or 5D 3-axis gimbal (which is impressive for a quadcopter).

Everything is built in, including flight controller, GPS, OSD, etc. And a video transmitter can be added easily. The carbon fiber frame helps to keep the weight down. ~20 minutes flight time from a 5200mah battery.

On top of all that, folding arms and retracting landing legs.

Best part - the setup is significantly cheaper than DJIs equivalent model (the S800/900). I can't find US pricing but here in NZ, the M690 is about $1500-2000 less than the DJI S900.

M480 with gimbal = $3200 NZ (roughly $2500 US)
M690 with gimbal = $3500 NZ (roughly $2800 US)

I'm seriously considering selling my Phantom and buying this thing.. It's still up for pre-order and there aren't any reviews around that I can find, but I'll be keeping a close eye on these.
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Jody Arnott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2014, 05:19 AM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,323
Re: New Align drones

I'm currently holding off the purchase of an S900 + GH4 gimbal until I can see some decent reviews of people building and flying them.

Being able to choose the GH4 OR 5D3 is pretty useful for me right now and if I go the S900 route I'll have to go with the GH4 only and I need is more for video than photo at this time.

What I haven't yet seen are the AUW for each model with gimbal and camera since I really need a rig that possible to configure for 7kg or less in the UK (congested area), even if other configurations options take me over 7kg when needed / allowed (controlled / non congested area).
Qualified UAV Pilot with CAA PFAW
Aerial Photo / Aerial Video | Corporate Video Production
Dave Partington is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 2nd, 2014, 04:40 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Posts: 729
Re: New Align drones

I've gone ahead and pre-ordered the M690 + GoPro gimbal. I'll be upgrading to the GH4 gimbal later.

It's a risk buying a 1st gen product, but Align have been bringing out quality products for years (including camera gimbals) so I don't doubt that these drones will be top notch.

All up weight isn't known yet I don't think. But the quadcopter can carry a 5D and gimbal, which is impressive.
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