Syma X8C Venture Review

The Syma X8C Venture is a large sized quadcopter, weighing in at a bit more than 600 grams. Not only the weight, but the size is impressive too, the quadcopters measures 50 x 50 x 15 centimeters with the prop guards on. Motor-to-motor size is around 30 x 30 centimeters. The X8Ccomes with everything needed for flying, except for the 4xAA batteries for the transmitter.

Due to it’s large size the X8C Venture is very stable, only strong winds will disturb it, so it’s suitable for beginner pilots too. The brushed motors provide adequate power, and the transmitter has low and high rates (that is, beginner and advanced modes), which makes the X8Ceven more adaptable.

The overall quality is really high, even though it may not be visible at the first glance.

The X8C can even do flips, and is great for aerial photography due to it’s stability. Yaw rate is a bit low, but this problem is inherent to the quadrotor design – tricopters with a servo-controlled tail have a much better yaw rate.

The range of the X8C Venture is up to 250 meters, there is no limit on how high can it fly, so it will go up and up until it gets out of range. As theX8C uses the 2.4Ghz transmitter technology it will simply shut down once it’s out of range, so be careful with it.

The X8C is very durable, and comes with prop guards and legs out of the box. Still, a 600 gram quad is no toy, and can crash pretty hard so take care.The prop guards are a bit brittle, it can be a good idea to stock up on them.

Replacement parts are readily available, for example legs and prop guards, motors and complete sets are available too.

Being a large quadcopter it can lift considerable weight, so lifting a GoPRO is a possibility provided you can fit it.For best results remove everything you do not need: the prop guards and the original camera.

The transmitter does not support additional servos, so you will not be able to move/rotate the extra camera around.

The quadcopter can fly both indoors and outdoors, however indoor flight is very limited due to it’s size. On the other hand it really shines outdoors, and will fly well even in moderate wind.

The X8C venture has LEDs, which make the night flight real fun, and help a bit with daytime orientation too.

The suggested age group for the X8C is 14 years and up. The X8C contains small parts, so keep it out of the reach of small children.

The Syma X8C venture has headless mode, which comes really handy if you lost the orientation of the quadcopter. In headless mode (which can be activated by pressing the top left button on the transmitter for two seconds) theX8C’s controls will change: the forwards-backwards-left-right directions will be interpreted with respect to the X8C’s original direction, so sending the quad backwards will simply make it fly back to you. Return home is not supported.

The X8C has “low” and “high” rates, suitable for beginner and advanced pilots respectively. The modes can be toggled by a short press on the top left button of the transmitter.

The shipping weight is 1.8 kilograms, and the size is around 35x35x17centimeters.

Even though the X8C is large it is surprisingly quiet. The large weight means that this quadcopter must be registered with the FAA. Online registration is possible here.

The X8C’s battery

is a 7.4 V 2000 mAh Li-Po battery, which grants the X8C a 7 to 12 minute flight time depending on how you fly it,after a 200 minute charge time. The charge time might seem to be long, the upside is that the battery will not be strained by too fast charging.
The X8C comes with a single battery.

The charger is a balancing charger, and uses a standard wall socket to charge the 2 cells of the battery. The battery uses a banana plug to connect to the X8C, and a 3-wire balancing plug to connect to the charger. While they may seem special, replacement is readily available, for example a3 battery + charger combo with the possibility to charge all the three batteries at once.
Buying multiple batteries is a great way to increase your flight time.

The stock charger has two LEDs, a yellow one for the input voltage, and a green one for the charging.
When the green LED turns of the battery is fully charged.

The X8C has low voltage cutoff, it’s LEDs will start blinking before the battery power runs out.

The X8C’s camera

is the same as the X5C’s. It’s a 2 megapixel camera, with an1280x720 resolution, frame rate of the videos is 30 fps.
The videos are recorded onto the 4GB MicroSD card which comes with the quadcopter. A card reader is part of the package too.
The MicroSD card is inserted into the back of the camera.

The camera is not fixed, but is tilt-able in 30 degree increments, which is a bit better than what the average quadrotors offer.

Recording and photo taking is controlled on the transmitter, so you will be able to stop and start it mid-flight, no more fiddling on the quadrotor.
To start and stop the video, push the button right of the left stick down.To take a photo push it up.

It’s important to stop the recording before powering off the quadcopter,otherwise the files could get damaged.

The video files are stored in .AVI format, so pretty much any video player will play it. Audio is recorded too, however it can be too noisy to be useful.

As the X8C is not an FPV quadcopter, a smartphone is not required for the flying, and there is no live video feed.

The X8C is fairly strong, and once you remove the original camera it can easily lift a GoPRO or one of it’s clones.

The photo and video quality is as good as you can expect from 2 megapixels.

For an advanced setup you may want to check out this gimbalor this vibration damper(needs fitting for the X8C).

The X8C’s transmitter

is a lightweight, 2.4 Ghz unit which looks like the professional transmitters, except for the white color. It’s interference-free, so you will be able to fly with others together. The X8Cis available as a minimal package too, without charger, transmitter and camera here.

Even though the X8C uses the 2.4Ghz frequency, the protocol is proprietary,so in general you will not be able to bind it to other transmitters.
One exception is the DeviationFirmware, available for the Walkera Devo transmitters, which could work, but requires tinkering with the transmitter.

The stock transmitter supports only mode 2 and mode 4. Mode 1 is notsupported.

The X8C and the transmitter bind automatically, you only have to follow  these steps:

  • Turn off both the quadcopter and the transmitter.
  • Power on the quadcopter.
  • Push the throttle (left stick) to the minimum and power on the transmitter.
  • Next push the throttle up to the maximum, then down to the minimum again.
  • The quadrotor and the transmitter are now bound.

To recalibrate the gyros, place the X8C on an even surface, and push both sticks to the lower right corner. Once the X8C’s LEDs start flashing, recalibration is complete.

Our rating:

The X8C is great platform for aerial photography, feels planted in the air. The only downside is that it’s not as sporty as it could be.
Fun:★★★★☆
Value:★★★★★
Looks:★★★★★

Resources:

RCGroups has even more details on the X8C here and here. Plans for a 3D-printed Gopro mount is available here, the manual is hereand there is a brushless upgrade kit too.

Syma has other quadcopters for aerial photography, for example the X5C and the X5SC. If you are looking for something more sporty, you the Holy Stone F180Ccould be your friend.

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