Drones are invaluable for photographers and filmmakers keen to capture the world from the skies, but their effectiveness is limited as soon as it starts raining. The HexH2O Pro v2 aims to improve on the all-weather versatility of its predecessor, offering better battery life and range than the outgoing HexH2O Pro.
When it comes to the all-important camera hardware, QuadH2O has turned to the best in the business. A 4K DJI X3 gimbal and camera sit below the rotors, wrapped in a bespoke waterproof housing. Video down-link is now handled by a DJI Lightbridge 2 system, for a range of 3.5 km (2.2 mi) using the DJI Go app and, thanks to a bigger battery, flight time has improved from 25 to 30 minutes.
Users are able to film in almost any weather, and can land their drone on the water for filming above or below the waterline. According to QuadH20, this versatility makes the HexH20 Pro V2 useful in a wide range of applications, from search-and-rescue operations to on-water industrial inspections, and even marine biology.
Although QuadH2O does build smaller, cheaper waterproof quadcopters, the company says there are a number of benefits to the six-rotor setup of the Hex. Perhaps most significantly, the extra propellors mean the drone can stay in the air if one fails – useful if you're on the edge of your range envelope, or shooting in hard-to-reach places.
When the time to pack up your HexH2O comes, the propellors can be removed and arms folded to fit into an optional travel case. A removable set of three-inch legs can be fitted for better ground clearance when landing in long grass, while buoyancy is provided by two (also removable) aids attached to the side of the waterproof case.
It might be versatile, but the Pro v2 doesn't come cheap. Prices start at US$6,449 – significantly more than the DJI Matrice Pro. Then again if you need to fly in any weather, that's probably a small price to pay.