Yuneec launches Typhoon H3 drone developed with Leica
Chinese drone maker Yuneec has announced its latest flyer, the Typhoon H3 featuring an ION L1 Pro camera which represents the first product resulting from a new collaboration with German photo hardware firm Leica Camera AG.
For Leica, the partnership is a chance to ease its way into the drone market while Yuneec benefits from the German company's expertise in optics and digital imaging technology. "In the partnership between Yuneec and Leica, the focus is on the photographer and their artistic vision," said Yuneec International's founder and chair Wenyan Jiang. "This manifests itself in our first jointly developed product, which will soon be released as a perfectly matched tool that meets the highest quality standards."
Yuneec and Leica engineers worked together to develop the ION L1 Pro camera, which is built around a 20 megapixel 1-inch type CMOS sensor developed specifically for aerial photography and videography and is mounted to a 3-axis gimbal beneath the drone. It features an F2.8, 23 mm lens with a 91 percent field of view, ISO100-6,400 light sensitivity, and there are three photo aspects to choose from.
Adobe DNG profiles and 10-bit Log mode give creatives more control over post-processing, and the unit is capable of 4K video capture at up to 4,096 x 2,160 resolution and up to 60 frames per second.
The H3 hexacopter has 730 kV motors and if a rotor fails during flight, the drone will automatically activate a 5-rotor mode to compensate and safely continue its mission. There are also Return Home and Failsafe functions, and an adjustable virtual fence. Flight modes include Follow Me, Orbit (where the drone circles a subject) and Journey (where it "ascends along a linear path and then automatically returns for the perfect shot").
Retractable landing gear means that the camera can capture all-around action without any components spoiling the shot, obstacle avoidance is helped along by integrated ultrasound sensors, and the 5,250 mAh Li-Po battery caters for around 25 minutes in the air per charge. The H3 can fly to an altitude of 500 m (1,640 ft) and has a top speed of 20 meters-per-second (45 mph). The drone with battery and camera tips the scales at 2 kg (4.4 lb).
The Typhoon H3 is controlled by a 16-channel, Android-based remote with a 7-inch display that can show live footage over wireless video downlink at 720p resolution, and has a transmission range of up to 2 km (1.2 mi).
No release date or US pricing has been announced, but the Typhoon H3 is currently listed in Yuneec's Europe store for €2,399.