XIaomi Fimi X8 SE - cheap Mavic alternative!
Xiaomi finally has released the Fimi x8 SE, a foldable and more compact drone that comes with impressive specs and at a quite affordable price.
I would safely consider it a Mavic Pro/Air low budget alternative.
It’s mainly for people who are looking for a travel drone, having fun shooting videos and even making money with it.
The 3 axis gimbal and capable flight modes can allow you to shoot impressive footage just as with some of the high end DJI drones with no compromise to your bank account.
Usually, when it comes to more advanced camera drones, they come with a way to stabilize the drone on the spot. I’m talking about GPS or optical flow cameras.
Fimi X8: GPS + Optical flow
Battery life for more expensive camera drones should be at least 15 minutes per flight.
Take in account spare batteries!
Fimi X8: 30min to 0% or 25min to 10%
Flight range can really change what sorts of images you can capture.
Fimi X8: 5000m
Camera resolution isn’t everything. Colors, sharpness and bitrate are very important for the overall image.
Fimi X8: 4k 30p, 2.7k in 60p
12mp sony IMX378 1/2.3″ sensor
If I had to pinpoint the most important factor in a camera drone, it would be Image Stabilization. A 4k unstable camera has worse results than a gimbal stabilized 720p one.
C-Fly Dream: 3 axis gimbal (very stable)
If you want the ultimate drone, this is not for you, but if you care whatsoever about price, keep reading.
In my opinion the FIMI X8 is the best drone under $500 for most people. It has the specs to compare it with the twice as expensive Mavic series from DJI, high quality build yet the price is quite affordable.
I definitely consider it much more capable than the Hubsan Zino, but that’s even cheaper, so not a really fair comparison.
Coming with stellar GPS+GLONASS and even obstacle positioning sensors, it’s very stable in the air.
The return to home not being perfect, it lands usually at about 1m from where it left.
Otherwise, it’s one of the longest flying drones in its price category and the range and signal strenght is absolutely crazy.
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The image quality of the camera is quite good, and there’s even a LOG profile to shoot a more flat image profile for better post processing camera correction.
As things stand now, people are complaining of a slightly blue tint overall, but Xiaomi said they will probably fix it in a future update. It is also something that you can adjust yourself in post processing with a bit of color tweaking.
The footage is creamy smooth thanks to the 3 axis gimbal, so no worries about that.
The blue tint can be a bit annoying, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.
The 3 axis gimbal is pretty well made but it does come with the flaw of being to close to the ground.
The ground clearance is so small that if you launch it from grass, it won’t be able to properly calibrate.
That’s why I strongly recommend a landing pad for any drone in general.
Fimi X8 SE
I love the build of this controller so much that I consider it even above what DJI currently has.
It fits really big phones and even small tablets like the iPad mini and such. This allows for a greately improved flight experience as you can better see what’s in the field of view. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS FACT!
Otherwise, the sticks are pretty standard high quality ones, with the ability to remove them and store in a special compartment of the controller.
The button configuration is as follows:
- return to home button
- 5D joystick (for custom shortcuts)
- ISO scroll wheel
- gimbal adjustment wheel
- photo/video buttons
This transmitter is better than others also when it comes to battery life. Considering it lasts twice as long as standard DJI ones.
App and flight modes
The app is quite standard and it comes with many settings including manual camera modes, filters and flight modes.
Because the drone is so new on the market, some features like the follow me mode are still developing and might have bugs here and there. Xiaomi promised to finish the updates so that it becomes the really complete drone that it’s supposed to be.
There’s the few basic flight modes:
- waypoints (in flight or on map) these are more complex and useful than what I’ve been used with so far
- point of interest
- follow me
And there’s also the cine shots:
These can help you get quick pro-looking shots without any hassle.
But heep in mind, that the Xiaomi FImi doesn’t have any obstacle avoidance technology (not even in the front) so make sure the area is clear before starting the automatic flights.
Bellow you can check my top drones in the same price category.
Please use the “Add to compare” button and then press on the icon on the right to compare them.
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Xiaomi has always surprised with its high quality products at incredible prices, and this is no exception. Their new FIMI series drones are very high quality and provide a professional drone filming experience for a more than competitive price.
- 4k camera
- 2k recording at 60fps
- 100mbps bitrate
- long flight time
- great range
- good GPS stability
- foldable design
- 3 axis gimbal
- blueish image tint(might be changed with an update)
- gimbal clearence quite low
- no obstacle avoidance