Cinewhoops are exceptional small FPV drones, perfect for capturing professional-grade commercials, real estate videos, and cinematic footage. With their propeller guards, they’re also safer for teaching beginners flying FPV drones. In this post, we’ve compiled a list of the best cinewhoops available in 2023. Explore these top choices to enhance your filmmaking and flying experience.
What is a Cinewhoop?
Cinewhoops are a unique type of micro FPV drones, featuring propeller guards (also known as ducts) and they can carry action cameras, like GoPros, for capturing smooth aerial footage. While not as fast as 5″ freestyle FPV drones, Cinewhoops prioritize safety and stability, allowing pilots to safely fly close to their subjects indoor and outdoor. The resulting footage boasts a level of cinematic quality that is nearly impossible to achieve with a 5″ quad.
Advantages of a Cinewhoop
- Safe indoor flying with propeller guards for added protection
- Smooth and slow flight capabilities, ideal for capturing relaxed cinematic shots
- Budget-friendly, thanks to their smaller size and less powerful components
Disadvantages of a Cinewhoop
- Shorter flight times due to the extra weight and relatively inefficient propeller motor combo
- Less nimble and slower compared to typical freestyle drones
- Steady cruising is a strong suit, but not the best choice for performing freestyle moves
Cinewhoop Sizes Explained
Cinewhoops come in four sizes: 20, 25, 30, and 35. These numbers refer to the propeller sizes, with 20 being 2-inch, 25 being 2.5-inch, 30 being 3-inch, and 35 being 3.5-inch.
Smaller cinewhoops are more compact, lighter, less intimidating, and easier to carry around, allowing them to navigate through tighter spaces. Larger cinewhoops, on the other hand, are more powerful, handle strong winds better, provide greater outdoor stability, and can carry heavier payloads such as a full-sized GoPro.
If your goal is to stay under the 250g limit, a 2-inch cinewhoop (size 20) is ideal. With a battery and a naked GoPro, you can typically remain under 250 grams. A full size GoPro would be too heavy for them to handle. If you opt for a model with a DJI O3 Air Unit, you can eliminate the need for an additional action camera, resulting in a more compact setup that still can capture high-quality video.
For carrying a Naked GoPro or GoPro Bones, a 2.5-inch or 3-inch cinewhoop (sizes 25 or 30) is recommended. While these sizes will likely exceed the 250-gram limit with the action camera and battery, they offer better stability, speed, and outdoor handling. A 3-inch cinewhoop may be able to carry a full-sized GoPro, but its performance will likely suffer. If you plan to fly outdoor, the 3-inch would probably perform better than the 2.5-inch, however for indoor only, the 2.5-inch can fit into more spaces and you won’t need the extra power from the larger propellers provided by the 3-inch.
To fly outdoor and carry a full-sized GoPro, such as the GoPro Hero 11 Black, a 3.5-inch (size 35) cinewhoop would be the best choice.
For beginners learning to fly, all cinewhoop sizes will do the job. If you plan to use a GoPro later, sizes 30 or 35 offer greater versatility. If you want a small drone for casual park flying without a strong focus on video quality, sizes 20 or 25 are best. Keep in mind that larger cinewhoops handle wind better, so consider local weather conditions when choosing your drone.
Though the onboard FPV camera isn’t as good as a GoPro, adding an action camera to your cinewhoop is recommended for the best possible footage. See my action camera recommendations: https://oscarliang.com/action-camera/
In this section, we’ll recommend some top cinewhoop options (BNF – bind and fly models) for each size available on the market.
BetaFPV Pavo Pico
You can get the Pavo Pico here:
- BetaFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-9jth
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-f56v
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DBF8dh3
The BetaFPV Pavo30 Whoop is the smallest cinewhoop I’ve tested thus far. It offers DJI O3 compatibility, which allows 4K HD videos and providing decent flight performance. This drone excels in indoor flying conditions due to its excellent handling capabilities. Although it requires DIY assembly of the DJI O3 air unit, is relatively straightforward, even for beginners. In order to reduce weight and maximize flight efficiency, it might not be as crash-resistant due to reduced material use, it’s worth considering if you seek a compact, unobtrusive drone suitable for safely flying around people and property.
See my full review here: https://oscarliang.com/betafpv-pavo-pico-whoop-dji-o3/
Get the Flywoo CineRace20 with O3 Air Unit here:
- Flywoo: https://oscarliang.com/product-o9ju
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-xwsw
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DktQ6Kh
The Flywoo CineRace20 is a compact and durable 2-inch cinewhoop designed for both indoor and outdoor flights. Weighing only 220 grams with a 4S 750mAh battery, this drone offers 7-8 minutes of stable, jello-free flight time. Equipped with a DJI O3 Air Unit, it captures stunning videos without the need for an additional GoPro camera.
Some drawbacks include louder noise levels and potential yaw washout issues during extreme maneuvers. However, these issues are common among cinewhoops and not unique to the CineRace20.
Overall, the Flywoo CineRace20 DJI O3 Edition is a fantastic choice for those looking for a durable sub-250g drone with extended flight time and impressive cinematic footage capabilities, especially indoors. Check out my review for more info if you are interested: https://oscarliang.com/flywoo-cinerace20-o3/
Purchase the GEPRC Cinelog 20 at the following retailers:
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-9w73
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-cpgj
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_Dk81tbj
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/40CqBG0
The GEPRC Cinelog 20 has gained immense popularity among FPV drone enthusiasts due to its outstanding performance, unique features, and versatility. Weighing under 250 grams, it is available in both analog and digital (including DJI O3) versions, with the latter preferred for its superior image quality.
Featuring a small wheelbase and unibody plate, the Cinelog 20 offers a more streamlined design compared to other drones. Its dampened camera platform ensures high-quality video quality. However, some concerns have been raised about the durability of the drone’s prop guards.
For more information on the GEPRC Cinelog 20, refer to this post: https://oscarliang.com/geprc-cinelog-20-o3/
Get the DarwinFPV CineApe25 from these vendors:
- Banggood: https://oscarliang.com/product-ux10
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-37f4
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DeBsdvx
For just $132, the DarwinFPV CineApe25 is one of the cheapest cinewhoops available today, offering decent flight performance for the affordable price. Having a flight time of around 4:30 minutes, the CineApe25 is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Weighing 160 grams without an HD camera and 253 grams with an 850mAh 4S battery, it’s a lightweight option.
Nevertheless, the drone has a few drawbacks, such as the relatively low quality hardware, unsecured, rigid motor wires and a somewhat cumbersome quick-release system for the prop guards. Despite these minor issues, the CineApe25 proves to be crash-resistant, making it a decent choice for beginners and those on a budget.
For more information on the DarwinFPV CineApe25, refer to this post: https://oscarliang.com/darwinfpv-cineape25/
SpeedyBee Flex25 Cinewhoop
Find the SpeedyBee Flex25 at these vendors:
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-bds9
- Speedybee: https://oscarliang.com/product-msur
- NBD: https://oscarliang.com/product-ni17
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DlHgzfR
The SpeedyBee Flex25 is a compact 2.5″ cinewhoop packed into a 2-inch form factor, thanks to its innovative frame design featuring overlapping propellers. Another notable feature is the wireless Betaflight setup via the SpeedyBee mobile app, which allows for easy configuration without connecting to a PC. Additionally, it is action-camera-friendly, boasting a solderless power plug on the top plate. Weighing between 169g (without LiPo) and 246g (with 4S 450mAh and Runcam Thumb Pro), it offers a flight time of around 5 minutes with a 4S 850mAh LiPo.
While the drone is loud, it provides a smooth flight experience, impressive crash resistance, and solid flight performance. However, some users report that the overlapping propellers result in efficiency and power loss, making it feel less powerful than other 2.5″ cinewhoops.
Overall, the SpeedyBee Flex25 is an excellent choice for those seeking a small, powerful cinewhoop with wireless setup capabilities and a robust design. Its drawbacks are manageable and can be addressed with minor adjustments.
For more information, check out my full review here: https://oscarliang.com/speedybee-flex25/
BetaFPV Pavo25 Cinewhoop
Get the BetaFPV Pavo25 from:
The BetaFPV Pavo25 Cinewhoop is one of the lightest 2.5″ cinewhoops on the market. With a dry weight of just 140g, it features a sleek design that encases all components within the prop guard casing, making maintenance a breeze. The Pavo25 supports digital FPV systems like DJI and Walksnail and offers radio receiver options such as ELRS, Crossfire, or no receiver.
Pros of the Pavo25 include a sturdier frame compared to its predecessor, the 95X V3, enhanced image quality from the Nebula Pro Nano camera, and precise control. However, it lacks a blackbox, and its TPU camera mount may be prone to breakage.
The Pavo25 delivers stable and locked-in flight performance, with a flight time of around 4.5 minutes without a GoPro on a 4S 750mAh battery. It can carry a GoPro Hero10 Bones, but it’s not the top choice for acro flying. Noise levels are similar to the 95X V3, and the camera offers improved image quality and lower latency.
For more information, check out my full review here: https://oscarliang.com/betafpv-pavo25-whoop/
The DJI Avata is available in various combos. The DJI Avata Pro View Combo includes the DJI Goggles 2 and the upgraded RC Motion 2 controller.
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-xd4s
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DB33cil
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ZD06iO
For those interested in the new Goggles Integra, the DJI Avata Explorer Combo comes with both the Goggles Integra and the RC Motion 2 controller.
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-zrde
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DCC4gY1
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/40A80e6
The DJI Avata is a 3-inch Cinewhoop-style FPV drone created by DJI, a leading consumer drone company. The Avata feels like a more polished product, requiring less tinkering to get it working reliably. It features a durable plastic build and impressive flight performance, with 12 minutes of real-world flight time. The Avata’s camera captures 4K video at 60fps and 12MP stills, offering a wide field of view and adjustable angle for flexible shooting. The drone is compatible with DJI Goggles 2 and the FPV Controller 2, providing an immersive and precise flying experience.
When comparing to custom-built Cinewhoops, the DJI Avata is easier to use and offers significantly longer flight times. Ultimately, the Avata is an excellent choice for beginners and those who prioritize portability and ease of use, while more experienced pilots and professionals may prefer a custom-built Cinewhoop with a GoPro.
Learn more about the DJI Avata in this post: https://oscarliang.com/dji-avata-camera-drone/
You can buy the GEPRC Cinebot30 from these retailers:
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_Dd0G3o1
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/3GFZaDC
- RDQ: https://oscarliang.com/product-iamq
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-v678
The GEPRC Cinebot30 stands out among cinewhoops due to its exceptional build quality and impressive flight performance. Running on 3″ props, the drone weighs 220g without batteries, delivering agile, stable, and smooth flights, although it exceeds the 250g limit when fully equipped. The Cinebot30 offers multiple radio receiver options and is available in analog, DJI, or Walksnail versions for FPV systems.
The Cinebot30 features built-in LEDs around the prop guards, perfect for night flying, though their color cannot be changed. While it has the power to carry a full GoPro 11, the drone’s flight performance suffers under the additional weight. As a result, using a Naked GoPro or GoPro Bones would be a better choice for action camera. Overall, the GEPRC Cinebot 30 delivers a premium flying experience, exceptional design, and outstanding performance, making it a top recommendation for both hobbyists and professionals.
Check out this post to learn more: https://oscarliang.com/geprc-cinebot30/
GEPRC Cinelog35 V2
Product pages of the GEPRC Cinelog35 V2:
- AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DDvGCvf
- Amazon: https://amzn.to/3KzBoug
- GetFPV: https://oscarliang.com/product-mfob
The GEPRC Cinelog35 V2 is a versatile FPV drone designed for a variety of applications, such as freestyle flying, cruising, and capturing stunning cinematic videos. Its larger size significantly enhances flight performance compared to smaller models. With a 6S 1300mAh battery, you can expect up to six minutes of flight time, even when carrying a GoPro Hero 11 Black.
The upgraded V2 version comes equipped with GPS and a seated XT60 connector, and it’s available in several variants, including analog, Walksnail, and DJI. The V2 boasts a robust frame with 3.5mm carbon fiber arms, enhanced prop guards for increased durability, and powerful 2105.5 2150KV motors, offering improved stability. Additionally, it includes a TPU mount for full-size GoPro cameras.
The addition of GPS allows return to home and land functionality within Betaflight, making the drone even more user-friendly and reliable. The Cinelog35 V2 is an ideal choice for both amateur cinematography enthusiasts and professionals seeking high-quality footage for applications like real estate fly-throughs and advanced cinematography.
Find out more about this drone in this post: https://oscarliang.com/geprc-cinelog35-v2/
Foxeer Foxwhoop 35 Cinewhoop
You may find the Foxeer Foxwhoop 35 here:
The Foxeer Foxwhoop 35 is a 3.5-inch Cinewhoop designed with an emphasis on durability. Featuring 5mm thick carbon fiber arms, this drone is built to withstand crashes and rough handling, making it an ideal choice for pilots who value resilience. The Foxwhoop 35 supports both 4S and 6S motor setups, offering a wider range of options to suit different preferences. However, it’s worth noting that the analog VTX output power is limited to 350mW, and the drone’s dry weight of 250g might not appeal to those seeking lighter alternatives.
While the Foxwhoop 35 excels at cruising and capturing cinematic footage, it is not specifically designed for aggressive flying. Its straightforward design lacks fancy LEDs, and the hard-mounted camera mount could potentially be prone to vibrations. However, the stock tune seems to be stable enough and doesn’t cause noticeable jello in the footage.
Discover more about the Foxeer Foxwhoop 35 in this post: https://oscarliang.com/foxeer-foxwhoop-35/
Choosing the Right Battery for Your Cinewhoop
Selecting the right battery for your Cinewhoop depends on various factors, including motor KV, propeller size, drone weight, and desired flight time. You don’t need an overly large or expensive battery with an extremely high C-rating typically used for racing, as Cinewhoops primarily focus on capturing smooth and relaxed footage, rather than aggressive flying.
Ensure that the battery has a matching connector for your drone, such as XT30 or XT60, to avoid compatibility issues. To find the recommended battery size and cell count for your specific drone, refer to the product page and specifications provided by the manufacturer. This information will help you choose the most suitable battery for optimal performance and flight time.
Selecting the Ideal Propellers for Your Cinewhoop
Cinewhoops often carry significant weight relative to their size, including propeller guards, a large battery, and a GoPro camera. To accommodate this weight, you typically need to increase the propeller size to generate more thrust and enhance efficiency. However, Cinewhoops are generally limited to 3.5-inch or even smaller propellers due to their compact size.
Bullnose propellers are a popular choice for Cinewhoops because they generate more thrust compared to pointy propellers, despite being less efficient. Pointy propellers, while more efficient and have some advantage in other types of FPV drones, may not be the best choice for Cinewhoops due to their lower thrust output.
To further increase thrust output, it’s common to use propellers with more than three blades. Five and even six-blade propellers are popular choices in Cinewhoops, as adding more blades effectively increases the surface area, increasing thrust production.
Since propellers are relatively inexpensive, testing various options with your specific setup is the best way to determine the ideal choice. When evaluating propellers, consider the following factors:
- Efficiency: How does the propeller affect flight time?
- Noise level: Quieter propellers are less likely to disturb people nearby.
- Power: Assess the thrust produced and the amount of throttle required to maintain hover.
- Smoothness: Determine if the propeller causes additional vibration.
- Responsiveness: Evaluate whether the propeller improves flight performance.
By considering these factors, you can select the most suitable propellers for your Cinewhoop, ensuring optimal performance and flight experience.
FAQ & Tips
Best Camera Angles for Flying Cinewhoop
The general consensus for optimal FPV camera tilt angle is 10-20 degrees, while a slightly higher angle is recommended for the GoPro due to its wider field of view (FOV).
Best Flight Mode for Cinewhoop
Both Angle and Acro modes can be used for Cinewhoops, depending on the flying environment. However, Acro mode is preferred in most cases, as it offers smoother flight performance. With Angle mode, you might constantly need to counteract the self-leveling which results in more wobbles in the footage.
Flying in Acro mode indoors is not significantly more challenging. You can transfer your regular flying skills to indoor environments by simply reducing the camera angle. When using Angle mode, consider reducing the angle strength to 20, so it doesn’t resist your inputs as much, providing a better flying experience.
My Cinewhoop Rates
- Centre Rate 160
- Max Rate 930
- Expo 0.75
In conclusion, Cinewhoops are the perfect choice for capturing stunning, cinematic aerial footage. With various pre-built BNF models available, each offering unique features, choosing the right one depends on your specific needs. Experiment with propeller options and battery choices to optimize flight performance.
- Jan 2020 – Article created
- Apr 2023 – Article revised