Review: GEPRC CineBot25 Cinewhoop – Almost Perfect but Still Has a Few Issues

by Oscar
Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Front

I’ve tested many cinewhoops in the past few years, and the GEPRC CineBot25 is perhaps my current favorite 2.5″ cinewhoop. So much thought has gone into its design, and the attention to detail is simply amazing. While it’s not perfect and has a few annoying issues, as you’ll discover in this review, these quirks don’t detract from its impressive performance.

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Learn about Cinewhoops: https://oscarliang.com/cinewhoop/

Where to Buy?

You can get the GEPRC CineBot25 from these vendors:

There are two versions: Standard (non-S) and Sport (S). The S version features larger 1505 4300KV motors, which are an upgrade from the 1404 motors in the standard version, delivering more power and stability.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Unbox Accessories Parts

Batteries are not included, my recommendations are the Lava 4S 850mAh:

Get some spare propellers if you plan to crash :)

Specifications

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop

  • Frame: GEP-CT25 Grey
  • Wheelbase: 115mm
  • Flight Controller (FC): TAKER G4 45A AIO
    • MCU: STM32G473CEU6
    • Gyro: ICM 42688-P
    • Firmware: TAKERG4AIO
  • Motor: SPEEDX2 1505 4300KV
  • ESC: BLHeli 32-bit 45A
  • Propellers: HQProp DT63mm x4
  • Connector: XT30
  • Official Weight:
    • Standard PNP Version: 138g ±1g
    • Sport PNP Version: 145g ±1g
  • Recommended Battery: 4S 650mAh – 850mAh LiPo

Closer Look at the Build Quality

The GEPRC CineBot25 S stands out with a robust, sleek design. The camera, motor, and flight controller are mounted on the top plate, which is made from smooth-layered carbon fiber, offering a lightweight yet durable feel.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Motor Propeller

Below the top plate is a removable plastic housing for the VTX and receiver. The electronic components are well protected, but the enclosed design might compromise cooling in hot environments.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Side

The FPV camera is mounted within a dedicated soft-mounted canopy that limits extreme camera angles but offers adequate protection.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Camera Mount

An external HD camera can be hard-mounted using the provided adapter, but it’s best to avoid adding extra weight like a naked GoPro. While it may work for slow and steady indoor shots, it compromises outdoor agility and speed. The DJI O3 system already provides excellent image quality anyway.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Antenna Mount

Two battery straps of different lengths are included: a longer one for 4S 750mAh and 850mAh batteries, and a shorter one for smaller 4S 650mAh batteries. The drone weighs around 153 grams without the battery, camera, and VTX, which is almost 10 grams heavier than the BetaFPV Pavo25 V2. However, this added weight is understandable given the extra plastic used for protection.

With the DJI O3 system installed and a 4S 850mAh LiPo, the total weight is around 290 grams.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Bottom

Here are some side by side comparisons to the BetaFPV Pavo25 V2:

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Compare Pavo25

Notice the Cinebot25 has “feet” on the bottom that can keep the propellers away from the grass and puddles when you take off and land. Most cinewhoops out there overlooked this feature.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Compare Pavo25 Frame Side

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Compare Pavo25 Camera Mount

DJI O3 Setup

Although the CineBot25 supports various FPV systems, including analog and Runcam Link/Wasp, the soft-mounted camera platform is a clear indication that it’s specifically designed for the DJI O3 system. Other FPV cameras aren’t as susceptible to jello and vibration as the O3, making additional soft mounting necessary. I really like GEPRC’s implementation using silicone balls as it works exceptionally well.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Installing Dji O3 Air Unit Camera

However, the camera canopy can easily pop off during crashes, and it’s challenging to reattach due to how tiny and soft those silicone balls are. They are also quite fragile, metal tools can easily pierce through them. While GEPRC provides some tools to help with this, it’s a hassle remembering to bring them along. Zip ties can secure them but will reduce the effectiveness of the soft mounting.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Camera Mount Detached Crashes Anti Vibration Silicone Balls

User Friendly Design

One of the best design aspects of the CineBot25 is how easy it is to access the flight controller and DJI O3 USB port. There’s a USB-C port at the rear of the drone, connected to the flight controller via an extension board.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Flight Controller Fc Usb C Port Rear

You can access the DJI O3’s SD card slot and USB-C port through a cutout in the plastic housing, and when not in use, you can put the rubber cover back on to protect it from dirt and water.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Silicone Rubber Cover Dji O3 Usb Sd Card

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Installing Dji O3 Air Unit Access Sd Card Usb C Cover

There’s no need to disassemble the drone or use an adapter to access these USB ports, making it incredibly convenient. You can tell how much thought has gone into the design.

However, one small issue is that I couldn’t connect or flash the ESC via the USB port at the FC extension board. I had to use the actual USB port on the FC, which requires disassembling the drone. They could have used a USB-C extension cable like Speedybee did in the Bee35 to maintain compatibility. But it’s not a big deal since you don’t typically need to flash your ESC.

Dissembling the drone for repair is easy too.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Tear Down Take Apart Dissemble

Here’s a close up shot of the flight controller.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Flight Controller Fc

Flight Performance

The CineBot25 S is simply one of the best flying 2.5-inch cinewhoops I’ve tested—very stable, well-tuned, and with plenty of power for freestyle.

It’s also very efficient. I tested mine with LAVA 4S 850mAh LiHV batteries from BetaFPV and got around 5 to 6 minutes of flight time (a mix of aggressive flying and cruising), which is very impressive. I tested this battery here, it’s pretty good: https://oscarliang.com/whoop-toothpick-lipo-battery/#4S-LiPOLiHV

The DJI O3 VTX system, paired with a soft-mounted camera, provides crisp FPV footage without any jello.

Another issue I noticed is with the video signal and range – the bitrate drops noticeably more quickly as I fly further away, possibly due to the UFL extension cables for the O3 antenna. One solution is to avoid using these extension cables and opt for a longer antenna, such as the Flyfish Osprey: https://oscarliang.com/fpv-antenna-swr/#FlyfishRC-Osprey-Dual-band-140mm. You simply need to cut the plastic tube shorter.

How to Setup

Although initially I was impressed by the CineBot25’s design, the setup process took a bit more effort and time than expected.

O3 Installation

First thing is to install the DJI O3 system inside the plastic housing. Unfortunately, there’s no instruction provided, so you’ll need to use your imagination. I must admit it wasn’t easy at all as I spent over an hour trying to find the best way to mount the O3. Eventually I decided not to use the provided heatsink and just mounted the O3 directly inside the plastic housing.

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Installing Dji O3 Air Unit

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Installing Dji O3 Air Unit Connect Antenna Extension

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Installing Dji O3 Air Unit Finished

Also, unlike BetaFPV’s cinewhoops, GEPRC doesn’t provide any cable for the O3, but you can use the original cable, so it’s not a huge issue if you still have it. Also there’s no screws provided for mounting the camera in the canopy – you will need M2 3mm.

Finally, make sure to tape the UFL extension to avoid electrical shorts! It they touches the exposed battery solder pads could fry your O3!

Binding Receiver

Here I encountered another issue – the receiver does not get power from the USB port, you must plug in a battery.

I was going to flash the latest ExpressLRS firmware to the receiver along with my binding phrase, so I needed to find out what target it uses. That was accomplished by going into WiFi mode (by plugging in battery and wait 60 seconds) and checking on the Web UI .

Receiver target is: Generic ESP8285 PA 2.4Ghz RX, it comes with 3.3.1 firmware.

However, I couldn’t find this target in the latest ExpressLRS Configurator, so I didn’t update the firmware but set the binding phrase in the Web UI.

Betaflight Configuration

Setting up Betaflight for maiden flight was straightforward.

The CineBot25 comes with Betaflight 4.5.0. The flight controller target is TAKERG4AIO. You can find the original CLI diff here: https://intofpv.com/t-cli-dump-for-the-geprc-cinebot25-s.

  • In Preset tab, apply ExpressLRS Preset based on the packet rate of your choice.
  • In PID Tuning tab, set your own rates.
  • In Modes tab, assign switch for arming.
  • In OSD tab, configure OSD elements. Although HD was selected, the canvas was stuck in analog size. I had to de-select and select HD again to get the larger HD OSD canvas.

Conclusion

I am blown away by the GEPRC CineBot25 S—it has one of the best design on the market, and the flight performance is excellent! While there are a few hurdles to overcome during setup, these are not deal breakers. If you’re looking for a 2.5-inch cinewhoop for the DJI O3 system, this is the one I’d recommend right now.

Get the GepRC Cinebot25 from these vendors:

Get some Lava 4S 850mAh batteries:

Get some spare propellers:

Geprc Cinebot25 S Cinewhoop Front

However, this drone isn’t designed for sub-250 grams in mind. You could probably push it under 250 grams by going analog or using a smaller battery, but you’d be better off with a 2-inch quad instead (check out the Pavo20). I also don’t recommend using a GoPro on the CineBot25; it kills its flight performance and flight time. If you want to use a GoPro, opt for a 3-inch or 3.5-inch quad.

For cinematic FPV flying and dynamic shots using the O3, the CineBot25 S offers fantastic design and performance at a fair price point. With its powerful motors and DJI O3 compatibility, it stands out as a strong contender in the cinewhoop market.

Antenna Upgrade

I replaced the DJI O3 antenna with the FlyFish Osprey: https://oscarliang.com/fpv-antenna-swr/#FlyfishRC-Osprey-Dual-band-140mm. Why? Because this antenna is long enough that you don’t need to run any extension cables, which impacted signal quality significantly. But you have to cut the plastic tube shorter, and I used a small rotary tools like this, without the proper tool imagine it would be quite a challenge.

Geprc Cinebot25 Dji O3 Air Unit Antenna Extension Cable Flyfish Osprey 140mm

Running iNav and GPS

I wanted to build an iNav cinewhoop with GPS capability, but the GEPRC Taker G4 FC doesn’t support iNAV (yet), so I had to replace it with the Flywoo GOKU GN745 AIO V3 FC: https://oscarliang.com/flywoo-goku-gn745-aio-v3-fc/

My goal is to use GPS and rangefinder/optical flow sensors, so it can perform position and altitude hold like a DJI camera drone, which should be a fun project! For more detail: https://oscarliang.com/setup-optical-flow-rangefinder-inav/

Flywoo Goku Gn745 45a Aio V3 Fc Flight Controller Replace Geprc Cinebot25 Taker G4 Wiring Gps Optical Flow

Geprc Cinebot25 Fpv Drone Cinewhoop Install Gps Battery Strap

Microair Mtf 01 Ranger Finder Optical Flow Sensor Module Install Geprc Cinebot25 Fpv Drone Cinewhoop Bottom

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6 comments

Tom Paul 19th May 2024 - 9:24 pm

Cinebot25 S analog plus naked flywoo gopro instead of dji o3. What do you think?

Reply
Oscar 19th May 2024 - 9:40 pm

If you aren’t using the DJI O3, I think you are better off going with a slighter quad to compensate for the naked GoPro extra weight. The Cinebot25 is heavy mostly due to its design around the O3 to make it user friendly.

Reply
Vladimir 13th May 2024 - 12:57 pm

If you liked the cinebot you would be blown away by the oddityrc xi25. It’s the quad the cinebot copied but didn’t get quite right. :)

Reply
Oscar 13th May 2024 - 5:20 pm

I have seen this quad, it looks nothing like the Cinebot? I don’t really see anything special about it.

Reply
salvatore 10th May 2024 - 1:24 pm

I own the same Cinebot 25 S and as indicated by the company there are 2 pid profiles for use with or without GoPro. which of the two do you recommend? I notice some vibrations in flight especially at low revs

Reply
Oscar 13th May 2024 - 5:04 pm

I actually wasn’t aware of the two PID profile, I just used the first profile without Gopro, no vibration at all. Maybe try to check if the FC is mounted properly and the screws are not too loose? Also try replacing the props, they come with spare props.

Reply