Bought the 3DR X8 RTF, have a NEX 5R - what kind of payload can I expect?

Hi guys

Bought an X8 RTF in the weekend sale. While I'm waiting for the X8 to arrive, I'd like to plan ahead a bit.

There are very few tech specs for the 3DR X8 anywhere but I saw on a forum comment that the expected lift would be around 880g (in addition to the battery).

I have the following camera gear I'd like to carry:

NEX 5R (around 300g)

Tokina 11-16mm with EF->nex adapter (around 600g)

I'd really like to use a brushless gimbal as well for video shooting - any recommendations for this setup?

Will the X8 be able to lift the above, plus a brushless gimbal - or am I better off swapping the lens for the SEL16F28 that is 70g?

Thanks a bunch!

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Not sure how they figured out the specs. But you might want to try a 4 cell battery it'll give you more power. But just like DIY drones need to experiment see what works for you.

Personally, I like to keep the payload weight low, 'cause weight always costs flight tome and flight time is precious. With the Tokina, a BL gimbal and video Tx etc. you'll have a payload of around 1.5 kg which seems to be a lot, even if the 3DR X8 is able to lift that weight. Apart from that a zoom lens seems to be a bit pointless to me without the ability to use the zoom function.

That's why I use the SEL16F28 on my copters - but it gets quite soft in the corners when wide open. I always wanted to check out the new SEL20F28...

Good luck, Jorre

I would not use a 4S all the testing done has proven to not really be worth it. You would have to down size props etc etc. Read the recent  posting about 3 cell vs 4.   The nex should carry just fine with what you have. As far as gimbal goes it all depends on what you want to spend? There is RC Timer stuff and then you have Zemuse stuff. Kinda in the middle is the Tarot which we have had very good luck with. You will have to figure out where you can mount the gimbal and what will work to keep the other things out of the video/photo and have the CG right on the copter. The 3DR stuff kinda is a PIA with mounting a gimbal where the batteries are for balance. But you can easily diy a very nice vibration free setup. So you will have some work and testing to do.

As far as weight savings go you might want to think about the stock lens that goes with the nex it will give you better performance.  If you find that you can't get into a decent hover around middle throttle and are going 75% you will need to lighten the load. 

ok thanks guys!

Looking at the gimbal next - I've been spoiled using a friends Zenmuse. For the X8 however I'm looking for something more budget - something that can balance both the NEX and a Blackmagic Pocket (about the same weight).

Any recommendations for the gimbal? Is it worth going 3 axis vs 2 axis (more weight?) and can I power the gimbal off the same 3S as I fly with or do I need an extra battery as well? Is the 4200mah 3S that came bundled with the X8 ok or should I get beefier batteries?

I've decided to drop the Tokina because of weight and go for SEL16F28 with the UWA addon (or similar for the blackmagic), that should leave me with:

Camera: 300-400g
Gimbal: RCtimer ASP 3 axis maybe? seems to be just under 700g
Lens: 100g

So total payload around 1.2kg

The X8 seems to have pretty good lift, I am not too worried about the flight times (6-7 mins would be fine).

Doable? Comments?

As far as gimbals go there are so many options its kinda crazy right now. There are a bunch of chinese type that are made for the nex that work great.  You probably want to stay with aleximos boards as you can add a 3rd axis if you wanted. I have a few tarot and have great success with them. The rc timer not so much always a fight to get the martinez boards right once you do they are fine but the RC Timer stuff seems a little sub par. Just my observation. My RC Timer is sitting on the shelf and probably will stay there forever lol.  AV130 is good but you will need to make some big changes to the landing gear for use.  As far as with it lift and perform I don't see why not.  Also I totally prefer running the gimbal off its own power source and reccomend it. You will get better performance and you wont need a huge battery I use a 3S 900mAH and have used a 1300mAH also with no issue.  I use this on a 3Dr Hexa with 880KV motors.  But we have been working on a Big Y6 almost 3 foot long arms as of late and trying to dial that in.   Good Luck.  

Thanks John!

What chinese brushless gimbals would you recommend?

I'm looking at this - 3 axis with alexmos for $350 total, seems like a bargain

and this (for twice the price, not sure if it's using alexmos?)

I guess there isn't much point buying 2 axis now, the price is almost the same as 3 axis

I'm using and am very happy about this NEX gimbal, that is very cheap (under 200€):

Everything included (NEX5 with 16-50 lens, gimbal, GMB5010 150 turns motors, BGC board, etc) = 900g

Interesting, german engineering,  looks good! That is 2axis right? Do you find you would need 3 axis?

Does that gimbal include everything except the alexmos board? did you buy the board from kamkop as well?


I don't care for the RC Timer stuff but thats just me. It seems there are lots of issues with fit and finish. But if you like the RC Timer just check around to get some reviews.  The other one I never heard of the co. so if I am buying "Chinese" I at least like to know the company and get some state side reviews. 

Yes two axis. I find it enough for my own use ( the third axis being the multicopter yaw) I am also piloting alone so a third axis would be unmanageable.

The gimbal comes without electronic or motors

Look here for the pids with a need 5:

thank you for recommendations, ordered a maytech 3axis alexmos gimbal, will report on how it works.

Some more questions:

How do I know that the GPS is locked? At the moment when hovering, the x8 starts drifting in one direction and I have to keep correcting it, pretty annoying. There's a toggle to switch between two flight modes on the dx7s controller, but I have no idea what they are mapped to or whether or not the GPS is locking... I am only doing manual control for now, no autopilot missions.

Also, how do I know when the batteries are about to run out so that I need to bring the X8 back down?

Thanks guys, very helpful!

A stopwatch is a great bit of kit along with a LiPo alarm I never fly a multi without one.

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