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The drone market is buzzing with competitors and a new company threw its hat into the ring at PhotoPlus Expo.

China-based Prodrone Technology is entering the market with the Byrd drone.

So how does Prodrone aim to compete? Its drone is compact and lightweight at 4.2 pounds. In under a minute, a user can fold it up, pop off the camera/3-axis gimbal and stow it in a small backpack. It also promises a longer flying time than many of its competitors–up to 29 minutes in the air, depending on conditions.

The Byrd can stream an HD video feed to a mobile device, has follow me and return to home features and one button take off and landing. The Byrd can be operated solo but also supports two remotes, allowing one user to fly and the other to control the camera.

The drone can keep a payload of nearly 4.5-pounds aloft, so the company is exploring options for DSLR/mirrorless camera gimbals for the unit in addition to the GoPro gimbal which will be available at launch, said Daniel Monteil, U.S. Europe Marketing Manager, Prodrone.

The Byrd will be sold in three varieties.

The standard drone features an integrated 1080p HD camera  that can be swapped out for an optional GoPro and gimbal. The camera has a 16-megapixel sensor and supports HD recording up to 60 fps at 1080p. There’s also an option to record 720p video at 120 fps and snap 16-megapixel still images. Files are stored to a microSD card.

The standard Byrd has a 25-minute flight time. It can send an 720p/30 fps HD feed from up to 500m away. The app supports return-to-home, points of interest and route planning. It will retail for $949.

The advanced Byrd ($1,059) won’t have an integrated camera but will ship with a gimbal that supports a GoPro. It will have a longer flight time, up to 29 minutes, as well as longer and higher quality HD video transmission than the standard model–1080p/30 fps over a 2,000m distance. The drone also supports follow me.

The premium Byrd ($1,399) has all of the features of the advanced but will included a 12-megapixel camera with an f/2.8 lens and 3-axis gimbal. The camera supports 4K recording at 30 fps.


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