Tuesday 26 April 2016

Eachine E10C vs Cheerson CX-10C

Do I really need another minidrone?

German customs will usually let items under 22€ pass without giving you the runaround. So the Eachine E10C caught my eye on Banggood.
Why should I bother? I have a Cheerson CX-10C that I quite like and have given positive reviews on both my blog and on my youtube channel. At the time of writing, the Eachine is about 3€ more expensive than the Cheerson.
Out of curiosity I ordered an E10C and it arrived today.

Looks familiar

The both crafts look pretty much identical. There are a few differences, but you have to look closely to spot them:
E10C and CX-10C side-by-side

The camera

The most noticable difference when it comes to features, is the 720p camera of the Eachine E10C. But is it worth it? Here are two shots to compare the still image quality:
Cheerson CX-10C (VGA)

Eachine E10C (720p)
The scene was not very well lit and the amazingly good low light performance of the CX-10C clearly shows here. The field of view of the CX-10C is also a bit more pleasant because it "looks down" a bit, which is something I want when recording aerial views of a landscape.
Top: CX-10C Bottom: E10C
But the 720p are not just better on paper. There are significantly less jpg compression artefacts. The still has 1920x1080 (approx. 450kBytes) which corresponds to the 2 megapixels claimed on the box, while the CX-10C writes a modest 640x480 jpg (vga) to a 20kBytes file.
The videos are 1280x720 (Eachine)  and 640x480 (Cheerson) with 30fps each.
The quality is similar to the stills:
Video - Top: CX-10C Bottom: E10C

The transmitters

I haven't taken the Eachine transmitter apart yet. It is a lot bigger, which makes it harder to fit into my pocket. On the other hand I like the shoulder buttons for the still/video camera operation. Cheerson had sacrificed the left/right trimming for that.
The other thing is that the E10C takes two AA batteries while the CX-10C runs on AAA batteries. This transmitter will most likely run forever on one set of batteries.
EDIT 20160504:
I did a range test yesterday. This is how the eachine compares to the cheersons:

Setup Range (m) Range (ft)
Original 10C controller (orange)26m 85ft
Modified 10C controller (orange) 35m 115ft
Original 10A controller (black) 25m 82ft
Modified 10A controller (black) 36m 118ft
Eachine E10C controller 40m 130ft

Pretty impressive, huh? And I haven't even started looking for mods.

The manual

"The battery must be removed from the product prior to charging."
WTF?! Did I even get the right manual for the product? Pretty much everything in there has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Final word

Yes, I am happy I got the E10C. Although I haven't tested in daylight, the camera seems quite a bit better than on the CX-10C and I hope to have a review with video footage on my youtube channel soon. But I'll certainly keep the CX-10C for it's field of view and low light performance.

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