One of our newest and most unique pieces of camera kit is our drone. We use a 3DR Solo Quadcopter, filming with a GoPro4 Silver. The drone allows us to get shots like these:
The Solo is a very user friendly and easy to operate, however, one of the drawbacks is the case that it comes in from 3DR; the case is cardboard and has a luggage style handle instead of shoulder straps. Enter Lowepro DroneGuard CS 400.
The CS400 has a patented “Foam Shell” carbonate casing that makes it strong enough to protect your drone and accessories without adding the bulk and weight of a Pelican case. The back-pad and straps are padded enough to be comfortable for short walks and moderate hikes, but would probably require some additional padding for longer hikes.
The exterior of the case is extremely scratch resistant and will more than likely not show most stains such as dirt or similar. I wouldn’t however apply a lot of pressure to the case as it is not as rigid as a hard case.
The interior of the CS400 has the “Drone-Guard” customization system that allows several different drones to be able to fit in the case with a simple switch of some panels. Take a look at the Lowepro website for more detailed images of some of the different customizations you can come up with to fit your drone.
Below is how my 3DR Solo is setup, with plenty of room for a jacket or additional camera on either side.
As you can see, the case fits everything that I need to operate the Solo and even has room for more batteries if I add some later on. Zippered pouches are well placed to allow storage of chargers, cables, and more. The propellor board is Velcro’d to the lid and is removable.
I have only just received this case and have not had a chance to run it through a field test as of yet, so I cannot speak to the durability of the case. I will report back after extensive use if the case was anything short of satisfactory.
The only potential failure points that I can see is the semi-rigid construction of the shell. Any large amount of pressure from someone accidentally sitting on it, will more than likely cause damage to the drone and the case. The case is heavily padded and should be able to withstand short drops, throws, and slides.
I am very happy with this case so far. Time will tell if it is worth the $100 price tag or if a Pelican hard case would have been a better bet for a little bit more money. If this case holds up to the abuse of a traveling photographer, I will be satisfied with the purchase. As with anything made by Lowepro, a lot of time and energy was put into designing this case, and it shows.
Lowepro DroneGuard CS 40099
- Perfect fit for 3DR Solo or DJI Phantom Series
- Molle attachment points allow mounting of extra gear
- Price is right, at $100
- Modern and tactical appearance is visually appealing
- Case construction could be more substantial
- An extra inch of vertical clearance would allow props to stay on, inside case