GEPRC DarkStar20 Review: Best FPV Drone for Filming?

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RCHobby Lab’s Author: Daniel Henderson
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward
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Reviewed by Kristen Ward

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Welcome FPV enthusiasts! FPV drones continue to grow in popularity for recreational use and aerial videography.

The latest micro drones are designed to fly well both indoors and outdoors with small yet powerful brushless motors and HD camera systems weighing under 250g.

Today I’m excited to share my review of the new GEPRC DarkStar20 indoor/outdoor FPV drone. we’ll take a close look at this drone to see how it performs for FPV pilots.

Let’s get started!

Overview of the GEPRC DarkStar20

The DarkStar20 is a micro FPV quadcopter made by GEPRC, a relatively new drone manufacturer based in China. The GEPRC DarkStar 20 was released in late 2022 and has quickly become one of the most popular micro drones thanks to its combination of performance, portability, and HD video quality.

Some of the key specs and features of the GEPRC DarkStar20 include:

  • Weight: 85.5g without battery, 114g with 500mAh 2S battery
  • Motors: SPEEDX2 1102 10000KV brushless motors
  • Propellers: HQProp DT51mm x4
  • Flight Controller: GebRC Tacker F411
  • Receiver Options: PNP / ELRS2.4G / TBS Nano RX
  • Flight Time: 4-5 minutes(with 500mah 2S battery)
  • Top Speed: 60mph / 100kph
  • Video Transmission: DJI HD FPV Transmission (OcuSync 3.0)
  • Camera Options: DJI O3 
  • Video Resolution: Up to 4K/120fps
  • HD Low Latency: <50ms
  • FOV Options: 150 ̊ SuperView / 4:3 / 16:9
  • Gimbal: 2-Axis stabilization
  • MicroSD Support: Up to 256GB

As you can see, the GEPRC DarkStar20 packs an impressive amount of technology into a micro drone that weighs under 250g. The use of DJI’s HD FPV system means you get a high-quality low latency video feed when using DJI Goggles. You can even record onboard 4K video directly to a microSD card in the camera module.

Having a variety of receiver options like Crossfire or ELRS is great for experienced pilots who want more range and reliability. The drone is also compatible with the DJI RC controller if you don’t need the extra range.

Overall, the GEPRC DarkStar20 combines performance and portability in a clever microdrone platform. Let’s take a closer look at the components that make this quad fly so well.

DJI O3 Camera Module & Video Quality

One of the biggest selling points of the GEPRC DarkStar 20 is the option to get it with the DJI O3 camera module. This gives you the same excellent video quality you’d expect from DJI’s FPV drones in a micro platform.

The O3 camera has a 1/1.7″ CMOS sensor capable of recording video up to 4K resolution with a wide 150° field of view. You can digitally zoom or change the aspect ratio to 4:3 or 16:9 as needed. There are also built-in digital video stabilization algorithms that work together with the 2-axis gimbal for smooth footage.

Having the ability to record onboard 4K video directly to a microSD card is huge. This means you can capture stunning footage without needing an HD digital video downlink all the time. The microSD slot supports up to a 256GB card so you have ample space to record your flights.

The O3 camera provides impressively detailed and sharp 4K video from such a small drone. The color reproduction is excellent and the dynamic range is surprisingly good even in high-contrast lighting.

The 60Mbps bitrate used in 4K mode provides plenty of bandwidth for sharp, detailed footage. There are lower bitrates available at lower resolutions if you want to save space. Having the ability to digitally zoom or change aspect ratios right in the goggles is nice too.

The other camera option is the Runcam WASP Nano which is a lighter-weight HD camera alternative. It can record up to 2.7K resolution with a decent Sony sensor but does not match the quality of the O3 camera. Still, the WASP Nano saves weight and space which is important on micro quads.

Responsive Indoor Performance

Despite its small size, the GEPRC DarkStar 20 has excellent throttle response and plenty of lifting power. The 10,000KV brushless motors provide as much thrust as you’d expect from larger 3-4″ quads. This makes it fun to zip around indoors and easily accelerate for gap shots.

The 2-inch HQ propellers are designed for speed and efficiency. Combined with the tuned rates in Betaflight, they provide a very agile feel perfect for indoor spaces. Even at high throttle, the motors remain smooth without any harsh vibrations. This results in clean onboard video without jello effects.

Having a sturdy frame is important for surviving crashes while indoor flying. The GEPRC DarkStar 20 has a lightweight but flexible frame that can take some hits. The camera module is recessed inside the frame to protect the lens during crashes.

The 2-axis gimbal also helps keep your video buttery smooth as you fly around tight indoor spots. Overall the GEPRC DarkStar 20 has excellent power and agility for darting through windows or around furniture in your house.

Outdoor Flight Performance

A major benefit of the GEPRC DarkStar 20 is that it’s designed for stable flight outdoors as well as indoors. The flight controller is tuned for good stability in windy conditions while still offering agile acro mode performance.

To provide thrust for outdoor flying, the motors and propellers are larger than a typical “toothpick” style micro drone. This gives it enough oomph to fight winds and move at high speed. Yet it still weighs under 250g with the battery so it’s easy to transport.

 GEPRC DarkStar 20 flies well even in 15-20mph winds. It holds its line nicely and resists getting blown around. This makes it possible to fly places like fields and parks where nano drones struggle.

Having good efficiency and flight time is important for outdoor flights too. With the standard 500mAh battery I was getting 4-5 minute flights consistently. This is quite good for a micro drone that moves so quickly. Just be sure to keep some spare charged batteries in your pocket!

Long Range With Crossfire and ELRS

The GEPRC DarkStar 20 is compatible with two excellent long-range receiver options – TBS Crossfire and ExpressLRS. This sets it apart from DJI’s own FPV drones that are limited to ~2km video range.

Having Crossfire or ELRS means you can comfortably fly 1-3km or farther and maintain control. The video will likely still drop out at 1-2km, but at least you won’t lose control and crash. This gives you the freedom to explore further without fear of failsafes.

I was able to consistently get over 2km of range with my Crossfire micro receiver even without using the powerful RHCP antennas. 

The drone flew well beyond my vantage point and I only turned around because the mavic mini camera could not track it any further. But the Crossfire link remained solid, demonstrating how it can extend your operational range.

Having long-range control options like Crossfire or ELRS makes the GEPRC DarkStar 20 versatile for long-distance flying. You have the HD camera quality of DJI combined with RC link security far beyond a typical micro drone.

Intuitive DJI Controller or Radiomaster Options

The GEPRC DarkStar 20 is compatible with both the DJI FPV Smart Controller and hobby-grade transmitters like the Radiomaster TX16S. This gives you options to fit your budget and preferences.

For a simple all-in-one solution, the DJI Smart Controller provides an intuitive touchscreen interface. Everything from camera controls to telemetry displays is built right in. The ergonomics are comfortable for thumb-flying with the sticks and antenna built into the screen.

If you prefer a more configurable radio transmitter, you can use the GEPRC DarkStar 20 with ELRS or Crossfire systems. I opted to use the excellent Radiomaster TX16S which feels pro-grade with its gimbals and switches.

The TX16S has great ergonomics, long battery life, multi-protocol support, and tons of tuning options that a hobbyist will appreciate. The large backlit LCD display shows you all the telemetry details and alerts.

You get the best of both worlds – intuitive controls for new pilots via the DJI controller or advanced configuration with Radiomaster. Pick the option that suits your skill level and budget constraints.

Simple Betaflight Setup and Tuning

The GEPRC DarkStar 20 flight controller runs Betaflight which makes it easy to plug into your computer and configure or customize. For casual users, it comes pre-configured with reasonable defaults that provide good performance.:

  1. Install the props
  2. Charge the included 2S LiPo battery
  3. Bind your transmitter to the receiver
  4. Install the charged battery
  5. Power on the drone and transmitter

That’s it! The quad comes pre-configured so no further setup is needed. I did need to update the goggles and aircraft firmware which is easy to do through the DJI Assistant app on my phone. This unlocked all the latest features.

In general, I found the GEPRC DarkStar 20 flew great with the stock Betaflight tuning. But it’s nice having the option to tweak settings once you become more experienced.

GEPRC DarkStar20 Review: The Good and Bad

Here are the main benefits and drawbacks I found flying the GEPRC DarkStar 20:


  • Incredibly portable and lightweight
  • Flies great both indoors and outdoors
  • DJI HD low-latency FPV camera system
  • Nice mix of performance and stability for new pilots
  • Plenty of speed and power for experienced pilots
  • Strong frame and prop protection for durable crashes


  • Short flight times (but batteries recharge quickly)
  • No prop guards for indoor safety
  • Can’t add top-mounted batteries for weight balancing
  • DJI FPV ecosystem locks you in for upgrades

While flight time is short, I don’t think that’s a huge issue for this size of drone. The speed and video quality make up for it in my opinion.

Who is the GEPRC DarkStar20 Good For?

The GEPRC DarkStar 20 hits a nice sweet spot that combines performance, portability, and beginner-friendly flight. Here are some pilots who would really enjoy this micro quad:

  • Recreational FPV Pilots – With good flight time and tunable acro performance, it’s simply fun to fly around your local field or neighborhood.
  • Vloggers – The excellent O3 4K camera lets you capture cinematic-looking footage for your YouTube videos.
  • Travelers – Weighing under 250g makes it easy to throw in a bag to film trips without hassle.
  • Racing & Freestyle – Skilled pilots will enjoy the agile nature and HD video for FPV competitions and demos.
  • Beginners – Easy to fly thanks to altitude hold and positioning modes to build confidence.

A major benefit of the GEPRC DarkStar 20 is that it remains lightweight and portable while still offering pro-grade performance and video. You get capabilities that used to require much larger and more expensive FPV drones just a couple of years ago.

How to Fly the GEPRC DarkStar20?

Now that you know all about the GEPRC DarkStar 20’s features and capabilities, let’s go over some tips to get the most out of flying it:

1. Find Wide Open Areas

Look for large open fields, gyms, or underground parking garages to start out flying the GEPRC DarkStar 20. This gives you plenty of room to practice flying fast without worrying about collisions.

Open areas also help maintain line-of-sight and good video reception back to your controller.

2. Start Slow and Work Up

Don’t just rip full-throttle right away! Start off slowly in Acro or Stable mode to get a feel for the controls. As you get comfortable, gradually pick up speed and start making more aggressive maneuvers.

Pushing your limits in a controlled step-by-step manner is the best way to improve your skills without crashing.

3. Adjust Camera Angles

Play around with adjusting the camera tilt via the goggles or controller. Tilting up helps see obstacles ahead when flying low or racing. Tilting down gives a better view overhead when doing aerial photography. Find the camera angles that suit your flying style.

4. Mind the Wind

The GEPRC DarkStar 20 handles mild wind very well, but strong gusts can impact your ability to fly stable and maintain position.

On very windy days, look for protected areas or fly lower to the ground where wind is reduced. Don’t fight the wind – go with the flow and adjust your control inputs.

5. Watch Battery Level

Keep an eye on your battery voltage both in your goggles and on your transmitter. When a LiPo battery gets low, it drops off quickly. Land immediately when you reach 3.7 volts per cell to avoid crashes from complete exhaustion. safely.

Follow these tips and you’ll be zipping around making pro-level videos with your GEPRC DarkStar 20 in no time!

Final Verdict – Is It Worth It?

After several weeks of flying and testing, I’m thoroughly impressed with what the Dart Star 20 offers for its size and cost. The use of DJI’s latest O3 camera pays off with stunning 4K video quality that looks cinematic.

Despite weighing under 250g, it flies great thanks to an optimized frame, the latest hardware, and powerful motors. You can zip through tight indoor spots or blast around outdoor fields with confidence. The option for ELRS or Crossfire receivers means you can go miles outside of video range safely.

Beginners will appreciate the easy GPS modes and auto takeoff/land features. But advanced pilots can still enjoy the agile acro mode flying for tricks and racing. It’s a nice balance of capabilities suited for any skill level.

Considering everything it offers, the GEPRC DarkStar 20 is an excellent value and stands out in the growing micro drone market. I hope you enjoyed my in-depth review and guide to flying the GEPRC DarkStar 20. Let me know if you have any other questions and happy flying!

Where to Buy the GEPRC DarkStar20?

The GEPRC DarkStar 20 is available from several online retailers:

  • GetFPV
  • RDQ
  • Pyrodrone

Be sure to select your preferred receiver option (Crossfire, ELRS, DJI) when ordering. The drone is sold as plug-and-play (PNP) without a transmitter so you can use your existing radio.

And that wraps up our full review of the new GEPRC DarkStar 20 micro drone! Let us know your thoughts or questions on this exciting new FPV platform from Dart Star RC.

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Written By Daniel Henderson

My name is Daniel Henderson and I'm an avid FPV pilot and videographer. I've been flying quadcopters for over 5 years and have tried just about every drone and FPV product on the market. When not flying quads, you can find me mountain biking, snowboarding, or planning my next travel adventure.

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