FYI, I'm pretty sure terrain following requires the pixhawk, which has more memory to store topo data...
What's a little confusing about APM is that it stands for "ArduPilotMega" which is in reference to the original hardware, but it's also used to refer to the software project, which also runs on the PX4/Pixhawk hardware.
Sometimes people say "apm supports terrain following with version 3.4" in reference to the software, but forget to add "with the pixhawk hardware"
That RTFlyer hardware you listed is the older "APM hardware" -- if you want terrain following, you need the RTFHawk hardware.
Ah okay. That is a very good distinction to understand. With a similarly equipped RTFHawk kit, I'm looking at $211 from readytoflyquads. So I guess now I have another decision to make. Lol. Do I bite the bullet and get the full "hawk," go with the RTF APM 2.6 set, or try to find a pixhawk clone on ebay that is in my price range.
What all do I gain with the Pixhawk clone over the standard APM clone? I understand that it has more processing power, more memory, and is more "futureproof," but functionally it seems about the same other than the terrain follow feature (which is cool, but is not a necessity for me).
Supposedly the APM 2.6 can get bogged down if you start having it control a gimbal and such too. I've done some reading on that and was planning on getting a gimbal that had an independent control board anyway, so that MiNi 3d gimbal would be ideal. Also like that it's only $149 and looks super smooth! Thanks for that suggestion The-One-Who-Never-Crashes! So what do you guys recommend for this decision? It's exciting that there are so many good options out there, but it makes making a decision tough!