With drones becoming a rage, it goes without saying, these UAVs will continue to remain the top favorites for years. If you are an aspiring photographer or videographer, using a drone can take your skills to the next level. Maybe you are a hobbyist and want to explore the unlimited possibilities with these drones. No matter, the reason that propels you to buy a drone, you should be aware of a few things before buying them. In the lines that follow, you will become familiar with these pertinent points. So, let us start.
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Types of Drones
Before we delve deeper, please understand, you require registering the drone with the FAA. Most of the drones currently weigh over 55 pounds, and it automatically becomes compulsory for registration. It is undesirable, ending up buying a drone that is too tough for you to operate. Currently, there are tons of drones to choose from. There are expensive ones, and Drones below $2000 mark as well. Based on your skillset, you should choose the drone to buy. There are four types of drones, multi-rotor drones, fixed-wing drones, single rotor helicopter, and fixed-wing hybrid VTOL. At first, study the characteristics of each, to get an idea.
If you are a novice, certain drone terminologies will seem alien. We elaborate on them for your convenience.
- RTF- Ready-to-fly drones. As the name suggests, they are ready to fly as soon as you unbox them.
- BNF- Bind-to-fly drones require you to buy the controllers separately. In some cases, you may also need to install an app for controlling the UAV.
- ARF- Almost-ready-to-fly is drone kits. They lack transmitters, speed and flight controllers, and batteries. You can customize them to suit your requirements. Understandably, you need to make additional purchases for preparing it.
- FPV- First-person-video. The most sought drones right now. These quadcopters will let you capture footage and then transmit it live on various gadgets. It is the ideal drone for photographers and videographers.
Cost of the Drone
Again, the cost of the drone you plan to purchase will mainly depend on your usage. For the professionals, low-cost drones will lack the stability and control for clicking pictures and videos. Therefore, they will need to invest in the expensive ones. Things are changing for the better owing to the vast expansion of drones among consumers. Nevertheless, as a hobbyist, there is no point in investing in a drone that costs a couple of thousand dollars.
You must keep a tab on the weather conditions on the place you reside. If the place you live is very windy, cheap drones will be unable to sustain the gusty winds. Presently, most drones can handle winds up to 20mph, but if it exceeds this limit, the drone will lack stability. Then there are weatherproof drones, waterproof drones, and the ones that can fly seamlessly at night. For the novices, the ideal time to fly a drone would be during the day when the wind speed is low.
Check the Flight Time
Drones that have low-flight times would make your fun short-lived. However, drone manufacturers now offer spare batteries that extend the flight time. So, always check these out and accordingly make the purchase. Some of the mid-range drones boast of exceptional flight times be sure to check them out too.
Next in importance is determining the range of the drones. Particularly, for the professionals, if a drone cannot fly high enough, you will miss out on those breathtaking images. Miniature drones have limited flight range, while the better ones have nearly 400 meters. You should know FAA has made it mandatory; drones should not fly above the 400-meter mark unless you have a license.
Right now, you will find drones that come with inbuilt cameras while some of them offer support for one. Whichever you choose, ensure the drone camera is capable of taking pictures at 1080p or 4K, has an optical zoom function, a mechanical shutter, and preferably 30fps or more. Again, the camera quality will depend on how you plan using it.
Hope, this guide will help you in purchasing the right drone. Best of luck, and have a great time piloting these wonderful quadcopters.