If you want to get unique camera and video footage, it’s time to take to the skies. There’s nothing like getting a good aerial shot.
You can go up in a helicopter with a camera, but that’s a little expensive and limiting. That’s why drones have become so popular. They’re small, so you can fit them into more places, and they’re not as expensive as renting a helicopter.
If you want to get the best footage possible, you’re going to need to learn how to buy a drone. While the cheap ones are great for beginners, they may not be the best for your needs.
Still, if you don’t know what you’re doing yet, picking up a little inexpensive model isn’t the worst decision that you could make.
Cost is only one thing that you’ll need to consider before you go shopping. Check out this guide to learn more.
Types of Drones
Before you start looking at drones for sale, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all your options. There’s a lot of them on the market, and they all serve a different purpose.
If you’re still a beginner, you may want to choose a cheap plastic model. Those who have a little more experience might want to invest in a camera or professional drone. These are only a few that you can pick.
If you’ve never flown a drone before, it might be a good idea for you to buy an easy-to-use beginner drone. Even the cheaper ones are of decent quality, and if you dump them in water or crash them into a tree, it won’t hurt as much.
If you have a little extra money in your pocket, we suggest buying a ready-to-fly model. As the name suggests, you can use them as soon as you take them out of the box. Due to the convenience, they’re a little on the pricy side, but they’re easy to use.
If you’ve seen videos of drone racing and want to dip your toes into it, then you’ll need to purchase a racing model. They’re built for speed rather than altitude, so they make flying a bit challenging.
You can buy a good starter racing drone for a little over a hundred dollars. If you decide that you enjoy racing, you can always invest in the parts to make your own.
Those who are planning to use their drone to take pictures from the sky will need to buy a good camera drone. You can program some of them to go in a specific flight path. Others have interesting GPS and follow-me features.
The Mavic 3 is one of the best that you can get as far as cameras go. It’s a little heavy and somewhat expensive, but if aerial photography is your jam, it’s worth it.
Professional drones are the ones that real estate agents use to take sky footage of the properties that are for sale. Real estate isn’t the only job field that uses drones, but they are the most common.
These devices come with a ton of handy smart features like obstacle avoidance. They’re reliable and durable but be warned, the prices will make your wallet sad.
If you’re looking for reliability, GPS drones are the way to go. They communicate with satellites to keep proper positioning. When GPS drones first came about on the market, they weren’t available to everyone because of the expense.
Nowadays, this feature has sort of become a standard. It shouldn’t be hard for you to find one that meets your budget.
Those who haven’t flown a drone before have a lot to gain by using a GPS drone. They’re not hard to fly and you’re less likely to crash them into a tree.
FPV stands for first-person view. Like the racing drones, they’re built for speed, but there is one defining difference. When using one of these drones, you’ll be staring at a screen rather than the device itself.
On this screen, you’ll see everything that your drone sees. In some cases, you’ll wear first-person goggles. These drones aren’t the best to use for beginners because it’s easy to get tunnel vision.
What we mean is that it’s simple to get so swept up in looking at the screen that you forget to look around for obstacles and other people.
Foldable drones are popular with those who travel a lot. They’re convenient because you can slip them right in with the rest of your luggage. They don’t take up a lot of room.
You can use them to take high-quality pictures of your vacation spot. Just beware of the drone laws in the country you’re going to. Having one is illegal in some corners of the world.
Selfie drones are another type that’s popular with vacationers. Once you send them into the air, you can use them to take distanced shots of you and your loved ones. Since nobody has to take the photo, nobody gets left out.
If you don’t want to be seen holding a remote or controlling the drone in your picture, we recommend a remote model. You won’t have to use your hands at all to take the shot, so you can focus on posing with your loved ones.
Features to Look Out For
Now that you’re more aware of the different types of devices that you can choose from, let’s talk about drone technology. There are several features that you should look out for when you’re shopping around.
Some of them are neat to have, but not necessary. Others, such as high battery life, are a deal-breaker if they don’t have it. This is especially true if you plan to use the drone a lot.
Like any electronic, your drone will run out of power at some point. Even the most expensive models will only last about half an hour or so. You might find one that will make it to 45 minutes, but that’s a stretch.
If buying a drone with a long battery life isn’t in the cards for your budget, we recommend picking up an extra battery or two at some point. This way, when the device starts to run out of juice, all you’ll have to do is trade out the battery if you want to keep flying.
Most drones do come with a built-in camera. The quality of said camera can be a little debatable when it comes to some models. If you want to take amazing pictures, you’re going to have to invest in this feature.
The other option is to pick up a drone with a spot where you can put a camera. If you already have a professional-grade one, there’s no reason to spend extra money for a drone that has a good camera as well. Use the one that you’ve got on hand.
When you’re looking around for a drone, you’ll see the terms brush and brushless motor. If you can afford it, go with the latter. Brushless motors are a lot quieter.
They also have a long lifespan, so you won’t find yourself in the market for a new motor as often. It saves you money in the long scheme of things.
If you’re a beginner flyer, we recommend picking up a drone that has a headless mode. All this means is that when you push the control stick forward, the drone will move in a direction that’s comparable to you instead of the stick. It makes controlling the drone a lot easier.
This is another feature that’s helpful if you want to get high-quality video and picture footage. The gimbal will keep the drone steady no matter how bad the wind gets.
You won’t have to worry about your pictures coming out blurry because the drone was moving. Most smaller devices don’t have this feature, but the bigger ones do.
Again, drones with a GPS get feedback from a satellite that tells them exactly where they are. Some models use this feature for other purposes.
For example, you can buy a drone with a return-to-home feature. Your device will be able to find its way back home if you happen to lose it while you’re filming. Drones with GPS capabilities are more stable than those that don’t have it as well.
Follow-me-mode allows your drone to well, follow you around. It can track your position no matter if you’re on land or sea. This will allow you to concentrate on whatever you’re doing instead of having to worry about controlling your drone with the remote.
A drone with this feature is also great for vacations. You can use it to take family photos without anyone having to be out of the picture.
Buying a drone with obstacle avoidance will cost you a pretty penny, but it’s a feature that may be necessary for beginners. Your drone will be able to sense that there’s a tree in front of it and swerve to avoid it without any input from you.
This feature works better on some models than others. You’ll want to check out customer reviews online before you trust your device to handle obstacles on its own.
How to Buy a Drone?
Knowing what kind of drone you want and features you want it to have gets most of the battle out of the way. Before we let you go, we have a few more shopping tips that you should take to heart.
Don’t Get Stuck on the Price
People are under the misconception that the cheaper drones are for beginner fliers. All the expensive models come with bells and whistles that are hard for a beginner to grasp, right?
Advanced drones with obstacle avoidance and other features will hurt your wallet, but they can also stop you from crashing your device. If you go ahead and buy an expensive drone now, it will save you from having to spend a bunch of extra money later to upgrade.
If you’re a little nervous about spending that kind of money outright, that’s understandable too. All we’re saying is to not get so stuck on the price tag that you don’t buy the best drone for your needs.
When it comes to materials, you can go with the basic plastic or get something sturdier like fiberglass or carbon fiber. The latter is much more expensive, but you won’t have to worry as much about breaking your drone.
The plastic ones are cheaper, but not as resilient. If you find that you’re on a budget, it will suit your needs, but we recommend going with ABS plastic. It has a bit more oomph.
Spare Part Availability
There comes a time when your car starts to break down. To fix the problem, you have to buy a spare part and pay a mechanic to put it in for you.
Drones work the same way. As a general rule of thumb, the newer and more popular a drone is, the easier it will be for you to find spare parts for it.
Pick the Best Drone for Your Needs
No matter if you want to take beautiful aerial photos or simply fly your drone around in the air and play with it, there’s a device for you. The hard part is knowing how to buy a drone with all the features that will allow you to use your device the way you want.
We hope that you’re able to use these buying tips to get started with your shopping. To learn more about drones and their uses, visit the Technology section of our blog.