If you are shopping for a drone for the very first time, you’ve probably seen so many that you are now confused about the right one to go for. When making a purchase– any purchase — it is always important to have a deep knowledge of what you’re buying so as to make an informed decision. Also, there are several factors to consider before picking the one that would perfectly fit your needs.
What should you put into consideration before getting your first drone? We’ve answered this question in this article.
Video and image quality
For most people, this is very important. If you are getting the drone for some serious photography work, you need a drone that has an FHD camera. Better still, a drone that allows you to attach a DSLR might be ideal. However, if you just want to use the drone for leisure or fun, you probably don’t need one with a powerful camera.
While some of these drones are built for serious photography, there are basic selfie drones. Ultimately, what you go for should be determined by what you intend to use the drone for.
How far or high do you want your drone to go? If you intend to use your drone for commercial photography, then you need one that can go as high as possible to capture stunning aerial photos or videos. While most drones have ranges between 30 to 50 meters, there are those that go farther than this. However, the higher the range, the more you have to pay.
Battery capacity and flight time
This is a major factor to consider before picking up a drone if you don’t want to end up disappointed when the product finally comes. Relying on the manufacturer’s information on this isn’t enough, you have to go online and read reviews to get a clearer picture of how long you can fly the drone on a full charge. Some drones have a flight time as low as 10 minutes while some can last up to 30 minutes.
Ease of use
There are different types of drones and you need to get accustomed to some terms before getting one. Some drones are ready to use right out of the box while some require you to do some work. There are drones that follow you automatically in case you need something that doesn’t totally need your attention but still records you while you perform other activities.
If you are a starter, you don’t want to start assembling a drone, you probably want something you can fly as soon as it arrives. Look out for these terms on the product page so as not to get something you might regret buying:
- RTF (Ready-to-fly): In most cases, these are almost ready to fly as soon as it is out of the box. However, you may still need to charge the battery and attach propellers before use.
- BNF (Bind-to-fly): Although they usually come fully assembled, these types of drones don’t usually come with controllers. You have to separately purchase the controller or install the companion app on your phone. Compared to ARF drones which is discussed below, they are also easy to use.
- ARF (Almost-ready-to-fly): These are not recommended for beginners as they are ordinary drones kits with no transmitters, receivers, batteries and some other parts. As a matter of fact, some do not have motors, speed controllers, or flight controllers. You have to buy the rest of the parts separately and assemble.
- FPV (First-person-video): This type of drone lets you transmit captured video directly to a smartphone, a tablet, a VR headset, or a computer.
Before picking up a drone, you should imagine the worst-case scenario– breaking the drone. Be certain the drone you’re picking up can be repaired and parts are easily accessible. You need to be certain the manufacturer is still actively supporting the product as well.
While there are rules guiding the use of drones in some countries, it’s a lot different in some countries and you are totally prohibited from flying a drone without registration. You need to find out what these rules are in your country of residence.
What you intend to spend on your purchase automatically limits your options. Whether its the range, image quality, or flight time, you should know that cheap drones often come with trade-offs and you have to look out for these.