buying a drone for beginners

Buying A Drone 101: What Drone Should You Buy? Take The Quiz!

You’re in love. Face it. You wouldn’t be here if you aren’t. It might have been a drone hovering over your front lawn doing 360-flips, or you saw snaps of breathtaking scenes shot from above - it is what it is. You want your drone, but apparently, you don’t know how to find the right one.


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Well, it’s your lucky day. Read along, and I’ll help you find the L-O-V-E of your life.

What's A Drone?

Of course, before anything else, you should know what you’re getting into. What makes a drone different?

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or more popularly known as Drones are trending nowadays.

The estimated value of the drone industry is 3.3 billion dollars in the US alone. This figure shows how popular drones are among the population.

what is a drone

Commercial drones are mostly used for recreation. Typical applications are aerial photography, videography or filming, and plain old drone piloting.

Unlike a remote-controlled helicopter, drones are easier to pilot once you get the hang of it. They are more stable and provide more types of movements because of their nimble design.

With a camera or GoPro, your drone can take both photos and videos in mid-air and with the use of a third-party app, you can see what the drone is seeing in real-time.

As you can see, we’ve come a long way from paper planes and tying cameras to fucking trees.

Who Can Buy A Drone?

buying a drone

Before it became a commercial thing, the US Military is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Drones. 

If you’ve played enough Call of Duty, you can see how drones are basically flying metal objects that drop explosives on targets.

Well, the concept is the same...minus the explosive stuff.

explosion

Drones are now commercially available to the market (hurray!).

Current technological advancements allow drones to be made with cheaper materials hence making it affordable for the general (that means you and me) population.

Buying a drone nowadays is as convenient as buying a bike. Most toy or hobby shops have drones on their shelves, and you can even order them online on Amazon or Ebay.

Anybody with the love for flying, enthusiasm for photography, and cash to spare can buy a drone.

Drone Etiquette

Here we promote responsible drone use and piloting. Before buying a drone, there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Here are few of them:

DO NOT Fly Over Private Property

Unless you want people shooting your drone or, worse shooting you, I strongly advise against this.

DO NOT Fly Over People Without Their Permission.

Just like #1 but this can pose a real hazard to the people if they are near the drone. Try to avoid hovering over people as much as possible or something like this may happen:

farewell

Stay Away From Airports

Airports are a no-fly zone for drones. Its presence in the air will prove to be a problem for both aircrafts and traffic control because it might be mistaken for an airplane, causing an incident may prove to have dire consequences. Like getting jailed.

Avoid Taking Pictures Of People Or Properties Without Expressed Permission.

This is a breach of privacy, and you could be punished heavily for trespassing other people’s space.

Always ask for people’s consent whenever applicable. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE don't be this guy:

Register Your Drone With Proper Authorities If Necessary.

Depending on your drone type, registering your drone might be necessary. Weight is the main factor here.

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Authority mandates all drones weighing more than 55 lbs to be registered.

These are just a few of the things you need to keep in mind. Being a good pilot does require not only skill but also proper decorum.

Why Should You Buy A Drone?

You’re probably thinking only about flying the drone and all, but you’ll be surprised to know that there are other reasons why you should buy a drone.

Drone Piloting Is A Skill.

A fun one to learn at that.

Admit it. Whenever you see a drone flying, you stare in awe and wonder how people can keep them from crashing.

Of course, the reason you’re reading this guide is that you finally want to be the man behind the remote this time.

Learning how to fly a UAV will look good on your resume especially since the introduction of drones in the market allowed most jobs to integrate them into the workplace.

You'll Get A Lot Of Good Pictures

Just by flying your drone anywhere you can have breathtaking views which you thought you could only see in movies.

This is the feature most photographers are after which pushes the physical limits of photography way beyond mono and tripods. 

And selfie sticks.

Because there are a lot of available cameras compatible with various and most drone models, you can be the skilled photographer you always wanted to be as soon as you know how to fly a drone.

Now, What Drone Do You Want? Choose Based On Your Purpose

There are a lot of drones in the market. They are classified based on a lot of factors. From size, weight, the number of propellers, to frame type, range and a lot more.

Picking on what drone you might want is as hard as getting it airborne the first time ‘round. So you might want to think about what you want from it other than its ability to fly.

For the sake of this guide, we’ve narrowed it down to a few categories.

Photography

The most common drone type and probably the most bought. These drones are perfect if you are after the perfect shot.

If you’re a photography enthusiast, then I would recommend that you pick this type. Usually, drones come with cameras, or you can mount one on them yourself.

Go Pros are commonly placed as an accessory to the camera while third-party applications allow you to see what the drone is currently viewing.

Now if you’re also into multimedia then this might be your preferred type.

Racing

These usually come in many sizes. From handhelds to meter wide drones, these drones are built for one thing. Speed.

Racing drones are usually built to be as light as possible with a substantial amount of battery life.

It’s because they are aiming to squeeze the most power out the limited-flight time while minimizing wind drag and maximizing speed.

If you like the fast lane, maybe drone racing is your thing.

Indoor

Not all drones can be flown indoors, and size is mostly the factor to consider here.

Some drones require open space to take off, and these spaces are rare inside houses. Plus it takes skill to be able to maneuver your drone inside efficiently.

So try to think about factors such as size, obstructions, and skill level when buying drones if you want to fly it indoors.

Specs To Consider Before Buying A Drone

Now that you know what you need to do and what type of drone you want to buy let’s see what factors we should consider in picking the model we want.

Battery

I need to give much emphasis on this part. The cells should play a significant role in picking your drone model.

Knowing how long your drone can stay in the air and how long it takes before it’s fully charged are things drone pilots should keep in mind. That’s why it is advised to purchase extra batteries too.

The most important part of your drone’s power is the flight time.

batteries

Having your drone hover for a more extended period is a good thing especially since knowing how to fly one efficiently takes a lot of time.

Camera

Most drones come with a camera. Although they are treated mostly as freebies, you should still consider the quality and specifications of the camera because technically you are still paying for it.

Especially for people who brought their drones for photography purposes, cameras are
essential.

Standard camera resolutions come at 720p, but some have 1080p resolutions.

You should also see if you can change the mounted camera or mount an additional one on your drone.

Controls

syma x5c remote control

This is probably your first time flying a drone, so let me tell you that knowing the drone’s controls is perhaps your bread and butter when it comes to understanding of the basics.

If you're just starting out, you don’t want it to be too complex so as you’d be pressing the off button while the drone is in mid-air.

The standard controller contains a left and right stick, power buttons, and an automatic trimming button.

There are also controllers that has a return home function. Trust me it helps a lot.

Also considerthe maximum range of your controller to know how far your drone can go.

Size

size

Now knowing where you’d probably be flying this thing is vital to determining how big of a drone you are willing to purchase.

Bigger isn’t always better - one day you might wake up and decide to use the drone indoors. Size will also play a factor when you consider resistance to wind and drag.

The Final Step

Now that you’ve read through the guide, you have more than enough knowledge to know what type of drone you want and how to use it properly.

Knowing the specifics of your drone will undoubtedly play a part in buying a drone and your desired model which fits your budget and preference.

With all these information in mind, all that’s left is for you to buy your very own Drone.

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