It's summer and what better way to spend those moments outdoors than with a badass new drone! With the complexity of drones today and how so many more people are jumping on board to enjoy what their world looks like from a completely new vantage point, its easy to get lost in it all. I am here to try and simplify that search for you, give you some tips on flight and also which drone to eventually buy.
The obvious question right off the bat is, why are you getting a drone? Are you a professional photographer or simply a hobbyist that wants to create something new and fresh from a totally different perspective? Either way drones are an incredible tool and one I highly recommend for those that have even the smallest interest in photography or even getting outside to try something new.
Yes, drones have restrictions for obvious safety reasons. Most of those questions can be answered by Googling various topics or questions you might have but for the main part they are broken down below very simply and these rules apply to any and all pilots including hobbyists that have no clue about the more advanced stuff for flying for professional work.
- Keep it below 400ft
- Stay clear of any major airports (5 mile radius)
- Always keep your drone in eye site (safety from other drones or low flying aircrafts)
- Be aware of your battery life at all times
- Don't fly over congested areas or large groups of people
- Avoid large buildings or structures due to high winds or risk of crashing
Whether you are looking to fly professionally or as a hobbyist you want to make sure you register your drone, that is a must. Though if you are a hobbyist it is much less strenuous and incredible easy, less than 5 minutes. This simply gives the FAA the information needed to know who is in the air at what times. You can fill out that form here.
What Drone Should You Buy?
Depending on what you want to do these are the buckets I created, they are simple. Professional, hobbyist, and Meh. That last group is a bit of a joke but if you aren't willing to drop hundreds of dollars on a drone for any reason, grab one of those small tiny drones from Target just to try it out. There are plenty of various brands including This Viper drone that are under $50 and can give you all the basic flight of a drone to try out without risking the bank account.
For those that are simply wanting to fly for fun or hobby this is very simple and one that I have taken myself. I shoot for myself with all my drone photography. These are the drones I have experience with and hear the best remarks about in each of their own classes.
If you are looking to get into the professional side of things you are going to want to look at first taking your commercial drone license test. This is a must and if not done can end in fines for those taking payment for drone flight. You can register here.
Now to break down every drone in all the various prices and categories I mentioned above.
DJI Spark $400 - Hobbyist
DJI Breeze $180 - Hobbyist
DJI Mavic Air $800 - Hobbyist
Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4k $600 - Hobbyist
DJI Mavic Pro 1 Refurb $650 - Hobbyist/Professional
DJI Phantom 3 Standard $450 - Hobbyist/Professional
DJI Phantom 3 2.7k $500 - Hobbyist/Professional
DJI Mavic Pro $900 - Hobbyist/Professional
DJI Phantom 4 $1000 - Hobbyist/Professional
DJI Mavic Pro Platinum $1,400 - Hobbyist/Professional
DJI Phantom 4 Pro $1,500 - Hobbyist/Professional
Yuneec Typhoon H $1,200 - Professional
DJI Inspire 2 $3,500 - Professional
Yuneec H920 - Professional
Final Thoughts and What Drone I Would Choose
In the end, there are countless drone manufacturers out there but these two stand as the top brands in my eyes and those of which I have flown with the most. You may have noticed many of these drones I bucketed into the same category as hobbyist and professional. That is due to the fact that many of these are in the level of which you can create some stunning photographs on either level. Though it's in the details when it comes to which you should buy as each have their pros and cons; longer flight time, better flight control, a dedicated remote, quiet motors, etc.
I personally own a Typhoon H, it was given to me as part of a campaign with Typhoon to test our their drone and give my feedback. If I had to choose myself right now, and I am debating this currently, is possibly grabbing the DJI Mavic Pro refurbished. That drone for the size, control, price, and capabilities I believe does everything I want it to do in a very small package.
What do you think? Are you going to buy a drone this summer? Which one? Do you already own one? Love to hear your thoughts here in the comments below or hit me up on Instagram.
Also, why do I link everythign out to Amazon for tech related gear? Two reasons really, one being I get a few dollars for every sale due to my Amazon Affiliate Program that helps creators like myself make a living doing what we love and also because EVERYTHING is cheaper on Amazon and they come from the same brands. DJI has an offical Amazon page where they sell all their products on their online store but offer them at a slight discount from the full retail cost. Not sure how it works but just a tip from me this week. You're welcome!