10 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Drone
If you are new to flying drones, choosing the right one can be a challenge. The market is saturated with many different types of UAVs and not all will offer you the same level of satisfaction. This guide will help you understand the factors to consider before buying a drone.
First, it is important to consider where you intend to fly the drone. If you want to use it outdoors, you will be better off going for a stable device, which is ideally, a larger one. On the other hand, smaller drones are best used indoors. They only work well outside if it is not very windy. Some quadcopter manufacturers even go a step further and give details on the strength of wind that will affect the flying experience. If you are unsure, it is safe to go for a suitable drone for both indoor and outdoor situations.
With UAVs, you can buy one that is ready to fly (RTF) or a type that requires assembly (DIY). Many companies are now manufacturing RTF drones, and these are ideal for beginners. Pre-assembled quadcopters might cost slightly more, but this will save you a lot of trouble. For DIY drones, you will have to diagnose all the problems and fix them yourself, and this may mean spending more time before getting the device ready for the first flight. Presently, DIY drones make more sense if you are just interested in learning how the gadgets work.
Cheap drones usually lack features that make operation easy. That means they do not suit people who are not experienced in flying drones. If you are uncertain about your ability to operate these devices, you should find a drone that has the headless mode and auto take off features. Also, one with auto landing capabilities will make it easier to get the UAV to the ground safely. Always look out for these aspects when shopping for drones.
Unless you want to throw your drone away after a few weeks of use, you have to consider the material used in construction. Cheaper quadcopters are usually made of ordinary or ABS plastic. If you are working on a tight budget, it would be best for you to choose the stronger ABS plastic alternatives. Fiberglass and carbon drones are much better in quality and durability, although they might cost you a lot more money. With expensive drones, it is best to avoid aluminium devices as these are lower in quality.
Drones are bound to break or get damaged at some point. Finding a device with available replacement parts is important. You should check whether the manufacturer sells spare parts for the drone. Alternatively, you can search Amazon for retailers that might have replacement parts. Important parts include the propellers, landing gear, controllers, motors, and batteries. Some drones don’t use universal parts, and this can give you a bigger challenge when you need to repair a faulty device.
Some drones can only fly for 4 or 5 minutes. These will probably not give you enough time to have fun or even accomplish your goals. Currently, the best drones can fly for between 15 and 25 minutes. These are generally more expensive. Some manufacturers even offer extra batteries for you to change between flights, and this can make your flying time longer. Besides flight time, you will be better off with a device that takes a short time to charge fully.
The drone market has expanded greatly in the past few years. This has led to the development of devices that are meant for specific purposes. You can get a drone for photography, surveillance, even acrobatics. The different types are optimized for their specific purposes. For photography, you would be better off going for a device with an HD camera with great image and video resolution. Some features such as altitude hold will also help to improve your photography.
It is important to consider the range in which you can control the drone. This is especially important for people who use their drones for photography. Aerial photos and videos have to be taken from high altitudes. Most drones only have a range of 30 meters, and this is not usually sufficient for aerial photography. Generally, you will have to pay more for drones with longer ranges.
Many people like to watch the live feed of their drones from above. Such cameras are usually positioned at the lower part of the UAVs. The video captured is transmitted in real time to the controller’s LCD display. With many devices, you can also watch the captured video on your mobile phone or tablet. For such purposes, you will have to download an app that connects to the drone’s camera. Such devices offer greater convenience as you will not have to transfer the videos to your phone, tablet, or PC later.
Drones that are meant for recreational use are usually affordable. You can get an excellent device for under $100. It is advisable to avoid very cheap drones, especially if they are made of low-quality plastic. This is because the cost of repair will increase your total investment in the long-run. In addition, they are likely to be difficult to operate. Commercial drones are typically very expensive, and also need to be registered with the FAA for an extra amount of money. Be sure to find a drone whose total investment will not go beyond your original budget.
If you have never used a drone, you are likely to make more than one mistake with your purchase. To reduce the risks of making a wrong choice, it is important to consider the tips listed above. These are the 10 most important factors to consider before buying a drone.
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