Do you know how to select the best drone? Here are some tips.
Welcome to the next frontier of excitement for novice pilots, experienced hobbyists, avid aviators and photography enthusiasts alike. The sky is the limit —
even with your feet planted firmly on the ground.
Drones are multirotor, remote-control (RC) flying devices that offer a new way teof looking at the world around you from never-before-imagined perspectives,
and sharing those adventures through photos and video. Many RC drones offer live first-person viewing (FPV), putting you in the driver’s seat on an
exhilarating joyride where you can explore and even race from a pilot’s point of view. If you’ve ever dreamed of competing in an air race or performing tricks
and stunts with your fellow fliers in an air show, becoming a drone pilot might be the closest you’ll come to experiencing that thrill firsthand.
Which drone is right for me?
Drones range in price from less than $100 to several thousand dollars, and the best drone for you isn’t necessarily the most expensive one. The best drone for
you depends on your experience level and how you plan to use it.
As the price goes up, drones become more powerful and capable of carrying extra hardware such as a stabilizing mount and action camera. But the real cost
difference is in the brains of the drone — the flight controller and onboard processor — that make it more stable and maneuverable, and allow it to perform
more functions in the air. For drones with built-in cameras, the cost will also increase with the quality of the camera.
Drones for beginners
At the entry level (ranging from around $50–$200), most drones are small and light, and sometimes maneuverable enough to fly safely indoors. Their size and
basic technology make them difficult to control outside, especially when there’s wind. Camera-included models will capture lower-quality images and video than
more expensive drones. These are a great way to get your feet wet in the hobby and learn the basics of flying.
At the next level, ranging from around $300–$1,000, drones are bigger, heavier, and designed for easier, more stable outdoor flight. These drones either come
with a quality onboard camera (720p video or better), or can be equipped with an external action camera. Use these drones to fly around a park, take a cool
vacation video, or get a bird’s-eye view of your house.
Spend upwards of $1,000 and, in addition to 4-rotor drones (quadcopters), you’ll find drones with 6 or 8 rotors for added lift and more stability. Included
cameras can take stunning photos and 1080p video or better. If a camera is not included, these drones can be equipped with an external action camera, plus a
high-quality stabilizing mount for the smoothest picture quality possible. Advanced flight controllers and GPS, along with feature-packed software and open-
source programmability, allow you to control your drone in practically any way imaginable, including premapping flight paths for completely autonomous flights.
For serious photographers, these drones unlock cinematic angles and scenes that until now you could achieve only with a charter plane or helicopter.