Words By: Drone Major
So, if you are planning to buy a drone for a loved one (or yourself) this Christmas, here are a few things you need to consider first:
1. What will they want to use it for?
If you say the word ‘drone’ to some people, it instantly conjures up images of incredible aerial photos. Others may see racing potential. Consider how the person you are buying for would use the drone.
Most drones fit into two categories: large camera-bearing drones and small, light drones built for speed or indoor flying.
There are a few drones that purport to do both. However, it’s worth checking the megapixels on any inbuilt cameras. Some less expensive units may leave you wanting more from your aerial shots.
2. Who are you buying for?
Are you buying for an adult or a child? Is it their first drone?
If you’re buying for a child, check out reviews to ensure that the drone you are considering is sufficiently robust. Consider where they will fly their drone too.
If the person you are buying for already flies drones, they may well have a good idea about what they want.
3. Will they want to build their own drone?
Some drones are supplied as kits that the user has to assemble. These can deliver greater flexibility, as disparate parts can be swapped in to alter the capabilities of your drone.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re well on your way to a clearer idea of what you want.
However, there are a few more things you’ll need to look out for.
4. Battery life: Much like a smartphone, battery life can vary. Even the best models can be limited to flying times of just 30 minutes.
You can extend drone flight time by buying more batteries, but more batteries mean more weight. More weight means less speed.
5. Brushless Motors: These are quieter and last longer than brushed motors. Brushless motors will mean more investment at the outset, but they’ll need replacing less regularly.
6. Camera: If photography is important, the spec of the camera should be a big consideration in your decision. Do you want a built-in camera? Keen photographers may prefer the flexibility of attaching different cameras.
7. Headless mode: If the person you are buying for is new to drone flying, you may want to look for a drone with a Headless mode.
Headless mode makes control easier. Moving the joystick in one direction will move the drone in that direction relative to you. This is more intuitive than standard control which moves the drone relative to where the control pad is pointing.
8. Integrated GPS: If you’re looking to really spoil that special someone, integrated GPS is a luxury well worth having.
This’ll help your drone find its way back home. It will also improve navigation and stability. This feature is particularly useful for aerial photography, as drones with GPS can more easily hover in one place.
9. Follow-me mode: This super-cool feature enables drones to track you across the ground or the ocean. Great for more active drone users, as you can focus on enjoying the moment, whilst your drone captures your adventures. A word of warning though – all follow-me modes are not equal. Check reviews or get advice before you buy.
10. Gimbal: An integrated gimbal keeps the camera steady while it's moving around in high winds and elevated altitudes. Now we’re looking at the more expensive drones. But if you’re looking for a drone that can deliver footage that will really impress, this is a feature worth shelling out for.
11. Obstacle avoidance: This’ll help your drone avoid collisions with trees, rooftops and other objects, whilst in flight. Some drones are better at obstacle avoidance than others. So, once you’ve checked your drone has this feature, check out reviews to see if it really does work as billed.
12. Range: You should only fly your drone within your line of sight, but the range will impact how far it can fly. The more you pay, the further you play.
If you need help choosing the right drone to buy this Christmas, we have a team of drone specialists available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to advise you on the best drone for you. Our advice is free and you can give us a call anytime on (0) 207 458 4244, or you can chat online at www.dronemajor.net