For the world’s smallest drone , you need to have some kind of comparison and trade-offs to study before you can get the best deal and we are here to help you do that. Instead of comparing just a few of these products, we have gone for a whole range of these UAVs including First Person View (FPV) as well as simple video drones that people use to record video logs. Let’s take a look at our list of the world’s smallest drone under 500 rupees for beginner
The World’s Smallest Drone Under 500 Rupees For Beginner
1. The Outlaw SE Drone – Our #1 Drone Under 500
Click here to See it On Amazon! or you can get fast and free shipping from the manufacturer’s website at AltairAerial.com.
The Outlaw SE Drone is an excellent quadcopter which is available for under $500. Its GPS-assisted flight features include an automatic return-to-home feature that activates whenever it runs out of power, loses connection, or flies out of range of the transmitter. You can also set GPS waypoints in your drone app and have the Outlaw SE fly to your set points.
Plus, The Outlaw SE has follow me mode which allows your drone to follow you wherever you move. This drone gets great range, too at 600 feet. Check out the Outlaw SE in action below:
The camera is a definite step up from the default that comes with the Tomahawk (although both drones are compatible with most GoPro and action camera models.) Not only is it a higher resolution at 1080p, but it has a 110 degree panoramic field of view that allows you to take extra-wide shots if you so use. This feature is great for recreational drone photography and even better for any task involving serious surveillance or photo-taking.
We gave this drone our #1 position because it’s a great choice for first-time fliers AND more advanced pilots. Take, for example, the GPS flight mode feature, in which the drone keeps itself hovering completely stable in the air even without additional input. This is obviously useful for beginners, as it lets them ease their way into taking full control of the aircraft. But it also lets more advanced aerial photographers take the time they need to line up the perfect shot.
For a great drone at a great price, consider buying the Outlaw today!
• 1080p HD camera with 110 degree panoramic field of view
• GPS-assisted flight and “follow me” mode
• One-key takeoff and altitude hold modes
• Android and iOS wireless FPV streaming
• Takes a 2800 mAh LiPo battery
• Has a flight time of up to 20 minutes
• 600+ meter Flight Control Range
• 500+ Meter fpv video transmission range
• High-tech GPS functionality
• Long flight time of 20 minutes
• Panoramic video camera
• Awesome step-by-step videos at altairaerial.com
• No propeller guards
• Drone must be re-calibrated every time you remove the battery for charging
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2. AA300 GPS DRONE – Best Budget GPS Drone Under 500
Click here to See it On Amazon! or you can get fast and free shipping from the manufacturer’s website at AltairAerial.com.
The AA300 is well under $500 but deserves a spot on this list because of all its amazing features and GPS capabilities. It’s one of the highest-quality drones at this price point, costing less than $200 and that’s why we want to share it with you.
As mentioned, the AA300 is equipped with GPS capabilities (read the full review here). This means pilots can have an easy and stable flight every time when flying this drone. Do note that the drone will need to calibrate each time you turn it on. Despite having to complete this extra step, the AA300 still has a lot to offer.
It comes with a built-in 1080p HD camera that is great for teaching pilots how to use their drones for photography and videography. Users can also try their hand at FPV flying with the camera which makes for exciting flight experience.
While flying the AA300 drone you will get about 15 minutes of flight time. It’s kind of a bummer that this drone only comes with one battery, especially when other drones at this price often come with two. However, 15 minutes will still get you a good amount of flying time for you to explore all of the drone’s features and flight modes.
Speaking of flight modes, the AA300 has a handful of them, and they’re beginner-friendly, too! These include headless mode, altitude hold, one-touch takeoff and landing, and return-to-home. All of these flight modes help you be in control of your drone at all times, so you don’t have to worry about damaging it or hurting yourself.
If your drone does take a hit or two, don’t worry. The AA300 includes an extra set of propellers and a screwdriver so you can replace your propellers and get back into the air in no time.
This budget GPS drone is a great choice if you’re searching for a drone under $500. It’s jam-packed with the essentials to get you in the air and having a great time. Check out this video from Altair Aerial about the AA300.
AA300 Tech Specifications
• 1080p HD Camera
• GPS Flight Mode
• 15 Minute Battery Life
• One-touch Takeoff and Landing
• 150 Meter Flight Range
• Return-to-Home system
• Follow-me mode
• Easy to use
• Beginner-friendly flight modes
• Extra set of propellers
• High-quality Camera
• Only comes with one battery
• Needs calibrated every time
2. DJI Spark Portable Mini Drone – Best Professional Drone Under $500
That’s right – we’re putting the Spark about the Phantom 3. Why? Well, you can read our full review for more detail. But mostly, it comes down once again to the fact that the Phantom 3 is the best 500 drone for videographers and budding professionals, while the Spark is a great drone for everyone.
The Spark is newer, which means that it will likely receive support for longer and that it has a newer camera that produces better colors and has more advanced processing algorithms. It also has a longer range and a forward obstacle avoidance system, which makes it a lot more beginner-friendly. It’s also easier to use – DJI brags that you can take it from the box to the air in less than a minute, while the Phantom 3 requires you to install the props, connect the remote to a mobile device, and spend multiple minutes waiting for it to pair with the drone.
So, yeah, if you’re a hardcore dronethusiast, you’re probably gonna stick with the Phantom. But if you’re looking for an extremely high-quality option that works for everyone from beginners to advanced pilots, the Spark is an excellent choice at a reasonable price.
• Available in 5 different colors
• Features Quick Launch, Face Aware, UltraSmooth technology, Object Avoidance, Return to Home, Dynamic Home Point/Home Point, Auto Exposure Bracketing, Timed Shot, Shallow Focus, and more
• Includes a 12 MP camera with 1080p video resolution at 30 FPS and a live video feed
• Uses a WiFi connection through the DJI GO 4 app
• Includes a range of up to 300 feet
• Able to reach speeds of up to 31 mph when in Sport Mode
• 2-axis mechanical gimbal
• Flight time of approximately 16 minutes
• Twice the range of the Phantom 3
• Easy-to-use even with all its high-end features
• Small and portable
• Newer camera
• Forward obstacle avoidance
• Shorter flight time compared to other options in its price range
• Limited range of video options compared to the Phantom 3
• Its size makes it slower and less stable, which might make some videos blurry.
3. DJI Phantom 3 STANDARD Quadcopter Drone with 2.5 K Camera
All right, here’s the drone you probably expected to see in the number one spot. The DJI Phantom 3 only costs about $440, but it’s still as impressive an achievement as the day it was first revealed. The quality of the product is evident from a noticeable difference in its performance as compared to its competitors.
For instance its maximum range is close to the 1 Km mark that many other drones in this list won’t come close to getting. The camera quality is great as well with the option to upgrade to 4K if you have couple of hundred bucks more on the budget. The battery timing of 23-25 minutes is an industry high and you will be hard pushed to find a drone that offers more. So, it is definitely among our best picks in this range. Let’s have a more detailed look at it specs-wise and also list down some pros and cons for you so you can make it easier for yourself.
• View live image streamed to your phone using the DJI go app
• 25 minutes maximum flight time (may decrease after a certain number of cycles)
• 2.7 K/30 fps video recording capability
• 1 Km maximum range (recommended)
• Simple GPS module
• Follow-me feature
• Intelligent battery that lets you manage effectively
• Some of the best specs
• Great camera and video recording capability
• Amazing controls and companion app
• Really good for beginners and experts alike
• Generally favorable customer reviews
• A little expensive compared to competitors
• Poor customer service since the company is relatively new
• Battery cycle numbers are a suspect but it is like that in almost every other drone.
4. 818 Plus Hornet Plus – Best Budget Drone Under 500
Click here to See it On Amazon! or you can get fast and free shipping from the manufacturer’s website at AltairAerial.com.
The AA818 Plus Hornet is included here as our best budget recreational drone under 500 dollars. Like the HS700 and the Tomahawk, this is a great choice for a beginner or a first-time flier. This is especially true for anyone who wants to get into aerial photography. The AA818 Plus is easy to control, impressively durable, and comes with a lot of ease-of-use features. These include Headless Mode (which makes it much more intuitive to control), Altitude Hold Mode (which keeps it steady in the air), multiple speed settings for different levels of user experience, one-touch take-off and landing, and the ability to control it either from a mobile device or from a videogame-style controller – whatever works best for you.
The most impressive feature here is the 15-minute flight time per battery. With two batteries included in the box, you can fly for 30 minutes at a time, which is perfect if you need practice, if you’re flying for fun, or if you want to practice some aerial photography. In fact, this is a great drone for that specifically thanks to its shape and stable hover (not to mention the high-definition built-in camera.) Check out this video of the Altair 818 Hornet:
• Built-in 720p HD camera
• Ease-of-use features like Headless Mode, Altitude Hold Mode, three speed settings, one-touch take-off and landing
• Comes with a Low Battery Alarm for safety purposes
• Has a 6-axis gyro for ultimate stability
• Android and iOS wireless FPV streaming
• Takes a 1800mAh LiPo battery
• Has a flight time of up to 15 minutes
• 15 minutes of flight time off of a single battery charge, two batteries included
• Long range (150 meters!)
• High quality 720p camera
• Handles poorly in wind
5. 3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter
Now everyone doesn’t have the deep pockets to purchase a $450 drone and that is where our budget pick comes into play. The 3DR Solo is a decent drone that comes at half the price of our top drone under 500. Let’s see what it is capable of.
The first thing you will like about the quadcopter is its gaming-style controls that feels as if you are playing a video game. As a result most of the users were able to adapt to the new drone very easily so it is a big plus point if you are buying a drone for the very first time. Rest of the features are pretty ominous as compared to the drone market like the camera is adjustable, you can pause flight in the mid-air and an HDMI port in the controller that you can use to stream the video on virtually any screen possible. It is a fairly simple drone and it has mostly garnered good reviews on Amazon.
Let’s have a closer look at it vis-a-vis specs and pros/cons.
• 18 minutes flight time
• Streams video to smartphone
• HD camera
• Upto 700m range
• 40 mph speed
• GPS navigation
• No inbuilt camera
• Gimbal camera support
• Follow me feature
• Within a tighter budget
• No inbuilt camera is also a pro for some people as they can customize the camera experience as they want.
• Cool gaming-style controller
• Smart drone
• Smart Shot capability
• Have to spend extra for camera if you don’t have one already so the price difference might be nullified
• Availability issue
• Customer service issue that seems to be associated with literally every drone on Amazon
• Some technical glitches reported by a few customers
7. Parrot Bebop 2 Drone
The Parrot Bebop 2 drone is a good drone under 500 that escapes that radar generally, but it is a really nice product if you look at it overall. Costing a bordering $480, the drone has some exceptionally strong motors that allows it to fly higher altitudes with ease as well as a few other great features.
While the range is its main feature, its flight timing is pretty impressive at all, clocking 25% more than average drones in this price range to the level that take it to 23-25 minutes worth of it. The flight time averages more or less than the DJI Phantom 3. Another great feature is its bright LED light in the rear that allows much improved visibility compared to other drones especially in low-lighting conditions.
• It is a ready-to-fly drone
• Up to 25 minutes of flying time
• Streams real-time video to a smartphone companion app
• !4 MP 1080p video recording capability
• 1 Km RC radius, probably even more but video streaming deteriorates after an initial range
• 3-axis digital stabilization capability that offers a fixed angle of view which is revolutionary for a drone so you don’t lose its orientation
• Control with the help of smartphone or the sky controller
• Best range with the Sky controller
• Great for beginners
• Stunning camera that is one of the best in this range
• Highest battery timings in drone under $500
• Fish-eye lens for better navigation
• No sky controller remote and that is very expensive
• Controls don’t work well with smartphone app or other controllers so price has to be jacked
• Near the upper limit of price range
• Wi-Fi signal tends to drop
8. Force1 UDI U818A WiFi FPV Drone in Black
Force1 has a way of pushing out powerful drones for insane price tags that almost don’t seem fair. The UDI 818A WiFi FPV Drone in Black is set at only $150 and comes with a VR headset and power bank.
This is a great drone for anyone who wants some great features, a decent build, and the VR aspect all wrapped up into one. You get some of the more traditional features, such as Altitude Hold, paired with some of the features that aren’t usually present in drones under 500, such as Custom Route Mode.
• Up to 9 minutes of flight time
• Streams real-time video to a smartphone
• 2MP 720p photos and video recording capability
• Up to 120m of range
• Comes with a bonus VR headset
• Comes with 2 LiPo batteries for double the flight time
• Has Altitude Hold, Custom Route Mode, and Headless Mode
• HD camera with 1280p x 720p at 30 fps
• One Button Take Off and Landing
• Lightweight, easily maneuverable design
• Perfect for beginners
• Issues with going out of range on its own
• Problems reported with one motor not working
9. Force1 F100 Ghost GoPro-Compatible Quadcopter
The F100 Ghost GoPro-Compatible Quadcopter by Force1 sits in the category of standard drones that are capable of incorporating a GoPro, yet it differs in some very cool ways that make it stand out. With a $200 price tag, it’s worth its weight in gold and so much more.
It’s an ideal GoPro-compatible drone for those interested in aerial photography and videos, thanks to the quiet High and Low speed settings and the brushless motors. Audio and images are both clear as day even speed control settings are set to High.
Interestingly enough, most camera-compatible drones have a large drop in battery power when a camera is mounted. Although, in this case, without a GoPro you can expect up to 15 minutes of flight time, and only up to 12 minutes of flight with a mounted GoPro.
• Up to 15 minutes of flight time
• Compatible with GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 4 mounted cameras
• Has a 300m distance range
• Powerful brushless motors for better control
• Comes with a bonus battery to double your flight time
• High and Low speed modes ideal for photos and videos
• Performs 360° stunts and flips
• Does not come with any distinctive or useful features
• Not very durable
• Controller’s start sequence can be iffy
10. UPair One Drone with 4K Camera Bundle
4K camera drone!? Now that we have your attention, this is easily one of the best drones under 500 yet! Costing $349 at the moment, it is a mid-range drone price-wise and promises to be a really good one. One of the very noticeable things you will like about the drone is its huge LED screen controller. It is almost like a portable console and feels really good in the hands. It comes bundled with over 11 items in the packaging and it seems really good to see it all together.
While the battery accompanied with the drone is bigger than most, the flight time per charge is not that impressive at all with a maximum 18 minutes time being touted by the supplier which will likely mean around 15 minutes in practice. It has U-shape design that forms its fuselage that is linked to better video shooting capability and GPS features.
• Ready-to-fly drone
• Gimbal and camera included
• FPV monitor included
• PVC composite construction
• Up to 18 minutes of flight time
• 800m (2624 feet) maximum flying range
• One-click return feature
• Max live video transmission is 500 meters or 1640 feet
• Comes packed with accessories that include several items many other manufacturers charge extra
• Great remote control with nice LED display
• FPV capability
• Battery overcharging avoidable
• No-auto return feature so it can easily fall dead to the ground
• Camera’s performance is a big question mark and you cannot change it or tinker with it
• Battery timing really average
• Battery cycles are a suspect
11. Yuneec Breeze Flying Camera with 4K video – Best Video Drone Under 500
Now the quadcopters under this heading are specifically designed for the best video experience in this price range. While the drone’s performance markers could be down in this category of video drones under 500, you will be hard-pushed to find better video quality than these two.Now Yuneec promises a lot of good stuff in its product description.
We are immediately introduced to its stunning 13 MP 4K video recording capability that can shoot some incredible videos and capture some amazing pictures for you as well. This drone has been designed for novice users and thus special focus has been done for the ease of the media capture process. It has several modes for this purpose including automated flying modes like selfie, pilot, orbit, follow me and Journey. So, you can just do your thing and the quadcopter will just go around its business. There is also a nice indoor positioning system as well so that it won’t crash into the ceiling or nearby objects while filming or capturing shots. With its companion app, you can share the snaps and videos in one tap as well.
• Ready-to-fly RC drone
• 4K stunning camera performance
• Automated flying modes
• 12 minutes flying time
• Streams video through
• Controlled via smartphone app but you can also check out the new controller but that will cost you a little extra
• Connects through Wi-Fi
• Stunning camera experience
• Well-designed automated features
• Incredibly lightweight so you can hold it around with ease
• Indoor positioning system makes it a good choice for indoor photography and flying experience
• $375 for a great video drone
• Poor battery timing which is literally half than its competitors that are not classified as video drones
• No controller and has to be controlled via smartphone
• Connectivity issues reported by many customers
• App updates have been an issue with some causing the drone to malfunction
Types of Drones
At the lower end of the drone spectrum are toy drones, like the Parrot Mambo and the Hobbico Dromidia Kodo. These simple and inexpensive drones come in at about $100 and are more focused on fun than features. Their controls are straightforward and easy to learn, and they can be accessed through a smartphone app or included remote control.
The flight times of beginner drones and drones for kids are also more limited – generally less than 10 minutes, or even fewer than five for the very cheap models. Designed to perform some tricks, like midair flips, spare parts are available at fairly low prices if anything goes awry. Some small drones also come with video cameras, though the quality captured tends to be poor. But don’t count them out too soon – getting a cheap drone is a fantastic way to learn to fly before upgrading to a more expensive model. They also won’t cost a fortune to fix or replace in the event of a crash.
Drones with cameras – like the DJI Mavic Mini, the Parrot Bebop 2, and the GDU Byrd – are specifically designed to capture images, and range in price from $500 to $1,500. Built to provide a steady platform for the lens, which can either be an add-on or built-in, these sophisticated flying machines are more focused on recording high-quality video and still images than performing midair tricks. Because the equipment needed makes them larger and heavier, video drones need to be registered with the FAA.
Video drones often come with gimbals, which is a system designed to pan and tilt the camera – and cushion it from the motors’ vibrations – to cancel out the drone’s motion and keep the lens steady. Gimbals can either come as an electronic system built into the camera, as seen in the Parrot Bebop 2, or as a physical system made of motors and gears, like in the Mavic Air. Either way, the gimbals allow users to direct the camera at whatever angle they like, to capture beautiful pans like those seen in nature documentaries.
Bigger drones need bigger batteries, which often translates to longer flight times. A fully charged battery typically lasts a video drone around 20 minutes, and they can usually be swapped for spares to extend the session. Like toy drones, video drones are also built to be repaired, and replacement parts are generally easily available. Parts are relatively inexpensive as well, with Mavic Air’s replacement rotor blades running about $20. The quality of video these drones capture can vary widely, from the Bebop 2’s decent but sometimes choppy HD video to the Mavic Air’s super-smooth panning shots. While the videos produced by cheaper models like the Bebop 2 will be good enough for most use cases, it’s worth investing in the more sophisticated DJI drones when quality’s the main focus.
From photographing special occasions to surveying construction sites, drones are being used for an ever-expanding range of purposes. In fact, dedicated drone film festivals have popped up in major cities like New York and Berlin to showcase the creative new ways amateur moviemakers are utilizing their flying machines. Not only that, but the more innovative drones – like the Mavic Air – have built-in autonomous flight tech to make journeys on their own. They can even use cameras to detect and avoid obstacles in the way of their flight path. These more advanced drones allow users to play with their device’s autonomy by letting them navigate a predefined course on their own via GPS. Autonomous flight does, however, come with some restrictions – these drones must be registered with the FAA and have to be kept in the pilot’s line of sight at all times. The pilot must also be able to take back control of the drone at any point.
With the rise of drones came the rise of drone-based competitions – and drone racing might just be the most exciting of all. Racing drones are on the smaller side and designed specifically to offer pilots speed and agility. Users see through their drone’s lens via first-person-view headsets, navigating around a course and trying to beat other fliers. Most racing drones are adapted by hand to shed unnecessary weight or increase motor power. Cheaper models, like the Aerix Black Talon 2.0, start at about $115. Ready-to-fly drones on the higher end of the spectrum, such as the Uvify Draco, can run up to $700.
Drones can be an incredibly fun and fruitful new hobby, but they must be flown responsibly. Even a small toy drone can hurt someone if hit by it, and fingers can get injured if caught in the rotor blades. To fight this, some drones have built-in shields to protect the rotors, but even these aren’t foolproof. It’s best to fly any kind of drone, big or small, with proper care and caution. Here’s five quick tips for drone safety:
- Know the drone. Before the first flight, take the time to read through the instruction manual and get familiar with the controls.
- Check the drone before flight, looking for any damage to the motors or rotors that could fail in the air.
- Never fly near people or animals.
- Fly with caution, particularly when first using a drone or taking a new one for a spin. Always be sure to land before the drone’s battery runs outs.
- Fly with care. Drones can be noisy, annoying and even scary to those near their flight path. If someone asks to stop flying, be reasonable and courteous.
To learn more about drone safety, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is a fantastic resource on all things drone. The AMA can help connect drone enthusiasts with others in the area to share both beginner’s flying techniques, and more advanced tips and tricks. Remote-control flying clubs often meet regularly to discuss and fly drones together. But remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure to update all software and firmware before any takeoff, and read the drone’s manual thoroughly before use. For FAA registration requirements and further information on drone safety, check the FAA website. Additional local jurisdiction requirements may apply, so it’s important to stay informed on the latest drone regulations for the area.
Drones & The Law
Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) introduced registration requirements for anyone flying a drone weighing over 250g recreationally. Most drones that fall under the toy category will not have to be registered, while those built for video, racing and autonomous flight likely do. Drone registration can be done via the FAA website – and separate, more stringent requirements are applied to professional drone fliers.
Once registered, the registration number must be displayed on the drone. This can be as simple as a sticker or shipping label placed under the battery, along with the owner’s name and number in case of theft or loss. The FAA also defines restrictions on where drones can be flown. They can’t be flown higher than 400 feet, in restricted airspaces, or over emergency areas, like traffic accidents or wildfires. They’re also banned from flying through national parks and cannot be flown within 5 miles of an airport without informing the air traffic controllers. Federal, state, and local regulations can vary, so check with the organizations directly if unsure.
Drone Accessories & Add-ons
Additional hardware can be added to drones that have ample lift from their propellers and motors. Lift specs can be found via the drone manufacturer’s website. In general, drones built to support external cameras are usually equipped to carry an additional half pound or more of weight above that of the drone on its own. Added weight increases stress on the motors and can affect flight time and stability.
The most popular and useful drone accessory is undoubtedly the spare battery. Drone batteries can provide between 5 and 25 minutes of power in the air per charge but can take an hour or longer to recharge. Fortunately, most drone batteries can simply be replaced with a freshly charged one when the power levels get low. To get the most airtime out of each flying session, users should invest in several spares.
The next most useful accessories for drones are spare propellers and parts. Because occasional mishaps and less-than-perfect landings are an inevitable part of flying drones, they were designed to survive crashes. The exterior components are made from sturdy materials – such as polypropylene foam and carbon fiber – that protect the more sensitive parts, like the CPUs, motors and transmitters. The parts that break the most easily, like the propellers, are the cheapest and easiest to repair or replace. New drones often have extra propellers included, and additional spares are usually available for purchase separately as well. Remember that drones need different propellers to spin clockwise and counterclockwise for stability, so it’s wise to get both kinds of spare propellers.
Depending on use cases, other drone add-ons that may be of interest include LED bands, propeller guards and extra landing gear. For photography drones in particular, various lens filters can be added to alter saturation levels, reduce glare, and more. Getting a quality bag or case specifically designed to carry a drone is an important investment as well. Drone bundles can often be found with a number of accessories. Drone cases should have a foam interior built to fit the device and its accessories and protect them from damage during transit.
Here are some featured Drone products.
GPS Assisted Flight
2K FHD 90°Adjustable Camera
249g Ultralight + 30-min Max. Flight Time
4 km HD Video Transmission
250g can be easily put into your pocket.
4K 30P and 1080P 60P HD Video
Waypoint function choice the best flight-route.
Built-in 1080P HD camera
Things to Consider When Buying a Drone
There is a multitude of options on the market now, with each model excelling in something else. Hence, before you go ahead and buy your drone, decide what are the most important things to consider when buying one.
Drone to Learn Flying
When you just wanna try and see if it’s something for you, learn how to fly a drone and have some fun, it may be better to go for a cheap UAS. You can get one for as little as $30 and it will have all the functions you’ll need. It may lack in video quality, or it can get heavy, but you will be able to play with it without worrying as much about crashing. It’s a good idea to start with this and learn the ropes.
Here’s a list of best drones for under 200 dollars in 2020.
Drone for Hiking
You can capture some of the best videos of yourself and your friends, as well as the landscapes, when you go hiking with a quadcopter. The most important things to consider when you buy a drone for hiking are weight, flight time, camera resolution and camera stabilization. It’s also important to make sure it will fit into your drone backpack (yeah, that’s actually a thing now).
With this in mind, we created a list of the best drones for hiking in 2020.
Drone for Selfies
It’s no longer uncommon to see someone swapping a selfie stick for a selfie drone. From pocket drones that can take photos of you and your friends to machines that will follow your movement and react to voice commands/ hand gestures, there’s a whole genre of devices built to accommodate the need for us to capture each moment from another perspective.https://6a7216e4485e9de66bead7c4465a0d81.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
We created a list of best selfie drones in 2020, and there’s even one that doubles as your phone cover so it’s always with you.
Depending on how you want to use your drone, its weight is probably the most important factor to take into consideration. If you want to take it with you everywhere, heavy UAS will soon prove to be a burden. Lightweight, however, often lack the extra features and have shorter flight times. Hence it’s a trade off you’ll need to consider first.
Important! Many countries regulate the licensing and use of UAV based on their weight. Do consider your contry’s regulations before buying a drone. Many places around the world do not require licensing or registration to use drones under 250 grams.
Flight Time/ Batteries
How long you can fly your drone on each battery will determine how far you can go with it. When the first personal drones come out you had a minute or so to play with. Now there are drones that can fly for 30 minutes non-stop and then you can just swap a spare battery to continue.
Flight time of each battery charge is one of the most important things to check before making a purchase decision. Also, do not forget to see if the batteries can be easily replaced or even if the drone comes with spare ones.
Flight/ Control Range
How far you can fly without losing control can make a huge difference in the footage and fun you can get from your drone.
There are 3 main methods of communicating with your drone, which impact it’s control range:
You’ll need a controller to send and receive the radio waves to and from your drone. Depending on the size of the antenna, the range can extend up to 5 miles.
The maximum control range using Wi-Fi signals is about 650 yards (600 meters). It’s often much shorter so you’ll have to see the specs of each drone you consider. The good thing is that with some models you may not need a separate controller to fly your UAS.
It’s also possible, with some models, to define a flight path that your drone will then follow using Global Positioning System (GPS).
With the things mentioned above in mind, there is a trade off between flight range and total weight of the equipment you have to carry with you. On one hand, it would be best if we could use your smartphone to fly the drone, so that you don’t have to carry an additional controller, but on the other hand the range would suffer without it.
If you just want the drone for selfies, then lack of controller would be fantastic, but if you want to go far into the sea to capture whales, then you want to be in control at all times and from afar. Consider this before you choose your quadcopter.
Most people use drones for videos, so you should check if your new drone would capture the world in low resolution, Standard Definition (SD), 720P High Definition (HD), 1080P Full HD (FHD), or 4K. Each one is at least twice better than the one before and something to consider.
It’s also very important to check if the footage is recorded to an SD card in the drone, or sent to your smartphone before getting recorded there. If it’s not built-in, whenever you lose connection, you lose that part of the recording. Whereas, with the on-board SD card you’ll have the full footage at your disposal after retrieving your drone, even if it lost the connection with the controller.
Your drone, if it has any camera stabilization at all which you should check, will either stabilize the recording with software or mechanically.
The best for the job is a 3-axis gimbal. Thanks to which, your videos will be filmed with a steady, cinematic motion that compensates for the shakes and wind movements.
Alternatively, some models compensate for the shaky conditions with built-in software. Not as good as a gimbal but much better than nothing at all.
First Person View (FPV)
Check if it’s possible to see through First Person View directly from your drone while flying. While you can control the AUV by looking at it directly, it would be better to sometimes see for yourself if everything you want to record stays within the frame.
The importance of your drone’s speed becomes crucial when you need to fly in a strong wind. It may not be able to return back to you if you’re standing upwind, and there are places where it would not be possible to retrieve your drone by walking up to it (imagine shooting at sea).
If you just want to use your drone for fun, then speed is important as it’s just more exciting to fly it faster.