Drones are fast becoming a sensation in today’s world. With the many uses for them (and potential uses), it is safe to say that they are here for good.
Among the most rapidly growing subset of the booming drone market has been recreational drones. Enthusiasts and hobbyists have entirely embraced the relatively new access we have to these exciting new drones.
Knowing how you will use your drone
Many of us are excited about getting a recreation drone, but we’re not sure what we would with one. This is a legitimate question that needs to be answered because you will affect which drone and drone features you will need.
Here are some questions to ask yourself on how you will use your drone:
- Do you plan on flying your drone only for fun?
- Will you fly for extended periods?
- How would you like to fly? Do you want to fly fast in straight lines?
- Will you use your drone to take photos and videos?
- Will image quality be vital to you?
- Do you want to stream your videos in real-time?
- How far would you like to fly your drone?
- Does building your drone appeal to you?
We recommend that you give each of these questions some deep thought. How you answer them will let you know what feature to look for in selecting your new drone.
Do you plan on flying your drone only for fun?
If your answer is a definite yes to this question, your choice may be straightforward and perhaps least expensive. Depending on how your answer the following, you may not require very many features at all on your drone.
Will you fly for extended periods?
If you plan to take your drone somewhere and spend a few hours flying, then the battery charge will be critical. After all, the charge in your battery is what determines your flying time.
Prolonged flying means you’ll need a quality battery and several of them. Even under ideal conditions, a typical battery charge lasts only about 20 minutes. This should give you an idea of how many extra batteries to get. And it would be best if you also got a battery charger that can charge several batteries simultaneously.
How would you like to fly? Do you want to fly fast in straight lines?
If you desire to fly fast in straight lines, you might be interested in drone racing, or maybe even a model airplane or some other fixed-wing device.
However, if you’d like to hover and perhaps pick up things, then a multi-rotor drone is your answer. Most drone enthusiasts enjoy vertically taking off and landing.
Will you use your drone to take photos and videos?
Many drone hobbyists love creating images from the eyes of their drones in flight. And there’s a good reason for this; they make cool images. I encourage all new drone operators to equip their unit with a good camera because it takes droning to a whole new level!
Will image quality be vital to you?
If you’d like to create quality images on your photos and videos, then you’ll need to look at two items on your drone. The first one is obvious; it’s the quality of your camera. A better camera means a better image – you get what you pay for. But camera quality is the only thing.
You’ll also need to have a quality gimbal on your drone. A gimbal is a device that stabilizes your camera for taking clear shots. As your drone hovers and jerks around, your camera would do the same thing if it weren’t for the gimbal.
You can have the best drone camera in the world, but if you have a poor quality gimbal, your images will still suck.
Such a dilemma is not as daunting as it may seem to you right now. I recommend you find a decent quality camera and use the gimbal that was designed for that camera. Do this, and you’ll be fine.
Do you want to stream your videos in real-time?
Having the ability to stream live videos is a fantastic feature. Can you imagine flying your drone at a couple of hundred feet in the air and being able to see what it while in flight?
This is what a live video stream can do for you.
Many come with a remote controller that has a viewing screen for this purpose. And if you would like, you could use a tablet or laptop to look through the eyes of your drone. It’s amazing!
How far would you like to fly your drone?
This is a good question that needs to be addressed. We’ve already discussed how long you could fly, and we now know that it’s a function of your battery charge.
The issue of how far to fly a drone is a function of both your line of sight and the signal from your remote controller.
It’s illegal to fly your drone beyond your line of sight – at least as of this writing. Signals that are transmitted between a drone and its control are considered to be high-frequency signals. This means that their range is limited.
The maximum range these signals can travel is around 1950 feet – depending on the climate. Your drone certainly wouldn’t be able to exceed this distance without the operator moving along with it.
Does building your drone appeal to you?
One last thing you might consider is building your drone. This might be appealing if you are a do-it-yourselfer and enjoying put something together.
Most drones come RTF (ready to fly), but building your own gives you more options. It could be cheaper – especially if there are many features that you must have. Secondly, you’ll be able to customize and get only the things you want.
Getting your first drone may come down to your budget in the end. Drones are offered at a variety of prices. You can get a drone for less than $100, or you could pay several thousand dollars for one – it just depends on what you expect from your new drone.
This is all fine, but do not forget that you may not be sure if you will like flying drones. Such a concern is valid. If this is you, then you might consider getting a lower-priced “try-out” drone. And then your next drone could be the one with all the features you love.
When you have the flying experience, you’ll know exactly what features are most important to you.