The Definitive Guide to Buying Drones

Know the Rules of Sharing Airspace

First things first: the rise in the number of drones has increased the number of reports of drones passing within 100 feet of airliners—this is not something you want to do.

As a drone pilot, new or experience, you need to educate yourself with the airspace regulations of your location and state and know the general rules of safe flying. Commercial and private passenger aircraft are not always at 35,000 feet. Living near an airport or living near an area where private passenger aircrafts are sharing the same airspace, it is your responsibility to ensure you do not interfere with the operations or safety of anyone in the air or on the ground.

Know What a Drone is and How it Functions

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people do not know exactly what a drone is, how many propellers it has, how it stays in the air, what they are capable of, and what uses they have. Many people think of drones as military weapons or planes one can fly. Make sure you know exactly what a drone is before buying.

A drone is a multirotor, RC (remote control) flying device that offers a variety of ways to entertain those who love to fly RC devices and those who want to experience stunts, races, or professional video and photography from the sky.

Many RC drones offer first-person viewing, which may include a screen on the remote controller or onboard microSD storage to view at a later time. Most drones that include cameras are capable of HD and even 4K video capture and images with 360 degree control by the pilot. This is done using a rotating camera called a gimbal.

What is your Intended Usage

Knowing what kind of use you want out of a drone is crucial for narrowing down your options and finding the perfect drone for you and your budget.

Drones range from $50 to thousands of dollars—you definitely want to make sure you hit the right target. Along with your intended usage is your experience level. If you a new drone pilot and are looking to buy a drone with camera capabilities, buy a less-expensive model to start with features that will allow you to learn how to operate such a drone without worrying about crashing a thousand dollar model. Once you have mastered it, you can move on to a better model and you will have the pilot experience and inspiration to make good use of it.

If you are on a budget, there are still great drones out there. The brains of the drone, such as the flight controller and onboard processor, are what makes a drone more stable and maneuverable and allow it to perform various functions in the air. For drone racers, stung pilots, and those looking for entertainment and cool tricks, you can buy an inexpensive model that can do all of these things, as long as you know what to look for in the hardware.

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Conclusion

When starting out in the drone community, it is the beginners and quasi-professional pilots that need the most help and guidance on what is important to look for in a drone, and how to make a smart purchase.

One should not go online and look at different drones randomly and find one at a price they like and buy it.

You really must pre-plan. And this process is simple. Just know what you want to use your drone for: entertainment (racing, stunts), photography/filming, or other uses. Then, know what your budget is and filter the options down to your range. After that, make sure you choose reliable brands unless you are actually seeking a cheap drone you are likely to destroy as you learn to use it—if that is the case, it is a great way to learn and not worry about what damage you are going to put it through while learning. Know which brands are suitable to your expertise level.

DJI is the best drone sellers in the business. They are expensive and are for professionals. Other websites, sellers, and retailers also sell different brands that are intended for different uses and expertise level of the pilot. Know what your match is.

Also know your acronyms—if you are a beginner, buy a Ready to Fly drone (RTF)—if you see other acronyms, these are going to be drones that need some assembly or are for hobbyists who make their own drones and supply their own controllers. The safest bet are RTF drones, which are assembled, come with a controller, and are ready to fly.