Drone Buying Guide: Types And Accessories

Gone are the days when you needed a chopper to get the perfect aerial view. With the existence of drones, taking the perfect bird’s eye shot has never been easier.
Drones can range from 20$-2000$ depending on their purpose and specs. To ensure you get your money’s worth, set initial details. This includes the drone’s purpose, its flying environment, and your level of expertise.
In this drone buying guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about drones to get them running smoothly.

What Are the Different Types of Drones?

Drones are remotely controlled flying devices that have evolved from military use to much more diverse purposes, such as leisure and business. Here are its variations:

1. For Beginners

If you’re starting, investing in drones for between 20$-100$ is a good deal. Beginner drones offer a user-friendly interface that will help you get acquainted with the basics of controlling a drone. It often comes with a remote or control software accessible on smartphones.
Since it’s in the amateur range, it has a shorter flying time of around five to ten minutes. It also has a lower camera quality that may limit its use for leisure purposes.
Drones, in general, are prone to crashing and may require constant repairs. Spare parts for beginner drones are relatively cheaper than the other drones.

2. For Professionals

As the name indicates, military intelligence or commercial services utilize drones for professional use. These usually cost around 500$-2000$, depending on the specs.
Drones for professionals capture high-resolution videos and images essential for land surveying, shooting for creative outputs, and rescue missions. They also have steadier footage because of their built-in platforms that high-end cameras can sit on.
A professional drone can last up to 20-30 minutes and often has sensors to avoid obstacles. If ever damaged, the spare parts are moderately affordable.
Because of their added size and weight, you must register them with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for safety measures.

3. For Racing

With the rising popularity of drones, a new niche of drone hobbyists has emerged. Drones have entered the realm of racing. Like mainstream car racing, hobbyists tweak their drone’s components to make them lighter, faster, and more durable.
Racing drones can cost around 100$-250$. They have flexible gears for abrupt speed shifting. And since frequent crashing is expected, their design allows quick adjustments and tuning.
This type of drone is usually 250 mm in width and has cameras that let its controller enjoy a first-person view (FPV) of the aerial space.

What Are The Essential Accessories For Drones?

Buying your drone is one thing, but you must ensure it runs smoothly. Here are the essential accessories you might need for your drone:

1. Batteries

Drones’ flying time is limited, so invest in high-capacity batteries. Expensive drones can last up to an hour of flying. In contrast, entry-level to mid-range models can reach up to 30 minutes.
Generally, the heavier the drone’s weight, the lesser its flying time. And vice versa. So it’s crucial to match your battery with your drone’s specs and activity.
C-rating is an essential factor in batteries. It determines the safe range of your battery discharge. A higher C-rating is often better as it lets your drone take off smoother with more power and speed.
It is to note, though, that a higher C-rating can increase the battery’s weight. That’s why professionals recommend using 45C for a steadier flight, 75C for a much more flexible aerial activity, and 80C-100C for drone racing.

2. Drone Case

When buying a case, identify your drone’s size and ensure that the design is portable, allows easy access, and secures your stuff.
Drone cases can either be a hard shell or a backpack. Hard-shell cases offer more protection and organized storage. On the other hand, backpacks for drones are also secure yet more compact and handy.
Customize your purchase to your needs. If you're flying your drone from a hill, a backpack would be ideal. But if the shooting location requires less moving, then you might want to bring a hard-shell case.

3. Memory Cards

High-performing SDcards can be expensive but offer more consistent and steady footage. The investment is worth it if your main goal is to get a reliable shot with little to no glitches.
If you’re using your drone to capture Ultra HD videos or images, invest in at least 30MBs memory cards. Also, look at your drone’s specifications, as this can affect the type of SD card it needs.

4. Neutral Density Filters

Filters, in general, block unnecessary light in the footage. Neutral Density Filters (ND) are best used in videography. It decreases the entry of light to the lens, allowing long shutter speeds and, subsequently, long-exposure shots.
The darker the filter is, the less light can enter the lens. Make sure to use the right ND with the right weather or brightness of the environment.

5. Landing Pad

Landing pads are essential for two reasons. First, it keeps ground particles from getting stuck in your drone’s components. Second, it helps your drone and the people nearby detect the landing space.
When choosing your landing pad, make sure it’s lightweight and has bright colors for easy detection. And, of course, make sure it can fit in your drone case.

Other Stuff You Might Need

Flying a drone needs ample preparation. Occasional crashes and remote controlling are expected, so you might want to pack these stuff up:
  • Extra propellers
  • Propeller Guard
  • Car Charger
  • GPS tracker
  • Remote Control Signal Booster
  • Drone Strobe
  • Sunshade Hood (for the controller)
  • Joystick Guard
  • Landing Gear

Conclusion

Flying drones is a fun and immersive experience. Its range of use has inevitably become wider, adding precautions and responsibility for its operators.
When flying your drones be sure to pre-determine your flying location. Pack up the necessary stuff for repairs and recharge. Also, be sure to follow the set of guidelines issued by the FAA to avoid accidents and hefty fines.
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