DRONE HELICOPTER WITH CAMERA BUYING GUIDE

Even though you may not have a good enough reason to justify purchasing one, you gotta admit drones are just too cool!  . Solve your questions about what drone helicopter with camera wanna buy


Index

Which drone helicopter to buy? 

There are many models in the market which are nothing less than glorified tech toys, but we will highlight here some models that will help you get good use for cinematic and imaging applications, both for big and small projects. When you are planning on what drone to buy, remember that you will only get what you pay for.  Check this drone buying guide to clarify your doubts.

Decision
It is difficult to know a Drone that can fill in all your expectations, read the guide to know more.

The latest models in the market have outshamed the earlier copters when it comes to stabilization and video quality. The best drone for you will depend on your requirements. If you want this tech toy mostly for aerial videos and capturing great footage from above then the best ones are quite expensive. Sure you can also get your hands on affordable drones in the market at as low as under $100. But if you want a solid model with a stable flight and top of the line integrated camera, you will be spending around $500 or more.

The ready-to-fly drones models are very poupar these days. All you need is an iOS or Android device for real time camera feed. You can also check out some models that have its own built in android tablet in the remote control. There are also some drones with really weird shapes

Remote control drone with camera: the ultimate guide

Remote control drones with camera are all the rage right now. These types of drones are widely used for photography. It has now become the go to gadget for capturing moving and still imagery for occasion like weddings, cliff sides, real estates, storms, etc.

It is the latest, innovative version of modern day aerial photography and even if you didn’t have a business on photography or professional filming, you can still use it in so many different aspects of your daily life as well.

  (This is a long guide, if you are already familiar with drones you can check these shorter articles: here & here, or also this.)

  Cost of a quadcopter

Currently, these drones cost anywhere from under $100 to well over thousands, depending on the model, brand, materials used in the drone, the weight it can carry, and other several features.

  How Drones work

Remote control drone with camera s is also known as UAVs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. They come in two parts. The first is the drone itself. It is generally a machine that flies and is made of light weight composite materials to give it strength and easy maneuverability. The second is the remote controlling device. It is sometimes referred to as the ground cockpit. With the remote controlling device, you will be able to both fly the drone from a distance as well as control the camera that is connected to the drone.

  What are they used for

These innovative drones are used in a number hobbies and professions which include activities like photography, filmmaking, videography, rescue and search assignments, certain types of military operations which includes the likes of spying, rescue, surveillance, etc. Believe it or not, such drones are even used in fishing! Their uses will increase even more in the near future, giving new opportunities for these seemingly simple flying machines.

 Which remote control drone with camera is the best?

This is a tricky one to answer. It will actually depend on the particular desires and needs that you personally have. Your job is to do some research and be sure about the features that you really need or want in your drone before you make your final purchase.

  How to pick the perfect drone helicopter for you

Let’s get this clear: the hardware of the camera is not the only deciding factor. Even if your drone has a great camera but then it lacks in efficient maneuverability, this last point will significantly limit the ability to film the breathtaking scenes you would love to capture. However, when your optical lenses and gear are hefty, again you will find yourself needing to upgrade them to some that have an higher power of payload lifting.

Drone with a camera
Apart from the camera, you need to think in the usability of the drone, otherwise you might fall into a waste of money

To be honest, it is a daunting task to pick the perfect remote controlled camera drone. There are so many options, modifications, variations, features, sizes, camera qualities, etc. that even the most expert could feel overwhelmed. The most important thing to ask yourself is why and what you need it for.

Whatever your requirement and demand, you will need a specific type of drone and a certain type of camera to complete the job. This is why you need to consider what you need first before you start shopping. This will help you to narrow down to the right option quite easily.

  Build your own ready made

Let’s break this down from here. Do you want a ready-to-fly right from the box kind of drone or are you more of the “do-it-yourself” (DIY) kind? Not many people know this, but there are so many DIY options out there. Some are good for hobby projects while others are fully top of the game kind, on par with the ready-made models in the market.

Look for “UAV kit”(Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), “drone kits,” etc. You will be surprised by the variety of options the market has in this category.

The basics   you need to know in order to take the right decision.

Now let’s take a look at the basics. Consider aspects like flying power, material, size, etc. which are very important to help you utilize your drone for a particular purpose. This is important because unless you are familiar with the basics, you will not know where to start.

Checklist to buy a drone
It is really important that you pay attention at all you the features that you want in your new drone helicopter with camera.

  Storage:

Size matters – especially in remote control camera drones. Consider the space where you are going to place your drone when you don’t use it. If you have limited storage space at home, you will either have to look for models that can be taken apart and then reassembled every time you need. Your other option would be to look for drones which easily fit the empty space in your storage corners at home.

  Travel:

Do you plan to travel with your new camera drone? A drone is a perfect way to document your vacation, honey moon or road trip. Normally you can’t pack a big sized drone in your bag, especially if you are traveling on conventional airplanes. You can purchase drone cases on the internet or from specialized shops.

The thing is that not all drones have dedicated cases available for their model. So if traveling is your first priority, consider doing your shopping in a reverse mode: check the available good drone cases on the market and verify if they are good for the drone you want to buy. If you travel a lot, try to opt for smaller size models if possible, which will be obviously easier to carry arround.

  Don’t forget that drones are not allowed everywhere! So if you don’t want to pay fines  – or even worse, get your flying buddy confiscated – check  this in advance.

  Battery life of a drone:

Do you use your camera drone for flying or filming in remote locations? How long will you normally need your drone to be up in the air? Can you afford to buy multiple battery sets? Or how long do you have to wait for your batteries to charge?

The batteries in smaller drones will last longer because the they are light. However, since they have a light weight capacity, they may have smaller capacity batteries which means they will also burn out faster. Larger sized drones have heavier batteries which normally are able to last longer. Yet again, since the drone is heavy, the engine will also have to work harder when taking off and in order to keep it in the air, burning up the batteries faster. This is quite confusing to navigate through.

Let’s try to clear this. When a light weight drone is combined with high quality LiPo batteries, the batteries will last for a longer period of time. In most cases, this will be reflected in the price. A middle range priced camera drone can usually fly for 10 minutes while the more expensive aka advanced ones can stay in the air for as long as 20 minutes. There are even some professional models that are able to fly for as long as 45 minutes without any interruption.

UAV camera specifications    

The camera of your drone will clearly be of high importance, and it depends on how serious you are about your line of work or hobby. Even if you have a great drone, but the camera has a low quality, it will make a beautiful aerial scenery look pixilated. This is why you have to take a close look at all the camera specifications like the resolution, lens, and of course the FPS (frames per second) which is one of the most important determining features.

Cameras for Drones
A good camera, can make your drone experience more reliable, check your options carefully

  FPS and resolution for your drone camera.

A majority of the latest drones with camera offers both video and still photo capability. This is why it is important for you to consider FPS instead of mp (megapixels). There are also some camera drone models in the market with a disproportionate balance between mp and FPS. Such models will either give a high quality film speed but not the best photo quality, or vice versa. This is why when you are looking for the perfect drone camera for you, make sure that it is able to meet all of your wants and needs.
Having said that, here are some really simple to follow tips for you to narrow down on the perfect model for you.

  If you come across a high end priced drone camera model that has a resolution of less than 1080p, do not purchase it under any given circumstance. This is the same as any other kind of camera which has a speed of just 30 fps or even slower. Here is the simple logic behind this statement: almost all of the cameras that come attached to a drone in the present day market have an average of about 4k in Ultra High Definition, and this feature is supposed to improve with almost every new model that is launched in the market irrespective of whether they are cheap or expensive. It’s just a matter of time.  

We are now living in an era where high end innovative electronics like picture and video taking drones are sold as normal consumer goods, not luxury goods (with exceptions, of course). This means that the companies that sell these products are so numerous in the market today and there is so much competition that they have no other choice to lower their price as much as possible even if they are adding more and more innovative features. In some cases the camera plays a very important role because it even makes night flight possible.

This is actually great news for us, the consumers, because this means that nowadays we can expect companies producing UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to sell top quality models with only the best features at a much lower price. This applies to the new drone you want to buy. There are so many great options in the market today at such affordable prices: do a good research and accept only the best that you can get with your available budget, whether you are a hobbyist or a professional. There are also drones with a live video option, just in case you want to share with your friends in real time.

  GIMBAL: what is it and what it does?

Gimbal is a technological device which enables an object to freely tilt itself in any given direction. It will stay level even when the supporting object is tipped in any direction. To put it in a simple way, a gimbal will allow the camera to remain parallel to the ground all the time even when the drone is moved in any direction at any angle. Without this feature, even if your drone has kick ass picture and video taking capabilities in 4k, the results will be disappointing. Even the best pilot will not be able to keep the drone steady against a gust of wind or any other turbulence it may occur.

Consider these points to make sure your drone camera has the right gimbal in place or the right one you need.

  Number of axis for the Drone gimbal

Drone gimbals are currently available in two or three axis versions. Two axis drones will only steady your camera through up, down, left and right motions. It will not hold it steady against the left or right twisting. You as a pilot may not intentionally twist the drone when taking pictures or video recording but remember, your drone is free flying in the air, and a gust of wind may hit it anytime. Due to this, it would be best for you to select a three axis gimbal if you are going to buy a drone mainly to use it for filming.

  Drone camera compatibility:

If you are planning to buy separately a universal or an external gimbal, it is vital to check if the gimbal supports the camera wich is mounted on your drone. See if it has the ability to control and hold the weight, size and other parameters of your camera. If you fail to check the compatibility and the gimbal turns out to be incompatible, your purchase will be useless.

High Definition (HD):

HD is all the rage right now, especially among drone users. Many drone models have an in-built HD camera inside of them so that you won’t have to deal with headaches for buying an external one to be attached to your drone every time you want to take pictures or videos.

Nice picture
Imagine taking pictures like that with your drone. Think in the HD for your helicopter with camera.

For you to be able to pick the right one, the best ones will easily enable you to see what the camera sees in real time. Anything short of that is just downright low quality. You should be able to easily link up the controller to a device through wi-fi connection so you can watch everything live. This is very useful, because acting this way you will not have to find another controller that offers in-buit video display.

Here are some common benefits that such HD capabilities offer for drone users:

  1. This is great if you want to use your drone right out of the box
  2. They are easy to pilot
  3. Most controllers have multiple axes which means you have total control over the drone in any given situation
  4. The lens is housed in a secure space to protect it from any real time damage risks
  5. You can easily turn on/off the picture and video taking capability with the help of a controller or directly on the body of the drone. This will allow you to take pictures and record videos of the surrounding areas.
  6. Some high end models can be used even for professional purposes

Keeping these features and factors in mind, you can get for yourself the perfect remote control drone camera for your specific needs, whether you need it for professional use or you just want to use it for fun, as a hobby.

   DRONE BATTERIES: all you need to know   

Being one of the greatest innovations of the century, drones are used just about everywhere from entertainment to security. The battery life of your drone is very important especially if your security or business depends on it. These batteries will feed power to the drone so they can be in active duty. Here are some tips to help you check the parameters so you will know how to choose the right battery for your needs.

Drone battery
Batteries: an important decision, that no one normally have in mind when is time to purchase a drone helicopter

How to choose the right drone helicopter battery life

  Size matters

Size does matter when it comes to drone batteries. Now when we say size, we mean not just the physical dimensions (which are also important) but also the capacity of the battery.

Let us consider how the size and weight determine the drone battery life. Obviously everyone would try to get the battery with the highest possible capacity in order to ensure a longer flight time for the drone. The thing is that you must also make sure whether the battery is compatible or not and whether it may cause any problem when the drone takes off. Remember: the battery’s weight truly influences the maximum weight capacity of the drone and it may also affect its stability.

You also have to make sure the battery easily fits inside the drone. Check the width and length of the drone’s battery compartment, so you get the accurate dimensions. Last but not the least, find out the maximum weight capacity of your drone so you can pick the right battery.

  Cell count

Find the right battery life for your drone also includes taking into consideration the battery voltage and cell count. This is because the power that is generated by the drone motors is directly proportional to the voltage. Drone batteries with a higher voltage usually assist motors in providing more power. The only downside is that such batteries will usually be on the heavier side.

   Quantity of batteries

How many batteries do your drone needs? Consider this carefully because it comes with both pros and cons.

If you install additional batteries, it will give extra protection for your drone just in case a battery unit fails during a flight. You will be able to prevent a catastrophic crash. If using this approach, obviously it would be definitely better to dispose of two chargers in order to spare time.

  Now let us consider the negatives.

The first thing is that juggling two batteries has its own share of complexity. You will have to deal with a lot of wiring and mounting. You need to proceed with care if you don’t want to mess it up. Secondly, you are paying for two batteries: obviously, it is going to be more expensive. Lastly, since two batteries will be heavier, you might face issues with the take-off max weight.

  Connectors

Have you ever tried installing a battery in your drone? Well, it is a painstaking job! This is why people always look for a reliable battery connector to be used for their drones. You will get dual benefits with these connectors.

It may not enable you to change the batteries easily, but you will get the option of reusing the batteries if you ever create a brand new drone in the near future. There are so many options available in the market, and my advice is to stick to your choice and refrain from changing these connectors unless absolutely necessary.

   The rate of discharge

A lot of people are not aware of the fact that the performance of your battery life depends a lot on its discharge C rating. 9 out of 10 drone experts will advise you to check it to ensure you purchase only those batteries with optimal discharge C rating.

A drone battery with a low rate of discharge will underperform since the motors will not generate the optimal power for its use. It will also damage the battery. On the other hand, a battery with a high rate of discharge will weight down your drone during flight and will reduce the flight time of your drone.

This is a tricky job indeed. Your job is to assess the maximum draw of current and check the specification of the drone’s motor. Here is how you can calculate:

Continuous Maximum Amp Draw = Discharge Rate x Battery Capacity.

  Capacity of battery life

The next feature you need to keep an eye out for is the capacity of the battery. This capacity will determine many things including the total flight time for your drone. It is a good idea to choose one that has the highest capacity of battery. However, you also have to strike a fine balance between the maximum weight capacity of your drone. Its weight coupled with the quadcopter should not exceed the maximum weight limit for taking off.

Always keep in mind that the battery’s discharge rate depends on the overall capacity because it denotes the battery life of your drone.

  The brand

For a good performance, both the battery brand as well as the brand of the drone matters. Any drone enthusiast will tell you a lot depends on the brand of the battery. There are many brands in the market known for their quality and performance. Yes, the good ones will be expensive but compromising on the quality will compromise on your drone’s safety.

Besides the danger of your drone falling out of the sky mid flight, the cheap rate batteries will also reduce the performance of your drone and decrease the time of flight substantially.

As for the brand of the drones, some drones use only specific batteries as instructed by the manufacturer. This will give your drone a more exclusiveness. The only downside is that it will substantially reduce the level of choice for your selection.

  Replacing your drone batteries

Stay aware of replacement possibilities for your drone battery so that if you cannot find the usual batteries, you will know which is the next best option. The replacements are also a lot more cheaper that the branded batteries. Some of them will even give you a better performance. Manufacturers usually warn about this point, saying that one should use only the original equipment & replacements. It’s your duty to do an accurate research and look for other drone appassionates wich possess your same model and read what they suggest concerning this matter. In many cases people do use batteries which are not the original and they perform exactly as the original or even better.

  Drone battery charging time

When it comes to using the drone, you want to spend your time flying it in the air instead of dealing with menial technical issues like the long charging time of the batteries before you can start using it.

Almost no one pay attention at the drone battery charging time, think on it before purchasing too!

Always remember to fully charge the battery before you can use it for the first time. It is quite simple to charge your battery. It is similar to charging any device. All you have to do is to plug the battery into the manufacturer approved charger and plug the charger into the select power outlet. There is always a danger in using a charger that is not recommended by the manufacturer because you might end up overheating it. Again, look for reviews written by other drone users.

The charging time of each battery varies. For example, the DJI Inspire battery will fully charge in about a time span of 18 minutes. Other batteries may take longer or shorter. Normally, the manufacturer instructions will mention this information in the manual they offer.  

Sometimes you are in a rush, and you don’t have the time or the patience to charge your battery fully. What do you do? Consider the task you are planning to do with your drone. If you are planning for animal tracking, aerial video or taking scenic shots than a charging time of about 18 to 20 minutes will be more than enough to let you finish the task. A good practice is also to bring always powerbanks with you, which allow you to go on with the charging while you are driving to the place where you want to fly your drone.

20 minutes is, however, just the standard charging time which allows you to fly under ideal circumstances. There are so many factors which will affect the battery capabilities and will reduce the overall air time. Some examples include the overall weight of loading your drone is carrying, the amount of movements needed during the flight and of course the intensity of the wind, if present.

  If you fly in low temperatures, the battery capacity will reduce significantly hence you will need a longer charging time. In the same way, you will need to charge your battery longer if you are planning on pushing the speed limit of your drone because this will use up the battery life a lot faster than its usual. Always make sure to don’t push too much to the limits, try to respect the suggested optimum conditions and let it pace leisurely so you can get longer use out of the batteries.

There are several protections in your battery to make sure it functions properly. For instance, your battery will stop charging automatically once it is full. The battery will also charge only at suitable temperatures. Whenever a short circuit has been identified, the power supply will also cut off immediately. There are also apps that are designed to identify and inform whenever the cell in the battery gets damaged.

While it is always the best idea to charge your battery fully every time you get the chance, it is not always practical. So the smart thing for you to do is find out the amount of battery that is needed for your task (aerial video, taking pictures, etc.) and then charges it likewise. Also remember to keep in mind all the possible conditions which will influence the flight, like load weight, metereological conditions where you are going to use it, and so on.

9 ways to increase your drone flight time

Timing
Some tricks to increase the time your drone can be there, flying around.

Drones are cool, fun and everything good in between. But the truth is that normally they have a really short flight time. Although this modern day innovative tools have evolved a lot over the past couple of years, most of these fast-moving consumer models still offer only a maximum flight of about 20 minutes. There are some that offer only as little as a 5 minute of flight time. This is quite annoying especially if you want to fly your drone longer than one third of an hour.

Here are some great tips to fly your drone for a longer period of time:

  1. Flying under ideal conditions  

For starters, avoid flying your drone on hostile weather conditions like wind or fog. Avoid to use the drone if it’s raining or snowing. These things can considerably shorten the flight time of your drone drastically or, even worse, damage it irremediably. Your drone will need more power to fly against hostile weather conditions and hence the battery will run out faster.

Also, remember that most of the drones are not waterproof! Double-check the manufacturer’s instructions before you fly them in the rain or the snow. To maximize the flying time of your drone and avoid to crash it, fly it during clear skies with mild temperature and little to no wind.

  1. Conservative flying = longer flight time  

Sure we all love to fly our drones on high speed or full throttle. But such flying habits will drain your battery faster than you would want. Sure it is fun to pull some sick stunts and flips, but if you plan to increase the time of your drone’s flight, you better take it easy. Try your best to fly smoothly and conservatively so you will get to fly your drone longer.

  1. Checking the weight of your drone  

There are some ways to reduce the overall weight of your drone. If you are already an experienced drone flyer, you can remove the prop guards.  These guards are supposed to protect your drone when flying, but they add some extra weight. Obviously, there is an added risk if you fly them without the guard so do it only if you are absolutely comfortable with it.

If you do not need the camera, take it off! Cameras add so much weight and they are a nuisance if you do not plan to take videos or photos. Removing small and negligible things like skins, stickers and other additional pieces will reduce the overall weight of your drone.

  1. Changing the propeller size  

Most of the drones in the market have mid sized propellers and if you want to improve the battery life, you can get different sizes. Using a larger propeller will give you more lift so that your drone will not have to work so hard to fly in air. If you want to fly faster, the smaller propeller will be better. Every set-up is unique and it is your job to do some research about whether or not other drone users have had success in using smaller or bigger propeller. Remember to practice!

  1. Upgrading your battery  

Sometimes it is not the fault of your drone. Some batteries that come with the drone are just so crappy you will experience you drone’s optimal performance only when you get new ones. If you are sorely disappointed with your drone’s flying time, get yourself a new compatible one which has a higher level of mAh (Milliamp-Hour). Check the specifications given in your drone for the max mAh that it can take. Also remember to keep in mind the weight of the battery and that it has the same level of voltage just as the other battery. Despite the mAh and all other specifications, if the weight of the battery is heavy, the time of flight will still be shorter.

  1. Unplug the battery from the charger at the very last possible moment   

You battery loses some of the max capacity when you are removing it from the charger. In most cases, it will lose a percentage of the charge every hour it spends off the charger. The smart way to go about this is to just use the batter right after you remove it from the charger.

  1. Follow the best practices of battery care  

The life of your batteries will be longer when you follow the battery care instructions. Here are some tips for you to follow:

  • Never deplete a battery fully

    prolongue the life of your drone
    Take care of this list, to prolongue the life of your drone
  • Store batteries in a dry and ventilated place
  • Charge your batteries fully often
  • Don’t let battery drain itself
  • Do not puncture, alter, impact or bend them
  • Do not use abnormal batteries
  • Do not expose them to extreme temperatures
  • Check battery before and after flight
  • Monitor the battery level when flying
  1. Purchase extra batteries      

Obviously, this will not increase your flying time, but it will definitely keep your drone in the air for a longer period of time. Disposing of replacement batteries will ensure you can play or work as long as you want even if your batteries die down because you have replacements! Usually, a standard lithium battery can be easily charged and drained fully about 300 to 500 times before you need to replace it as long as you take good care of it. This is a great idea even for those of you with long lasting batteries.

For optimal use of your batteries, always remember to store them at around 64 °F (18 °C) to 82 °F (28 °C) temperature. Remember to keep it always at least 50% charged. Do not dispose of your old batteries in the trash. Always send them to the battery recycle centre for safe disposal.

  1. Tried everything already? Consider changing drone  

If there is nothing much you can do to prolong the time of flight of your drone, maybe it is time for you to get a new one. There are so many options in the market, and it would benefit you to do a little research before you purchase one. There is a difference between drones for commercial purposes and drones for personal use. If you want something for commercial use, go for the ones that offer a longer time of flight, extra batteries and additional features of control software and drone mapping.

Different sizes of helicopter drones and their uses  

Drones available in the market come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Commercial drones are usually the bigger ones and also provide more features. As for the hobbyist drones, they are usually smaller and are meant for simply recreational purposes. 

The ideal drone size for you will depend on the purpose for which you are purchasing it. As for your skill level as a pilot, it really doesn’t matter so much because you can always improve it with some good practice. Commercial drone flyers can still own drones for recreational purposes, and in the same way, a hobbyist can also purchase a professional level drone for recreational purposes. It is all up to you.

Let’s shed some light on the different drone sizes that are available in the market right now and the the purposes for which they can be used. In this way, you can get a better idea of the type of drone that is best for you and your purpose.

Check what are your preferences
Like everything, drones have different sizes & shapes. Check what are your preferences

  Miniature (small) drones

Mini drones are the smallest drones in the market right now. You can literally fit them in the palm of your hand. And as if this is not cute enough, there are even some models out there that are as small as a quarter dollar.

Such small drones are usually available in the form of a quadcopters (4 blades). There are even some hexacopters (6 blades) in this size.

These type of smaller drones are on the cheaper end of the price range. You can get them for as cheap as $10. The better quality ones are priced above $60. A majority of these drone models are in the range of $15 to $30, and you will hardly ever find one that is priced over $100.

If you want to fly your drones indoor, miniature drones are perfect. They are so small they can easily fit between tight corners of a room and fly around freely even in a limited space without causing any problems of knocking hardly into stuff. But for this, obviously you have to learn how to maneuver your drone with ease.

Even if the drone accidentally knocks into stuff around the house, it will neither get damaged nor should the crash be so strong to cause bad and permanent damage. Worst case, you might have to replace a few sets of the propellers.

Flying outdoor could be a little tricky for these miniature drones. The good thing is that they can fly really fast, but the downside is that the motors are usually not that powerful.

This makes them struggle against outdoor winds. A majority of them will be able to fly in moderate breeze, but they will lose control the moment there is a strong gust.

Mini drones are great if you are just a beginner or you want something specific to fly indoors in your home. They are safe to use and so easy to fly (after some practice) that can be definitely recommended for kids as well.

  Medium drones

If you double the size of a miniature drone, you will get a medium drone. Sometimes, they are even bigger than that.

Medium drones are more powerful than its smaller counterpart. They also have larger propellers and more features. There are so many who also offer inbuilt low grade camera so you can take aerial videos and photos for fun.

If you want to train how to fly a drone with finesse, medium drones are your best option. They are quite affordable so that in case you accidentally crash it, you won’t be broke. On the other hand, medium drones are also large enough for you to get the feeling of how it would be when flying the professional ones.

Flying these drones in stronger winds outdoors is also a lot easier than flying the miniature drones.

A lot of people buy medium drones for the purposes of recreation or training. Considering that you can find good medium sized drones at affordable prices, they are also great gift ideas if you have friends who strive for being drone pilots.

  Professional grade drones

Typically, most of the professional pilots go for the best drones available in the market because they are always on the lookout for the most innovative and upgraded features.

Some of the largest size drones come in commercial grade. They typically range from as few as four blades to as many as eight blades. It all depends on the carrying capacity of the object. If you want to shoot videos and pictures with a bigger camera, it is best for you to opt for a drone with higher carrying capacity.

Bigger size professional grade drones also feature some of the most advanced innovations which include the likes of obstacle avoidance, autonomous flight mode, first person view, camera setting adjustments on the fly, and many more. This gives lots of room to the professional pilot to get top quality shots and also be as creative as they want to be.

Bigger sized or professional  drones usually range between $500 to as much as $13,000 (but even more). You can even get yourself a custom rig, but you have obviously to pay more for that. If you are someone new in the commercial drone industry than we would suggest you to start off with one of those lower-end drone models to get your feet wet. They work just as well. You don’t want to go for an expensive model and mess it up.

When your flying skills improve, you can steadily move your way up to higher-end drones that provide more whistles and bells.

Now that you are well versed with the different size of drones in the market and their uses, you can see now that you have to take into consideration this aspect as well when you are purchasing one. Its interior technology and even the external built is determined a lot by the size of the drone that it comes in.

Drone weight and purpose of use

The drone weight is important because it determines its performance on different parameters which includes the likes of speed, duration of the flight and its agility, its level of performance in the air, how easily you can store it and also its battery life. Here are the different weights of drones and their class.

  Ultra lightweight drone

Ultra lightweight drones are the lightest in the market. They weigh less than a mere 5 kilograms. They usually can’t do much besides flying and are mostly for recreational purposes like racing and pure flying. The good thing is that these ultra lightweight drones are fast and agile when up in the air.

  Light to middle

Drones that weight over 5 kilograms but less than 200 kg are under the class of light to middle weight. Most of the popularly bought drones in this category are in the weight range of 5 to 50 kg. The heavier ones in this category weigh between 50 to 200 kg.

Such middle range weight of drone is usually capable of carrying small objects like lighter weight recorders, cameras, etc. They are great because you can fly them at a reasonably faster speed and with heightened agility. They are popularly opted by film makers and photographers because these middle weight drones represent a great choice for their work purposes.

  Heavyweight drones

When the weight of drone ranges between 200 to 2000 kg, they are usually considered as heavy weight. This extra weight makes them tougher because the body is made of sturdy and durable materials. It is backed by a powerful set of motors and large battery sets.

Heavy weight drones are popularly used by companies of different industries for transporting things from one place to another. These drones have the potential to handle heavy weights and can work for longer time periods as compared to their lighter counterparts. The only downside to their weight is that they are not very agile and their speed is also limited.

  Super heavy drones

This is the last and final category of drones. Some of them weight as much as 2 tonnes during the time of take off! These specialized drones are capable of carrying out specialized activities in the higher limits of our atmosphere where the drones do not have to encounter a lot of resistance from the wind.

These super heavy weight drones are great for flying in the upper reaches of the sky, so they can use it for the purposes of surveillance and monitoring. The drones use high quality specialized cameras that can keep a close track of large scale activity of the general population of a given area, whether it concerns human beings or animals. They are also extensively used to monitor and survey the weather and climatic conditions of a given place.

They are also used occasionally for carrying out scientific experiments by the act of keeping a close track of the content in the atmosphere and the interaction between the Earth and other bodies in the space.

Understanding your drone range  

Drone range refers to how far away your drone can fly from you when you fly it in the air. There is no perfect drone range in this case because it depends on how or where you want to use it for. Here are some of the currently available range options in the market right now.

How long your drone can go?
How long can your drone go? Check this one out as well!

  Very close range

These types of drones are usually purchased for the purpose of recreational flying. As a matter of fact, toy drones are usually in this category. If you have young kids at home which would love to play with drones, this is the perfect option. These drones can fly up to as far as a 5 kilometer radius. The flight can last from 20 minutes to about an hour with fully charged batteries.

  Close range

You can control such drones up to about 50 km radius from the point where you are standing. If you have a powerful battery to back it up, it can even stay in the air for as long as 6 hours provided you charge it fully. Such types of drones are usually used by the military for the purposes of quick surveillance.

  Short range

You can control these types of drones from as far away as 150 km from you as the user. These type of drones are backed with really powerful batteries, and you can expect them to stay in the air for up to 12 hours in one go. This is a popular choice for the purpose of surveillance and spying. As a matter of fact, the militaries use it for this purpose.

    Mid-range

This is one of the highest grade drones. They are functionally and technically far more superior to the other models in the market right now. They are considered as highly popular and are well fitted with some of the most powerful equipment in the drone industry.

The batteries used in these type of drones are very powerful, and it is so powerful that the drone can sustain on the air for days on end. The range of its radius is actually estimated to be as far as 650 kilometers from the point where the pilot is actually controlling it. They are commonly used by the military for the purpose of spying and surveillance. Nowadays there are other professionals who use it for geological or metereological purposes and geo mapping.

Usage  

These drones can be used for various purposes, depending on their own specialized range.
The great news is that you don’t have to spend more than your budget allows you to just because you want your drone to fly farther from the point where you are controlling it. Here are some tricks to help you increase the range of your drone.

  Before we get into the nitty gritty of the technical know-hows, here are some interesting facts about this feature:

  1. The 2.4 GHz frequency is actually 2.5 times way better than the 5.8 GHz when it comes to a maximum theoretical radius.
  2. An overpriced 8db antenna actually gives you lesser radius movement as compared to a stock antenna.
  3. You can get up to 33 km of radius simply by changing your antenna’s controls.

Factors which affect the range of a drone helicopter and how you can maximize it

Positioning the  drone and the control

The signal of the drone will deteriorate if there are obstacles between the drone and the control. If you find the signal of your drone getting weak, you can let it fly a little bit higher which will clear the Fresnel zone.

Relative orientation of the drone and the control

It is important to keep your transmitting and receiving antennas on similar orientation when you use linear polarized antennas. However, keep in mind that it is obviously not always possible.

The types of antennas on the drone and the control

There is a specific pattern of radiation for each antenna. Some types of antennas usually receive or broadcast uniformly in all directions while others are quite directional (meaning they only receive or transmit more).

The more directional your antenna, the higher will be your drone’s impact. For instance, an antenna on 2dB / 2.4 GHz will ensure 6km radius while an antenna with 16dB will ensure 33 km.

The power of the transmitter on the drone and the control

The range will be greater when the power is greater. However, we all know the devil is in the details!

The radius of the drone is proportional to the given square of the power. This means when you double the power in your drone, it will increase the radius limit by as high as 40%!

The frequency used

Frequency plays a major role when it comes to the radius limit of your drone’s flight when in the air. The higher the frequency, the shorter will be the radius of your drone’s flight limit. This is why in case you choose a frequency in the setup, the 5.8 GHz would not be recommended unless where you use the drone you have an interference of the 2.4 GHz band.

Other RF source of interference

Take these three things into consideration when it comes to interference:

  1. You can consider it as interference only if it is in your frequency.
  2. You can consider it as interference only if it is in your pattern of radiation.
  3. It is an issue only if the interference has a higher power than that of your transmitter.

The antenna’s position on the drone  

If you have flown a drone before, you will be aware of the frequent signal issues that you face when rotating the drone. This is mostly because of the fact that the antenna radiation of the drone is blocked by the certain circuitry of the drone.

You can fix this problem by locating the antenna under the drone.

With these tips in mind, you can now fly your drone to farther reaches than its manufacturer originally intended. You can also choose the perfect drone according to its range specification.

The basics on the Return-Home feature in a drone  

Whether you are a skilled drone pilot or a beginner, everyone could benefit from having a return-home feature in their drone. This will save them a lot of hassle and even prevent any risk of losing your drone mid air never to see it return back to you. That’s a lot of cash lost into thin air! This is popularly referred to as an RTH button or One Key Return, and by pressing this button, you will trigger your drone to return back to the location where it initially took off.

Some drones can come back by themselves

This feature is actually not as simple as most people might think. For example, return home in a GPS drone will be different from the one in a drone without GPS. Let’s take a look at it in detail.

Return-Home in a GPS drone VS a drone without GPS  

This feature was initially introduced in the higher-end drone models with advanced features. Over time, even the cheaper models caught up to the trend and today, you can actually get this highly sophisticated and advanced feature in a drone that costs as less as $15. But of course, you only get what you pay for, so don’t expect the cheapest one to work as good as the one you have in high priced drones.

With the GPS operated drone, you must first wait for it to connect with GPS satellites. Once done this, you will know where exactly your drone is at any time. When your drone is in the air and out of sight, if you press the RTH button the drone already knows where it should go.

RTF explained

When you are out shopping for a drone, you will be mostly confronted with RTF and BNF versions. The first one stands for Ready to Fly. It means you will not have to buy any extra accessories in order to be able to fly your drone.

BNF explained

This stands for Bind and Fly. It means you will need to bound your drone to a specific controller which does not come in the package. It also means it is assumed you already have a a good controller whose quality is supposed to be better than the one of controllers which are shipped by the OEMs drones.

ARF explained

ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) kits are shipped with or without a controller. What they have in common is the fact that they do not come in one piece. You will need to assemble it so that you can start flying. This is a do it yourself version of the drone’s manufacturer.

DIY explained

As for DIY, you will have to purchase your drone in parts and pieces. You will have to pick and choose the parts all by yourself, unlike the ARF version. This is usually perfect for a true hobbyist who loves everything about technology and drones. It could be compared to a desktop PC: you can buy the computer already assembled and ready to use or you can prefer instead to buy the case and all the components and assemble it yourself.

To put it in a nutshell, RTF is for the new drone hobbyists, the BNF for RC veterans, the ARF and DIY are for do-it-yourself enthusiasts and perfectionists.

The right budget to buy a UAV with camera

Now we have come to one of the most important parts of buying a drone: the budget. Irrespective of what you need your drone for, the question of cash always comes into play. Not all professionals can afford the most expensive high-end drone models while not all drone hobbyists will settle for the cheaper, more affordable models even if it is just for their personal use.

Drone budget
At the end is your budget the one that drive your decision…

You should also keep in mind that the price of your drone is not always directly proportional to the quality of the outcome you will get, especially when it comes to commercial use. It will also depend on other important factors like how well you maneuver your drone, your creativity, editing (if you are into videography), etc.

If you do not want to spend too much yet but you want an advanced drone with all the possible high-end features allowed by your wallet, DIY is your best option. However, this will require a certain level of knowledge on your side. The higher your knowledge of drones and what you want from it, the better your final results. Keep in mind that sometimes the most popular brands charge a higher price compared to similar models of not so popular brands.

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