A drone is a remote-control (RC) flying device which may also be termed as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Owning a drone is just more than a fun. Do you want to own a drone? Yes! Then read through this drone buyer guide to know about some terms related with the RC Drones. Some years back the term “drone” was more related to the military and was assumed a flying device owned by the military. With the passage of time, the meanings of the drone changed. Basically, drones were built for recreational activities, but, their use has been expanded to many professional fields.
Nowadays, quadcopters are being vastly used in aerial videography and photography. Moreover, they are now used to inspect bridges, used to track wildlife, inspect industrial chimney towers and other drone related works. The quadcopter devices have a quite enough compact design which carries many important parts. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are composed of many components such as – Main Controller (MC), Sensors, Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs), Motors, Propellers, Receiver, GPS, Transmitter, Ground Station. These are the main components, in addition to these, there are a lot of tiny parts which enables it to fly.
There is a great innovation in the drone industry. This is the reason that, nowadays, quadcopters are available at a very competitive price. Now they are even more approachable and affordable than before. Do you want to compete for an air race with your fellow fliers? Yes! Then RC Drones provide you an outlet to reveal your hidden talent. Compete with your fellow fliers while acting as a pilot. Without any further ado, let’s move on to the different terms related to the quadcopters.
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NOTE: There are some rules and regulations to own and fly a drone in some countries. The laws and regulations are not completely refined yet. You will have to respect the laws and will have to consult the relevant department to register your flying device, for example – you will have to consult the FAA to get your flying device registered if you are living in the United States.
Who should invest on a drone?
Well, I am not here to tell you that whether you should buy a drone or not, it’s up to you. Friendly speaking, who wouldn’t want to own a fantastic machine like a drone. However, if you are an RC enthusiast and love the electronic devices like – cars, boats, helicopters, RC trucks etc then you should definitely go for it. You should also consider buying a quadcopter if you are a professional photographer or videographer and love to experience a new way of doing your work. Last but not least, if you are a technology savvy, then, you should experience the breeze of piloting a flying device.
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How can you master flying a drone? The best way to master in flying the quadcopter is to pilot your own. By doing so, you will get some know-how about flying drones and you will get to know that how useful these aerial machines are. To pilot your first quadcopter and master it you should consider buying a one that doesn’t cost you more than $200. Let’s have a look at why you should consider purchasing a cheaper one first.
Why should you take a start with a cheap drone first?
Well, if you are not an expert in flying a drone, then, you must start with a cheap drone first. The reason to take a start with a cheaper drone is that you will not shed tears if you accidentally hit it somewhere. The cheaper quadcopter will cost you not more than $200. When you will have learned how to fly and master it, then, you can go and buy an expensive one for yourself.
For all the RC flying devices, you must know about few important things.
- The best cheap drones are very light. And they are pretty awesome for training. They have hard outer shells. One of the cons of cheap models is that they are not much stable in wind. However, they provide a good chance over piloting like a pro (without the fear of heavy loss).
- You must remember to buy multiple batteries for your flying device. Because the battery life of quadcopters under $200 wouldn’t be more than 15 minutes. Therefore, it would be a rational decision to keep spare batteries with you during training sessions or missions.
- It is one of the cons of beginner quadcopters that they lack 3-axis gimbal stabilization system. So, you are going to lose the stability for image/video. Nevertheless, such models are ideal for practice – in case the flying device gets crashed you won’t be so grieved as will be in the case of a drone with a hefty price tag.
After doing a lot of practice you will have confidence and a good control over flight. Flying RC drone on your own without the help of smart features will make you more proficient in piloting UAVs.
Don’t consider the words from our side to be the final decision. It’s up to you that how much you can afford. If you can go with an expensive model then you can happily go with that. There is no restriction from our side.
Aerial Shots; Filmed By a Drone:
Types of Drones
Basically, toy drones are made for indoor use, consequently, they are very light in weight. They are not very stable, hence, they are difficult to control outside. They have a small size and very basic features. Capturing image/video with such models that include a camera is just a boredom. However, they are great to master you in piloting a UAV without any strain on your wallet.
Racing drones are specifically designed to compete in FPV (first person view) or other racing events. They have a sturdy design, good aerodynamic properties, and high speed. There are high-performance controllers that manage the current going towards the motors, thus, enabling the flying device to speed up or slow down immediately. However, racing quadcopters have a fixed camera which enables the pilot in navigating it. The video of FPV is streamed directly to the pilot’s mobile controller. The racing UAVs carry very smart features which make them very expensive. If you are good at piloting the RC flying devices and want to compete with your fellow fliers then you can go and buy a racing drone.
With the great innovation in drone industry, the way images/videos are captured has changed dramatically. The quadcopters give you a unique view to capture that ordinary camera can’t. Such models are bigger than toy drones, they are heavier and expensive.
The photography drones are good for an aerial view. It can provide a great aerial view of the park and your surroundings. They are designed to remain stable outside. You can also navigate the wild life and take a selfie while you are walking. What makes them so stable outside?
Most of the photography quadcopters carry 3-axis gimble stabilization system which keeps it stable outside. They are great for professional photographers. If you want to own a one for yourself, then, keep in mind some key features that make them so adorable.
There are certain features that must be kept in mind while buying a photography drone such as – camera quality, megapixels, video resolution, battery life, range, and height. Moreover, some photography drones have a fixed camera and others don’t. So, don’t forget to look for key features while buying a one for yourself.
There are some models like – DJI Phantom 4, Mavic Pro that includes image stabilization and supports 4k video. Similarly, the DJI Inspire 2 is also a high-end photography quadcopter. The photography quadcopters are very expensive.
Features to Look for In a Drone
Battery life is a life for a drone as a whole. It is one of the most important factors of a nice model. The battery life of an RC (Remote-Control) flying device is going to determine that for how much time you are going to enjoy the flight. While buying the best flying device for yourself consider its battery charge time, battery life and whether you will have to replace the battery during your work or not. In cheaper models, the battery life is little skeptical. Most of the cheap models don’t have battery life more than 15 minutes.
The range of the UAV varies with the model type. The range of a quadcopter determines that from how far you can control your device. Most of the beginner models have range up to 100 meters. While the more advanced products like DJI Phantom 4 has a range up to 5000 meters. It all depends upon you that what do you want to achieve with your flying device. You should determine your needs before buying a drone. After doing so, you may proceed with respect to your needs and requirements.
Most of the units come with the camera. On the other hand, there are some units like toy drones which may not carry a built-in camera with them. Some units come with the GoPro camera attached to them. Most of the cheaper units come without a camera. While some of the cheaper drones come with an option to install the camera later on. If you have not planned photography then the advice is to leave the camera on the ground. In this way, you will add a few more minutes to the battery life of the quadcopter.
The flight time depends on the model type, size of its batteries and its weight. Most of the models have flight time between 15-30 minutes. The beginner models have a flight time of around 15 minutes. The plus point of beginner drones is that their batteries are much cheaper. Most of the people buy 4-5 extra batteries and they swap the battery when it is out of power. When talking about more advanced units, they are expensive and their accessories are expensive too. If you want more flight time, then it would be a rational decision to buy a spare battery for your RC quadcopter. Rather than rushing towards your home to recharge the battery.
If you are a beginner then the headless mode will help you a lot. Many people face difficulty in flying the drone when the front side of it is facing you. When the quadcopter and you are facing the same direction, then, pressing the left button will turn it to the left. But, the case is different when the front side of the drone is facing you. In this case, if you press the left button the quadcopter will turn to the right. It could be a very irritating situation for you. Don’t worry, the headless mode is the solution to this problem.
When the headless mode is turned on, and when the front side of the drone is facing you and you press the left button the drone will go to the left. Thus, the problem is solved for the beginners. But remember, if you want to fly the bigger flying devices in the near future, then, you must practice flying a drone without the headless mode. Piloting the quadcopter without activating the headless mode will help you a lot in flying the bigger RC (Remote-Control) flying devices without any hesitation.
The 3-axis Gimbal stabilizes the motion in three axes which are – yaw, roll, and pitch. It helps a lot in making a stable video/image. No matter how much the tilt is there or what is the direction of the quadcopter. The 3-axis gimbal helps to produce a video with a great quality.
Availability of spare parts
Spare parts have a keen importance if you want to keep your device maintained. You are going to need them very often if you are not a master in piloting a flying unit. Even a light crash can put your drone into a situation to replace some of its parts like – propellers, landing gear, motor or even the camera. Therefore, you must keep in mind the availability of the spare parts. And you will be pleased to know that most of the beginner models have a plenty of spare parts available online. If you are picking a beginner model for practice then you will not face the difficulty to purchase its spare parts.
Return Home Function
What the return home function does is that it simply brings your device back to home (from where it took off). If you are afraid to lose your flying device then the return home function can be of a great help. However, there is a slight difference that how this feature works on a GPS powered drone and a model without a GPS. For the quadcopter with GPS installed you must wait for your device to lock on the GPS satellites. When the location is locked, the drone knows where to go when you press the return home button. The case is different in a toy quadcopter. In beginner or toy models, the return home function works when the “headless mode” is activated, otherwise, it starts to move back without knowing the exact location from where it took off.