You’ve decided that you want (or need) a camera drone. Now comes the hard part. How can you pick one of the countless models available that fits both your needs and abilities?
Deciding between drones with cameras for sale can be difficult for that exact reason. At the same time, you can make your decision easier if you take a strategic approach. Answer the below ten questions, and you can feel more confident in your purchase.
1) What’s Your Price Point?
First, you have to set a basic range to limit the sheer amount of potential drones available to you. The natural place to start is the budget you have to purchase the equipment.
Don’t limit yourself too much. Instead, set an upper limit of budget that you consider a hard line. Don’t even look at drones above it. You do not need a lower limit yet; that will be determined by some of the other answers to questions mentioned below.
2) How Will You Use the Drone?
After your budget, the way you use the drone should be your second most question to answer. Find your core goal for purchasing a drone, which will help to further narrow down the possibilities in the list of options the first step has provided.
For instance, simple hobby use may only require a basic model to get you used to the concept. On the other hand, professional photography (especially if you aim to sell the footage) will require more advanced drones that can satisfy your clients.
3) What Image/Video Quality Do You Need?
The answer to this question should build on the last one. Your basic usage of the drone limits your options. The exact quality of photos or videos you need further narrows it down.
Consider, for instance, wedding photography. Here, your audience will likely want to zoom in for details on aerial pictures of outdoor ceremonies and celebrations. Similarly, video needs to be high-def for better watchability. Hobby photography, on the other hand, may be able to get away with a lower picture and video quality.
4) Does the Drone Need to be Portable?
Again, this question is somewhat connected to your basic goal. If you are looking to fly the drone in your backyard above all else, portability will not be a major factor in the product you choose. If, on the other hand, you need to complete on-location shoots that require transportation, it becomes a much more important question.
Portability can be accomplished in a number of ways. Naturally, small drones are easy to pack up and take with you, even in small cars or public transportation. Larger drones, on the other hand, may require more bulky transportation equipment.
5) How Quickly Can You Learn to Fly and Shoot?
Some drones are designed to be easy to fly, even by someone who has never held a remote in hand before making the purchase. Others are able to complete more complex flying maneuvers, but can only be flown through more complex steering mechanisms that could require additional training.
Where on the ease of use spectrum you land again depends on the basic purpose of the purchase. Professionals tend to prefer increased functionality, even at the expense of drones that are easy to fly. Hobbyists, on the other hand, particularly those who want to simply try out taking pictures with a drone for the first time, may lean more toward easy-to-learn mechanisms that can only offer basic flying maneuvers.
6) What About Camera Life?
Generally speaking, drones have a relatively short battery life. Drones with cameras have an even shorter battery lifespan, as they need to support additional electronics and weight during the flight. That said, they can still vary wildly in terms of the exact parameters provided.
CNet, for instance, estimates that the average battery life of a camera drone is about 30 minutes of continuous flight. However, high-quality drones at the top of the typical price point can, due to their advanced equipment, offer battery life as little as 5 minutes. Knowing how long your flying sessions will be will influence which drone is the right fit for you.
7) Do You Know Where You’ll Fly the Drone?
Some of your consideration about camera life may be directly connected to the terrain in which you will fly your drone. Extensive flight paths, naturally, will require higher battery life. But they may also call for additional features that become necessary depending on your needs.
Some more advanced drones, for instance, offer an internal camera that allows you to steer them using a screen on your remote. If you anticipate flying in areas that are not easily seen from the ground, this could become a crucial feature. Anticipate the situations you will encounter once you own the drone, and your buying decision will become more informed.
8) Do You Know the Product Warranty?
Drone flight, especially when you are new to the concept, is dangerous. Not necessarily to yourself, but to the expensive equipment in the air. Before you know it, you might fly into a tree or other obstacle, damaging or even destroying the drone before you have reaped its full rewards.
To avoid that debacle, some drone manufacturers offer a warranty that protects you from accidental damage. Even though it might raise the price point of the drones you are considering, it offers additional insurance and can be a sound long-term investment. Always inform yourself about a potential warranty before the purchase.
9) Can You Receive Post-Sales Support?
This is an especially important question to answer for first-time buyers of camera drones. Once you complete the purchase, will you be left on your own, or receive continuous support for potential malfunctions or software updates?
Often, the drone manufacturer for your new gadget has very specific answers to this question. The more you know about this type of support from the manufacturer as soon as you purchase your new drone, the better you will be prepared for successful drone ownership.
10) What About Add-On Items?
The final consideration in finding the right camera drone for sale is to understand exactly what you will need to be successful. Generally, the sticker price for the drone itself will not be your only cost. You might also need a backup battery, spare propellers, a hard drive or SD card to back up and download the images, and more.
Understanding the price of each potential item you need before the purchase is vital in getting a better idea of what you will actually spend. It can also help you understand how easily you could find replacement parts, should you need them.
Based on the answers to these questions, you can build a shortlist of camera drones for sale that match your exact needs. Now, you can compare individual drone to find the exact model you need to enjoy the flight and its image/video capabilities.
Depending on the drone you choose, affordability may not be directly related to skill level. The gap between drones for sale can range widely, from toys for as little as $100 to professional camera drones that can cost you $1,000 or more.
This significant difference in price shows exactly why the buying process needs to be well considered. But as long as you can find a drone that answers the above ten questions for your needs, your research will lead to a successful purchase you can enjoy for years to come.