So you have decided to buy a drone (RPA – Remotely Piloted Aircraft). How to choose the right drone is a question we often get asked. There are literally hundreds of RPA’s on the market for you to choose from. It really is a fast paced industry with new technology every time you look. We will give you some things to consider, and hopefully make your final choice a little easier to reach.
Things To Consider For Your Purchase
- Have you flown an RPA before?
- How much money do you have to spend?
- How much space will you have to fly it in?
- What you want the drone for?
- How much storage room you have?
- What is everyone else using?
- Do you know CASA’s (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) regulations for safe flying?
Have you flown an RPA before ?
If this is your first RPA, and it probably is if you’re reading this, then the technology available to help you is massive. The latest consumer drones are very easy to fly and use. With obstacle avoidance, proximity sensors and active tracking, they nearly fly themselves. But to become a pilot and produce the results you want, you need practice. You need to understand the capabilities of your RPA. You will be able to go and purchase any of the current model high spec consumer drones and fly it, take photos and videos and your results will be good. More practice, and your results will be fantastic.
How Much Money Do You Have To Spend ?
If you have no limit, then the options are huge. If you are on a budget, which most of us are, then it limits you fairly well. You will get a good, reliable camera drone for less than a $1000. For less than $2000 you will get a great camera drone set up You will get a fantastic flying aerial platform for less than $3000.
How Much Space Will You Have To Fly In ?
Hey, you’re reading a caravanning and travelling blog, so chances are you will have open areas to fly in. If you want to fly indoors or small spaces, then you can get great tiny drones for less than $200. We have had various Horizon Blades for practice indoors and they are excellent, robust and reliable toys. Great for honing your control skills on rainy days. I still use them now plus they are great to learn on.
What Do You Want The Drone For ?
Again, we are a caravanning and travelling blog, so we want to take our “capture the moment pics”, to the next level. We want that overhead shot that people rave about. Or maybe you just want to see what is on the other side of an obstacle in your path. Do you need the best camera available, 4k and better, or will normal HD do the job for you.
How Much Storage Room Do You Have ?
When you are travelling, size and weight of everything becomes a factor in your decision. We upgraded to a DJI Phantom 3 a few years ago because the huge hexcopter we had used for years was just too big. We now have a DJI Phantom 4A, very similar to the Phantom 3, just a huge step up in image quality for pics and videos. I also like the fact that I can use my tablet to fly it with. I like having a big screen that I can see easily.
What Is Everyone Else Using ?
This is a great way to research, ask others. Just make sure that you are asking the right person. The young guy racing around the local park with goggles on isn’t going to be much help. What are other people in your demographic using. “Word of Mouth” is a great way to find out the Pro’s and Con’s of different things.
CASA’s (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) Regulations
Because you are about to “fly an aircraft”, you become bound by CASA’s regulations for recreational drones (RPA’s). These are spelt out fairly simply, but are often misunderstood. But you do need to know them so check out the information on the CASA website before you start flying.
You can download a copy of CASA’s latest brochure, Flying Your Drone For Fun, to print and carry with you.
So Now You’re More Confused
For us it was a little more simple. I have built, flown and used DJI products for over 7 years, so DJI it is. They really are the absolute leader in the consumer drone market.
As I have said previously, I am a big fan of DJI, so it would take a lot of coercion for me to consider purchasing anything else.
Dji have a range of Mavic’s with one for everyone, from the Mini to the Pro, over a large price range.
Another thing to consider is the controller for your drone. whether you want to attach your own smart device for a screen or pay the extra for a built in screen on the controller. These built in screens are super bright which helps a lot when you are out in the sun. I have used a couple of them and they are fantastic.
When you are considering your purchase, if you have the extra cash, grab the “Fly More Combo” as an upgrade. You will usually end up buying the extras in these combo’s eventually, so it might save you a little in the long run.
I hope that helps a little, please ask any questions and I will endeavour to help you out. Or if you see us somewhere come and have a chat or enquire about learning to fly with us.