What are the factors to consider when Buying a Drone?
When was the first time you flew a drone? How did it feel ? When was the first time you had a drone of your own? Yes! Your own fly property? Ooh! You’re yet to get one. I mean that’s why you are searching for this information online (Winks)
You’re not alone on this quest. I’m Matt from Trend Parlour and this piece is about some things to consider while buying a drone.
Table of Contents
What is a Drone?
A drone is simply an unmanned aircraft. Also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aircraft systems, these devices fly and have broad uses. Drones can be controlled remotely or flown autonomously using software-guided systems. From personal use to photography/videography, drone technology is evolving at a fast pace.
These days drones are used in surveillance, traffic and weather monitoring, agriculture, delivery of goods, data collection, and even fire fighting. And Yes! You read it! Fire Fighting! Say you want to get a drone for personal use, what are the things you need to know before buying one?
What are the Parts of a Drone?
Drones vary. Some have more parts than others. The parts of the drone include The rotors, the drone frame, sensors (anticollision), battery, flight controller, speed controllers, cameras and electronic speed controllers and antennas.
What are the Things to consider while buying a drone?
Why do you want to own a drone? For work? For leisure? Do you want to start a drone museum? This question is key. Follow up question is “What do you intend to use your drone for?” For professional aerial photography? Are you getting a drone to improve your manoeuvrability skills for the next drone league season? Some uses may also mean more certifications and special conditions for flight. Knowing what you intend to do with a drone can help you in making the right selections.
Type of Drone
Do you need a rotor drone (quadcopter drone (which has 4 main rotors) or a helicopter drone (2 main blades))? Do you need a drone with cameras or a non-camera drone? Some drones have inbuilt cameras while others have stations for attaching real cameras. Understanding the type of drone you want is very key.
Most drones for personal use are made from either of these materials: ABS Plastic, Fibreglass, or Carbon. Drones made from Fibreglass and Carbon are more durable than drones made from ABS Plastic. In the case of crashes, fibreglass and carbon drones often fare better. This factor is one of many reasons for the cost of drones. Durable materials cost more.
Camera Abilities and Sensors
Let’s say you’re considering a camera drone, the next thing you want to know is the quality of the camera. How clear are the photos taken? Are the images basic or are they advanced? Some come in 1080p Full HD while others offer ultra-sharp 2.7K or even 4K resolutions. Always ask questions about the shutter speed, frame rate, aperture, and image stabilization of the drone (especially for drones you intend to use for aerial photography)
Some basic drones don’t have obstacle sensors. Others have such. It is advisable to check these before buying a drone.
Availability of Drone Parts/ Repairs:
Let’s be honest, there are a ton of drone brands on the market today. Many brands have drone parts that are readily available while others have scarce parts. Collisions and flight incidents can damage your drone. This is common. So the question arises, “What do you do to a damaged part?” Replace them! Always go for drones with durable parts. Trust me, you don’t want to forgo your mortgage for a damaged drone part.
For beginners, it is advised you go for drones with available parts for replacement. I mean some parts and dimensions are brand specific. Remember, Having parts for replacements is as important as having the drone.
Batteries are fast becoming a major factor that consumers consider while buying a drone. Most drones today use Lithium-ion batteries. These are light and last.
It is common to see brands market their drones as offering the user x and y amount of flight time. I mean, who won’t love to fly his/her drone more? The longer the battery life of the drone between charge/battery replacements, the longer the flight time. Most entry-level drones have a flight time of about 6 to 9 minutes, mid-ranged drones last 11 to 14 minutes and high-end drones last beyond that. Always compare the battery capacity of drones before you buy.
Drones are generally grouped into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels on the basis of expertise required for controls. Many newbies start off with drones in the beginner or intermediate category before going pro. Practice they say makes perfect.
Price Tag/ Cost of Drone
Depending on where you are in the world, the price of items is a vital aspect of the purchase decision. Some models have prices that cover equipment, and extra parts. Others have prices that reflect their brands. No matter your tax bracket, there is always a drone for you. your own package. Size and speed are also important to consider, especially if children will be around the drone.
How much should you pay for a drone?
Well, the answer is not straightforward as location and a host of other factors influence a lot. The average cost of drones ranges from $50 and $10,000. A beginner toy drone costs $25-$90, while an entry-level camera drone may cost $300-$500. A mid-level consumer drone/ intermediate level drone normally goes for $500-$1,000.
Again this is not set in stone as brands get to decide their prices. The cost for parts for replacements ranges from $4 to $100 for propellers, $20 to $60 for electronic speed controllers, $50 to $500 for the transmitter/receiver, $4 to $25 for batteries or even $10 to $120 for motors.
Flight Distance and Range of Control:
Different drones have different flight altitudes. Some are more stable during a flight than others. This is important to consider especially when you are choosing a leisure camera drone. For individuals considering a racing drone, the speed and response to control are crucial.
The drone space is indeed a huge one. To outsiders, it’s ambiguous. To drone enthusiasts, it’s all about the basics. Here is a recap of things to consider while buying a drone: Use, Type of Drone, Material Build, Camera abilities and sensors, Availability of Drone Parts/ Repairs, Drone batteries, Expertise Required for control, Price Tag, Flight Distance and Range of Control. Now you know questions to ask when looking for a drone
Catch you on the next one.