Top 5 Hobby & 5 Professional Drones For Grown Ups

Today, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to venture into the depths of drone world seeking for the best drone for adults! Obviously, these drones are not meant for kids (perhaps a few from the hobby lineup below would do fine, I guess) since they are powerful… and, well – expensive! So yeah, I really doubt many of you would let your kids play around with a drone that costs more than $1,000. As a matter of fact, we already have Drones for Kids article so feel free to take a peek if you’re interested in buying a toy for your children.

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hobby grade drones for adults

professional grade drones for adults

Back to the topic! If you scroll below you will find 2 separate lists. That’s because I went ahead and divided them into 2 different segments – drones for hobby use and drones for professionals. While both of these segments offer good learning curves for beginners (in completely different ways though, but more on that later on), the separation still needed to be done. Apart from the learning curve, hobby and professional models don’t have a lot in common… but I’ll let you be the judge of that once you’re done with this article.

For now, let’s start off with the Help Desk that will answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the most popular drones primarily targeted at adults:

Help Desk

I'm an adult but don't have experience with drones. What should I pay attention to?

First of all, there is no need to be ashamed for not having any experience with drones. Realistically speaking, they have gained a lot of popularity very recently and are slowly making their move onto the mainstream market, making themselves accessible to a wider audience. As a matter of fact, that is probably how you ended up here in the first place.

So, what should you pay attention to? Well, for starters, you should know the difference between toy-grade models and mid to high-end ones. Trust me, the difference might seem neglectable at first (at least to a beginner’s eye), but once you start exploring you will realize just how different drones can be.

Mid to high-end drones offer a whole plethora of features as well as superior performance in comparison to their toy-grade counterparts. Needless to say, the price tags imply this too. For instance, the average price of a toy drone is, let’s say, under $100… On the other hand, a mere battery (or a controller) for a high-end drone will set you back for the same amount of money. It’s crazy, huh?

Another thing worth mentioning is the difference between drones for kids and drones for adults…

What are the differences between drones for kids and drones for adults?

Let’s divide the question at hand into 3 categories:

Camera

First things first – the camera! If you are looking to get a drone with great aerial photography capabilities, the camera is, obviously, the primary concern. With that said, don’t expect anything good from children’s drones as they are equipped with either VGA or HD cameras. Instead, you should be targeting mid to high-end market and aim for FHD and 4K cameras with hardware stabilization.

Hardware

In terms of hardware, the difference is significant, to say the least. Drones for kids, in most cases, are equipped with tiny brushed motors which aren’t capable of seriously injuring someone (unless it strikes an eye or someone’s manly parts). Drones for adults… well I’m sure you can guess on your own – are equipped with powerful brushless motors and bigger (also more powerful) batteries allowing them to perform on an entirely different level.

Features

Drones for adults offer a lot of features, most of which are brought to life by GPS. Take Altitude Hold as an example – it stabilizes your drone and lets it hover at a constant height without you doing anything. Obviously, this makes for a beginner-friendly experience and provides a much easier learning curve.

On the other hand, drones for kids offer little to no traits as far as features are concerned. So, even though they can be seen as cheap learning platforms, they’re much more difficult to control than more expensive models. With that said, if you’re a beginner but plan on investing a lot of time (and money) into drones, I strongly suggest going for a fully stabilized model straight away.

5 Best Hobby Drones for Adults :

NameImageCameraTimeRangeBest Price
5. UDI U818 PlusHD15 min150mSee price now
4. MJX Bugs 2WFHD18 min500mSee price now
3. DJI SparkFHD16 min2000mSee price now
2. Parrot Bebop 2FHD25 min2000mSee price now
1. GoPro KarmaGoPro20 min3000mSee price now

 

5. UDI U818 Plus

Starting off with drones suitable for casual users, first in line we have Drocon UDI U818 Plus. The first thing you will notice is that it has a gigantic camera that kind of resembles the size of DJI Phantom 4 Pro’s solution.

However, we are talking about a miniature camera with an oversized casing – a mere gimmick. But, don’t write off this birdie so quickly. Besides the oversized camera, Drocon UDI U818 Plus actually performs surprisingly well. Here’s what you need to know about it:

Camera and Features

We already started talking about the camera so we might as well continue. As I have stated above, we are not talking about a state of the art one… but it doesn’t mean it’s outright shit. You see, Drocon UDI U818 Plus sports a 2MP camera that’s capable of recording 720p videos. There is no stabilization present, but considering the sheer stability of the drone itself (yes, it’s surprisingly stable) the footage has barely noticeable vibrations. At least during calm weather. Features, on the other hand, kick things up a notch. This birdie sports WiFi FPV, altitude hold, and headless mode, among others.

Specifications

As far as the specifications are concerned, Drocon UDI U818 Plus doesn’t fail to deliver. The specifications state the flight time to go all the way up to 15 minutes. That might be the case if the drone is simply hovering at a constant altitude for the entire duration. However, in realistic usage scenarios, you will be getting approximately 12 minutes. Despite lower numbers, this birdie’s flight time is definitely above average for the price it goes for. Operating range is no slack either – you will be getting from 100 to 150 meters. WiFi FPV, unfortunately, goes only to around 50m.

4. MJX Bugs 2W

The 4th place among hobby drones goes to MJX Bugs 2W. For those of you unfamiliar with MJX’s models, Bugs 2W is one of 2 successors to their massively successful Bugs 3. With the addition of a built-in camera and well-appreciated cuts in the weight department, Bugs 2W and 2C seem like they will make quite the name for themselves.

Keep in mind though, we will only be focusing on B2W since it is the superior model. So, without much further adue, let’s kick things off with camera and features!

Camera and Features

MJX Bugs 2W sports a gorgeous design but keeps the bug-like eyes that run the show right above the built-in camera. It is a lot smaller than its predecessor which grants slightly improved performance… but more on that later. For now, I’d like to mention that this tiny built-in camera records in 1080p. The quality is actually quite good, especially considering there is no stabilization onboard. However, the camera is not the brightest point of this build. That’s because features are where MJX Bugs 2W shines the most.

First of all, it needs to be said that this birdie is a GPS-powered drone which means that several supporting are present. They include the likes of one key return, altitude hold, and FPV. To conclude this section – MJX Bugs 2W is one of the cheapest GPS-powered drones available on the market. That plus an FHD camera is what makes it a great training drone for future aerial photographers.

Specifications

But, don’t worry guys – things will not go downhill all of a sudden. In fact, MJX Bugs 2W’s specifications are on point with its features and camera. Take the battery for example – a 2S 1800mAh LiPo proprietary pack effectively delivers 15 to 18 minutes of flight time. Operating range is good too, standing tall at roughly 500 meters. Supposedly even 800, but I haven’t gone that far out yet. WiFi FPV will grant you approximately 200 meters, which is not bad by any means…

3. DJI Spark

DJI SparkThe gold is always hidden right there in the middle… or something like that. Well, however it goes, it’s is definitely true for DJI Spark – a drone that simply breathes quality from the moment you get your hands on it.

This miniature little devil has provoked quite the stir on the market right after its release. Needless to say, it swept the competitors away and brought in huge money to DJI. But, is it really that good or are people just buying a brand name? Let’s take a closer look and find out!

Camera and Features

First, let’s shed some light on the key trait of this little fella – the camera! You’ll notice right away that it is connected to a tiny little gimbal (2-axis gimbal, if we are to be more precise) that ensures optimal image stability. Furthermore, the mechanism itself is a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with 12MPX and 81.9-degree FOV. It records videos in Full HD (no 4K unfortunately) and fully stabilizes them. The quality is unparalleled, but that’s to be expected to come out from DJI’s labs.

Features are exceptional, as usual, I’ll dare to say. With full support to an array of features available through the DJI GO app, DJI Spark can also brag about facial recognition and gesture controls which are bound to amaze you.

Specifications

Last but not least, specifications. Of course, knowing the numbers behind Mavic Pro and Phantom 4 Pro, DJI Spark cannot fail even if it wanted to. And it’s true – this little birdie possesses approximately 15 minutes of airtime which is not bad by any means. Operating range is outstanding though – 2 kilometers if you’re using the dedicated controller from Fly More Combo. All things considered, if you are looking for a tiny but capable drone, DJI Spark is all for you.

2. Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer

Parrot Bebop 2 AdventurerJust recently, Parrot decided to give its Bebop 2 drone some love. It did so by adding several packages such as Parrot Bebop 2 Power and Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer. The latter is our today’s focus.

It basically brings a whole bunch of accessories on top of the standard package… So, with all that being said, let’s cut the introduction short here and head on straight to the main topic!

Camera and Features

Electronic image stabilization in drones went from being the main subject of mockery to a sophisticated imaging solution. The best example is present here – Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer sports an excellent 14MPX camera which squeezes the best out of the integrated 3-axis EIS. Thus, photo and video quality it produces is outright unbelievable and without any glimpses of shakiness.

Features-wise, this birdie sports GPS and features such as follow me and altitude hold. Furthermore, it supports FPV as well. While we’re already talking about FPV, it might be good to add that you’re getting FPV goggles too (or Cockpitglasses, how Parrot likes to call them). On top of that, there is a specialized backpack that fits the drone as well as all of its accessories and allows a travel-friendly experience.

Specifications

Thanks to the proprietary 2700mAh LiPo battery, Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer can easily pass the 20-minute mark. However, the operating range is nowhere near those numbers. As a matter of fact, it’s quite the downside… but luckily, Adventurer package provides you with SkyController 2 which boosts the range all the way up to amazing 2 kilometers.

Gotcha there for a second, didn’t I? Well, considering everything stated here, I suppose it’s pretty clear that we are talking about a great drone within a great package. If you’re an adventurer, perhaps Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer can be the right tool to capture all of your endeavors.

1. GoPro Karma

gopro_karma_webAnd finally, we have reached the best drone in this list. To be honest, it wasn’t that big of a task to place this one at the throne… and after you are done reading the next couple of paragraphs I am 100% sure you will agree with me.

Of course, I am talking about GoPro Karma, a marvelous entrance to the drone market by action-camera giant GoPro. It’s a rather interesting drone, I’ll tell you that… So, without much further adue, let’s take a closer look at GoPro Karma and see why is it getting so much praise lately!

Camera and Features

Obviously, the first thing that we will discuss with GoPro Karma is its camera. Needless to say, it doesn’t sport a built-in model but instead opts for its flagship action camera models. More precisely, GoPro Karma works with 3 latest models – Hero 4, 5 and 6. Keep in mind though, you will need a special harness in order to mount Hero 4. As far as mounting goes, this birdie sports a 3-axis gimbal with pinpoint accuracy. It does a great job of battling shakiness, leaving you with buttery smooth footage every time.

In terms of features, GoPro Karma is equipped with GPS and several smart flying modes for ultimate aerial shots. These include dronies, cable cam, orbiting and reveal (dramatic video effect).

Specifications

Specifications-wise, GoPro Karma enjoys approximately 20 minutes of flight time. Not bad considering it’s carrying a gimbal/camera combo which weighs quite a lot. But, thanks to the proprietary 5100mAh 4S LiPo battery, things are looking good as far as flight time goes. Operating range is no pushover either – GoPro Karma can reach up to 3 kilometers which makes it quite the explorer.

5 Best Professional Drones for Adults :

NameImageCameraTimeRangeBest Price
5. DJI Phantom 3 Pro[email protected]22 min2 kmSee price now
4. Autel X-Starautel-robotics-x-star-premium[email protected]25 min2 kmSee price now
3. Yuneec Typhoon H[email protected]25 min1.5 kmSee price now
2. DJI Mavic Pro[email protected]26 min7 kmSee price now
1. DJI Phantom 4 Pro[email protected]27 min7 kmSee price now

 

5. DJI Phantom 3 Pro

dji-phantom-3-professionalEven though this birdie is not from DJI’s newest lineup of drones, it still deserves a lot of respect since it was, by far, the most popular model in its time. With a tremendously powerful camera and pinpoint accurate smart features, there weren’t many models like it.

Today though, the story is a bit different… but it does not take away any charm from this old and rusty champ!

Camera and Features

Starting off with the features, DJI Phantom 3 Pro delivers a great deal for both beginners and more advanced users in mind. With that being said, it obviously has a GPS module as well as supporting functionalities including safety mechanisms (failsafe auto return). On top of that, DJI Phantom 3 Pro also provides you with detailed telemetry data )and flight logs, both of which are equally important for the safety of your flights. Intelligent flight modes are present too and they include course lock, home lock, point of interest, follow me and much more.

Regarding the camera, DJI Phantom 3 Pro comes with a 12MPX f/2.8 sensor with a 94-degree field of view. It is capable of recording videos in 4K resolution at steady 30fps. Lower that down to 1080p and you will be enjoying buttery smooth 60fps.

Specifications

As far as specifications are concerned, there is nothing to worry about since this birdie doesn’t fall too far off the newest DJI flagships. With that said, operating range goes to approximately 5 kilometers which is roughly 2 kilometers short from that of its successor – DJI Phantom 4 Pro. Battery duration hovers around 20 to 23 minutes, depending on how you’re using it. All in all, I’m sure many of you will agree with me when I say that DJI Phantom 3 Pro has indeed aged well and is still on point with the majority of higher end drone market.

4. Autel Robotics X-Star Premium

autel-robotics-x-star-premium4th spot on this list goes to Autel Robotics X-Star Premium, a drone with an exceptional performance but underwhelming popularity. It’s highly underrated too. As a matter of fact, I consider it to be somewhat of a direct competitor to DJI Phantom 3 Pro thanks to its marvelous camera and flight stability.

But, other than that, what else is so special about this model that it’s placed above DJI P3Pro? Well, here are a few aspects that are bound to shed some light on that:

Camera and Features

Camera-wise, this birdie sports a 3-axis gimbal stabilization system combined with a 12MPX camera. Just like DJI P3Pro, this one is also able to record 4K videos at 30fps… but takes things up a notch and record 2.7K at 60fps. Driven by those numbers, it’s only logical to see double the frames in FHD (120fps) and again in 720p (240fps). So, if you plan on shooting in mere 720p resolution, Autel Robotics X-Star Premium can provide you with pleasant slow-motion footage time and time again.

Once you take a closer look at its features, you will realize that safety is the obvious priority for Autel Robotics. With safety mechanisms such as magnetic interference protection, auto return to home and sophisticated StarLink app, you can rest assured your huge investment won’t fall from the sky that easily.

Specifications

Lastly – specifications. Autel Robotics X-Star Premium isn’t really on point with DJI P3Pro in terms of range… but I suppose it’s not that surprising considering DJI implements their OcuSync technology in virtually every flagship model. Still, X-Star Premium offers up to 2 kilometers of worry-free flying. Combine that with 23 to 25 minutes of flight time (slightly more than DJI P3Pro) and you will understand why it has been placed at the 4th spot.

3. Yuneec Typhoon H

yuneec-typhoon-h_webYuneec Typhoon H is the only hexacopter in both of these lists. With 6 powerful brushless motors and an extremely sturdy frame combined with a top-flight camera and unparalleled performance, there is no doubt Yuneec made one hell of a good job with this one.

It only falls short to 2 DJI models which are, truth be told, in a rank of their own. But, let’s give Yuneec Typhoon H the benefit of the doubt since it’s mostly aimed at commercial users who require a professional aerial photography platform in every sense of that word. So, how good is this bestial drone in that department? Let’s see…

Features

I would like to start our journey off with the features. Why? Well, they’re just so freaking awesome that I can’t wait to tell you all about them. You see, Yuneec Typhoon H comes with Intel RealSense technology (well, if you’re going to buy Yuneec Typhoon H I warmly suggest you go for the RealSense version since it’s far superior to the standard one) which is basically an obstacle avoidance system… on rock hard steroids. It works wonders in terms of detecting and avoiding potential threats, doing a better job than all other obstacle avoidance systems on the market.

But that’s not all – in addition to a whole plethora of smart flying features, there’s one that sticks out – 5 rotor failsafe. In case one of the motors dies mid-flight, Yuneec Typhoon H will be able to land safely without causing any damage to other parts.

Specifications and Camera

As far as the camera is concerned, we are talking about the popular CGO3 camera which does wonders in terms of aerial photography. It sports a 12MPX sensor that captures [email protected] and [email protected] videos. Additionally, it also provides its users with a video downlink in 720 that works up to 1.5 kilometers. Of course, 3-axis gimbal is in the picture too, making sure there’s no jello effect in your footage.

And finally, specifications… This drone does not fail to deliver thanks to its 4S 5400mAh LiPo battery that’s able to provide approximately 25 minutes of airtime. The range is not half bad either – you will be looking at 1 to 1.5 kilometers depending on the area you’re flying in. So, with everything that’s been stated above taken into account, there really is no doubt about the sheer quality of Yuneec Typhoon H.

It offers marvelous aerial photography capabilities as well as the ability to carry full sized imaging systems onboard. That, combined with exceptional performance, is what makes it rank so high on the market.

2. DJI Mavic Pro

dji mavic best foldable surveillanceSlowly but surely, we are approaching the best 2 professional-oriented drones for adults. As I have already mentioned above, top 2 spots are reserved for DJI drones, both of which are outright amazing in their own right.

The first one on the line is DJI Mavic Pro, a rather combat drone that agrees to no compromises as far as the performance is concerned. So, if you are looking for the ultimate performance but in a portable package, then DJI Mavic Pro should be your number one choice.

Camera and Features

DJI Mavic Pro comes with a tiny 12MPX camera that’s mounted on a dedicated (and apparently the world’s smallest) 3-axis gimbal. The level of tech on display here is absolutely amazing. Considering that, it is no wonder this birdie can record aerial footage in crisp 4K resolution at 30fps. Furthermore, it’s also important to add that it has max 8 seconds of exposure and is capable of capturing in Adobe DNG RAW format. For advanced users, this enables easier image post-processing which is one of the key selling points of DJI Mavic Pro.

Features-wise, DJI GO app brings a wide variety of smart flight modes as well as an intuitive user interface. There are also obstacle avoidance sensors and facial recognition software onboard too. Gesture control works like a charm and allows you to control Mavic Pro with the flick of your wrists.

Specifications

Let’s get one thing out of the way before taking a closer look at the specifications – THEY WILL AMAZE YOU! Considering the fact DJI Mavic Pro is a fully foldable drone that can easily fit into your backpack (which is obviously not the case with full-sized models) it is amazing to see that it has no performance downsides. Operating ranger stands extremely long at 7 kilometers which is not surprising considering it relies on OcuSync technology.

Airtime, however, goes from 25 to 27 minutes which is, to put it simply – BREATHTAKING! So yeah, as I have already exclaimed above – if you are looking for a sophisticated aerial photography platform but can’t be bothered with carrying an extra case wherever you go, DJI Mavic Pro is the answer. It’s sleek, compact… and best of all – provides performance worthy of full-sides drones.

1. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

dji-phantom-4-pro-plusFinally, we have reached the best drone for adults that is currently available on the market. As if there was any question on which drone would take the top spot – it is, of course, DJI Phantom 4 Pro.

A mainstream drone that is accepted by both beginners and advanced users due to its ease of use and comprehensive settings that make up for professional-grade results. However, the price justifies its performance… but if you end up buying this gorgeous-looking drone, you can rest assured your money was well spent. Here’s why…

Camera and Features

DJI Phantom 4 Pro has received a massive upgrade in terms of the camera. Now, it sports a magnificent 1-inch CMOS sensor with 20MPX and a fully fledged mechanical shutter that will do you a world of good for sure. Needless to say, it is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal for optimal image stability no matter the ongoing weather conditions.

In terms of features, I believe most of you can already guess that this birdie has them all. ActiveTrack, TapFly, GPS and a whole bunch of smart flight modes that take the word autonomous to a whole another level. Perhaps I should also mention 5-directional obstacle sensing which takes collision avoidance to the extreme. Flight stability is unbelievable too, but I suppose DJI already got us used to that with pretty much all previous models.

Specifications

In terms of specifications, DJI Phantom 4 Pro and DJI Mavic Pro essentially share (roughly) the same numbers. Operating range is capped at 7 kilometers due to OcuSync technology. On the other hand, flight times are a bit shorter than what you’d expect on DJI Mavic Pro… but that still depends on weather conditions and usage type. In most cases, you will be getting anywhere from 25 to 27 minutes.

Drones For Adults Help Desk

Which drone for adults has the longest flight time?

Hobby

Out of these 5 drones, Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer has the best flight time thanks to a powerful 3S battery and lightweight design. In normal usage and while recording in 4K, this drone is still good for 20 to 25 minutes which is not to be taken for granted. The runner-up is GoPro Karma that can fly for approximately 20 minutes thanks to its 5100mAh 4S LiPo battery. So, if your primary goal is to have long flight times with your hobby drones, then picking one of these 2 will surely do the trick.

Professional

Picking the longest flying drone out of the professional list can get a bit tricky since all 5 models brag about having 25 to 27 minutes of airtime. However, it needs to be said that DJI Mavic Pro probably does it better than all others due to a lightweight design which makes a huge difference. If you are looking for more precise numbers, it can fly for up to 27 minutes. However, in realistic usage scenarios (with cca 10% battery left at landing) you can get around 25 minutes of pure flight.

Which drone for adults has the best operating range?

Hobby

For hobbyists wanting the best exploration drone from the ones featured above, I strongly recommend going for GoPro Karma. Not only does it have brilliant camera options (Hero 5 and Hero 6) but it’s also pretty good when it comes to operating range. If you want a more precise approach to the matter – GoPro Karma can reach amazing 3 kilometers and advertises that on all bells. Slap an FPV system onboard and you can explore a huge area around you for roughly 20 minutes per session.

Professional

As far as professional models are concerned, going with DJI seems like a no-brainer since their models sweep the floor with the competition. In other words, any of the drones from DJI’s newest lineup does the trick for you since they are all equipped with OcuSync technology. By effectively scanning (throughout the flight) for the best bands to work with, this technology allows an unparalleled range of up to 7 kilometers on the 2 first-placed drones.

Which drone for adults has the best camera?

Hobby

For people looking to get their hands on a drone from the hobby list above, I’m happy to announce a magnificent drone. Of course, just by taking a peek at the list everything becomes clear instantaneously. Of course, I am referring to GoPro Karma. Thanks to its 3-axis gimbal this drone not only supports GoPro Hero 5 Black but GoPro Hero 6 as well. No doubt about it – if you’re looking for top-flight aerial photography, it doesn’t get any better than GoPro Karma at the moment!

Professional

Obviously, the winner among these 5 drones is DJI Phantom 4 Pro. As if there was any question about that. For those of you unfamiliar with the matter at hand, DJI Phantom 4 Pro comes equipped with an upgraded 20MPX camera. More precisely, we are talking about a 1-inch CMOS sensor that delivers unparalleled aerial footage. Needless to say, this monstrous camera is mounted on a specialized 3-axis gimbal that ensures optimal image stability and full control over the camera’s focus.

 

Can I fly FPV with any of these drones?

If you are looking for FPV flying, I’m happy to tell you that each and every single one of the drones listed above support FPV flight. Of course, some to it better than the others due to different technologies in play:

5.8G FPV

Mostly used for professional FPV racing as it delivers a smooth experience with no noticeable input lag. Unfortunately, it is not that common with mainstream drones. However, it’s easy to set it up on virtually any drone – simply buy a cheap set of 5.8G FPV goggles and an all in one FPV system (such as Eachine TX02) and you are good to go.

WiFi FPV

This type of FPV covers the majority of mainstream drone market. It is characterized by great video quality (HD and even Full HD on some models) but suffers from relatively short operating range. On the bright side, FPV range varies greatly from model to model so you might want to check the specifications of your potential purchase just to be sure.

Which of these drones offers the best out of the box VR experience?

Hobby

As far as hobby drones are concerned, only one of them provides a true out of the box VR experience. Some support it but require you to purchase FPV goggles separately. The mode that actually delivers real VR straight out of the box is none other than Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer. Yes! In addition to the marvelous SkyController 2 which boosts the range of this little birdie up to 2 kilometers, the Adventurer package brings Cockpitglasses as well as a specialized backpack that will has just enough space to fit all accessories inside.

Professional

Unfortunately, the standard packages of those 5 drones above don’t offer any sort of VR experience. Still, it doesn’t mean neither of them supports it. On the contrary – with the help of DJI Goggles, picking any of their models from the list above will provide you with an excellent VR experience unlike any other. Take DJI Phantom 4 Pro as the perfect example. Pair it up with DJI Goggles (make sure all firmware is up to date) and you will be able to enjoy a plethora of features including Head Tracking Flight and Head Tracking Gimbal.

Is gimbal a must for decent aerial videos?

Well, honestly I would be lying if I told you that gimbals are an absolute must. For casual aerial videos, a decent EIS (electronic image stabilization) software is able to produce more than decent video quality. The shakiness is going to be removed but you will most likely be forced to record at a lower resolution than the native one of your drone’s camera. In other words, if your camera sports a 4K EIS sensor, you will have to record in FHD if you want all the glorious benefits of EIS.

However, if you are looking for a professional or semi-professional aerial imaging output (perhaps for commercial use), then I am afraid you will have to dash out extra money for a proper 3-axis gimbal. Needless to say, a hardware stabilization system (AKA a gimbal) will allow you to control the camera’s focus mid-flight while at the same time effectively reducing all shakiness and vibration. The result – buttery smooth image quality with pinpoint accuracy on the desired subject.

 

Tips for first-time flyers

Note – these tips are mainly targeted at first-time flyers who opt for the cheapest (read toy grade) drones available. As I have stated above, these cheap drones don’t come with GPS or sophisticated ultrasonic sensor that ensure their stability without the user’s direct input. In layman’s terms, they’re a lot more difficult to control which might (and probably will) result in a couple of crashes… until you get comfortable flying an actual drone, of course.

So, with all that in mind, here’s what I have in store for you:

 

5. Read the manual

Read the manual

If you have never touched a drone in your life then I strongly suggest you inspect the manual in a thorough manner. In most cases, drone manuals will tell you a lot of the basics about your particular drone. Needless to say, they are of the utmost importance to everyone and even more so for first-time users. This info includes the basic characteristics of your drone as well as the control button layout. The latter is really important (I cannot stress this enough) so you might want to memorize it or even make cheat sheets and stick them to the controller until you get used to them.

 

4. Pay attention to charging times

LiPo ChargingLiPo ChargingHave you ever used LiPo batteries before? Have you heard they can be dangerous and explode if overcharged? Look, I’m not trying to scare you or anything like that, I just want to prevent a terrible accident happening. So, with that being said, I strongly advise you learn the charging time of your drone’s LiPo battery. Even though high-end models come with intelligent batteries which stop charging once they’re full, it’s still good practice to know the exact charge time and keep one eye out on the battery while it’s charging. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

 

3. Take it easy on the transmitter

No Full Throttle

Now some tips related to actually flying a drone. First off, I reckon most of you will do the good old full throttle mistake – You will turn your drone on and arm the motors… and follow up with a massive push on the throttle stick. This will result in your drone punching out into the air at high speeds and will give you a headache at the very start. That’s why I strongly recommend going very easy on the transmitter at least for the first couple of flying sessions (and I don’t mean only during the takeoff but the entire flight as well). Staying in lower speed modes helps too…

 

2. Practice S-curves

S-Curve Practice

Once you’ve gotten accustomed to the throttle ratio of your drone, you might want to try flying your drone in curves. More precisely, I suggest you fly it in S-curve patterns which will do you a ton of good in terms of improving your muscle memory for controlling the drone. Kind of like when you practice changing gears on a car… kind of. One thing is for sure though, you will learn the basics of controlling your drone’s rotation in real time which is the biggest problem for first time flyers. Keep in mind though, it might feel tricky at first but don’t give up… and for crying out loud don’t go into that damn headless mode. I am strongly against it since it will ruin your learning curve and the adaptability to standard controls. In other words, you will have a hard time learning the proper controls and waste precious time handling your drone in headless mode. Trust me, avoid it simply because you are better off without it.

 

1. Keep trying

Practice Makes PerfectAnd finally… the key is in not giving up and keeping a positive spirit despite everything that might happen. Do not be discouraged if you happen to crash a lot during your first few flight sessions. It is normal – we’ve all been through that… or should I just speak for myself’ here? Anyway, what I am basically trying to say here is that crashes happen… broken parts too. But it is really nothing to worry about… In order to easily fix the mess at hands, simply stock up on spare parts and determination. Believe it or not, those 2 are the only 2 weapons you’ll need to successfully learn flying drones.

 

Conclusion

I guess I should say a couple of concluding words at the end of all these drones and supporting information. But, if you’ve expected something smart in the end… something game-changing… I’m afraid you’ll be left disappointed. You see, everything that’s needed explaining was already explained above. That’s why I’ll have to cut this article here by saying thank you for reading this article. I sincerely hope I delivered useful insight and helped you with making your decision… at least to some extent.

Until next time – happy flying!

DronesGlobe

 

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