The use of drone cameras for taking family pictures during events is fast becoming a popular trend. Journalists, travel bloggers and filmmakers are also at the forefront of using camera drones to achieve high-quality aerial photo shoots and videos.
A drone is simply a flying machine that can perform a range of functions. A camera drone can help take aerial photographs and videos with good precision and quality. It eliminates the need for carrying a camera manually when taking the shot from heights.
Whether you are new to using drones or you want to upgrade to a new type of drone camera, it is important to note the following factors discussed below. This will help you make a well-informed choice as you buy a drone camera that suits your needs.
An important factor to consider before buying a drone camera is your state’s legislation on the use of drones. Although the judge is still out on whether the use of personal purposes should be permitted or not. In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulation prohibits people from using drones within a five-mile radius from airports. This is very important in order to avoid interfering with Air Traffic Control efforts and staying clear of attendant legal issues that may arise should flying one’s drone lead to a mishap.
Also, your state laws could require that you register your drone. The FAA regards drones as Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). All drones weighing above 0.55 pounds and below 55 pounds are required to be registered. You can register your drone for as low as $5. You get a registration number after you have completed the registration process. This number must be indicated on your drone. Once acquired, your registration number is valid for three years.
Pay attention to legal issues regarding the use of drones in your area. You can save yourself from being fined by authorities or other legal threats.
Another major point to consider before buying a camera drone is your level of expertise with flying drones. It isn’t every drone that is advertised as being easy to fly that a newbie can handle. What is the point of buying a $500 device and you can’t use it all because you find it so hard to operate? If you are a newbie to flying drones, you can search online for low-cost and newbie-friendly drones to acquire drone pilot skills. You get to sharpen your pilot skills with practice and the experience you gain from using different models and brands of camera drones.
What major purpose do you want your drone to serve? Are you using it just to take a few aerial pictures of yourself and your surroundings so you can share on social media? Or you are a professional videographer who wants high-quality aerial coverage for your new movie? Your answers to the questions on purpose for use will determine what type of camera drone you need to buy. The purpose for use will dictate the features that you should look out for before investing in any camera drone product that comes your way. Generally, professional camera drones come with advanced features designed for professional video and photography needs. Hence, they tend to be more expensive ( from $1,000 and above) than regular drone camera for drone enthusiasts.
Having identified the purpose you want your drone to serve, you look out for products with specifications that match your purpose. You can join an online forum for drone enthusiasts to get near accurate users review of camera drones that you fancy. You may also visit technology fests and competitions, which you can read about in the blog max-polyakov.technology.
If you are a newbie, you need to understand certain drone terminologies before you purchase a drone. Here are some important terms you should understand.
RTF (Ready to fly): This simply means the device comes with the basic components needed to function. However, you may need to assemble the parts yourself. For example, you may have to charge the battery, tether the remote to the device, and so on.
ARF (Almost ready to fly): This means the drone kit you are about to purchase does not have all the basic components needed to fly. For instance, some kits may come without controller (remote) or receiver. This means you have to purchase whatever is missing separately before you can use the device.
BNF (Bind to fly): BNF drones have already been coupled. However, they don’t usually come with remotes or controllers. You may need to purchase a controller or install certain software on your mobile phone to control the drone.
FPV (First-person view): This refers to the ability of a camera drone to relay live video feeds to drone users’ mobile phone or computer screen. It simply means seeing on screen what your camera drone is capturing live.
Charge time: This is the time it takes for the device battery to be fully charged. It is around one hour for many products.
Flight time: This indicates how long a fully charged camera drone battery can last during operation. It has been observed that many companies hype their flight time. Also, adding extra weight to your drone tends to reduce flight time. Propellers tend to consume more energy when you mount a heavy camera to your drone or some other accessories.
Due to the wide variety of device options and marketing hype that has dominated the drone market, previous users’ personal experience remains the better alternative if you want to decide on which product suits your needs.
Nothing bores the drone enthusiast as the wide range of drone options which are available for different prices. Once you have determined the features you cherish, you can surf online for a list of eligible products. You can then compare the price of each against the array of your chosen features.
You may also want to consider how your drone camera can adapt should your needs change over time. For example, if you decide to start a travel blog, you may need to get a new camera drone different from the one you use for taking personal or family photos. ARF drones tend to offer users quite a number of options that can be utilized as users’ need to change.
Considering how long a drone can last is also an important deciding factor. Consider the material that the device is made of. Are there crash-proof attachments on the device? What are other users saying about the devices’ quality and lifespan?
Buying a drone requires a firm grasp of features and other criteria that we have outlined above. When it comes to buying drone cameras, we have observed that they tend to be cheaper during holidays and festive periods like Christmas. Targeting these periods can help you save a couple of dollars.
Are you using a camera drone presently? Kindly share your experience with your drone, and we will be glad to let you have your say.
Fred Cohen has been a professional drone camera tester on Youtube for more than 4 years.
He does drone camera comparisons there, tests out their top speeds and quality and gives general info about them. Fred also travels around the world and films breathtaking videos with the help of drone cameras.