A lot of people have opened their eyes to drones and the opportunities and perspectives they can give your photography.
However, there are some question marks that may appear on the road with you who will be buying their drone for the first time. In addition, there are some rules that you should adhere to, both for your and others’ safety. In this post, you will get help choosing your drone for your needs but also tips on what to think about on your first flight.
Which drone should you choose?
Before investing in a drone, it’s smart to think a little about what you want to use it for. This is a big difference from one drone to another. The most expensive is not always the best to meet your particular needs. You can roughly divide drones into four categories:
- toy Drone
- FPV- / racing drones
- Photo & video drones
- Drones for industrial applications
A toy drone is a small drone that can be used indoors, it often has no camera at all or one that has lower quality. Small toy drones can be a good introduction for those who are beginners to drone flying. You will learn how to take control and navigate the drone and gain an understanding of how it works. Therefore, it may be a good idea to invest in the little toy drone for a under hundred euros to learn basic control.
FPV / racing drones
The racing drone can reach higher speeds, withstand faster maneuvers and fly through smaller openings. These are fun to fly but require more skills from the pilot. The racing drone’s camera is fixed to give the pilot a more realistic view of the drone’s movements. To keep the weight down, the camera is usually very small which gives the image and video a lower resolution.
Photo and video drones
Film and photo drones are designed to be stable in the air and make soft as well as slow movements. The GPS receiver and altimeter make sure the drone stays where it is if you let go of control – and since you as a pilot often focus mostly on composing the image, the drone’s sensors help you avoid flying into things.
The characteristics of a drone
Which drone is right for you is a compromise between the qualities that are most important to you. You need to consider which traits are most necessary and which ones you would like to forgo. For some, size means more than performance, for others, image quality means everything. Here are a number of features that may have an impact on your drone selection.
Size and mobility
The main advantage of an ultra-compact drone is that it can always be included as it can be included in the camera bag. Large drones require a lot of space and often have a lot of equipment to carry, while some of the small ones fit into a larger pocket. Small size often means less power, lower flight time and weaker wind resistance. In contrast, the smaller drones with a low center of gravity have the advantage of take-off and landing in heavy winds due to their low center of gravity.
Camera and sensor
Most photo and video drones on the market have the camera mounted in a 3-axis gimbal that stabilizes the image. But the cameras differ greatly in different models.
The smallest drones usually have a camera with 1 / 2.3 “sensor, while the larger ones have a 1” or Micro 4/3 sensor. A larger sensor gives a cleaner image and less noise in the dark. Even larger drones often have system cameras or video cameras that can be mounted directly on the drone.
Distance and speed
Are you planning to follow a sports car with your drone? Or will you just make silent flights at sunset? Small drones usually have a maximum speed between 30 and 50 km / h, while larger drones reach speeds above 90 km / h.
There is also a big difference in how far you can fly with your drone. Drones that use WiFi as a connection between the drone and the controller often have problems at about a hundred meters away, while the top models can reach several kilometers away.
Flight time is, contrary to what you may think, one of the parameters that does not differentiate drones as much. The bigger and heavier a drone is, the more energy it requires, so even though it has larger batteries, it does not have much longer flying time. Most drones in the market, therefore, have a flight time of between twenty and thirty minutes before having to change the battery. Many people, therefore, prefer to have extra batteries to fly longer.
Many modern drones have different intelligent flight features that can help you as a photographer and filmmaker. For example, you can ask the drone to follow a subject, automatically run in a circle, or always hold it in the center of the image while controlling the drone’s movements.
These drones also often have anti-collision sensors that prevent the drone from flying into walls, branches or other obstacles, so you can focus on getting good pictures.
Before you send your new drone up in the air, it’s good to have all things in place.
Drone rules and regulations
Whether you are flying for fun or have it in your profession, you need to know what it is that applies to fly drones. In general, you need permission to fly your drone when it goes out of sight when you can’t see it with your own eyes in many countries.
Drone pilots have a number of rules to follow and it is always your responsibility as a pilot to know the latest rules and follow them. The rules differ a lot in different countries.
Where do you fly?
As a private person you are allowed to fly in urban areas and over major roads, but there are a number of areas where for various reasons it is not allowed to fly. These can be airports, military areas or particularly sensitive nature areas.
You must always check the map before you fly, as control zones can be temporary – so even if you know an area it may be forbidden to fly there for a limited time so it is good if you keep up to date with the latest rules. Here you can see a good map of where you can fly and not!
Update your drone!
Before you start using your photography drone, it is a good idea to check if apps and firmware need updated. Both the controller, drones, and batteries have a built-in software that needs to be updated to the latest version before you fly – and it’s really annoying to have to spend an hour on it when you’re out in the woods at sunrise. Remove the drone’s wings, turn on your controller and drone, and follow the on-screen instructions. If you have multiple batteries, remember to turn on the drone with each one so you know everyone has the latest software.