By now, you have definitely noticed how popular drones have become and how more and more models are showing up on the market every month. There are models virtually for everyone’s pocket, from the cheap $15 ones, to those that go up to as much as $4000 and higher. But, how do you know which model is the right one for you? How can you be sure that the cheap ones will offer all the features you are looking for? Easy, they don’t!
Sure, you will be able to fly them around the house or in your back yard, but that is pretty much all you can do with them. You can forget about flight times of some 25 minutes, control distance further than some 50 meters or even shorter, and you can definitely forget about HD videos, quality images, and those fancy modes that allow you to focus just on the camera while the drone does all the work itself. Cheap drones are great for learning, but in less than a few weeks you will outgrow them and start wishing you had a serious machine.
Still not convinced that high-end drones are a better investment than cheaper models? Here are 5 reasons that will definitely change your mind:
4K Videos and High Resolution Images
As we stated above, cheap drones don’t come with high-quality cameras (if they come with a camera at all). Sure, on the box it says “HD Camera” but that is never the case.
If you want a drone to shoot breathtaking videos from above, or create stunning pictures of landscapes from a completely new perspective, then you need to think big and by big, we mean a drone with HD camera, a real HD camera that is capable of shooting at least 1080p videos. Okay, you will have to cash out a relatively serious amount of money, but after you take a look at your first aerial video or the images you’ve taken from your first flight, you will forget all about the cash.
High-end drones like the Phantoms (3 and 4), or the newer models like Mavic and Spark, come with great cameras that are capable of shooting in 4K resolution. Your family vacation videos will go to a much higher level and with some post production, your YouTube channel will create buzz! Also, all high-end drones come with a 3-axis gimbal, which a $50 model can only dream of, to provide smooth and stable videos without a hint of the infamous jello effect.
It is probably needless to say that a 16MP camera will deliver much better photos than 2MP one, and that these pictures will look great and crystal clear even if you decide to print them out and frame them.
Much Better Range
As you might have guessed, and $500 drone will have a much longer range than $50 one. Let’s take the Syma X5C-1 for example, as it fits that price range. The best you will get from that model is some 50-60 meters. Don’t get us wrong, if you are a complete newbie at drone flying, in the beginning, you don’t even need to go further than that as you can easily lose orientation and end up hitting a tree or, even worse, someone.
But, you will pretty soon get much better and more used to drone flying, and you will want to go further, and possibly fly in First Person View and not in the Line of Sight anymore. This is the point where your cheaper drone becomes boring to you and starts collecting dust on a shelf in the garage.
So, what is there to do? Simple, buy a high-end drone that is capable of flying up to 7 Km from you. Yes, you read it right, 7Km! Of course, you can forget about flying in the Line of Sight, but don’t worry, you will pretty soon get used to piloting your drone by just looking at the screen or using FPV goggles, and if anything unpredictable happens (going out of range, losing the signal, losing control), the drone will always come back to it’s home point on its own.
This one is simple, the cheaper the model, the less flight time you can expect. The same pretty much implies in the case of high-end models. But, you can’t expect flight times of an hour or so. Most high-end drones can stay in the air for some 20 to 25 minutes, which is much better than 5 to 7 minutes, right?
If you are looking for a drone to fly it in FPV freestyle, than these flight times will be more than enough. On the other hand, if you want to do aerial filming and photography, even though 25 minutes will be quite enough, you will probably need some spare batteries waiting on the ground as getting that perfect shoot and finding the ideal angle can sometimes take some time.
Some 4 or 5 years ago, drones were only capable of flying and reacting to your control inputs. Luckily for us, with the evolution of technology, drones became smarter and more autonomous. Okay, not autonomous like in the Terminator movies, but they can now pretty much do all the flying on their own while you can simply sit back and enjoy the view, or focus on the camera movement to get that perfect shot. Today’s high-end drones come with some pretty cool features like Height Control, where an air pressure sensor keeps them on the same height until you decide to change it. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to features actually. You can expect a bunch of useful modes like Follow Me, where the drone follows you around and makes videos while you, for example, ride your bike downhill or ski down a mountain. Another great feature is the “Orbit” mode, where you choose a point of interest (a landmark, a moving object, or anything else you want) and the drone flies around it with the camera facing the chosen object or subject. There are many more useful features that you can only expect if you consider getting a high-end drone, and as the technology evolves, who knows what the drones will be capable of doing in some 3 or 4 years from now.
You Can Even Earn Money
High-end drones are really interesting to use, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just flying it around and making great family vacation videos. The truth is, people who use high-end drones, mostly decide to buy them because they want to earn some money with them.
There are many ways you can make additional income with your new advanced drone. For example, you can use it to shoot real estate videos that are becoming more and more popular by the day. It will only take an hour or so of your free time, but the payment is usually high, plus, you will have fun while doing it. Another way is Rooftop Inspections. It might not be the most exciting way to earn money, but it pays great. You can also make wedding videos because drone footage in a wedding video had become mainstream.
There are also more ways to have fun with your bird and get paid for it, you just have to decide which model best suits you, get more familiar with it, and start! Not even the sky is the limit anymore!
Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favourite is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. It usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another of her passion is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. She also writes for HikingMastery.com.