On some occasion we have talked to you about the world of drones. Those flying objects that allow us to record spectacular aerial views, shoot photographs and, of course, really enjoy piloting them (yes, from the ground). But of course, what details should you take into account before buying one? What is the perfect drone for me? Well, today we explain everything you need to know about drones and, in addition, we have compiled some of the best options to consider in the current market.
Details to consider before buying a drone
The first, and most important thing, is to know the key characteristics of this type of equipment, in addition to certain previous legal aspects that we must know if we do not want to have any scares.
Legal aspects for the use of drones
Starting with the legal implications, the most important details that we must take into account before buying a drone are:
- Leisure or Professional : this is one of the key aspects and that, finally, will end up having an impact on the rest of the characteristics (especially at the legal level). With this we mean what type of use you are going to want to give the equipment. For example, drones for leisure are usually cheaper, smaller and lighter, (almost) all have 4 propellers and their cameras are good, but not outstanding.
- Classes : after the publication of the new European regulations for the flight of this type of equipment, 7 different types of drones are established: C0, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5 and C6. Depending on the weight of the equipment and the maximum speed it can reach, it will be included in one of these classifications. The most common (as with the models that we will see below) is that the drones that we buy by ordinary users (professional or not) belong to the C0 or C1). You can consult the European regulations to know each specific case.
- Category : as in the previous section, after the new regulations, we now differentiate between 3 different categories: open, specific or certified. To sum it up a lot, to have a general idea, the category will depend both on the kind of drone we have and the type of flight we want to do and the risk that it entails. The least restrictive, as you can imagine, is the open one and it is the one to which the C0 and C1 type drones belong. If you want to know your case in more detail, consult the European regulations on the official website.
- License / label and flight courses : depending on the kind of drone we have and the type of flight we want to do, we will need a class of licenses, permits and even specific flight courses. All the necessary information can be found in the legal framework of European regulations.
We know that it can turn out to be quite a blubber at first if what you want is a drone simply to “hang out” or to record certain moments of your next vacation. But of course, not being clear about all these details and legal implications can lead you to receive a complaint that can entail a penalty of amounts that are not precisely small. So, as the saying goes “prevention is better than cure”.
Key technical aspects for drones
On the other hand, we go over the details at the level of technical specifications that you should take into account before buying one of these equipment:
- Weight : the mass of a drone is, as you have already seen in the previous section, an important factor. But not only on a legal level, but for stability and aerodynamics. The less weight one of these equipment has, the easier it will be for a gust of wind to destabilize it and, therefore, the shots that we are capturing come out shaky or, much worse, the drone ends up on the ground. The most common is that the mass of these is between 240 g and 900 g in weight.
- Autonomy : another very important detail is how long a battery charge will last us. Being small teams, it is normal for this duration to go from 20 minutes to 35 minutes hopefully. For this reason, it is usually recommended to have several battery units to change them in each flight session.
- Scope : although the regulations require that for “normal” flights the pilot must maintain visual contact with the team, the one with a greater range will give us an important extra security. Semi-professional models can reach up to 10 km in range, although of course, it depends on how precise your vision is and if you want to follow the rules to the letter.
- Photo / video quality : if you want to capture images in any way, the quality that the camera of this equipment can achieve is essential. We can find models that go up to FullHD although, currently, it is easy to find a 4K standard. Here it also includes an aspect such as the stability of the recording in the case of video. To improve this aspect, many models incorporate a 3-axis gimbal for more stable shots.
- Obstacle recognition : another aspect that can be very interesting, especially to avoid unnecessary scares, is that this equipment has a system of sensors that recognize obstacles. This will cause the drone to slow down before an imminent collision in a pinch.
- Advanced location systems : most of today’s drones have GPS and many other location systems that, if needed, can return autonomously to the take-off point. This, in case of loss of signal between us and the team, will be of vital importance.
These are the main characteristics that you should take into account before getting a drone. Then we could talk about as many as the space occupied by the folded equipment, if it has spare parts and if they are easy to change or, even, the type of control system they have (remote control with screen, without screen or from the mobile itself ). But these are somewhat more secondary aspects.
Best drones you can buy
Now that you know all the key aspects to take into account before getting one of these teams, it is time to choose who will be your next partner to take to the skies.
To make this task easier for you, we have compiled some of the best models that you can currently find in the drone market.
DJI Mini 2
The first model we want to talk to you about is one of the best known in the sector for those who want to start. It is the DJI Mini 2 , an ultralight drone with a weight of only 249 grams and that, thanks to its small size and that it can be folded, we can take it almost anywhere.
This has a 3-axis timpani for stabilizing 4K video at 30 fps that it is capable of recording. Its autonomy is about 31 minutes of flight and a signal range of up to 10 km with its OcuSync 2.0 system. Its price is around 450 euros with the base model but, in addition, there are some packs that include spare parts and more batteries.
The manufacturer Parrot is another of the great acquaintances of the sector. Where before their family included a large assortment of different models, they have now focused all their intentions on the Parrot Anafi . Although, yes, this one has different variants.
It is a drone that, in all its variants, its autonomy is around 25 minutes. It is capable of recording video in 4K resolution with its 21 megapixel camera and has a digital zoom that they claim can increase the image without losing quality.
Then, depending on each “version” of this drone, it will have one or other characteristics: one includes more batteries in the pack, another is capable of scanning 3D surfaces for professional environments or, there is even an FPV model among them. Here is a table that highlights the differences between all of them:
Another company that may not be so well known is the owner of the Skydio 2 , a drone with spectacular features for any semi-professional.
This model is capable of recording HDR video in 4K resolution up to 60 fps, in addition to having a 3-axis tom system to improve stabilization. It has an autonomy of about 23 minutes of flight, a maximum speed of around 57 km / h and a range of 3.5 km.
In addition, it is capable of operating autonomously, that is, you indicate the path or the object to follow and it does it perfectly avoiding any obstacle that crosses its surroundings. Of course, its price increases to 1,134 euros in its basic pack and reaches 2,500 euros in its “Pro Kit”.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
For those of us who want one of the best options to take to the skies we have the DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone , one of the most TOP models of the company at the moment.
This is capable of recording HDR video in 4K at 30 fps with 10 bits of color information. All this thanks to its 1-inch CMOS sensor in its 20 megapixel camera. It has a weight of 907 grams, an autonomy of about 31 minutes of flight and a range of 5 km. Of course, it also has an obstacle detection system and several options through its remote control app. The price of this drone reaches 1,345 euros in its base model.
DJI FPV Combo
Finally, if you are looking to soar through the skies in the first person as if you were a bird, the best alternative is this DJI FPV Combo .
With it we can record FPV video in 4K at 60 fps and transmit it up to a distance of 10 km thanks to OcuSync 3.0 technology. To improve the experience, it incorporates an FPV-S flight mode that gives us the freedom of manual flight, along with the intuitive controls of “normal” flight. And, how could it be otherwise, to give Telga greater security with emergency brake, obstacle detection, hovering and many other functionalities in this regard. This is the most expensive model of all those that we have recommended so far, reaching 1,520 euros.