If you are reading this, you probably already saw lots of videos on Youtube about how to choose your first drone, or why one is better than other. Well, most of those reviews are false, because those YouTubers are getting bonuses to review them, so most of them can’t even say anything bad about the drones they are reviewing. However, there are some honest reviews, and one of them is here.
If you want me to be honest, I will start with my story. I started looking for a drone in early 2019. I have read many articles and watched even more videos about how to choose and which one is the best. However, I couldn’t find the one which could live up to my expectations. And finally, I managed to find one, or I could say, it found me. But more about this later
Things to clear before buying your first drone
Answer these questions to yourself:
- Do I care about the size of a drone?
- Do I care about the flight time?
- Do I care about the picture/video quality?
- Do I care how far a drone can fly?
- Should I care about the support that I could need during my first-time experience?
Those are the main questions you should answer and not the questions like „Which color should I choose?“. This will be your last choice, you’ll see. Do you have answers to those questions already? If not, here‘s some help.
Size of a drone
Size is important if this drone will be your travel buddy or you want to jump on a videography train. However, if it‘s your first drone, probably the small one is the better one for you. And of course, in some countries for a heavier drone, you have to have license or insurance or so to fly. Every time before going to one or another country check the regulations about drones, because in some cases at customs they can just confiscate your drone. And you won’t be able to do anything about that. So be careful and update your info every time before going somewhere to lift your drone.
The average flight time for drones is around 15-20min (the real-time and not commercial one). That‘s an average (some of them can fly up to 15min and another up to 30min). Of course, there are new drones that can fly up to 50min or so, but during the time I write this post, it was not tested, so I am a bit skeptical about that. Talking about that, never trust the time they announce that the drone can fly. This time was taken in the so-called laboratory environment. In reality, it will be about 5 min lower (or more, depends on the weather and other things). So, what fly time is optimal? Well, depends on what you want to do and what is inside the drone package. If the seller has some kind of combo set with a couple of batteries, then 10-15 min is more than enough for you. Trust me, it looks like a really short time, but you can do lots of things during those 10 mins. If the seller does not offer more batteries and you don’t want to pay extra then maybe 20-30min will suit your expectations. However, I would recommend buying packages with a couple batteries and their hub to charge all batteries at once.
I guess for most of you this is the most important thing. Doesn’t matter if you are beginner or pro, you want your image to be high quality and your videos to be stable (unless you are FPV pilot than I have no idea why you are reading all this). If you really care about your video quality, 3-axis gimbal is what you are looking for (at first) and next comes the HD or 2k or 4k. And this one I leave to you. It‘s totally up to you. And of course, if you are considering between several drones and want to check video quality, you can look for it on the youtube platform.
Don‘t mind all the haters and self-proclaimed professionals when they say something about the distance. That 4km is what you need and so on. Why the heck you would need to fly your drone 4km if you can’t even see it after 1km? If with an extra couple of hundred meters you exponentially increase your chance of losing your drone? I mean seriously. Nobody really needs that. Nobody needs to fly that far. However, the powerful controller is a thing you must consider. What I mean is that some of the drones have good signal outside the city and can fly pretty far (like 2km), but in the city, where are lots of signal interference, it can fly up to 100-200m (For DJI Mavic Mini) and a bit more for other drones. You must check the country laws about it.
After my long research, I chose DJI Mavic Mini which totally suits my needs. Check it out here.
I hope this review was useful to you. If you have any tips on how to choose your first drone then leave it in the comment section.