With so many available models and an increasingly expanding market, knowing what to look for in order to select the best drone model for you can indeed be challenging.
This nice article by our regular contributor Michael Karp could be very helpful in making an informed decision. Also make sure you check out Michael’s Drone Business Marketer blog for more great info on drones. Here we go!
By Michael Karp
The camera drone market is saturated with options. No matter what application you need it for, you likely have many different choices to choose from.
This can leave many pilots in a bind. How do you choose between this drone with a camera or that one?
In this article, I’m going to break down some distinguishing factors that can help you make different purchasing decisions based on your needs.
Let’s get to it:
The first overall metric you want to look at is the price-to-features ratio. This ratio simply tells you how many features (and what quality of features) you’re getting for the price.
Now, you can’t put an exact number on this ratio, so you have to eyeball it. For example, if you’re looking at one drone that comes with a 4K camera for $800 and another that shoots in 720p for $750, the price-to-features ratio of the 4K camera is better.
Jot down all of the features for each drone you’re looking at. Then compare the features you’re getting for the price you would pay for each one. This will help you decide which is the better deal, in general.
Flight time is important for many camera drone operators. The longer you’re in the air, the more opportunity you have to get the desired shots.
A flight time difference of two or less minutes won’t have a big impact on your sessions.
But a flight time difference of three or more will. If the difference is five or more, that’s going to make a major impact it should influence your decision heavily.
If you’re a recreational photographer or videographer, you can probably afford to choose a drone with less flight time, if that’s where your budget lies. However, if you’re a professional pilot, additional flight time could have a big impact in your work.
First Person View
Does the drone come with first person view (FPV) capabilities?
First person view allows you to see what your camera is seeing in real time, and it drastically improves your ability to get quality shots.
FPV capability on a camera drone is a huge advantage, so if you’re looking at a drone that offers it and one that doesn’t, I would strongly consider leaning towards the drone that does.
Make sure you compare the strength and capabilities of each camera:
In what resolution does it shoot video?
In how many megapixels does it take still photos?
Can you adjust settings mid-flight, or do you have to land first?
Can you attach filters to the camera?
All of these aspects affect the quality of your shots and the usability of the camera mid-flight. Choose features that fit your goals.
These days, the support for different drone models is astounding. For the most popular models, there are hundreds of articles and forum posts that can help you with many issues previous owners have faced.
Even for the less popular models, you can find information online or contact the manufacturer for support.
If you’re choosing between two models, try searching for different issues online and see what kind of support is out there for each, just in case you run into trouble and need some help down the line.
Accessories can really help enhance your flights. However, some models are compatible with a lot of accessories and some aren’t.
Check to see if accessories like these are compatible with the drones you’re looking at:
- Extra propellers
- Extra batteries
- Landing gear
- Camera filters
- Drone trackers
- Dual operator control (two controllers)
- FPV goggles
This could help you decide between one model or the other.
Intelligent Flight Modes
Many of the latest camera drones are coming standard with intelligent flight modes.
These flight modes allow you to pilot the drone autonomously, such as setting a flight path for your drone to fly or having it orbit around a point of interest.
They can help you get smooth, expert quality shots without needing to pilot the drone manually. For pro and recreational pilots alike, this can save you a ton of time and headache.
If the models you’re looking at both come with intelligent flight modes, check out which flight modes each comes with to see which model has the flight modes you would prefer.
Over to You
Now you should be well-equipped to choose between multiple camera drones if you’re in a bind.
What drones do you fly? Have you had any tough buying decisions recently? Let me know in the comments below.
About the Author
Michael Karp runs Drone Business Marketer, a blog that teaches professional pilots how to grow their businesses.