Essential Features To Look For When Buying A Drone

Drones were originally developed during the 20th century for military missions that were too dangerous, dirty, and boring. By the 21st century, they had become essential assets for most armies. The control technologies have improved the features of the drones and reduced manufacturing costs. As a result, drones are now privately and commercially used for various purposes. These applications include product delivery, aerial photography, surveillance, search and rescue, inspections, etc.

In recent years, drones have emerged as one of the innovative and exciting technologies. The drones are capable of observing the surroundings from above. This is why drones are used by photographers to take beautiful aerial photographs and record videos. To your surprise, these drones are relatively affordable at the current time.

Essential Features To Look For When Buying A Drone

Whether you are upgrading the existing drone or you are purchasing the first drone, then there are a lot of options available for you. Every feature comes with a budget, so there are a lot of features in different types of drones that can help you to choose from.

The price tag won’t be an exact indicator of how good a drone is. It will provide you with a quick and rough estimate of the drone better than the other one. It is a general rule the more expensive the drone the better the features. The drones with long-range and flight times are the best for those who want to do a business of search and rescue, delivery, and inspections.

Camera

For many drone users, the purpose of the drone is to put a camera in the air. For this purpose, most drones come with their camera or with an option to mount an external camera. The camera mounted on the drone can reduce the flight time but the amazing footage and images will be worth it. You can have images and videos that are unobtainable by using just a camera.

If the drone is having its camera, then there are a few considerations you need to make. These considerations depend on the specifications of the camera such as frame rate, shutter speed, image stabilization, aperture, etc. All of these factors affect the quality of photos you take and the videos that will be recorded in different quality such as 1080 or 4k recording.

  • 1080 or 4k
  • Raw/DNG format
  • 24fps, 30fps, or 60 fps.
  • Optical zoom
  • Mechanical shutter
  • Dual operator control

For better image and footage quality, you might have to go beyond your budget or wait till you make your budget right for the best quality camera drone.

Gimbal

As the price of the drones goes up, you will notice that they have built-in gimbals. This mount keeps the camera stable during the flight of the drone, especially in strong winds and high altitudes. The smaller toy drones do not have gimbals because they are for low altitudes. Before you make a decision, the drone picker will help you to look for gimbal features in the drone.

Battery-Life

Just like other gadgets, such as smartphones, drones usually run out of power. With the best models, the flight time can be 30 minutes. Also, the charging time can exceed 30 minutes. It means that you have to wait 30 minutes after flying the drone. As a result, there can be delays in your work or operations. To avoid it, you can keep extra power with you.

While buying a drone, make sure that you have included the cost of extra batteries for smooth operations.

Range

A drone’s range can tell you how far it can travel before losing control. The more expensive pro-grade drones have higher ranges than the low-priced drones. The flight range of the drone can be between 500m to 13,000m.

Essential items needed for any long trip, no matter how far the drone can go but keep in mind that Federal Aviation Administration rules require the drone users to always monitor the drone to avoid damaging people, animals, and property.

Headless-Mode

Flying a drone can be tricky for those who are flying it for the first time. Just like the essential items needed by any golfer, some beginner drone users are offered a headless mode. It means that when you push the joystick in one direction, the drone will move in the direction relative to you rather than moving in the direction of the joystick.

Brushless-Motors

While carefully reading a list of drones, you will come across this term. The brushless motors are more expensive than brushed motors. The brushless motors require a quieter operation and last longer than the brushed motors. Also, brushless motors are more efficient than brushed motors. As a result, brushless motors usually don’t wear out quickly and they last longer. So, you don’t have to replace them as often.

Nominal Frames and Quadcopter Motor Numbers

Frame Size

Prop Size

Motor Size

KV

150mm and smaller

3” and smaller

1105-1306

3000 and higher

180mm

4”

1806

2600 – 3000

210mm

5”

2204-2208/2306

2600 – 3000

250mm

6”

2205-2208/2306

2000 – 2300

300mm

7”

2208/2212

1600

Follow-Me-Mode

Follow-Me Mode allows the drone to follow the track across the ocean or ground. It means that you can use this feature while visiting the best destinations in Croatia for relaxation. Even if you are driving a car or riding a bike, the drone will capture the moments. The follow-Me mode can follow any subject and revolve around it in different directions or patterns.

Integrated-GPS

In the high end of the drone market, there are drones with built-in GPS. It means that the drone will know where they are in the world. The integrated GPS feature helps the drone to fly to a destination and return home. This feature is known as return-to-home or RTH.

With GPS, you can fly the drone to its maximum range making it flat easily in the air. Also, the integrated GPS improves the stability of the drone.

Obstacle-Avoidance

A premium feature in drones is obstacle avoidance that comes with a higher cost. It helps the drone to avoid obstacles and protect it from crashing into a building, tower, tree, etc. With Follow-Me mode the drone can be flying side by side but the obstacle avoidance sensors can protect it from a crash.

Best Drones With Best Features

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
DJI AIR 2S
DJI Mavic Mini Combo
DJI FPV Combo
DJI Mini 2
DJI Mini SE

 

1. DJI AIR 2S

DJI Air 2S requires activation before taking it for a flight. You can do it by powering it on and the controller. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to activate the DJI Air 2S by using the DJI Fly App. Also, an internet connection is required to activate the drone. This drone comes with a 1-inch image sensor and large 2.4μm pixels. It is capable of recording a video of 5.4K/30fps and 4K/60fps.

MasterShots is the next evolution of QuickShots with an advanced intelligent feature that gives the users with best shots in any location. The center of attention with FocusTrack features ActiveTrack 4.0, Spotlight 2.0, and Point of Interest 3.0. With all these features, this drone can circle or follow the subject. The 10-bit Dlog-M color profile can record one billion colors while retaining the details in the footage.

Environment sensing is capable of perceiving the environment in four directions such as backward, forward, down, up. As a result, the drone can avoid obstacles during the flight. Obstacle avoidance works great in high speeds and complex scenarios.

Key Features

  • Low-Noise Propellers
  • Gimbal Protector
  • RC-N1 Control Sticks
  • Intelligent Flight Battery
  • Fly More Combo
  • 31-Min Flight
  • 7.5-Mile Video Transmission

2. DJI Mavic Mini Combo

DJI Mavic Mini Combo is as light as the average smartphone. Hence, it makes it exceptionally portable for drone users. The drone’s takeoff weight includes a microSD card, Propellers, and Battery. The intuitive and simple user experience of the drone helps to create cinematic shots with few taps. Despite being lightweight, this drone can stay up in the air for 30 minutes when fully charged. It supports 12MP aerial photos and 2.7K HD Videos.

The 3-axis motorized gimbal records videos with superior stability and gives you Ultra-Smooth Footage. The maximum takeoff altitude you can gain with this drone is 1.86 miles. It flies at a 29mph flight speed. DJI Mavic Mini Combo does not have collision avoidance sensors so it is important to set the minimum RTH altitude to avoid crashing.

Key Features

  • 12MP Aerial Photos
  • 2.7K Video
  • 3-Axis Motorized Gimbal
  • No Obstacle Avoidance Feature
  • Light Weight

3. DJI FPV Combo

DJI FPV Combo, the First-Person View UAV Quadcopter provides you with an immersive flight experience. DJI FPV’s super-wide and DJI FPV Goggles provide a 150° FOV with a real-time view of the flight and ultra-smooth video. With this drone, you can record 4K/60FPS video up to 120 Mbps and crisp details of the footage.

This drone comes with S Mode that is a hybrid model of flight combining the freedom of flying manually with the controls. Every drone user looks for safety features in the drone. Hence, DJI FPV comes with Smart Return to Home (RTH), auxiliary bottom light, low battery RTH, downward and forward obstacle avoidance, etc.

The flight of the drone is ensured safe with all the integrated safety features. On the other hand, if the drone is at a distance of 6.2 miles, then the OCUSYNC 3.0 transmission system ensures that you get a crystal-clear and real-time transmission video without any lag.

Key Features

  • 4K/60fps video
  • Smart Return to Home
  • OCUSYNC 3.0 Transmission System
  • S Mode
  • Super-Wide Angle
  • Intuitive Motion Controller
  • Emergency Brake and Hover

4. DJI Mini 2

DJI Mini 2 is lightweight and it gets its name from the size that it can fit in the palm. The convenient and compact drone makes a perfect fit while traveling and capturing moments. A 12MP camera helps to create impressive content along with 4K/30fps video. The 3-axis motorized gimbal ensures that you get smooth footage with high-quality images.

OCUSYNC 2.0 Transmission system supports up to 10km of HD Video Transmission up to 720p with anti-interference capabilities. This drone can fly in the air for 31 minutes with level 5 wind resistance. It means you can fly it above an alpine forest and along the windy coastline.

With 4X Zoom, you don’t have to take your drone close to a dream shot. The 4X digital zoom ensures the convenient and safe flight of the drone. On the other hand, the few taps can allow you to automatically record and shoot professional-level videos.

Key Feature

  • 3-Axis
  • 4K Camera
  • OCUSYNC 2.0 Transmission System
  • 4X Digital Zoom
  • QuickShots

5. DJI Mini SE

DJI Mini SE captures on the go. The lightweight and mini size make it easy to carry it anywhere. It is perfect for content creators on the move. Despite its small size and lightweight, it can stay up higher in the air than other similar consumer drones. With a fully charged battery, you can fly it for 30 minutes.

The 12MP camera provides you with detailed photographs and you can record HD videos at 2.7K. While recording a video, a 3-axis motorized gimbal enhances the camera stability. Hence, you get clear and ultra-smooth footage. Talking about the wind resistance, then it can resist winds ranging from 29 to 38kph.

The QuickShots modes include Rocket, Helix, and Dronie can elaborate preset motion while recording. With a single tap, you can create awesome videos using the Creator Templates.

Key Features

  • 12MP Camera
  • 2.7K HD Video
  • 30-Minutes Flight
  • 3-Axis Motorized Gimbal
  • Level 5 Wind Resistance
  • 4,000 Meters Altitude

DJI AIR 2S

DJI Mavic Mini Combo

DJI FPV Combo

DJI Mini 2

DJI Mini SE

Takeoff Weight

<595.34g

<249g

<295g

<249g

<249g

Photography

1” CMOS

20MP

JPEG/RAW

1/2 .3” CMOS

JPEG

Video

5.4K/30fps

2.7K

FHD

4K/60fps

4K/30fps

Max Speed

42.50mph

29mph (S-Mode)

87.24mph

35.79mph

29.08mph

Max Flight Time

31 min

30 min

20 min

31 min

30 min

Obstacle Sensing

4-Directional Obstacle Sensing

No Obstacle Avoidance Sensors

Forward & Downward

Downward

Downward

Max Transmission Distance

O3

1080p

7.5mi

Enhanced Wi-Fi

4 Mbps

Wind Resistance

Level 5

Level 4

Level 6

Level 5

Level 5

Buying A Drone – Essential Features To Look For

The different types of drones available in the market are for various purposes ranging from private use to commercial use. These drones can be used for capturing personal moments or for search and rescue. While buying a drone, look for the essential features of the drone. These essential features are range, battery life, obstacle avoidance, gimbal, integrated GPS, flight time, etc.

The flight time, obstacle avoidance, and high-quality camera ensure that you capture moments in detail. Also, the gimbal feature ensures that you get an ultra-smooth video. On the other hand, when the drone is flying at its maximum altitude, the wind resistance at different levels lets the drone fly smoothly. Hence, make sure that you choose the drone wisely according to your requirements.