Drones have become very popular in recent years because they are useful in many ways and can be used in many different situations. There are many different kinds of drones on the market, from consumer drones to professional drones. To help you choose the best drone for you, we will explore some of the top drone brands and their key features in this post. We will also go through the types of drones that are available on the market. Whether you are a first-timer or an experienced pilot, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make a solid purchase decision.
Types of Drones
There are many different types of drones available on the market, each with their own features and functionality. Let’s look at some of these types so that you know what type to look for when buying your own drone.
These drones are for day-to-day use and are primarily used by photographers and hobbyists. They are relatively smaller and less expensive when compared to other types of drones. Also, they usually have shorter flight times and ranges, but they are good for taking pictures and videos from the air and are easy to control. Consumer drones are great for first-timers. There are also consumer drones that you can build on your own. For more info on these DIY drones, read the Guide to Building Your Own Drone with a Drone Kit.
As the name suggests, professional drones are generally used for commercial and industrial purposes. They are equipped with advanced features and flight controls and come with customized sensors and cameras fitted as per their use. Professional drones are usually larger, more sophisticated to control, and more expensive than consumer drones. They also require an experienced pilot to fly them. Some of the areas these drones are used in are agriculture, real estate, search and rescue, site surveying, and mapping.
Check out the best drones for real estate and construction.
Recreational drones are designed to be used for fun activities, are smaller in size, are easier to control, and are flown indoors and also outdoors. They are also less expensive than professional and consumer drones, as they come with basic features and controls. Recreational drones are used in many areas, such as drone racing, aerial photography and videography, and practice. If you want to know more about recreational drones or hobby drones, check out the Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Hobby Drone.
Racing drones are designed for speed, flexibility, and agility and are used in drone racing competitions. They are smaller in size, lightweight, and have powerful motors installed. Racing drones come with advanced flight controls and cameras that transmit live video to the pilot to help them navigate around tight spaces and see from the drone’s perspective. These drones are also highly customizable, allowing pilots to modify their drones according to their preferences.
Industrial drones, also known as commercial drones, are used in commercial applications. As such, they are typically larger, more robust, and more expensive than other drones. They also have high-tech sensors, controls, and cameras that help them do their industrial tasks, like mapping, surveying, and keeping an eye on things. These drones also tend to have longer ranges and runtimes.
Major Drone Brands
There are many drone brands available on the market that cater to different niches, needs, and uses. Let’s explore some of these major drone brands and look at their key characteristics.
DJI is widely considered to be the market leader in the world of consumer drones. It was founded in 2006 in China and has become a household name in the drone industry. Their products are high-quality, incorporate advanced technology, and are easy to operate; as such, they are quite popular among hobbyists, photographers, and videographers.
DJI has a wide range of consumer drones, from the small and easy-to-use DJI Spark series to the more complex DJI Phantom series. The DJI Spark Pro, which is compact, flexible, has a 4K camera, and has excellent aerodynamics, is one of the best-selling models. Another popular model sold by DJI is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, which is widely used by professional videographers and photographers as it offers an excellent camera and a long flight time.
DJI offers several flight modes, such as “follow me,” “waypoint navigation,” and “active track.” These flight modes allow users to capture stunning photos and videos. In addition, their drones are user-friendly, have great GPS, and offer advanced features such as obstacle avoidance and terrain identification. You can also purchase the additional accessories DJI offers, such as ND filters, extra batteries, and a carrying case.
All in all, DJI’s drones are built with great quality, are innovative, are packed with advanced features, and are very user-friendly. As a result, they have become really popular among professionals and hobbyists alike. DJI’s drones are often used by popular YouTubers and social media influencers to make their videos interesting.
Check out this review of the DJI Mavic 2.
- High-quality built
- Top features
- Great for videography and photography
- Good flight performance
- High prices
- Limited battery times
- Privacy issues
- Limited warranty
Parrot is one of the leading drone companies in the world. It was established in 1994 in Paris, France, and has continued to grow rapidly. It offers a wide range of drone types and is known for its innovative and technology-packed drones. The company specializes in professional and recreational drones.
The Parrot Disco, Parrot Anafi, and Parrot Bepop are three of their best-selling models. Parrot Disco is a recreational drone that is unique in the sense that it has a propeller instead of rotors, is packed with advanced features, has a long flight time, and is easy to fly. The Parrot Anafi is also known for its 4K camera, flexibility, small size, and ability to fold up. The Parrot Bepop is another top model. It has become popular because of its small size, good aerodynamics, stable videos, and adjustable geofencing.
Parrot drones come in a wide variety of price ranges and cater to different needs. It is also one of the first companies to offer 4G connectivity with drones at medium-range price points. This 4G connectivity allows for precise control at large distances, in-flight file transfers, and data transmission. It also made its main piloting applications open source, which has led its community to make piloting applications that are newer and more innovative.
All in all, Parrot’s drones are compact, innovative, cybersafe, and customer-centric. All of these factors have made them a leading drone brand.
- User-friendly and intuitive
- Stable flight and footage
- High-tech features
- 4G connectivity
- Good cameras
- Flight times and range are relatively short
- Some models are more expensive than competitors
- Limited payload capacity
Autel Robotics is an American drone company that was established in 2014 and is known for producing top-quality consumer, professional, and industrial drones. Although it is a relatively new company, it has nevertheless gained a lot of popularity because of their high-performance and advanced drones.
Autel produces many types of drones. One of the most popular ones is the Autel EVO II, which is a foldable drone that offers 6K video and 20MP raw imaging, a 30-minute battery runtime, and advanced features such as obstacle avoidance and automated flight paths. Another popular model is the Autel EVO Lite+, which also offers stabilized 6K and 4K video, a 40-minute battery runtime, three-way obstacle sensors, and other advanced features. Lastly, a budget-friendly model, the Autel Evo Nano+, is also quite popular as it offers 4K video, 12MP and 50MP photos, hyperlapse and quick shots, and a 28-minute battery runtime.
In addition to these consumer drones, Autel also offers commercial and industrial drones such as the Autel Robotics EVO II Pro, which is a great choice for surveying, mapping, and monitoring industrial projects and construction sites.
All in all, Autel Robotics’ drones are great as they offer solid battery runtime, are built with high-quality materials, and demonstrate a commitment to innovation.
- High-quality built
- Top cameras
- Great battery runtime
- Wide range of drone types
- High prices
- Lack of customer support as the company is newer
- The company is less global than others which may cause issues in claiming warranty
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are the major drone brands in the market?
The major drone brands available on the market are DJI, Autel, Parrot, and Yuneec.
2. What should I consider before buying a drone?
There are many factors that you should consider before purchasing your own drone. These include intended use, budget, required flight time and range, features, warranty, customer support, and availability of replacement parts.
3. How long is the flight time for most drones?
Consumer drones offer, on average, a flight time of between 20 and 30 minutes. Professional drones offer, on average, a flight time of 30 minutes. On average, industrial drones have a flight time of 40 minutes or more.
4. Which drone is the best?
There is no absolute answer to this question as the best drone for you is one that completely satisfies your needs and purpose of buying a drone. These needs and purpose differ from consumer to consumer, and as such, no definitive answer exists.
There are many drone brands available on the market, each with their own unique features and characteristics. It is important that you do your research before purchasing your own drone, as these are expensive investments that should be aligned with your needs.