This drone buying guide will have you ready for takeoff

Get mind-blowing travel footage, start a new backyard hobby or just find a new point of view with the high-flying world of drones. Invest smartly in your new aerial hobby with this buyer’s guide and find which drone is best for you.

Prepare for Takeoff

A drone is simply an unmanned aerial vehicle flown using a remote control system from the ground. It can be referred to as a quadcopter, for drones with four rotors, or a multicopter, for those with any number of rotors. Depending on your drone, you may have a separate remote control, or simply fly it directly from your smartphone.

 

Selecting a Focus

First and foremost, it’s important to identify your goals before considering which drone to buy. Those designed for photography or cinematography may be more stable and able to lift heavier loads. Meanwhile, a racing drone is built for speed and features a streamlined design. Alternatively, hobby flying drones are designed for distance when exploring and for durability in case of accidental crashes.

Drones for Aerial Photography

If you are looking to take photos or videos from a bird’s-eye view, you will want to invest in a drone specifically designed to carry a camera. Some have a camera built in, while others are meant to carry an independent camera. Research camera quality and abilities before making a decision, as built-in cameras will allow you greater flexibility once you’re in the air, while a heavy-lift drone carrying a separate camera may provide better quality. Also, consider the distance at which you want to shoot. If you want to explore an area as you take photos, or shoot video that pans over a significant distance, you may want to invest in the drone that has the longest range. For filmmakers, buying a drone that has a long battery life can save time during filming. Look for models with a built-in GPS homing device, as this device will automatically return your drone—and your footage—to a home base in case you fly out of range. Stabilization features will help you to shoot footage that looks smooth and in focus.

Drones for Racing

If you are buying a drone to race, pay careful attention to the range and battery life as well as the speed. There’s nothing worse than losing signal or power in the middle of a race. Consider the distance and conditions of races that you would like to enter, and take special consideration of any elements such as trees or landscapes that could weaken the signal. Also, consider the sensitivity of the handling, as subtle adjustments during a race can be the difference between winning and losing.

Hobby Drones

If you simply enjoy the thrill of flying, a hobby drone may be the right drone for you. These are some of the quietest and easiest to fly. They are versatile and resilient, feel stable in the air, and are usually able to withstand minor crashes. If you have never flown a drone before, buying an inexpensive hobby model can be the best place to start. It can help you feel comfortable with flying and gain an understanding of the controls as well as environmental elements such as winds and obstacles. Also, consider buying a smaller drone to start that allows you to safely practice flying indoors before moving outside.

Be Aware of the Rules

Before taking to the air, it is very important that you understand the regulations around flying drones, and know where to fly safely. Review the current weight and distance regulations provided by Transport Canada before taking your drone out for a flight.

Drones are an amazing technology that allow you to explore the skies, and shopping for a second-hand drone can help you get great value for your budget. Considering your expectations before buying one of these flying machines ensures that your drone will be one that ideally suits your needs.  Have fun finding your next flying machine!

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