drone in flight

BEST BEGINNERS DRONE MODELS

This year it seems like everyone wants to take to the skies and take up droning. But deciding which drone to buy can be a challenge. The market is full of complex models, for a variety of uses and there is very little information about accessibility or suitability for beginners.

Which drone is best for you depends heavily on what you are planning to use your drone for. Here I will break down the best drones for beginners for a variety of different uses.

DRONES FOR ALL THE FAMILY

Giving my youngest the controls to my drone certainly felt like giving a monkey the controls to a plane. Within moments we were ducking for cover while the sharp blades flitted past our head and we shouted to each other to grab the controls off him. For the younger drone users, you definitely want a model with blade guards to protect yourselves from the reckless younger pilots.

The SYMA X5C Explorers drone is a good, child-friendly model. It is durable and affordable and comes with an HD 720p camera. You can pick up one of these new for around $60. Most importantly it’s easy to get replacement parts in Australia, so when the little devils crash the thing you won’t be searching the end of the earth for parts.

FIRST TIME FILMMAKERS

If you’re looking to take some inspiring aerial shots, and capture the world in a new and novel way, there are some great beginner camera drones on the market. The 3DRobotics IRIS+ is a great choice for inexperienced drone pilots because it can be set to follow a smartphone. You don’t have to worry about it tracking the target you just programme it into the smartphone and it follows you. You can get your hands on one of these for around $700.

If you are after something a little cheaper, the DJI Phantom 3 series is also a good buy. Coming in at around $500, the Phantom 3 series is a good all round drone. It’s flight characteristics make it easy to pick up and fly without experience and there is an abundance of accessories available, like GPS tracking to enable it to hover in place and film steady, fixed shots. A big advantage of the Phantom is that the online community is huge. This can be a big advantage for a beginner as any questions you might have can be easily answered online.

It’s also easy to get all the parts you need to upgrade with extra features. It is a great drone in the fact that there are so many parts available you can start off with the base model and add components as you go.

RACING DRONES

For some high adrenaline action, check out drone racing. The sport is beginning to get a following around the world. The prize money is already pretty significant and the sport is growing rapidly.

The Eachine Racer 250 is a sleek looking, affordable entry level racer. For $350 you get everything you need to enter the world of drone racing, your controller, charger and batteries. As you hone your flying skills you will want a better model to be competitive, and the materials are cheap and plastic, but for a taste of the thrills of drone racing, the Eachine Racer delivers. It’s certainly enough to get you hooked on the sport before you upgrade to a higher end model.

Okay, that’s my take on getting into drones without overspending or underspending. There is nothing worse than getting all excited over a drone to take footage to find out the camera is completely useless. If you are buying for kids, start off with a very cheap model so they have something to learn on before getting them the one they want.

 


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Oli Ward
oli@dinga.com.au

Oli has camped and hiked his way around Australia and most of Europe. He also loves writing about his experiences and sharing his knowledge.