Drones have become a sore subject over the past few years because people have been using them to invade people’s privacy. But, drones can actually be pretty fun and legal if you use them properly! If you’ve never flown one though, these drones can seem dauntingly difficult to control. That’s why I wanted to create a post about drones for different levels; beginners, intermediate and advanced users.
While this is not video game related, I do like drones and its under the Cool Stuff I Like category!
So what exactly is a drone and how does it work?
A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle. They can either fly via GPS or are radio controller. While there are quite a few different types of drones, the most popular versions for consumers are:
Quadcopters: A multirotor drone that is lifted and propelled by four rotors.
Hexacopters: A multirotor drone that is lifted and propelled by six rotors.
Octocopters: A multirotor drone that is lifted and propelled by eight rotors.
Best Drone For Beginners
Hubsan X4 (H107C) 4 Channel 2.4GHz RC Quad Copter with Camera – Green/Black
This one comes in either green and black or red and black. The red and black is just a tad less expensive by a few cents. Its one of the most highly rated and reviewed drones; 1,762 reviews and it sits pretty at a 3.8 out of 5 stars.
Includes Camera Recording Module
Latest 6-Axis Flight Control System with Adjustable Gyro Sensitivity
4-Channel Operation Permits Super Stable Flight
4-Way Flip (Left, Right, Forward, Backward)
Accepts MicroSD Card (Excluded)
The people that reviewed the Hubsan X4 said that its cool enough for an adult to man, but its also easy enough for a child to use as well, which makes it a perfect for beginners.
Best Drone For Intermediate Users
Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter Drone RTF with CGO3 Camera, ST10+ & Steady Grip
This one is very cool looking, it includes more options than the previous beginner one, and of course has more features. Because of this and the size difference as well as the construction, it’s significantly more expensive.
Personal Ground Station with built-in touchscreen, Integrated 3-axis precision gimbal camera
4K/30fps ultra-high definition video, 1080p/120fps slow motion video
User controlled video resolution, white balance, and light exposure
12-megapixel photos with No-Distortion Lens
Does not include Aluminum case, includes one battery
“The Yuneec Q500 Typhoon Quadcopter with 4k CGO3 3-Axis Gimbal RTF Camera is a complete air and ground imaging solution that captures unparalleled 4K video and 12mp still images while maintaining the Typhoon family tradition of being easy and safe to fly. The Q500 4K Typhoon arrives factory-assembled, test-flown, ready to fly and film out of the box. The Typhoon Q500 4K includes the aircraft, CGO3 Camera and 3-Axis Precision Gimbal, ST10+ Personal Ground Station, Battery, Charger, Steady Grip and 16GB micro SD card.”
While this one doesn’t have nearly as many reviews as the first one, its rated much higher – 4/5 stars.
People have said that even though the mechanics are a little more advanced, it’s still incredibly easy to learn to fly. They also can appreciate that this drone has 4K high def video and that the 12MP camera takes pretty amazing pictures!
Other options at different price points/different ratings for intermediate users::
DJI Phantom 3
over 1000 reviews
Contixo F18 Advanced GPS Assisted RC Quadcopter
DoDoeleph Syma X5UW Wifi FPV
Holy Stone X400C FPV RC Quadcopter Drone
Best Drone For Advanced Users
These are best used by people that
1- Have the money to spend on a superior drone
2- Have experience with previous drone types
3- Have experience in handling the sophisticated controls
DJI Inspire 2 Quadcopter + Zenmuse X4S Starters Bundle
Since this one is a bundle it literally contains everything you need for your drone. And the price proves it! Yes. This one is definitely expensive but I’m sure if you sat down and priced everything out individually you could see that you are actually saving money. Between all the features, options and gadgets that come with it, the shipping costs alone for all these items would be astronomical. Don’t worry though, if you keep reading below Ill try to give you other advanced drones for a cheaper price!
The DJI Inspire 2 Quadcopter + Zenmuse X4S Starters Bundle includes:
DJI Inspire 2 Quadcopter
Remote Control (Transmitter)
4x Propeller Pairs
2x DJI Intelligent Flight Battery
16GB MicroSD Memory Card
Vision System Calibration Plate
3x Gimbal Damper
Propeller Mounting Plates
4x Battery Insulation Sticker
Sandisk Ultra 64GB MicroSD Memory Card
5PC Cleaning Kit
Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
DJI’s magnesium-aluminum-clad Inspire 2 Quadcopter is a powerful cinematic and photographic tool. Combining the Inspire 2 with the separately available X4S and X5S gimbal cameras yields cinema-grade images, which can be recorded in high bit rates using H.264 and H.265 formats, or, in the case of the X5R, various flavors of Apple ProRes and CinemaDNG raw using the required licenses available from DJI.
All the recording functionality is processed by the Inspire 2’s CineCore 2.0 image processing engine. Not all the power to be found in the Inspire 2 is in the recording functionality. DJI beefed up the flight capabilities of the Inspire 2. Able to accelerate to 50 mph in 4 seconds and reach a top speed of 67 mph, the Inspire 2 can follow fast-moving subjects for dramatic sports and action footage.
The flight prowess of the Inspire 2 doesn’t come at the expense of battery life. With the two included LiPo batteries onboard, up to 27 minutes of flight time can be had on a full charge.
WOW! That sounds insane. This is considered by many to be the best drone for advanced users. Never mind all the stuff it comes with, the technology is very advanced on this specific drone.
One reviewer called this drone, the Ferrari Of Drones. While some of the reviewers just love drones and have owned others in the past, others have said that the primary reason they purchased this one was for a business that they have; photography and otherwise.
According to all of the reviewers, the support and customer service for this drone is top-notch.
If the almost $4,000 price tag is too high for you, you could also consider these less expensive options:
Autel Robotics X-Star Premium Drone with 4K Camera, 1.2-Mile HD Live View & Hard Case
DJI Phantom 4 PRO Drone Quadcopter Bundle Kit
4.4/5 stars – lots of mixed reviews
DJI Mavic Pro FLY MORE COMBO