Drones or quadcopters flying objects resembling a mini helicopter that have grown in popularity since 2013. Drones are remotely controlled using a remote control or an app. Popular brands include Parrot, DJI, Hubsan and Kaiser.
This category is also known as Multicopters.
Drones have many applications, from fun to work-related activities. Here's how to choose the right one with whatever activity you have in mind.
There are many affordable drones on the market if you just want to dip your toe in the water and see if this hobby is for you. You'll pay a relatively low cost to find out, but with this low cost comes shorter range and flying time - but still long enough to get a great taste of what a drone is all about.
The more you pay, the longer you can expect your flight time to be. Think anything between 10 and 30 minutes on a single battery charge.
How long your battery lasts will depend on its quality, but also what you do with the drone while it's in the air. Changing altitude or increasing speed will drain the battery faster than just letting your drone fly at the same speed and height. Recharging times for batteries can vary based on the model and type of drone you use, so always ask about this when you're shopping around.
Of course, if you don't want to wait too long for your battery to recharge in between flights, buy extra batteries when you buy your drone and have them charged and ready to go when you take your drone flying. There are many drone parts that enhance the flying experience.
Many people buy drones to capture stunning views from above: real estate agents, wedding photographers, event co-ordinators, and even farmers who want to check or count stock in hard-to-reach paddocks. If you have photography in mind when choosing a drone, you can buy a model with a built-in camera; for a hobby drone pilot, something like a 1080p camera will give you good quality shots. To capture images at an even higher level, look for at least a 4k camera as part of the drone. Remember, if you're keen to record high-quality video, make sure you have a high-speed SD card that's up to the task.
If you prefer to attach your own camera to your drone, you'll need a mounting device known as a gimbal. Pay decent money for a good gimbal and be rewarded with smooth images that are not affected by atmospheric bumps and shakes while the drone is in the air.
Buying a drone would be exciting. Losing it would be devastating! To minimise the risk of losing your drone, look for a model with an auto-return feature that brings the drone back to you simply by pushing a button on your controller.
Another thing to check is aerodynamic ability and stability. The best brands are superior in this area, and the chance of losing a drone through crashing are greatly reduced if the device is able to fly through a range of conditions and for a decent amount of time.