Things You Should Consider When Buying a Quadcopter
Quadcopters are so popular these days that it is impossible not to see one at the beach or at the park. It’s not really surprising that a lot of people are getting hooked on these toys.
Quadcopters present a great way for us to appreciate nature through photography.
It can also be very useful for search and rescue operations.
And flying one sure is fun, right?
Although there has been some debate on whether quadcopters (also called drones, remote controlled flying cameras, and multirotors) are flying nuisances or not, this basically is a non-issue for recreational flying enthusiasts.
Drones can be used in a lot of ways and are essential in today’s world, no matter what some people may say.
But what should you be looking for when shopping for a drone? This article lists down several factors that you should consider.
Camera and Controllable Range
If you are getting a drone for aerial photography and videography, you’ll have to be very particular with the camera of the aerial vehicle. Ideally, you should get a model that has its own integrated camera. There are drones, however, that can be equipped with sports cameras like a Go Pro device.
Your budget will determine other considerations of the camera like video resolution, megapixels, distance of the camera, or whether the camera angle can be controlled or not.
Another important consideration in shopping for a drone is the controllable range of the aerial vehicle. If you’re a casual user, you may not be very fussy with the range at which you can control your drone. But you would be interested in the controllable range of the drone if you are motivated by the prospect of taking aerial footage.
Of course, the farther the range of the drone, the more expensive it is. So get a drone that has a range suited to your needs. If you intend to have your kid use the drone, then a cheap quadcopter with a range of 20 meters like this should suffice.
If you’re a first time adult user, a range of 100-plus meters should be enough.
Not all drones carry live feed of the video that these aerial vehicles are taking. Expect to pay more for quadcopters with that offer first person viewing, but there’s the thrill of seeing the view above on your smartphone or tablet. It’s like physically sitting in the cockpit of an airplane, which appeals just to about anyone and not only to frustrated pilots.
And live feed is not only useful for hobbyists. If you intend to take videos of real estate or to use the drone for search and rescue, then the live feed capability is arguably the most important factor of all.
There are apps for streaming that you can download to your computer, smart phone and tablet. If you’re not looking to view the videos on real time, you can watch the captured images on an SD card or flash drive of the drone.
Whether you intend to use the drone yourself or have your child use it, the last thing you want to happen is to have your quadrocopter dead a few minutes after use. Thus you’d like to get your hands on a copter with a reasonable amount of battery life.
There are several things you have to consider in determining the battery life of the drone you’d like to get.
One is the charging time. Most models usually take up to two hours to recharge. When fully charged, these copters can fly for six minutes before needing to be grounded and recharged.
Others can take up to 12 minutes. You should know how long the battery would last before you purchase a drone.
You should also inquire about the availability of replacement batteries. These spare batteries are handy whenever the battery is no longer holding a charge, or when it has died while you are outdoors.
Height, Speed and Style
The speed and height of the aerial vehicle are also key considerations in choosing among the many models of quadcopters. But unlike the others listed above, this is more of a personal preference.
If you intend to fly drones just for fun, a machine that can fly up to a height of 100 feet should be enough. But if you intend to use the drone for taking live action video, then you may need one that can reach greater heights, perhaps 300 feet or more.
Speed is also a factor in choosing a drone. Usually, drones have a speed ranging from 10 to 15 miles an hour.
Like smartphones and tablets, advancements in drones are occurring at breakneck speed. Today, high-end models have GPS capability that enable the flying machines to adapt to the weather conditions like wind or rains, and even call the chopper back to its home base.
Some are so small that you can put them in your pockets, but strong enough to carry a Go Pro camera. There’s even a drone that serves as a companion to a concept car, helping in tasks like scouting traffic, capturing landscape photos and spotting obstacles ahead of the car. There’s also an innovative drone that can fit around a wrist and can take photos of the wearer from unique positions.
Replacement and Repair of Parts
Lastly, there are parts of drones that may need to be repaired or replaced. Some of the parts that are commonly replaced are propellers which have been damaged, gears worn in the propellers, and batteries that are no longer capable of recharging.
You will also have to look into the type of maintenance that quadcopter kits need. Most drones need their blades to be oiled regularly to keep it in tiptop shape.
Indeed, buying a quadcopter is not as easy as it seems. It’s a good thing that there’s a wide range of models available in the market. When shopping for a drone, keep these factors in mind so you’ll be able to purchase the right aerial vehicle for your needs.
Here’s a Short Video on Some Buying Tips