If you’re trying to decide between buying a new or used drone, read on to learn about the pros and cons of each choice. The market for commercial drones is growing exponentially and drones are all over our skies. However, a newbie might find it hard to choose the best drones from the numerous models on the market. The good thing is that we shall break down the important things you should be looking for when buying a drone. We’ll also be talking about the pros and cons of buying new and used drones, how to get value for money, safety concerns and look at some popular drones in the market.
New vs. Used Drones, Which is Right for You?
First of all, you might be wondering whether you should buy a drone. You should consider buying a drone if you’re a typical RC enthusiast (cars, boats, helicopters etc). If you love photography or you want to be a videographer, a drone can help you capture professional images and videos. Drone technology can also be of commercial interest, and drones can be applied in many sectors including agriculture and real estate. You also need to find out whether you need a permit to fly your drone. In most cases, consumer drones don’t need permits but you might need a permit to fly a drone for commercial purposes. You may also need to seek permission before flying your drone in some areas. Pricing isn’t a major concern because sophisticated drones are available for less than $150.
The evolution of drones started in the military when they were used for missions where the threat to human life was extremely high. Ever since September 11th 2001, the US army has heavily relied on drones for missions into hostile territory. In 1986, Samuel Pierpont Langley designed a steam-powered drone made of steel, wood and fabric. Five years later in 1991, a drone was used during the Gulf War to provide live TV feed above the battle field. From that point on, drones have continued their development to become the sophisticated devices we now have.
The first consumer drones began as simple toys such as the quadcopter, a multi-rotor helicopter lifted and propelled by four rotors. Later, advanced technology meant that these machines could be fitted accelerometers, flight controllers, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and cameras. Nowadays, you can find drones everywhere and they’re being used for many purposes, including aerial photography and surveying. Drones have also become sophisticated devices featuring the latest technology including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Buying a used drone comes with some challenges and among the top concerns is whether you’re getting value for money. A used drone might be cheaper than a new one but it may be lacking the latest features. Consumer drones started as toys but now they are much more than that. Nowadays drones come with cameras for photos and videos and you can also find programmable drones. The latest drones are able to capture, edit and stream photos and videos to the Web. So if you want to take advantage of the latest technology, buying a new drone may be the way to go.
On the other hand, technology is moving at a rapid pace. This means that you can get a cheap used drone with all the latest features because the owner wants to upgrade to the latest gadget on the market. For instance, we now have semi-autonomous drones, which can operate on their own without human intervention. A seller might therefore be looking to upgrade to such a drone and might be offering their used drone on the cheap. But you need to find out if replacement parts, batteries and other accessories are available for used drones. You also need to ensure that you buy used drones from reputable sources to avoid being caught with stolen property.
Before you buy a drone, you need to familiarize yourself with some common acronyms. RTF stands for ready to fly and it applies to a drone that doesn’t need any setup or assembly. BNF is an acronym for bind-and-fly and it applies to a drone that comes fully assembled but without a controller. You will therefore need to buy a compatible controller before you can fly such a drone. ARF stands for almost ready to fly and it’s a drone that is shipped to you without being assembled and may be shipped with or without a controller.
Now that you’ve learned some important acronyms, it’s time to hit the market and check out the best new and used drones for beginners. When shopping for a drone, there are six specifications to keep in mind. Important drone basics include the average flight time on a single battery charge. The speed of the drone is also important and the faster it can fly, the better. The range of the drone means how far it can fly before losing contact with its controller, and it’s measured in feet. The type of controller is also important and it can be an app or hardware controller. A modern drone should have a camera and it should automatically return home using its GPS.
This is one of the best camera drones on the market and it comes with GPS assisted flight features to let you concentrate on capturing images while helping you fly safely. Features such as Point of Interest, Follow Me and Waypoints provide advanced camera perspective. It comes with an intelligent battery that allows you to fly up to twenty-five minutes at a stretch. A set of accessories will include a battery, charger, two pairs of propellers, a radio controller and an 8GB memory card. The remote control needs to be updated before you can use this drone and it’s available at a reasonable price.
This one comes ready assembled and with a multipurpose controller with a 7-inch Android touchscreen. It’s safe to fly with its built-in collision avoidance and GPS-stabilized flight control with 8 flight modes. The drone can capture stunning 4K ultra high definition video, 12 megapixel photographs and comes with a full 360-degree anti-vibration gimbal and collapsible landing gear for 360-degree filming. The drone has a compact size and after landing, the rotors fold against it for easy transportation.
If you’re thinking of buying a new or used drone, you need to find out how easy it is to find replacement parts, batteries and other accessories. When shopping for a drone, think of the most important features you’re looking for— whether it’s a camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, speed, flight range or GPS. Price is also a concern and you can find some fantastic deals for both new and used drones. Some drones come ready to fly while others need assembly. You should choose the most suitable based on your level of experience with drones.
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