Posted By Kevin Skaggs on Oct 6, 2015
According to a recent report by BI Intelligence, the market for commercial/civilian drones will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% between 2015 and 2020. Drones are being utilized by an increasing number of industry sectors, for all kinds of different applications. Drones are everywhere! To help you decide which drone is best for you, we have complied a short list of the best drones for beginners, hobbyists, and professionals.
The DJI Phantom is manufactured by SZ DJI Technology Co., a Chinese OEM headquartered in Shenzhen. The DJI Phantom was one of the first drones to go mainstream, and remains hugely popular. Considered as one of the most iconic products of its kind, the DJI Phantom is used primarily for capturing aerial footage; everything from weddings, and extreme sports, to fireworks displays, and natural wonders. The DJI Phantom starts at around $500 (£330).
The Phantom comes in several different models, the Phantom 1, Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision+, and now the Phantom 3.0. Easy to control with lots of safety features, this drone includes extended battery life and a high-quality camera. It’s considered a must for amateur aerial photographers and videographers.
WL Toys V959 Quadcopter
Marketed as a toy, this drone’s built-in camera is easy to adjust so you may enjoy the best angle prior to takeoff. Construction includes carbon fiber for withstanding treetop crashes, while flight time is about 17 minutes. This quadcopter is a great entry-level drone, that can be purchased from Amazon for around $50 (£30). It is about the size of your hand and is a great entry-level product to learn basic flying techniques before investing in a professional quality drone.
Top Race 4 Channel Micro Quad
Celebrated as the “smallest quadcopter in the world,” this tiny drone is a mere inch and a half square. Not only does it boast many of the same capabilities as some larger drones but, like the V959 it is also very affordable. As you'd expect from a product that only costs a few bucks, this drone is nothing more than a fun little toy. It doesn't come with a camera or any other bells and whistles, but it's still good value for money. You can pick one up from Amazon for around $30 (£20).
Parrot Mini Drone Rolling Spider
Likened to props used in sci-fi movies, the Parrot Mini Drone Rolling Spider features sizable plastic wheel-like stabilizers on each side that allow the drone to keep flying no matter how many times it bumps into walls and ceilings. Other features include Bluetooth connectivity, and a free app that makes it easy to control from your smartphone. The Rolling Spider's built in camera is, however, pretty basic and can only take pictures of whatever is directly below it. The only other criticism relates to the Rolling Spider's limited 8 minute battery life. Aside from this, it's a great drone that's easy to set up and fly. This product can also be purchased from Amazon for around $100 (£50).
Another excellent drone from DJI is the Inspire 1, which is currently one of the top selling professional drones world-wide. The DJI Inspire 1 is built with all carbon-fiber landing gear that lifts and lowers automatically on take-off and landing. The Inspire 1 comes with a built in 94-degree field of view camera that is capable of capturing 4K video at 30fps, 1080p video at 60fps and 12-megapixel stills. The camera can rotate 360 degrees and tilt 125 degrees. The inspire also comes with a 3 axis gimbal for outstanding stablisation, keeping the camera level and smooth in almost all weather conditions.
The Inspire 1 has a self take off and self landing capability, so with a push of a button it will take off and land on its own. If you choose to land it manually, its wide base and shock absorbers mean there's less chance of tipping. The Inspire 1 is priced around $2,899 (£1900) and is geared toward the more professional drone user.
For more on drones and drone accessories, check out DroneFly today.
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