Five years ago, drones were walking the line between major geekery and novelty, with even Congress dismissing them as another version of model airplanes. With no shortage of derisive names thrown at the technology, it seemed that drones had been damned to the realm of “toys for adults”.
Fast forward to 2017, and drone technology has become mainstream, with everyone from large corporations to renowned film makers and hobbyists finding a use for it. If you’re looking to purchase one this year, there’s a lot of questions you need to ask yourself. From small recreational drones, to serious movie-grade drones, and low-budget to top-of-the-line models, you need to determine what your needs are before you buy the drone to meet them.
Below we’ve collected some of the best drones on the market for every type of buyer out there. Take a look!
For the pros:
Of course… Even those of you who have limited exposure to the droning world will be familiar with this one. This drone boasts a magnesium-aluminum body construction and is engineered with an all-new processing system that has the ability to record up to 5.2K in CinemaDNG Raw, Apple ProRes and many more. The DJI Inspire 2 is able to accelerate from 0-50mph in five seconds with a maximum speed of 58 mph and a descent speed of 9 meters per second. With a dual battery system and self-heating technology, flight time is increased by 27 minutes and can fly in very low temperatures.
For those on a budget:
While this guy might not offer the features found on some of the heavy hitters on this list, the Bugs 3, certainly packs a punch for its low price. This drone is ready to fly straight from the box and is recommended for those looking for a casual drone for some great aerial photography. While this model doesn’t come with a camera built-in, it does offer and handy little slot to connect your action camera. The Bugs 3 offers an solid 1800mAh battery which will get you around a half hour of flight time. The brushless motors of the drone are incredibly efficient and improve the drone’s power transfer.
For the beginners:
Budget drones shouldn’t be confused with beginner drones. While cheaper drones may offer some solid functionality, they can sometimes be a bit unreliable. We feel it’s a smarter move to invest in a sturdier and more feature-rich product. The highly portable Yuneec Breeze boasts a solid 4K camera on its underside and is able to be controlled via your smartphone. If you’re looking for a good quadcopter drone to cut your teeth on, without sacrificing any functionality, the Yuneec is your best bet.
For the racers:
For as many photographers there are using drones with amazing results, drone racing remains a surprisingly popular sport. The reason Lumenier took our top spot for racing drones is its impressive customization options. The whole drone can be purchased pre-assembled from Lumenier, but it’s modular nature allows you to swap in your own parts for better and newer gear.
For the kids:
If you’re looking for a good sturdy quad-copter drone for the kids, there’s really no need to look further than the SYMA X5C. It’s small enough that it can be flown both indoors and outdoors, which can be great for those rainy days. The onboard 720p camera will definitely be turning heads, not because of the resolution, but because of it”s affordability. If you’re kid does end up damaging a part of the drone, SYMA has made every part of the drone available for replacement. If you want, you can also purchase an updated camera with wi-fi capabilities so you can get a first person perspective from your iOS or Android device.