Looking to pick up your first drone? Whether you know what you’re looking for or not, it all boils down to the cost and how much you’re willing to spend.
Drones come in different shapes and sizes, with designs, components, tech, and special features that can hike up the price.
In short, though, you’re looking at anything between $50 and $10,000.
Whew. But while $10,000 for a drone is definitely a lot of money, this price is for high-end drones that do a lot more than the average drone.
So if you’re a first-time buyer, you simply won’t need to spend that much.
And to point you in the right direction, this guide will run through the different types of drones you can buy, the features to look for, how long drones last, and everything else you need to know before you part with your cash.
The Different Types Of Drones You Can Buy
It goes without saying that no two drones are the same. There are a ton of drones on the marketplace, each having different purposes, features, and perks, and the same applies to the price tag.
Despite all the different designs out there, all drones are remotely controlled unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs, for short) that are operated using hardware or software.
There are different types of drones, though, and with each type of drone comes a different set of pros and cons.
These include factors like flight time, ease of use, camera control, speed, weight, durability, lifespan, and, of course, price.
What Are Drones Used For?
Before buying a drone, it’s well worth knowing everything drones can be used for, as it can help you decide what you might want to use your drone for, the features to look for, and which one to buy.
And while drones are super fun to operate, they can do much more than fly around your backyard. Drone uses include:
We won’t talk about surveillance and delivery, as these are not everyday uses for drones that you’re likely going to be doing.
So aside from basic personal use and entertainment, the most popular uses for drones are aerial photography and aerial videography – in other words, taking impressively awesome photos or videos from high up in the air.
How Much Do Drones Cost?
As mentioned above, drones can cost anything between $50 and $10,000, since there are a lot of different types of drones you can buy.
Needless to say, cheaper drones will have fewer features and less durability while expensive drones will have more pro features, better quality components, and a longer lifespan.
So it all depends on what you’re looking for and how much you can set aside for buying a drone.
If it’s your first time buying one, though, you’re better off choosing a cheap, beginner-friendly drone.
This is ideal for learning how to operate a drone, and will also reduce any buyer’s guilt if you end up crashing it and breaking it.
For beginners, then, the best options are toy drones, which cost up to $100, and entry-level camera drones, which cost up to $500.
How Long Do Drones Last?
You’re spending money on a drone (and a lot of drones aren’t cheap), so you’ll also probably want to know how long drones last.
It’s a trick question, we know, but we’ll answer it both ways.
For battery life, most common drones will last anything between 10 and 30 minutes in the air.
As for lifespan, you can expect to get between 150 and 800 hours (of total air time) out of most decent consumer drones.
One quick tip is worth mentioning here: don’t let your drone run out of battery before you land it.
How Far Can A Drone Fly?
All drones are different when it comes to how far they can fly. In other words, this is called range, and it determines how high or far the drone can fly away from you before it loses signal – at which point it’ll start falling (not ideal).
There’s no fixed distance for how far each type of drone can fly (it’s best to check the drone specifications for an exact figure) but, in general, basic beginner drones will fly up to 100 yards, mid-level hobby drones will fly up to 3 kilometers, and premium high-end drones will fly up to 8 kilometers.
These are rough estimates, though, so it’s best to find out how far a specific drone can fly before letting it fly too far away from you!
What To Look For When Buying A Drone
So you’re ready to buy your first drone. Before buying one, though, it’s worth having an idea of what to look for and why. Just some of the main factors to take into account include:
- Flying time – how long the drone can fly (from a full charge) before the battery drains
- Battery type – drones can have a built-in rechargeable battery or rechargeable battery packs that can be swapped instantly
- Flight range – how far you can fly the drone before it loses signal
- Camera – how many cameras the drone has and the camera quality
- GPS – GPS can help flight course and also tracking your drone if it gets lost
- Speed – speed affects maneuverability, with low-speed drones better suited to beginners
- Build quality – high-quality components will provide the drone with better performance, durability, and lifespan
If you’re still on the fence about buying a drone, the good news is that drones have become more affordable than ever – especially for beginners who just want to try flying a drone for the first time.
Despite costing up to $10,000, there are drones that cost as low as $100, so it’s more than affordable to purchase a drone and get up to speed with how to control one.
Other than that, there are plenty of reasons to purchase a drone. Entertainment is one, alongside aerial photography and videography – no matter whether you are a hobbyist or professional photographer.