A few years back, drones were mainly manufactured for military purposes and science fiction films. But today, these wonderful flying machines have made their way into the lives of many families. Thanks to the plummeting prices and fast-evolving technology, the size of a drone has reduced significantly and has become a household favorite, whether it’s being used for an amazing aerial shoot or it’s just simply flown around.
There is an unprecedented amount of drones available on the market today. But before you buy yourself a drone, there are some things that you should keep in mind, for example:
- Some drones are fitted with fixed landing legs (that do not collapse) while others are compact.
- Some drones are already fixed with a camera while others require a camera from external sources (such drones require GoPro devices mostly).
- Not all drones are easy to operate and fly. They require a lot of practice to even become close to competent.
- Not all drones are made to fly immediately. Some drones require specific updates and registrations from compatible tablets or smartphones to make them fly.
- Not all drones operate in the same way. While some are made in such a way that they are easy to fly and navigate, others are more complex in nature and require some amount of practice.
- Some drones are fitted with sensors that warn you before crashing somewhere, while other are not fitted with such gear.
- While carrying the drone, you need to ask yourself whether it can be carried easily.
- There are some countries that do not allow you to use drones for personal/commercial purposes; hence you need to research before you decide to take your drone to foreign destinations.
These are some of the things you should think about before buying a drone for outdoor activities. Below are some of the most outstanding drones for travel and they are perfect for outdoor activities such as traveling, shooting, etc.:
DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter is a ready-to-fly device that is extremely simple to operate, hence making it perfect for people who want to enter into a drone flying hobby. The entry-level model’s controller uses a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi range extender to transmit live view from the drone to your mobile device. The camera is a distortion-free, 94° wide angle lens with a recording resolution of 2.7k HD video at 30 FPS.
The drone has a very functional design, with the batteries and electronics inside the central body. The motor is at the end of each protruding arms. The landing gear is attached to the bottom of the central body.
- The video and still image quality is excellent
- The drone is very simple to understand and use
- The app can be downloaded on any Android or iOS device
- There are some video glitches
- The battery charges very slowly
- It catches sight of itself in the video at times
3DR SOLO Quadcopter
The latest drone from 3D Robotics SOLO is a simple yet powerful drone. It is packed with a lot of features for making an air-borne movie. You can also purchase additional add-ons for more of an advantage. While the drone is not fitted with a camera, you can use any GoPro camera with it.
The drone is easily seen during the night as well, thanks to the bright multi-colored LEDs under each motor. The controller is replete with eight dials and buttons, as well as a small OLED display and two control sticks. The display does not show the live video from the drone. Instead, it shows the positioning of the drone and other things like battery life, etc.
- The drone has a very sleek and attractive design
- The SOLO is simple to understand and operate
- The drone flies very fast
- It is capable of shooting steady and sharp videos
- It only requires an additional GoPro camera
- It can be on the expensive side
DJI Mavic Pro
This is yet another product from DJI added to this the list. The most brilliant feature about the Mavic is its portability. It is equipped with a set of folding arms that allows you to fold the drone down to a smaller size. Along with a portable controller, the drone can be carried anywhere without any problems.
The drone is equipped with a 4K camera and a compact 3-axis gimbal, allowing you to capture the most stabilizing videos and images. On top of that, the Mavic also has a DJI’s Optical Flow and ActiveTrack software that allows it to sense and track objects (respectively) using nothing but the image analysis algorithm and the camera.
- The drone has a very portable design
- It comes with an extremely long range of view
- The camera stand is fitted with a gimbal
- The gimbal assembly is very fragile and can break if it is roughly handled
- There have been some reviews that say that the device would not start
Hubsan H501S X4 Quadcopter
The feature-rich quad copter from Hubsan allows high-performance at very reasonable prices. The remote and the drone are fitted with GPS that enables a ‘Follow Me’ mode. This allows the drone to track and follow the remote autonomously. The Barometer Altitude Hold feature also allows the drone to maintain a specific height autonomously.
The drone’s camera has a 1080p HD resolution. Live video works at 5.8 GHz and 4 channel remote controller in 2.4 GHz, therefore there is no disturbance in transmission. You can easily click photos as well as record videos without any problem.
- The drone is packed with several features that cannot be found in many other drones of the same price range
- The motors are very durable and do not make much noise
- The drone is fitted with a very good camera that is also perfect for selfies
- Sometimes, the altitude of the drone can drop suddenly when the speed increases
- Some reviews state that the drone has stopped functioning mid-flight
AirDog Quad Copter
During 2015, the biggest drone innovation was the ‘Follow Me’ mode. Although it was not new, the technology has finally caught on and has become one of the leading features in drones today. AirDog Quadcopter was one of the first drones that installed this feature. At the time, the small AirDog team further researched this technology and took it to new heights.
Although it does not come with a fixed camera, you can attach your GoPro camera securely. It is perfect for hands-free adventure sports and can be carried around anywhere. One added feature of the newer models is collision avoidance, thanks to the in-built LIDAR sensor, that prevents the drone from crashing into walls or trees.
- Most of the drone’s functions are autonomous
- The foldable nature allows for easy transport
- There are different modes for different sports
- The drone is a bit on the pricey side
- The camera is not included
- There is very limited control
In the last few years, drone manufacturers have stepped up their game and have been producing some of the best drones and quadcopters on the market. They all offer different drones at very low prices. With so many options to choose from, the above five are some of the best out there. But if you do decide to purchase something that is not on the list, do make sure to balance its pros and cons.