As technology advances and prices fall, the demand for consumer drones continues to grow. Drones are available in all different shapes and sizes – but which is the best consumer drone? This page will clear up the confusion as I tell you what the best consumer drones are.
The DJI Phantom 4 is by far the most well known consumer drone on the market. It is used by professionals and hobbyists alike and comes in at a strong first on this list. The Phantom 4 has a built-in camera that can record in 4K. In my opinion, this is the only compact Areal Photography camera that is better than the GoPro for shooting drone footage. I love the tapfly feature too which means that the Phantom 4 will automatically miss obstacles if it senses that it may collide with them.
DJI tell us that it can film for 28 minutes (although I only got it to fly for just over 25 minutes before it needed to land.) Regardless of this, 25-28 minutes is still a very long flight time and you will struggle to find a drone that can fly for longer.
The only downside of the DJI Phantom 4 is that it is very expensive – £1,299. Many will not be able to afford this and therefore take a look at the drones listed below (or consider the earlier Phantom models such as the Phantom 3 which costs £449 at the time of writing this article.)
The Husban X4 H107 Quadcopter is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand since it is one of the most compact drones on the market. This not only makes the X4 safer to use indoors, but is also more suitable for less experienced users. Its light weight comes with countless other benefits too such as being inexpensive, fast and agile. This means that you can easily perform a range of tricks and stunts using this drone.
It has four motors and a six-axis flight control system which I found to be very easy to operate. Husban claim that the remote control transmitter allows you to fly the X4 from up to a distance of up to 100 meters. However, in my tests I was only able to fly it out to about 90 meters before it started losing signal.
The Husban H107 comes in two different models – the H107L and the H107C. The only difference between them is that the H107C has a 2 mega pixel HD camera mounted onto its front meaning you can take pictures and record videos from on-board the drone. I highly recommend this drone – especially to beginners.
If you wan’t to explore areal photography then the 3DR Solo is a great drone to consider. 3D Robotics claims this is the worlds smartest drone (although I would argue that the worlds smartest drone is actually the Phantom 4 at the top of this list.) They have worked in tandem with GoPro to create a smart, capable and easy-to-fly camera drone which is both flexible and versatile.
The 3DR Solo boasts a handful of smart features such as a Cable Cm, Orbit and Selfie modes. Check out their website for an explanation of what all these features do.
However, there are two functions that set this drone apart from the others. The first is the fact that it has an optional GoPro mount that I found really useful since I own a GoPro and I was able to easily attach it to the camera to fly. The second is the innovative remote control which is designed to look and feel like a video game controller. This means that it adds familiarity and removes the learning curve associated with using a typical drone controller. However, all of these features make this drone a little heavier and more bulky than the others on this list.
The Parrot Bebop 2 is an advanced drone that has some pretty cool features. The first thing that it has is ultrasound pressure sensors which measure its altitude whilst its gyroscope keeps the drone in stable flight. It also has a 14 megapixel on-board capture that can be used to record high-definition video. The front-facing camera has a fish-eye lens and has been specifically designed to capture wide-angle footage when transferred onto the computer. However, you won’t be able to add your own GoPro (which has much higher quality filming) to this drone which could be a negative for some people
However, my favourite aspect to the Parrot Bebop 2 is it’s flight time. It produces a whopping 25 minutes of flight time and can reach 328 feet in the air (in under 20 seconds.) This little drone is a compact power house and is one of the best flying machines out there.
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 has a highly recognisable frame. It is cheaper than the Bebop as it is aimed as an entry-level drone. It contains an on-board HD camera that is used for video recording and can be piloted in real time from the AR.FreeFlight app. You can control the drone in first person view (FPV) from the front camera which beams the video down to your paired device. The built in camera is decent. It has a 92″ wide-angle lens and can record HD video. I still would prefer to use a GoPro in my opinion though.
One really cool feature of this drone is the fact that it allows you to play ‘games’ with other drones. The front facing camera can detect the hull colour of other AR.Drones and you can earn points by attacking and fleeing from your opponents drone. I found this drone great fun to use.
You you have a different opinion on what the best consumer drones are? If so, comment down below!
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