What Should Photographers Look for When Purchasing Their First Drones?

The development of drones for consumer use has really been a game-changer in recent years when it comes to creative photography. Those who don’t yet have personal experience using drones may be hesitant to make the investment necessary to get a drone that will suit their needs, though. This article introduces some of the basic considerations that any photographer should keep in mind when searching for the right drone.

Flight Time

A drone’s flight time describes the amount of time it can spend in the air prior to taking it back down to recharge the battery. Expect a drone’s flight time to decrease as the price threshold is lowered. Most inexpensive drones have flight times under ten minutes, but many photographers find that purchasing one of these less expensive drones to start out allows them to get used to the technology and still get the shots they need in between charges.

Image Quality

It should go without saying that image quality is of the utmost importance in a drone that is going to be used for professional or serious amateur aerial photography. There are plenty of options available for less than $200 that offer 720p image resolution. This may not be sufficient for professional photographers, but it works well enough to let those who are new to the aerial photography game get a taste for what they can achieve.

First-Person View Transmitters

There are two different types of first-person view transmitters available to most consumers: digital antenna, and wifi signal. Most users find that drones that use wifi transmitters are more effective than those that use digital antennas, as the signal they provide is generally longer-range and stronger. While many digital antenna drones cut out at just 400 to 600 meters away, those that use wifi transmitters can reach as far as 2000 meters depending on the terrain.

Essential Gear

It’s a good idea to purchase a travel case specifically designed for use with drones, as keeping everything safe and organized can be quite a hassle without one. These specialized cases can be expensive, but they’re worth buying. Prop guards are also a must for beginner drone pilots, as a few crashes are pretty much inevitable while photographers learn the ropes.