The year of the drone: What to buy and where
Domestic drones are becoming more commonplace, which inevitably means that the market is becoming ever more prominent. As the technology has developed, so has the increase in their use recreationally, with buyers now able to link their easy-to-fly devices to their mobile phones and enjoy live video steaming both indoors and out. With all this innovation, a surge in the number of purchases is to be expected. There are a whole host of easy-to-fly products that are aimed at people of all levels and that offer different experiences and features, for the beginner and the hobbyist alike. And there is no need to fall back on Amazon, there are online stores that are dedicated to the sale of drones and their accessories, including Drones Direct, Maplin and even the Drone Superstore. Most manufacturers and retailers recommend being part of a community, and looking online is a good place to find supportive forums, particularly for beginners.
For those who wish to play rather than explore, Parrot appear to specialise in the mini drone – ones that work on the ground as well as in the sky. With these devices they aim to give consumers an immersive experience, though some of them do run the risk of being a little bit more delicate when it comes to outdoor journeying. The Jumping Race drone is a good one for the younger racing enthusiasts – recommend ages are between seven and 18 – with a camera that streams live images to the mobile or tablet control screen. There is also the Parrot Mambo, which comes fully equipped with a miniature ball-firing cannon and a Grabber claw, to “turn the sky into a playground”. The draw of these devices is that they suit a range of ages and beginners benefit from the automatic piloting that makes the regular drones easy to take off, fly and land.
If you would prefer to use your drone to shoot some amazing aerial landscapes, it is possible to shoot in 4K high definition and in slow motion. The Yuneec Typhoon 4K – described as a “tripod in the sky” – has its own Android touchscreen so you can do without a smartphone, and also lets you use the camera as a handheld device to take professional-looking photos and videos closer to home as well as in the air.
DJI’s drones are proving to be among the most popular, enabling the user to have more control and keep track of their device through GPS, as well as being equipped with HD cameras to ensure stunning aerial views and videos that can be shared easily and quickly. It’s no surprise that this Chinese company is said to be a world leader in the marketplace, with an output of products that keep on improving. One of their latest Phantom products, the Pro 4+, boasts a radio controller with a built-in screen, which also enables users to alter the drone’s route by drawing it on the touchscreen and changing the direction of flight. The company also sells a mini drone, named Spark, which allows buyers to take photos with just hand gestures. DJI is one of the most successful manufacturers of these devices, providing drones for both consumer and professional use. It’s difficult to choose between them; keep searching for offers, though, and you might be lucky enough to find a coupon code, which could help in making your mind up.
The editorial unit