Welcome to our guide about the best drones available for sale today. It is May 2017 and in our opinion, the best drone is still the DJI Phantom 4. Drones have taken off over the last few years. It has moved from a niche for a few model building enthusiasts into the mainstream.

One thing that has driven this popularity is the introduction of new drones that are ever much easier to fly (they virtually fly themselves), packed with the latest technology and do not cost an arm and a leg. When you want to buy something, you want to get the best and this is no different for drones. You want to buy the best drones for sale today.

If this is what you are looking for, then welcome to my review of the very best drones on the market. This page will be updated to include the latest drone models.

There are different kinds of drones and, because the needs of each person may be different, I’ve decided to break down the review into three broad categories. You can click on a link below to see all the best drones in that category. The categories are


Drones With Camera   FPV Racing Drones     Cheap Tech Toy Drones


I should let you know that, although I try to rank the drones, each of them was picked because it is a good quality drone. All of them are among the best drones for sale on the market today. You can ignore the rankings and instead, pick a drone that best meets your needs. If I think a drone is not of good quality, it won’t make it onto this review.

If you are new to drones, you probably don’t know all the terms and, perhaps, you don’t even know what to look out for when buying a drone. If that is the case, then I’ve got you covered. It is important that you read the buying guide for beginners as there is some useful information in there. You should also read the articles about safety and the laws governing the flying of drones in the United States. If you are not from the U.S., you should research laws governing the flying of drones in your country. Always practice safe flying. Check out the following posts to learn more about drones before you buy.

Beginner’s Guides

Drone Flying Safety and The Law

So now that we’ve got a few bases covered, let’s delve straight into the drone reviews.


The Best Prosumer and Professional Drones With Camera

 


 

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter Drone

One of the best drones – The DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Now which drones fall into this category. This category considers drones that have been specifically built for aerial imagery (which includes photography and video capturing). They either come with a high-quality camera or allows you to fit a camera to them. They may come with features such as a 3-axis gimbal, GPS, collision avoidance systems, gyros, optical flow and subject tracking features. Some can carry a payload of up to 25 pounds, allowing you to attach some heavy cameras such as DSLR cameras and even some cinematic cameras to them. If you are a professional aerial photographer or videographer or you are just an amateur enthusiast looking to take better than good images and videos from the sky, there is a drone in this review that meets your needs.

 

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Review

 

 

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Drone

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro Drone With 4K Gimbal Camera

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As if the Phantom 4 wasn’t an already awesome imaging drone, DJI wanted to bump it up with the introduction of the Phantom 4 Pro and the Phantom 4 Pro+. Any of these cameras will work for you if you are a professional aerial videographer or photographer. The biggest advancement has to be the camera. It is a 1-inch CMOS Sensor gimbal-stabilized camera capable of 4K video at 60fps and takes 20MP images.

The video below was shot with the DJI Phantom Pro. It was shot in 4K at 60fps. However, I’m only presenting the 1080p version because unless you have a 4K display on your computer, you won’t notice the difference.

I tried the Phantom 4 Pro at an event in December and I have to admit, I think it sets the bar pretty high and is in a league of its own. In my opinion, it is the best drone on the market today in its class and you will be hard pressed to find any faults with it. It dawned on me pretty quickly the that the Phantom 4 Pro was in a different league the very moment I got it up in the air.

Flying this drone is incredibly amazing. It is extremely responsive and kept on producing persistent stable videos at an amazing quality. It found it a little bit too sensitive at first so I simply toned down the sensitivity to get the type of cinematic shots I was after. The drone itself is fun to fly and responds well to commands. You can perform a whole array of customizations using the DJI Go APP.

From the outside, the Phantom 4 Pro looks just like your regular DJI Phantom drone. The biggest difference is the camera. The Phantom 4 Pro features a 1-inch Sony CMOS sensor that gives you an extra couple of stops with a much wider range. It has incredible tonal range, giving you better quality images and videos in low light settings. Another advantage of the new camera is the addition of a mechanical shutter! This solves the shutter roll problem when photographing in high movement situations.

DJI Phantom 4 in case

DJI Phantom 4 in packaging

It can record H.264 4K videos at 60 fps and H.265 videos at 30 fps at a bitrate of 100 Mbps. If you don’t understand all these technical stuff, it simply translates into more details being captured so you can get high-quality videos and images for production. Unless you are into professional imaging, these shouldn’t mean too much to you. Just know that you’ll capture exceptional videos and images with the Phantom 4 Pro.

It comes with a remote control with holders for a smartphone or a tablet. The remote control that comes in the box of the Phantom 4 Pro does not have a screen. If you want a live feed of what you are shooting, you’ll need to connect your smartphone or a tablet to the remote control. The DJI Phantom Pro+ comes with a controller that has a large 1080p display (pictured below) for monitoring what you are shooting. The is basically the main difference between the Pro and the Pro+. So if you have a tablet such as an iPad or smartphone, there’s no need to pay the higher price for the Pro+ just to get the remote control display. Just place your iPad or iPhone in the holder, connect it to the remote control and you basically have a Pro+. It works with Android devices as well.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+ Remote Control

Left: DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ Controller | Right: DJI Phantom 4 Pro Controller

The remote controller operates in a range of up to 4.3 miles depending on conditions. So you could just be in one place and send the drone to shoot some footage 4 miles away.

The Phantom 4 Pro features a variety of flight modes that allows you to shoot complex, professional footage. Flight modes include draw, active track, tap fly and return-to-home. Each of these modes is designed to give you the best shots. They make it easy for amateurs to take professional looking videos and videos. There is more information about the various modes in the user manual.

There is also a selfie mode that lets you take killer selfies with the drone. You make a few gestures with your hands that the drone responds to and gets into position. When you are ready, you let the drone know with another gesture and you have 3 seconds to strike a pose before the drone automatically takes a picture.

It features an array of sensors for autonomous flying. Sensors include GPS, GLONASS, and GNSS. It is able to detect obstacles and avoid them using its obstacle avoidance system. The system uses a combination of sensors. There are also redundancy sensors built into the drone.

DJI lists a maximum flight time of up to 30 minutes. In practice, you should expect to average about 25 – 28 minutes of flight time per charge.

I was blown away by the DJI Phantom 4 Pro and I’m pretty certain you will be too. It takes away all the pains of flying a drone and practically flys it for you. It allows you to focus on your shots. If you are an experienced drone pilot, you can operate everything manually and get the full experience of flying a drone. It is fast and so much fun to fly.

It is well-built, beautiful, has exceptional imaging capability and everything just works the way it should. This was built with professional aerial imaging in mind but will be great fun for anyone.

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DJI Mavic Pro Review

 

DJI Mavic Pro Drone

The DJI Mavic Pro is one of the best out there aerial imaging

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One of the biggest selling points of the Mavic Pro is the size and portability. Oh, and it has an amazing camera for aerial photography and videos. The Mavic Pro is a perfect companion for the novice or the serious professional. Whether you’re going on a holiday to Maui and want to capture some pro looking footage and pictures from the sky, or you are working on a professional shoot and need some good quality aerial shots, the Mavic Pro has all the power and a 4K UHD 3-axis gimbal-stabilized camera to deliver excellent results. It has one of the best quality cameras in its class, delivering cinema-quality footage.

You can shoot 4K at 30fps or cinema 4k at 24fps. Full-HD 1080p footage can be shot at 96fps, giving you the chance to shoot some awesome slow motion footage. You can capture images up to 12MP in raw DNG or JPEG formats. You can capture images in portrait or landscape modes by remotely flipping the camera. I loved the selfie mode of this drone. With just a few gestures, you can have the drone hover over you, gesture to it when you want to take a selfie, strike your pose and viola! you have a killer selfie that all your friends and family will be jealous of.

It will be easy for me to put a specs sheet up to impress you but I’m not going to do that. The specs for this drone are impressive but we all know specs aren’t everything. The video below is a 1080p version of a 4K video of New York captured with the DJI Mavic Pro. Look how smooth and sharp the video is and you don’t have to be a professional to capture similar videos with the DJI Mavic Pro.

It is very compact and foldable, making it very easy to transport. One of my favorite things about the Mavic Pro is the ease of use. Even if you’ve never operated a drone before, you’ll have this thing in the air, taking professional quality footage and images within minutes of taking delivery of the drone. It is packed with sensors for easy and safe flying. Sensors include obstacle avoidance, GPS/GLONASS, ultrasonic range finders and redundancy sensors.

I love the navigation system on this drone, which goes beyond the basic optical flow (which works on the premise that the ground below the drone is always flat). The Mavic Pro’s navigation system is able to work in a wide range of terrains because it creates a 3-D awareness of its surroundings and reacts to it. This allows you to operate the DJI Mavic Pro in a wider range of environments than most of its rivals.

The obstacle avoidance system is one of the best in a drone, giving you hassle-free flying. If it encounters an obstacle in its path, it tries to fly around it. If it can’t see a way around the obstacle, it stops and hovers, waiting for you to tell it what to do next. The obstacle avoidance system works when flying at 22mph or slower. It can only react that fast. The precision landing feature is a gem. It works so well and I have never had an issue with it. The drone will land at exactly the same spot it took off from. If for some reason you lose the connection between the drone and the remote control, the Mavic Pro will automatically fly back to where it took off with its return home feature.

DJI Mavic Pro vs DJI Phantom 3

Size Comparison Between DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Phantom 3 Drones. The Wings and Blades of The Mavic Pro Are Foldable.

It comes with a foldable remote controller that has holders for your smartphone or tablet. You can control the drone and camera with your smartphone or tablet by downloading the free DJI Go App.  The controller has a range of up to 4.3 miles depending on weather conditions. At 4.3 miles, the drone can transmit 720p footage to the remote control screen. It will transmit 1080p footage at shorter range. However, you’ll still be recording in whatever resolution you are shooting in.

DJI Mavic Pro Drone Remote Controller

DJI Mavic Pro Controller With Mobile Device Holder Located Below the Controls. Not Ideal

Maximum flight time on a single charge is 27 minutes. But realistically, you can expect an average of 22 – 25 minutes of flight time per charge.

I have used a lot of drones in my life and every year, drone technology is improving rapidly. The DJI Mavic pro is packed with amazing technology. From software to hardware, this drone is just very well-built and should impress even the harshest of drone skeptics.

The high-quality build, the ease of use, the range of features and its capabilities are simply amazing. It is one of the best, if not the best drone on the market today!

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DJI Inspire 2 Quadcopter Review

 

DJI Inspire 2 Drone

DJI Inspire 2 Drone – Top View

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The Inspire 2 was designed primarily for professional aerial video creators. It is a very capable drone that can even be used to shoot feature films. This drone excels in areas such as live streaming, live production, broadcast TV and sports broadcasting. Before going on, I should mention that this is not a toy drone or even a prosumer drone. This is a drone for the serious professional. If you are just looking for a drone that is easy to use and takes great videos and images, you should go for one of the above. The inspire two is a full professional drone. However, if you have the money to buy the drone and all the accessories needed to make it work, then I wouldn’t discourage you.

DJI Inspire 2 Actual Size

DJI Inspire 2 Is Not Small In Size

The Inspire 2 is simply an awesome drone for the serious aerial videographer. The standard version does not come with a camera (well, it does come with a small forward facing camera for FPV but I don’t count that) or a gimbal so you’ll need to buy those separately. It is compatible with 5.2K gimbal cameras. You’ll have to buy the DJI Zenmuse X4S or X5S cameras (with lens). Both cameras come with a gimbal and lens. You can buy extra lenses if you wish. Click here for a list of compatible lenses for both cameras. If you want to take it to the next level, you can get the X5R (without lens, with lens) camera Apple ProRes and CinemaDNG RAW footage.  If you want to forego the hassle of having to buy your own camera and lenses, there’s a premium package of the DJI Inspire 2 which includes the X5S camera and lens, gimbal and a CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes License.

The video below was shot with DJI Inspire 2 with the X5S camera. It was originally uploaded to YouTube in 4K. The video below is the 1080p version straight from the camera. This does not really do justice to the quality of video the X5S delivers. If you have a 4k display, search on YouTube for some 4K videos to get a real sense of how amazing the inspire 2 and X5S camera are.

The Inspire 2 quadcopter itself is a joy to fly. The flight is very smooth and stable even in windy conditions. It feels and looks well built and incorporates a number of safety features. It is not a compact drone but it is not huge by any means. The drone weighs 4 kg with the camera and gimbal attached.

As I mentioned earlier it comes with an onboard forward facing 2-axis FPV camera. So you can have a pilot concentrated solely on navigating the drone and another person focus solely on the shots from the gimbal camera.

DJI Inspire 2 FPV Camera

The DJI Inspire 2 Drone FPV Camera (Not Ideal For Aerial Imaging)

It comes with a number of advanced flight features that separate it from the pack. These features do appear on other drones but they are not as advanced as that seen on the DJI Inspire 2. Advanced features include an obstacle avoidance system that can automatically avoid obstacles in all directions. There are various advanced flight modes that help you focus on the job of shooting videos and taking photos rather than navigating the drone. The advanced return-to-home feature allows the drone to fly back to you when there’s a problem even without GPS.

It uses an array of advanced subject tracking to ensure that you stay on the shots you want to get. Flight modes include TapFly, Spotlight Pro, and ActiveTrack.

The inspire 2 can fly at a maximum speed of 58 mph making it ideal for life sports broadcasts. It can broadcast live 1080p/720p videos back to the controller, which can then be fed into a live TV production.

It comes with an advanced remote control/transmitter with 2 joysticks and smartphone or tablet holder. The remote controller does not have a screen so you will have to attach a smartphone or a tablet to use as a display. It operates in a range of up to 4.3 miles.  Flight time is listed as 27 minutes but in real world conditions, you can expect to average 24 – 25 minutes per charge.

DJI Inspire 2 Controller

DJI Inspire 2 Controller Does Not Have a Display. You’ll have to attach your smartphone or tablet.

I could go on and talk about all of the features but I obviously can’t do that in such a short article. What I can tell you is that this is one of the best drones I have ever come across. I was impressed when I saw it for the first time and so will you. It will be hard to not want to take it home with you. It looks like something that came from the future. It is very well built with its magnesium-aluminium body.

For professional production houses and photographers, the DJI Inspire 2 is the answer to your aerial production dreams. For those with a bit of cash who want an advanced tech toy to impress their peers, this will surely do the trick. But the applications are endless.

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Yuneec Typhoon H Hexacopter Drone Review

 

Yuneec Typhoon H drone

The Yuneec Typhoon H is one of the best drones out there today

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The Yuneec Typhoon H drone was built for aerial photography and videos. Yuneec might not be a household name like DJI but they do produce high-quality competitive drones and the Typhoon H is no exception. It is a 6 rotor drone that can fly even if you lose one rotor. Having 6 rotor also gives it extra flight stability even in windy conditions. It shoots 4K videos at 30 fps and photos can be up to 12 MP. The camera is mounted on a 3-axis gimbal with a 360° pan for unrestricted angles.

Yuneec Typhoon H camera

Yuneec Typhoon H Gimbal Camera and Intel RealSense

The video and images from the camera are sharp and detailed. The quality is outstanding. It even shoots good videos in low light settings. I was able to take beautiful videos after sunset and there is also a “night” mode that actually works. It is not difficult to control the cameras with the transmitter. If you are an absolute beginner and don’t know what to do, simply set it to auto and you’ll still get excellent footage and images. For the professionals, there’s a lot of options to choose from to get exactly the type of shot you are after. I love that it has a retractable landing gear which means no landing gear appearing in your shots.

The video below was shot with the Yuneec Typhoon H drone in Scotland. The original video was shot in 4k. This is a 1080p version.

You get all the bells and whistles. An Intel RealSense™ obstacle avoidance system creates a 3-D map of the drone’s surroundings and attempts to find a route around obstacles. The RealSense technology also helps you fly the drone indoors and outdoors close to the ground. You also get advanced subject tracking features that allow you to track and focus on the subjects you want to shoot. I love the watch me/follow me flight options. With watch me, the drone hovers in place and locks onto the subject. The camera is locked onto the subject and turns in any direction the subject goes. The follow me option will lock the camera onto the subject and move along with the subject.

One thing I really love about the Typhoon H is that it is a comprehensive package. You don’t have to buy any add-ons to make it work. The transmitter has a  7-inch 720p display, unlike some DJI models that do not come with a display. You don’t have to attach a smartphone or a tablet to view the video feed. The only drawback is that video transmission range is only 400 meters compared to up to 4.3 miles on some DJI models.

Yuneec Typhoon H Controller

The Yuneec Typhoon H Controller has a display

It also comes with the Wizard Wand, which is a remote control-like controller that can be used as an additional transmitter. This enables dual control mode where one person controls the flight of the drone and another controls the camera. The drone can also use the Wizard Wand to track a subject. So if you want the drone to follow someone else, give them the Wizard Wand and the drone will follow them while you control the shot with the main controller/transmitter. The main controller itself is heavy and feels well-balanced when held.

The backpack that comes with the drone is big enough to hold the drone and all the included accessories like chargers, cables, the extra battery and SD cards.

The drone itself is very user-friendly. It has autonomous flying that will suit beginners. Even if you have never flown a drone before, you should be able to fly this drone within minutes of taking delivery. For experienced drone pilots, flying this drone is a joy. The controls are very responsive and the drone will do exactly as you tell it to do.

The Typhoon H is supposed to be a direct competitor to the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. So I made a page to compare the two drones, where I discussed the features further. So go over to the DJI Phantom 4 Pro vs Yuneec Typhoon H Pro page for a comparison of the two and decide on which one to buy.

Flight time is listed at up to 22 minutes but in real world conditions, you can expect about 17 – 19 minutes of flight time on average. The good news is it comes with an extra battery. You get a wall charger and a car charger so you can charge the battery out in the field.

The drone is foldable which makes it easy to transport. The feet and some components are made of carbon fiber. As a result, the drone only weighs 1.8 kg with battery, propellers, and camera attached.

The Yuneec Typhoon H Pro is a fun to fly drone that gives you excellent aerial imaging capability. This is one drone you won’t regret buying.

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DJI Phantom 3 Professional Drone Review

 

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Drone

One of the best drones ever made – The DJI Phantom 3 Professional

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The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is the most advanced drone in the Phantom 3 series. It is equipped with a 4K camera with a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer that allows you to tilt and pan the camera as you shoot. I should say the video quality on this drone is really good. It takes photos at 12 MP.

The Phantom 3 series is one of the easiest drones to fly. Even beginners will have no trouble getting this into the air and taking great shots in minutes. It uses a variety of sensors including gyroscopes, accelerometers, GPS and Electronic Speed Controllers to stabilize the drone during flight.

The video below was shot in Sweden with the DJI Phantom 3 Professional. It is in 1080p but was originally shot in 4K.

It has all the bells and whistles including obstacle avoidance, subject tracking, auto take-off and landing, return-to-home and a few more. And I can say all these functions do work well.

Flight modes include waypoint, follow me, course lock and home lock. Each mode is designed to give you the best shot by focusing and locking onto a chosen subject or following a pre-defined path or direction. I found these flight modes to also work well.

It comes with a radio controller/transmitter. The transmitter has two joysticks and various buttons to control different functions. The controller does not have a screen so you’ll need to connect your smartphone or tablet to the controller to get a 720p live feed from the camera. Just place your device in the mobile device holder and connect it to the controller via USB, download the DJI GO App and you are set to go. You can control a variety of flight functions via the app. The app also allows you to customize your shots and control the camera and gimbal. The controller works within a range up to 3.1 miles depending on conditions.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Controller

The DJI Phantom 3 Professional Controller has no screen

DJI lists flight time to be up to 23 minutes on a charge but in reality, you should expect to average a little less than that.

The are four members of the Phantom 3 family. They are (in order of price from cheapest to most expensive) Phantom 3 Standard, Phantom 3 4K, Phantom 3 Advanced and the Phantom 3 Professional. If you want to know the differences amongst all four models, then visit this page for a comparison of all four models. This might help you pick just the right model for you. You can also head over to this page to compare the differences between the Phantom 3 and Phantom 4 models.

If you are an aerial imagery professional, the Phantom 3 Professional will make for an excellent entry drone. It takes great videos and pictures, is easy to fly, gives you lots of control over the camera and flight, and there are tons of accessories you can add-on to the drone.

DJI Phantom 3 In Flight

And if you are an amateur or just an aerial imagery enthusiast, this will be a perfect drone to get. There are literally tons of video tutorials covering just about anything you want to know about the Phantom 3. Its flight autonomy practically flys the drone for you, giving you the chance to just focus on your shots. There are plenty of automatic shooting modes to get you started if you don’t know anything about photography.

Overall, I will say this is one of the best drones on the market today and even though DJI released the Phantom 4, the Phantom 3 Professional is still a highly capable camera drone.

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Yuneec Typhoon Q500 Quadcopter Drone Review

 

Yuneec Typhoon Q500

The Yuneec Typhoon Q500 Drone

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The Yuneec Typhoon Q500 is a 4-propeller drone with a detachable 4K 12MP 3-axis gimbal stabilized camera called the CGO3. The camera can shoot cinema spec 4090 x 2160 4K video at 24 fps or UHD 3840 x 2160 video at 30 fps. If you are looking for those super slow motion shots, you can shoot at a resolution of 1080p at up to 120 fps. This gives you some nice super smooth playback of your captured videos.

I was lucky to have used this drone a few times and I got the say the videos were so smooth that, you’d think they were being shot with the camera sitting on a tripod in the air. This is thanks to its 3-axis gimbal stabilizer mount. The drone utilizes other sensors to further stabilize your shots when capturing video or taking photos.

Check out the awesome video below taken directly from the camera. See how smooth and stable it looks?

The Typhoon Q500 takes some pretty awesome pictures ass well. You get 12 MP photos in either raw or jpeg formats. The camera utilizes a 115° distortion-free lens. This eliminates barrel distortion in your photos, which is a common problem with wide angle lenses. The Q500 is in my opinion, one of the best drones I’ve ever reviewed.

There was only one tiny thing that bothered me but this is something that could be easily rectified. Every once in a while during shooting, you might end up catching the edges of the propellers or the propeller shadows in your shot. But you can easily crop these out if you are shooting in 4K.

One feature that sets the typhoon Q500 drone from some other drones on the market is that the display is built right into the radio controller. So you don’t need to attach a smartphone or tablet to monitor the videos you are capturing. Even some of the most recent DJI offerings do not come with inbuilt screens. My only issue with the control is that the display is below the joystick and other buttons on the controller. This means you have to move your eyes further down to watch what you are doing. It is, however, a minor inconvenience. The screen is a touchscreen and allows you to perform tasks such as camera settings and flight path planning. It also gives you an on-screen display of flight telemetry.

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 Controller and Personal Ground Station

The Yuneec Q500 Controller With Screen Below The Controls

Another feature I like about this drone is the included SturdyGrip. You can detach the gimbal and camera from the drone and attach it to the sturdy grip. This allows you to record stable, shake-free footage with your hands. You simply hold the SturdyGrip in your hands and shoot while moving. You won’t believe how such a small footprint can have such an amazing effect on videos shot on the ground. You’ll need to download the CGO3 app onto a mobile device to see what you are shooting. The SturdyGrip has a holder conveniently placed in such a way that you can easily monitor what you are shooting.

The Typhoon 4K drone and SturdyGrip combine to give you the ability to capture interesting perspectives and angles that you’ve always wanted, but the equipment needed to do that was out of your budget.  This combination now gives many of you that option.

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 Steady Grip Handheld Gimbal System

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 Steady Grip Handheld Gimbal System

Even if you are a beginner and have never flown a drone, the Yuneec Typhoon Q500 is very easy to fly. It has 3 flight modes. One of the modes is the smart mode. This gives beginners the chance to easily fly the drone and capture images at the same time. The smart mode includes the “follow me” and “watch me” modes, which are both subject tracking features.

Other features include a “return home mode” which tells to drone to return and automatically and within 13 to 26 feet of the pilot and transmitter.

For the experienced users, there are other modes that give you greater control. I actually found that the shots were much more stable and smoother in these other modes. So once you are comfortable with flying the drone and controlling the camera manually, you will get better results with the other modes.

The drone also comes with a no-fly database. It automatically prevents the drone from flying if you are within 5 miles of a commercial airport and limits the maximum height to within 4oo feet. You can override these restrictions by turning the GPS off.

You can expect to achieve about 25 minutes of flight time on average. The pro package comes with two batteries and a car charger which I really like. So you can be charging one battery while using the other in the field.

You also get a hard case with a handle to protect and transport the drone. It is a little bit on the heavy side but gives great protection to your drone. My only major downer for this drone is that it does not have obstacle avoidance system.

The Yuneec Q500 4K drone is truly one of the best drones on the market today and I highly recommend it to both beginners and experienced users alike.

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3DR Solo Quadcopter Drone Review

 

3DR Solo Drone Review

The 3DR Solo Drone Built For GoPro Here 3+ and Hero 4

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OK, so if you’ve noticed, none of the drones I’ve reviewed so far uses GoPro cameras or was made to be compatible with one. I know how widely popular GoPro has become in the last few years with a legion of fans who would not use anything else. If you are one of these fans and looking for a drone that is designed for a GoPro camera, then the 3D Robotics (3DR) Solo quadcopter is your answer.

It comes equipped with a 3-axis gimbal system that is designed specifically for the GoPro Hero 3+ and the Hero 4 range of cameras. I did not test this drone on a Hero 5 camera so I can’t be sure that it works with that model. But from talking to others and a little research it appears this drone will not work with a Her0 5 camera.

The version I review does not include the GoPro Camera. It is just the drone and the gimbal system for mounting your GoPro Camera. If you want a package that includes the GoPro Camera, then you’ll want to take a look at this bundle which comes with the 3DR Solo drone, gimbal system and GoPro Hero 4 Black.

This is not a review about GoPro so I’m not going to talk about the quality of videos or images. If you have a GoPro, you should already be familiar with its video and image quality. So I’m just going to talk about the 3DR Solo drone and the included gimbal.

The drone itself is an advanced quadcopter with autonomous and manual flight modes. This drone was one of the easiest to fly. The remote control has a one-button take-off button to automatically launch the drone off the ground. Whiles flying, it uses GPS combined with sensors such as a gyro and accelerometers to fly the drone. The drone can take off and land automatically.

3DR Solo Gimbal System

3DR Solo gimbal system for mounting a GoPro Camera

It comes with a video game style radio controller with two joysticks and a dedicated dial for controlling the gimbal. The controller does not have an inbuilt screen so you’ll have to attach your smartphone or tablet to the controller to view live feeds of what you are capturing. The controller has holders for your mobile device. Download the 3DR Solo mobile app onto your device to give you more controls. You can control the drone, gimbal and also the GoPro camera with the app.

Flight features include various subject tracking modes such as follow me, cablecam mode, orbit and selfie modes. There is also a “return home” feature.

3DR Solo Controller With Display

The Controller For The 3DR Solo Has a Screen

One negative for me is the lack of an obstacle avoidance system. This means that unless you are an experienced pilot, the drone should only be used in an unobstructed airspace. However, there is a feature that can help if you get into trouble. If you lose orientation or panic, just hit the pause button on the remote control. No matter what the drone is doing, it will just stop and hover in place. Then you can safely select what you want to do next.

The package I reviewed includes a backpack that can accommodate the drone and its accessories including the charger and the GoPro camera.

The drone is really fun to fly and one of the best GoPro drones on the market today. I highly recommend this drone for GoPro owners who want to to take aerial videos and photos with their beloved camera.

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The Best FPV Racing Drones


 

The Best Racing Drones

A racing drone

We are all now familiar with radio controlled drones. What you may not be familiar with is this new phenomenon that is capturing the imagination of the drone community. I’m referring the increasingly popular sport of first person view (FPV) drone racing.

FPV drone is a new sport that gives you a video-game-like experience but with greater thrills. The racer is put into the cockpit of their drone via goggles/headsets and sees exactly what the drone camera sees. You then navigate the drone through an obstacle course at speeds of up to 70 mph. You need great piloting skills to make split-second maneuvers to avoid crashing your drone into obstacles.

You need three basic things to take part in drone racing. You need and FPV-ready drone, an FPV compatible headset/goggles, and a radio controller. To succeed in this new sport, you need the best racing drone equipment.

The type of racing drone you buy depends on your needs and experience. If you are a novice or just a hobbyist, you might want to buy a beginner ready-to-fly (RTF) drone to practice with before spending money on the big stuff. My favorite RTF racing drone for beginners is the Blade Nano QX. If you don’t know how to fly a drone, you can get a micro drone to learn how to fly. Although they might not have the advanced features of their larger brothers, it is a great way to learn how to fly a drone without a big financial commitment. My favorite mini drone is the Hubsan X4. Alternatively, you can buy a drone flight simulator, such as the RealFlight simulator. It is a windows flight simulator software with a remote controller for practicing how to fly a drone without the drone itself.

Experienced pilots and racers can dive straight into the best drones on the market for racing. Some people prefer ready-to-fly and some prefer drones that they have to assemble themselves. Built-it-yourself drones can give you greater customization but require a knowledge of what you are doing or you won’t get the desired results.

Here is my list of the 5 best drones for drone racing. The drones featured in this review are all RTF drones since I have no experience with build-it-yourself racing drones.

Team Blacksheep (TBS) Vendetta Full Set RTF Racing Drone With Backpack Review

 

The TBS Vendetta is well loved in the drone racing world. The version in this review comes with everything you need to start your drone racing adventure, except the FPV headset. However, you do not need an FPV headset to get started because it comes with remote controller/transmitter with a screen for FPV live feed. It is possible to race using just the remote controller screen but you won’t get the same experience if you were using an FPV headset. You can buy an FPV headset separately if you want. I recommend the Fat Shark Dominator V3 headset to go with your Vendetta drone.

The Vendetta is one of the best drones out there for racing. It is fast, robust and has an easy-to-repair built. It is one of the easiest drones to repair if you break something (which won’t be very often). According to Team Blacksheep, you do not need a soldering tool to replace any of its parts. This is a big plus for any drone racer out there. You want to be able to replace broken parts very quickly during competitions or when you are out there practicing.

One feature I really like about the Vendetta drone is its modular design. You can upgrade the drone with more powerful parts, including motors and propellers, for greater performance if you are not satisfied with the performance out of the box. Out of the box, the drone can do speeds upwards of 70 mph when racing.

The full set bundle comes with an FPV remote controller/Transmitter with a 4.5-inch screen. The drone sends live video feeds to the screen via a 5.8GHz frequency channel. It is possible to race using just the FPV screen on the remote controller but the experience isn’t quite like the high-octane thrill you get when using an FPV headset.

The drone body is made entirely of carbon fiber, making it strong and light. The body is given a beautiful matte finish that will impress your drone racing buddies.

If you are looking for a high performance, strong, ready-to-fly racing drone, you can’t go wrong with the TBS Vendetta.

Amimon Falcore Racing Drone Kit Review

The Aminon Falcore racing drone is one of the best RTF drones out there for the beginner. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very powerful drone capable of doing 80 mph in races. For the novice racer, it will be next to impossible to fly the drone forward whiles controlling altitude at the same time. However, this drone has the “shield mode”, which allows beginners to learn how to fly without breaking the drone. The shield mode automatically controls altitude using a combination of sensors. It limits the altitude below 3 feet and allows you to fly the drone without worrying about hitting the ground. You can then control the direction using just one stick. This mode allows even novice racers to be competitive against experienced drone racers.

When you gain experience and can comfortably pilot the drone, you can then disable the safety nets and show off your full drone racing skills.

The drone features a carbon fiber monocoque body with four motors and propellers. I love the propellers on this drone. They are flexible and simply detach if you crash the drone.

The Amimon Falcore racing drone comes with radio controller/transmitter with a 720p HD video downlink. In most racing drones, the FPV video is not in high definition. The radio controller does not have a screen so you’ll have to connect your smartphone or tablet to view the live HD FPV video. But once again, I want to reiterate that if you really want to immerse yourself and get the raw thrill of drone racing, you need to get an FPV headset. It gives you an experience similar to what you get with a virtual reality headset, but with a view similar to a jet pilot’s.  If you do decide to go with the FPV headset, I can recommend a couple to take full advantage of the HD video downlink.

If you’ve got a bit more of a loose budget, then I recommend you go with the Cinemizer OLED glasses. The experience will simply blow your mind. It’s really the closest you’ll get to feeling like a jet pilot. If you are on a much more stricter budget, the I suggest you go with VUZIX iWear video headphone, which has an HD 720p display. My only advice when using an FPV headset is that you should sit rather than stand. You might feel dizzy and fall if you stand.

The Falcore is a high-performance ready-to-fly racing drone an attractive entry into drone racing for beginners and a fun, mind-blowing experience to anyone else looking to race drones for fun or competitively.

DYS XDR220 Ready-To-Fly Racing Drone Kit Review

Are you a beginner, wanting to get into the drone racing scene but don’t know how to build a custom racing drone? The DYS XDR220 may just be the best solution for you. It comes with everything you need to get going, including an FPV headset. You only need to buy your own battery to get it going. I’ll recommend a 4s or 3s battery to power the drone. The radio controller uses AA batteries.

Although it is a ready-to-fly racing drone kit, it is not really a plug-and-play drone. You’ll need to program the controls to suit your racing style and connect a few of the components yourself. But don’t be alarmed. It is quite an easy setup.  It comes with video tutorials to get you going very quickly.

The drone has a range of between 3000 ft and 5000 ft depending on where you fly it. The FPV goggles that come with the drone provide an excellent FPV racing experience.

This drone is really built for racing and as such very difficult to break. It will take some beating before anything breaks. It is certainly, one of the best RTF racing drones on the market today.

ImmersionRC Vortex 250 Pro Racing Quadcopter Drone Review

One of the best RTF racing drones to hit the market in recent times is the Vortex 250 Pro from ImmersionRC. This model does not come with a battery and a receiver. You’ll have to buy those separately. But that is a common feature with most racing drones on the market. The Vortex 250 pro has a similar size to the Team Blacksheep Vendetta reviewed earlier. It can deliver racing speeds and controls similar to what you’ll find on high-end custom racing drones.

It is easy to setup, even for beginners. And if you get stuck, there are tons of video tutorials on YouTube that can help you finish setting up and flying in just a matter of minutes. The drone itself is easy to fly with many flight features to help those just starting in FPV racing.

Blade Vortex 250 Pro FPV Racing Drone

Blade, might not be a household name in the racing drone world but they’ve come up with an absolute beast of a machine in the Vortex 250 Pro. This drone is great for those who are new to FPV racing and those with lots of experience. It is very easy to fly without needing to make any changes to the factory settings. It is fast, strong and very reliable. You’ll crash this little racer a hundred times and it will just shrug it off each time.

It is a BNF (bind-n-fly) drone with a dsmx transmitter which binds with most


Cheap Tech-Toy Drones


 

The drones in this category can serve a number of purposes. They can be given as gifts to you kids or grandkids. They can be used as practice drones for beginners who want to learn to fly. They are cheap but packs a load of fun into their small bodies. Some come with cameras and some do not. Some also come with their own remote controllers/transmitters while others rely on an app on your smartphone or tablet to fly them.

While some do come with cameras, these cameras will not work as a dedicated aerial imaging camera. They are there mainly for show and FPV purposes. Having said, that some of the cameras on the toy drones I review have 1080p capability which, for some, is a good enough resolution.

Basically, these are not drones for aerial imaging but for fun loving hobbyists, old and young alike. Since kids mostly fly this type of drone, it is important that there are some safety features. Drones have blades that can spin at quite high speeds and this can cause injury if it comes into contact with anyone. It is, therefore, important that the drone has blade guards to prevent such injuries. All the drones I’ve picked as toy drones have this feature. The table below shows the best toy drones for sale today.