The Best Drones – Top Gun On A Budget
Game Of Drones
This year the skies of surburbia will be abuzz with the latest gadget craze that is set to be the hit of the holiday season. The humble drone, formerly a military and commercial enterprise due to costs, is hitting the consumer market. While they have been available for a number of years, this year marks a dramatic shift in pricing, making dozens of drones available for as little as £20.
To help you drone-watch this Christmas, or to tell friend from foe, we have a look at the top drones to buy this Christmas
1. Camera Drone
One of the coolest aspects of using a drone is for photography and videos. Unique perspective and glorious aerial shots to make even Michael Bay drool. One of the best consumer drones for this is the Parrot AR. Drone 2.0 (£299.99)
While it has a price more akin to the latest in Gaming consoles it is far cheaper than many other drones with similar capabilities, see below, but with 720p video recording and operation though your mobile phone, it’s a great deal. The Parrot AR looks to be the best £ for pound camera drone on the market.
2. Budget Flyer
Popular drone manufacturer Hubsan, have the edge in the budget market. The Hubsan X4 is one of their most popular indoor budget device at around £30.
A simple, fly-out-the-box, no frills drone that does exactly what it say it’ll do. This won’t be able to carry even the smallest of cameras but is a great fun entry into the world of drone flying. Great for kids and adults alike and at a great price.
3. The Sky is The limit
For those with a bit of a larger budget in mind, we head to the latest and greatest consumer drone available (there are more expensive pro-drones but this is the best one aimed at the “average” person, by “average” they mean loaded)
The DJI Phantom Vision 2 Plus, is the latest carnation of the Phantom range of drones. This particular model features it’s a 14mp camera with independent 3-axis stabilisation (sounds pretty cool already). The drone has a very handy “Return to home” mode where, on losing signal from the controller, will automatically fly itself back to a pre-set location (thanks to onboard GPS), so no need to go hunting if your controller runs out of battery.
My personal favourite features is the ability to sync with your phone and fly the drone in a first person perspective. The controller even comes with a handy clip for your phone to connect to it.
You’ll be glad to know that you get change out of £1000 for this drone, but not much to be fair. Average price is around £900 new, but you could save £100 by going second hand.
This is just the merest sliver of the available drones on the market today and they will bring joy to kids and adults alike for years to come. The greatest thing about the rise of the drones is kids will get to venture to the wonderland of mystery that they’ve only seen in the movies or read in books………outside.
The UK government has issued guidelines via the CAA regarding the use of consumer drones;
Drones must not operate over or within 150 metres (492 feet) of a congested area or organised open-air assembly of more than 1,000 people (No watching the footy from above). Nor can they fly within 50 metres (164 feet) of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the control of the “pilot”, or within 50 metres of any person except during take-off or landing (so no top-gun style buzzing of the tower).
If you are fortunate enough to get a drone this year, please take care and fly safe (and try not get in trouble).