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Five Steps To Help You Choose a Suitable Drone

There are so many kinds of models on the market. It’s quite a hard work to research and compare each of them. As I see, there are five different dimensions to help you judge the most suitable drone:

Purpose → Function → Duration → Quality → Price

And it’s also an easy-five-steps method of choosing an RC drone. It makes your decision become a logical process.

  1. Purpose: You should clearly know why you need a drone and what the usage purpose is.
  2. Function: Purpose leads to function, so you’d better find a drone which can meet your needs.
  3. Duration: How high does the drone reach and how long does it sustain, all depends on fly duration.
  4. Quality: Nobody likes poor-quality drones. Good quality sometimes means big brand products.
  5. Price: After above the four steps, you will get an approximate budget.

If the result is over budget, you need to simply go back to the step2 to step4 and adjust your tactics by compromising on product function, duration or even quality. If you accept the price, please don’t hesitate, just place an order.

Follow these steps, you won’t be helpless or anxious anymore when you are making decisions. But, some of you may still be confused with the easy-five-steps method. So I will give you an example right now.

An Easy-Five-Steps Method Example

  •  Purpose: Aerial photography with HD quality, easy to control.
  •  Function: Remote control, HD camera, obstacle avoiding, one button return.
  •  Duration: At least 18 minutes or 2 miles.
  •  Quality: Big brand or good quality is the first choice.
  •  Price: Budget is under $1,500.
  •  Suggestion: DJI Phantom 4

You must get my point now, right?

  • Detail Explanation Of Drone Choosing Five Steps

After above reading, you must have a rough idea of the easy-five-steps method and the basic price information of RC camera drone. And I will give you more detail explanation of drone choosing five steps on the next.

The easy-five-steps method will be divided into 5 selection dimensions, so you just need focus on one simple factor to help you gather information every time. After you finish the 5 dimensions, you will have five different aspects of cognition that will help you make a final decision.

Now, you’d better take out a blank sheet of paper and a pen to record the whole selection process. This can help you cross compare and choose a suitable model for you.

#1 Usage Purpose Is the Primary Consideration

Before you decide to buy a drone with camera, you must have your reasons or purposes. Because the drone is not a kind of cheap commodity so, its usage purpose determines how much money you will spend on it.

Here are mainly usage purposes of RC camera drones:

  •  Live news broadcast.
  •  Assisted shooting of movies, TV dramas and advertising videos.
  •  Search and rescue missions.
  •  Aerial photography and panoramic maps.
  •  As a gift.
  •  Toys for kids
  • Once you aware of your purpose, it’s quite easy for you to find out the functions you need.

#2 Filter The Functions Then Meet Your Need

Different RC camera drones have different functions. I list the main functions of drone with camera in the following. You can record down the functions and try to match the model to your needs.

And I would like to help you mark the functions with colorful labels, which makes the filtering of functions easier.

  •  L= Live news broadcast.
  •  V = Assisted shooting of movies, TV dramas and advertising videos.
  •  S = Search and rescue missions.
  •  P = Aerial photography and panoramic maps.
  •  G = As a gift.
  •  T = Toys for kids or big kids.
Models Camera Pixels Control Distance APP Throwing Flight 360° Roll
One Key Return Real-time Transmission Positioning Module Obstacle Sensing
SYMA X5C-W 2M 30m
Syma X5SW 0.3M 50m
Syma X8G 8M 70m
Holy Stone U818A 2M 50m
Holy Stone F180C 1M 30-50m
UDI U818A 2M 30m
DJI Phantom 4 12M 5km GPS + GLONASS
DJI Phantom 3 Professional 12M 5km GPS + GLONASS
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced 12M 5km GPS + GLONASS
DJI Phantom 3 Standard 12M 1km GPS
AKASO K88 HD 50-100m
Qcopter QC1 2M 100m
Hubsan X4 H107D 0.3M 50 – 100m
DBPOWER X101 1M 100m
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition 1M 500m
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition 1M 500m
Parrot Bebop 2 12M 2km GPS

#3 Duration Decides How Far You Will Achieve

The duration capacity decides how far and how high the drone can fly. There are two things you need to pay attention on duration. The first is how long does the battery can last for, the second is how much storage space does the drone has.

We usually use flight time or flight distance to determine the duration of a drone. Of course, the ones which can fly further and longer means have stronger duration. I put storage into the consideration because the space determines the length and quality of video you can take.

Now, check quickly, which model of drones can meet your requirement on duration.

Model Fly Time Charging Time Storage Giveaway
DJI Phantom 3 Standard 25 mins 096 mins Micro SD Card 8GB Micro SD Card
Parrot Bebop 2 25 mins 090 mins 8GB Device Memory
DJI Phantom 3 Professional 23 mins 080 mins Micro SD Card 16GB Micro SD Card
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced 23 mins 090 mins Micro SD Card 16G Micro SD card
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition 18 mins 120 mins USB memory stick
Qcopter QC1 13 mins 105 mins Micro SD Card 2GB Micro SD card
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition 12 mins 090 mins USB memory stick
DBPOWER X101 10 mins 150 mins Micro SD Card 4GB MicroSD card
Holy Stone U818A 08 mins 105 mins Micro SD Card 4GB Micro SD Card
UDI U818A 08 mins 105 mins Micro SD Card 4GB Micro SD Card
SYMA X5C-W 07 mins 100 mins Micro SD Card 4GB+2GB Micro SD Card
Holy Stone F180C 07 mins 040 mins Mini SD Card 2GB Mini SD card
LANDVO JJRC H8D 07 mins 110 mins Micro SD Card 2GB Micro SD card
Syma X8G 07 mins 190 mins Micro SD Card 2GB Micro SD card
Syma X5SW 07 mins 115 mins Record to moblie device
AKASO K88 06 mins 110 mins Micro SD Card A MicroSD card
Hubsan X4 H107D 06 mins 060 mins Micro SDHC Card A Micro SDHC card

So far, you have already known your usage need and have a basic understanding of the functions and durations of major drones.

#4 Know The Quality Through The Reviews

Quality is an abstract concept, so there are no parameters to exactly judge the quality of drones..

Model Score Model Score
Qcopter QC1 RCMD 4.6 SYMA X5C-W 4.1
Holy Stone U818A RCMD 4.6 DJI Phantom 4 4
Syma X8G RCMD 4.5 DBPOWER X101 4
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced RCMD 4.5 4Holy Stone F180C 4
AKASO K88 4.4 Syma X5SW 4
DJI Phantom 3 Professional 4.3 Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition 3.9
DJI Phantom 3 Standard 4.3 Hubsan X4 H107D 3.6
Parrot Bebop 2 4.2 Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition 3.4

*RCMD means recommend.

#5 The Price Is The Last But Not Least

People usually think about the price of drones at first. So here is a price chart of different kinds of drone with camera for you.

Model Price Model Price
DJI Phantom 4 $1399 LANDVO JJRC H8D $123.99
DJI Phantom 3 Professional $811.68 Hubsan X4 H107D $114.9
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced $718 AKASO K88 $89.98
Parrot Bebop 2 $548 Holy Stone U818A $79.99
DJI Phantom 3 Standard $499 Qcopter QC1 $69.95
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition $291.87 Holy Stone F180C $59.99
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition $248.88 UDI U818A $58.87
Syma X8G $145.9 Syma X5SW $51.99
DBPOWER X101 $136.59 SYMA X5C-W $43.99


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