Quadcopters in all shapes and forms can be loads of fun. From aerial photography, to FPV racing or just flying around inside your house, there is drone for you. So what are the best models available and what else do you need to know before you get started?
The most important thing is to make sure you understand all the rules before you get started. Luke did a full breakdown of the regulations which were updated (and relaxed slightly) recently for commercial use.
For recreational use, you still need to keep away from other people and under 400 feet (121.92m), as well as in line of sight.
Don’t think you can ignore the rules and get away with it. As one Queensland drone operator found out, posting video online that showed rules being broken resulted in a hefty $850 fine.
While we have covered the basics below, there are still plenty of out of the box or just plain insane drones available. Like the crazy fast model, or the Abortion drone, a Star Wars Speeder bike or an autonomous model that tracks your every move.
Blade NANO QX
Perfect for beginners, the NANO QX is a palm sized quadcopter that can be flown indoors and out. It’s tough enough to withstand plenty of crashes and has an excellent inbuilt stability system that makes it easy to fly for first timers.
You can also put it into expert mode as your skills improve for a more challenging but rewarding flying experience.
Best of all it’s quite cheap and can be picked up for around $150. You can also get a FPV video version + headset for $650.
From the cheaper Phantom 2 series to the new Phantom 3, DJI make some excellent drones for beginners and experienced pilots alike. Powerful enough to loft a GoPro, you can capture awesome footage with minimal fuss.
DJI Inspire 1
Need to record 4K video and have plenty of cash to burn? The Inspire 1 is one of the best ready to fly camera drones you can buy. Of course expect to pay around $5000 for a full kit out.
It’s hard to go past ready to go drones you can go out and buy from JB Hi-Fi and other retailers. The slightly older but still fun Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is controlled through your smartphone or tablet and has a built in camera. It’s not quite as precise or aerobatic as some of the other drones available, but it’s fun and an easy way to get started.
The more recent Parrot Bebop drone brings more advanced flight and better quality video, albeit for a higher price.
Mariner Waterproof Quadcopter
Watched those amusing videos of people dunking their drones into rivers or the ocean unexpectedly? Mariner solves the fried-electronics problem with a fully waterproof quadcopter. It can carry your action camera too and is perfect for all weather operations.
The extra functionality over a standard drone does cost extra though, and the Mariner will set you back $1800.
What is your favourite drone? Tell us in the comments.