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holiday drone guide

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Drone

19 Dec 2016


amaysim's tech geek

There are lots of drones on the market, all with different features, capabilities and price points. Choosing the best drone for you can be tricky, so here are four of the best beginner drones on the market.

Here at amaysim, we’d like to think that we can do more than offer tips to make owning a mobile amazingly simple. If you’re in the market to get your hands on your first drone, picking out the best one isn’t always as simple as you may think. As a beginner, you’re likely to crash a lot, so durability, the ability to change parts and a reasonable price point are the main considerations. We’ve scoured the web and picked four awesome beginner drones to help you pick the best drone for you – simple!

Four beginner drones that could be just right for you

Pricing scale: $0-100: $ | $101-500: $$ |$501-1000: $$$ | $1000+ $$$$

1. Parrot Bebop: $$$

The Parrot Bebop 2 is a small beginner drone that’s both lightweight (weighing 500 grams) and robust, able to easily fit into an average-sized backpack and fly in virtually all weather conditions. It’s a tough little unit, and seems like it should survive most crashes without much trouble – perfect for a beginner. The Bebop 2 can take photos with its 14-megapixel camera, but if high-quality photos and video are a top priority this may not be the drone for you.

Parrot Bepop 2 Pros:

  • 25-minutes of flight time per battery
  • 14-megapixel camera with full HD 1080p video
  • HD live stream
  • Three-axis image stabilisation means the Parrot Bebop 2 can take clear and stable aerial footage
  • Weighs around 500g

Parrot Bepop 2 Cons:

  • Wi-Fi connectivity can be unstable
  • The Skycontroller is bulky and a significant additional cost (sitting at around $600)
  • Limited to 8GB of internal storage

2. Hubsan X4 H107D: $$

The Hubsan X4 H1070D is a great entry-level drone that doesn’t break the bank. It’s the smallest quadcopter available today so it can be used in confined areas with care, and can fly for up to seven minutes on a single charge. The Hubsan X4 H1070D is easy to control for first timers too (granted that you get some practice under your belt). Overall this little quad is sturdy and loads of fun to fly!

Hubsan 4X H107D Pros:

  • 4.3-inch LCD screen in the controller
  • 100-meter flight range
  • Blade protectors and rubber feet
  • Weighs 35g
  • Charges in 30-minutes

Hubsan 4X H107DCons:

  • Pretty average camera with 0.3-megapixel sensor and 640 x 480 resolution
  • Camera doesn’t provide a live feed
  • Since it’s quite small, you’ll want very calm conditions to keep control as a beginner

3. DJI Phantom 4: $$$$

If you have a larger budget and want to experience all the cool features of the latest drones available, the DJI Phantom 4 could be for you. Loaded with tech that lets you fly with the tap of your finger, a high-performance camera and obstacle avoidance capabilities, this drone has so many features that it’d be great for both beginners and pros.

DJI Phantom 4 Pros:

  • Avoids obstacles automatically
  • Shoots ultra-high definition video at 4K 24p & 30p
  • 28-minute flight time
  • Range of 5km
  • Maximum speed of 72km/h
  • Charge time approximately one hour

DJI Phantom 4 Cons:

  • It’s expensive

4. X-7 Microlite: $

The X-7 Microlite is very affordable and easy to fly for a mini-beginner drone. While it lacks a camera, LEDs around the body of the drone make it fun to fly in low light. This isn’t an all-weather drone, but it’s certainly a lot of fun for those getting started with piloting on a budget.

X-7 Microlite Pros:

  • Body design guards the propellers
  • Up to seven minutes flight time
  • Flips and rolls with a single button press
  • Simple controls
  • Removable battery

X-7 Microlite Pros:

  • The body is plastic, so it could break if it crashes
  • No camera
  • 1.5-hour charge time
  • Very sensitive to the wind

Deciding which is best for you will really depend on what you’re looking to use your new drone for – if you’re just keen to see what all the fuss is about, try a mini drone that’s easy to lug around and not too expensive but will provide you with no-fuss fun times. If you’re in the market for something a little flashier or want to shoot some quality aerial videos then expect to spend more for a bigger drone that can support quality camera gear.

Our final simple tip for buying your first drone

When you’ve purchased your drone, it’s time to fly! You won’t need to register your drone if it’s used for recreational purposes, but do make sure to check out the Australian Government’s simple rules to keep everyone safe. And if you take your drone overseas with you make sure you check all local regulations in terms of using and filming with drones.

Happy flying!