As a first-timer drone pilot, purchasing the right drone can be tricky. Once you know the different types of drones, getting the one suitable for you is no problem.
Some of the drones perfect for beginners include DJI Mavic Mini, DJI Mini 2, Parrot Anafi FPV, Holy Stone HS100 Navigator, and Ryze Tello. You have to consider some factors before buying a drone, like speed, size, camera quality, maneuverability, and drone stability.
Drones vary from each other; their design, capacity, and price differ. Each drone has its specialty and what work they perform best. Knowing what you want to use a drone for helps you in deciding which drone to buy.
What Are The Best Drones For Beginners?
There are different drones in the market, but there are two significant drone categories: recreational or hobby drones and commercial drones. However, recent research has proven that there is another category of drones, which is toy drones.
Recreational or hobby drones
Recreational drones, as the name implies, are used for recreational activities. They are not overly expensive and have some unique features that make them suitable for whatever use you want.
These drones are used for essential jobs like security, transportation, photography, and videography. Most commercial drones are costly, while some are a little in the low price range. Many excellent features make up a commercial drone; these features are responsible for the drone's smooth running.
Toy drones are mainly designed for children. These drones have some features that make them safer for kids who are flying them. Some toy drones are suitable for indoor flying, while others are not, depending on the manufacturer.
As a beginner drone pilot, you must know which drone is best for you before you buy any at all. Studying the different kinds of drones is necessary. It is common knowledge that as a beginner drone pilot, your drone must be a hobby drone because commercial drones are for experienced drone pilots, and hobby drones are easy to fly.
Learn More: Best Drones For Kids
Some of the best drones for beginners are:
This drone is one of the best drones for beginners made by the DJI industry. It weighs 0.534 pounds, weighs about the same as an apple, and can fit into the palm of your hand. This particular feature makes it one of the fastest drones.
The drone also has other features, including a camera resolution of 12MP, a maximum range of 6.2 miles when free of interference and unobstructed, a maximum speed of 35mph, and a video resolution of 4K 30fps.
The DJI Mini 2 has many special features like the return to home feature, an all-round object collision system, and a foldable design. It also has an excellent remote controller. The DJI Mini 2 takes off at a maximum altitude of four thousand meters and can resist five levels of winds, and it still will not derail from its path.
The camera of the DJI Mini 2 has a gimbal that helps keep the images horizontal and free of vibration. The DJI Mini 2 is also suitable for indoor flying due to its downward-facing visual and sonar distance sensing system, making it possible for the drone to hover without a GPS.
It also has optional propeller guards that help prevent accidents when flying close to an obstacle. The DJI Mini 2 application makes it easier to get images taken to your phone or device if you do not want to wait to get home.
The DJI Mini 2 has one of the best camera quality, which makes it suitable for photography. The drone has a flight time of thirty-one minutes. The drone is one of the few drones with excellent stability while hovering in the air, and this is the primary reason you can capture clear and smooth photos and videos.
The DJI Mavic Mini is a very portable and beginner-friendly drone. This drone was launched at the end of 2019 and is a very popular drone. With a weight of 0.549 pounds, the DJI Mavic Mini is one of the lightest drones making it easy to transport.
Although the DJI Mavic Mini is small in size, there are lots of unique functionalities that you will find valuable and helpful when flying the drone. This drone is one of the quietest drones made by the DJI industry.
The propellers of this drone are designed to make less noise, so it is suitable for flying both during the day and at night. The DJI Mavic Mini has a video resolution of 2.7K 30fps, a camera resolution of 12MP, and a battery life of thirty minutes.
The drone has a maximum flight speed of 29 mph, a maximum ascent speed of 13.12 feet per second, a maximum descent speed of 9.84 feet per second. The flight range of the DJI Mavic Mini is about 4.2 miles with no wind.
The DJI Mavic Mini is one of few drones requiring registration with the Federal Aviation Administration. The drone's camera has a 3-axis mechanical gimbal, capable of providing the camera stability needed to capture ultra-clear and super-smooth footage.
One thing that makes the DJI Mavic Mini a suitable drone for beginners is the safety features available, features like the hover feature, the return to home feature, and the geofencing feature. These features help protect you from any form of accident.
The Mavic mini drone is one of the best drones for new drone pilots prone to losing a drone during flight; hence a compass calibration was implemented as another feature. The drone is also easy to use as it provides a flight tutorial that helps provide the knowledge required to pilot the drone. It also has an intuitive and straightforward user experience.
The DJI Mavic Mini is a surprisingly capable machine whose motors can compensate for a maximum of force 4 cross-wind, and you can always fly the drone indoors as long as you are using the propeller guards on the propeller to ensure safety.
This is one of the rare drones that come with goggles. The Parrot Anafi FPV weighs 0.683 pounds and has a battery life of twenty-five minutes. The 4K camera of this drone has a resolution of 21MP, which has zoom capabilities when in video mode. A gimbal is featured with the camera for stability.
The camera of the Parrot Anafi FPV can be tilted up or down to create 3D models and to get particular angles for your shots. This drone comes with lots of accessories like a smart battery, a sky controller, cocktail pit glasses, a backpack, a mounting tool, a 116GB micro-SD card, and eight additional propeller blades.
The Parrot Anafi FPV is also a foldable drone, so it is easy to transport it in a backpack. This drone has a maximum range of 2.5 miles and some unique features like a take-off button, return to home feature, and a shoulder button.
This drone is one of the best drones for beginners as it is easy to fly. The goggles available provide a clearer view of the drone and are more comfortable than using your smartphone. You can capture high-quality photos and videos due to the high quality of the drone's camera.
Further Reading: Drone Mapping Guide For Beginners
The Ryze Tello drone possesses some DJI and Intel features, making it an excellent drone suitable for beginners. This drone is one of the lightest drones weighing 0.176 pounds.
Although the DJI industry is very secretive with the software and internal configuration of their drone, the Ryze industry began a friendly relationship with DJI industries, leading to the Ryze Tello drone's manufacturing.
This drone can be controlled with your phone or device and also with a Bluetooth game controller. It has a battery of 1100mAh which can last for up to thirteen minutes. The drone's maximum speed is 36kph.
When the Ryze Tello battery is low, a warning will appear on the device controlling it, which is always helpful. This drone can take off and hover with the help of its 14-core processor and its in-built sensors.
The Ryze Tello has a video resolution of 720p, 30fps, and a camera resolution of 5MP. This drone's maximum distance is 0.06214; however, it can only fly 0.03728 miles away from the controller.
This drone is suitable for children and adults and helps them learn about drones with coding education. The drone is also virtual reality headset compatible, so you can fly the drone and still get a fantastic first-person view.
The Ryze Tello comes with two antennas that help in making the video transmission super-stable. This drone has some fantastic features that make flying fun. You can fly the drone by simply tossing it into the air.
You can also put the drone into bounce mode, allowing it to fly up and down from your hand automatically. The high-quality image processor of the Ryze Tello allows you to take breathtaking and clear shots and videos with the help of its electronic image stabilization.
The Ryze Tello also has some propeller guards and a collision detector, which prevents collision and crashing. This drone has an auto take-off & landing feature and failsafe protection to land even when you have lost connection.
Holy Stone HS100 Navigator
Holy Stone HS100 Navigator is one of the most intelligent drones with an advanced GPS and is controlled with its remote controller only. This drone weighs 1.543 pounds and has a maximum speed of 30kph.
This drone does not only provide an excellent flying experience for beginners, but it also provides some basic features for photography and videography. The drone also has a follow me feature; when enabled, it will follow you anywhere you go while staying above you, and the camera will be centered on you and capturing your every move.
The Holy Stone HS100 Navigator is easy to fly; if you let go of the controller, unlike some drones which will crash, this drone will hover even in the breeze at the same altitude.
It also has a return to home feature, so when the button is pressed, the drone will return to its launching point. The 4-light intelligent battery of the drone has a micro USB socket which makes charging easier.
The Holy Stone HS100 Navigator's battery life is eighteen minutes, and its maximum distance is 0.311 miles. The 2K camera of the drone can be tilted to a different angle using the remote controller so that you can capture lots of quality aerial images and videos.
The Holy Stone HS100 Navigator has a powerful motor that makes sure there is enough power provided for the drone to fly well and be resistant to the wind so that you can fly the drone higher and further without any worries.
The drone has foldable propellers that make it easy to transport and set up. This drone battery has LED lights that indicate the drone's battery level, making it easier to know when the battery is running low.
As stated earlier, the Holy Stone HS100 Navigator has a GPS that provides a sense of direction for the drone, precise positioning and prevents you from losing the drone. The GPS helps the drone return to its landing base when the battery is running low or when the signal is lost.
The charging time of the Holy Stone HS100 Navigator battery is between three to six hours. Its Wi-Fi distance ranges from 1300FT-1900FT without any form of obstruction. To use this drone, you have to register it with the Federal Aviation Administration.
This is another drone suitable for beginners and under budget, so you do not have to spend much money on this drone. This drone weighs 1.312 pounds and can be controlled by a remote controller and your mobile phone.
Its 3000mAh battery lasts for about thirty minutes and can go for as far as 0.311 miles. The Simrex X20 has a maximum speed of 30kph and a video resolution of 1280P. It has a class 10 SD card slot.
A mechanical gimbal is featured with the camera, which helps provide a stabilized video and reduces the camera's vibration. The Simrex X20 was designed to be foldable so that it is easier to transport.
This drone's GPS feature helps the return to home feature function, so you can quickly bring your drone back home by just pressing a button on the controller. The camera of this drone is adjustable and helps take amazing videos and photos with ease.
Another fantastic feature of this drone is the headless mode orientation which helps you control the drone easier and prevent you from losing your drone even when you cannot see it.
This drone also has a follow me mode, which, when enabled, will make the drone follow wherever you go. Some accessories come with the drone, including the remote controller with a phone holder, a charging cable, a manual, and four propeller protection guards.
Although the JJRC H36 is a cheap drone, do not let the price fool you into thinking it is not a good drone. This drone has a weight of 0.0485 pounds and is one of the powerful and safest drones regardless of size.
This drone's size makes it easy to transport as you can quickly put it into your backpack without having a fear of it scratching or getting damaged. This is one of the drones perfect for flying indoors.
All the propellers of the JJRC H36 are protected with a guard, so there will be no damage when flying indoors. This drone does not have a camera, as its primary goal is to make humans get acquainted with a drone.
The 150mAh battery life of this drone is six minutes, and its maximum speed is 30kph. The drone comes with extra batteries and a charging cable. Two AA batteries power the remote controller of the JJRC H36.
Holy Stone HS510
Weighing 0.54 pounds, Holy Stone HS510 is a drone that is built with relatively high-quality materials. This drone has a video resolution of 2.7K 25fps and a maximum speed of 30kph.
The Holy Stone HS510 is a compact folding drone with a GPS feature that automatically returns to home when the connection is lost. This drone's camera frequency is 5G, and it also has a gimbal that helps stabilize it.
This drone also has some accessories: two batteries, a carrying case, a screwdriver, a manual, a charger hub, a charging cable, a transmitter, and four spare propellers.
The charging time of the Holy Stone HS510 battery is one hundred and fifty minutes. This drone's flight time is sixteen minutes, and the blades of this drone's propeller are also designed to be foldable.
Holy Stone HS510 does not necessarily have to be registered under the Federal Aviation Administration. The recommended age for the use of this drone is from age twelve and above. This is one of the perfect drones for beginners.
Laws Of The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) That You Should Obey
Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), are small aircraft. Presently in the United States, there are over a million registered drone pilots, and more than two hundred thousand drone pilots have been awarded certificates.
The Federal Aviation Administration has created some laws to help contain and regulate the increasing number of drones and drone pilots in the United States. These laws help regulate drone pilots that fly either recreationally or professionally (or commercially).
The Federal Aviation Administration was instituted to regulate fights in the airspace. All helicopters, airplanes, drones, and jets all fly in the airspace. There are two types of airspace, which are controlled and uncontrolled airspace.
The airspace above 400 feet from the ground is the controlled airspace, while the airspace 400 feet from the ground is the uncontrolled airspace. Helicopters, airplanes, and jets fly in controlled airspace while drones fly in uncontrolled airspace.
Whether you are flying a drone recreationally or commercially, some regulations control how you can fly your drone. Drones are not allowed to fly in the controlled airspace, which the FAA controls.
We will list some of the FAA laws and regulations guiding drones' flight as a hobby.
- You cannot fly a drone that weighs more than fifty-five pounds for recreational activities.
- You must register your drone with the FAA before you can fly it.
- It would be best if you did not fly your drone over people or moving vehicles near manned aircraft, emergency response activities, or critical infrastructures.
- You must always maintain a visual line of sight with your drone.
- You must never fly a drone at night without adequate lighting.
- You cannot use a drone registered as a hobby drone for commercial purposes.
The above are the laws of the FAA that help in the regulation of hobby drone flying. There are also laws for commercial drone flying; however, most of them are similar to that of the hobby drones but here are the different ones.
- When flying your drone, the speed of the drone must not exceed 100mph.
- You must not fly your drone from a moving vehicle, except you are in a sporadically populated location.
- You need to acquire an FAA-issued Remote Pilot Certificate before you can fly your drone for commercial purposes.
- You are only allowed to fly your drone in the Class G airspace.
Both the federal and state government have laws regulating the flying of drones across the country and the boundaries of a state. Some states like Texas have laws stricter than federal laws. Some of those laws are:
- You cannot use a drone for hunting, capturing, taking, driving, or counting any wildlife.
- You cannot fly a drone over a sports center except on special occasions.
- It is a violation to fly drones in all Texas State Parks except San Angelo and Lake Whitney.
- You cannot fly a drone over correctional and detention facilities.
- You cannot use your drone to take pictures, and distributing pictures taken with your drone attracts a fine of two thousand dollars and 180 days in jail.
All the laws regulating the flight of drones in Texas are different from the federal laws, and other states have laws that may be different from Texas'.
What Is The Best Brand Of Drone To Buy For Beginners?
Although there are different types of drones in the market, each drone has its brand, manufacturer, and company. There are some brands of drones that manufacture drones suitable for a first-time drone pilot.
DJI is a technology company founded in 2006 by Frank Wang, the CEO of the company. The name DJI is the acronym for Da-Jiang Innovations, a Chinese technology company with headquarters in Guangdong and Shenzhen.
The DJI Company manufactures drones for aerial videography and photography. They also design camera stabilizers, camera gimbals, flight control systems, action cameras, flight platforms, and propulsion systems.
This company delivers products worldwide and deals with consumer electronics, photography, technology, and videography industry. The company has fourteen thousand staff as of 2018 and has branches in China, Chile, Europe, Japan, and North America.
Products like drones, camcorders, flight controllers, and robotics products are manufactured and sold at the DJI Company. DJI accounts for up to seventy percent of the world's consumer drone market as of March 2020.
The camera manufactured by this company is widely used in the television, music, and filming industry: the police force and the military use other products of the DJI Company.
DJI Company's consumer drones include DJI Air, Mini, Mavic Pro Platinum, Mavic Pro, Phantom 4 Pro, Phantom 3 SE, and Phantom 4 Advanced. This company has more than two billion dollars in sales and raised an estimated amount of fifteen billion dollars in 2018.
The Phantom drones of the DJI are its most popular drones, which are sold for around a thousand dollars. The two major competitors of the DJI Company are France's Parrot and California-based Skydio.
Rumor has it that the DJI drones have been banned in the United States; you must know that this information is false. However, the United States government has recently placed DJI on its entity list, but this does not prohibit DJI products' sales in the United States.
All drones manufactured by the DJI Company are of high quality and are made with the best tools and equipment. For this reason, DJI Company is the highest seller of drones in the world.
Parrot SA is one of the primary drone-making industries in Europe. This company was founded by Henri Seydoux, Jean-Pierre Talvard, and Christine/M De Tourvel in 1994 and has been on the French Stock Exchange list since June 2006.
The drones manufactured by Parrot Industry are known for their ease of use and high performance, which helps in addressing the needs of the users. The headquarters of the prestigious drone manufacturing industry is in Paris.
Parrot mainly engineers and designs their products in Europe, majorly in Switzerland and France. This company currently has over nine hundred and forty-eight employees, and most drones are sold outside France.
This industry mainly focuses on these three aspects, which are agriculture, defense and security, and 3D mapping, surveying, and inspection. Parrot SA is one of the best French manufacturing companies of wireless products.
This company engineers and retails products like loudspeakers, handsfree, and miniature Unmanned Aerial Aircraft. As of 2014, the revenue generated from this company is two hundred and forty-three million euros.
Parrot SA also manufactures car telephony products like Bluetooth software stack, Parrot chipset, echo canceling algorithms, and end-user applications. In the year 1995, Parrot SA launched a device called Voicemate, which is mainly used by the visually impaired. This device is a personal digital assistant with voice recognition.
Parrot SA manufactured home products such as Hi-Fi wireless speakers and digital photo frames in the year 2006. The company developed the world's first flying smart fixed-wing drone under the name Disco FPV in 2016. However, since 2017, Parrot SA has focused solely on the manufacturing of drones.
Some of the drones that this industry has produced include Parrot Anafi USA, Parrot Anafi FVP, Parrot AR Drone, Parrot Bebop Drone, Parrot Skycontroller, and Parrot Disco FPV. The drones manufactured in this company are primarily affordable by all.
This is another Chinese drone manufacturing industry whose headquarters is based in Jiangsu, China. This company was established by Wenyan Jiang and Larry Liu and has been in existence since 1999.
The Yuneec International E430 was the first successful electric aircraft produced and launched commercially by Yuneec International. This industry was initially a manufacturer of radio-controlled model aircraft.
However, in the late 2010s, Yuneec International decided to specialize in manufacturing and developing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Products manufactured at this company are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, electric aircraft, and electric drones.
Yuneec International has about one thousand eight hundred employees. A collaboration between Yuneec International and Flightstar Sportplanes made the Yuneec International e-Spyder complete using an already existing airframe and some new electric power components.
The Lindbergh Electric Airplane Prize was won by Yuneec's E430 electric aircraft at the World Electric Aircraft Symposium, which took place in July 2010. Intel Corporation and Yuneec International agreed to work together in August 2015 after an investment of sixty million dollars was made by Intel Corporation to Yuneec International.
An ultra-lightweight remote controller was released in October 2015 by Yuneec International, and this remote is compatible with all typhoon drones. In the same year, Yuneec International and Ocean Alliance partnered together to create a safer way to collect whales' health data.
Yuneec International released the Yuneec H520 at the beginning of the year 2019. The drone was manufactured for commercial marketing like the police, fire department, construction, survey, mapping, and inspection.
There are varieties of aircraft that have been manufactured at Yuneec International, such as Yuneec International EPac, Yuneec International e-Spyder, Yuneec International Q500 Typhoon, Yuneec International Breeze, Yuneec International H920 Tornado, and Yuneec International Mantis Q.
Autel Robotics might not top the list when it comes to different drone brands, but it is still one of the best drone brands for beginners. Although there are not many Autel Robotics drones on the market, the few available are versatile and very strong.
Autel Robotics, a drone manufacturing company, was founded in 2014 to provide an opportunity for both recreational and commercial drone pilots to meet their expectations and fulfill their needs.
The first drone of Autel Robotics, the X-Star, was manufactured in 2015 and established the role of this company as an industrial leader with the Evo series. There are varieties of drones produced by Autel Robotics such as DragonFish, Evo, Kestrel, Evo II, X-Star, and X-Star Premium.
Although Autel Robotics is technically an American company, it is owned by Autel Intelligent Technology located in China. The drones produced at Autel Robotics are designed to have a good camera and offer solid flight with fantastic features.
What Should You Look For When Buying A Drone For The First Time?
As a person buying a drone for the first time, there are factors to consider and things to look for in a drone before buying one. Everyone has their different use of drones, so the things you should look out for may vary. However, we will explain the things you should look out for when buying a drone for the first time.
Your Budget Is Very Important
There are different brands and types of drones available, and each drone has a different price range. You cannot just walk up to a store to purchase a drone without having a budget. Your budget is the primary determinant of the type and brand of drone that will be perfect for you to purchase. Buying a drone for the first time can be challenging because you do not have the experience of differentiating the best drone for the purpose you have. But even professional drone pilots purchase drones that best fit their budget.
The Image Quality And Video Resolution
This is something that one must look out for before purchasing a drone for the first time. The main reason people buy drones is for recreation, to capture aerial images and record videos. The drone's image quality is directly affected by the drone's CMOS sensor, and a larger CMOS makes it easy to capture high-quality images in low light. You need to know if the video resolution is HD OR 4K, HD being low-quality, and 4k, the best quality.
The Drone Flight Speed
Drones have different maximum flight speeds, and the purpose you have in mind for the drone determines if you need a fast drone or a slow drone. Regardless of the purpose you have, it is best not to purchase a drone with a maximum speed less than 35 mph.
Ensure The Drone Hovers Perfectly Still
A drone that hovers still is essential in everything you might want to use your drone to do, from capturing an image to fishing to recording a video. If a drone will not hover still, it will constantly fall, rise, or drift, and you cannot achieve what you want. A drone requires an advanced flight control system and onboard sensors for it to hover still. You need to be sure the drone you want to purchase has these.
The Size Of The Drone
When purchasing a drone as a beginner, you need to look out for the size of drones. Some laws are very particular about the size of drones you can fly in different countries, and you do not want to buy a big drone only for you to realize you cannot fly it, which would be a waste of money. You must not purchase a drone that weighs more than 55 pounds if you intend to fly your drone in the United States.
Ensure The Drone Has Intelligent Functions
There are lots of intelligent functions and modes that any drone you purchase must be equipped with. Even if the drone you want to purchase fits ideally into the purpose you have but lacks some essential intelligent features, it is advisable not to purchase it. Features like GPS navigation, GPS Home Function, Headless Mode, 3-axis Gimbal, Autopilot modes, and Safety Modes must be present in any drone you intend to buy. You will always find them helpful.
As a beginner, flying a drone can be thrilling, and you will have one of the best moments of your life during the period you fly a drone for the first time. But it is not without its challenges, and you should have no worries, everything you need to know as a beginner has been explained in this article.
Your first concern as a beginner is to understand the laws regulating drone flight; then, you can go ahead and purchase the drone that is perfect for you and have that great time flying your drone around.
Further Reading: Lily Drone Cam Is Making A Come Back
Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.