Wondering how to go about choosing the best drone for your business? Read on to discover the top tips to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck!
First and foremost you need to decide what’s most important to your business. What capabilities does your drone need to have? There are a few things you need to consider before making your purchase. How integral are the camera and sensor quality to your business? What flight capabilities such as speed and distance do you need? Do you require a waterproof model or one that is particularly steady in high winds? Or conversely, is it more important for you to have one that is small and easy to manoeuvre? Once you’ve got a checklist of the key things your business requires, then use it to inform your purchase. Here are a few things for you to look out for whilst you’re considering your choice:
Wings or rotators?
Drones come in fixed wing or rotator versions, the latter come with an option for 4, 6 or 8 rotators. Generally speaking the more rotators you have, the more steady and robust your drone will be. The more rotators you have, the more likely it is your drone will come safely back to you, even if one of them fails; and the more likely they are to keep steady in extreme weather. However, a drone with more rotators is also a heavier drone and less likely to be able to fly long distances, tending to have a flight time of under 30 minutes. As The Independent recognises, the four rotator models strike a happy medium between stability, technical capacity and ease of use; and are proving particularly popular.
Fixed wing drones tend to be more energy efficient, as they only need the power to drive them forward rather than to keep them up in the air. Naturally, this makes them better suited to flying longer distances – but not suitable for staying in a particular area, hovering above it to get footage.
Give careful consideration to the battery life of the models you’re considering too. If you’re going to use your drone for short, local journeys it’s not such an issue, but if you want to survey large areas from a distance, then battery life is crucial to your business operation. Don’t forget to buy some spares.
Keep an eye too on the maximum wind speed your chosen drone can tolerate. If you’re planning to use a drone off-shore or in a rugged terrain, then you need a model that can withstand high winds.
To control your drone you have the option of using a tablet or a joystick. It might be you have a particular preference as to what you’re comfortable using or what you’ve had training in. It’s very much a matter of personal preference. If you’re comfortable with touch screen technology then a tablet is for you, but if you grew up using radio controlled model aircraft, you might prefer the joystick option.
Another key consideration is picture quality and how crucial it is to your business operation. For a news, conservation or surveying organisation, it’s likely to be crucial. Models with a ‘Gopro’ camera are popular with amateurs and professionals alike, whilst for a better quality picture consider models which can lift a light weight Panasonic GH4 or a heftier Canon 5D Mark III. The BBC has lots of advice on what to look out for when choosing a camera for your drone.
So there you have a few hints and tips on what to look out for when choosing a drone for your business, from stability to battery life, camera quality to flying distances, we hope you’ve found it useful.