What is a Drone?

Drones are one of the most popular items of the year. You can see them on the news virtually every day in the South Park cartoon, but more importantly, you have seen lots of awesome photos and videos captured by drones on the Internet. The Drones have awakened the creativity of people around the world, making aerial photography and videography more profitable than ever before. And if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ll be getting into the drone craze too.

What is a Drone?

Types of Drones

“Drones? Aren’t those war machines used in Iraq? “Not exactly. A sensitive point in the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) community is the fact that commercial and hobby Drones inherit the reputation of their military side most of the time. So this is the first distinction we should make: Commercial Drones Vs. Military Drones.

This is the American drone Predator:

what is a drone?

By comparison, this is the DJI Phantom 2 Vision +, one of the most popular and recognized consumer drones:

DJI Phantom 2 Vision +

These are a very different class of “bird”. One is an eagle, the other is a hummingbird. They are different not only in size but also in flying mode: the predator has a more traditional design and flies like an airplane. The Phantom 2 Vision +, on the other hand, is a quadricopter capable of hovering in one place (like a helicopter). Now that we know the basics of commercial drones, let’s look at their different classes.

Economic

Great for learning basic riding skills. They are not as easy to fly as their more expensive siblings, but if you can fly one of these, you’re well on your way to flying with the bigger ones. Ranging from micro-drones as the CX-10 and Hubsan X4 to the popular Syma x5C . Below the Hubsan X4:

Hubsan-x4-led-mini-quad-copter-rtf10375

Middle level

This is the most popular category of drones right now, with models including the Phantom 2 Vision +, DJI Inspire 1, 3DR Solo and the Parrot AR drones. Most drones in this class already come with a camera, but using a Zenmuse 3 axes gimbal plus a GoPro HERO 3/4 is a great option as well. The important distinction we make between the medium and professional level of drones is that mid-level drones can not carry a camera that is considered “professional” because they are very heavy. Below the 3DR Solo:

3dr-solo

House

If you are new to the world of drones, you will not want to start with one of these. We are talking about DJI’s, S900s and S1000s – octocopters capable of carrying 13 KG (13 times more than the Phantom!) And can carry Mark IIIs, D810S, and cinematographic cameras. Professional-grade drones often have retractable “arms” to use 360 degree vision for real. And at this advanced level of flight, you’ll probably need two people: one to fly and one to control the camera. Below the DJI S1000:

OctocopteroThese are the types of drones used by National Geographic and for car commercials. The S1000 alone costs more than $ 4k, and usually flies with camera equipment worth between $ 10-100k. Definitely not for the novice or faint hearted pilot.

Hobby

This is a rare class, but it’s hard to think where the drones would be today without the hobbyists. DJI makes a series of popular kits (Flamewheel), but many hackers prefer to start with an ArduPilot (an Arduino framework) and build it from scratch with custom components. Here is an example of a home built tricopter:

Drone-hobby-tricopter

summary

So what is a drone? Well drones are a fun pastime or a serious tool in your video production arsenal.Based on your needs and experience, you can find a drone for less than $ 300 or more than $ 3,000 or rent one for a fraction of the price. Remember, safety should always be your number one concern.

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