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Drones can be very useful and fun, but it is necessary to respect the ENAC regulations before buying one, in order to avoid dangerous scenarios and damage to things and people. In order to fully comply with the European law on remotely piloted systems (RPAS) and understand which drone to buy, we recommend reading our article Rules for flying a drone; which one can you use freely?
In order to choose a drone equipped and suitable for every use we must make sure that it respects precise4 characteristics, so as to avoid old or poor quality models. The characteristics that a good drone must possess are:
- Dimensions and weight: drones differ in terms of European laws for their weight and size, with some very large and dangerous models (in fact they require a double certificate for flight). To start, therefore, a small drone is better, so that you can practice in a safe place (such as the garden of the house or a sufficiently large room) and avoid damage to things and people.
- Maximum height and distance: always respecting the ENAC regulation we check the height and the maximum distance that the drone can reach during the flight, so as to have a very precise indication of its performance (especially if we have to use it for work).
- Autonomy: drones are equipped with lithium batteries like those of smartphones, so they do not excel in autonomy: small drones for fun hardly reach 15 minutes of autonomy, while professional models can even reach an hour or more, in addition to have interchangeable batteries. Let’s not forget the weight factor: a more powerful battery means more weight on the drone, making it less stable in flight.
- Control: almost all drones have a remote control to control it at short distances, usually not exceeding 10-15 meters. If we need a wider control area, the radio controls of the professional models are very large and cover up to 50 meters and more: in this case it is essential to have a camera on board the drone (and consequently a display on the radio control), so as to see where the drone goes if it goes out of our field of vision.
- Connection: almost all drones have an app that can be downloaded on your smartphone or tablet to access the integrated camera in real time or to control devices in flight with touch controls. The connection is made via Wi-Fi (which covers a larger area) or via Bluetooth (limited range).
- Camera support: the professional models have hooks and supports to add an action cam or a digital camera, so as to shoot the scene in front of the drone. Many professional drones also have an internal camera for maneuvering at high altitudes and for correctly orienting the drone.
- GPS system: drones with integrated GPS system communicate their position in real time on the remote control or on the phone app, so as to be able to find it even if it disappears from view. With this system we can also take advantage of the function follow, which allows the drone to chase you automatically.
- Accessories: The more accessories the drone presents, the more fun or work to be done with it will be engaging! Accessories are usually meant to expand the drone’s functionality, for fun, or to fix the broken parts of the drone yourself (usually the propellers).
If the drone has all these characteristics or at least some of them we can take it into consideration and proceed with the purchase.
Drones can be viewed live and purchased at any electronics store or mall, but i best models are also available online on Amazon, where prices are usually lower and after-sales service is really on another level.
1) The cheapest and childproof drone we can buy is the one called allcaca RC Mini Drone for less than 40 €.
On this drone we find the Launch-and-Fly function, the Hovering function, the Headless mode (which always reorients the drone in the right direction), a 360 ° rotation system, one-button Takeoff / Landing system, adjustable speed, 4K camera.
2) Another cheap and affordable drone that we can buy is the tech rc Mini Drone, available on Amazon for less than 50 €.
On this drone we find a dedicated camera, a radio control with a phone holder (from which to connect to the drone via a dedicated app), two interchangeable batteries, the altitude suspension function, button for automatic take-off / landing, Headless mode and 360 protection system ° for children and beginners.
3) Another cheap drone we can focus on is the Potensic Mini Drone of €50.
This quadcopter drone features Wi-Fi connection, removable battery, two batteries included, automatic altitude hold function, headless mode, keys for automatic takeoff and landing, integrated camera and remote control with phone holder (on which to install camera app).
4) If instead we are looking for a semi-professional drone we can take a look at the Potentic T25 of 200€.
On this drone we find a GPS sensor, an integrated FullHD camera, Wi-Fi transmission system with remote control, Return home mode, follow me mode, gesture control system, circular flight mode and Hover mode suitable for beginners.
5) Are we professional photographers or high-end drone enthusiasts? In this case, the first drone we can buy is the DJI Mavic Mini Combo, available on Amazon for less than 500 €.
On this drone we find an interchangeable 30-minute battery, radio control with a maximum distance of 2 km, camera system with 3-axis gimbal, 12 MP integrated camera, 2.7K HD video recording, fly app system for controlling shooting via smartphone , accessories for external camera and weight of 249 grams.
6) Another professional drone model that we can consider is the Parrot Anafi Base, available on Amazon for less than 650 €.
This drone features a video camera with HDR system, video shooting up to 4K, 21 MP camera sensor, digital zoom up to 2x, ultra-compact and ultra-light carbon frame, Gimbal system with 180 ° tilt, intelligent battery with USB-C socket for a flight time of 25 minutes and remote control with smartphone support (to observe the shooting).
7) Among the best high-end drones we can buy stands out the DJI Mavic Air 2.
This powerful drone boasts a 4K video shooting system, 48MP spherical panoramic image system, transmission range up to 4km, HDR photo mode, Micro SD card slot, 8GB of internal storage, 3-axis gimbal and SmartCapture video capture system.
Drones can be a faithful companion for every photographer in charge of shooting important events such as weddings, baptisms and parties in general but they can also be a pleasant pastime for those who want to try to fly a light and highly maneuverable vehicle, always respecting the ENAC laws on remote flight (always pay attention and avoid damage to things and people).
Also for flying enthusiasts we recommend reading the guides Best airplane flight simulators, free on PC and Fly on Google Earth with the flight simulator, helicopter or paraglider.