Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Entry Level Drones Still a Solid Buy for Beginners

Drones have been in the news a lot lately with regards to the Drone Registration laws that are coming down the government at some point. Given the speed at which government moves, it’s hard to say how long the process might take. After all, if you want something to never really get done—form a committee.

Consumers that might be worried about being overburdened by the act of registration could opt to go in another direction, which is a point ReadWrite.com brings up. That’s a pretty compelling argument. If parents had to register action figures, I would be toy companies would be lining up to have a few words. Or at the very minimum, hiring a few well-placed lobbyists.  

Still, drones, quadrotors, and all those other names for flying devices are bound to pop up on shopping lists this holiday season. While purchasing the DJI Phantom 3 with a price tag north of $1000 is a great option for someone that takes the hobby seriously, most people I know are more likely to look for cost effective options that don’t equate to a mortgage payment.

There are actually quite a few drones that offer paired down technology and yet still offer a beginners flying experience. Best of all, they cost under $100 and few even rival the cost of a brand new video game. Take a look:


At under $60, the Holy Stone F180c offers up some pretty cool features. The presence of a 720p camera allows for some quality film making. It’s small and at great heights, which sounds worse than it is, it can be hard to see where this guy is facing. That’s important because it can be difficult to change direction quickly.


At under $35, the Syma X5C has a good chance of buzzing around a lot of parks and fly areas. The HD camera and removable MicroSD card make getting access to the video and pictures simple. The remote is easy to use and the learning curve is not that steep. Best of all, it costs less than a lot of other gift options for anyone on any list.


Building upon the success of the UDI U818A, which costs under $50 BTW, is the UD U818A-1 Discovery. This model features a scaled up camera and the same access to flips and rolls that owners loved about the original. The $90 price tag makes is a solid buy for any beginning quadrotor fan.

The big thing to remember about drones is that while they are fun to own, they are NOT toys. These are pieces of technology that need to be treated with respect. Those propellers move fast to get the machine in the air and any falls from any height have the potential to damage property and people (and the drone itself). These need to be used responsibly, and that’s when the fun really can begin.

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