Thinking about buying a DRONE???
Start Small. Learn the Ropes.
First drone, like the first car, is probably gonna get crashed. So the first thing you wanna do when considering getting a drone for yourself or your kids is to go with something small. We recommend getting a DJI Mavic Mini 2.
While being ultra portable, this little drone packs a mean punch. DJI has built upon the success of their Mavic Mini series and has since upgraded the camera from 2.7K to a 4K camera, has improved the range and has updated the software... and at under $500 this makes it the perfect drone to get you started.
The biggest downside to these small drones is that they do not have ANTI-Collision sensors, and at such a light weight, under 250grams, these drones don't have enough power to withstand stronger gusts of wings which may carry them into walls, power lines, trees... etc.
So maintaining a visual line of sight is very very important.
We recommend, at least in the beginning, using a propeller guard, since beginner drone operators learning the controls are very prone to crashing as well as overloading the drone, i.e. pushing it too much where the drone becomes unresponsive.
Midrange Prosumer Action Drones
This is probably the most packed drone market segment. DJI is still at the forefront of the industry however some notable competitors have emerged such as Autel Robotics and Parrot.
In this segment drones range in price from $500-$2,500.
Notable drones are:
These drones are capable of producing beautiful 4k Aerial footage, have great flight ranges, battery lives of up to 35 minutes, and are a Single-Operator drones. We use these drones for small to mid-range productions, music videos, commercials, behind the scenes shots and certain event coverages.
Drones in this segment come equipped w/ multiple Anti-Collision sensors, lot's of flight features, and offer high dynamic range which is useful when filming in low light or during the twilight hours.
Keep in mind that the FAA regulates flying these drones and requires drone pilots to register their drones [drones must weight between .5lbs but not exceed 55lbs] and if you want to fly commercially you need to have your Part 107 Drone Pilots License. When you get your license the FAA sends you a card in the mail.
DJI Inspire 2 is probably the most widely used professional drone in the industry today. Comes with interchangeable lenses, uses a pilot as well as a camera operator working in tandem, as well as oftentimes also require a dedicated visual observer and are used for serious productions such as major TV shows, documentary style productions, feature films.... etc.
These drones, as a complete package fetch upwards of $20,000, when you add the lens set, charging case w/ batteries, add multiple controllers and monitors.
These drones have improved flight and transmission ranges, can withstand strong wings, offer great dynamic ranges, pack serious camera sensors, and fly in various types of weather.
During CES 2021, which this year was held online, which usually takes place in the beginning of the year in Las Vegas, Sony has unveiled their brand new drone named AIRPEAK.
This drone essentially acts as a flying gimball to which you strap a DSLR camera of your choice. The interesting thing is you have the ability to use your existing cameras, as well as existing lenses, rig everything out and use a top of the line sensors for example those found in a Sony A7SIII and not have to rely on the built in sensors inside the drone body.
So SONY is going in a slightly different direction.
There are hex and octa drones out there that allow for larger payloads, such as
DJI Matrice 600 Pro Hexacopter that have up to 34 lb total takeoff weight and are used for
specific productions where the company wants to use beefier professional cameras like the Arri Alexa or a Red Camera.
Small C137 Production Plug. We are FAA Licensed Drone Pilots here at C137 so if you are thinking of getting some cool looking aerial footage hit us up at Art@c137prod.com or call at 310 620 3934.