Drones come in all shapes and sizes.
There are commercial drones, which are typically bigger and have more features, and there are hobbyist drones, which are typically smaller and meant for recreation.
The size you get depends on what you want to use the drone for. But it doesn’t necessarily matter what type of pilot you are. A commercial drone operator can own a hobby drone for fun, and a hobbyist can own a professional-grade drone for fun as well.
In this article, I want to shed some light on the different sizes drones come in and their uses. This way, you will have a better idea of which type of drone is right for you.
Let’s do it:
Small (Miniature) Drones
The smallest size drones are mini drones. They can literally fit in the palm of your hand, and some are even the size of a quarter.
They usually come as quadcopters (4 blades), but I have also seen hexacopters (6 blades).
These drones range in price from under $10 to over $60. Most are priced in the $15-$30 range, and you will rarely find one that’s selling for over $100.
Miniature drones are excellent for flying indoors. They’re small enough to fit in between tight areas and fly around rooms without knocking into things (if your skills are good enough).
If you do knock into things, most likely neither the crasher nor the crashee will get permanently damaged. You might just need a few sets of replacement propellers.
Outdoor flight is where this gets a little tricky. Small drones can fly pretty fast, but their motors aren’t very powerful.
This makes it tough for them to handle outdoor winds. Most can handle a moderate breeze, but strong gusts will overtake your control of the drone. So be wary when flying in windy conditions.
If you’re just starting out or you want a fun indoor flyer, look into buying a mini drone.
A medium-sized drone is typically double the size of a miniature drone or bigger.
These drones come with more power, larger propellers, and additional features. Many also come with low-grade cameras for taking aerial photos and videos.
Medium-sized drones are some of the best to train with. They’re cheap enough so you won’t break the bank if you destroy it, but they’re also large enough to be good stepping stones towards professional rigs.
You can also fly these drones outdoors in much stronger winds than you can with a miniature drone.
Medium-sized drones are mostly used for training and recreation. They can also make good gifts for first-time pilots.
Just be sure that the pilot does some research on drone operation before taking it to the skies.
Professional pilots typically try to fly the best drones with the most advanced features.
Commercial drones come in the largest sizes. They can range from four to eight blades, depending on the rig’s carrying capacity. (A higher carrying capacity means the pilot can shoot with a bigger, more powerful camera.)
They also come with advanced features, like autonomous flight modes, obstacle avoidance, on-the-fly camera setting adjustments, first person view, and a whole lot more. This gives a professional pilot lots of room to get the best shots possible and be creative at the same time.
You can get a professional quality drone for $500 all the way up to $13,000 or more for a custom rig. If you’re just entering the commercial drone industry, you will do just find with one of the lower end models to get your feet wet.
As your skills progress and your needs increase, budget for a higher-end drone with more bells and whistles.
Over to You
Now you know the different drone sizes and their uses. As you can see, a drone’s size has a significant impact on its inner technology and its outer purpose.
Once you’re familiar with these sizes, be honest with yourself about what your needs are. Then choose a drone that’s right for you.
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- The Top Mini Drones for New Pilots - November 16, 2016