Quite often I get asked, “which is the best quadcopter?” or “which drone should I buy to get started?” There is no simple answer besides; “It depends”. In my experience it largely depends on your main motivation to fly a quadcopter. So the better question is: What is your Drone-Personality? Are you a Pilot, a Cameraman or an Engineer? May I present the FPVblog Find your drone guide! 😉
The following guide should help you decide on a drone model based on your main motivation. In the first part I introduce the three Drone-Personalities, then I map some of the most popular models to go with it in the second part. And because nobody can be put into one single category, the whole guide is more of a map, showing you all sorts of combinations for low budget hobbyists to the semi-professional user, from beginners to experts so you can find the quadcopter that suits you best.
Find your Drone-Personality
The Pilot, The Cameraman and the Engineer are my stereotype drone personalities. Select the one(s) you like best in order to find the best drone for you!
As a pilot you love crazy maneuvers, flips, tricks and races. Thanks to your outstanding, precision and reaction operating the sticks of the RC remote, you are steering your aircraft as if you would sit in the pilot seat of the little drone. For you, autopilots and waypoints are the most useless thing ever invented. Using a direct video link and googles helps you to fully immerse in the 3D flight maneuvers and your sense of orientation never fails you even in the trickiest terrain.
Obviously, true pilots don’t service their aircrafts, thats why your model needs low maintenance and adding a cinema grade camera only makes your plane slow and clumsy in the air.
Sometimes the bird’s eye view perspective adds so much more to a shot than any gear you can carry on the ground. For the Cameraman, the drone itself is actually just a replacement for a crane. The drone operation should therefore be as simple as possible, including GPS, waypoints and every technical gimmick you can get. You expect the drone to fully stabilize your camera with a gimbal, and to keep it unaffected from any vibrations or copter related movements. A direct video link from your recording camera will allow you to optimally angle your shot, by moving the drone or angling the camera.
Clearly your piloting skills will not evolve beyond a computer game and you prefer air-time over tinkering with electronics.
The passion of the Engineer comes entirely from constructing the most advanced and unique UAV. You probably 3D-print your frame, solder your own circuit boards and program you own algorithms for the flight controller. Optimizing LiPo (battery) capacity, motor characteristics and ESC (?) strategies is just one part of the fun. You also love to discuss your technical designs with your local and online community, where you help each other setting up the right drivers, parameters and open source development systems on the computer.
As a result, your drone spends way more time in your hangar than in the air because once it flies, your project is finished. With only 4 degrees of freedom (e.g. forward/backward, up/down, etc…) piloting is the most boring thing. Once you tested each direction, you are done. The only camera you use is the one to document your crazy drone.
Could you identify yourself with one of the three? The next part of the “Find your drone guide” list the models my Drone-Personalities have to most fun with. Coming Soon.
Could not find your Drone-Personality? Tell me in the comments about your motivation to fly, build, film with a drone!