Buying a drone has never been easier and with a broad and ever increasing selection available, there’s more than just what drone to buy before you can go out and get one. To help keep you in the loop and know what you’re up against – we’ve created a top 5 things you should know before buying a drone.
1. Where to buy
Where to buy your drone is almost as important as to which one you’re going to be getting your hands on. When it comes to the most general form of advice, your best bet is actually going to be Amazon – no groundbreaking information there then. However, if you’re going to be picking up a model from the line of DJI drones, your best should always be direct from their online shop. With the super quick turnaround from DJI and advancements in drone technology, we’re currently seeing updated tech every few weeks. Buying a drone directly from DJI ensures that you have the very best model for the money at the time of purchase – and why wouldn’t you. DJI – buy direct. Everything else – hit up Amazon or your local hobby store.
2. Learn the rules and respect them
Drones unfortunately don’t have free reign over anything and everything we want to shoot and there’s a list of guidelines that we’d recommend following to make sure that you’re always in the right. We recommend that you visit the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore’s website to review the rules and regulations of flying a drone in Singapore. Remember, for all commercial purposes where a drone is required, a permit is a must-have, and only valid CAAS Operator Permit holders like AerialPhotography.sg are allowed to apply for permits for commercial drone work.
3. Not all drones are ready to fly
When you’re looking to purchase a drone, you’re likely to see three acronyms pop up on the regular. These are RTF, BNF and ARF.
RTF – Ready to fly
A ready to fly setup is – as expected – mostly assembled with maybe a couple of simple tasks to complete before a flight is permitted. This can range from tightening propellers to charging the battery – nothing out of the ordinary and is relatively pain-free.
BNF – Bind and fly
A bind and fly drone will usually come completely set-up, but without a controller. Controllers can be difficult to bind to the drones so it’s a good idea to check that your controllers that you’re looking at buying will pair up with the drone.
ARF – Almost ready to fly
Almost ready to fly drones are usually found as quadcopter kits. These kits are unlikely to come with a transmitter or receiver and may require some assembly. Some ARF kits will leave out motors, flight controllers or ESCs so it’s important that you know what you’re buying so that you don’t end up with a box full of missing bits.
4. Easy to fly, easy to crash
Although your drones out of the box may be easy to fly, it does not mean that they’re not easy to crash. With more confidence often comes more chance for error and our advice is to play it safe in wide open areas before working on shots in busier areas. If you’re wanting to learn, make sure to watch videos and read tutorials before taking off to make sure you’ve got a good idea of what you’re doing. Good luck and happy piloting!