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  1. #1
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    Default Buying a drone, advice please

    So i am in the market for a drone, the internet is full of all types, so thought i would ask here.

    Are the sub £250 any good?
    Any rules i should read up on?

    Needs to have a decent camera.

    Any advice welcome.


    Thanks

  2. #2
    DF Jedi consoles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    I would look at the dji Spark, im looking to get one as a 2nd drone to my phantom 4
    they are excellent starter drones and still have most features of the big boys.

    Thanks to consoles

    ilscuro (1 Week Ago) 


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    DF Jedi Brydo666's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    I'd look for and maybe stretch a little for a Phantom 3 Standard. I had one a couple of years back and occasionally see them listed with a case for around the £300 mark used.

    Spark looks great for portability but I think the camera is better on the P3S (Correct me if wrong!).

    Thanks to Brydo666

    GTI (1 Week Ago) 


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    DF PwNagE dpSparhawk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    I believe these are pretty decent and in the budget you state.

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    If you want to get more serious then Yuneec and DJI are the main players but you're going to start creeping towards the £1000 - £2000 mark for serious kit that is capable of 4K at 60fps for example and with a 20MP camera (Phantom 4 Pro for example which is what I have)


    As for rules. There are rules and LOTS of them. At the moment, there is a serious problem with people buying drones off the shelf in stores and flying them over cities, stadiums, prisons, near airports and up to altitudes where commercial aircraft are potentially going to be. My Phantom 4 Pro is capable of a range of 4 miles. That's out AND up so approximately an altitude of 20,000 ft. This is cruising altitude for many short haul flights.

    You may have already, or will hear about the Drone Code. This is it here: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. In short, you shouldn't fly above 400 ft (There are exceptions which will become irrelevant as of July), keep within Visual line of site (VLOS) which is set at 1500ft, keep at least 150ft from people and property etc. etc. further away for large gatherings.

    At the moment, technically, it is not law because it's a code and there is no requirement to stick to it by law (this IS changing at the end of July - see [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]). HOWEVER, this code is based upon regulations from the Air Navigation Order (ANO) and that IS law - See [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].

    So, if you are involved in an 'airprox' incident due to flying a drone above 400ft, you can and will (where possible) be prosecuted.

    This all changes in July when it becomes 100% illegal to fly above 400 foot AGL (Above ground level). You can still get very high footage but you have to climb up a large hill or mountain to do it. E.g. I can climb up Snowdon which is 3560 ft. Take off and fly up 400ft. This would put my drone at 3960ft. However, if I fly outwards from that position, I technically, have to reduce altitude to maintain the 400ft from the ground altitude at that point. This is because as the ground falls away from you, there is a greater possibility of low flying military or rescue aircraft).

    From 2019, you will be required to take an online test based on the above (and more) and to officially register your drone. There will be specific rules on the weight and if it is equipped with a camera and it's altitude ability. Naturally, they're not going to make a 7 year old with a drone that can't fly higher than 20ft, weighs 50 grams take a test or register but those drones capable of more than a few hundred ft, with good spec cameras and of a certain weight or more will have to be registered.

    It's a revenue builder and there'll be all sorts of unjustified confiscations and arrests as a result but that's the way it's going. This is why largely, I fly in the middle of nowhere. - Even then there are rules about Nature reserves, places of special scientific interest, military locations etc. etc.

    Sorry for rambling on but sadly, rules are a HUGE topic in the Drone world at the moment.
    Last edited by dpSparhawk; 1 Week Ago at 10:45 AM.

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    DF VIP Member GTI's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Brydo666 View Post
    I'd look for and maybe stretch a little for a Phantom 3 Standard. I had one a couple of years back and occasionally see them listed with a case for around the £300 mark used.

    Spark looks great for portability but I think the camera is better on the P3S (Correct me if wrong!).
    Would definitely endorse that, I have a 3 year old Phantom 3 Advance which I use weekly and its never let me down (zero crashes, flyaways, glitches etc..). Plenty of spares and millions of hours of user exeprience. With a drone one of the most important things you are buying into is the software, and DJI have refined theirs to the point of perfection. The other thing that makes a huge difference is a camera gimbal, the cheaper £250 - 300 ones don't have them but instead rely on digital stabilisation which means cropping a larger image to create the illusion of stability. I have this on my Parrot Disco drone and its pretty poor.
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  6. #6
    DF Moderator mc.dodd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    hi, not in the price bracket above but what are the 'best' of a bad bunch of the really cheap ones from china etc please? just something for the little boy to mess with really..seen a few mavic clone types, viso?

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  7. #7
    DF PwNagE dpSparhawk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by mc.dodd View Post
    hi, not in the price bracket above but what are the 'best' of a bad bunch of the really cheap ones from china etc please? just something for the little boy to mess with really..seen a few mavic clone types, viso?

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]


    Get him a DJI Tello for £99

    Controlled with an Android or Apple device. 12 - 15 mins flight time. Hovers really well and easy to control. Can do flips etc. which the kids like.

    Thanks to dpSparhawk

    mc.dodd (1 Week Ago) 


  8. #8
    DF Moderator mc.dodd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    they look great bu I only wanted a cheaper version, he's only 4 so although he can use the iPad I think he needs an actual controller..
    PS3: mcd_dodd



  9. #9
    DF PwNagE dpSparhawk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    Ahh, in that case, if he's 4, I wouldn't get anything more than something like a Syma X5 series. Cheap and easy to fly.

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  10. #10
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    Tested a few of the cheap drones and found the pocket ones the most stable and easy to control.




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  11. #11
    DF Moderator JonEp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    I bought the one in Aldi this week for £49, admittedly not for the drone but for the separate wifi camera that comes in the box with it for a project.

    I've been flying drones for years now and was quite surprised how good this one actually is for the price.

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    Perfect for a child.

  12. #12
    DF VIP Member
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    Thanks for all the advice chaps.

  13. #13
    DF Moderator {{909}}'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying a drone, advice please

    can't speak with great experience but i bought a s/h mavic pro a few months ago for about 450 quid with a couple of spare batteries etc

    For me I need something like the mavic since it folds up super small, I could have got a phantom for less but its just too big for me to bother with.

    You really do need spare batteries for a drone too, so account for that in your budget. I burn through all 3 every time I go out with it.
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