So it’s time I share my gear with you. As I am a mere hobbyist, my gear is (relatively) simple and cheap. I was a bit hesitant to share my gear, including the cost, but in an effort to be transparent about this hobby, I thought you should know.
The first drone I ever bought was a Syma X1 4 Channel 2.4G RC Quadcopter, with a bumble bee shell. I got this because before I started flying around with my pricier drone, I wanted to practice on this one. If you want to buy a drone, I recommend you invest in a cheap, practice one first!
The controls require some hand-eye coordination, though for people who played video games growing up, it seems to feel natural (I spent my childhood playing with Barbies and my parents wouldn’t let me have video games). Thus, I’ve gotten this little guy stuck in trees and on top of roofs. Never fear, I’m a much better pilot now. Here are the deets on the BeeCopter.
- Name: Syma X1 4 Channel 2.4G RC Quad Copter – BumbleBee
- Where to buy: Amazon.com (toys and game section!)
- Price: $43
- Producer: Syma
- Weight: 1 pound
- Pros: Cheap, light, easy to fly, durable, also comes in a UFO design (but the bee is way cuter!)
- Cons: Can’t attach a camera to it, doesn’t really do anything except (if you’re an experienced pilot) be a fun pet toy or cool party trick
When you’ve got that down, then it’s time to go for the big kid quadcopter. I bought the DJI Phantom Quadcopter with Go Pro Mount. This one is not for the faint of heart. It’s labeled as “ready to fly out of the box” which is a tad misleading, but it does require relatively little assembly. A girlie-girl like me who knows nothing about power tools like me could handle it, no problem. This has a mount to carry a GoPro, though it doesn’t come with one.
- Name: DJI Phantom Quadcopter
- Where to buy: B&H Photo
- Producer: DJI
- Cost: $679
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Pros: Simple to fly (with practice), durable, (nearly) ready to fly out of the box, comes with a camera mount
- Cons: Battery lasts about 15 minutes, gimble isn’t totally smooth, you can see the front wings in your shot from the GoPro (though nothing a little cropping can’t fix), costs more than a little spare change
Of course, now you’ll need a camera (I use the always indestructible GoPro). Leave a comment below, or find me through my contact page or on Twitter at @thedronegirl if you have any questions!