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Cheap drone recommendation for a newbie?

Hoomi

Master member
#1
Okay, I'm not holding out a lot of hope on this, but figured I'd post here and see if anyone had a recommendation I could pass along to a friend of a friend. I was told by my friend that her friend was interested in getting a starter drone, so I dropped him an email, with a couple of basic ideas.

He's interested in something that he can use to look for firewood, and has never flown a drone before. I pointed him towards some of the DJI drones, as they have excellent cameras, and will pretty much fly themselves, making them very good for new pilots.

He countered that he's looking for something in the $50 USD range, as he's not sure if he'll like flying drones, and wants something cheap in case he crashes (which, in my experience, is far more likely with a cheap drone, than with one that has decent electronics and firmware).

From what I've seen, $50 pretty much just buys a toy, and not something that would be useful for any kind of search or even amateur aerial photography.

However, I'm not afraid to admit that I do not have the most comprehensive knowledge of the drone world, so figured I'd ask here, and see what kind of response I can forward to him.

Thanks in advance.
 

Ryan O.

Out of Foam Board!
#2
Okay, I'm not holding out a lot of hope on this, but figured I'd post here and see if anyone had a recommendation I could pass along to a friend of a friend. I was told by my friend that her friend was interested in getting a starter drone, so I dropped him an email, with a couple of basic ideas.

He's interested in something that he can use to look for firewood, and has never flown a drone before. I pointed him towards some of the DJI drones, as they have excellent cameras, and will pretty much fly themselves, making them very good for new pilots.

He countered that he's looking for something in the $50 USD range, as he's not sure if he'll like flying drones, and wants something cheap in case he crashes (which, in my experience, is far more likely with a cheap drone, than with one that has decent electronics and firmware).

From what I've seen, $50 pretty much just buys a toy, and not something that would be useful for any kind of search or even amateur aerial photography.

However, I'm not afraid to admit that I do not have the most comprehensive knowledge of the drone world, so figured I'd ask here, and see what kind of response I can forward to him.

Thanks in advance.
Back before I started flying planes I flew a little orange quadcopter that didn’t have a camera and cost $60 back then (I say back then but it was no less than ten years ago). I found the exact same one for a lot cheaper, just over $20, and although it has no camera, it’s a blast and I guess technically when I got into rc, either that or those new bright cars from the general store, or maybe an airhogs helicopter which didn’t fly so much as meander an inch off the ground. There are also the mid sized SYMA quadcopters, some of which have altitude hold (sort of) and a camera which can record to micro sd or send a video feed to your phone through wifi, although the quality is definitely 480p or lower. Those were all fun and I ended up burning through three of them, one lost to a tree, one lost flying straight into a dumpster, and one lost to one of those stands for volleyball nets at the local park. Beyond that I don’t have any more experience since I switched to fixed wing aircraft, although I always wanted to get another one and bolt on some 2205’s, for fun.
Small orange quadcopter ($20)
Cheap SYMA quadcopter ($50)
There are smaller and cheaper SYMA quadcopters, but I’ve never used them before.
 
#3
Back before I started flying planes I flew a little orange quadcopter that didn’t have a camera and cost $60 back then (I say back then but it was no less than ten years ago). I found the exact same one for a lot cheaper, just over $20, and although it has no camera, it’s a blast and I guess technically when I got into rc, either that or those new bright cars from the general store, or maybe an airhogs helicopter which didn’t fly so much as meander an inch off the ground. There are also the mid sized SYMA quadcopters, some of which have altitude hold (sort of) and a camera which can record to micro sd or send a video feed to your phone through wifi, although the quality is definitely 480p or lower. Those were all fun and I ended up burning through three of them, one lost to a tree, one lost flying straight into a dumpster, and one lost to one of those stands for volleyball nets at the local park. Beyond that I don’t have any more experience since I switched to fixed wing aircraft, although I always wanted to get another one and bolt on some 2205’s, for fun.
Small orange quadcopter ($20)
Cheap SYMA quadcopter ($50)
There are smaller and cheaper SYMA quadcopters, but I’ve never used them before.
I have heard good things about SYMA.
 

Hoomi

Master member
#4
I forwarded him the link to the Amazon listing for the $50 camera drone, with a few caveats about the drone (particularly the limited range, which, if he wants a drone for looking for things, is definitely going to be a concern).

I haven't heard back from him yet.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#5
Okay, I'm not holding out a lot of hope on this, but figured I'd post here and see if anyone had a recommendation I could pass along to a friend of a friend. I was told by my friend that her friend was interested in getting a starter drone, so I dropped him an email, with a couple of basic ideas.

He's interested in something that he can use to look for firewood, and has never flown a drone before. I pointed him towards some of the DJI drones, as they have excellent cameras, and will pretty much fly themselves, making them very good for new pilots.

He countered that he's looking for something in the $50 USD range, as he's not sure if he'll like flying drones, and wants something cheap in case he crashes (which, in my experience, is far more likely with a cheap drone, than with one that has decent electronics and firmware).

From what I've seen, $50 pretty much just buys a toy, and not something that would be useful for any kind of search or even amateur aerial photography.

However, I'm not afraid to admit that I do not have the most comprehensive knowledge of the drone world, so figured I'd ask here, and see what kind of response I can forward to him.

Thanks in advance.
Sadly $50 may not even limit him to the good side of toy grade quads. Anything that low COMPLETE with radio and any fpv is going to be a 1s wifi based toy that if he is lucky would carry video out to 25 foot diameter before degrading and a max 50 foot range more then likely.

For anything that will reliably fly any further then he can see with his eyes he is looking at $250 ish if he has his own radio gear and something to view FPV with. There is no more Ill get a cheap drone to see if I like it thing anymore. You either do 1s toy grade, a flight sim or you jump up to an FPV 3 inch build for the very basics close to doing what he wants to do.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#7
Buy a cheap whoop for 20$ or less. If he likes it he can get some good gear. If not then he has a toy to give a friend.
The OP wanted a cheap drone that could have FPV AND do long range. Whoops ain't the machine for doing that. I do agree that is a goo way to see if you hold interest or have skill enough to fly one but not so much for the intentions requested.
 
#8
The OP wanted a cheap drone that could have FPV AND do long range. Whoops ain't the machine for doing that. I do agree that is a goo way to see if you hold interest or have skill enough to fly one but not so much for the intentions requested.
To me this is the best option because of how cheap it is. It is just to get his feet wet. He cant get anything with the features he wantsfor that price.
 

Hoomi

Master member
#9
Well, so far, no response from him on the Amazon link I forwarded.

IMNSHO, things like drones fall under the adage of, "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten."
 

Hoomi

Master member
#10
Out of curiosity, I keep seeing the EXO drones advertised on social media. They're touted as a more budget friendly alternative to the DJI drones (though not, I believe, in so many words). Anyone have any experience with them? They have a $129 model that, while still not nearly as powerful as the Spark or Mavic Mini, has better specs than the $50 drone on Amazon.

I still haven't heard back from him, but if the EXO drones are worthwhile, I might drop him one more email and pass along that link.
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#11
Out of curiosity, I keep seeing the EXO drones advertised on social media. They're touted as a more budget friendly alternative to the DJI drones (though not, I believe, in so many words). Anyone have any experience with them? They have a $129 model that, while still not nearly as powerful as the Spark or Mavic Mini, has better specs than the $50 drone on Amazon.

I still haven't heard back from him, but if the EXO drones are worthwhile, I might drop him one more email and pass along that link.
4 am and I am still up so I watched a few videos. 2 from clueless pilots and one from the vendor. Their stuff seems pretty stable and video seems ok too. Not sure what model you looked at but the ones I checked were the EXO X7 I think? They look super fragile but all them style quads look like that to me without and carbon on the arms. For under 200 bones they seem OK. I say 200 as if a new pilot buys one they will need memory cards, extra batteries, potentially a REAL charger.

It is electronically leashed as I saw in one video they took it to 360ft and about 60 feet away and it said it reached the electric fence of 1320m. they got about 11 minutes all hover with a ton of yawing in place which really sucks power fast. So normal filming and flying should be in the 13 to 15 min range I would guess.

Is it a dji killer.. not even close but its way above the toy quality that could be had on a 50 bone drone.
 
#13
There available a loads of options like Holy Stone HS190, Cheerwing Syma, Hubsan X4 H107L etc. All these are under $50 budget. As a newbie this drones are good but for advance works DJI drones are perfect.
 
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#15
Okay, I'm not holding out a lot of hope on this, but figured I'd post here and see if anyone had a recommendation I could pass along to a friend of a friend. I was told by my friend that her friend was interested in getting a starter drone, so I dropped him an email, with a couple of basic ideas.

He's interested in something that he can use to look for firewood, and has never flown a drone before. I pointed him towards some of the DJI drones, as they have excellent cameras, and will pretty much fly themselves, making them very good for new pilots.

He countered that he's looking for something in the $50 USD range, as he's not sure if he'll like flying drones, and wants something cheap in case he crashes (which, in my experience, is far more likely with a cheap drone, than with one that has decent electronics and firmware).

From what I've seen, $50 pretty much just buys a toy, and not something that would be useful for any kind of search or even amateur aerial photography.

However, I'm not afraid to admit that I do not have the most comprehensive knowledge of the drone world, so figured I'd ask here, and see what kind of response I can forward to him.
Buy drone camera online in Bangladesh
Thanks in advance.
Hello everyone, nice to meet you guys on this forum. I've been interested in traveling to Japan this year (hopefully if the borders open due Covid) and I am planning to start making videos for YouTube while traveling through the country. I'll be traveling with one backpack with clothing, camera, laptop and drone. The Dij Mavic 3 seems to be an excellent choice, not only does it seems to fit in a backpack, it also can fly on itself allowing me to take shots of myself without having someone around to fly it. Though I understand it may add some extra weight to my backpack, I am willing to do this due the quality and performance I'm getting. In terms of regulation it should be fine to fly drones in Japan outside of populated areas. Because I am a drone noob anyway I am certainly not looking to fly this thing near any people or buildings, for me it'll be mostly nature shorts.
I am looking for a drone that has the following specifications:
- Fits inside a backpack and can be carried easily from location to location
- Offer self flying mode to film myself while walking/running
- Offer extremely high and sharp footage with DLOG mode for collor correction
- Allowed to fly in Japan and EU
- Long battary life


Now here are some question that I have about the drone:

1. Currently I live in Netherlands, this means the drone falls under EU regulation. I got my A1/A3 certificate today but online I found out you need an A2 certificate. Is this true? And why is that? The drone is under 900G on the website.

2. Is the drone worth it? I've seen a lot of bad reviews online about this drone and how its not working as expected. Most people claimed a few months ago that the self flying mode was not fully developed yet, has this changed in the recent firmware updates? I certainly plan on using this mode a lot.

3. What is the difference between the CINE and Normal Dji Mavic 3? The Cine seems epic for intense high quality. But maybe a bit of an overkill for someone like me, though it does have a nice SSD in it. Does the CINE have an improved camera or only uses a more heavy format?

4. What are things I should keep in mind of? Is it allowed to take drones into planes? How long should I practise my drone before using it for videos?

5. What are some other general tips you can give me. Do you think this drone will be fitting for me at all? Is this an overkill? It fits inside my Camera budget.
 
#16
I think the mavic mini 2 would be good for you. It is smaller than the mavic so it will save some weight in your bag. I am by no means an expert on dji stuff tho.