Are you in the market for a quadcopter, but are unsure of what you should pay attention to when deciding on a brand or model? You’re not alone: with so many different types of quadcopters on offer, it’s hard to know which one to choose. Though your choice will ultimately boil down to what you want to use this device for, here are some of the basic things you should definitely think about and take into account before you make a decision.
According to the website buy-best-quadcopter.com, quadcopters are priced at anywhere from under $100 to over $1000. Such a huge range of prices is partly due to the existence of numerous different quadcopter manufacturers, all of whom are competing for their share of the market, and partly due to the large number of features that can be packed into these versatile machines.
The most basic of quadcopter models are only capable of covering relatively short distances – around 50 to 100 meters. Commercial quadcopters on the other end of the spectrum are much sturdier, with flight ranges of some being measured in miles.
The battery life – or, rather, flight time of a quadcopter is usually correlated with the distance it is capable of covering. Those with a short range can stay in the air only for short periods of time (usually under or around 10 minutes). On the other hand, most high-end quadcopters are able to stay airborne for up to half an hour. Some custom quadcopters can push this limit even further, and flight times of over an hour, or even ninety minutes, are not unheard of among DIY quadcopter enthusiasts.
This is one feature you should definitely pay attention to if you plan on using your quadcopter for aerial photography or video recording. Quadcopters can be outfitted with anything from a simple SD camera, only capable of taking daytime stills, to top-of-the-line 4K lenses that can record crisp, ultra high definition video even in the poorest of lighting conditions. You should know that the price of a commercial quadcopter is heavily influenced by its camera; if you’re on a budget, you might be forced to sacrifice image quality for affordability.
Type of Kit
Finally, you should definitely know exactly what type of kit your quadcopter model of choice comes in. There are four major kit types, identified by the abbreviations RTF, BNF, PNF, and ARF.
- If you’re a quadcopter novice, go for the RTF, or ready-to-fly kits: these models come complete with everything you need to fly your quadcopter right out of the box.
- BNF, or bind-and-fly kits lack a controller, making them a good choice for more advanced users who want to pair their quadcopter with a professional, third-party controller.
- PNF, or plug-and-fly kits lack a controller, a battery, and a transmitter, and are the most customizable type of kit on the market.
- Finally, ARF, or almost-ready-to-fly kits require you to assemble the quadcopter yourself, kind of like a LEGO vehicle; they may or may not come with a controller.
With so many things to consider, your search for a quality quadcopter can fail even before it gets off the ground. A good way to start would be to think about your needs and priorities, and then check this review of the top 10 best quadcopters to buy. Think carefully before you invest in these machines: some research can save you a lot of time and bother along the line.