What is a good starter drone?

Recommended Posts


It really depends on your desire and what you hope to achieve. In my opinion there are two schools of thought on where to get started. You could by a low end drone from Amazon.com or somewhere else to get started and get more comfortable with flying them before upgrading. The other side of the coin is to buy a DJI Phantom 4 (or similar type drone) and learn on that. Downside is that if you crash the Phantom then you are out $1200 to $1500 depending on what you spent on it. There are several other forums on this topic here. If you search through the forum, you will find some really good advise from a lot of different people. Good luck with learning to fly whatever drone you decide to buy. 


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
I hope it's OK to co-opt this thread, as mine and the OP's questions are very much related, I think...

You could find in the Intro section @SomersetUAV asks for advice about starting with a "Phantom 3 or 4", or perhaps a "DJI Inspire Pro with the X5", and I put those in quotes to highlight my ignorance.

If you looked, you'd see @Bruno respond with a recommendation to choose a "non redundant drone" (a hexacopter or an octocopter) and not a quadcopter.

I think I get the point he was making, that we'd do well to learn to fly under difficult conditions... much the same point my father made as he demanded my sister and I learn to drive stick shift from the jump and enjoy automatic shifting cars later.

BUT I do wonder if others might have a different opinion? I guess my reservation is about spending time and money learning to use technology inferior to the "Phantom 3 or 4" level, just to feel better about launching, controlling, landing.




  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, it depends on what your goals are. Is this a hobby drone where your goal is to play? Or do you have to get a job done? Will you need to change cameras/sensors?

Phantom 3 is a good model. You can fly on your own set it for automated flight. A it's sophisticated enough to "get the job done" if you're trying to do some imagery. Lots of after market software options so you can play around with new tools and skills. 

If you can afford it, and willing to risk damage, then Phantom 4 is really nice. More steady flight AND collision avoidance sensors on the front side. A little extra protection on your $1200+ investment. Note that P4's camera cannot be swapped out.  

Will you be flying over people? If so, I would highly recommend the Yuneec Typhoon H for the extra engine redundancy. Nice to have the piece of mind.  

I think it comes down to how much $$ are have to play with and what you want to accomplish. Don't forget to factor in the accessories when you do cost comparisons. No matter what airframe you get, you will need some extras for your operation. Control device (iPad or tablet), carrying case, extra batteries, sunscreen, prop guards, flight insurance, etc. 



  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Beacon Sky Survey mentioned "Will you be flying over people? If so, I would highly recommend the Yuneec Typhoon H for the extra engine redundancy. Nice to have the piece of mind.  "  Assuming you are talking about operations in the USA, then flights over people are illegal.  A part 107 certificate holder can request a waiver for flights "over humans", but without that you just can't do it. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Quazar said:

Thanks! I pulled the trigger and will reveal more soon! When I have a report on my satisfaction and such.

Also (I should make it part of my .sig) don't forget Amazon will give money to your cause, use smile.amazon.com not www when ordering :D

Screen Shot 2016-11-13 at 10.38.45 PM.png

Good idea re: using http://smile.amazon.com!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.