Aerial imaging is now commonplace and affordable. Nur Zarina Othman lists eight of the best consumer drones.
Suitable for beginners, this foldable arm drone has a built-in 2.0 megapixel 720P wide angle camera that allows high dynamic range and high definition photo and video capture. With its trajectory mode, flight control is a breeze as it follows a pre-determined route. Equipped with a button for take-off and landing, it is easy to operate and to control. The one-key-return function makes it easy to find its way home. The six-axis gyro offers more stable flying for steady video recording. Available at Amazon.com for US$68.39 (RM264.50).
YUNEEC TYPHOON H
The Yuneec Typhoon H hexacopter comes with ST16 all-in-one controller with Android-powered ST16 Ground Station features on a seven-inch touchscreen. It is ready to fly and record video and pictures out of the box. Its built-in ultrasonic collision prevention keeps the aircraft safe. At the flick of a switch on the ST16 controller, Typhoon H will fly home and land automatically. For added safety, it will also land before the battery becomes too low. With up to 25 minutes flight time, the Typhoon H delivers 4K ultra high-definition video, 12 megapixel photos, with full 360° anti-vibration gimbal, retractable landing gear for 360° filming. US$799 (RM3,093) at Amazon.com.
THRUST UAV 1003 RIOT 250R
Thrust UAV 1003 Riot 250R Pro Edition FPV Racing Drone was built to take drone racing to the next level. The enhanced riot 250R pro is built with feedback from professional pilots. It features built in power distribution, Omni directional, on-screen display with battery information and frequency, white gel coat carbon fibre frame with integrated flight system for fast and easy repairs. It is lighter than standard racing drones due to the integration of the board. With the IFS preconfigured, you can start racing right away. Priced at US$507.11(about RM1,970) on Amazon.com.
This ultrathin foldable selfie drone is only 0.95cm thick but do not underestimate this lightweight aircraft. Equipped with Wi-Fi FPV HD 720P camera, this drone can deliver real-time transmission. The FPV system allows the camera to capture high resolution images and video recording during flight. As a selfie drone, the H49 SOL has a beauty mode to beautify and retouch photos. The altitude hold mode enables the drone to maintain consistent altitude for more stable image capturing. Available at Amazon.com for US$53.99 (RM210).
This compact quadcopter features an integrated camera with motorised stabilisation to capture 12MP photos, 1080p Full HD videos and even aerial selfies. The drone features GPS- and vision-based navigation for outdoor or indoor use, a variety of flight modes and 3D obstacle-detection system. It also has a two-axis stabilised gimbal camera at 12MP for still photos and 1080p/30 video gestures. The compact size, 31 mph top speed with up to 16 minutes of flight time are some of its plus points. The DJI Spark can go up to 1.9km control range and editing and sharing are made easy with the DJI GO App. Available at Amazon.com for US$476.95 (RM1,845).
This is the ultimate smart drone for all your aerial needs. With shots such as Cable Cam or Selfie, the drone will automatically position and fly itself and film the perfect shot, all while you stand and watch. With the smart battery, PixHawk flight controller, LED directional lights, Live HD video feed and 3-axis gimbal, there is no doubt that the 3DR Solo has everything you need for a fantastic, out-of-the-box experience. The push button commands put both camera and copter at your fingertips ― take off, land or pause flight mid-air all with a single touch. The 3DR Solo offers live video streaming to mobile devices with the iOS and Android friendly Solo app. Available at Amazon.com for US$485 (RM1,877).
This is a first-person view (FPV) race drone with VR goggles controller. Its 2.4GHz remote control technology ensures precise controlling while the built-in 6-Axis gyroscope gives better control. The VR goggle provides an immersive experience and its headless mode, one-key return, 360-degree roll, three-speed option and multi direction functions work perfectly as a racing drone. Available at Amazon.com for US$94.49 (RM366).
There are many consumer drones in the market but this one is both fun and educational. Suitable for children aged 14 and above, this is a 54-piece remote control drone that you build yourself. This DIY drone kit helps teach and encourage children to develop skills in the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. The drone uses gyroscopes, allowing it to fly in small indoor spaces though it’s suitable for outdoor flight as well. The unique LED light feature gives a delightful yet safer play time at night while creating own flying skills by performing radical 3D flips and tricks. It has a one-key-return button which helps you guide the drone back to the remote, making it ideal for amateurs as well as expert flyers. Available on Amazon.com at US$28.99 (RM112).