You've seen some incredible Fpv cinematic drone footage on Youtube or some Fpv racing, maybe even some freestyle sessions? All of this amazing footage, recorded by super talented pilots with high end setups and expensive GoPros.
If you have taken a look into the equipment and drone setups online. You are probably feeling a little overwhelmed with the variety of offerings from all the different companies, Emax, iFlight or Geprc to name just a few. Then you have the drone frame sizes 2inch all the way up to 7inch and even bigger in some cases. Toothpicks, cinewhoops, freestyle, long range, Lipos all these terms will be new to you and navigating your way through the mine field of new information can seem daunting.
Fear not we are here to help you sift through the info and break it down so you can work out the difference between what you want and what you actually need to get started on your journey down the FPV rabbit whole.
Now you have more of an idea on what is required at what skill level its time to consider just exactly what you want the drone for or to be capable of. Some drones could be classed as all rounders, but to be honest a 'Jack of all trades, is a master of none'. So don't just go out and buy the first shiney expensive drone and think it will be perfect for what you want it for, it's just not that simple. This is something I have to remind myself every time I go and look at drones or parts online.
For instance a 2inch Micro drone or Tiny whoop is ideal for any skill level especially indoors, but will not cope well outside in wind much stronger than a basic breeze. Perfect for learning inside and in tight spots where you wouldn't want anything else buzzing around your head so close or just as a but of fun. I will however no doubt eat my words soon enough as these small drones just seem to be getting better and better and more and more powerful.
The next drone size would be the Micro to Toothpick range and this could include anything from 2.5inch up to 4inch. These have the power to weight ration advantage giving them great speed and agility, able to handle a bit more wind and freestyle flying. I love this class of drone because you can fly them pretty much anywhere with all the speed and excitement of their bigger brothers. For instance it is not advised to be flying anything over 250g around anywhere where there is more than a few random people. Drones any bigger if they hit someone would cause injury especially at the speeds they are capable of. This is something to consider when purchasing your first drones, where will you be flying it? Will the noise of the big drones be a problem? Important considerations if your parting with lots of your hard earned pocket money. The last thing you want is to be driving 2 hours down the road every time you want to fly, especially when you first start out flying.
I would always recommend getting a micro 3inch drone even if you buy it along with a bigger one just so the days you can't go out, out, you can still go and fly the local park or car park... Remember practice, practice, practice!
Now into the world of cinematic FPV this is where it is harder to make choices without some experience of flying various drones. The reasons for this is you can achieve cinematic shots with various drone styles, with some lending themselves more toward stability and the feeling of being on rails or steady cam and others towards agility. The latter would be the freestyle drones which I will cover later in the article, for now lets focus on dedicated cinematic drones AKA the Cinewhoop. These have been designed with one thing in mind, well most of these have been designed with one thing in mind and thats getting a High definition camera to place and in ways never before possible. With ridged prop ducts and stability in its DNA it will allow you to get shots and go places you could have only dreamed of a few years ago. Check out the iFlight Mega Bee, Bumble bee or the Green Hornet to name but a few top rated options. With their ducted propellers they are better suited for inside, tight places or around people, as long as they have been made away and all that. We have a huge selection of Cinewhoops on our website lots of them with video reviews.
Now for the Freestyle drone these are not for the faint hearted as much as they are not for crowded spaces. These are the super cars of the Fpv world with blistering speed, agility and all round performance, they are the preferred choice when filming larger scale landscapes, windier conditions, freestyle or long distance. There are 5,6 and 7 inch frames available as RTF or build kits or you could select each part meticulously and build a completely custom drone from the ground up. This takes skill and knowledge of the in depth science of drones, electronics and physics. If you are are passionate enough about this hobby these skills are all something you will pick along your journey, often helped by fellow pilots and more experienced builders. If you are looking into this level of drone you must also consider your power, yes, Lipo batteries with this come an additional mine field to the noob. I will dive into lipo batteries in another article.
In summery if you are seriously considering buying an Fpv Drone no matter what it is for it is a very big learning curve and fairly expensive buy in initially. A lot of your initial cost are on one time purchases like transmitter, goggles, tooling. After that is all depends how often you crash and break stuff or how expensive your taste is. When it comes to equipment after buying an RTF micro kit or transmitter and simulator you should have a good idea as to wether you really love it or not. Once you've made a decision buy the best Goggles and transmitter as a priority as these will out last nearly all of your drones. With drones start small and work up especially if you are unable to get to big open spaces suitable for flying bigger stuff easily. This hobby has so many layers and could even be classed as a profession now but the main point is get yourself flying and start ripping packs!
If you are lucky enough to live in the middle of nowhere however, then throw all the rules out the window and buy what ever you want and just go and crash loads and keep rippin!
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