Are you planning to buy your first drone with camera? wait! checkout these 5 features you should check before you buy your first drone quadcopters.

Drones can be both a source of entertainment and an efficient way of facilitating aerial photography or other work projects. For those just discovering the world of drones, it can be an exciting purchase. Nevertheless, it is important to carefully select the best drone models and features depending on what you intend to do with the product afterwards.

[yellowbox]If you already aware about these basics, checkout our list of best Drones with Camera to Buy this year[/yellowbox]

There are several ways one can categorize drones – according to their size, range, fuel or even equipment.  However, the most common way to differentiate among drones is by the number of propellers. This way, we can divide drones into tricopters, the common quadcopters, hexacopters and the large, enduring octocopers.

Checkout below image depict Octocopter drone in motion:

octocopers drone camera

Without any further ado, here are the top five features you should consider when buying your first drone with camera:

Required Permits

Drones are taken seriously by some administrative and legislative bodies all over the world and their use, especially for commercial purposes, is heavily regulated. It is important to keep in mind that drones aren’t just another gadget, they’re considered remotely piloted aircraft, and one can sign up for training schools in order to learn how to properly operate a drone.

Most of the countries that regulate the use of drones separate them into categories according to weight – under and over 15-25 kg. For the more sizable models, authorities usually require various operator certification, insurance, a national permit and a fee for aircraft identification. Moreover, it’s important to remember that in every such country there are no-fly zones or areas in which flying a drone is forbidden.

Drone Camera Types and Quality

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone with 2.7K HD Video Camera

Although most drone comes with high-quality HD cameras, you might need to attach an external camera such as a GoPro or SJCam. However, when choosing drones for beginners with a built-in camera, such as the Cheerwing Syma X5sw, it’s important to consider:

  • Video resolution
  • Camera Megapixels
  • Camera vantage point
  • Ability to control camera angle

If you are planning to use your drone for aerial photography such as sweeping shots, you’ll almost always need to opt in for the highest quality cameras such as 4K. However, if you aren’t planning to snap high-quality pictures or to upload your footage to YouTube, it’s best to go for a lower resolution camera with a lower, affordable price tag.

Along with a higher quality camera resolution, another thing to consider is the amount of camera shake it produces. Luckily enough, this can be easily solved with a higher-grade gyroscope which will not sway during windier conditions and can make the camera move in an instant.

Finally, for the most effective and clear results, try sticking with a drone that can have its footage downloaded via USB or memory card. This will not hampered the quality of picture or video captured by Drone.

Price and Performance

In terms of pricing, drones equipped with a camera can range from $50 to $6000, depending on the included features. Being complex machines, drones can be extremely different according to their intended use, so don’t take price as the absolute denominator of value when it comes to performance.

If you have a certain aerial photography shoot that requires a much higher vantage point, it’s important that your drone can reach the desired height and speed. The average and most popular drone, especially for beginner users, averages around 15 miles per hour.

Battery and Flight Time

What’s the point of a drone if it can’t stay in the air without being recharged every half an hour? A longer flight time makes the difference between recreational drone usage and the ability to professionally film a long-arranged photo shoot. While searching for your first drone, it’s important to look for a model that can stay in the air for longer periods of time. Most of the extended air time is dependent on battery features.

The battery is therefore one of the crucial factors to take into considerations before purchasing your first drone. No one wants to realize too late that their drone can fly only for two minutes before needing to be recharged. When it comes to batteries, there are a few things you want to consider.

  • Battery Life – Drones can fly anywhere from six to 20 consecutive minutes before needing to be recharged. The smaller a drone is, the shorter its battery life will be. Research just how long the battery will last before you purchase your drone.
  • Charging Time – Once the battery is drained, how long will it take to recharge? Most models take between one and two hours to fully charge. This factor will be more important to some than others, depending on what you intend to use your drone for. For short flights, a long charging time won’t matter as much, but if you plan on using your drone for long expeditions, this can play a big part. Check out the specs before you put any money down.

Replacement Batteries

It might be a good idea to purchase a second battery while you buy your first drone. If your drone has a long charging time, buying a backup battery can be a smart idea. This will cut down on the time that you could be spending flying. It is also possible that the battery in your drone will become worn out and will no longer be able to hold a charge. In this case, a replacement battery is absolutely essential. Before you purchase your first drone, check to see if you can find a spare battery, if they are easy to come by, and how expensive they will be.

  • Camera Battery – Oftentimes, the cameras on drones will have their own battery. This will not only lengthen the flight time, but it will keep your drone’s battery from draining quicker than it should. Look for a drone camera with its own separate battery. It will help you in two different ways, one is to increase drone flying time and two is to increase camera recording duration.

Live Feed

This feature is not available with all drones with camera, but it can really come in handy during certain circumstances. A live feed, or First Person View (FPV) can help you see where you are flying from the drone’s perspective of view. It is also helpful when recording a video or taking pictures by your drone because you can set up the shot prior to taking it.

aerial view drone camera

Drones with live feed are more expensive, but they are worth the higher price. The feed is transmitted over Wi-Fi and can be watched on a number of different devices, such as a computer, smartphone, or tablet. On certain drones, the feed may be available right on the control. This is the best option when using the feed for more precise flying.

Drones that are equipped with a camera but do not have the live feed ability can instead store video on an SD card or a flash drive for later use. While these are fine for amateurs, it would make work harder for people who use drones for professional purposes. However, for the most common models capable of live feed, the link’s connection is well under their flight range, usually limited to around 1.6 km. The latest models, however, can transmit live video for up to 7 km.


Choosing your first drone can take some time, especially if you want to make sure you are getting the best deal with all the necessary features. This guide has hopefully enlightened you on some of the key elements you should take into account upon purchasing your first drone.

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Mark Chesterman is a geek passionate about photography and drones. Recently, he bought a drone and he tries different ways to create spectacular photos. He works on finding new perspectives of photographing the landscape. Although he still shoots with his Nikon D4, Mark became a fan of drone photography. His next professional step is to launch a website to feature his aerial work. Till then, he writes reviews for Droneista