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Best Professional Drone 2021 • 7 Professional Drones Reviews

Since the invention of hot air balloons, flight technology has evolved at a dizzying rate. It has since allowed us to enjoy a bird’s-eye view while keeping our feet on the ground; professional drones have revolutionized aerial photography, and we will help you find the best one for you.

Professional Drone Leaderboard 2021

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Tested Products 7
Hours Spent
Hours Spent 36
Evaluated Studies
Evaluated Studies 40
Considered Reviews
Considered Reviews 85

What is a professional drone and how does it work?

Drones can be used in many areas such as film making, photography, search and rescue, military missions etc.

A drone is an aerial vehicle without a pilot that can be either controlled by a human from a dedicated remote controller or can fly autonomously. It possesses many sensors like GPS that assist in proper flight mode controls. While drones originated mostly in military applications, their use is rapidly finding many more applications including aerial photography, product deliveries, agriculture, and so on. The level of technology of drones has risen so high that there are even autonomous drone-racing events.

What types of professional drones are there?

Multi-Rotor Drones

Multi-rotor drones are a rotorcraft with more than two lift-generating rotors. An advantage of multi-rotor aircraft is the simpler rotor mechanics required for flight control.

Fixed-Wing Drones

Fixed-wing drones (in comparison with rotary-wing; i.e., helicopters) use a fixed wing like a normal airplane to provide the lift rather than vertical lift rotors. Because of this they only need to use energy to move forward, not hold themselves up in the air, and therefore are much more efficient.

Fixed-Wing Hybrid VTOL

Merging the benefits of fixed-wing UAVs with the ability to hover is a new category of hybrids that can also take off and land vertically. There are various other types under development, some of which are basically just existing fixed-wing designs with vertical lift motors bolted on. Others are “tail-sitter” aircraft that look like a regular plane but rest on their tails on the ground.

Shopping Criteria for Professional Drones

Professional drones have made aerial photography accessible to virtually anyone. However, each drone comes with its own particular characteristics. This is why you must evaluate specific criteria to form the correct opinion about each drone and choose the model that best fits your personal needs. We will delve into these aspects in the following section.

  • Size and weight
  • Camera
  • Gimbal
  • Flight time
  • Number of pilots

Size and Weight

First of all, the size and weight of the drone will affect its transport and storage. You will prefer a compact, lightweight model if you need to take it along with you all the time. Keep in mind that this will also influence the type of camera that you can attach to it. Some professional film cameras can be large and heavy, for which you will need specific drones.

Camera

One of the very first things you have to do is decide whether you want a drone that integrates a camera or a model without one. For the former, make sure that the features of the camera, such as its image quality and zoom capacity, meet your needs. If you opt for the latter, check the capacity of the drone’s support and its compatibility with different cameras.

Did you know that these devices were first developed by the military because they are needed in small spaces where a normal helicopter can’t go or where it is too dangerous to send pilots?

Gimbal

The gimbal is the element that stabilizes the camera. Its purpose is to reduce the vibrations of the propellers as much as possible, while preventing sudden movements from affecting the image quality. Also, it will condition the overall maneuverability of your camera. The ideal gimbal will allow it to rotate on its axis as freely as possible so that you can take a wide variety of shots.

Flight Time

Most drones include at least one controller with which you can pilot the device.A drone’s flight time generally ranges between 20 and 30 minutes, although this will naturally vary from one model to the next. Depending on how you plan on using your device, this aspect will be more or less relevant to you. In any case, we recommend that you always keep a spare battery on hand in case you haven’t finished your work when the first one runs out.

Number of Pilots

The complex operation of specific drones requires two pilots. The first person is responsible for handling the drone while the other controls the camera. Don’t overlook this aspect, especially if you always work on your own. You can find models that give you the possibility to operate them individually or with another person. In that case, you will need a second controller.

Alternatives to Professional Drones

In the following section, we introduce you to alternatives to professional drones in case you are not completely sure about a purchase of a drone yet.

Gimbal and Pole

This is a pole with a length of up to five or six meters that offers a static, steady aerial shot similar to what would be shot using a drone. It is much cheaper but offers fewer possibilities in comparison with the traditional drone.

Gimbal and Cable

It connects a 100-meter cable from one side to the other. Attaching it to the camera creates gliding, low-level shots. It’s ideal for shoots where it’s dangerous to use a drone, for example, a factory with dangerous machinery.

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FAQ

How do you pilot a professional drone?

Each drone has its own characteristics, which is why the way you pilot them may vary from one model to the next. However, virtually all drones out there will share some similarities. Start by assembling your device, making sure that nothing is missing and that every part is in its right place. Check that the battery is fully charged.

The joysticks present on the controller are generally easy to handle. With them, you can make the drone go up or down, forward or backward, and even rotate on the axis itself. Depending on the model you have opted for, you will also be able to orient the camera. The movements you can make with the camera are determined by the frame on which it is installed.

How many people are needed to pilot a professional drone?

Once again, this will ultimately depend on the product you buy. Some drones are very simple for one person to pilot, while more complex models require two people. Finally, you can also find some drones that give you the option of piloting it by yourself or with someone else’s help.

As you can imagine, a controller is needed per person piloting the device. If you are two operating it, one of you is dedicated exclusively to flying the drone. The other person guides the movements of the camera on its axis. In addition, the camera operator can manipulate parameters such as aperture, focus, or even the zoom.

The movements and parameter adjustments of the camera are determined by its own technical specifications, as well as the mount on which it is placed. Generally speaking, you can expect more professional drones to be more complicated to get the hang of. We strongly advise studying the device’s instruction manual before flying it.

Do all professional drones include a camera?

No, this isn’t necessarily the case. It really depends on your personal preferences. Some people like to purchase a device that comes equipped with a standard camera. That means that they won’t have to worry about finding one that is compatible with the drone’s mount.

Sometimes, drones that don’t include a camera only work with action cameras like GoPro. However, you might want to attach a larger camera with better quality. If this is the case, you will have to make sure that the mount can withstand more weight; the safety of your camera is essential.

What is first-person view?

First-person view (FPV) is a system that allows you to visualize what your drone’s camera by way of glasses—much like virtual reality. However, it is more recreational than professional. In fact, it is not recommended that the person wearing the glasses pilots the drone at the same time for safety reasons. You wouldn’t be able to see the drone’s surroundings clearly and you could hit something.

The FPV system does have more uses, for example, in flying competitions. Some pilots prefer having the first-person vision. It is also interesting visually, offering the viewer a very immersive experience while someone else pilots the drone.

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