There is no doubt about how fast the consumer drone industry has expanded in the last few years. The drone industry is still very much in its infancy, but there are many drone companies that are punching above their weight and distinguishing themselves from their competitors. Some brands are known for making drones that are cheap and reliable. The other drone companies are best known for making drones that can provide superb stability, handling and longer flight times. Most Selling Drones in 2020 with reviews that are perfect for capturing cinematic videography footage and performing another task that up until recently were only capable of using helicopters and light aircraft.
How Hard Are They to Fly?
Flying a drone for a living teaches you to see the world differently, says Travis Jack, who runs Flyboy Photo & Media with wife Megan in Raleigh, N.C. You begin to notice tree branches, power lines, light poles, and all sorts of hazards looming overhead, he says.
Today’s drones are designed with automated flying features and built-in safeguards. But they’re not foolproof. CR testers lost a $400 DJI Spark that zipped off on its own beyond the range of its controller—a mishap cited by other drone owners online. According to flight data saved in the cloud and reviewed later by the manufacturer, the problem was due to “a compass error of undetermined origin,” which could mean “a faulty compass, failure to calibrate the compass before the flight,” or “electromagnetic interference.”
It’s a good idea to start out with a cheap model, says Michael Kofsky, a video producer who has worked on projects for Consumer Reports and is based in Los Angeles. Kofsky learned to fly inside his home, weaving a $90 drone in figure eights through the holiday decorations draped from his ceiling. “When I shelled out three grand for a drone, I had already crashed myself silly.”
- Agisoft Metashape
Founded in 2006, Agisoft has the benefit of existing as an innovative software company both before and during the drone revolution. Their roots lie in advanced photogrammetric algorithms which have more recently been adapted for the drone market.
- DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
DJI’s Mavic 2 Zoom is essentially an identical aircraft to the Mavic 2. It was launched on the same day last year and comes with all the same flight modes and safety features, as well as the same external design and performance. The only difference is the camera.
- Bentley ContextCapture
Bentley class themselves as a software company for “infrastructure professionals”. They offer dozens of different software packages with drone mapping software representing a small percentage of their annual revenue. Chances are if you work within larger engineering, surveying or GIS business you’ll already have a Bentley subscription for one of their software packages which may make ContextCapture more accessible and affordable.
- Parrot Anafi
Launched in June 2018, the Parrot Anafi is the French manufacturer’s bold attempt at taking on DJI with a sophisticated and adaptable platform. The Anafi is insect-inspired. It’s lightweight, foldable and has a few unique features that help it stand out at a competitive price point.