What You Need To Know When Buying A Drone
Drones are the talk of the tech world these days, popular among homeowners and cottagers. The high-flying technology is perfect for capturing memorable moments and experiencing exciting new vistas.
“Drones are the next paradigm shift,” says Danny Vrekalic, the founder and owner of Drones Toronto. “We had computers in the 1980s, then the Internet in the 1990s, and now drones are dominating in a big way.”
“Scores of homeowners are purchasing drones as they offer everyone a one-of-a-kind experience, almost like an out-of-body experience,” he explains. “These devices give us a bird’s eye view from the sky and since we are inquisitive types, they allow us to peer in on things that we normally can’t see. They give us a viewing experience that we have never ever had access to.”
But it’s not just homeowners who are interested. “The business world is now utilizing this technology too, like real estate agents and construction companies who can show homes through video they captured on these devices,” says Vrekalic. “Even better, they are safe to use: you can take video without using ladders, scaffolding or helicopters.” They are even being used for transportation. Earlier this year, Dubai announced the launch of a self-driving taxi—an autonomous drone that will move passengers across the city starting this summer.
There are hundreds of drones on the market and it can be difficult to choose the right drone for your needs, but having some basic knowledge is a step in the right direction.
Drones for inside the house or cottage are typically priced at under $200. “These types of drones are more for hobbyists who want to capture people and spaces right inside the home,” says Vrekalic. “Keep in mind that indoor drones are normally ones you can’t take outside and they do have a number of limitations compared to higher-end ones.”
Outdoor drones typically include built-in cameras and remote controls. They range in price from $200 to $500, and it’s always best to ensure you purchase one that holds its position on its own and can return to home. For a better quality drone, plan on spending $500 to $1,000. There are even drones with VR headsets that fall into this price category. “Drones at this price point are good and capture nice quality video and they are quite popular among homeowners: they get the job done and are fun to use and you can even record the footage on your smartphone or tablet,” says Vrekalic.
The higher-end drones on the market cost around $1,500 and have many cool features. “Spending more money means you get better quality; it’s like buying anything these days,” he says. “The expensive drones will give you a real bang for your buck. Some can now fly over four miles and will stay in the air for over 20 minutes and they shoot in 4K. As well they have the ‘return-home’ feature so they won’t get lost.”
For those who want motion-picture quality video from the sky and who have deep pockets, there are plenty of elite drones that you can get your hands on and they range from $5,000 all the way up to $160,000. “Believe it or not, there are people out there who are shelling out lots of money to have the ‘crème de la crème’when it comes to drones,” he says. “While the best ones are pricey, they should come down in price over time.”
“Drones are awesome,” says Vrekalic. ““They are becoming so advanced and easy to use, and this is why they are so popular. Their applications are endless and they are opening a whole new chapter for homeowners and a variety of industries too.”
“With drones, the sky is the limit.”
Rules for recreational drones
If you are considering purchasing a drone or have one, Vrekalicemphasizes the importance of following the stipulations mandated by the government.
According to Transport Canada (check with your government for rules that apply), you can’t fly a drone higher than 90 m above ground and they should never be closer than 75 m to buildings, vehicles, vessels, animals, people and crowds.
They also cannot be closer than 9 km to any airport or anywhere where aircrafts take-off or land. And they are not permitted in controlled or restricted airspace and are not allowed to interfere with emergency responders.
Transport Canada also outlines that drones are not to be used at night, and they must be within your sight at all times.
“I tell everyone to always check with the government to see what rules are in place. Ignoring the laws will only result in fines or legal action,” he says.