The most comprehensive drone guide on the Internet. Which drone is really the right drone for you? How do you decide with 1000’s of options out there. Buy or build, RTF or ARTF or BNF? What does all that even mean?
Hey everybody. Steve here. Welcome to the video. I’m glad that you found this one because I’m going to try to put together one of the most comprehensive, how to buy a drone videos on all of YouTube. Uh, I have been buying, building flying, crashing, and rebuilding quads since 2012. So I got a pretty good handle on things. I have flown everything from teeny weeny, little itty-bitty micro quads, all the way up to a huge, I think it’s 1100 millimeter wingspan octacopter, uh, that I used in a movie a few years ago. Okay. So the first thing that I want to acknowledge is the fact that I completely understand how intimidating and daunting it is to try to start getting into this hobby. There are so many options to choose from. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to break it down for you.
I’m actually going to draw a line right down the middle. 50% of the drones are going to appeal to a certain percentage of the audience. And the other 50% of the drones are going to appeal to a different audience. All we need to do is determine where you fall and we’ve already narrowed the type of drone that you’re going to buy down into half the drone world can be cut in half as far as I’m concerned. So take a listen and do a self evaluation and see where you fall on the right. We have what I’m going to label as a consumer drone. And on the left, we are going to have what I label as a hobbyist drone. Let’s take a look at the consumer drone first.
Now this is a DJI drone. Um, it is in the middle of the DGI line of drones. It’s got a very nice camera with a very nice gimbal. This camera floats on a three axis gimbal, which basically gives you silky smooth video. But forget that for right now, what’s important here is that you can go to best buy or Amazon or wherever, and you can buy this drone. And within two hours of getting home with it, you can be up flying. And that two hours is solely based on how long it takes you to charge the batteries. This thing has got GPS. These are collision avoidance sensors on the front, on the bottom, on the back. And that’s not as important as the fact that this thing will lock on with. I don’t know, I’ve seen as many as 15, 16 satellites, maybe even more so once it gets a satellite lock, the GPS will allow you to basically take your hands off the control.
And this thing will just sit in the air. Even in 20 mile an hour, wind gusts. This thing will just sit and float in the air. It won’t do anything. The bottom line is that this is easy to fly. You could buy this and be flying it inside of a couple of hours. Now you’re going to need practice. I don’t recommend you do any kind of crazy aerial acrobatics or anything like that. But if you just want to buy something and fly something, a consumer drone is the way to go, but it does happen. [inaudible] all right. So on the other side of the line is this baby right here. This is what ongoing too late as a hobbyist drone. It did not come like this. And for those of you who were in the know, I know this is an old drum. Uh, my newest one is crashed and in lots of pieces and unavailable for this video.
So I just pulled an old one. But anyway, yeah, this thing did not look like this. When I first got it. As a matter of fact, the propellers, the motors, these are called speed controllers, or ESCs in everything that you see here came in its own little box. And this thing was built from scratch. If you were a beginner, you are not going to be able to get one of these, bring it home and be flying in two hours. Uh, the learning curve on one of these is dramatically steeper than it is on a consumer drone. Uh, this is intended for a completely different audience. This thing is geared for somebody who wants to make a commitment and get into a hobby. Somebody who wants to put in the time to learn how to do this. And I’m going to tell you right now that this hobby requires a tremendous number of skill sets.
You’ve got to be able to build. So for example, you’ve got to learn how to solder. You’ve got to be fairly decent with software because there is a significant amount of configuring that this thing will need to be able to fly correctly. And then you’ve got to learn how to fly and flying a drone without GPS is significantly more difficult than say, flying a consumer drone. You got to ask yourself, do I want a hobby or do I just want to fly? Okay. So now that formal introductions have been made, let’s start dissecting these things down a little bit more starting with this guy right here. All right. So taking a closer look at the people who fell on the 50% line of this drone, I’m going to further break down this group into three groups. Number one, people who buy this thing just to fly.
They just want to have fun. Maybe they’re buying it for a kid or whatever, and they just want to experience the exhilaration of the fun of flying. Okay. That’s number one. Uh, number two are either photographer slash videographers or aspiring photographers slash videographers who want to get absolutely killer aerial photography and videography out of this camera, which is sitting, it’s basically floating on something called a gimbal. It’s a three axis gimbal. And what that means is is if this thing shakes, the gimbal is going to keep the camera perfectly still. So you get those super sexy silky shots that you probably see everywhere on the internet. So photographer slash videographers want to take advantage of the great camera and the super unbelievable range that this thing has, which we’ll talk about later, because I don’t want to get into specs right now. The third group is going to be the combination of those two people who want to take unbelievable footage and people who want to use it just to have fun.
Here’s what I see as a drawback for this drone. But I think that if you’re buying this thing just to fly and the videography photography thing is not for you, if you’re part of that third, that’s just buying this thing for fun. I think it is safe to say, okay, if, if you fly it on a regular basis, I personally think you’re going to get bored. Um, that is what I see as the drawback on this one right here. I will always use this one for taking amazing footage. And if I’m going to the beach or the mountains or whatever, and I want amazing footage, I’m taking this one, this one is much more of a steady work horse by way of comparison. This thing right here is an endless sea of challenges. Just when you think you’ve got it down, there are new challenges.
There are new things to learn. This thing is hands down, probably one of the most challenging hobbies I’ve ever tried to take on in my entire life, uh, as if building’s not hard enough and configuring is not hard enough, and flying’s not hard enough. It’s challenging. So, as I mentioned, I’ve been flying for many, many years and I was flying what we call line of sight, which means that you can see the drone up in the air. You’re actually watching it with your eyes up in the air. And it wasn’t until fairly recently that I got into this thing called FPV, which is called a first person view, which means there’s a little camera on the drone. And there’s a little transmitter on the drone that transmits the camera signal back to me. And I’m wearing these goggles right here. And essentially when I’m looking in the goggles, I’m actually seeing what this camera is seeing.
So if this thing is 30 feet up in the air flying at 25 miles per hour, um, I’m seeing it like I’m sitting right here on the drone first person view. Um, wow. What an exhilarating, unbelievable experience about a million times more fun than the consumer drone. Now I will say this, the consumer drone has a camera on it. And the consumer drones camera will send a feed up to your cell phone. And the feed is freaking amazing. It’s gorgeous. It’s this thing will go for kilometers and kilometers. And I’m not going to bust out specs because it’s not, it’s not where I’m at right now in this video. But like I said, this thing is utilitarian. This thing’s for capturing awesome footage. This thing right here is for just balls to the walls. Fun.
I mean, I don’t know how else to put it.
This thing is incredibly fun and it’s infinitely challenging. There’s always new that you can do to challenge yourself. All right. So I’m going to hit you with some really, really good news, regardless of which direction you decide to go, whether it be the hobby side or the consumer side, this needs to be your first drone. This is a $30 drone. As a matter of fact, it’s 60 bucks, but it comes with three batteries of batteries, about $10 a piece. So this is a cheap plastic DJI knockoff. Okay. Uh, just so that you’d get a feeling for the size. This thing is super small, super cute, folds up, just like the DJI one, actually put it in here. You can actually put it in the breast pocket of a shirt. Uh, thing is amazing. Folds up. Here’s the deal on this thing. You can fly this thing indoors and you can crash it into just about everything that you could possibly think of, um, except for the dog or the cat.
Don’t, don’t do that and try to try to avoid the TV too. Um, so maybe I had to caveat that by saying, be careful when flying inside, but you can fly this baby inside and it will hit the wall and it will hit the floor and it will, it will just get right back up and fly point being, this is an unbelievably cheap way of learning how to fly. This thing has the same flight characteristics, uh, in terms of stick movements as the other two drones. Now there’s no GPS or anything like that. So it’s a little harder to fly than the DJI, but that’s a good thing. Um, you need to learn how to fly. You need to learn how to fly. You can’t be flying. Uh, you can’t be flying with the training wheels on all times. So amazing, amazing thing. I will leave a link in the description for where you can get one of these things.
So what do you do if you want to buy a consumer drone, you’ve bought this one, you’ve outgrown it. And you’re like, okay, time to move up. Well, guess what? For $399, you can get the DJI Mavic mini, okay. This Maverick mini kind of a comparison thing. And then this is, I need more real estate. Let’s go ahead and do this. All right. Get a feel. You have to ignore my wires and stuff. All right. So we’ve already talked about this guy. He’s out of the picture. All right. Um, this is a Maverick mini, a DJI Mavic mini. It has got a camera on it. And I’m going to go ahead and tell you right now, but then Maverick many for $399 takes amazing footage. Here’s some footage here that, uh, my son shot, uh, within 24 hours of getting the Maverick many. And the camera is it’s awesome.
It is absolutely freaking amazing for a non-professional. Alright. You can take this thing on vacation and get killer killer killer footage. Uh, that will be the envy of your friends and relatives all for the amazing low price of $399. I remember when I was flying my humongous drones, uh, back in the day, when the GoPro alone, my hero three, the GoPro alone costs $399 let alone. I had another three grand in the drones, uh, and this takes better footage than my $3,500 rig with a GoPro three on it that I was using back in 2015. And this thing fits in my shirt pocket, take a look at how big my helicopter here is and this thing freaking beats it. All right. So, um, I’ll go ahead. I don’t know, off the top of my head I’ll I’ll go ahead and put what the specs are for the camera on this thing.
This thing is GPS satellite. It has it flies just like it’s big brother. Uh, it struggles in the wind, uh, much more than its big brother. And I’m going to tell you something that I’ve never heard anybody else say on YouTube. You’ve gotta be careful with this thing because when my son’s flying, I don’t know what kind of birds they are. I don’t know whether they’re Hawks or crows or what, but they attack this thing like nobody’s business. So you are, you run a greater likelihood of getting attacked by a bird and crashing this thing. Then you will crash this thing because you’re a poor flyer. Once again, GPS the same app, same everything, uh, regarding its bigger brother. So $399 on bull lievable this baby right here was eight 99, $899. Uh, it shoots I think 2.7 I’ll I’ll I’ll include the spec all include the spec here on the screen.
Just like the little brother it’s got three axis gimbal, amazing. Just, just jaw dropping, amazing footage out of this half inch sensor. I think it’s 2.7 K. Um, wow. Wow. Wow. This thing is all a regular person would ever need to shoot footage to have fun. This is such a, such a fun drone. And, uh, this is the Maverick air to highly recommend the Maverick air to now something I don’t have, um, that you can jump up to. It looks very similar to this is the Maverick pro two. I believe, uh, the Mavic pro has a full one inch sensor. So it’s twice as much as this one. I think it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 1900 or something like that, but $1,900 for a one inch sensor camera that for a drone that will go several kilometers. And it’s still only this big, I mean, this thing, this Is amazing. I’m gonna go ahead and give you kind of a size comparison. There’s there’s the, there’s the, uh, math air to that is that’s a galaxy.
That’s the math mini and that’s the introductory one. So why am I only talking about DJI drones? Well, I’ll tell you why. When I bought my first consumer drone, I was trying very, very hard to not jump on the DJI bandwagon. So I bought the Autel Evo two, which was more in lines of the Maverick, uh, pro too. It had a 4k camera on it and it took amazing footage, but the flight characteristics were so bad. Now keep in mind. I bought it when it first came out, I got one of the original, original batches. And I, I don’t know whether they’ve done a firmware update to fix this or not, but that thing turned like a school bus. I don’t even know how to describe it to you. The Alltel Evo basically would yall and slide and that’s all it did it to try to get it to ya and roll at the same time was nearly a possible because it wanted to self write itself so badly.
So I didn’t try to be a, a fan boy. Um, as a matter of fact, I tried to avoid it, but you know what? These things are just so good. Uh, I had to, I had to dive into the DGI ecosystem and here I am. And, um, I don’t know. I don’t know whether I could say I’m a big fan or not, but they’ve just fly. So fricking good. Uh, it’s it’s hard to hate them. Okay. It’s just hard to hate them. All right. So that is the consumer side of things. Let’s take a look at, uh, let’s take a look closer, look at the hobbyist side of things. All right. So if you have decided that you’re on the hobby side of things, but you’re very, very nervous about, uh, uh, building them, then I’ve got some good news for you because they come in three different flavors.
Flavor. Number one is something called RTF, which is ready to fly. This is a ready to fly drone, and I can get the box out of the way. Check this out in one box, you get a fully built drone. Okay. And you get the radio to go with it. Okay. And basically what you do is you charge all the batteries and a logic would dictate that you would be able to just start flying. Now I will say this, um, I’ve never bought one of these. This one is on loan to me from a friend. Uh, it’s never been flown. And it is just an example that I wanted to give you, um, a R T F or ready to fly drown. All right. Let’s take a look at the next step. As it pertains to these hobbyist drones, we, we talked about, um, ready to fly or RTS.
And if you take a look at this little Emacs, tiny Hawk to this, you’re going to see marketed as either BNF, which is bind and fly or a RTF, which is almost ready to fly. Okay. So BNF or almost ready to fly. And the reason for that is because you saw the packaging right here. That’s all you get when you buy it. It’s assuming that you already have a radio. Um, this already has the little receiver on it that is going to talk to this radio transmitter. So it ships with the receiver, but it does not ship with the transmitter. You need to buy your own transmitter. And if you’re serious about getting into this hobby and you’re going to buy a nice transmitter, there really is no substitute for this radio master, TX 16 S uh, be on the lookout for a multi-part series on this radio alone.
That’s how much I love this radio. So anyhow, so that’s bind in fly by and, and fly means. You’re just buying the drone alone. Now this guy’s little and cute and everything like that, but there are BNS for, um, you know, five inch quad, six inch quads and stuff like that as well. Um, meaning the bigger ones like this is six inch right there. All right. So BNF bind and fly. You know, once you get into this hobby and you get a radio, uh, and if you buy a multi-protocol radio like this TX 16 S by radio master, or a jumper T 16, or jumper T 18 multiprotocol radios are the only way to go, because they’ll be able to fly lots of different quads from lots of different manufacturers. Don’t fall into the trap of getting sucked into one manufacturer’s ecosystem. Like for example, fr sky, if you buy fr sky nowadays, uh, you will most likely not be able to bind to this guy right here.
This, this right here is a multi-protocol radio and will bind to many, many, many different radios. I’ve got a video on that as well, and I’ll link to it in the description. Okay? So this is the moment that I’ve been waiting for. This is my absolute favorite kind of build, which is a scratch build. And there’s a lot of parts here, and this is pretty intimidating, and this is the hardest way to go. But I’m going to tell you right now, it is the single most rewarding way to fly when you build it from scratch and it gets up there in the air. It’s just amazing. So let’s dive in, you’re going to need a frame. Not all frames are alike. Don’t settle for one of the little cheapo cheapo ones that are 11 bucks, because you’ll get all kinds of problems. Like, uh, you won’t get all the hardware that you need sometimes.
And the, sometimes the circles don’t line up with each other and you’re basically wasted a bunch of money. So there’s a frame. I got four motors here, uh, motors come and clockwise and counterclockwise. So make sure that you get the right kind. All right, let’s talk about the single most important part of the whole thing, which is the brain. This is a cocoon F seven, a flight controller. This is the brain of the system. And, uh, this flight controller is going to receive information from this. This is the radio receiver. Uh, obviously you have the radio transmitter in your hand and you move the sticks. This is what, uh, gets those inputs. And this talks directly to the brain. Okay? And then the brain basically tells these, which are electronic speed controls or ESCs. There is one ESC for each motor and fight control that tells the ESC to tell the motors how fast to spin.
And that’s essentially how it flies. Now, I’m going to get into some of the variables, and I’m not going to go into details because I am going to do in-depth videos, uh, on this F seven build later, this is a power distribution board that you may or may not use depending on what kind of flight controller you have. Obviously we’re going to need propellers. All right, here, we have the FPV camera right here. This is the radio transmitter that transmits the images from our camera back down to the goggles that we will be wearing on our head. So there’s that. And then there’s a lot of different variations. So that’s not an exhaustive list of everything that you need to be able to fly. I will cover that in another video. Uh, what I will do is I will leave an exhaustive list on everything that you need to fly in the description below so that you can purchase a straight from a list of a tried and true products that I use.
I probably remember that I mentioned that you need for E S C’s or electronic speed controllers, one for each motor. Um, but in recent years, they’ve come up with a four in one ESE, which it looks like this. So definitely subscribe to the channel because I got two F seven builds coming down the road. One is going to be an F seven build with the Fort ESCs and then the other one is going to be, uh, one with a foreign one ESE build. So I’m excited about building both of those, and that’s about as much detail as I wanted to go into right here. Definitely check back later. Cause way more on that. All right. So what’d you think, hopefully I was able to dissect it in a way to where you were able to eliminate half of the drone market, uh, based on whether or not you’re a consumer person or a hobbyist person.
And then of course, my intent was to further break down each 50% category down, even further to help you decide where you fall and what drone makes the most sense for you to purchase this one wins in the fun category, hands down, this one wins in the productivity category, hands down. All right. So I’m going to wrap it up here because I’m starting to repeat myself. Uh I’m Steve, I hope you found value in the video, and if you like the videos, please feel free to share them so that I get more than three views on my, uh, all my drone videos, uh, lots and lots more to come. Uh, I’m getting ready to do a multi-part series on this baby right here. Um, this radio absolutely astoundingly. Amazing. So that’s coming down the road. I’m gonna do the F seven build. I’ve got man, I’ve got ideas for dozens and dozens and dozens of drone videos, so they will all be forthcoming. So please subscribe, hit the bell and, uh, I’ll see you in the next video. Thanks.