Many YouTube channels simply consist of someone sitting in front of their laptop’s webcam and giving their opinions about topics of the day.
A basic camera or webcam setup is fine for such a channel, but if you are reading an article that seeks to answer the question of “What drones do YouTubers use?” , chances are your videography needs are more sophisticated than those low quality cams.
If you have a channel that would benefit greatly from aerial photography, then drones are the new piece of technology that melds perfectly with YouTube to make your dreams for self-expression come true. Or you can make a channel for just shooting drone videos like these on the 4th of July.
YouTube channels with people talking in front of their computers are a dime a dozen, so if you want to make yours stand out from the crowd, it will help to literally be able to get above that crowd.
What To Look For In A Drone?
Commercial drones range from simple toys up to sophisticated platforms equipped with cutting-edge cameras and image stabilization technology.
Drones have truly helped usher in an era of low-cost entrepreneurship when it comes to pursuits requiring aerial filming because you would have had to hire a film crew and helicopter to take such footage up until very recently.
- Cost – Chances are, you are working on building a YouTube channel because you are trying to get successful, so money might be a little tight right now. Budget will, therefore, be the biggest consideration for most YouTubers. Fortunately, drone prices have gone down while their capabilities have gone up over the last couple years.
- What Features Will You Need? – Despite the good news above about better price and performance ratios, you may still have to pay a certain minimum for the features you need. If you have a channel that is filming people performing stunts or tricks, then you may not need as high quality camera and a steady drone platform as someone who is filming breathtaking scenery with epic music overlaid for dramatic effect. Battery life and total flying time will also be important considerations.
- Ease of Use and Assembly – You will need to consider your personal level of tech expertise when selecting a drone. If you are truly new to anything like this, drones that are called “ready-to-fly” or RTF will be your best bet. How easy it is to operate once you have it together is the next battle, and be sure to read sufficient online reviews of your prospective purchase to ensure it’s user friendly.
What Drones Do Youtubers Use?
With the previous factors in mind, there are a few drones that are ideal for most youtubers. They offer the features and flexibility needed while not breaking the bank.
The Phantom 3 is a series because it comes in standard, advanced and pro models depending on your specific needs and budget. The biggest points of difference between them are in the flight range, camera capabilities and prices.
Different Features of the Phantom 3 Models
The camera on the standard and advanced are most similar to each other with both having up to 2.7K resolution video with the advanced having only a slightly better 12.4 megapixel camera sensor compared to the 12 megapixel of the standard.
The professional, however, has 4K video capability. When it comes to flight range, it’s the professional and advanced that are together with them each being able to fly about one and a quarter miles away from you with the standard controller, which is twice the distance of the standard model.
The Best One for You
At only a few hundred dollars at most online retailers, the standard model offers you the bulk of the functionality of the higher end variants at a significantly lower price point.
So, unless you have a specific need for the greater range of the advanced or Professional model or the 4K video capability of the professional one, the standard Phantom 3 should be more than enough for your needs.
DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter
At a price around $200 higher than the professional version of the Phantom 3, the newer generation Phantom 4 offers a nice assortment of extras. It is faster with a speed of at least 45 mph compared to the 35 mph top speed for all three Phantom 3 variations. It can also fly over twice as far as the two higher model Phantom 3s with a range of about three miles.
Are You Ready for This Step up From the Phantom 3?
The Phantom 4 is a good pick for a seasoned Youtuber who is ready to take the next step in expanding their filming capabilities.
Its built-in obstacle avoidance feature, which the earlier model lacks, may also make it a desirable first pick for some. Despite its higher price point, this feature will mitigate your worry about losing your investment by flying it into a tree.
DJI Mavic Pro
The DJI Mavic Pro drone is a model that was scheduled to be released for sale on Amazon on December 1, 2016. Specifications for the new drone have been released, however, and some samples have found their way into the hands of reviewers.
Its main benefit over the Phantom 4 is that for a slightly lower price you are getting a drone with a comparable quality camera but one that is far more portable with its ability to fold down to the size of a bottle of water. At 40 mph, its speed is right in between the Phantom 3 and 4, and it has a greater range of just over 4 miles.
Weighing Your Options
Each of the foregoing drones has something to offer youtubers. Two of the more compelling choices will probably be either the standard Phantom 3 or the Mavic Pro.
The standard Phantom 3’s makes it relatively painless to get into drone ownership, and the portability of the Mavic Pro means you will be more likely to have it with you when you need that amazing shot.
Whichever drone you decide to go with, remember to keep any legal requirements for your state and locality in mind. All of the aforementioned drones weigh enough that you will need to register it with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.
Please comment below if you have any question about this article or the drones mentioned.