In case you haven’t noticed, drones are everywhere these days—and no, not the ones used by the military. CNN has enlisted drones to help cover the news. ESPN is now televising drone races. And there have even been reports of people using drones to catch their other halves cheating. But it has also become an increasingly popular hobby. From building them to flying them to using them as a new way to take pictures. If you are interested in manning your own drone consider one of these.
Parrot: View the Sky
One new feature of drones is FPV, or First Person View, which allows users to become immersed in the flight and feel like they are right there with the drone in the sky. One such drone is the Parrot DISCO FPV ($1,299) and COCKPITGLASSES. But the DISCO is also unique in its design. This aerodynamic smart flying wing can reach a top speed of about 50 mph.
DJI: One Smart Flying Camera
The Phantom 4 ($1,199) is being described as DJI’s smartest flying camera ever. One reason: It is incredibly easy to fly. With the Phantom 4 you just have to double tap to get it up in the air, and once there, the drone’s Obstacle Sensing System keeps it clear of any objects. Just tap it again to return it home. Meanwhile, flight features such as ActiveTrack makes tracking a moving target effortless and Moving POI allows you to circle around a subject to easily reframe a shot.
PowerVision: A User-Friendly Design
PowerVision’s first consumer drone looks a little different from everything else on the market. The PowerEgg ($1,288) is shaped, well, like an egg. But that design makes it ideal for packing and taking it on the go. The drone also offers the Maestro—the first gesture-based one-handed drone controller, which makes it easy for beginners and experts alike to fly. And the PowerEgg even packs a 4K UHD camera for professional-grade photographs and videos.
Lily: Just Toss and It Follows
Lily ($899, winter 2016) isn’t so much a drone as it is a flying camera—that flies itself. Just toss Lily in the air and it will follow you wherever you go while taking 12-megapixel photos and recording 1080p video. Lily is also waterproof and can land in water, so it is perfect for capturing any of your water adventures. It is also ultra-portable at about 10 x 10 inches and less than three pounds, so it can easily fit in any backpack.
Yuneec: A Real Sense of Surroundings
If you are afraid of crashing your brand new drone, then let the Yuneec Typhoon H ($1,299) ease your fears. This hexacopter uses Intel RealSense Technology to build a 3D model of the world, which allows it to make more intelligent choices about creating routes and avoiding obstacles. It even remembers its environment making it even less likely it will crash. Plus, intelligent front sonar sensors allow it to quickly stop short of obstacles in its way. The camera isn’t too shabby either—it’s capable of capturing ultra-stable 4K UHD video.