It’s taken no time at all and drones are absolutely everywhere, whether it’s your little brother terrorising the neighbourhood pigeons with his, or someone using one to record footage for their YouTube channel. There are a lot of uses for drones, from hobbyists just having some fun to commercial applications like videography. But before you break out the credit card and click ‘Add to Cart’, you should know what you want to use a drone for, and which option best suits your needs and budget. We’re going to take a look at three DJI drones that will fit varying needs and uses!
Tello – for the young guns (R1,999)
Drones aren’t just for gadget-loving enthusiasts, they’re also great for the younger, more casual audience, and for those who just want to goof around a bit. Created by Chinese start-up Ryze Tech and using DJI’s technology, the Tello is a tiny drone with a camera that can capture a 360-degree video and stream live footage to a tablet, or to an unspecified selection of third-party VR headsets. With it’s more casual audience in mind, the Tello also includes features that will make it safe and easy to use, including automatic takeoff and landing.
Spark – The Newbie’s Best Friend (R7, 999)
The Spark is DJI’s mini-drone that offers newcomers a fun introduction into the world of drones, but also incorporates all the essential features and technologies that have taken DJI to the forefront of the drone industry. It starts up and hovers from the palm of your hand through facial recognition, its camera can be gesture-controlled (no need for controller or smart device), and it has smart navigation to avoid obstacles automatically. It has a maximum flight time of 16 minutes, captures video in 1080p (stills at 12MP) and you can control the flight path with gestures as well through the ‘PalmControl’ feature. If you’re just getting started, the Spark is a worthwhile option to check out.
Mavic Pro – The Best of Both Worlds (R19, 899)
The Mavic Pro takes a step up in terms of functionality and tech in its sleek and light form factor that weighs in at less than 1kg – 743g to be exact. Its recording resolution gets bumped up to a full 4K, so it will be able to provide professional level video capture. The flight time almost gets doubled from the Spark, up to 27 minutes – allowing for a more sustained recording and airtime. Its navigation is what sees the biggest upgrade, facilitated by its FlightAutonomy system that gives it the ability to avoid obstacles and hover more precisely. Lastly, its OcuSync function gives a 720p live-feed to the controller screen from up to 7km away, giving the user full control and a direct view of what the drone is capturing. The extra functions present in the Pro definitely start blurring the lines between hobbyist and professional.
And if you want something in the Mavic ballpark, but a little more compact, DJI recently unveiled a smaller, lighter version of the drone, known as the Mavic Air. You can check out more on the Mavic Air here and remember that you can pre-order your Mavic Air from weFix’s online store.
Phantom 4 Pro – The Best of the Best (R29, 999)
The Phantom takes equipment and tech to the highest level, with particular focus on elements that allow for the best use of video footage. It records at 4K/60FPS, but the Phantom has a mechanical shutter that negates the distortion that a rolling-shutter can create when taking photos of moving objects, or when flying at high speed – meaning the images are always crisp and smooth. It also processes video recording in H.264 (60FPS) or H.265 (30FPS) and 100mb bitrate to allow for all the image data needed to do extensive post-production work on recorded footage. The Phantom 4’s purpose is far more technically geared towards professionals that need cutting edge technology that can give them the best raw footage to work with.