Maybe there is someone in your life that just loves drones. But, you are not as familiar with drones as they are. You want to get them the right gift, maybe the right drone to start with, but you’re not sure where to start. The world is full of different types of drones, accessories, and other gifts that you can purchase. My mission in this article is to walk you through everything you need to know about buying the best drone gift for your loved one. We will go through the best drone gifts for photographers, children as well as other accessories which a drone owner would love to own – if they don’t already.
The best drone gift is one that is thought through and the gift receiver has been thought about in their needs for flying their drone. If your gift receiver loves photography – how about the best photography drone on the market? If your gift receiver already has a drone how about some awesome accessories that every drone owner would love?
Let’s take a look at the best drone for gifts. In the next section we are going to go over the best source of drones for budding photographers, children, and other notable drones which your gift receiver would absolutely love!
Best drone for gifts
Buying a drone as a gift can be very hit or miss. Get everything right and the receiver will use their drone as much as they can to capture footage, fly around your house, and capture awesome photography which isn’t achievable by any other means. Get this wrong and you will end up spending a lot of money on a drone which will never be flown and will spend the majority of its time in a drawer.
Quite often, when people want to buy a drone they are motivated by their favourite online stars and videographers. For example, when I first bought my drone I wanted to emulate the style of Casey Neistat and inject some awesome drone shots into my daily vlog which I used to promote one of my business. Here are the best drones for a person who is motivated by taking photos and videos.
Best drone for photographers
When you fly a drone in the air there is an amazing sense of freedom and you are able to get shots that, in the past, you would have to hire a helicopter to get. The great thing is that you don’t need to spend an absolute fortune to get some amazing drones. For example the DJI Mavic mini 2 has all of the advanced features that you have come to expect from the higher end photography drones but in a much cheaper and more compact package.
If you want a full run down on the best drone for photography check out my other article – best drone for photography for a full run down on the best drones currently available. But here I’m going to give you a summary of two of my favourite drones that photographers in your life would love!
Best budget drone
The DJI Mavic mini 2 is an upgrade to the successfully marketed and sold DJI Mavic mini. The great selling point about this drone is that it is under 250 g which means that in the United States of America you do not need to license this drone or get a pilots license. Just be careful because this is likely to change in the future but at the moment this is why this drone is so popular. It has a massive 31 minute maximum flight time with an incredible 4K video capability. The price of this drone is so competitive that you’d be silly not to consider this if the person you are buying the drone for once a small and impact drone which is capable of some incredible footage. If they particularly enjoy social media and want to impress their friends this is one of the best drones that you can purchase for them.
DJI Mavic mini
Best drone higher budget
If you have a higher budget for your photography drone, here are some awesome options for you. The DJI Mavic air two is DJI’s latest drone and it is an incredible piece of gadgetry. The DJI Mavic air to has a 34 minute maximum flight time and incredible 8K hyper lapse cinematic capability. It has active obstacle avoidance and it has up to a 10 km video transmission range. In reality however you’ll be probably flying closer to yourself.
With this drone DJI have almost thought of everything. My only issue with the drone is that it is relatively large and for the majority of people carrying around such a large drone is probably not something they would do on a daily basis. With the DJI Mavic mini, above, this is a drone that you could potentially chuck in your bag at the end of the day and carry it with you often.
If size and budget is no issue for you than I really think that this would be one of the best drones that you could buy at the moment and it properly will be one of the best drones you can buy for quite a while.
DJI Mavic Air 2
If you don’t like the idea of a drone which is made in China check out my other article – the best drone not made in China – seven awesome options. Click here to be taken to the article which will include some drones that you probably have never heard of but are well worth thinking about.
I love my Mavic Air and was happy when DJI desided to upgrade the drone. It seems like they have done it in all of the right ways!. The Mavic Air 2 takes power and portability to the next level, offering advanced features in a compact package. It has a range of intelligent shooting functions and excellent image quality put aerial masterpieces within reach.
The camera includes:
- 1/2-inch CMOS sensor: it has smooth 4K/60fps video. The D-Cinelike flat color profile retains more information for post-processing. The HEVC (H.265) video codec records more image information, uses less storage, and preserves the dynamic range and detail of your footage, ensuring next-level content.
- 8K Hyperlapse: this will allow you to simply warp time and space for especially stunning footage.
this is an inexpensive and ultra portable drone that I think you’d be silly not to consider if you want to be a little more budget consious.
- Weight – 570 g
- Folded: 180×97×74 mm (Length×Width×Height)
- Unfolded: 183×253×77 mm (Length×Width×Height)
- 34 minutes max flight time
- Max wind-speed resistance – 8.5-10.5 m/s
- 8 GB internal storage
- Max speed – 19 m/s
This is a great little drone and it will satisfy most hobby photographers easily!
Best drone for kids
Perhaps you are buying a drone for someone who is completely new to drones (read into that that you don’t really know what they want) or a younger person who wants to delve into the world of drone and wants to take photos and also use the drone to fly indoors more often than they are flying outside.
I can’t think of a better drone than the Ryze Tello. The rise Tello has a 30 minute flight time with a high definition 720p transmission. Whether your young one is at a park, at home, or in their bedroom they are able to take off and experience the world with this drone which has been manufactured specifically for younger people and new drone owners.
This drone is able to be launched simply by tossing it into the air and is able to perform cool aerial stunts and the push of a button. This means there are lots of other software features built into the drone which will keep even the hardest to entertain children engaged for a longer period of time. It weighs only 80 g and has collision detection and propeller protection so that it’s super safe even for the youngest people in your family.
This drone may be small and lightweight but it has a tonne of features powered by a very reputable drone manufacturer, DJI. DJI are the leaders when it comes to drones and they have perfected this entry-level drone. It may be a little too advanced for the youngest in your family – but we’ll talk about better drones for the youngest age group in a moment. For now, here are the features that this drone comes with:
- Tello App – The Tello app makes it really easy to fly. It makes even the most complicated maneuvers just a simple touch of a button.
- Lightweight – this very small drone fits in the palm for your hand and weighs only 80g.
- You can perform stunts – start flying by tossing the drone up into the air with the Throw&go technology. You can also perform stunts and tricks (like flips) using the app
- Safe to fly indoors – Thanks for rotor guards and its vision positioning system the Tello drone is fun and safe to fly indoors
- 13 minute flight time – a huge flight time for a drone of this size powered by the best drone batteries on the market – DJI batteries!
- Programmable – You can learn the basics of programming by using Scratch – an MIT developed coding system especially suited for students. Fly your own flight patterns
Best drone gift – other great drones to consider
Perhaps the drones above don’t quite tick the box for you. I recommend that you also consider these to drones below as they have got some incredible features and are a real competitor to the DJI range of drones.
The Parrot Anafi is an underrated drone that is capable of many awesome things and gives the DJI drones a run for their money. The Work bundle includes:
- 1 Parrot ANAFI drone
- 4 smart batteries
- 1 Parrot Skycontroller 3
- 1 compact shoulder bag
- 1 16 GB SD card
- USB-A to USB-C cables
- 8 additional propeller blades
- 1 multi-port USB charger
- 1 mounting tool
- One-year subscription to Pix4Dcloud
This is more than enough to get the most serious photographer started and ready for whatever each flight has in store for them! These are the features that this drone comes with:
- Pro drone with 4K camera: Its 4K HDR/ 21 MP Camera captures high-resolution aerial images with a unique 180° orientation, enabling you to inspect, monitor and film difficult-to-access areas. Its zoom allows to keep a safe distance during inspection work without loss of quality. The hybrid 3-axis image stabilization delivers Ultra-Stable video and photos.
- Always ready to take off: the 4K anafi UAV is the efficient solution for all your needs. With a combined flight time of 4×25 min, a mobile USB c-type charge (to charge your batteries between 2 flights) and a multi-port USB charger (to charge your batteries simultaneously), your drone is always ready to fly in no time. Its perfect stability in winds of up to 50km/H and its silent flight are two additional advantages for successful videos.
- Easy operation: easy to carry in its compact shoulder bag, The drone can be operated intuitively even in difficult areas with the freeflight 6 mobile application. Automatic flight Modes such as Flightplan (not included, in-App purchase) will allow you to perform reconnaissance missions. Take advantage of smart RTH (return home) and geofence (punctual restriction of the drone At altitude and distance) functions for secure flights.
- 3D MODELLING: Create 3D models and take precise measurements of distances and surfaces: Anafi Work includes a one-year subscription to Pix4Dmodel to create 3D models easily and quickly on your computer (access Pix4Dmodel via the myPBS coupon included in the pack). The drone is also compatible with Pix4Dcapture (free application) which allows you to capture stand-alone images optimised for the creation of your 3D models.
This drone is going to be one of the drones which stays around for a while. I think the Parrot have perfectly captured what a great drone should be able to do and have packaged it up in an affordable and flexible package.
Skydio is a relatively new company which designs, assembles, and supports customers completely from the USA. They have created a drone where security and data privacy is at the forefront of everything that they do. The great thing about this drone is that it is designed to fly as autonomously as possible. Even though you can fly it with an app and a controller like the DJI series the artificial intelligence which controls this drone is next level.
One of the downsides of this level of automation is that the footage that you collect really looks mechanical and robot-like. This drone is perfect for someone who wants to capture their adventures and are not too concerned about the cinematography quality of the footage. The drone is able to weave effortlessly through trees and other obstacles making a perfect companion on all of your adventures.
Perhaps the person that you are buying a gift for already has their own drone. There are plenty of awesome accessories that can fit with nearly every type of drone – and I guarantee you they don’t have everything on this list.
Accessories for drone lovers – best drone accessories
After you purchase a drone your mind starts wondering to all of the different accessories that you can buy two improve your flying experience and also add new capabilities to your existing drone.
In this section we can go through the top six items that I think make the best drone accessories and it contains the accessories I think every single drone owner should have at their disposal.
It is something that not a lot of people think about when they think about owning a drone but it is a very real component of owning a drone – you have to carry it places before flying it. Drones can come in a range of sizes and they can get pretty heavy. So, buying a drone that can make this activity a pleasure and not a pain is a good quality rucksack.
If you want a full run down on the best drone backpacks – the ultimate guide – click here to be taken to the article. I go through the little-known bags which can make your flying experience much more enjoyable.
I currently have the Peak Design Everyday Backpack.
Peak Design Everyday Backpack
This bag is not specifically designed for drones but it is one of the most important decisions I have made. Although it is not specifically made for carrying drones the flexibility of the internal dividers make it perfectly suitable for drone carrying and using as your everyday backpack.
I needed something that would fit the way I wanted to use my drone – every day. Not only did I need to carry my drone by also needed to carry everyday essentials like laptops, cameras, paperwork, multi-tools, chargers, and other necessary things.
I’ve been using my drone bag for the past couple of years and I absolutely love it. Just be warned though when you buy this you will spend at least an hour obsessively configuring the dividers to make the most of the space in the bag! I happened to really enjoy that.
Flying a drone happens outside and sometimes in very sunny areas. One of the most frustrating things that can happen is that you get a lot of glare from the screen stop even with an antiglare screen protector it can be very distracting during your flight.
Grabbing yourself an inexpensive screen protector will mean that you are able to see in pretty much all of the conditions and there are sunshades which are able to fit on any type of smart device that you are using as your first person view camera screen.
Drone landing pad
A drone landing pad is one of the first accessories that you should buy but it is quite uncommon for people to use them. It protects your drone from a wide variety of hazards during takeoff and landing stop it also allows you to take off on places that you have never been able to before like the beach and uneven rocky surfaces. It provides the perfect solid surface for landing and takeoff and also provides you with a strong visual for landing.
A good landing pad will have a couple of sides with different colours so you can select the colour which most contrasts with your landing and takeoff spot. For example I use the orange side when I am taking off in a grassy area.
If you want to buy the best drone gift for a drone lover – this has to be one of the best!
Drone car charger
A drone car charger is essential for drone road trips. The great thing about owning this accessory is that you’re able to keep the batteries charge while on location using your car’s battery. This means that you will be able to quickly charge up your drone if you have your car nearby.
Don’t risk getting 1/3 party knockoff car charger. Buy the charger straight from the manufacturer and you’ll be sure that you won’t damage your batteries. The lithium polymer batteries need extra special attention and care – there are also pretty expensive, so look after them!
Neutral density filters
Neutral density filters are like sunglasses for your drone camera. They are a tool that should be in every serious drone photographers toolkit. It simply reduces the amount of light making its way into the camera and onto the sensor. They are called “neutral” because they do not change the colour of the image that is being captured. They allow you to do a number of different things:
- they allow you to avoid overexposure when using long exposure times
- they allow you to open up your aperture more
- and they allow you to capture really awesome coloured images on bright days
If you’re serious about drone photography and you want to capture the best images possible then buying a good set of neutral density filters for your drone is a must. You have to buy the neutral density filters that are specific to your drone’s camera. Typically, they screw or clip onto the front of the lens. They need to be securely attached to the drone so they don’t fall off while flying.
A drone signal booster consists of a set of parabolic mirrors to reflect the controller’s signal towards the drone. It allows you to fly further, or can be used to combat signal dropout in Wi-Fi and 5G noisy areas. They look very futuristic and maybe a bit superfluous, but are really useful if you are flying regularly in a city.
Typically, these parabolic reflectors are foldable and slide onto the antenna of your drone controller. They are easy to transport and give you added security when you are flying at long distances. A must-have for the serious drone flyers amongst us.
If you are looking for something a little bit smaller for a drone gift basket here are some ideas which are relatively small but also are really helpful for drone flyers.
Drone gift basket ideas
Coming up with a gift basket idea for a drone lover is as easy as choosing one of the four items below. These don’t have to break the bank and they can be just as useful as all of the accessories that I have talked about above.
A simple drone handbook could be the thing that your gift receiver wants. Having a simple drone handbook which not only gives you the basics of flying but also gives you the opportunity to log each and every flight may be the perfect gift that your loved one is looking for.
Holding your drone remote can get tiresome as they can get relatively heavy. It is as simple to fix as wearing a lanyard around your neck. A simple drone lanyard could be the thing which turns a annoying long flight into something that you don’t want to stop.
Drone pilots can never have enough SD cards. Make sure that you buy an extreme speed SD card so that the drone is able to record fast enough to capture 4K footage at high frame rates – this gives that awesome cinematographic slow motion feel.
Lastly, you could consider purchasing a custom decal for their drone. There are some awesome vinyl stickers which can be stuck onto the surface of the drone which adds a little bit of style and design to what can be a relatively uninspiring design.
They make custom decals for nearly every type of drone which means that they should be relatively easy to find if you have a DJI drone. Also, reach out to the manufacturers of the decals as if they do not have decals for your specific drone they will be able to manufacture one I am in no doubt.
Drone gift guide
In this section I want to talk about all of the things that you should consider if you want to buy someone you love a drone. It can be a very tough decision to make. When you are buying a drone there’s lots of technical language and decisions that you need to make and it is likely that the person who is receiving your gift knows more about drones than you do.
Fear not – we will look at the important questions to ask yourself so that your gift is received with the upmost enthusiasm.
What does the person need?
Quite often as gift givers we make assumptions about what the person wants rather than what they need. The first thing to do is to work out what the person receiving the gift really needs.
This can be as simple as having a conversation with them about drones and what sorts of things are important to them. For example, here are some of the things that you can do with a drone which may be important for them to be able to do:
- program a drone to fly around autonomously – this is a great way for people to learn about programming while seeing their software being enacted in the real world.
- Take awesome aerial photos and videos – arguably, this is why most people want to buy a drone and by working out if they have a place for them to put the collected photos and videos can give you an indication as to what sort of photos they want to take. Delay outfit on social media? Do they want to put on a YouTube channel? Do they just want to create home videos? All of these are important things to know if they are interested in taking aerial photos and videos.
- Drone racing – some people just want to fly the drone as quickly as possible around a complicated course. In this case you would ask them about what sort of drone racing they would like to do – for example you could buy them some drone goggles – this will give them the ability to be in the pilot seat to rate their entire flight.
- Fishing – you can use a drone to drop bait over a ball of fish and reeling even the biggest tuna from the shore. If they are a keen fisherman you can easily find a drone that matches the sort of fishing that they do.
- Building a drone – you can buy drone building kits (check out my other article and video here) where you can learn how to drone actually works and build one yourself! Perfect for the person in your family who likes to take things apart and really understand how things work.
There are many more reasons to buy drone but those seem to be the most common ones. Having a deep conversation about what your drone gift recipient once it can be the easiest way to work out what excites them and how you can choose the best drone for their situation.
What budget do you have?
I’m very aware that not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on a gift. The good news is that you can by accessories from as little as US$25 and then drones all the way up to many thousands of US dollars.
If you have a budget of under about $100 I would either buy a beginner drone or a drone accessory that they can use on their current drone. You don’t need to have a massive budget to make someone feel loved and all you have to do is put in thought to the gift and even the most inexpensive of drone gifts can suddenly mean the world to someone.
Drones are getting cheaper and cheaper to purchase and you could also consider buying a second hand drone if you can afford the US$1700+ which a good level consumer range drone typically retails for.
What sort of drone does the person have?
Maybe the person that you want to buy a gift for already has a drone. There are plenty of accessories which they probably don’t have and there are also third-party additions to nearly every DJI drone so that it adds another capability to their drone.
Ask the person what sort of drone they have and then type in that drone model to a search engine with the addition of “accessory”. This will bring up some of the best accessories for the model of drone which the gift recipient has.
What extra things do they want to do with their drone?
For example, you can buy fishing bait droppers for a range of DJI drones and you can also attach a speaker system to the top of the drone if you want to have a bit of fun with your family and friends.