These flying machines are on track to be one of the boxes of this season. Here’s a guide to help you choose from the dozens of drones that you will not fail to see in the store aisles!

Oh, fly! The dream of flight is now one of millions of tech fans, who now have to reach what portfolio satisfy this fantasy old as humanity. But before you improvise pilot and scare your family during Christmas Eve with a noisy machine (and potentially destructive), we recommend you read these lines, which will help you choose the ideal multi-rotor drone. Why multi-rotor?Because these machines are the nicest, easiest to take off and fly, because they are particularly stable.

What would you like to do with a drone?

First question for you: what would you do with a drone? Flying, simply? But flying indoors or outdoors? Filming, or not? And with what quality? The answer to these questions will depend on the amount you invest in your flying machine. Please be aware that there are drones quite correct to less than 100 euros. However prices rise very, very quickly if you need a device capable of shooting correctly, to fly higher and farther, or to support the weight of a cam Action GoPro type. Expect then to around 500 euros. Some models even more upscale, benefiting in particular a stabilizer for the camera, a GPS or flight advanced functions beyond meanwhile widely 1000 euros. But you do not need to empty your bank account to make you happy Christmas!

Do not hesitate, in any case, to go to a store model aircraft-it’s everywhere in France-where you will have more choice and above all the best advice on the Web or in a supermarket.

Another important point: the drones that we discuss here are not (as) toys.Their use is highly regulated, and it is especially forbidden to fly them in urban areas without permission. Visit  the website of the Ministry of Ecology  for more on legislation.

The criteria to consider before buying

The autonomy. The new drones owners are often disappointed after their first flight, before the low autonomy of their toy. There is no miracle: to fly properly, the drone must be light, and its battery is therefore generally not huge.Overall, do not expect to exceed 10 minutes, or a flight of fifteen minutes. And your drone is small, less time you will – in general – fly. Therefore it may be worthwhile to opt for a device whose battery is interchangeable. You will be able to buy new and replace the empty battery when it will make the soul.Otherwise, you will wait a battery recharge between flights.

The quality of the camera. There are countless cheap drones for filming his aerial exploits, via an onboard camera. But beware: these are not generally of excellent quality. The least expensive drones often just a simple VGA camera.No need to hope turn pretty poor shots with 300,000 pixels in the sensor.Station also not rely on the “specs” sometimes surprising some drones, which offer you to film in HD at unbeatable prices. The image quality is not necessarily either the appointment: insipid colors, framerate low, quivering images abound, even on mid-range models. To get an idea, nothing like a little tour on Youtube to see, name of your drone of your dreams in mind, the images it can produce, so whether it satisfies you.

An example of video that can take the Parrot AR Drone 2

No need to invest if you want to discover your garden from the sky, obviously. However, to make high-quality shots, you need to either go through a professional drone (and very expensive, as the DJI Inspire 1, see below), or purchase a device to integrate a camera action – usually a GoPro. There are some exceptions, such as the new Parrot Bebop, which incorporates a camera of excellent craftsmanship, superbly stabilized.

A video made with the Bebop

Orders and theft “immersion”. Experts in model airplanes called “RTF” forReady To Fly. This term refers to the drones supplied with a remote control and therefore trimmed to fly as soon as they went out of their box.Remember, some drones are delivered without, and you will have to spend some 100 euros more to give you what drive the machine comfortably.

The remote control is very important: it must be the most comfortable and most accurate possible. Parrot drones all have one characteristic: they can be manipulated with your smartphone or tablet through a dedicated app. It’s fun, but beware, it’s not nearly as accurate as a real remote control  sticks  analog.

Another point to determine: did you want to see through the “eyes” of your drone? With Parrot is simple, the app also sends you real-time image captured by the camera. Other devices (such as those of DJI, for example) offer an app for smarpthone to view your exploits.

Finally, to enter the world of “FPV” ( first person view ) for cheap, you can also pay a drone with a camera whose image will be replicated on the screen of the remote control, as Husban FPV X4. The video will not be very good, but it’s perfect for beginners or for kids!

Speed and range. Also note that there are more drones “sport” than others.Some devices are able to do exceptional acceleration, acrobatics etc. They are most fun to drive than drones dedicated to shooting-and usually much cheaper!-But beware, they are also a bit difficult to master. Still, if your goal is mainly to take your foot driving, no need to spend a fortune.

Our selection of drones

Getting started: Husban X4 V2 // 50 euros

This mini drone almost turn to please. Handy and stable, it is well suited for indoor flights, and will allow children (and their parents!) To discover the joys of quad-rotor inexpensively. A variant of this drone (the H107C) even has a small camera, do not expect beautiful images, but at this price … Only real concern of its size: its autonomy riquiqui 7 minutes. therefore provide supplementary batteries to play a little longer!

For fun: // Alias ​​Latrax 150 euros

A real small bomb! This drone does not come with a camera (it is optional), but if you want to learn how to fly and fly fast and impress your friends, do not hesitate: this is the model you need. The machine is fast, nervous, and allows, once you have mastered the control mode “easy” to have fun like crazy to cavort. Top, especially since it has another advantage: it is extremely strong, and even almost indestructible, according to its designers … careful though its availability. The Alias ​​is hard and it is difficult to find!

Bebop is an evolution of the AR Drone 2: smaller, more stable, it is also faster … and take some wonderful pictures, thanks to a very wide angle optical stabilized and that allows you to take very fluid video. A true software performance. Only concern, it is not cheap, especially if you want to use with a remote control (and thus extend its reach to a kilometer), you do not have a choice, you have to offer you a pack more expensive at 899 euros.

For great images: DJI Phantom 2 // from 500 euros

Difficult to present an accurate model of the DJI Phantom range, celebrated by fans of aerial shots for their effectiveness. Their advantage? They have a huge battery, can keep flying for 25 minutes. And all the paraphernalia of a drone pro: GPS, large payload capacity, FPV compatibility, stabilization options … In short, a semi-professional equipment, to book all the same to those who want to get serious .

To dream: DJI Inspire 1 // from 2900 euros

Admittedly, this is perhaps not the drone that you offer to Christmas. But it was impossible not to recall here this incredible machine, the latest model of DJI. The Inspire 1 is a toy “RTF” luxury: its camera can shoot in 4K at 30 fps.Two drivers can be used simultaneously, a first: the control a drone, the other his camera! And worthy of a sci-fi film, its retractable feet allow him to film in 360 degrees without vision is obstructed.

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