You can’t afford a private aircraft, so you recently purchased a drone to expand your photography and video options. Your world is about to change dramatically. Drones give you a whole new perspective on the world. They allow you to take pictures and video of things in ways you never imagined.
The Right Accessories Help
To truly enjoy the drone experience and take your photography to a whole new level, you will need some essential drone accessories. The right accessories increases the fun you have flying your drone and improves the quality of the pictures and videos you shoot. The right accessories enhance your drone flying experience.
Buying the drone is only the first step. There’s a wide array of accessories that help you better enjoy flying your drone and help you take breathtaking photographs. The key is to pick the right ones to help you protect your drone and get the most out of it. The following are 10 helpful essential drone accessories.
1. A Spare Battery
When you purchase a drone, the first accessory you should buy is a spare battery. Even the latest model drones with brand new batteries can only fly for 30 minutes before the battery dies. To ensure the fun doesn’t end right then, you need to have a spare battery to pop in.
Sometimes Only Two Will Do
To have your flight time last hours not minutes, you’ll need two spare batteries. While charging your original battery and flying your new drone with one spare battery, you’ll have another one waiting if you need it. That way you can fly your drone all day long.
2. A Hardshell Carrying Case
When you spend lots of money for a state-of-the-art drone that flies high and shoots high-resolution photographs and video, you should protect it. A hardshell carrying case is an accessory that does that. For $20-30 you can get a purpose-build carrying case that creates a protective carrying environment for your new drone.
Protect Your Drone And Remote Controllers
When travelling, put your drone and remote controllers in your hardshell carrying case to ensure they are protected. Whether you have the tough, small Mavic Mini, a Mavic 2 Pro or the Mavic 2 Zoom, you need a tough, rugged, waterproof case to protect your drone.
3. High Capacity Memory Cards
Another essential accessory you need for your new drone is a high capacity memory card.
The memory card in most new drones only has a capacity of between 8 and 16 gigabytes. Shooting 4K video files can quickly use that up. If you don’t want to run out of space mid-shoot, invest in a high capacity memory card for your UAV.
The Right Formats And Sizes
High capacity MicroSD cards with between 32GB and 64GB of memory that conform to class 10 UHS-1 standards or higher are ideal for consumer drones used for photography and shooting video. Just make sure to get the right size and format. A maximum speed of between 7.5MB/s and 10MB/s is required for the Mavic Pro to write to its memory card.
For better performance some drone pilots use higher speed UHS-3 cards.
Investing in a better memory card can also enhance the speed of downloading your content to your device or computer.
4. Neutral Density Filters
Neutral density filters are essential for using your drone to shoot video. These filters reduce the light going into the camera. For video that’s truly cinematic, the shutter speed should be twice the frame-rate. Neutral density filters are a must-have accessory with a drone’s fixed aperture set wide open when shooting daytime video.
Reduced Light And Slower Shutter Speeds
Neutral density filters allow for setting slower shutter speeds for video shoots based on lighting conditions and filter strength. A set of neutral density filters that has ND16, ND32 and ND64 is ideal. Contact DJI to buy neutral density filter sets that pass the gimbal test.
5. Spare Propellers
Drone propellers are easily damaged. One accessory you should by with your drone is spare propellers. That’s because propellers move at high speed and often get damaged
on takeoffs, landings and crashes. So having some spare ones handy is helpful.
Don’t Fly With Damaged Propellers
Flying your drone with damaged propellers is not a good idea. It can cause the motor or the body to develop major problems because of the violent vibrations and instability
the damaged propellers cause. If you buy a Mavic Pro, consider getting the upgraded platinum version propellers. They are stronger, quieter and last longer.
6. Propeller Guards
Propeller guards are helpful for people just learning to fly drones or who regularly fly their drones indoors. Propeller guards are protective cages placed around the propellers to help prevent them from getting damaged if the drone bumps into something.
Slight Negative Flight Performance Impact
The added weight of the propeller guard may have a minor negative impact on the drone’s
flight performance and battery life, especially in windy conditions.
7. Drone Insurance
Drone insurance is useful for people new to flying drones. Beginners usually crash their drones many times before they learn to fully control them. For people who buy DJI drones, their DJI Care Refresh program is highly recommended. For a minimal fee, DJI will repair or replace your drone twice a year.
You Must Return The Drone
To get your drone replaced, you must return the damaged drone to DJI even if its in pieces. If you purchased their DJI Care Refresh program drone insurance and your drone
can’t be repaired, they will send you a new one. Your drone can also be covered under your homeowner’s insurance.
Alternative: PPA Insurance
Joining Professional Photographers of America has the benefit of basic equipment insurance covering up to $15,000 in gear and equipment. They also have add-on drone liability coverage if you’re a commercial drone pilot. Send me a message and I can get you $35 off your first year of membership.
8. Landing Gear
Landing gear is a drone accessory that makes flying your drone safer and more fun by increasing its ground clearance. Newer, smaller drones often sit closer to the ground.
During landings, dirt, grass and moisture can get on the body of the drone and the camera. Landing gear raises the drone up and helps prevent this.
Affects Flight Performance
While the landing gear can help keep dirt, moisture and debris off the drone and the camera, the added weight can also affect the flight performance of the drone.
9. Landing Pad
Another accessory that can keep dirt and moisture off the drone and the camera during take-offs and landings is a landing pad. This portable mat provides a level, clean, dust and moisture-free area on which to launch and land. It’s a small investment that can pay major dividends by keeping dirt and moisture off the drone’s motor and the camera.
A Simple Solution
A launching pad for your drone is a simple solution for protecting your drone’s motor and your camera. It can help keep them clean, in good working order prolong the life of the drone and the camera.
10. Joystick Guard
It’s easy for joysticks on your drone’s remote controller to be damaged, even if it’s in a case. Moving the joysticks from one place to another while having fun with your drone makes them susceptible to being damaged. To prevent the joysticks from being damaged, a good accessory to purchase is a joystick guard.
It Performs A Dual Function
Joystick guards performs a dual function. They help prevent the joysticks from moving
and also protects the screen. Buying joystick guards in a set which includes landing gear, a charger and a protective carrying case is a good investment.
The Right Drone Accessories Are Important
If you want to have more fun and shoot better photographs and video while flying your drone, buy some or all of the drone accessories mentioned above.
With a combination of extra batteries, rugged carrying case, full-speed memory cards and even joystick guards, you’re sure to increase your drone’s reliability.
I hope these tips have given you some ideas on what a little bit of careful planning can bring to your aerial photography adventures. This will help you to have a safe and enjoyable flight.
All the best from an aerial photographer, Graydon Schwartz.