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Things You Should Know Before Buying a Drone

Things You Should Know Before Buying a Drone

Drones are becoming quite popular these days, especially if you’re a filmmaker or potential social media icon (which is pretty much everybody, if you ask me). We all want to make the most out of our creative projects, and drones allow you to get some of the most amazing shots ever – but that doesn’t mean you know everything. As a matter of fact, we’re going to talk about a few things you should know before you even consider buying a drone.

Drones are essentially little machines that can fly through the air with ease, capturing amazing footage in the process. It’s been used time and time again for various YouTube projects and has become one of the more common pieces of equipment being used for videography these days. They allow you to capture lush-looking landscapes as well as stuff you would never be able to see without a drone – that is unless you could fly around the sky with a heavy film-camera on your shoulder. It’s expected that well over a million drones will be sold this Christmas, and the number is going to grow exponentially as time progresses.

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Before you go about buying a drone, it helps to understand what the product itself can achieve – as well as how you’re supposed to be using it. Paying over a thousand dollars for a drone and then not understanding how to use it just seems sort of silly, right? Not only that, but there are certain rules that need to be followed when operating a drone. Certain places within the United States don’t permit the use of drones, and it could lead to a fine (or even worse, jail time). The drone debate is still slugging on, as people from opposite sides of the argument are constantly trying to dig up more evidence. Some say drones are good, and others say it is bad – I say it’s up for you to decide.

Not Every Drone is Easy to Fly

Drones, as a matter of fact, are quite hard to pilot. If you aren’t well-off and need to conserve your finances, buying a drone and crashing it to the ground on the first day isn’t exactly ideal. To make the most out of your purchased drone, you have to know how to fly it; which won’t always be easy. There are drones out there that feature flight controls, one that would mimic an RC racer of sorts; but there are others that can be much more complicated (or even worse, a lack of complication). Some drones allow you to pilot them through the use of your smartphone; all you’ve got to do is download a specific app and you’re good to go.

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That’s good for people that don’t want a massive controller to be used, but it also takes away from the precision of control that you can work with. Not only that, but when there’s no controller included, odds are it’s going to be one of the cheaper drone varieties you can find. Quadcopters are hard to fly, so imagine some of the more quirky and powerful drones that they’re releasing today! The Phantom 3, Inspire 1 and even Q500 4K would be the easiest drones you could fly today (in my opinion).

Not only are they not easy to fly, but not every single drone is going to come ready to fly. The RTF acronym stands for Ready-to-Fly, while BNF stands for Bind-and-Fly (with ARF for Almost-ready-to-Fly). ARF models call for a few components to be purchased on a personal level and are usually for connoisseurs. There are even waterproof drone options out there!

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There Are Tons of Vendors

If you don’t like the vendor prices you see at a specific place, never fear – there are plenty of vendors located all over the map that carry drones and drone-related products. Hobby King is a large chain of stores that sell plenty of drone parts, as well as many other accessories. Larger retailers can be found in both China and the United States, but that doesn’t mean other regions will be completely void when it comes to providers.

Investments May Be Necessary

If you’re an enthusiast, you may need to make a much bigger investment than you initially thought. Going about buying motors and transmitters is good fun, but it can get expensive (and fast!). Investments aren’t always a must, but when you start to develop a deeper passion for flying drones, it’s something that just comes around. Start off easy, and if you’re serious about your drone flying process, you can begin to invest more and more towards your projects. Not only will you be investing money, but time as well. Situations like purchasing a waterproof drone because you’re worried about splashing would be worth it!

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Bilal Khoja

System Engineer

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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