Professional Drones: A Complete Buying Guide

For some people, drones have a reputation for killing time and having fun. But for others, the right unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can provide a lucrative primary income or side gig.

Professional drones need a little more than the basic features of casual use drones. This guide tells you everything you need to know about professional drones so you can buy with confidence.

Answered: The Three Most Common Questions about Buying Professional Drones

How Will You Use Your Professional Drone?

Depending on why you’re buying a professional drone will dictate what kind of drone you need and which features will prove beneficial.

Will you offer video marketing services or commercial photography? Or will you tap an unexplored field, such as using drones in artificial intelligence?

Once you determine how you will use your UAV, consider the following features:

Flight Time

The size and battery of your UAV will determine how long your drone can stay airborne. On average, you can expect around 5-10 minutes of flight time for most beginner drones. More expensive drones may offer up to 30 minutes of in-air action.

You should also consider getting a few backup batteries to maximize your flight session. Beginner drones’ batteries are typically cheaper and easier to change. Make sure you factor this cost into your decision before you buy.


Some controllers are simply that: controllers. Others offer a built-in video screen that live streams from the drone’s camera. And others provide a downloadable app that sends video to your phone.

In addition, some controllers may relay diagnostics in real time, such as speed, altitude, and battery life. Make sure these features are crucial to you before investing any major money.

Piloting Skills

Whether you’ve been piloting drones for years or want to earn your wings for the first time, there’s a drone to suit your skills.

If you’re just starting, don’t spend too much money on your first drone. It’s better to buy a cheap drone to learn on then upgrade to a nicer one than to crash an expensive drone while you hone your skills.


Just like regular digital cameras, drone cameras are not all the same. If image quality is essential to your drone needs, keep in mind that you get what you pay for.

GPS Capabilities

Most of the higher end drones will offer GPS capabilities, such as a Return Home function or programmable coordinates. This can help you reach tricky places more accurately and make sure your drone comes back to you.

Do Size and Shape Matter?

In a word, yes.

Typically, quadcopters come in two frame patterns, X and H. Both are known for their maneuverability and stability in the air, even in winds of 10-15 mph. These drones consist of four blades and motors and a gyroscope to determine the drone’s orientation during flight.

Quadcopters typically make the best choice for beginners, regardless of purpose, because they’re easy to master the basics.

For more advanced UAV pilots, you can consider other drone options, such as helicopters, tricopters, hexacopters, and octocopters.

Who are the Most Reputable Manufacturers of Professional Drones?

Investing in a professional drone isn’t a decision to take lightly. Just like with other electronic devices, you want to ensure your drone manufacturer is trusted and reputable to give you the most for your money.

The Cheerwing Syma x5sw v3 is one the most top-rated professional drones on the market. It’s also one of the most economical, which makes it an attractive choice for beginners.

The Wrap Up

There are lots of solid options for professional drones, which can complicate the buying process. If you’re ever in doubt, read user reviews and forums to see which one will best suit your needs.

Just like with any other niche, drones have a dedicated community of users who will be more than happy to help.