Buying a drone: How much they cost, what they do and which one is best for your purposes

The art of the drone: The technology is now coming to consumer-level.

But these days the unmanned aircraft are involved in so much more than war and have become a hugely popular hobby for thousands across the nation.

Just recently Queensland hosted the 2016 Australian Drone Nationals with more than 60 competitors vying to become the national champ.

The winner, Thomas Bitmatta, is just 17 and, together with four other winners, will now head to Hawaii to take part in the World Drone Championships.

And if you think it’s just for the nerds, consider this: In March, a 15-year-old from the UK picked up a cool $250,000 for winning the World Drone Prix in Dubai.

Drones are also an integral part of many businesses, the long-missing answer to some of the more dangerous or arduous tasks that were almost impossible before.

They range in price from the very cheap to the extraordinarily expensive and their size can vary just as wildly.

Ben Drew, a technician from Rise Above Custom Drone Solutions, said the craft they sell range in price from hundreds of dollars, right up into the tens of thousands.

The company, based in Sydney’s southwest, custom builds drones and will attach almost anything to a craft that will help them better run their business.

Coming next … Whose for pizza?

From farms to mines and professional photographers, this is quickly becoming a necessary tool of trade.

“Air sensors, water sensors, different drop mechanisms so if you want to drop something in a site that you can’t physically go to — like in a mining site — you can take the drone out there and drop the sensor,” Mr Drew said.

“It’s definitely growing rapidly, especially in the industrial area.”

There are also a huge range of drones available for those fans of flying who just want to have a bit of fun or improve their amateur photography.

But even those aren’t cheap.

One of their most popular craft — that falls into the category of presumer — is called the Phantom 4.

“That’s definitely the one that’s the most popular at the moment, they have a very solid app that comes with them and it just makes it easy for a new user to come in and use,” he said.

Retailing for just under $2100, it’s not a cheap hobby, but you should be able to protect your investment pretty well as it comes with collision avoidance as standard.

Rise Above has fielded some interesting calls requesting things to attach to drones, some they can’t even mention.

“A lot of people ask for things they shouldn’t be doing, which obviously have to say no to,” he said … without elaborating.

Top of the range: The Vulcan RED Epic Ultra Heavy Lift Octocopter Drone — although at $40,000 the cost is through the roof
The DJI Phantom 4 Drone with Obstacle Avoidance can fly for 28 minutes.

JB HI-FI

Zero-X Rapture Drone with First Person View Controller $299

JB HI-FI: Zero-X Rapture Drone with First Person View Controller.

Parrot Bebop Drone + Skycontroller $999

JB HI-FI: Parrot Bebop Drone + Skycontroller.

Parrot Bebop 2 Drone with Sky Controller $1299

JB HI-FI: Parrot Bebop 2 Drone with Sky Controller.

Camera House

Parrot Minidrone Rolling Spider $149

Camera House: Parrot Minidrone Rolling Spider.

Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Jungle Elite $429

Camera House: Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Jungle Elite.

3DR Solo Aerial Drone $999

Camera House: 3DR Solo Aerial Drone.

Harvey Norman

Parrot MiniDrone Airborne Cargo — Mars $98

Harvey Norman: Parrot MiniDrone Airborne Cargo — Mars.

Parrot Airborne Minidrone Hydro $197

Harvey Norman: Parrot Airborne Minidrone Hydro $197

Xiro Xplorer Vision Drone with Camera and 3-axis Gimbal $998

Harvey Norman: Giro Xplorer Vision Drone with Camera and 3-axis Gimbal $998

Racing drones from Rise Above Custom Drone Solutions

ImmersionRC Vortex Mini Racing Quadcopter ARF (Race Motor Version) $669

Racing drones from Rise Above Custom Drone Solutions. ImmersionRC Vortex Mini Racing Quadcopter ARF.

ImmersionRC Vortex 250 Pro ARF $749

Racing drones from Rise Above Custom Drone Solutions. ImmersionRC Vortex 250 Pro ARF.

TBS Vendetta FPV Racing Quadcopter $789

Racing drones from Rise Above Custom Drone Solutions: TBS Vendetta FPV Racing Quadcopter.

From: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/buying-a-drone-how-much-they-cost-what-they-do-and-which-one-is-best-for-your-purposes/news-story/8c3aa6133530b6277b8aeee3a2924037