7 Reasons Why You Should Buy a Drone (And The Best Drone Under $500)










If you’ve been around at all in the last decade, you’ve likely seen people flying drones around. You probably stumbled across this article because you asked yourself if, or why, you should buy a drone.

Good question. In this article, we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty of why drones are so damn cool. I am also going to provide you with various resources and recommendations to get you started.

Call me a smartass, but let’s note that we’re not talking about the type of drone that flies around shooting hellfire missiles at enemy combatants (and innocent civilians) from half a world away. We’re talking about the type that you can fly around and use to explore and take very impressive photos and videos.

Drone flying is impressive to most people because it’s just intrinsically cool. There’s something amazing to all of us about aviation, and being able to get awesome views of beautiful landscapes. The fact that you have a toy in your backpack that you can launch from most locations, fly around with ease, and get great images and videos from (with little practice) is just damn impressive.

Plus, drones are just fun to fly. It is the coolest new hobby that you probably don’t do. And surprisingly, a very good drone costs under $500.

I first saw a drone used on a trip overseas to the Philippines, where I watched a Taiwanese man fly a drone around one of the many beaches I had visited during my stay. He showed me his footage afterward.

I was able to see everything around me; the treeline, the nearby mountains, the nearby islands in the sea, the waves splashing in the distance — everything. It was my first time seeing a drone in person, and it was absolutely incredible. When I got home, I bought one for my father, used it a handful of times, and I eventually decided to buy one for myself.

I don’t live an entirely minimalist lifestyle, but I’m closer to it than most people. Almost all of my possessions support my hobbies; almost everything else has been thrown in the trash.

I mostly own shooting, lifting, hiking, and survival gear, countless books, a TV, a few devices, and now a drone. I got rid of almost everything I didn’t need a while ago. Of what I still own, I could go without the vast majority of them and still be almost as happy as I would be with them.

With that said, drone flying has become one of my hobbies. I don’t recall once seeing it mentioned in the Manosphere. It’s almost never spoken about, yet it’s incredibly fun, relatively inexpensive, and it gets you incredible photos and videos.

So without further ado, let’s discuss the reasons you should consider buying a drone.

1) Drone Flying is Cool as Hell

If you buy a drone, you have access to brand new aviation and computer technology. You’ve (probably) never flown a helicopter or plane before. With a drone, you can fly around a small, helicopter-like aircraft that flies like a dream and takes excellent photos and videos.

Flying a drone around at 400 feet (the legal limit) and exploring everything around you is simply badass. It’s an experience you have to just do.

I’ve explored everything from my own neighborhood to various parks to hiking trails and landscapes out in the middle of nowhere. You’ll see perspectives on things that you couldn’t have seen without seeing a picture being taken by a helicopter or plane. Flying it simply for fun and doing tricks is great as well.

If you’re into shooting Youtube videos or photography, it’s almost a no-brainer that you should own one because they get you incredible shots and angles that you simply cannot get on two feet. Watch Youtube for a while, especially on travel and nature channels, and pay attention to the types of shots many of the video makers get, and you’ll see many that are using drones to capture a lot of their footage.

2) They are Cheaper Than You Probably Think

The Phantom 3 Drone is the best drone for less than $500

Before I knew anything about drones, I thought that a drone would be $1000 or more, but you can buy a high-quality drone called the Phantom 3 for typically around $475 — although prices fluctuate slightly. It is very highly rated and generally considered the best drone for your money; especially if you’re new (much more on this drone at the end of the article).

Should you crash it, which you won’t do in most cases unless you’ve made an avoidable error, you’re down about $475 instead of $1000 for a more expensive, higher-end drone. I recommend that you have more experience under your belt if you do want to buy a more expensive drone.

There are certainly cheaper hobbies out there, but there are absolutely more expensive ones. Drone flying is about in the middle somewhere. As long as you have a little bit of spare change lying around, it’s an incredibly accessible hobby.

Buy the Phantom 3 here.

3) It’s An Easy and Interesting Conversation Starter

Since the vast majority of people have never flown a drone, and surprisingly few people have even seen one, prepare to be asked a ton of questions about your toy. People will also take videos and pictures of your drone as well, for better or for worse. You’ll be the cool motherfucker flying a drone.

It’s a great conversation starter, and it will get you incredible pictures you can show off to anyone you meet. It’s a great attention grabber if you desire to use it to “peacock” and start conversations. It’s not the primary reason to get a drone, but it’s an interesting plus.

If you take it out in the park, many people will be watching you fly it around. Just remember not to do anything stupid with it, especially if you’re in a crowded area.

4) They Are Incredibly Easy to Use 

It’s not hard at all to make the footage of videos like this one. You mostly have to be in the right location to get a video this quality, and you have to know the basics of how to fly and record.

The author is not using any special techniques with his quadcopter to record this video. I don’t see anything in this video that takes more than basic video editing skills.

Although flying a drone is not particularly difficult, remember to respect what you’re doing. You still need to be careful. Be careful when taking off, landing, and around trees, people, and other obstacles; particularly your first few times. Once it’s airborne in open space under normal conditions, it becomes pretty smooth sailing.

Drone guides are everywhere, and the instructions of most drones are good enough to get you started.

5) The Photos and Videos You Can Take Are Absolutely Stunning

This is just one random photo I took in Anywheresville, USA. It’s not intended to be my best shot by any means; the point is that you can get a cool shot just by flying a drone up anywhere and snapping away. You can pretty much do this anywhere.

The videos and pictures you can get are stunning at best, and unless you significantly over/underexpose the lens and/or just suck at taking pictures, very interesting at worst. Even the ugliest areas will still be very interesting to see from 400 feet up.

Whether you enjoy hiking, traveling, or both, bringing a drone in a good backpack with your equipment will allow you to get some memorable photos and videos when the opportunity presents itself. You can fit other things into a good drone backpack as well for when you’re going on longer hikes.

6) Drone Laws are Surprisingly Reasonable

Surprisingly, most of the drone laws make sense.

The current laws include, but may not be limited to, depending on location and any updates since the time of writing: don’t fly above 400 feet, don’t fly within five miles of an airport without contacting the control tower first, don’t fly in Washington D.C, don’t fly near a stadium or military bases, don’t harass people and fly over their heads, and make sure you can see your own drone at all times. You also have to pay $5 to register your drone online after you buy one.

Note that before you use one, you should check your local laws to see if anything has been changed, or if your area is different.

Follow the law with your drone and don’t be the dumbass that ruins it for everything else.

Keep your drone away from people, stadiums, and whatnot. Don’t do anything that can be considered harassment of others, such as flying into people’s yards and video recording them. If you somehow get told what you can and cannot do by someone who wants to make-believe that they are the police, stand firm and make sure you know your local laws and rights as a photographer.

In other words, be educated on the issues that affect you and smart about how you use it.

7) There’s a Very Large Market for Drone Pictures and Videos

Drone photos and videos are easily among the most popular on websites such as Google, Youtube, and Instagram. It can easily be a way to increase your social media or Youtube following and leverage it to profit if you are into photography, or if you can come up with another way to use the photos or videos to your advantage.

You can definitely use your creativity and skill to find a way to profit or advertise a business or side hustle that you may have.

Some areas have been filmed many times by drones. Many areas haven’t. One thing for sure is that there are significantly less drone pictures and footage than there are taken from the ground. People look up images of places all the time, and again, they particularly love aerial pictures and footage.

Use all of this to your advantage.

What Kind of Drone Should You Buy?

There are many types of drones out there. If you’re brand new, the best mix of quality and cost-efficiency is the Phantom 3.

You’ll notice that it gets very high reviews; from beginners to drone enthusiasts alike. It is an excellent bit of machinery and your best bet at getting started at flying a drone.

The Phantom 3 is the best mix of price and quality. It flies incredibly easily, (it positions itself via GPS and compass), has a good camera (2.7 MP), and is flat out fun to fly. With over 1100 customer reviews and a 4.5 star rating, it’s hard to go wrong with this model.

The Phantom 3 comes with its own controller to control the drone. It uses the downloadable DJI Go app on your cell phone to show you the drone’s view, take videos and pictures, and to give you other information and options. The drone warns you if your battery is running low, then after it gets critically low it flies home to the take-off location.

Note that it’s generally recommended that you get a few extra batteries for your drone. One battery lasts for about twenty minutes and takes about an hour and a half to recharge. A good pair of off-market extra batteries currently cost $129.99.

For most people, three batteries should be enough. If they aren’t, you can always buy more later.

More advanced drones exist, of course, such as the Phantom 4 and the DJI Mavic Pro. They are highly rated drones that you may want to consider down the road, but I do not recommend these as your first entry into flying a drone due to their cost.

If you want to purchase a Phantom 3 for yourself, click this conspicuous and annoying “buy now” button.

Further Information

This is a particularly good video on getting started:

Here is a website that will tell you drone laws by state, here is a blog about drone laws, and here is a list of current federal drone laws.

And that’s all, folks.

If you are strapped for cash, there are certainly more important things you should do than buy a drone. But if you have a little money to throw around, and if the hobby even remotely interests you, it’s absolutely worth the time and money investment you put into it.

It’s just something that you have to actually do to truly appreciate. It’s an incredible hobby that few other hobbies can match.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you choose to buy a drone, have fun and use it responsibly!

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