So, you got a “drone” or are planning to get a drone for yourself. However, you also want to get the most out of your craft and not rely on the bare minimum provided in the box. Now you wonder : what are the best drone accessories you can get to improve your experience?
In this post, we’ll list the best drone accessories that you can get to make your flying life easier and why you should bother getting them. You do not need to own all of them right off the bat, especially if you are just a multirotor enthusiast. However, if you plan on seriously using your drone over and over again for your work, you might want to eventually own most of them!
A drone case
The very first accessory we recommend you get is a solid case to put your drone in. Drones generally have delicate parts and joints that can easily be damaged if you are not careful. This holds true not only when you are carrying it when you are headed out, but also when you store it somewhere around your household.
There are two different kinds of drone cases out there. The first type is one that is custom made for your particular drone model and has a placeholder that is shaped according to the drone model. The second type is multi-purpose in which you can put any type of craft in.
If you have to pick one, we recommend going for the custom made case. However, if there are no cases available for your particular drone model, go for the multi-purpose one. In either case, getting a drone case (no pun intended) should be one of the top priorities!
If you are considering a serious amount of flying time for fun and/or video capturing you will need to buy a couple of extra batteries. The main reason for this is that even some of the better drones out there (think DJI Phantom series) have flight times of about 20 minutes. This might not be enough, especially if you want to capture a decent amount of video.
We recommend getting about 2 extra batteries and charging all of them up before heading out for your drone photography endeavours. After all, you have to spend all that time and energy going to a desired location. Make sure that you get manufacturer specific batteries for the pricier drones from brands like DJI or 3DR.
A sunshade is a must have for heading out on a sunny summer day. You do want to see what is happening on the FPV screen attached to your controller, right?
They are generally made of cardboard or plastic, attached to the controller over the phone grip or the screen. They may look a bit cheesy but they also make your life much more easier!
Lens improvement: lens protection and hood
An important “accessory” you might want to consider is lens protection. Though it might not protect your camera lens from cracking or serious damage if you crash, they will do a pretty good job of making it scratch resilient.
Another accessory to improve your lens is a lens hood. This is a great accessory and a must have especially because it is a cheap solution for lens flares and propeller shadows.
Another accessory that will come in handy during a sunny summer day is an ND filter. If the amount of light in the environment is too much, the camera will have to increase its shutter speed, causing a “jerky” effect. An ND filter is a workaround for this problem
Simply put, it will allow your camera to shoot at a slower shutter speed even during bight sun light.
No brainer, right? Get additional propellers because you may need them in case the ones you have gets damaged or worn out from use. It might not be the only reason you might want to get them though.
Changing your drone’s existing propeller for lighter, improved ones can boost flight performance, stability and overall flight times. The existing stock propellers can also be replaced for more resilient ones made of carbon fibre.
Speaking of resilience, we recommend getting a propeller guard for your drone no matter what your skill level is. It will definitely improve the resilience of your drone by making it less prone to damage from collision.
However, the main reason we recommend installing a prop guard on your drone is because it provides an additional layer or protection AGAINST the drone crashing onto a person. No matter how skilled you are, it is not a 100% certain that accidents will not happen. A sudden, strong gust of wind is all it would take to blow a drone off its course unexpectedly.
A prop balancer is an accessory you will most likely want to add to your repertoire some day or the other if you are regular flyer. Propellers get worn out and hence unbalanced with use. Moreover, some manufacturers ship poor, unbalanced propellers in the box right from the start. One side of a propeller for example, can be heavier than the other and so on.
An unbalanced prop is the number one reason for drone’s “wobble” or “jello”. If you notice this phenomenon, it is time to balance your propellers.
Some of nature’s most beautiful moments are during dawn and dusk. Arguably, these are the times you want to head out for the best possible shots. However, unless you have eagle eye+x-ray vision, your line of sight range is going to be much lower when it is nearing dark/after dark.
Getting an LED light and installing it on your craft solves this problem. Hence, they make a great, cheap accessory that will boost your overall flying experience.
Gimbal guards are attached to the bottom of your drone and will help keep objects such as grass away from the gimbal motors, giving it an additional layer of protection. It is also great if you are a beginner and haven’t mastered proper, smooth landing yet.
What’s more – No more error message that says “Gimbals motors are overloaded!”. Any additional layer of protection is always good for a drone that you paid a fortune for!
A range extender may not be a MUST HAVE for most situations. After all, you can only legally fly up to 400 feet and within line of sight (In the US at least). Moreover, flying long distances will ultimately be limited by the amount of charge your battery can hold.
A range extender is however a great add-on to your drone. What’s cooler than having a craft which essentially becomes an extension of yourself with FPV and capable of flying long distances? That’s right. Nothing!
Again, probably not a must have if you manage your batteries and charging them wisely. However, it is definitely a great accessory in that it can be a life saver in unexpected situations where you absolutely need that extra battery life to shoot something interesting before heading home. Hence, we think it deserves to be in the best drone accessories list.
If you do not have the budget to buy each and everything, pick the accessories that make most sense for you right now. For example, if you are multirotor enthusiast and do not care for the highest picture/video quality, you can ignore the ND filters and lens hoods.
We recommend starting with the drone case. There is no need to clutter your life. You can always add new accessories to your repertoire overtime!