Drone Choice for Newbie?

Hi all! I am new to drone piloting - only a few days’ experience with low end consumer drones.

However, I am extremely intrigued by the industry, and interested in pursuing at least a side business in the drone field. Mapping with DroneDeploy seems like a great way to differentiate myself from other regional drone service providers.

Since I am a new pilot, I am considering purchasing a refurbished Phantom 3 Standard ($400 USD) to practice flying and filming with. However, that model is not supported by DroneDeploy.

The least expensive DD-supported model is a refurb P3 Advanced at $639 USD.

My question is: get the P3S as a “beater” to practice with for a while, OR spend the extra money for the P3A (or even a refurb P4) so I can also practice mapping with DD? Doing some pro bono work and building a portfolio is also attractive. I’m just worried about crashing and ruining a nicer model while I’m learning.

Kind of leaning towards getting the P3S to enjoy and learn, and then waiting to see if DJI announces a Phantom 5, Mavic with a better camera, etc. in the near future once I am ready for the big league?

Appreciate all advice.

Get the P3A. You’ll blow through the P3S in a few hours and want the P3A - and it’s range and technology is very limiting.

Hi @LancerX,

Welcome! I’d also like to add in our 2017 Drone Buyer’s Guide as another place to start if you’re looking to get into the business.

Hope this helps. :slight_smile:


As a newbie or beginner, I bought a new drone from DJI i.e Phantom 3. If you want new generation drone i.e Phantom V then wait this year. We are expecting it will release in the market in April or September, might be.