Recommend a drone for my particular use case?

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I have a need for a drone. Don't want to invest huge amounts in it, but will spend some cash to get one that fills my needs.

I'll use it to fly out and check various areas of my properties that aren't always easy to get to for me.

I do have some RC aircraft (fixed wing) experience, so I don't think adapting to flying a drone should be too bad. I have a huge field in my area I can practice in.

I don't need a drone that can do stunts, tricks, flips, or carry heavy loads. It'll be used for video recording on (presumably) a built in camera, and some surveillance. Video will need to be downloaded to a PC, or recorded to a memory stick.

I have seen some youtube videos, like this one:
and it was useful to help me figure out what I need for features.

I will need a flight range of at least a quarter mile, a half mile would be better. There is at least decent cell phone (Verizon) coverage in the area.

Some features like the GPS and return to base might be useful, and I might have a use for the "follow me" feature although that's not required.

I have a Galaxy S9+ (Android) phone, so the controller should be able to use it and download the flight app to it. Not buying another phone for this one little thing.

15-20 minutes flight time, more if possible.

And it would be good if this thing were QUIET. I don't want it to sound like I am flying a chainsaw around. Some of the flying will be in residential areas. I've seen videos that show replacing 2 blade propellers with different multi blade propellers and it was a lot quieter.

Thanks for any tips! :)
 

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I'll use it to fly out and check various areas of my properties that aren't always easy to get to for me.
It'll be used for video recording on (presumably) a built in camera, and some surveillance.
And it would be good if this thing were QUIET. I don't want it to sound like I am flying a chainsaw around. Some of the flying will be in residential areas.
It would help if you explained what you want the drone to do in a little more detail.
What kind of environment are you planning to fly through?
What's the terrain like and what obstacles might be between you and the drone?
What kind of surveillance are you intending?

If you want a quiet drone, that ticks your other requirements, the Mavic 2 pro is probably your best bet.
If you are planning to fly across residential areas, it would be a good idea to learn what the regulations are and how that might affect your intentions.
I've seen videos that show replacing 2 blade propellers with different multi blade propellers and it was a lot quieter.
Don't bother.
The Mavic is already quiet but adding 3-blade props won't do anything to improve its flight qualities (and could well cause significant problems).
 
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Well, it would primarily be used in a rural area. Fly it through remote areas to see if there are people or vehicles in areas where there should not be people or vehicles. Inspect roofs for significant damage. See if items left near buildings have been moved or messed with.

As far as terrain, it is mainly your typical suburban trees, with the hills factored in there might be a 100 foot difference between the high and low points within a half mile or so. There will be little to no interference with power lines or telephone poles in the area.

I wouldn't have direct line of sight to the drone due to trees in the way. I'd say that a 15 minute flight once every week or two would be about all its use.

As for budget, I'm good up to 300-400 dollars.
 
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I have a very low mileage P3P with remote, 2 batteries and a charger for $350 and you pay shipping. PM me if interested.
 
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Only thing New that fits those requirements would be the $400 Mavic Mini. (Combo $500) Fits the bill on most counts but not if windy. Otherwise get a better drone used. (Like deal above). Cheaper drones won’t meet any of your requirements, distance, flight time, camera quality, durability, etc. but they usually will do tricks. Used Phantoms (P3P up) and Mavics are worth researching.
Good luck

PS: none of these drones can be flown behind trees and buildings!! The radio signal can’t go through solid objects.
 

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In addition, as soon as the drone (AC) loses line of sight (LOS), of the remote control (RC) it will disconnect and initiate return to home (RTH). ?
Only way to do the flight without LOS is autonomously. No connection to RC necessary with waypoints but you won’t be able to watch. Only review the SD card footage when it returns all by itself. ?
Might consider these obstacles before purchase.
 
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But before you buy it. Drones are regulated by the FAA. Anything that weighs over .55 lbs needs to be registered. In fact, the system might not even let you fly depending on your location. Download the app AirMap to your phone. It will show you some of the restrictions in your area. If you will be using it in that is business-related being paid for it or not, you'll have to pass their part 107 test. See the FAA page Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) .
 
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If you expect to have trees interfering with your LOS to the craft, I recommend you focus on craft with Lightbridge or Ocu-Sync communications, Ocu-Sync being best (MavicAir2 $799 new, Mavic Pro, Mavic Pro 2, Mavic2 Zoom). It works better than any Wifi type craft in the market. Although the Mavic Mini would do your distance with LOS connection, the Wifi communications it uses will be a weak link when you lose LOS with the craft behind trees much sooner than Lightbride/Ocu-Sync craft. Lightbridge or Ocu-Sync penetrates trees better, but it's also somewhat limited. I think a used P3P would be a good option, as it will handle wind (which wasn't mentioned) up to 20mph, much better than a Mavic Mini. P3P has auto return to home when signal is lost, like all DJI craft. The P3P @BigL is offering is a good option I think. I loved my P3P, it took great video, has over a 2 mile range with LOS connection with it's Lightbridge comm. It would do a half mile when I was deep in a forest without LOS, if it's not wet out. Wet leaves hinder signal more.

The Mavic2zoom is really nice for inspection, having a 2X optical zoom, and 4X zoom when combined with the built in digital zoom, recording in 1080 mode. This lets you see things much closer without being physically closer, handy when you can't drop behind a mountain or building, in fear of losing signal. However, M2Z is way over your budget at $1350 new. If you wait until Mavic 3 comes out, there may be some used ones available at that time for those looking to upgrade.

BTW, Mavic Pro and Mavic Air 2 also have digital zoom for inspection support, but not optical zoom. Also, your Android phone should work fine with any DJI craft, but later you may want to consider an iPad Mini for a bigger screen.
 
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The tree and hill issue deserves serious consideration before doing anything. As others have reported, you will loose control connection with the drone if large numbers of trees or hills interrupt a clear line of sight path between your controller antennas and the drone’s. Enhancement of WiFi from Occusync and others helps a little bit, but is not a reliable solution.

This will be true for any WIFI controlled drone. The only reliable solution is to use a preprogrammed set of waypoints the drone can load and use to fly the mission without user control or video downlink.

GPS is quite good in most situations below +- 79 deg latitude.
 
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I would recommend the Mavic Mini, as someone mentioned as long as it's not blowing a gale it would suit your requirements. It has an excellent camera and for the price it's a good all round Drone. You said 1/4 of a mile or 1/2 would be a better range, I've flown mine out to over a kilometre with no loss of video or control signal. I know this is very dependent on flying site but I have watched videos on YouTube of people flying 2 or 3 kilometres out. I use mine Mavic Mini for Roof Inspections because if anything did go wrong, any damage would be kept to a minimum because of the 249g weight. The camera is much better on my P4Pro but at over a kilogram I wouldn't fly it anywhere near residential areas or people.
Good luck and happy flying with whatever you buy.
 
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I have a need for a drone. Don't want to invest huge amounts in it, but will spend some cash to get one that fills my needs.

I'll use it to fly out and check various areas of my properties that aren't always easy to get to for me.

I do have some RC aircraft (fixed wing) experience, so I don't think adapting to flying a drone should be too bad. I have a huge field in my area I can practice in.

I don't need a drone that can do stunts, tricks, flips, or carry heavy loads. It'll be used for video recording on (presumably) a built in camera, and some surveillance. Video will need to be downloaded to a PC, or recorded to a memory stick.

I have seen some youtube videos, like this one:
and it was useful to help me figure out what I need for features.

I will need a flight range of at least a quarter mile, a half mile would be better. There is at least decent cell phone (Verizon) coverage in the area.

Some features like the GPS and return to base might be useful, and I might have a use for the "follow me" feature although that's not required.

I have a Galaxy S9+ (Android) phone, so the controller should be able to use it and download the flight app to it. Not buying another phone for this one little thing.

15-20 minutes flight time, more if possible.

And it would be good if this thing were QUIET. I don't want it to sound like I am flying a chainsaw around. Some of the flying will be in residential areas. I've seen videos that show replacing 2 blade propellers with different multi blade propellers and it was a lot quieter.

Thanks for any tips! :)
Consider a Mavic mini. Good distance, lots of flight time. Pretty cheap. Decent camera. No registration needed, depending on where you are.
 
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I have a need for a drone. Don't want to invest huge amounts in it, but will spend some cash to get one that fills my needs.

I'll use it to fly out and check various areas of my properties that aren't always easy to get to for me.

I do have some RC aircraft (fixed wing) experience, so I don't think adapting to flying a drone should be too bad. I have a huge field in my area I can practice in.

I don't need a drone that can do stunts, tricks, flips, or carry heavy loads. It'll be used for video recording on (presumably) a built in camera, and some surveillance. Video will need to be downloaded to a PC, or recorded to a memory stick.

I have seen some youtube videos, like this one:
and it was useful to help me figure out what I need for features.

I will need a flight range of at least a quarter mile, a half mile would be better. There is at least decent cell phone (Verizon) coverage in the area.

Some features like the GPS and return to base might be useful, and I might have a use for the "follow me" feature although that's not required.

I have a Galaxy S9+ (Android) phone, so the controller should be able to use it and download the flight app to it. Not buying another phone for this one little thing.

15-20 minutes flight time, more if possible.

And it would be good if this thing were QUIET. I don't want it to sound like I am flying a chainsaw around. Some of the flying will be in residential areas. I've seen videos that show replacing 2 blade propellers with different multi blade propellers and it was a lot quieter.

Thanks for any tips! :)
Buy the mavic mini combo... no registration, will cover your property and then some, i suggest the combo cause you get 3 batteries with it and some extras because you will fall in love with it. It will save your recording to sd card. Can view your sd video on your computer. Thats it. Want to go one step farther add on a set of goggles. You can fly as if you are riding in the drone. If you screw up it will return home for you. Case closed.
 
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as far as where to control drone from:
how tall is your tallest building?
from its roof can you see over all trees on your property?
if not would a captain's roost on that roof do it?
or a tree house platform from tallest tree?
 
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I have a need for a drone. Don't want to invest huge amounts in it, but will spend some cash to get one that fills my needs.

I'll use it to fly out and check various areas of my properties that aren't always easy to get to for me.

I do have some RC aircraft (fixed wing) experience, so I don't think adapting to flying a drone should be too bad. I have a huge field in my area I can practice in.

I don't need a drone that can do stunts, tricks, flips, or carry heavy loads. It'll be used for video recording on (presumably) a built in camera, and some surveillance. Video will need to be downloaded to a PC, or recorded to a memory stick.

I have seen some youtube videos, like this one:
and it was useful to help me figure out what I need for features.

I will need a flight range of at least a quarter mile, a half mile would be better. There is at least decent cell phone (Verizon) coverage in the area.

Some features like the GPS and return to base might be useful, and I might have a use for the "follow me" feature although that's not required.

I have a Galaxy S9+ (Android) phone, so the controller should be able to use it and download the flight app to it. Not buying another phone for this one little thing.

15-20 minutes flight time, more if possible.

And it would be good if this thing were QUIET. I don't want it to sound like I am flying a chainsaw around. Some of the flying will be in residential areas. I've seen videos that show replacing 2 blade propellers with different multi blade propellers and it was a lot quieter.

Thanks for any tips! :)
A Mavic Mini would be pretty close to what you need depending on how windy your area gets.
 

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