Range of a Drone: DJI
Popular drones such as the famous DJI Phantom series and the phenomenal DJI Mavic offer control range of about 2 to 3 miles. These devices are also able to maintain a radio link to the pilot and video link as well.
Having said that, you should not be fussed about privacy infringement here since the cameras mounted on drones are simply not cut for surveillance purposes. Drone cameras can be used for aerial photography and cinematography. However, they do not have the best range of a drone for capturing close shots of objects.
For instance, a drone can capture a prolific image of a building from up top but if there were someone standing on the balcony of a building, the image captured would not be able to show the face of the person in detail.
When it comes to the state of the art aerial cinematography and photography, DJI Phantom and DJI Mavic are the ideal choices thanks to their impressive control range and high-end radio technology that maintains a top quality connection. Moreover, the Return to Home feature ensures that the device returns back to its original place of takeoff in case the connection gets broken or there is some disturbance.
Range of Racing Drones
The traditional racing drones have a comparatively lower control range owing to the FPV range and battery life.
A radio link can be maintained over a long distance. The TBS Crossfire radio system claims that the range of a drone to be up to 40Km. Having said that, most of the mini quadcopters operate on the stock 2.4GHz frequency range which offers a control range of around 1Km based on the quality of the receiver.
Nevertheless, when you are flying a racing quadcopter, the general rule of the thumb is to only fly the drone as far as you are ready to go and get it back in case it crashes.
Long-range flights have been made possible with the help of TBS Crossfire radio systems. However, they can be fraught with danger since a single wrong decision could have you end up losing your precious gizmo.
Racing quadcopters or small-sized drones come with small frames and tiny batteries that provide plenty of power to rotate four propellers at a fast pace. Typically, a mini quadcopter offers a flight duration of about 3 to 5 minutes at the most. So, with such a short flight time, it limits the distance at which one can take the drone to and expect to come back without the drone running out of juice. Of course, if you are flying your drone at 100Km/h with a specific range of a drone, you can cover a long distance but keep in mind that you always have to bring back your device.
Larger sized quadcopters use slower motors and bigger propellers and offer enhanced battery lifespan. However, they too have their restrictions owing to First Person View (FPV) technology.
While flying your drone in the FPV mode, the range of a drone becomes tricky particularly if you are flying your drone in a region brimming with obstacles.
The majority of the FPV systems operate on the 5.8GHz frequency range which boasts a lesser range than the typical 2.4GHz systems. Using the appropriate antennae and combination of a transmitter and receiver, one may be able to take a 5.8GHz video to as far as 1 mile but that would only happen if there is simply no obstacle between the pilot and the drone such as a wide an open field or if the drone is flown high and straight out so that there is a straight line between the drone and the pilot without any hindrances.
There are long-range FPV systems available on the market that operate on lower frequency bands and offer a control range as high as 10 to 20Km but they are designed generally for airplanes since they come with larger antennae.
If you are planning to purchase a drone, this should not be a cause for concern for the range of a drone. Mini quadcopters are great to fly indoors. If you ever got a chance to view FPV videos on YouTube or some other video hosting platform, you would have observed that the majority of them are shot indoors. Pilots typically fly these machines in limited space.
If you are looking to become a professional aerial cinematographer or photographer, then the DJI Phantom and DJI Mavic are the best options for capturing and processing stunning still shots and video footage.