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One of the internet’s most searched questions is whether a GoPro is better than a drone and vice versa. We understand why someone may be confused about which one to go for and we’ll be providing a definitive answer in this article. Continue reading to find out which is better between a GoPro and a drone.
**The simple answer is that a GoPro seems to be the better option if you can only own one between a GoPro and a drone, as the GoPro is more portable and versatile. But there are other factors to consider and both drones and GoPro have specific situations where they shine and perform best. **
For you to know which one suits you best, it’s important that you know all the important information about GoPros and drones. It’s by having the relevant information that you’ll be able to make an informed decision between a GoPro and a drone.
Below, you’ll find information about the general characteristics of both drones and GoPros, their pros as well as cons. Stay tuned.
GoPro – Characteristics, Pros & Cons #
GoPros have come a long way since their inception some 19 years ago. The hallmark of GoPros is that they are very small and super-lightweight. In fact, it’s easy for someone not familiar with GoPros to mistake them for a child’s toy. But we assure you that GoPros are far from being a child’s plaything as they pack some of the most powerful point and shoot cameras into a small body.
Waterproofing is another feature common in all GoPros as they have a waterproof housing that’s capable of withstanding being submerged to about 131 feet (40 meters). This makes GoPros especially useful for people participating in water sports. Not even sand or snow can damage GoPros. They are tough little cookies!
And when we say GoPros are tough, we mean they are tough. GoPros have been subjected to many harsh and extreme tests and they come out unscathed almost every time. Don’t take our word for it. Just go online and search for some of the extreme tests people subject GoPro to. One thing you can certainly expect from a GoPro apart from it being super portable is unparalleled durability.
We must also mention that GoPros are wearable thanks to the minimal form factor, lightweight design, and durability. Several wearable mounts for GoPros are available on the market and we bet you’ll like that there are mounts designed to be worn on the head, chest, helmet, wrist, and mouth. Yep, you read the last one right.
Quality Still Photographs is another feature of the GoPro. If you are using the Hero 3+ GoPro and beyond, then you can be sure of getting very good still photographs. The cameras of GoPros have come a long way and there are now 12-megapixel GoPro cameras available. The fixed 170-degree lens also allows you to take wide angle photos and videos thereby capturing the whole view all at once.
The Wifi connectivity option is also a nice touch as it allows you to easily control your GoPro from your phone or tablet. The only time when your Wifi connectivity may not work well is when you are underwater, as the Wifi signal doesn’t travel well underwater.
Pros and Cons #
From the features we listed above, you should already have an idea of some of the pros and cons of GoPros. But we’ll go ahead and spell it out anyway. Features like portability, durability, high image quality, and Wifi connectivity are obvious pros.
The cons may, however, be not so obvious. For one thing, the fixed focal length means you can’t zoom in or adjust your aperture settings. So you can’t expect your GoPro to perform on the same level as a DSLR or mirrorless camera. But a DSLR cannot match the portability of GoPros.
Handling GoPros may also be a bit awkward but this can be easily fixed by mounting it. There are several tripod-type mounts available for GoPros. Photography professionals may also not like that pictures can’t be taken in RAW.
Super portable and lightweight
Handling may be a bit awkward.
Super durable and can be used in extreme conditions
Not great for people that don’t like taking photos from a mounted camera.
High image quality
Can’t take pictures in RAW.
No zoom or aperture settings.
Drones – Characteristics, Pros & Cons #
Drones have become incredibly popular over the past ten years or so, and have found applications in various fields. Nowadays, most drones come with an onboard camera. Depending on the quality of this onboard camera, you may wish to replace it or keep it. There are many different drones on the market, but they mostly have the following characteristics in common.
Modern drones now have GPS modules that have massively improved the way drones navigate and fly. Older drone models and most current toy-grade drones don’t come with GPS modules and as such require a lot of skill to smoothly fly them. However, the introduction of GPS modules in newer drones has made flying a lot easier for drone users.
It is due to the accurate global positioning that modern drones receive that they are able to hold a solid hover, accurately lock on to a precise GPS location, and fly back if they get out of range. The latter is how the return to the home feature of newer drones works. The return to home feature allows drones to return to their starting point when they get out of range of the controller, or in other emergency situations.
This is one aspect where drones rule supreme. Not only is aerial photography fun and dynamic, but it’s also going to offer you unique opportunities and challenges. Aerial photography allows you to take photographs from a unique perspective.
Drones may come with sensors incorporated with them and these sensors collect data as the drone soars through the air. The sensors that are installed in a drone will depend on the purpose of the drone. Camera drones come with an image sensor that will detect and convey information about what constitutes an image. The sensor is able to do this due to its ability to convert light waves into signals.
There may be other sensors like infrared and thermal sensors, chemical sensors, and speed and distance sensors depending on the purpose of the drone.
Drones are just fun to use. There is just something satisfying about controlling a drone and making maneuvers. Drone racing is becoming quite popular due to the increasing interest in drones. It’s possible that a lot of people will be able to make a living from drone racing in the near future.
A drone may crash into a building, vehicle, or person. This may occur due to a malfunction of the drone or inexperience of the drone pilot. As a result, there are several regulations about the use of drones. One of such regulations is that drones must always be within the line of sight of the users when they are in the air. There are also minimum age requirements that you must meet before you can fly drones.
Pros and Cons #
The main advantage that drones offer when it comes to photography is the aerial perspective. Drones can also be used to capture some incredible moments in sports. You don’t have to run and follow the action up and down when you can get a drone in the air and get some stunning footage.
However, drones can be affected by the weather. Most drones are not designed to fly in the rain as they are not waterproof. Flying them in the rain or in very wet conditions may damage the drone. Drones are also difficult to fly in heavy wind. There are also regulations about the use of drones, and they can’t be used everywhere.
Flight time is another problem with drones. Most mid-range drones can only fly for 10 to 15 minutes with only the more expensive models exceeding 20 minutes. You can get drones that can fly for almost 30 minutes but then you have to shell out more money for spare batteries. So unless you are using the expensive models, flight time is always going to be an issue.
Fun to use.
Affected by weather.
Flight time is an issue.
Can capture some incredible moments in sports.
Regulations on where and how to use them.
GoPro vs Drone: Which one should you choose? #
The bottom line is that GoPros are more versatile and practical than drones. They are smaller, more durable, have longer lasting batteries, and are also easy to use. There is this learning curve that comes with drones as you have to learn how to properly control them so you don’t crash them into an innocent tree or building. It’s also easier to travel with GoPros than with a drone, and GoPros does not have some of the regulations that limit the use of drones. Traveling with a drone requires more forethought, setup, and equipment.
But drones offer aerial photographs and once you’ve had a taste of aerial photography, we bet you are going to want more. Also, if you are not a fan of mount type footage, then a drone is what you should go for.
Also, GoPros can also be mounted on a drone. You just need to buy the mount required, but then you can mount your GoPro on a drone, and get the best of both worlds.