My father told me once that in life there are things we want, things we need, and things we get. What was essentially a throw away comment has rung true in most areas of my life… that was until drones came on the market. This is where the lines between want and need blur and open up to interpretation.
The first time I saw a drone was in Christchurch, New Zealand when it flew into the fenced off Cathedral ruined by the 2012 earthquake. At the time it seemed like an overpriced toy but I still wanted one.
The next time was at Strokkur, an Icelandic geyser which erupts every 5-10 minutes. The pilot flew his drone just out of reach from the eruption and waited for the propulsion of boiling water and steam 100 feet in the air. After witnessing this, the drone became a non-essential but very awesome piece of equipment which I would love to own but did I need?
Then, sweltering in the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia – an area that can only be described as an intense explosion of colour and salt was when I heard that familiar buzzing sound. I watched the pilot navigate his drone in sweeping movements over the scorched earth and could only imagine the footage filling his memory card. I mean, if it was so incredible with my feet on the ground, just think how spectacular an all-encompassing birds eye view would be!
Instantly the drone graduated from being a non-essential toy to a luxury item that I couldn’t live without, that I needed. Sure, I could argue to the death my #firstworldproblems and ability to flex my moral code, but it keeps coming back to this…ahem clears throat.
Planet Earth is insanely beautiful. Nature is completely magnificent. Why should I deprive myself of seeing it from above? Why should I restrict myself to what I can only see from the ground? Why wouldn’t I want to see more when I travel around the globe and more importantly, the bigger question is why does anyone really travel in the first place? I feel it is in pursuit of something too beautiful to put into words, the pursuit of perfection and I believe that a drone could well be the catalyst for achieving this.
You see I don’t want to travel. I do travel because I need to discover the world I live in. I need to expand the borders beyond where I was born and where I currently live. Therefore with the same rationale I need a drone because it will give me different and wider perspectives when I travel.
After hiking through the Grand Canyon I paid US$250 for a panoramic helicopter flight, something a drone could give me a similar view of and indeed reach parts and close up angles that no aircraft could attain. In Alaska I paid US$550 for a flight to land on an ice-sheet under the watchful eye of Mt Denali. A drone certainly couldn’t re-enact this experience but it could reveal similar incredible views I witnessed along the way. Now I didn’t need to take these helicopter flights, I wanted to but I needed this different perspective to round off my experience. The way I see it, a good quality drone is likely to cost GBP1000 but I’m weighing this cost up against US$800 of helicopter flights just to get that birds eye view and once in a lifetime panorama. Suddenly my arm is twisting and my inner argument weighs heavily in favour of the defence.
So which drone can really give me the views, precision, quality and experiences that I need? There are so many options but the one I have set my heart on is made by DJI. As far as brands and manufacturers go, DJI’s products are ridiculously sexy and reviews for the Phantom 4 Pro ticks all the boxes for me. Sure, I’m squirming a little at the price tag and checking how much I’ve accumulated in my piggy bank, but having carried out my research, I know that this is the one and I must have a Phantom 4 Pro drone.
Stay posted for some incredible views from above once I can afford what I need!