These days, drones are a common piece of equipment. Once the exclusive domain of the military or corporations, drones are now so common that they’re a popular Christmas gift for people of all ages. Part of this is because technology has drastically improved, making them more affordable and accessible. So, with all of the hype, why would you want to own one?

Perfect for photography buffs

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Whether you’re thinking about starting a freelance career in photography or just like to take beautiful pictures for fun, owning a drone will up your skills and the quality of images you capture. For example, if you’re a real estate agent, you know the power of a properly staged home. Instead of taking a boring head-on shot of the front of a house, you can create gorgeous panoramic views that include unique overhead angles that you can’t get with a camera. Wedding photographers who incorporate drones that shoot video as well as stills can create beautiful footage of a client’s big day—and increase the value of the services they offer. And for travel writers, nothing speaks to the beauty of the locales in your article like a wide shot of a coastal city.

An ethical alternative to pest control

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Are you tired of those raccoons getting into your garbage? Or, maybe you have a pesky rabbit that’s destroying your garden. You want to get rid of those pests, but you also have a heart and won’t set cruel traps. Well, it turns out that many animals hate drones. In fact, the Wall Street Journal shared a story of how our friendly neighbors to the north used drones to help scare off Canadian Geese. Geese are pretty, but they also pose a major health hazard: They leave a mess after each bird releases up to two pounds of poop a day. The city of Ottawa, Canada, tired of being inundated with the waterfowl, turned to a popular drone expert to help them, in a humane way, encourage their unwanted guests to leave.

Drones are fairly easy to operate

Don’t let yourself get intimidated by video footage of your favorite YouTube reviewer zipping their drones around town. While it might take you some time to reach that level of expertise, that shouldn’t stop you from trying. These days, depending on the drone you purchase, you can begin operating them right out of the box. Of course, there is a small learning curve, and you might crash a few times before you get it right. But with the variety of tutorials on YouTube, if you follow safety protocols, you should get the hang of it with ease.  

You can become part of a growing culture

Did you know that there are drone communities? While all groups have their online component, many of them also include a meetup aspect. So, not only can you go online to connect, get tips, and share your love of drones, but you can also go out in real life with a community of people who regularly fly their drones.

Because drone racing is a thing

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You had to know this was inevitable. The fastest factory-built consumer drone available on the market as of today can reach top speeds of 100 mph. And a custom-built drone decimated that figure with a top speed of up to 160 mph. So, if remote-controlled cars are so 2018 for you, then it’s time to step up your game and join a drone racing league. Of course, make sure your navigation skills are up to par before you tackle this challenge.

Drones can increase work productivity and job safety

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Most of the drone benefits we’ve outlined have been for the consumer, but even small businesses are leveraging the power of drones. Construction firms often use drone technology to survey a job site remotely. For buildings that have already been erected, a drone can perform an exterior safety review. This helps facility managers avoid sending staff on safety audits that put them at dangerous heights. And in the agricultural industry, a drone can monitor the health of a current crop and allow farmers to virtually determine which areas in their fields need more attention.

Because they’re fun to fly

No one said you have to have a serious purpose if you own a drone. Maybe you just like the idea of navigating and have graduated from race cars. Or, you want to have a fun bonding experience with your children or grandchildren. Whatever your reason, drones are fun. You can become part of the community and focus on modifying them to create beautiful custom styles or just enjoy them as designed by the factory.

With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why drones are so appealing. Whether you’re a hobbyist or believe they can improve your workflow or productivity, there are an infinite number of practical applications that make this technology indispensable. Most important, the wide availability and competitive price points mean that even beginners can buy a quality drone with diverse functionality for an affordable price. Whichever category you belong to, just know that you will join a growing community of enthusiasts who enjoy remote flight.