Drones update 2020

Since the new houses are getting higher and the new drones are getting more accessible it is time to get up to date with the modern technologies (as many of you already are).

This is whatever I think is important:

  1. At least 1080p camera with good sensor/stabiliser/lenses.
  2. Wind resistant and “return home” function in order to not lose the drone due to wind gust, signal loss, or distraction.

This I don’t think I’ll need:

  1. Actual range more than 50 ft.
  2. Battery for more than 15 min.
  3. Thermal camera.
  4. Foldability/compact device.
  5. Servo, or 3-axis camera tilt control.

I already got Drone pilot license from Transport Canada and practiced enough with a relatively cheap gadgets, so it is time to seriously drone-up.

Considering that the drone is too easy to break, lose, or steal I rather get 2 cheap ones, instead of 1 more reliable.

My initial choice is Holy Stone HS700D. What are you shopping for?


That thing is a toy…Yep!
I like my Mavic Pro Platinum.


I have to agree. I wouldn’t buy cheap, liability is to high to use a toy in a professional application. A bad day with a cheap drone could cost you big time.

I have some cheaper drones that I fly with my son, they’re fun toys, but I wouldn’t trust them for my inspection drone. For inspection work I have a Mavic2 Zoom.


It is completely understandable for the big boys to buy expensive toys and brag about them, but I was hoping for some technical argumentation.

It is already clear for me why the light $100 unstable drone with poor camera that i got for training is not good for work. Now it might be good to find why i should get a $1000+ one, with pretty modest Amazon reviews, instead of newer, cheaper, lower model + one spare. I carry spare piece of EVERY inspection equipment (no need to explain why).

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I’m not bragging about anything. When I purchased equipment to do home inspections or for that matter even in my construction business I buy the best. They last longer and work better.


Sorry for repeating myself for third time, but do you care to elaborate based on what qualities “Mavic Pro Platinum” is “the best” inspection equipment.

There are far more expensive drones, as well as far cheaper. I didn’t open the topic to argue. I’m collecting data, which might be useful for other inspectors.

I’m by no means one of the big boys. Just a single inspector who wouldn’t risk using a cheaper drone during an inspection - again - to much liability. It’s not bragging, it’s just smart.


I’m not arguing with you. Absolutely not! I’m not going to do your research for you. Do your comparison and find out for yourself.
In addition, you seem to be spunky. Calm yourself down and let’s have a rational discussion. Because I don’t care how many times you repeat yourself. Yep!


I use a Phantom 4 pro. It has hit the ground once when a sudden burst of high wind made it meet a brick chimney. It works just fine still. On the everyday side of things this drone is super stable in modest wind, is from a major industry vendor and is considered to be a high end tool. Explaining this is almost like explaining why I would buy a Fluke meter vs an Amazon Chinese special. I want something that comes from a reliable company with a proven track record of success.


Yep the Phantom 4 is heavy enough to be stable in a windy situation.

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Hi Michael. Thank you for the arguments.

The $100 toy that i used for training is VERY unstable, so it hit the house and dropped from heights dozens of times, but still buzzing without a problem. For me it means that the sturdiness is not a problem, so I’m shopping for other qualities.

EDIT: actually i just checked and found that my training toy now is barely $49 US. Bad camera, no stable hovering, small batteries (2) and slow sync. Perfect learning disposable drone.

So it hit Heights and drop down dozens of times?
Man alive ! You truly need more practice LOL.!

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Pro quality vs amazon toys. If you can’t understand the difference without an in depth explanation, you need to do some more research.

If you’re hitting the house “several times”, you should already understand why you shouldn’t even be considering a toy drone for your inspections work. The fact that you’re still having to ask is perplexing. If you can’t avoid hitting the house, you shouldn’t be using it. What happens when it falls into the neighbors house, onto a child, or damages property. Someone’s going to be looking to you for $, and odds are pretty good it will cost you more than the difference between that toy and a more professional grade option.

I buy toys to have fun with, I buy professional grade equipment to work with. It’s my profession, and I equip myself as a professional so I can deliver a professional grade product to my clients. If your buying toys to use professionally, what kind of product will your customers be receiving. What kind of image will you have when bouncing your toys off homes you inspect. How many times will an agent want that call.

I’m all for saving money, but cutting corners on this one could cost you big time.


Please, spare me the altitude! Nobody is intending to use “toy drone” for inspection work. I clearly stated three times (3!!!) that i’m using the $100 drone FOR TRAINING, but you decided to ignore all of them and assumed that I’ll fly it above customer’s houses?!? What’s wrong there? I’m clearly still shopping. Didn’t make any choices yet.

There is a huge market out there between the $20 flying bugs and $20’000 industrial machines.

For an industrial users probably the Mavic is a toy. It doesn’t mean that it hasn’t the perfect set of qualities for someone’s criterias. I respect your choice and just asked for more arguments than “more reliable than a cheap toy”. Pleace, try to contribute.


One new asset just popped on my criteria list - obstacle avoidance during “return home”. Not mandatory, but useful.

Hi Emil
I had a lot of the same thoughts you are having before I purchased a drone. Ultimately I thought of it like any other piece of equipment I have purchased. I never regret over buying but I almost always regret under buying. So I landed on the phantom 4 pro+ and invested in a hard shell case to protect it. Extra batteries are a must cuz 20 minutes goes fast. Considering how much I use it on inspections and what it cost to be licensed and purchase the drone it’s not likely to pay for itself quite a while if at all. I tried offering real estate aerial video to Realtors to try to network and make some extra cash. but all the Realtors said their photographer just does it for free.
Just one of those things without one you are limited but having one isn’t a real huge advantage. I will still always elect to climb up on the roof versus the drone there’s no way you’ll be able to inspect as well on that tiny screen as you could being up on the roof. You never see a drone lift a shingle to verify the step flashings properly installed.
I don’t have any insight for you on the mid-level drones you’re considering. I’ve only flown toys and the phantom 4 pro. I can say I am very happy with the DJI product and its reliability and safety. It shoots 4K 1080p video and it looks amazing. https://youtu.be/t-i3nlYpgrw


Thank you very much Arthur.

No Prob. Good luck with the drone shopping.

I am new to inspections, but have already incorporated drones into my training. I think they are an invaluable investment, and can only bring good things to your portfolio.
I am waiting to hear the reviews of the new Autel Evo 2 dual. It’s suppose to have a 8k camera, and a 640 thermal camera on it, which for the price point, blows everything away! I have decided to go with a higher quality drone, only due to the liability. The drones I’ve looked into, all have obstacle avoidance, return to home, and automatous flight possibles. I also want to add 3D mapping, commercial and industrial inspections to my portfolio.
Good luck Sir!


Welcome to our forum, Collin!..Enjoy! :smile:

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Thank you Collin.

Can you please explain your motivation to invest in thermal imaging for drones? I’m not sayin that it’s useless, but isn’t it overkill? Probably I’m missing something.