DH enjoys taking photos and video. Nothing fancy - just with his phone. A couple of months ago he wanted to get some aerial pics/video over our property, so he found a young local guy who has a drone and could come out. It would be $80. DH wanted him to come out several times over the course of our building process to record it. So the kid met DH out there to do a "before".......only as soon as he got his drone up something happened and he crashed it. So, no pics or video. $80 (or more) times several visits was going to be costly. I told DH he might as well get his own drone, then he'll have the pics and video AND own it!
For our anniversary present last month we bought a drone for him. He had researched them for awhile and decided on the brand he wanted. There is one for about $600 (with all the accessories) and one for $1000. Apparently the main difference in price was due to the $1000 drone having 4k video. Which apparently if you don't have something that plays 4k, what's the point? He doesn't need professional videos. He'd also seen several videos people have done with the $600 one and for what he wants it was fine quality. The battery life is about 5 minutes less on the cheaper one, too, but it comes with 2 batteries. I also did not want to spend $1000 on something he might crash and destroy! I didn't want to spend $600 either, but oh well.
The drone was $580-$600 on every website I checked. But in my checking prices I did notice that Kohl's sells it, also $600. I couldn't use any Kohl's coupons towards it (darn!) but I could earn Kohl's cash at the time. $10 per $50 spent, which earned me $120 back in Kohl's cash. I also earned another $30 in Kohl's Yes2You rewards cash, so $150 total. Basically that brought the price down to $450, which I felt was a good deal. I was able to use the $150 Kohls cash for things I needed for clothing for myself and things for the home. I was also supposed to earn 2% Swagbucks, but of course didn't get that, and I'm trying to resolve getting that $12.
He's been practicing with it the past few weeks. Fortunately we live in a rural area, so lots of space to fly it. He's starting out in "beginner mode" and getting the hang of it. When the battery gets low or if it loses its connection with your phone, it automatically comes back to it's starting point, which is cool. He's taken several videos here at our house and several out at the property. He took it out to the property Tuesday because he wanted to capture all the snow we got. He's up high enough with it that you can see the river floating by off to the side of the videos. Yesterday was a blue sky sunny day and I said he should get brave and fly the drone over the river and capture that, especially as the river has ice chunks floating down it.
It was about lunch time when he decided to go and asked me to go with, to keep an eye on where the drone is going, since it's hard for him when he has to look at his phone screen most of the time. I took a lunch hour and we traipsed through the foot of snow on our property to get towards the river bank, so he could start from there. Once he got up high I lost sight of it! I could hear it, but couldn't tell where it was. Eeek! But we kept hearing it, so we knew it was still flying. It was so sunny he was having trouble seeing his screen on his phone and then he realized he lost connection with the drone. Shortly after he said that I could hear the drone coming closer. It was on it's way back to it's starting position. Whew! Each battery only lasts about 12 min or so. He still had battery life left on this first one, so tried again. This time he went and stood in the shade and only watched his screen, while I tried to keep an eye on the drone. But once he went up really high with it I couldn't see it anymore. It's a tiny thing, not much bigger than a cell phone. But he brought it back and all was good. More practice with it under his belt.
On the way to our property we pass a one lane bridge and I said he should try it off of there and video the river, so on our way back we stopped and he used his second battery for that. He ended up walking down to edge of river (it's not as steep there as our property) and I stood up on the bridge to watch. He did really good, even flew it under the bridge a couple of times and over the top of it.
He's also learning how to use Windows Movie Maker for editing. It's great - it's giving him something to do and keep busy with. I'm loving that. LOL. He's a perfectionist, so he'll spend hours editing the videos and finding songs to put with them. It was a great purchase, I think. Now - if it will just last long enough through our build, without crashing! LOL
Here's an amazing picture he got yesterday, over the river, next to our property.