Newbie from Gloucestershire with questions

Hi all, have recently been looking at getting into flying drones as a move from flying paragliders for many years and I’ve joined GADC to find out a bit more about it before getting a first drone. I love the quality of the aerial videos and photos I’ve seen on youtube and on this forum and I’m swaying towards a mavic mini due to it’s size/cost etc.
Would anyone suggest a better first drone for travel/cost/good image quality.
Also I have some concerns about how easy it is to find suitable places to fly without upsetting the rest of the world, I understand not flying in restricted airspace and I can accept not flying over National Trust land even if I don’t agree with the NT policy on drones but is it fairly easy to find suitable sites otherwise? Seems like there’s lots of anti-drone people out there!

Thanks for any advice,


Hi Rich , and welcome to the the family.

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Hi Rich. Welcome.
Check out Dronescene (below). Also, don’t worry about the public, you have as much right to indulge in your hobby as anyone else.


Hi Richard, welcome to GADC

Don’t get too hung up about flying over NT land, be prepared for some early or late starts and fly over when the property isn’t open (and get some nice golden hour footage in the process.)

Dronescene is the best tool for finding out about where to fly but you may find yourself using Google Earth / Streetview and the definitive rights of way map for your county as additional means of planning a trip.

The pyblic I have encountered either smile politely as they pass by or stop to chat, maybe its just me acting as if I have every right to be there (I do - mostly) and smiling at them as they approach that helps me be non-confrontational.

As to the best drone - it’s an individual choice. If I were in the market with limited funds I would consider a Mini, they are very capable for the money but there seems to be a trend for people to own them for a few weeks then trade up.

If I could afford it my choice would be a Mavic Air 2 as giving the most bang for the buck, I have the original Mavic Air and am very pleased with the results. It’s small enough to be carried in a combat jacket pocket with controller and 3 batteries in the other pockets if you feel like travelling light.

The long awaited Mavic 3 has yet to arrive - it will be interesting to see what the performance / price balance is on that one.

I may be wrong but I think most of us here tend to manually fly the aircraft so that orbit, tracking spiral modes are less important.

Good luck and have fun searching for your aircraft!


Hi Rich and welcome to GADC.

What sort of budget did you have in mind @RichGBiscuit ?

That’ll affect the recommendations you receive :slight_smile:

Welcome richGBiscuit :ok_hand::ok_hand:

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Looking at the prices, there seems to be a big jump between £400-500 for mavic mini and the better dji models. £500 seems about right in terms of budget for a starter. Haven’t really looked at other manufacturers though.

Thanks for the advice. It’s put my mind more at ease about flying sites. There’s a lot of beautiful NT land near to me and when I read their policy about drones I thought it would be an issue. I understand not flying over their properties with members of the public present but much of it is open land.

You can fly over. Just ‘technically’ you cant take off or land on their land. Which is stupid, because it’s really our land.

I’d be looking for a Mavic Air 1 fly more combo I think :+1:t2:

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I’m starting to think the same. Better camera controls (iso/white balance etc) and 4k certainly appeal to me. Would you ever recommend buying second hand?

Seems like a sensible approach to flying should be enough then, thanks

Hi mate, I’m a newbie also. Just bought a mavic mini as a starter drone yesterday with the fly more extras and having just had it out for a practice flight (used all three batteries) I have to say as a starter drone, its fantastic. It’s really intuitive to fly and practice with. My point is, I’d be wary of buying a more expensive version as a first drone until you have the confidence to upgrade. At least that’s my opinion anyway.

I’ve never flown a proper drone before other than toys and always wrecked them on the first outing. The mini is head and shoulders above the toys.

Thanks for the info. Certainly the reviews of the mini are fantastic so I guess I won’t go far wrong with either a mini or an Air. Both appear to have great features and lots of happy fliers! I’m sure they both have some trade offs like the mini struggling in higher winds and no raw photos files but for the price and weight it looks great.

And come the new regs it’s going to be the drone to own if you want to fly near people or buildings

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The daft thing is that the NT haven’t taken out any new byelaw to prevent drones from their land, they are using wording from a byelaw taken out in 1964! Which states that a mechanically propelled vehicle, boat or aircraft cannot be driven, parked, moored or landed on NT land without permission.

I’m suddenly wanting to take my Inspire and attach floats with wheels underneath.

Then I can drive, park, land and moor my aircraft on NT land

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Hi Rich , welcome to GADC , I’m fairly new and only know what I fraction of what the others know but if I was looking to start with a budget of £500 I would be looking at a good second hand mavic pro or platinum, I started with a mini and although I upgraded I still own and use the mini and I still love it I only upgraded to mavic 2 pro to better handle the wind as I don’t get many days to fly , the other members here will put you right , you won’t regret taking up the hobby or joining GADC.

Hi Rich,

I am new to flying drones and just purchased the mavic air 2 a few days ago, not used it yet as it’s been raining here for the last few days.

Going from what i saw on youtube about the mavic air 2, think this will keep me busy for a while and looks easy enough to fly for first timers as well…

Whatever you get it will keep you busy no doubt and smiling, good luck.