This article is written for the people who would like to buy a drone and/or accessories for the drone pilot in their life, but needs some help picking out the perfect gifts. Picking out gifts can be a difficult task! Especially since there are so many different items you could possibly purchase! Well, kind hearted and thoughtful gift giving person, this list is for you.
It really helps if you can figure out which kind of drone the person has, so you can buy specific products that they can use. But there are also gifts that any drone pilot could use too, if you're unsure.
The Best Drone Accessories for Gifts
Gifts Every Drone Pilot Needs
Every drone pilot, photographer or videographer ALWAYS needs more memory cards. Seriously, you can never have enough of them. For most drones (including DJI drones), you need Micro SD cards. For drones, you need a fast card with a lot of space. I'd recommend no less that this 64GB memory card, but if they shoot a lot of photo and video, this 128gb memory card is a better choice.
2. Adobe Creative Cloud
After the photos and videos are shot, you need a way to edit them! Adobe offers the best software for Windows and Mac machines to edit your videos and photos. The full creative cloud suite comes with Adobe Premiere Pro, for editing video, After Effects for creating motion graphics, Lightroom for organizing and editing photos, Photoshop for modification of photos and a whole lot more. Also features 50GB of cloud storage, typekit for webfonts (which is a pretty sweet deal) and adobe's mobile apps as well!
Adobe now uses a subscription model for their products. They offer a few different subscription plans, like for example if you just need photoshop, you can select just that program.
3. Camera & Drone Backpacks
A good camera bag allows you to transport your drone safely and efficiently, but often people skimp out on the backpacks - just keeping their gear in a normal backpack with no individual sections with padding. This drives me nuts! A good bag is an absolute must!
If you're looking for a great all around camera and drone bag, the Lowepro ProTactic 450 AW is a great big camera bag that you can fit a Mavic Pro or smaller drone (Mavic Air, Spark, etc) and still have room for other camera equipment like DSLR's or mirrorless cameras!
If you're looking for a little bit of a smaller bag for the Mavic Air or Spark, the Incase DSLR Pro pack is a great backpack that can also hold a DSLR/Mirrorless camera and a few lenses. I use this bag everyday for work with my Macbook Pro, iPad, notecards, etc and it can still fit my Mavic Air and Canon DSLR. Been using it for over 7 years and it's been to 6 different countries with me! Definitely built to last.
If you're looking for a great hard case, the Pelican 1510 is the gold standard for rugged cases for tons of gear. It has the option for cutout foam spots or gridded compartments. Bonus: it comes with wheels and a telescoping handle. This is the ultimate camera case!
4. External Hard Drives
Shooting all those photos and videos take up a lot of space on your hard drive! You'll quickly find out that your drone friends have stacks and stacks of external hard drives. If they are serious, they'll have two drives with the same photos/videos on them for redundant backups. This gets expensive! Gifting a drone pilot an external hard drive is actually something they will use and rely on, making it a great gift! I have a few recommendations for which drives to get...
The DJI Fly Drive is a USB-C external hard drive, a collaboration between Seagate and and DJI, the drive features a rubber bumper around it for protection and has a micro SD card reader! Note, that the drive needs to be plugged into a computer to use the micro SD card reader - it doesn't offload footage on it's own but it really handy for the new Macbook Pro users that do no have the SD card port on the side of their laptop. I've had one for a few months and on trips, the card reader is really handy. Would recommend!
The LaCie Rugged drives are the bright orange drives with a thick rubberized coating for extra protection. The drives are commonly used in the creative industries and are very reliable. Do recommend if you're looking for a workhorse and can afford them.
These "basic" drives I use most often for day-to-day photos, videos and designs. These are cheaper "basic" external hard drives that don't have any protection or SD card ports, but they still do the job. I always buy 2 drives at a time and use one as a daily workhorse and the other as a backup incase anything happens to the first drive. A little overkill, but it's saved me before since I use these drives pretty hard. Here are a list of my drives I buy, basically choose whichever one is cheapest at the moment.
- Western Digital 1TB at Amazon.com
- Western Digital 2TB at Amazon.com
- Toshiba 1TB at Amazon.com
- Toshiba 2TB at Amazon.com
5. ND & Polarizing Lens Filters
This gift requires you to know which drone the person has, but filters are one of the accessories that everyone drone pilot needs! ND filters help control how much light comes into the lens, so you can have the correct settings for your drone. Polarizing filters allow you to cut out the glare on water and reflective surfaces! There are a lot of different combinations of filters, but linked below are the standard sets of filters I recommend (ND filters) - along with some other helpful filters (Polarizing and Polarizing + ND).
No matter how many batteries you have, it seems like there are still never enough. A battery sounds like a weird gift, but it's actually a very useful gift when you think about it. If you're at a great location and use up all of your batteries, that's the end of the day whether you like it or not. More batteries the better! Here are links to some different batteries. Make sure you know what model of drone you're buying batteries for though, for the most part, these batteries aren't interchangeable.
Keeping batteries charged is a constant struggle for a drone pilot. They take around an hour to charge and 25 (give or take) minutes to deplete. The more batteries you have, the more you have to charge - having a car charger helps you charge batteries on the go which it convenient day-to-day, and a must on road trips. I've listed all the different models below, each model has a different charger. Be sure to choose the correct one!
Landing pads are nice to have for any drone. They offer a great surface to take off and land from when you're on uneven terrain, which is more often that you'd think! Plus, they make a great 'add-on' gift to any gift above since they're usually pretty cheap (but useful!).
The best of the best accessory for DJI drones, Crystal Sky. The best of the best accessory comes with a heavy price tag, though! The crystal sky is an ultra-bright monitor that lets you see clearly in direct sunlight and used the DJI GO 4 app to provide a great view of the sky! Super cool for the high-end drone pilot! If you're getting the Crystal Sky, make sure to buy the mounting bracket to attach to your remote controller!