Here are the three things you should buy after you buy your drone:
- Spare batteries
- PolarPro Trekker backpack (or equivalent)
- PolarPro lens filters (or equivalent)
Flying the drone and capturing footage is mesmerizing, but to fly for longer periods of time, more accessories are needed. After buying the DJI Phantom 3 Pro, it didn’t take long for me to realize what I needed to buy next.
Having these accessories will make your drone flying experience better. The batteries will give you the option to fly longer, the backpack is for easy carry and access while traveling, and the filters are for capturing that perfect shot.
Luckily, there are “Fly More Kits” that can be purchased with some drones, which might help with the cost. I recommend shopping around, even on buy/sell apps and websites to see if you can make your own “fly more kit”. Bet you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for without paying the MSRP price tag.
Here is a list of the extra accessories I bought after a few drone flights:
- Spare batteries (make a total of 3)
- PolarPro Drone Trekker backpack
- PolarPro filters (CP, ND4, ND8)
- Range extenders (I do not recommend getting these. They didn’t work out well.)
Other accessories that I thought about getting were other PolarPro filters and an iPad. Additional filters would give more cinematic options, however I was still trying to learn the basics, so I decided that the filters I had were good enough for now. The iPad would have given a bigger FPV screen while flying, however, I figured for the cost, it wouldn’t be worth it. I was content with using my iPhone X.
Where to get the accessories:
The market for drone accessories can be costly. To help decrease the cost, I bought the spare batteries and the PolarPro backpack on the buy/sell app, OfferUp. I was able to find spare batteries for about $50 each and the backpack for $50. The batteries were used but still worked well, and the backpack was brand new. Considering that brand new batteries were about $150 and the MSRP for the PolarPro Trekker backpack was $120, the buy/sell app was a great choice for me as a beginner drone pilot.
You can definitely buy any of these on Amazon or directly through the brands’ websites. It is possible that there might be a sale, which could persuade you to buy the accessories brand new.
Why spare batteries?
More flight time. The lithium batteries will only power the drone for about 30 minutes or less. I’ve heard that some drones have the ability to fly a couple minutes longer than 30 minutes, but the standard flight time for a fully charged battery is going to be less than 30 minutes.
Having spare batteries has been one of the best additions I made. While 30 minutes might seem like a long enough time to fly and capture the shots I was looking for, having the extra 30-60 minutes of flight time allowed me to use the first 30 minutes to scope around and practice the photos or video I was aiming for.
Why the travel pack?
Easy carry everywhere. The PolarPro Trekker backpack was great. For the adventure or travel drone pilot, I highly recommend this backpack. It is durable, high quality, and well worth the cost, even at MSRP. It fit the drone and all components, extra accessories, and even had extra pockets to store a laptop, notebook, or snacks.
With the PolarPro Trekker backpack, I was able to store the drone and all accessories in a central location. There was even enough room to add my GoPro and accessories. I used the backpack to bring my drone on every adventure, and I felt as though I had quick access to my drone and was able to organize everything how I wanted it. Through all of the offroad travels I went on, it never let me down.
Why the camera filters?
Better exposure and color control. Without being a photographer, this is the best way I can describe it. It is like putting polarized sunglasses on the camera lens. The sun doesn’t get in the way of the shot nearly as much and the camera is able to capture more color and detail in every shot.
I flew without filters for a few months, and when I finally bought the filters, it was a world of difference. It also makes postproduction editing easier with less exposure and color correcting. Filters are a must have.
Range Extenders- Don’t bother getting them.
What a let down. I bought the range extenders with hopes that they would help with the reception to the drone, but after a couple of flights, I never saw a difference. The best way to fly the drone with no worries that it will lose reception is to fly line-of-sight. If there is a setting that automates the drone to return to the home station when reception is lost, even better.
A Fun, Creative Experience.
With these few additions to fly a drone, it has been a fun and creative experience. Like with everything else, practice makes perfect. I still have footage from my first flights. Compared to what I capture now, there is a noticeable difference. Some of the quality is from using lens filters. There are some other tweaks I’ve made to make sure the photos come out the best quality possible, but filters are a must. I love the PolarPro Trekker backpack. Since I’ve sold my Phantom 3 Pro, I’ve been searching for an alternative option to pack and travel with my new, compact drone, the Mavic 2 Pro. Even still, I have a way to transport and carry the drone safely, and I have easy access to the drone to bring it out to capture the perfect shot.