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Three Tips For Amazing Drone Photos: Drone Adventurer Shares Secrets from his Masterclass


Johan Vandenhecke is a professional drone photographer based out of Belgium. He’s traveled the world for the perfect shot – and now, he’s developed the Drone Adventurer Masterclass to share his skills with drone enthusiasts and pros who want to up their game. Here, Johan shares his top three tips for amazing drone photos.
“It takes more than these 3 tips to take amazing drone shots,” says Johan. “You need to learn about settings, filters, composition, subjects, story telling, editing in Lightroom, and selling yourself to partners/brands.
However, these are 3 easy strategies that anyone can apply today to improve their images.”
1) Shoot during golden hour
“This one might seem cliche, but I can’t stress the golden hour enough,” says Johan. “I still see so many drone shots taken during the day with harsh sunlight.”
“Golden hour happens during the first hour of sunlight in the morning or the last hour in the evening,” Johan explains. “The big advantage is that you’ll have soft yellow-orange light and long shadows which will add a touch of magic to your photo. Of course, shooting during golden hour takes a bit more planning, but I assure you the result will be so much better!”
three tips for amazing drone photos2) Use AEB photo mode
“I discovered this one quite early on in my drone career, but I don’t have the impression it’s widely used among drone photographers,” says Johan. “AEB stands for “Auto Exposure Bracketing,” and it basically means you’ll take 5 photos at the same time, instead of just 1,” he explains. “Each photo will have a slightly different exposure, so you capture all the highlights and all the details in the shadows. Afterwards you can merge them into 1 HDR photo, which will have so much more dynamic range to work with.”
“A good example is a drone photo that includes a subject with some shadow bits and a beautiful sky in the background. If you don’t want your sky to be blown out and still have those nice clouds, that’s where AEB comes in handy.”
3) Don’t be afraid to fly (legally, of course.)
“I know it’s an expensive piece of equipment and yes, it can crash,” says Johan. “But that doesn’t mean you should treat it like your grandma’s porcelain dishes! Your drone is definitely smarter than you. It will stay in the air and even come back when you lose the connection.” (Johan uses a Mavic 2 Pro.)
“So, practice a lot, push it to its limits, fly out even when its windy, fly over water, behind trees or rocks … because that’s where you’ll take your best photos.”
three tips for amazing drone photosJohan Vandenhecke is a professional drone photographer from Belgium. For the last 2 years, Johan has traveled all over the world to take the most beautiful and creative drone shots with his Mavic 2 Pro.
Over the last 6 months, Johan has developed the first ever Drone Adventurer Masterclass, where he teaches you exactly how to take those amazing drone shots and cinematic videos. “I take you from drone pilot to confident Drone Adventurer, just like me!,” says Johan. Follow Johan at his website, or on Instagram.


The government blacklisted DJI drones, but some drone companies are more confused than worried



‘In the short term, we don’t see a big problem here’

Last week, the US Department of Commerce put Chinese drone maker DJI on its Entity List, limiting how it can work with US companies. The news startled DJI’s huge American user base, including companies that rely on DJI for entire fleets of commercial drones. But it’s likely less onerous than it initially sounded — even if, like many Trump administration decisions, it comes with a dose of uncertainty.

The Trump administration has repeatedly used sanctions to crack down on Chinese tech giants, sometimes on nebulous or disputed grounds. It banned US companies from dealing with Huawei and ZTE, and it’s pursued confusing, legally ambiguous bans on the Chinese social apps WeChat and TikTok. While the Entity List is primarily meant for restricting companies that threaten national security, DJI is being censured for enabling “wide-scale human rights abuses within China,” following reports that it provided surveillance drones for Chinese detention camps.
“Banning DJI would devastate the US drone industry — but that’s seemingly not happening”

Completely banning DJI drones would be a catastrophic blow to the industry — but early indications suggest that’s not happening. DJI dominates hobbyist and commercial small drone sales, thanks to its comparatively low prices, sophisticated designs, and early entry to the market. “It’s the equivalent of taking Apple out of the smartphone game,” says Daniel Windham, a geographic information system (GIS) specialist who works with DJI drones.

After the announcement, however, DJI asserted that Americans could still buy its products. “DJI is disappointed in the US Department of Commerce’s decision. Customers in America can continue to buy and use DJI products normally,” the company said in a statement.

That tallies with other companies’ interpretation of the order. “The challenge with the order has been just figuring it out,” says Mike Winn, CEO of drone data analysis company DroneDeploy. “Our understanding, after talking to lots of experts and lawyers, is that US companies are restricted from exporting US technologies.” Companies can get around this by applying for a license — something that has allowed Intel, for instance, to continue working with Huawei. “I think in the short term, we don’t see a big problem here.”
““At this point, we simply don’t have enough data.””

Limiting engagement with DJI could still cause trouble for companies that sell components to the company, and it could force DJI to adapt its supply chain. But for people buying, using, and reselling the drones, it would be less of a problem. “Often, this type of order restricts a foreign company from purchasing US products. If that is the case, there would be zero impact,” says Kerry Garrison, general manager of drone vendor Multicopter Warehouse. Garrison notes that the federal government had already placed restrictions on buying the Chinese-made drones, although it could cause larger problems if the government bans using federal grants to buy them. “At this time, we simply don’t have enough data yet to really know for sure what this will all amount to.”

The Trump administration announced its ban just a month before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office, and it’s unclear what tack Biden will take toward the drone maker. But Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, believes there’s not much political appetite for loosening restrictions on China. “Any of these actions that they would reverse would have a political cost,” Chorzempa says. And since DJI isn’t accused of violating a concrete sanctions rule or creating a specific technical vulnerability, there’s not a simple fix for getting taken off the list.

Even if the ban stands, though, DJI’s business may be unusually well-structured to withstand cutoffs. “While I’m sure there’s going to be some changes for DJI, they are a very highly vertically integrated company and they produce a lot of their own hardware,” says Winn. DJI’s drones benefit immensely from US-made software applications, but these are built on top of DJI’s own software development kit. It’s not tied to an American-made operating system the way that phone maker Huawei depended on Google — a dependence that has locked phone buyers out of popular Android apps.
“Rivals have still called to “think twice” about using DJI”

Some competitors have nonetheless hailed the DJI ban as an opportunity. The decision “sends an unmistakable signal to the marketplace: companies should think twice about doing business with a known violator of human rights,” said Brendan Groves, the policy head at rival drone company Skydio. Similarly, open-source drone platform Auterion argued that the blacklisting would make “every transaction” with DJI a legal risk, pushing businesses toward US-made alternatives.

But Winn doesn’t think DJI will be supplanted anytime soon. “We think it’s very exciting that there are more options. But the reality is that DJI has about 75 percent market share.” If it were truly shut out of the American market, it would leave a “big, big hole” to fill. “We don’t yet know of a company that could do that,” he says.


Best cheap drone 2021: avoid sky-high prices with these top beginners’ drones


Best cheap drone 2021: avoid sky-high prices with these top beginners’ drones

We rank the best budget drones UK, ideal for beginners and children

best cheap drone: Potensic A20
(Image credit: Potensic)

Thanks to tech innovation from the bigger drone brands, today’s best cheap drones  are better than ever before. These days, ‘affordable’ doesn’t have to mean a tiny, out of control drone that shoots across the room then explodes against a wall. Cheap drones are now more user-friendly than ever, and pack features like decent camera stabilisation, GPS locking, intelligent flight control and even 4K shooting.

If you want something more advanced and have cash to splash, head to our general best drones guide. Equally, if you want something super-basic, our best kids drone guide will sort you out. If not, all of the quadcopters featured in our best budget drones  guide present a great way to learn essential flight skills and control, and for exploring how to capture great aerial videos and stills, before progressing onto a larger drone with more advanced features.

Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to improve your skills before upgrading to a bigger and better model, rest assured there’s an affordable drone for you. Top brands you can expect to see cropping up time and again in this category include Ryze, Holy Stone, Syma, Eachine and Hubsan.

Before you take to the skies, there are a few bits of housekeeping you’ll need to take care of. Head to our drone regulations explainer or the CAA website for more info, and pay heed to these drone safety guidelines before you take to the skies.

How to choose the best budget drone for you

Budget drones cost a fraction of the big players from the likes of DJI and Parrot, but what do these reduced prices buy you? Up to £50, you’ll find limited features, a basic build and basic flight control. This means somewhat tricky flight without stabilisation.

Step up to the £50-£100 price bracket and features take a decent leap in quality. These drones may lack a controller, instead favouring the use of a mobile app, and the camera won’t produce the most cinematic footage you’ve seen, but flight features should be spot on.

Hit the £100-200 mark and you’ll get access to a higher resolution camera and a dedicated controllers to help you properly get to grips with essential piloting skills. The motors may also have a little more grunt and be better tuned for outdoor flight.

You’ll find more guidance if our article on what to look for in a toy drone. Ready to find the best cheap drone for your skill level and budget? These are our current top picks to get you flying today…

The best cheap drones to buy right now

best budget drone: Ryze Tello

(Image credit: Ryze)

1. Ryze Tello

The best cheap drone overall, thanks to flight tech by DJI

Best for: Learning the ropes
Type: Mini drone/education
Weight: 80g
Reasons to buy
+Flight technology designed by DJI+Programmable+Lightweight

There are no drones in this price bracket that come anywhere near the specifications and flexibility of the Tello. Designed by Ryze and featuring flight technology from DJI, the comparisons with the larger craft are instantly apparent. If you own a DJI Mavic and are looking for a training drone, then look no further. The Tello is also fully programmable, so you can code in Scratch and then upload your own modes and flight characteristics, making it an ideal educational tool. The level of coding is aimed at teaching kids, but there’s plenty here for everyone, whatever the age, flight skill or coding ability.

For two years running, this quality quadcopter has picked up the T3 Award for Best Budget Drone. Head to our Ryze Tello review for more info, or see how it matches up against a similarly priced competitor in our Ryze Tello vs Potensic Elfin faceoff.

Best cheap drones for beginners: Holy Stone HS100 GPS FPV

2. Holy Stone HS100 GPS FPV

The best cheap drone for aerial photography beginners

Best for: Filming in HD
Type: Camera drone
Weight: 700g
Reasons to buy
+1080p HD camera+15-minutes flight time+500-metre range

Designed to introduce aerial photography novices to the world of cinematic drone photography, at the front of the Holy Stone HS100 GPS FPV is an optimised 1080p Wi-Fi camera with 120-degree field of view and 90-degree adjustable angle, ensuring you can capture quality footage or stills and experiment with shots from multiple perspectives. The drone is also suitable for use with VR or first-person view goggles. Follow Me mode is on-hand to further boost the dynamic of your shots, enabling the drone to automatically follow a subject and keep it in the frame at all times – ideal for epic selfies or shooting fast-moving activity.

The Holy Stone HS100 also comes equipped with GPS precise positioning, ensuring smooth flight and the ability to return to the take-off point at the touch of a button, or as a safety measure if the battery or signal drops. Headless Mode and Altitude Hold take the stress out of flying so pilots can focus on getting their shots in the bag.

best cheap drone: Potensic Elfin

(Image credit: Potensic)

3. Potensic Elfin drone

A well-made and robust little drone that’s easy to fly

Best for: Easy control
Type: Camera drone
Weight: 95g
Reasons to buy
+Rapid, responsive flier+Easy to control and good hovering+Decent battery life
Reasons to avoid
Very average cameraCan’t be flown in wind

The Potensic Elfin is a robust camera drone aimed at beginners. Potensic’s most advanced toy drone, it proves to be a rapid, responsive and highly manoeuvrable flier. We were impressed with how easy it is to fly, although you’ll only want to take it outside on very calm days – like many sub-250g budget drones, the Elfin does not like wind. If you attempt to fly it beyond its maximum range of 50m, it’ll attempt to land itself automatically, and there’s a ‘headless’ mode in which the drone will automatically align itself with the pilot’s position, no matter which way it is facing, and respond to control inputs accordingly. There are a few fun features to explore too: you can plot a course on your phone’s touchscreen for the Elfin to follow, and it will take a photo when you throw up a peace sign with your hand, or start video recording when you wave at its camera.

Where this drone falls short is in its photo and video quality. Although it’s in line with many budget drones, here the Elfin is clearly outshone by the similarly-priced Ryze Tello, with its in-built video stabilisation software. Head to our Potensic Elfin drone review for more info, or see how it matches up against a cheaper competitor in our Potensic Elfin vs Eachine E58 Pro showdown.

Best cheap drones for beginners: Potensic A20 Mini Drone

(Image credit: Potensic)

4. Potensic A20 Mini Drone

This budget option is a brilliant choice for kids

Best for: Learning the ropes
Type: Toy
Weight: 191g
Reasons to buy
+Very easy to fly+From one of the world’s best drone manufacturers
Reasons to avoid
No photography or video capabilitiesToo lightweight to fly outside

The Potensic A20 is a great option for kids keen to try out their drone skills for the first time. As a beginner’s drone, it does what it says on the tin, with all the features you’d expect: well-protected propellers for those inevitable bumps and scrapes, an emergency stop button for those times when your little darlings fly a little too close to the dog/oven/baby and an un-ignorable low power alarm. It’s a breeze to fly, too – one-touch take off and landing controls allow kids to grasp the basics of drone flying in record time. It comes with two extra rechargeable batteries, which is good because you’ll only get around nine minutes of airtime on one charge (it’s advertised as 10-13 minutes). The main limitation is that while the A20 is robust enough to handle a few minor collisions without falling out of the sky, it’s really too lightweight to handle being flown outdoors. Head to our Potensic A20 mini drone review for more info.

Best cheap drones for beginners: Parrot Swing Quadcopter and Plane Minidrone

5. Parrot Swing Quadcopter and Plane Minidrone

Pull off barrel rolls and vertical loops with this dinky stunt drone

Best for: Aerial maneuvers
Type: Stunt drone
Weight: 1,500g
Reasons to buy
+Easy-to-use controller+Looks super-cool

Though it’s no longer officially sold by Parrot, the Swing Quadcopter and Plane Minidrone proves eternally popular with beginners and younger drone pilots. It also means you can often find it on sale for a criminally low price. One of the coolest picks in our best cheap drones for beginner’s round-up, the Parrot Swing looks a little like something out of the Star Wars franchise, and is just as thrilling in the air. This dinky drone is made for performing aerial stunts, and loves nothing more than pulling off vertical loops, half loops and barrel rolls. It’s also capable of vertical take-off and landing.

Controlling this beginner’s drone is made easier thanks to the inclusion of a Parrot Flypad, which also extends the drone’s flight range up to 196ft. However, remember that you must keep the drone in sight at all times to fly in accordance with UK regulations. As for the top speed, the Parrot Swing Quadcopter and Plane Minidrone can reach up to 18.6mph in good weather. Basically, if you want a fun cheap drone for blasting around open fields and pulling off crazy aerial stunts, this little Parrot is a no-brainer.

Best cheap drones for beginners: Potensic D85

(Image credit: Potensic)

6. Potensic D85

An ideal camera drone for getting started with FPV

Best for: Filming in HD
Type: Camera drone
Weight: 600g
Reasons to buy
+20-minute flight time+Dual GPS sensors+Comprehensive flight modes

The D85 drone is well-suited to those wanting to take some confident first steps in flying FPV (first-person view), or flying at speed. It’s easy to get started with and offers plenty of features for the low price. There are various flight modes, including Point of Interest, Return to Home and Follow Me. A futurist design instantly makes the Potensic D85 stand out among many of the others featured in our best cheap drones list. Featuring full dual GPS, this drone is ultra-easy to use and has an average flight time of 20 minutes per battery charge. An upgradable camera option enables you to swap the 1080p camera for your own GoPro, making the D85 a solid option for anyone looking to get some high-quality aerial footage from their action camera.

If it’s FPV flying you’re interested in the new DJI FPV drone is designed to be easy to fly for anyone (although it certainly can’t be considered a ‘cheap’ drone).

Best cheap drones for beginners: Syma X8 Pro

7. Syma X8 Pro

The best cheap drone for mastering aerial photography skills

Best for: Exploring aerial photography
Type: Camera drone
Weight: 1.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Multiple shooting modes+720p HD camera+Novice mode for nervous flyers

The X8 Pro is a great cheap drone for learning the aerial photography ropes. As such, stability in the air is key. Thanks to built-in GPS, the drone is capable of holding its position, even if the wind picks up. The on-board 720p HD camera, complete with adjustable angle, is more than capable of producing quality footage and stills in the right conditions. A live feed from the camera is beamed straight to your smartphone to ensure you get your framing right.

Budding Spielbergs have a range of automatic video modes at their fingertips: ‘Orbiting’ flies the drone around the person holding the controller; ‘Follow Me’ tracks the subject and keeps them in shot wherever they move; and ‘Flight Plan’ enables pilots to tap any point on the map within the Syma Fly app and the drone will automatically fly to that position. If you’re a nervous flyer, the Syma X8 Pro offer two modes which limit the flying range of the drone. Novice Mode in particular is ideal, restricting the flight radius to 30-metres from the take-off point. As your confidence grows that can be bumped up to around 70-metres.

best cheap drone: Eachine E58 Pro

(Image credit: Rich Owen)

8. Eachine E58 Pro

This budget drone packs lots of features for the price

Best for: Feature-packed
Type: Camera drone
Weight: 249g
Reasons to buy
+Lots of features+1080p camera
Reasons to avoid
Short battery lifeShaky video footage

The Eachine E58 Pro makes it into our best cheap drone roundup based on the features and extras you get for your cash. The lightweight, plastic body is more robust that it first appears, and it’s a speedy flier, even on it’s slowest propellor setting. You can plot a route on your phone for the E58 Pro to follow, and there’s a ‘headless’ mode in which the drone will respond in the direction of the inputs from the controller – regardless of its orientation. It also packs a 1080P camera (our #1 rated Ryze Tello only has 720p), and the image depth and colour saturation on video is pretty good, although the lack of camera stabilisation means footage is jerky.

On the down-side, it’s one of the harder beginners’ drones to fly, and battery life is on the short side – you’ll get around seven minutes of flight time per battery. Like most drones in this list, it doesn’t cope at all well with wind, and in fact has a tendency to drift even when flying indoors. Find out more in our full Eachine E58 Pro review, or see how it differs from our #1 cheap drone in our E58 Pro vs Ryze Tello drone comparison.

The best cheap drones for beginners: Hubsan H502S X4

9. Hubsan X4 H502S

The best cheap drone for GPS and stable flight

Best for: Taking anywhere
Type: Outdoor flying/FPV
Weight: 155g
Reasons to buy
+Ultra-compact drone+GPS enables steadier flight

The original Husban X4 changed the microdrone market, and now several generations on the compact X4 H502S is still a formidable craft. It features full GPS which enables steady flight more akin to larger drones than one of this size. The GPS makes the X4 H502S incredibly easy to control outside. GPS also enables advanced features such as follow me where you can get the drone to track you autonomously. What makes this drone stand out for beginners is that it has an auto return to home feature, so if things do go astray or you lose control or sight of the craft then a quick push of the home button and the H502S will come back to its take-off spot.

Best cheap drones for beginners: Eachine E520S

(Image credit: Eachine)

10. Eachine E520S

Keenly-priced GPS-equipped travel drone with 4K camera

Best for: Value
Type: GPS and 5G equipped
Weight: 780g
Reasons to buy
+GPS and 5G video streaming+Great price+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
Hard to get hold of

This folding budget drone from Shenzhen, China is proof positive that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a drone with GPS, high-speed wifi technology and autonomous flight modes. The E520S looks like a mini version of the DJI Mavic while the hand controller (replete with a spring mount for an Android or iOS phone) is almost identical to that of the Mavic Air. Nevertheless, it’s a great low-cost, intermediate package for those on a learning curve towards a bona fide DJI model.

The E520S is about the size of a DJI Spark and comes equipped with GPS, 5G wifi streaming up to a distance of 250 metres and a USB-charged battery that lasts about 15 minutes. It also comes with a raft of automated features including return to home, auto take off and land, waypoint, follow-me and orbit. That’s pretty darn good for a drone for such a low.

Mind, the jury’s out on the quality of the front-mounted camera which supposedly shoots in 4K. Granted, the image quality isn’t terrible but it certainly isn’t up to the same level of 4K footage that the DJI and Parrot drones produce. Perhaps more importantly, the camera isn’t attached to a gimbal and that means any video you shoot will be quite jumpy and, well, unstable. You can, however, tilt the camera by hand before take off.

Despite being really noisy, the E520S flies amazingly well for a cheap drone – it’s stable in anything bar a stiff breeze and is great fun to fly. If you can’t afford to fork out on a DJI model or don’t wish to spend a load of dough on something that may eventually crash or end up in a tree, then put this one on the list.

Best cheap drones for beginners: Parrot Mambo

(Image credit: Parrot)

11. Parrot Mambo Fly

Stable indoor flight doesn’t come much better than this

Best for: Indoor flying
Type: Toy
Weight: 64g
Reasons to buy
+Cheap and cheerful+Rock-steady indoor flight

In the pantheon of indoor toy drones, the acrobatic Parrot Mambo is a master of stability. Like the rest of Parrot’s Mini Drone roster, this little fella hovers in one spot so perfectly that you could pop off to put the kettle on and when you return it’ll still be in the same place. You fly it using the Freeflight 3 app (Apple and Andoid) which can take a bit of getting used to since there is no feedback when your thumbs are resting on smooth glass. But hey, this thing’s so easy to fly you’ll have it mastered in seconds.

Aside from the drone-only option, the Mambo also comes with clip-on fittings that allow it to shoot tiny balls at a target or pick up items the weight of a sugar lump. Mate it to the optional Parrot Flypad hand controller for an even more accurate flying experience or grab the FPV pack for the full immersive monty.

Best cheap drones for beginners: Yuneec Breeze

12. Yuneec Breeze

A compact beginner’s drone for capturing life on the go

Best for: Selfies
Type: Personal drone
Weight: 385g
Reasons to buy
+Capture high-quality stills and videos+Perfect for taking selfies
Reasons to avoid

The Breeze has been around for a while and although ageing still offers exceptional value for money. It packs in-flight features that will be familiar to all drone pilots with advanced options such as Selfie mode, Orbit and follow me. You can even program the Breeze through the app to follow a set route guide by its integrated GPS system. The Breeze is ideal for use almost anywhere, it’s great fun to use to shoot selfies with friends and the orbit and follow modes are fun additions. If you want a good quality drone that’s easy to fly, at this price you can’t go wrong with the Yuneec Breeze.

Best cheap drones for beginners: Nikko Air DRL Race Vision 220 FPV Pro

13. Nikko Air DRL Race Vision 220 FPV Pro

Take pole position with the best cheap drone for racing

Best for: High speed flight
Type: Racing drone
Weight: 2,180g
Reasons to buy
+Immersive FPV experience+25mph top speed

If you have your eyes set on a future career as a high-flying racing drone pilot, the Nikko Air DRL Race Vision 220 FPV Pro is a great place to start. Designed in collaboration with the Drone Racing League, the Nikko Air is made to fly at high-ish speeds – up to 25mph – and can be piloted using a controller with integrated colour LCD screen, or via the included FPV goggles to give you a truly immersive drone racing experience. Granted, the view through the goggles is pretty poor but it’s good enough to see where the drone’s going.

Three flight modes limit the speed to help pilots master the controls gradually and propeller guards are supplied for complete newbies, while 16 pre-programmed stunts can be performed at the touch of a button. Up front is a 130 degree adjustable wide angle camera lens which gives you a wider field of view when racing or maneuvering around tricky obstacles.

New consumer drone regulations

Given the regularity of news about wayward drone operators flying their craft in an irresponsible manner, it was only a matter of time before the authorities considered ramping up the regulations. As a result, all owners of drones weighing between 250g and 20kg (that’s basically all the drones on this page bar the Ryze Tello, Parrot Mambo and possibly the Zerotech Dobby) are, by law, required to register online as a drone operator, and take and pass an online education test. Registration costs £9 and must be renewed annually.

Here’s the full brief from the Civil Aviation Authority’s website:

The UK’s new Drone and Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme went live on 5 November 2019. There are two elements to the online system.

  • Anyone responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to register as an operator. The cost for this will be £9 renewable annually.
  • Anyone flying a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) weighing between 250g and 20kg will need to take and pass an online education package. This is free and renewable every three years.

Both of these requirements became law on 30 November 2019. You can register your details at

Drone flying safety tips

  • Never fly your drone above 400ft. This isn’t an issue for some of the lower altitude drones in our selection, but don’t be fooled by the size and price, as these drones are still very advanced!
  • Don’t fly your drone over properties or people. Ensure you keep a distance of at least 150m.
  • Always keep line of sight with your drone. In fact, this is the most important rule of drone flying. This is particularly important with small drones as they can easily be lost.
  • If you fly too close to an airport it’s likely you’ll run into trouble with the law and possibly even end up in the news! Make sure you’re at least 1km away from the outer boundary, and use common sense when it comes to flying your drone near flight paths.

Best drone 2021: fly the sky, shoot 4K video and grab hi-res photos with the best drones


Best drone 2021: fly the sky, shoot 4K video and grab hi-res photos with the best drones

The best drones for aerial video and photography, from pro UAVs to options for beginners

DJI Air 2S drone
(Image credit: PowerVision)

Trying to figure out the best drone to buy right now? We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that in recent years, drones (or unmanned aerial vehicle/UAV, as absolutely no-one outside of the military calls them) have evolved beyond all recognition. The bad news is that there are now so many to choose from that finding the right one can be a bit of a minefield.

This is precisely why we’ve put together this guide. Read on for our pick of the best drones available right now – or more specifically, the best camera drone. This guide is focused on the best models available, but if you’re looking for lower-priced options, head to our best cheap drones guide instead. If you’re new to the drone world, jump to what to know before buying a drone (or check out our drone flying regulations guide) first.

What is the best drone 2021?

When it comes to the best drones, specifically camera drones, the brand that stands far above the rest is still DJI. This is reflected by the fact that DJI fills numerous positions in our list below, and markedly most of the top spots.

The best drone right now is the new DJI Air 2S. It’s everything a camera drone should be – compact, light, quiet and packing some outstanding onboard tech. However, it’s a very close-run battle with the tiny DJI Mini 2, which offers incredible features for an eminently affordable price. For the ultimate in both video and image quality, no consumer drone holds a candle to the class-leading DJI Mavic 2 Pro and, to a high degree, its stablemate, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom.

However, our list also includes drones that let you experience the thrill of first-person flight (the new DJI FPV, which is easy to use and flies like the clappers), drones that let you take off and land on water (the PowerVision PowerEgg X Wizard) and compact ‘toy’ drones (the Ryze Tello is easy to fly, shoots decent video and you can even program it yourself). In short, there’s something for every type of flier and every budget here. Let’s take a look at the best drones around.

The best camera drones to buy now

best drone: DJI Air 2ST3 Award Winner sponsored by Wiggle

(Image credit: DJI)

1. DJI Air 2S drone

The best drone – and a T3 Award winner

Battery life: 31 mins
Transmitter range: 12km
Max camera resolution: 5.4K / 20MP
Reasons to buy
+Sensational camera and shoots in 5.4K+Four-sided obstacle avoidance+Lightweight and compact+Quiet to fly
Reasons to avoid
Fiddly licensing required

Released April 2021, the DJI Air 2S is a sensational camera drone in every respect. It’s so good, we gave it the T3 Award 2021 for Best Drone. Despite being lightweight and very portable, this foldable drone packs some incredible onboard tech, including a 1-inch CMOS sensor that enables you to capture unbelievably sharp images and video. The air 2S will shoot 5.4K video at 30fps or 4K at 60fps and 150Mbps, as well as 20MP stills (by comparison, the Mavic Air 2’s half-inch CMOS sensor can manage 4K/60fps at 120Mbps and 12MP stills). It also flies absolutely beautifully (and quietly), comes with four-way sensors to help you avoid collisions, and boasts some impressive advanced in-flight features. Head to our DJI Air 2S review for more of what we thought of it, or see how it matches up against its predecessor in our DJI Air 2S vs DJI Mavic Air 2 comparison.

While the DJI Air 2S is very hard to find fault with, if you’re looking for something smaller, cheaper and easier to license, the Mini 2 at number 2 on our list, is also absolutely superb.

best camera drone: DJI Mini 2T3 Award

(Image credit: DJI)

2. DJI Mini 2

The best small drone offers incredible value for money

Battery life: 31 mins
WiFi range: N/A
Transmitter range: 6.21 miles
Max camera resolution: 4K/12 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Foldable and palm sized+Shoots superb 4K video and 12mp stills+Improved video transmission+Excellent price

Despite sitting at number 2 in our ranking, the pocket-sized DJI Mini 2 will still be the best drone for many people’s needs. This titchy bird is so small when folded you can hide it behind an iPhone, and weighs a floaty 249g fully loaded. What’s especially impressive here is how DJI has managed to instal a 4K-spec camera and 3-axis gimbal in such a tiny craft and equip it with a rocksteady video transmission distance of up to 10km (6.21 miles). For the record, the camera shoots 4K at up to 30 frames per second, 2.7K up to 30fps and 1080p up to 60fps and beautifully detailed 12mp stills in both RAW and JPEG.

Despite the size and low weight, the Mini 2 is equipped with Level 5 wind resistance and that means it’ll hold its own in a stiff breeze. It will also fly for up to an amazing 31 minutes on a single charge. There are further surprises buried in the DJI Fly app, including a raft of autonomous quick-shot functions – Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket, Boomerang, 4K Hyperlapse and three types of panorama. Granted, the Mini 2 doesn’t have obstacle avoidance but we don’t think this is a deal breaker if common sense prevails.

The 249g weight means the DJI Mini 2 is one measly gram shy of the CAA’s new 250g December 2020 regulation (read more on that) for camera-carrying drones. However, while that means you don’t need to pass an online exam, you do now need to register it, stick an ID number on your drone, and pay £9 every year to the CAA for the privilege.

If you’ve always hankered after a top-quality camera drone but didn’t fancy the idea of splashing out a fortune, then this marvel of technology is the model for you. Head to our DJI Mini 2 drone review to find out more (or our DJI Mavic Mini review for a look at the – very similar – previous iteration). Alternatively, so how it compares to a larger option in our DJI Mini 2 vs DJI Mavic Air 2 drone faceoff.

Best drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro

3. DJI Mavic 2 Pro

The best professional drone delivers a complete cinematic experience

Battery life: 31 mins
Transmitter Range: 5 miles
Max camera resolution: 4K/20 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Excellent Hasselblad camera+Stunning 4K video and 20-meg stills+It folds for portability+Rock solid flyer
Reasons to avoid
Heavier than other modelsMore expensive too

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is our pick for the best professional drone. It’s almost impossible to crash given that it has 10 obstacle sensors facing in every direction. That’s reason one to buy one. The second reason is the stunning three-axis gimbal-mounted Hasselblad camera, which comes fitted with a one-inch CMOS sensor – like that in the Sony RX100 and RX10 series – and an adjustable aperture that goes from f/2.8 to f/11. This is an exquisite piece of kit capable of shooting in several video resolutions, including 4K at up to 30 frames per second, 2.7K at up to 60fps and 1080p at up to 120fps. It also takes strikingly sharp 20 megapixel RAW stills.

Flight wise, the Mavic 2 Pro is as rock solid and confidence inspiring as we’ve come to expect. With larger motors fitted to its four arms, the drone is capable of hitting 44mph in Sports mode and – with the aid of a larger battery – able to remain aloft for up to 31 minutes at a time. Its Occusync 2.0 transmission, meanwhile, offers crisp 1080p live streaming from up to five miles away.

Like most Mavic models, this one also comes with 8GB of onboard storage along with the obligatory Micro SD card slot. Heading over to the DJI Go 4 app, the Mavic 2 Pro comes with a cluster of intelligent flight modes, plus the addition of a Hyperlapse function that captures stop-frame visuals over a wide area before stitching it all together within the app.

If high-end cinematography or aerial landscape photography are your main prerequisites when considering a drone, then this one ticks every box under the sun. Find out more in our Mavic 2 Pro review.

best drone: DJI Mavic Air 2

(Image credit: DJI)


Best value drone for hi-res images and videography

Battery life: 34 mins
Transmitter Range: 6 miles
Camera resolution: 4K/48 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Takes amazing 48MP stills+Shoots 4K at 60fps+Three-way obstacle avoidance+Faster than a squirrel up a tree
Reasons to avoid
Not as good as the Air 2S

Despite being firmly outshone by its successor (the Air 2S at #1), the DJI Mavic Air 2 is is still a great drone. The camera is a cracker and sports a half-inch sensor capable of shooting 4K footage at 60fps. The Mavic Air 2’s stills taking capacity is even more impressive – up to 48mp resolution for unprecedented sharpness, clarity and detail. It also comes with a smorgasbord of extra photo and video enhancement tech, including Scene Recognition, Spotlight 2.0 which locks the camera on a subject while the pilot does the flying and the obligatory ActiveTrack for following moving subjects.

The completely redesigned hand controller is another major improvement. Yes, it’s larger than before but it’s really comfortable in the hand and it has a phone mounting system that is way better than the earlier model’s. The Mavic Air 2 has a long battery life too (34 minutes) and in Sport mode it rips across the sky at up to 42.5mph – that’s fast! It also features three-way obstacle avoidance and APAS (Advanced Pilot Assistance System) for smoother manoeuvrability around obstacles. Head to our Mavic Air 2 review for more info, and see how it compares to our #1 pick in our DJI Mini 2 vs DJI Mavic Air 2 faceoff.

best drone: PowerVision Power Egg X Wizard

(Image credit: PowerVision)

5. PowerVision PowerEgg X Wizard Version

The great-looking weather proof drone even lands on water

Battery life: 30 mins
WiFi Range: N/A
Transmitter Range: 3.5 miles
Max camera resolution: 4K/12 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Lands and takes off from water+Good range of autonomous modes+Handles very well+Also serves as a stabilised land camera
Reasons to avoid
Camera not up to DJI specNot as portable as the DJI Mini and Air 2

The PowerVision PowerEgg X is a do-it-all drone you can fly safely in inclement weather and over water without fear of going missing. If there was an award for best looking drone, the PowerVision PowerEgg X would walk it – it looks simply fantastic when airborne. Nevertheless, with a feature set that goes beyond any other model on the market, the PowerEgg X isn’t just smart looking, it’s pretty clever too. It performs most of the aerial tasks of the DJI roster – including front obstacle avoidance and autonomous flight modes like return-to-home, follow-me, orbit and timelapse – but goes two stages further by transforming into a hand -held stabilised camera and a tripod-mounted video recorder with motion tracking ability.

The PowerEgg X is as stable in flight as the majority of DJI drones we’ve tested and it will stay in the air for up to 30 minutes which is excellent. Its top speed, meanwhile, is a commendable 40mph and its video transmission range around 3.7 miles. It comes with a fixed focus 4K camera with a 1/2.8 inch CMOS sensor and on paper that sounds grand. However, while the footage it produces is undeniably very good, it’s still not up to the benchmark set by DJI; there’s a strange softening at the edges of the frame that becomes most noticeable when videoing foliage from higher altitudes.

It’s true to say that the Holy Grail of drone flying is probably some kind of waterproofing and floatation device because flying over water normally requires balls the size of Mars. Although most modern drones are exceedingly reliable in flight, there’s no telling what may happen when over water – bird strike, motor failure, exhausted battery, heavy rain, etc. Well the Wizard version we’re reviewing here comes with two robust strap-on floats and a fully waterproof housing that protects the entire body and camera. It can even land and take off from calm water and fly in both rain and snow, wind speed permitting. So, if flying over water scares the life out of you then a drone of this nature could well be your lifeline. For more info, head to our full PowerVision PowerEgg X Wizard Version review.

best drones: Ryze Tello

6. Ryze Tello

This budget camera drone is a sky-going bargain

Battery life: 13 mins
WiFi Range: 100 metres
Max camera resolution: 720p/5 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Compact size+Steady flier+You can program it
Reasons to avoid
No GPSDoesn’t fold

Next up in our best drone ranking is the Ryze Tello. If you’re looking for a titchy but very well equipped ‘selfie’ type drone that stays in the air for 13 minutes at a time, comes with digital image stabilisation, shoots video in pretty decent 720p, snaps 5mp stills and hovers on the spot without the aid of GPS, then consider this remarkable little contender from Ryze.

The Tello weighs just 80 grams and measures 98mm at its widest point. In other words, it’s small enough to tuck in a jacket pocket despite not being foldable like the DJI Mavic range. Although designed for indoor flying, this little craft is also adept at flying outdoors, as long as it’s not too windy (without GPS on board, it could drift with the breeze and may not make it back to you).

Using the separate Tello EDU app (iOS and Android), it’s also possible to program the Tello to perform a series of manoeuvres with no real-time input from the pilot. Just drag a series of named colour-coded ‘blocks’ (‘take off’, fly forward’, ‘land) into a specific order and the Tello will follow the commands. This is an incredible development because it’s actually teaching kids (and adults) the basics of robotics in an easy and fun way. Find out more in our Ryze Tello review.

best drone: DJI MAVIC 2 ZOOM


Best drone for shooting long-range video

Battery life: 31 mins
Transmitter Range: 5 miles
Max camera resolution: 4K/12 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+2x optical zoom+Lush 4K video+Obstacle avoidance
Reasons to avoid
Lower resolution stillsYou may not use the zoom much

DJI’s Mavic 2 Zoom has the same DNA as its stablemate the Mavic 2 Pro. Both birds are the same size and pretty much the same weight, and  they’re both equipped with the same multi-directional obstacle avoidance systems and the very same internals. In fact, the only difference  between the two is the camera they’re equipped with.

Where the Pro comes with a Hasselblad camera replete with one-inch sensor for professional, high quality aerial photography, the Zoom forfeits image resolution in favour of a 2x optical zoom with a 35mm format equivalent focal length of 24-48mm.  However, when it comes to 4K video, both models boast the same rosy specs (4K at up to 30fps, 2.7K at up to 60fps, 1080p at up to 120fps), so this is the model to buy if you plan to shoot far more video than you do stills.

You might not use the zoom facility much, mind, but it certainly comes into its own when you want to shoot animals without scaring them or getting closer to an interesting subject without straying into private airspace. The zoom function also allows pilots to recreate the DollyZoom effect as used by Hitchcock, Spielberg, et al.

If you’re more likely to shoot aerial video than still images, then this keenly-priced option is a winner. Head to our DJI Mavic 2 Zoom review for more info.

best drone: DJI FPV

(Image credit: DJI)


The best FPV drone for wealthy beginners

Battery life: 20 mins
Range: 10 km
Max camera resolution: 4K/12 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Highly immersive and loads of fun+Incredible speed+Steers like a wasp+Excellent safety features
Reasons to avoid
Requires balls of steelNot cheap (and expensive to repair)

Now for something a bit different: the DJI FPV is the world’s first fully-fledged, ready-to-fly 4K-quipped FPV racing drone for newbies. Unlike other FPV drones on the market, the DJI FPV is equipped with a wide range of safety measures, including smart Return-to-Home (RTH), low battery warning, an auxiliary LED light and forward and downward obstacle sensors that will bring the drone to a halt in an emergency. Being of FPV origin, this drone comes with a pair of goggles that produce an exquisitely sharp image of what the drone’s front camera sees. The ultra wide 150-degree field of view is another major plus that gives the flyer full confidence when darting in and around tight, tricky spaces. It also ships with a beefy hand controller, or you can stump up for an optional Motion Controller that lets you control the drone using hand motions alone.

The DJI FPV’s 1/2.3” CMOS camera is mounted to a two-axis gimbal that keeps images rock steady no matter how shaky the drone may be in flight. Like any camera drone, you can also record video up to 4K resolution and take aerial photographs. However, being of FPV origin, the gimbal’s lack of a horizontal axis means that when the drone banks to the left or right, the image follows suit – a characteristic that’s part and parcel of all FPV flying.

The DJI FPV is equipped with three main flying modes. Normal is the ideal mode for beginners and boasts a top speed of around 33mph. Sport mode (60mph) is the option to go for once you’ve got a few hours of flying under the belt, and Manual mode (86mph) is like a fully-fledged FPV racer, replete with ultra tight turns and aerobatic flips and spins. A full charge will provide up to 20 minutes of frenetic flying.

Be aware that you will likely crash this drone from time to time and any repairs undertaken by DJI won’t be cheap. But if you’ve ever tried other FPV systems, you’ll really come to appreciate just how easy this package is to get in the air and fly almost immediately. Head to our DJI FPV review for more info.

best drone: Autel Drones Evo

(Image credit: Autel)

9. Autel Evo

Excellent quality prosumer drone at a tempting price

Battery life: 30 mins
Transmitter range: 7km
Max camera resolution: 4k/21 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Hi-tech drone+Integrated OLED screen means no need for a mobile device
Reasons to avoid

The feature-packed, hi-tech Autel Evo drone does it all, although it’s certainly been designed with intermediate-advanced photographers in mind – the drone’s camera, mounted on a 3-axis stabilising gimbal, records video at 4k resolution up to 60 frames per second (up there with the new DJI Mavic Air 2) and has a recording speed up to 100mbps in an H.264 or H.265 codec. The camera’s one of the best we’ve seen on a drone at this price point, making it easy to catch more detail and colour, even when filming at high speed, and a generous number of sensors help you avoid other objects while also making it wonderfully easy to land.

We’re also particularly impressed with the 3.3-inch OLED screen which has been integrated into the controller. This, coupled with the drone’s compact, foldable design makes it ideal for those who love to dash out the door with their drone at a moment’s notice. While it’s not cheap, the large number of accessories it comes bundled with means this prosumer drone is excellent value for money.

best drone: DJI Mavic Air

(Image credit: DJI)

10. DJI Mavic Air

The best value camera drone for 4K video

Battery life: 21 mins
WiFi Range: 80 metres
Transmitter Range: 2.48 miles
Max camera resolution: 4K/12 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Excellent 4K video and 12-meg stills+Eminently portable+Brilliant little flyer+Affordable

Although you’ll find its successor reviewed higher up this list, the DJI Mavic Air drone is still a true pocket rocket that excels in every department. It’s a lot lighter and smaller than the DJI Mavic Pro 2s and not much bigger than its smaller sibling, the Mini 2. The 4K video quality from the Air’s robust 3-axis camera system is very impressive and its 12mp photos are highly detailed for such a small camera. It can also take four styles of panorama images.

The Air can be controlled with palm gestures or a mobile phone; handy additions for those times when you can’t be bothered to dig out the supplied hand controller. That said, flying with the hand controller is far and away the most satisfying way to operate it. It also lets you fly much further – up to 4km (2.48 miles) away and back again on a battery that lasts around 21 minutes. Believe us, that’s more than enough time to film an opus.

The element we love most, though, is the addition of obstacle avoidance sensors on the rear as well as to the fore and below the craft; having so many safety features makes flying confidence inspiring, especially in confined areas. Overall, a reliable travel package that’s fun to fly and very well equipped. Head to our full DJI Mavic Air review for more.

Best drone: Parrot ANAFI

(Image credit: Parrot)

11. Parrot ANAFI

Almost as good as the outgoing Mavic Air, and a tad cheaper

Battery life: 25 mins
Range: 2.4 miles
Max camera resolution: 4K/21 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Great 4K video and 21-meg stills+Very portable+Stable flyer+Excellent camera zoom
Reasons to avoid
Slow battery chargingNo obstacle avoidance

Like the Mavic series, the Parrot ANAFI drone collapses for easy transport but it’s not quite as pocketable due to its 244mm length when folded. Still, it comes in a great transport case that’ll easily fit in a small shoulder bag. At just 320 grams, the Anafi is 110g lighter than the Mavic Air. Should it ever fall out of the sky, it is less likely to sustain major damage.

Despite it looking like a dragonfly, the Anafi was apparently inspired by the humble bee. Accordingly, it has its three-axis gimbal and 4K/21 megapixel camera mounted directly in front of the drone. This means the props will never appear in shot when the drone is moving forward at high speed. It also means the camera can be pointed 90-degrees upwards for a unique perspective that few other drones offer. In flight, the Parrot ANAFI is not as confidence inspiring as the Mavic Air 2 – it loses quite a few points straight off by not having any obstacle avoidance. Nevertheless, it’s easy to control and stable in flight, even in a stiffish breeze. It’s also so quiet you can hardly hear a thing while it’s hovering just 20 metres above your head. At 33mph, it’s pretty sprightly, too, while its battery lasts an impressive 25 minutes.

Both video and photo quality seem on par with the Mavic Air 1 and in low light shooting it’s arguably a bit better. It doesn’t offer as high a frame rate as the Mavic Air but the 4K video and 21 megapixel images its 1/2.4-inch Sony CMOS sensor produces are tack sharp, with excellent detail and contrast.

Overall, the Anafi isn’t up to the benchmark set by DJI, but Parrot’s competitive pricing makes this an affordable entry into the wondrous world of aerial cinematography. You’ll find more info in our full Parrot ANAFI review.

best drone: parrot anafi fpv

(Image credit: Parrot)

12. Parrot ANAFI FPV

Enjoy a bird’s eye view and unbeatable responsiveness

Battery life: 25 mins
Range: 4 km
Max camera resolution: 4K/21 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+A decent enough intro to FPV+The ANAFI is a rocksteady flier
Reasons to avoid
Can be disorientatingGoggles may make you feel nauseousScreen visuals not very sharp

If you’re looking to get into FPV (First Person View) flying but can’t stretch your budget to the DJI FPV reviewed above, then you might want to give this package a whirl. The ANAFI FPV package includes the drone itself (reviewed above in case you missed it), a Skycontroller 3 hand controller and a pair of Parrot’s Cockpitglasses 3. All three items come neatly packed in a small and stupendously well designed grey herringbone backpack.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, FPV is a bit similar to normal flying where the images from the drone’s front-mounted camera are streamed live to a mobile phone. However, in this instance, the phone is clipped into the supplied goggles which you obviously wear on your head. This means you cannot see anything other than what the drone’s camera is pointing at. It’s a very strange, disorientating sensation at first but once you get used to it, it’s probably the closest you’ll get to feeling the experience of actually flying – without killing yourself in the process.

The ANAFI FPV offers pretty good value for money, but the jury’s out on the quality of the visuals the camera ports to the screen – they were bit too fuzzy and pixilated in our opinion, and that was using an iPhone 11. FPV flight is an acquired taste and this package makes a very fair fist of it. However, you do need to be aware of the pitfalls lest you spend the extra outlay only to abandon the goggles after your first few flights.

best drone: DJI Inspire 2 drone

13. DJI Inspire 2

The best drone for pro-grade cinematography

Battery life: 27 mins
Transmitter Range: 4 miles
Max camera resolution: 5.2K/24 megapixels
Reasons to buy
+Sensational camera system+Dual controller option+58mph top speed
Reasons to avoid
Heavy for trekking withInevitably expensive

When it comes to producing the very best cinema-quality aerial footage, there is simply nothing out there to touch the Inspire 2. In fact, the only reason this drone isn’t higher up our chart is because it is pricey with a capital P and large with a capital L. It also weighs a hefty 4.25kg, so you can forget about sticking it in your hand luggage.

The Inspire 2 is made from carbon fibre and magnesium and its dual battery system, four huge motors and 13-inch propellers will take it to a top speed of 58mph and a flight time of up to 27 minutes. The landing gear is retractable, allowing pilots, or a second camera operator, to shoot a full 360º panorama. It also comes with forward, downward and upward-facing obstacle avoidance sensors for extra confidence when flying in tricky locations. The Inspire 2’s pro-spec CineCore 2.0 image processing system is housed in the nose of the craft which means only the camera’s lens and sensor are attached to the gimbal.

This reduces weight and allows for easy camera swapping. And speaking of cameras, the Inspire 2 comes with a choice of five different models, from the compact Micro 4/3 Zenmuse X5 to the ultra high-end Zenmuse X7, which features a Super 35 Sensor capable of shooting in 5.2K Apple ProRes. Needless to say, the imagery this stunning cinematic system produces is of the very highest order. But, phew, it sure is costly.

Buying a drone: what you need to know

In order to figure out which is the best drone for you, it really helps to understand a bit about how different types of drones work. In a nutshell, drones rely on rotors for propulsion and control. The faster these rotors spin, the greater the upward lift. The movement of a drone can be changed by altering the speed of one or more of its rotors.

These rotors are powered by motors which can be ‘brushed’ or ‘brushless’. The difference? Brushed motors use a mechanical process (a ‘commutator’) to move the magnetic field that turns the rotors. Brushless motors, which are usually found on more expensive drones, are generally preferable, and rely more on electronics, rather than additional physical parts such as the brushes in the commutators, to generate power. This means they generate less friction (and bear in mind that friction slows the motor down), produce less heat and provide better all-round performance.

Another important factor to take into consideration is skill level. Beginners should look for more rugged models, as well as features such as rotor protectors and one-touch recall controls. But don’t make the mistake of assuming smaller, lighter drones are better for beginners – these drones are often designed for those keen to perform complex aerial maneuvers, and might well be trickier to control.

Finally, remember to look for drones with the features you’re specifically keen on, and no more. Opting for a drone which  boasts features you don’t need and won’t use, will mean you’ll spend more on a drone which will weigh more and won’t perform in the way you want it to.

Want to know more, a lot more? Check out our separate guide to how to buy a drone.

Drone regulations: what you need to know

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has some new regulations regarding drone ownership and flying. In a nutshell, as of 31 December 2020, all owners of drones fitted with a camera (even those under 250g like the DJI Mini) are, by law, required to register online as a drone operator. Registration costs £9 and must be renewed annually. Pilots of camera drones weighing 250g or more will also need to sit a new 40-question online education test (pass mark is 30).

For even better flying opportunities, we would suggest going for an A2 Certificate of Competence, which allows all pilots to fly in areas used for recreational, industrial, residential or commercial purposes.

Read the full guidelines, and register as a drone operator, at

So you don’t get yourself into a pickle in a public place, there’s also some basic rules you need to follow:

  • Don’t fly near airports or airfields
  • Remember to stay below 400ft (120m)
  • Observe your drone at all times – stay 150ft (50m) away from people and property
  • Never fly near aircraft
  • Enjoy responsibly

We’d like to think that nobody needs to be told any of the above. And in truth, anyone who does fly a drone near aircraft probably deserves to go to prison. Sure, we don’t know that a drone can bring down a 747, but we are very sure that we also don’t want to test the theory. Ever.

If you’re in doubt about drone regulations and are confused about where you can and can’t fly your drone, head to the Civil Aviation Authority website and gen up on the current drone regulations. You can also check out Drone Code UK, which has a handy downloadable PDF with essential information regarding drone flying rules.

Now, with those stern words out of the way, you can head back to our expert guide to the best camera drones available right now, listed in order of excellence. Or simply peruse this handy list of the cheapest prices on those drones.


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Boeing to Temporarily Shut Down 737 Max Production . is for sale buy it cheap sell make huge profit ! domain apps market


Halting production of the plane will most likely hurt parts suppliers and could have a broader effect on the American economy.

A 737 Max at Boeing’s assembly plant in Renton, Wash. People working on the Max will be reassigned, the company said.

Boeing next month will temporarily stop making the 737 Max, its most popular passenger jet, the company said on Monday.

The decision, after a two-day board meeting, is the culmination of the worst crisis in the company’s 103-year history and follows two crashes that killed 346 people. Boeing had repeatedly signaled that the plane would be cleared to return to the sky before the end of the year.

Boeing’s decision could ripple through the American economy. The company is America’s largest manufacturing exporter and it views the 737 Max as critical to its future.

This new model of its workhorse 737 was begun under pressure in 2011 as the company sought to fend off competition from its European rival, Airbus. But after the two crashes, prosecutors, regulators and two congressional committees are investigating whether Boeing overlooked safety risks and played down the need for pilot training in its effort to design, produce and certify the plane as quickly as possible.

One focus for investigators is a software system known as MCAS, which was created for the Max and was found to have played a role in both crashes. Shortly after the first crash, off the coast of Indonesia in October 2018, Boeing promised a fix to MCAS. Then the second crash happened in March, in Ethiopia.

The plane was grounded days later, and Boeing has still not delivered a software fix for MCAS that has met federal approval. And there is still no timeline for the plane’s return to the air.

Boeing’s reputation and stock price have been battered, with shares in the company falling 25 percent since March. The company has already announced more than $8 billion in charges related to the crisis, a figure that is expected to rise significantly.

With the company still unable to win approval from global regulators to let the plane fly again, executives and board members have made, in halting production, one of the most consequential decisions in the manufacturer’s history, one that will also affect its hundreds of suppliers around the country.

Shutting down the factory “emphasizes the uncertainty of getting Max back in the air,” Jonathan Raviv, an analyst at Citi, wrote in a note on Monday.

Boeing has only rarely stopped production of its airplanes, most recently in 2008. But the company has never faced a situation like the one it now confronts. Boeing has sold roughly 5,000 of the jets, making it the best-selling aircraft in its history, and it has built nearly 400 Max jets that it has not yet delivered.

“It will have enormous ripple effects,” said Susan Houseman, director of research for the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. “It will have very real effects on many people’s lives, and it’s never good for this to happen right before the holidays.”

Boeing said it intended to redeploy the roughly 12,000 workers building the Max in its factory in Renton, Wash., to other projects, avoiding layoffs or furloughs for the time being.

It will try to manage the disruption to suppliers, though it did not give details. It may continue to accept parts from major suppliers, so that when the company restarts the Max line production can be quickly ramped up. Other suppliers are likely to endure significant financial pain if Boeing’s shutdown halts part of their assembly line for a period of months.

“Our objective continues to be ensuring supply chain health and production system stability, including the preparedness for seamless transition in the future,” a Boeing spokesman, Gordon Johndroe, said in a statement.

Boeing’s shares were down more than 4 percent before the announcement. Shares of Spirit AeroSystems, which makes the fuselage of the Max, fell nearly 2 percent on Monday.

But because Boeing is not planning significant layoffs and its suppliers are distributed around the country, the overall effect on the broader economy will depend on how long the stoppage lasts.

“It’s a blow to the collective psyche,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “But the American economy is performing well, job growth is strong, and the stock market is near a record high. If there was a time when the economy could digest something like this, it is now.”

Boeing had already slowed production at the factory after the crashes. In April, the company said it would reduce the number of 737 planes it produced each month to 42 from 52.

It was not clear how long the Max factory will be shut down. Boeing continues to encounter hurdles with the Federal Aviation Administration and other global regulators as it works to return the plane to service.

The delays have varied from the technical to the procedural, and have now made it likely that the Max will be grounded for a full year, if not longer. Boeing has still not completed all the steps necessary to satisfy regulators.

As a result, Boeing has repeatedly pushed back the projected date of a return to service for the Max. Dennis A. Muilenburg, Boeing’s chief executive, said in October that he expected the planes to be approved to fly this year. But last week, Stephen Dickson, the administrator of the F.A.A., said the Max would not fly until 2020.

Southwest Airlines and United Airlines had already postponed Max flights until March, while American Airlines has said it won’t fly the Max until April.

The production shutdown adds to the pressure facing Mr. Muilenburg. Among his challenges: the company’s fraying relationship with the F.A.A., which has become more willing to openly question Boeing in recent weeks.

In a meeting at F.A.A. headquarters in Washington last week, Mr. Dickson told Mr. Muilenburg that it would be impossible to get the plane flying by the end of the year, despite Boeing’s previously rosy predictions.

“Boeing continues to pursue a return-to-service schedule that is not realistic,” an F.A.A. official wrote in an email to Congress before the meeting. “More concerning, the administrator wants to directly address the perception that some of Boeing’s public statements have been designed to force F.A.A. into taking quicker action.”

The board stripped Mr. Muilenburg of his title as chairman in October, saying the move would allow him “to focus full time on running the company as it works to return the 737 MAX safely to service.” David Calhoun, who became chairman of the board, has expressed confidence in Mr. Muilenburg.

But in an interview on CNBC last month, Mr. Calhoun did not offer a clear answer when asked whether the company would keep Mr. Muilenburg in his role as chief executive after the Max returned to service.

“Why speculate on that?” Mr. Calhoun said in the interview. “If we successfully get from where he started to where we need to end up, I would view that as a very significant milestone and something that speaks to his leadership and his courage and his ability to execute and get us through this.”

Mr. Calhoun added that “the board deliberates, every single meeting, on the subject of our leaders and how well they’re doing, and do they have our confidence.”

Boeing’s board was in Chicago on Monday as the company decided between reducing Max production or temporarily halting it. Though shutting down the line rather than further reducing the rate of production is a drastic step, it could help the company in some ways.

The process of delivering the Max jets it has already built but not delivered will take at least a year, and reducing the backlog would simplify that process. It would also reduce the time the newly built planes sit idle.

But the task of delivering its growing backlog was made more complicated last month, when the F.A.A. took control of issuing certificates of airworthiness for each airplane. That decision means Boeing won’t be able to deliver planes as quickly as it had hoped.

Boeing first suggested it might halt production of the Max in July. Last week, Boeing reached a partial settlement with Southwest Airlines to compensate it for some of the costs it has incurred as a result of the protracted grounding of the Max.

“Boeing still has credit lines and probably the ability to incur new debt,” said Scott Hamilton, managing director of the Leeham Company, an aviation consultancy. “Even so, at some point, Boeing — even with its financial resources — has to stop the cash bleeding.”

At the very moment Boeing announced it was ceasing production of its most important product, the company took steps to meet Wall Street’s expectations. As it announced the shutdown on Monday, it sent a simultaneous news release announcing a regular quarterly dividend for shareholders.


Boeing 737 MAX crash: Families of Pius Adesanmi, 345 others to get $144,500 ( 51Million Naira ) each


British Airways pilot strike: will your holiday be affected?


British Airways pilot strike: will your holiday be affected?

British Airways
Airline employees vote in favour of industrial action that could take place as early as start of August

In Depth
Tuesday, July 23, 2019 – 2:52pm
British Airways pilots have voted to to go on strike at the height of the holiday season, as a long-running dispute over pay escalates.

See related
F1 2019 season guide: standings ahead of the German GP, race calendar, TV coverage
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) says that 93% of its members backed industrial action in a ballot held after three days of negotiations between the union and BA bosses, reports the BBC.

Why are they striking?
Pilots have rejected a pay increase worth 11.5% over three years. The airline insists the offer is “fair and generous”, but Balpa claims its members deserve more and points out that BA has “been making healthy profits”, says the BBC.

Last year, BA made an operating profit of £1.96bn, up by 8.7% from 2017, while parent company the International Airlines Group (IAG) reported a total pre-tax profit of £2.9bn.

Will holidaymakers be affected?
Balpa represents about 90% of BA’s pilots, so a walkout would be likely to cause severe disruption to services.

Affected customers would have some time to make alternative arrangements, as the union would have to give the airline – which carries up to 145,000 passengers a day – a minimum of two weeks’ notice of any action. All the same, a walkout could take place as early 6 August.

“We do not wish to inconvenience our customers, which is why we have tried to resolve this matter through negotiation starting last November,” said Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton, who claims that BA bosses have “regrettably chosen to drag this out into the summer months”.

Will the strike go ahead?
Maybe. Balpa says it is still hoping for the dispute to be resolved, while BA maintains that it will “pursue every avenue to find a solution to protect our customers’ travel plans and avoid industrial action”.

The union claims that the cost to BA to settle the dispute in full is “significantly less than the cost would be of even a single day’s strike action”.

Nevertheless, the company is seeking an injunction today in the High Court to halt the action. Balpa has announced that negotiations “are on hold while we prepare to defend our right to take this action”.

If the strike were to go ahead, it would be the first by British Airways pilots since the 1970s, notes Bloomberg. BA pilots last voted for industrial action in 2008, but the dispute was settled before any walkouts took place.


Man Lost Whole Family in Boeing Crash Wife 3 Kids Mother in Law !


Boeing 737 Max: ‘I lost my family in the Ethiopian plane crash’

Media captionPaul Njorogre says his family died because of Boeing’s “negligence”

“I lost my wife Carole, my three children Ryan, Kelly and Ruby and I also lost my mum-in-law. I feel so lonely. I look at people. I see them with their children playing outside and I cannot have my children – I’ll never be able to see their faces again or hear their voices.”

Paul Njorogre lost his entire family when Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed six minutes after taking off from Addis Ababa on 10 March. 157 people died.

Paul is now living between friends’ houses, unable to return home. He can’t bear to see his children’s shoes still in the hall where they last left them. “I can still see their feet inside them. I’m never going back.” He’s waiting for relatives to pack up the home.

When ET302 crashed it was the second Boeing 737 Max to crash in four months.

The first happened in Indonesia in November 2018. Preliminary reports revealed that the same flight control system was at fault in both crashes. Now families around the world want to know why 157 people died in a second crash.

They are asking, why weren’t the jets grounded after the first crash?

Paul Njorogre's family were killed in the 737 Max 8 crashImage copyrightPAUL NJOROGRE
Image captionPaul Njorogre’s family were killed in the 737 Max 8 crash
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Timeline: Boeing crashes

  • 29 October 2018: A 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air crashes after leaving Indonesia, killing all 189 people on board.
  • 31 January 2019: Boeing reports an order of 5,011 Max planes from 79 customers.
  • 10 March 2019: A 737 Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashes killing all 157 people on board.
  • 14 March 2019: Boeing grounds entire 737 Max crash aircraft fleet
  • 3 July 2019: Boeing says it will give $100m (£80m) to help families affected by the crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
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Chris and Claryss Moore’s daughter Danielle was also killed. One corner of their suburban Toronto home is now a bright but emotive shrine to their lost child. She smiles down from a dozen pictures on the wall, surrounded by orchids and lilies.

Danielle was heading to a UN Environmental Conference in Kenya.

“This should not have happened, four months after another crash happened. They tell us this is one of the safest planes – it’s not – it took away the lives of the people we love so much and no matter what they’re going to say, our normal lives will never be the same.

This is our normal life, struggling to wake up every single day and that’s hard. It makes me very angry.”

The shrine to Danielle Moore
Image captionThe Moore family has created a shrine to Danielle

An international blame game is now under way. American Congressman Sam Graves alongside other voices in the US have blamed “foreign pilots” for the crash, saying they believe American pilots would have handled the jet.

But both preliminary reports have stated the flight control system (MCAS) as being at fault.

Families of those killed are now lining up to ask whether the Boeing 737 Max was airworthy and safe when the crash happened.

“My family died because of Boeing’s negligence, arrogance, management disfunction and lack of internal oversight and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration),” says Paul Njorogre.

“They had a chance to ground these planes in November and they didn’t. Instead they focused on foreign pilot error fallacy. 157 people died including my family because of them making them poor decisions. If they really cared about human life and safety they would have grounded those planes in November and they would have fixed the problem. They allowed the planes to fly as they tried to fix the problem. They didn’t fix it by 10th March.”

Samya Rose Stumo
Image captionSamya Rose Stumo was 24 years old and was on board ET302

Nadia Milleron and her husband Michael Stumo live in Western Massachusetts, USA. It’s peaceful.

Their family home is enveloped by forests and mountains. Their daughter Samya Rose Stumo was 24 years old and was on board ET302.

She is the second of the couple’s four children to die. They also lost a son to cancer.

“It’s been like a horrible dream,” says Nadia. “And I keep thinking all these people I’m meeting, going to Washington, all these experiences I’m having, they’re awful because they mean Samya is gone. And I don’t want that to be the case. I keep thinking I am going to wake up.”

Nadia was listening to BBC World Service radio when reports first came in about the crash. She knew Samya was on board. She’d had a Whatsapp message from her only an hour earlier giving her flight information.

“I just started shaking, and I couldn’t stop myself from physically shaking,” she told me. “I just couldn’t tell the other people in the house.”

Nadia Milleron and Michael Stumo
Image captionNadia Milleron and Michael Stumo. Nadia believes her daughter died because Boeing put profit over safety

Within a month, Nadia and Michael turned their overwhelming sense of loss and grief into a remarkable force of energy.

They’re now committed to finding out why Boeing didn’t ground the planes after the first crash, whether Boeing cut corners in regards to safety of the 737 Max and why the FAA certified it as safe to fly.

To date, they’ve met more than 25 Congressmen and women in Washington, as well as being a powerful presence at US Government aviation hearings.

They’ve not been allowed to testify but they want to ensure families are included in how investigations develop.

Critics are asking whether the development and launch of the Boeing 737 Max was rushed. They claim Boeing was losing out to a plane from Airbus and suggest corners were cut to get the Max into service.

“Definitely my daughter died because of the profit of Boeing and I don’t want anyone else to die for that reason. I want these planes to be safe and [for Boeing to] invest in the company and the hardware and infrastructure to make our aviation industry safe,” said Nadia.

American civil aviation and Boeing investigators search through the debris at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crashImage copyrightREUTERS

The BBC approached Boeing for an interview and comment in regards to all of these allegations. They declined.

In a statement Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, said: “We’re sorry for the tragic loss of life in these accidents and extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of all those on board. Any loss of life on our airplanes is unacceptable, and this will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts for years to come. The safety of the flying public is our highest priority and we are focused on re-earning their trust and confidence in the months ahead.”

Earlier this week, Boeing announced they were offering $100m to “family and community needs of those affected by the tragic accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

“These funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families.”

Wreckage lies at the crash site of Ethiopia Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8
157 people died when Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed

The families we’ve spoken to are not impressed. They don’t want money. They want answers.

Chris Moore believes criminal charges should be brought. “If there is any type of personal culpability they should be charged under criminal laws. If I cost someone’s life on a building site I would have to prove myself in a criminal court as innocent, why are Boeing different?”

Paul Njorogre believes the crash of ET302 was preventable, “but these individuals knew that they would not be held criminally liable, they would not face years in prison. But if they knew they’d face years in prison they would have grounded these planes in November.”

The families of victims are all now searching for answers.

Some are dealing with their grief in private, still too overwhelmed by what’s happened.

Others have the power and resolve to speak out – and it’s starting to prove uncomfortable for Boeing.


‘List’ of UN staff and humanitarian workers among victims of Ethiopian Airlines crash.

Photographs of the seven deceased crew members on display in Addis Ababa.
Photographs of the seven deceased crew members on display in Addis Ababa.

(CNN)The ill-fated Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday was packed with humanitarian workers and international experts, many of whom were bound for a major United Nations environmental summit in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Pius Adesanmi shared this selfie before boarding ET302.

Pius Adesanmi, a renowned Nigerian-born scholar who was director of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies, was among the 18 victims from Canada, the Ottawa university confirmed. Adesanmi, who also held Canadian citizenship, was awarded the Penguin Prize for African writing in 2010 for his collection of essays in You’re Not a Country, Africa!
“Pius Adesanmi was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy,” said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, president and vice-chancellor of the university.
Before Sunday’s flight, Adesanmi posted a photo of himself on Facebook along with Psalm 139:9-10: “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

Twenty-one UN staff members were among the 157 people killed after Flight ET302 plummeted into a field outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, UN officials said on Monday, revising down a death toll provided to CNN earlier in the day.

The airline said passengers from at least 35 countries were on the flight, often referred to as a “UN shuttle” for ferrying staff between Addis Ababa, home of the African Union headquarters, and Nairobi, the UN’s headquarters in Africa.
But the plane was particularly full due to the UN Environment Assembly, which began on Monday. The summit, described as the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, brings together member states to tackle environmental challenges.
UN officials paid their respects at the opening of the assembly in Nairobi, where UN flags were lowered to half-mast.
“The environmental community is in mourning today,” Joyce Msuya, the acting executive director of the UN Environment Program, said in a statement.
“Many of those that lost their lives were en route to provide support and participate in the UN Environment Assembly. We lost UN staff, youth delegates traveling to the Assembly, seasoned scientists, members of academia and other partners.”
The dead included at least 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians, eight people from the United States, China and Italy, and seven from France and the United Kingdom, according to the airline. The victims’ identities have not yet been officially confirmed.
Among those bound for the summit was British citizen Joanna Toole, who was due to represent the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), according to the director of her department, fisheries and aquaculture.
“So profoundly sad and lost for words,” Manuel Barange said in a tweet. “A wonderful human being, who loved her work with a passion.”
French-British dual citizen Sarah Auffret was on her way to the UN Environment Assembly to talk about a project to combat marine plastic pollution, according to her employer, the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators.
“Words cannot describe the sorrow and despair we feel. We have lost a true friend and beloved colleague,” AECO said in a statement.
The FAO, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sudan, the World Bank and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) each lost one staff member in the crash. The Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) lost two, as did the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Six staff from the UN Office in Nairobi (UNON) were killed, as were seven employees of the World Food Program (WFP).
Irish national Michael “Mick” Ryan, global deputy chief engineer for the WFP, was among the dead. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar shared a tribute to Ryan on Twitter:
“Michael was doing life-changing work in Africa with the World Food Programme. Deepest sympathies to family, colleagues & friends.”

A solitary sneaker at the scene of the crash.

Ryan appeared in a video shared by WFP on Facebook last April, explaining his work in Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to create safe grounds for Rohingya refugees ahead of monsoon season.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that two of its six nationals who died in the crash worked for the UN, including one Hong Kong resident.
Tsang Shing-ngai Victor worked in the UN office in Kenya promoting environmental protection and sustainable development, according to his alma mater, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Although he lived overseas, he shared his views on sustainable development as a guest lecturer at the school,
“He hoped to increase the level of concern for the environment and create a better future for the next generation. Mr. Tsang’s enthusiasm for promoting sustainable development was truly admirable,” the university said in a statement.
Kenya had the largest share of victims, including Cedric Asiavugwa, a third-year law student at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, who was passionate about helping refugees and volunteered with the Red Cross in his free time.
Born and raised in Mombasa on the country’s east coast, he was on his way home to Nairobi after the death of his fiancée’s mother, according to the university.
Related: Boeing 737 black box found as planes grounded after Ethiopian Airlines crash
Another Kenyan aboard the flight was the former secretary general of Kenya’s Football Federation, Hussein Swaleh, who was returning home after working as a match commissioner in an African Champions League game in Egypt, the Confederation of African Football said in a statement.
Mourners attend a memorial service for crew members who died in the crash.
“Football has indeed lost a dedicated and hardworking individual that lived the game,” the Football Kenya Federation tweeted on Sunday.
Dr. Manisha Nukavarapu, a second-year resident physician at East Tennessee State University’s Quillen College of Medicine in the United States, was flying to Kenya to visit relatives, the school said.
Four of the nine Ethiopians killed in the crash — Sara Chalachew, Getnet Alemayehu, Sintayehu Aymeku and Mulusew Alemu — were working for the Catholic Relief Services and were en route to training when the plane crashed.
“Although we are in mourning, we celebrate the lives of these colleagues and the selfless contributions they made to our mission, despite the risks and sacrifices that humanitarian work can often entail,” CRS said in a statement.
Another Ethiopian, Tamirat Mulu Demessie, a child-protection specialist who worked with Save the Children, was confirmed dead by the nonprofit in a statement hailing his tireless efforts “to ensure that vulnerable children are safe during humanitarian crises.”
Pan African Youth Union, a coordinating body for young people across the continent, confirmed to CNN that one of its members, French-Tunisian citizen Karim Saafi, co-chair of the African Diaspora Youth Forum in Europe, was among the victims.
“Karim was a great young African leader. He has always fought for the rights of African youth to have a better future,” PYU President Francine Muyumba said.
Ambassador Abiodun Bashua, a retired Nigerian foreign service officer, also died in the crash, the Nigerian presidency and government confirmed.
CNN’s Elizabeth Joseph and Richard Roth reported from New York. Stephanie Busari reported from Lagos, while Lillian Leposo reported from Nairobi.