So you’ve just got yourself a new drone, congratulations! I bet you can’t wait to get outside and take it for a spin. Fortunately, all of DJI’s drones come ready-to-fly out the box (once you’ve charged their batteries, that is!) – so you can dive into the exhilarating world of drone flying right away. However, it won’t be long before your learning curve hits a plateau and you want to start upping your game. And the best way to become a more accomplished drone flyer and extend your abilities is by investing in some extra gear.

That said, here are the top 5 drone accessories we think you should seriously consider blowing your hard-earned cash on next:

1. Battery charging hub
If you haven’t worked it out yet, you probably will soon – drone enthusiasts can never have enough batteries. If you’re anything like most other drone pilots, chances are you’ll end up adding several extra batteries to your drone gear. The thing is, the included DJI battery charger that comes standard with your drone is only able to charge one battery at a time – which can constrain your flying time somewhat. It’s also a bit inconvenient as you have to keep returning to check the charging status and swapping out charged batteries.

The obvious solution is to add a battery charging dock to your kit. DJI’s Battery Charging Hub is designed for use with the Phantom 4 Intelligent Flight Battery. When used with the Phantom 4 Battery Charger, it can charge up to three Intelligent Flight Batteries in one go. Here’s how it works: The dock senses which battery has the most charge, and then charges it first, before moving on to the next lowest battery. Once the full charge cycle is complete, you can return to find all four batteries ready to fly again. The hub’s Storage Mode also helps keep batteries at a 50-percent charge, which is ideal for storage.

2. Neutral Density filters
There’s nothing worse than ending up with video footage that’s blown out and over-exposed. To get the best result for your videos you need to set the shutter speed to about 2 times the frame rate. This is a time-tested technique that’s been used by professional film makers since the medium was invented. What it means is you want the shutter speed to be 50 if we’re shooting 24fps, and 60 if you’re shoot 30fps. However, when you set the desired shutter speed, you’ll often notice that the image is overexposed.

Overexposure can be reduced a bit by bringing the ISO down to the lowest value (i.e. 100). However, on bright sunny days, you may still need to do more. This is where Neutral Density (ND) filters come in. What they do is act like sunglasses for your camera by reducing the total amount of light that comes into your lens. So by using ND filters, we can get the shutter speed exactly where we want it to be.

It’s worth noting that ND filters come in sets. That’s because, just like sunglasses, ND filters come in different strengths. So to take full advantage of them we need several ones that we can use, depending on how bright it is where we’re filming. We also have to select the proper filter based on the circumstances.

3. DJI Goggles
Even if you haven’t donned a First Person View (FPV) headset and soared through the clouds like a bird yet, I’ll willing to bet a month’s salary that you’re dying to give it a try. It’s an experience that completely fools the senses, and takes drone flying up to a whole new level.

That said, DJI’s Goggles may look bulky and a bit cumbersome, but looks can be deceiving – they’ve been designed to be comfortable to wear for hours on end, and they really are. What they do is provide a seamless FPV experience when piloting any one of DJI’s drones, from the baby of the range – the Spark – right up to the high-end, professional Inspire 2. Two 1920×1080 screens provide more than twice the amount of pixels of a typical 2K single screen. You can download drone footage directly to the goggles for backup or to view later via their onboard SD card. These goggles also boast long range, low-lag connectivity to provide direct control of photo and video capture at all times. Connectivity options include micro USB, micro SD card, HDMI and audio inputs.

4. LifThor tablet holder
Both the DJI Spark and DJI Mavic are amazing little drones, and their controllers extend their flying range and capabilities no end. However, they do have two small drawbacks. First, they can only accommodate smartphones. And secondly, they’re rather small – so if you have big hands operating them can be a bit of a fiddle.

The LifThor tablet holder – designed by a keen drone amateur who identified the need – solves both issues in one go. It can be adjusted to accommodate a wide range of tablets from 7-inch up to 10.5-inches in size. It’s also engineered to provide a more sturdy, comfortable grip for large hands. And, as an added bonus, the larger screen is now positioned above the controller (instead of below when using a smartphone), making it much more comfortable to see what your drone’s doing.

Note: NavWorld’s stock has just landed, give us a call on 011-791 0204/5 to secure yours.

5. Katana DJI Mavic Tray
The DJI Katana Mavic Tray was developed with just one job in mind; to harness the power of your Mavic drone’s camera and gimbal, so you can capture uber-smooth video footage while shooting on the ground. Apart from giving you a great “cinematic look” to your projects, it also enables you to capture precise hand held shots in tight spaces where it’s difficult to fly. PolarPro’s new mobile phone mount is also included, allowing you to see exactly what you are filming as you shoot. The monitor mount ensures that your shots are framed up perfectly.

Another great aspect of this versatile product is that it also allows you to use your Mavic in no-fly zones such as national parks, or crowds. So, while you may not be able to fly legally, you can still capture the moment professionally. From action sport follow-cams to small video productions, the creative possibilities that Katana DJI Mavic Tray provides are only limited by your imagination. – (c) 2017 NavWorld

About The Author

Sean Woods

Originally a photographer for the Star newspaper in the bad old days, Sean Woods turned to writing after the first democratic elections in '94. The career shift paid serious dividends, culminating in him becoming associate editor for Popular Mechanics magazine with a number of technology writing awards under his belt. His interests include anything to do with boats, motorcycles and all those fancy tech gadgets that help the modern world go around.

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