After picking out the perfect drone, you’ll want to pick up a few more essential accessories to protect your gear or make it easier for travel. If you haven’t picked out a drone just yet, we’ve got you covered, head on over and read the Holiday Gift Guide or Drones For Beginners to see product reviews and information about some of the best drones out there. Want more accessories added to the list? Let me know!
Abonnyc Camera Backpack
This is my personal go to bag to carry all my gear. The large capacity makes it perfect for my travel carry-on. It’s extremely durable, comes with cross straps to provide better support, it’s weatherproof (with rain cover included), and holds a TON of equipment. I’ve been using this backpack for about a year now, with no issues. The bag comes with customizable padded walls to custom fit all your gear how you want it. The backpack opens from behind the straps, so you won’t have to worry about someone trying to steal gear out of it if you’re in a subway, train, etc. The front of the bag has another opening which is a perfect fit for some paperwork, a laptop and any extra cables. Each side of the backpack has a mesh pocket and buckles that I use to hold my tripod and large water bottle. Lastly, the back and bottom of the back are very well padded to provide anti-shock support for all the gear inside.
What I fit inside:
- Sony A6500 w/ lens and strap
- DJI Mavic Pro
- Drone Remote
- 3 Spare Drone batteries
- All necessary cables and chargers
- Extra Propellers
- Water Bottle
- Portrait Lens
- Thumbdrive / External hard drive
- Cleaning supplies (micro SD Card, screen cleaner)
Nanuk Waterproof Hardcase - DJI Drones
The Nanuk Waterproof case is another great choice for anyone that owns a DJI drone and plans on taking it out and about. The pictures provided here show the custom foam cut-outs designed specifically for the DJI Mavic Pro, but Nanuk does offer more cut-outs for other drones as well. The custom inserts are perfect for restricting movement inside the case while it’s being tossed around. If you carry a camera with you or more photography gear, you would need an additional bag as this is for the drone and accessories only. Another great feature about the Nanuk is the ability to lock it. The case latches shut with a watertight seal, and there are two holes on each the lid and the bottom to slide in a small lock. The case is not too bulky, but definitely has a solid feel to it. According to Nanuk, the case is waterproof up to 3ft for ~30min so you should feel comfortable with this case out in the rain, but maybe not while on a sinking boat. It’s very difficult to come up with anything negative to say about this case.
What fits inside:
- 4 intelligent flight batteries
- DJI Mavic Pro
- SD Card
- Microfiber cloth
WD 2TB My Passport Wireless Pro Portable External Hard Drive
The External Hard Drive is probably the second most important accessory, falling only behind a bag or case. There’s nothing worse than being out on a shoot, away from power, and filling up your SD card(s). With 2 terrabytes packed in to this portable hard drive, that won’t happen again. Western Digital has outdone themselves with the amount of connection options included with this drive. Using the SD Slot, the pilot can remove the SD card from the drone and instantly plug it into the hard drive for a very fast transfer, if you’re drone uses micro SD it’s still usable with a small adapter. No cables needed. There is also a wifi transfer available, USB 3.0 & 2.0. Lastly, the WD My Passport boasts a nice battery life of 10 hours which will definitely be enough while you’re out on a shoot. There are several different storage capacities available, but 2TB will be plenty. Of course there are cheaper options out there, but this one came in #1 to me for it’s SD slot, wireless capability, storage size, long battery life and ease of use.
- WiFi transfer
- 2TB Storage for videos, files & photos
- USB-C, USB 3.0 & USB 2.0 Support
- SD card slot for transfers
- Long battery life (10 hours)
Tile Sport - Anything Finder
At this point, I think we all know that photography, drones, and accessories are expensive. Which means, we don’t want to lose our gear or have it taken. Tile is the solution for that. Tile is a device that can be very easily attached to a bag, your keys, hard case, tripod, etc that allows the owner to find their gear via an easy to use app. The range finder goes up to 200FT pin-pointing on the map exactly where your belongings are. If you have your gear with you but have lost your phone (doh!) you can double tap the Tile device itself and have your phone instantly start ringing. Likewise, if you have your phone, you can skip the map location and make your Tile play a very loud tune until you’ve locate it. If someone has taken your gear and already gotten outside the 200ft range, you can look to the other Tile users for help. The Tile Sport is waterproof, rugged and more durable than the slim or standard tile. I highly recommend getting 1 or 2 of these for your backpack, hardcase, or luggage. It’s an awesome accessory to have while on a trip. One major thing I should mention, Tile does not have a replaceable battery yet, so generally, each year you would need to get another one.
- Light weight
- Small & Durable
- 200FT Range
- Find Your Phone Support
- Global access to help others find their belongings
- Easy To attach/detach for several pieces of gear
ND Filters (Neutral Density Filters)
If you want to get the best shots possible out of your drone, I highly recommend getting yourself a set of ND Filters. Neutral Density Filters will filter out glare, while adding contrast and saturation to your clip. With ND filters you can prevent your footage from being overexposed on a very bright day, while still messing with the shutter speed and aperture. ND Filters are lightweight and very easy to clip on to your camera for flight. Don’t worry about having any balance issues with these filters. I personally use the the Polar Pro Cinema Series for DJI Mavic Pro. They are framed in aluminum so very light in weight, and snap on to the mavic pro camera within seconds. The best part, they come in a small plastic carry case that slides into my backpack to protect them on the go. There are a lot of options to choose from, depending on which drone you own. Definitely get out there and do your research, or ask me what I think before you buy them.
- Block Glare
- Add Contrast
- Add Saturation
- Allow for more setting changes to ISO and shutter speed
- Light weight
- Clip On / Off
No matter which drone you’ve purchased or are purchasing, you’re going to need extra batteries. As a pilot, it can take some time to line up a shot or change some settings for the specific weather you’re experiencing, all while your battery is draining. Do yourself a huge favor and pick up some extra batteries. It’s no fun to sit around waiting for a battery to charge. I recommend having 3 batteries for your drone. While you are flying one, you can have another one on the charger. Don’t end the fun early, just pick up the batteries!
Propellers are another important accessory. Even though drones these days are getting smarter and smarter, we are still only humans. A slight crash can easily break off a propeller. Extra propellers are super easy to carry around and replace, so don’t be grounded over something so simple. Get yourself a few extra propellers, but I hope you won’t need them!