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Drones in the cold: 5 things you need to know

07 June 2020 by Adrienn Kerekes 0 Comments

Winter drone flying can sometimes be difficult due to extreme weather conditions. Low temperatures can affect the drone's performance and the weather is often unpredictable. You may also encounter rain, fog or snow while flying. So how can you operate the drone safely and at the same time take high-quality footage during the winter months? We've put together some safety and camera setup tips to keep in mind when flying a drone in the winter.


Like many new portable devices, DJI drones are powered by lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries. However, cold temperatures reduce their performance as the chemical activity in the batteries decreases. You can make operating your drone safer by following these tips:

● use only fully charged batteries;
● preheat the battery min. to 20°C; you can check the battery temperature in DJI GO; use a battery heater if available for your drone;
● circle approx. one minute to allow the battery to warm up;
● push the steering wheel gently to avoid a sudden loss of battery voltage;
● batteries drain faster at low temperatures, so you should constantly monitor their condition during flight.


While you're shooting the spectacular winter landscape, reduced visibility and wet snow can present hidden dangers. Therefore, it is recommended that you take some precautions:

● before you take off, check the weather conditions - avoid strong wind, rain and snow;
● do not fly below 0°C;
● avoid contact with snow, as moisture can damage the motors - in this case, it is recommended to use a landing platform to take off and land the drone;
● make sure the drone is getting a strong GPS signal.

Keep it warm

Have you ever experienced that your mobile phone unexpectedly turned off in the cold? As noted above, low temperatures can shorten the life of a LiPo battery. So, while you're making sure your drone's batteries are at the right temperature, don't forget to keep your mobile device warm as well. Also, watch out for frostbite. It is dangerous to operate the remote control with cold hands. Be sure to wear gloves when flying outdoors in the winter.

Camera settings – exposure and white balance

To capture the beauty of snow, you need to manually set your camera's exposure and white balance. Shooting in automatic mode may result in dark images. This is because the camera's exposure system can sometimes underexpose the snow due to its glow. By adding an additional exposure value, you slightly overexpose your photos, which is ideal for capturing snow-covered landscapes. Similarly, the white balance must be manually adjusted for the correct color balance of the snowy landscape. Otherwise, the snow may appear gray.


If you do not use the drone for a long time during the winter months, it may affect its performance. Proper storage is key to safe operation. Make sure that:

● fully charge and discharge the battery every three months in order to maximize its service life;
● take off the propellers and install the gimbal mounting structure when storing the drone;
● store the drone in a dry and non-magnetic place for approx. at 25°C.

Are you ready to capture the wonders of winter with your drone? We wish you a lot of fun during the winter flight! Don't forget to share your photos with us using the hashtag #djiarsbudapest on Instagram!

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