Camera drones are useful for amateur and professional photographers and videographers, as they are able to shoot from different and difficult angles, which is not possible with traditional cameras. You can shoot from anywhere, provided you get the required permissions and take any angle on the subject with the slick features available on the camera drones. You don’t have to climb trees anymore to get that beautiful panoramic view. Today, drone technology has become less expensive and due to its increasing popularity, most enthusiasts are able to afford it. Small indoor drones come with simple cameras, but they can only take low-quality pictures, whereas the larger ones can shoot at 1080p HD or more and have controllers. Let’s check out some of the best camera drones.
See also: Best compact camera
Best Camera Drones
Intelligent Voice Control Camera Drone
It comes in an amazing design and can even be controlled with voice commands. The camera has an HD resolution of 720 pixels. It comes pre-assembled and so just needs charging for setting up. The 720p HD camera can take pictures at a 120-degree wide-angle. It also has an FPV aspect, which means that it has a Wi-Fi real-time transmission for connecting to the phone.
Other capabilities of the Snaptain A15 are that it can do 360-degree flips with just a button press. This feature can be used for creative effects in your photos and videos. The return home feature allows you to bring back the drone at any point in time, thereby reducing the chances of losing it. Another useful mode is the Headless mode, which is useful for beginners. In this case, you can make smoother videos, as you don’t have to face the direction in which the drone will travel. Voice commands like Landing, Go Right or Forward is the other smart and useful features.
It is small, lightweight and easily transportable. The dimensions are 11.4 x 7.8 x 3.1 inches and it weighs 1.21 pounds.
Other items included in the box are a remote controller, a removable Li-ion battery, a USB charger, 8 spare rotor blades, a screwdriver, and 4 protective guards. The total flight duration is around 15 minutes.
Who Should Buy This?
- For those who want to buy a great foldable drone at a reasonable price.
- Suitable for those who go on trips and wish to take their quadcopter with them.
- It is a perfect camera drone for beginners as well as for hobby photographers or video makers.
Compact, Foldable Camera Drone
Autel Robotics EVO
It is a compact camera drone with a foldable design. It has a flight time of 30 minutes. The camera is a 12 MP one capable of capturing stunning 4K videos at 60 fps. It is built on a gimbal platform with 3-axis stabilizers providing greater stability and has a 94-degree FoV. It has both GPS and GLONASS, including 2 cameras in the front, with the help of which it can create a 3D map of the surroundings and move through it securely and efficiently. Users can see and control the activity from a 3.3 inches OLED screen built in it.
The transmission range is 4.3 miles for 30 minutes and it offers a true 4K stabilized and smooth footage. Buttons are simple to access and users can command the drone to return home, including automatic take-off and landing, capturing photos, videos, etc. It can autonomously follow objects, thereby creating a box shape around the object. Cinematic shots are easy, where you just select the point that is to be shot and the drone flies a perfect circle around it. Automatic flight routes can also be set for surveying.
The dimensions of the Autel Robotics EVO are 12.5 x 11 x 10.5 inches and it weighs 7.37 pounds. It comes with intelligent flight modes with dynamic tracking, waypoint, and VR facilities. Intelligent algorithms avoid obstacles and ultrasonic sensors prevent landing on uneven surfaces. All these, offer pinpoint precision while flying and landing.
Who Should Buy This?
- Those who want a small, compact but solid drone for taking aerial photos and videos.
- For professionals who want a top-quality camera drone.
Compact Folding Camera Drone with 4K
HubsanZino Pro Drone
The HubsanZino Pro drone comes with a 4K camera placed on a three-axis, stable rotating gimbal. It has a flight time of 23 minutes and several flight modes along with 4 kilometers connectivity. The camera has a 1/3 inches Sony sensor. A useful feature is that you can remove the camera lens and install other lenses with built-in ND filters. The ND filter reduces the light entering the lens and prevents overexposure. Users get greater creative control over shots with the detachable filter whereby they can select the aperture and the shutter speed.
It can take 4K videos at 30 fps and 60 Mbps data rate. The quadcopter has a speed of 22 MPH and its range is 2.5 miles. Video transmission is possible up to 4 km. It makes use of a brushless motor and has a button for auto-return to home. The camera is mounted on a three-axis gimbal stabilizer that helps it to take smooth videos and sharp photographs even while in motion.
The dimensions of the HubsanZino Pro drone are 11 x 9.6 x 4.5 inches and it weighs 4.41 pounds. It has a removable 3S battery with a power of 3000 mAh. Different types of flight modes like automatic return-home, loss control failsafe, panorama, orbit, tracking, GPS, image tracking, follow-me, headless mode, waypoint, line fly mode, vision auxiliary landing and orbiting mode are available in this camera drone.
Who Should Buy This?
- Those who want a lightweight and compact, foldable camera drone that they can take everywhere while traveling.
- Those who want a professional camera drone for aerial photography and videos.
Convenient and Easy to Carry Camera Drone
It is a convenient and portable camera drone that comes with a case. The aluminum case comes with enough storage space to keep all drone accessories together. The blades are foldable and easy to store. It has different control modes, such as headless and altitude. It has just a single key for take-off and landing, making it easy and functional. The camera is a 4K HD one with 120 adjustable FoV. The 5G Wi-Fi camera offers clear and HD image transmission that can be easily saved on to the SD card or on your smartphone. These can be auto-generated and shared with friends or social media immediately. The recording mode is HD 2048 x 1152 pixels and the maximum transmission distance is 200 to 300 meters.
The Home-Return feature is smart with GPS assistance. Other features include Follow-Me, object tracking, customized paths, tracking, and automatic following, etc. The 5G real-time transmission feature allows a quick and fluent view transmission without video lag and therefore it is ideal for filming a spot or just looking around.
The 4K camera is a wide-angle 120-degree one that can adjust up and down within 90 degrees. The 2 batteries of 7.4V 1200 mA are intelligent batteries that offer a substantial flight time of 2 x 13 minutes. GPS enables precise positioning and it returns home automatically when the battery gets low or when you press the return key. It is also suitable for taking selfies as it has the Follow-Me feature that enables the drone to follow you no matter how fast you run. The dimensions are 11.3 x 10 x 3.4 inches and it weighs 2.3 pounds.
Who Should Buy This?
- For those who want a camera drone that is convenient to carry around outdoors.
- Easy operation for beginners and kids.
- Suitable for those who wish to take aerial selfies.
Camera Drone for Professionals
It ranks among the top camera drones that offer a great flying experience with smart camera functions. It is created with top-quality materials and has a sporty design in a jet-black coating that professionals will love. The build is sturdy, compact and highly functional and it comes with user-friendly controls and interesting flying tricks.
The camera is a 120-degree wide-angle HD camera, whereby you can view clear aerial images in real-time transmission. The camera has a resolution of 1080 pixels with a 90-degree adjustable lens to take different types of photographs. Commercial users can plot a precise course with the assistance of GPS for filming videos. The GPS helps record the flight trajectory, so it is possible to find the location that has been filmed. All modes like Follow-Me, Orbit flight, and Draw-the-dots are available. Other useful features are the auto-return home, in case of lost signals, low voltage and so on. Users can select 3-speed modes, with low speed for beginners, medium for adults and high speed for skilled professionals. All basic functions are easy to perform.
It has a 5G Wi-Fi transmission, which enhances the control range, with the controller working up to 500 meters. The flight time of the Potensic D58 is 18 minutes. The drone lets you enjoy a 3D virtual experience of the world. It comes with 2 antennas besides the camera, thereby offering additional signal strength and faster signal transmission. The dimensions are 12.9 x 12.6 x 6 inches and it weighs 2 pounds.
Who Should Buy This?
- It has smart camera features suitable for commercial users and professional photographers. Useful for commercial users who wish to take clear pictures of properties for sale or other important events.
- Suitable for beginners and hobbyists as well, as the controls are user-friendly.
- Useful for travelers who want to shoot outside in unknown terrain.
Tiny, Powerful and Perfect Camera Drone
DJI Mavic Mini
It is the perfect camera drone for anyone, with all the core features and available at a reasonable price. The camera range and controller are excellent and it is compact enough to throw in a bag and travel. That is the major selling point of the Mini. The main features are a 30-minute flight time, an HD video transmission of 4 km, 3-axis gimbal with a 2.7K camera and physical controllers working with Android and iOS phones.
It weighs less than 250 grams and so is very light and stays in the air longer compared to other types of quadcopters. As it is under 250 grams, you can fly it in the US or Canada without registration. The drone offers support for 12 MP aerial photographs with 2.7K quad HD videos. The 3-axis gimbal offers good camera stability and ultra-smooth footage. There are many shooting modes, such as Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket and so on. QuickShot offers an easy way of executing preset motions for recording.
It makes use of DJI’s new application DJI Fly, which comes with several enhancements. Users can access the SkyPixel, a social media platform for sharing aerial pictures and videos and discovering popular spots in their area. The camera is good and can take decent pictures even on cloudy days. It is equipped with a 360-degree propeller guard for protecting the propellers and improving safety. The GPS and downward vision sensors help it hover precisely, both indoors and outdoors. The remote controller maintains the feed for up to a distance of 4 km. The dimensions are 6.3 x 3.1 x 0.4 inches and it weighs 0.16 ounces.
Who Should Buy This?
- Those who want a responsive, light, easy and fast camera drone that lets you enjoy the flight.
- Those who want a small and compact drone that they can carry everywhere they go.
Easy Setup Simple to Fly, Foldable Camera Drone
It is a foldable quadcopter combining ease of flight with a range of full-fledged features and a high-quality camera. It can take 4K videos and high-quality stills. Though it has a remote control, you can also fly it using a connected smartphone. There are also several automated tracking modes for getting excellent shots and it has a decent range of 4 km.
The Parrot Anafi drone has anrf/2.4 wide-angled ASPH HDR lens with a digital zoom of 2.8x capable of 4K videos FHD or 2.7K videos at 2704 x 1520 pixels with 21MP photos, and a 180-degree tilt gimbal. In addition, it has a timer, Burst mode for 10 photos per second as well as wizards for professional settings. The design is an ultra-portable one weighing just 11.2 oz, being both robust and easily foldable. It comes in a case that protects the quadcopter during transportation. The dimensions are 9.4 x 6.9 x 2.6 inches and it weighs 1.56 pounds.
The flight time is 25 minutes of filming and it makes use of an intelligent Li-Po battery that charges 60% with the PD USB Type C charger. The design is a light carbon frame in an ultra-compact form, which takes it to speeds of 55 kmph in the Sport mode. There is a parrot Skycontroller 3 for remote control. Other features include Geofence, SmartRth, and Find-My-Drone. It is ergonomic and easy to use with the FreeFlight 6 app being powered by AI for automatically taking cinematic shots. GeoFence enables defining the virtual perimeter so that it does not fly out of the specified area. The Smart RTH means that it will return home if the battery is low.
Who Should Buy This?
- Those who want a good quality camera drone that can be folded and stowed neatly in a case or backpack while traveling.
- Those who want to shoot high-resolution photos and 4K video with their camera drone.
Camera Drone for Kids and Adults
UDI RC U818A Discovery
It is a bare-bones quadcopter that relies entirely on the skills of the pilot handling the remote. Controls are easy to use. It comes in a minimalistic design with a plastic frame and electronics placed in a small cavity at the center. It has a small battery-powered at 500 mAh. The camera is small and is connected by wires. It also has a micro-USB card for storing videos and images. The rotors are small at 5.25 cm diameter and made of plastic with a small screw locking it in place. You also get a spare set of rotors along with a small screwdriver. Buttons on the quadcopter can take photos, start and stop videos, flip and change the flight mode, etc.
It is light at just about 4.6 ounces and fits well in the hand. It is powered by 4 AA batteries. The quadcopter is fun to fly, as it is small and lightweight and can be easily maneuvered. It can also perform stunts like 360-degree turns, backflips, somersaults, etc. The camera is at the bottom and weighs just 0.2 ounces, coming with a 4GB micro-SD card and a small lens. Videos can be shot at 640 x 480 pixels at 30 fps and still photos at 1280 x 960 pixels, with decent looking colors.
Who Should Buy This?
- Those who want a power-packed camera drone that provides decent performance at a reasonable price.
- For those who want to fly the drone both indoors and outdoors, as it comes with rotor protectors to prevent collisions indoors.
- For aspiring pilots who wish to take control of the flight and take videos and are on a limited budget.
Camera Drone with Optical Zoom
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
It is the most famous name in consumer drones and DJI always delivers the goods. The Mavic 2 Zoom was launched in 2018 and comes with some ground-breaking features. The camera comes with a 4x lossless zoom and FHD video. It also includes a 2x optical zoom of 24 mm to 48 mm. The sensor has a resolution of 12 MP and 1/2.3 inches CMOS. Other features include avoidance sensors that cover all around the object.
The Dolly Zoom enables capturing both wide-angle and mid-range shots. It includes a 3-axis gimbal for providing stable footage whatever the situation may be. The total flight time is 31 minutes, which is the longest for consumer drones today. It has a maximum speed of 72 kmph in Sport mode and also includes a low-noise technology during flight. Other features include an Active Track 2.0 and high-speed tracking abilities for speeds up to 27 kmph. Aerial shots are taken and processed automatically with the Hyperlapse feature. Another useful feature is obstacle avoidance sensors that sense obstacles around the object. It is capable of planning its path on a 3D map and can recognize and move away from obstacles in the front or from behind.
It also has an additional Auxiliary light at the bottom for use in low-light conditions, which also helps the downward sensors. The imaging system is excellent and it can capture a wide range of shots with creative options.
Who Should Buy This?
- Camera drone enthusiasts and professionals who want a drone with optical zoom.
- Those who want an easy-to-fly experience and are ready to pay the price for it.
- Those looking for a portable and compact camera drone that can be squeezed into a small backpack.
- Suitable for experienced amateurs, rather than absolute beginners, though it is easy enough to fly even if you have never flown a camera drone before.
Upping the Ante on Selfie Camera Drone
DJI Spark Fly More Combo
It comes in a tiny and lightweight design and boasts of an excellent camera that is mechanically stabilized. Other features that it has are USB charging, gesture control, and obstacle detection. The DJI Spark is an intelligent subject-tracking drone that helps you take selfies with a mere hand gesture. Apart from obstacle detection, it also features a dual-band GPS and a system for visual positioning, which enables it to hover above the ground up to 98 feet, either indoors or outdoors.
It is easy to fly the quad. You just hold it in front of you and double tap on the power button. The camera scans the surroundings and locks onto your face and then spins the propellers. The gesture control works remarkably well and all it needs is just some practice related to the gestures. The gestures are cool but limited to a few actions useful for taking a quick selfie or a video clip. For other actions, you can use the DJI app. There are different flight modes to select from and with ActiveTrack, it can be set to follow you or any other subject selected from the screen.
The flight time is between 10 to 14 minutes. The dimensions are 9.8 x 3 x 8.2 inches and it weighs 1.49 pounds. It provides good value for money and comes with a good camera and stabilization. It is compact and can be folded, having a travel-friendly size.
Who Should Buy This?
- Those who want all the features of a camera drone in an incredibly small package.
- For those who want a highly portable camera drone for cool aerial selfies.
- Suitable for beginners and those who are not expert pilots. You can learn to fly without learning much about the controls.
- Useful for quick flights and for taking selfies. Basically, for those who wish to capture spectacular photos or videos from the air and for getting cool selfies.
Simple, Fun Beginner Camera Drone to Fly
Ryze Tello Drone
This is the starter version of the Ryze Tello quadcopter. In addition, there are other versions available such as Essential, Professional, Advanced, Premium and Ultimate. It is a small and fast drone that comes with easy controls and comfortable remote control. You can fly it with an app, the Bluetooth remote or by using Scratch, a powerful programming language. Making use of the coding blocks for take-off, flying, turning, doing a flip or landing. The app can be used in iOS and Android phones, whereby the touch screen can be used for previewing images and controlling the drone. Pictures and videos are stored in the app, as there is no storage in the quadcopter. The drone is smart and interactive with videos having a resolution of 720 pixels and still images of 5 MP. Both of these are sharp and detailed. The app allows different modes like 8D flips, Up and Away, 360, Circle and Bounce mode. It is simple to use for beginners. The battery is powered at 1100 mAh and offers around 3 to 5 minutes of flight time.
It is fast and maneuverable and flies at a brisk 20 mph in the fast flight mode, whereas the slow mode is limited to 8 mph. The drone is small and compact measuring 12.8 x 9.7 x 2.6 inches and weighs 11 ounces, so FAA registration is not necessary. However, there is no GPS on the drone, so it cannot be programmed and set on a course.
Who Should Buy This?
- It is suitable for beginners as well as experienced fliers, as there are different versions available.
Stunning 4K Aerial Footage Camera Drone
DJI Phantom 3 Professional
It is simple to fly, easy to set up and comes with a stabilized drone camera capable of shooting 4K footage. The image sensors are excellent and offer superior footage along with sensors for ground scanning for indoor flying. The camera is crystal clear and offers real-time HD quality videos with intuitive flight controls for capturing professional quality images.
The Phantom 3 Pro shoots video at 4K, 3820 x 2160 pixels on a fully stabilized, 3-axis gimbal. You can shoot 4K videos of up to 30 fps and take 12 MP photos. Besides, it has a vision positioning system enabling a stable flight experience indoors as well, whereby you can fly it low to the ground in GPS free areas. Live viewing at 720 pixels is possible with Lightbridge digital streaming, along with full-resolution videos getting recorded in the microSD card. It also comes along with a flight battery and remote control that is rechargeable.
There is a DJI Pilot application for both iOS and Android, enabling total camera control and live viewing. It also has a Beginner Mode for learning to fly. The drone comes including all the tried and trusted features of a DJI drone, with auto-takeoffs and landings, intelligent high-powered flight battery, safety database for no-fly zones and an efficient mobile app. It also locks itself if you use it within a 15-mile radius of the White House, as this is restricted. The dimensions are 18 x 13 x 8 inches and it weighs 9.2 pounds.
Who Should Buy This?
- Professionals who want to shoot beautiful aerial videography and photos with great image quality.
- Those who want a professional camera drone that can be used indoors as well as outdoors.
Camera drones are petite machines that allow you to survey the surroundings from a height and can take magnificent aerial pictures and videos. If you are a beginner, get one under $50 to learn the basics and later you can move on to something more expensive in the range of $500 to $1500. Professional drones are used by filmmakers and cost a lot but offer excellent video quality, specs, and speeds. However, users need to know about the drone tech. Check out the features like battery life, cost of batteries, brushless motors for quieter operation, camera specifications (whether attached or built-in), Headless mode, integrated GPS, Follow-Me mode, integrated gimbal for keeping it steady in high winds, obstacle avoiding features, range, and so on. Remember that all drone users must register their aircraft if it is over 250gm and must follow the rules and regulations that apply. Happy shooting! Fly safely and responsibly.