Drones are super cool, and no one can doubt this statement for a while. The intriguing possibilities they offer to expand the horizons of adventure and beauty is quite overwhelming.
Today we are going to reveal the best drone cameras you can buy in 2018.
Yes, even for people who do not have enough valid reasons to invest in drones would want to buy. Right? …
While the drones are super cool they also happen to be quite expensive. Most of them are for enthusiasts or people who are into experimenting with videography mainly. Almost all the good, high-end drones come equipped with amazing cameras.
However, this guide will equip you with both high and low end best purchasing options. So that everyone can savor the beauty and exciting features of this beautiful creation of mankind.
Best Drone Cameras 2018
Before starting there are some things that you should know about. The drone market is divided into 2 main domains. There are the high level, enthusiast grade drones like the DJI Phantom 4, and the DJI T600 Inspire 1, and then there are cheaper options.
So, you will be looking at some really high-end stuff from the likes of DJI, and GoPro as well as some entry-level toy drones that are targeted towards people who just want to have some fun.
|DJI Mavic Pro|
|3DR Solo Quadcopter |
|DJI T600-Single-Controllers Inspire 1 Quadcopter||4K||12||18 minutes|
|DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ V3.0 Quadcopter||1080p||8||25 minutes|
|Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon Quadcopter|
|Parrot Bebop 2||1080p||14||25 minutes|
|Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition Quadcopter||720p||N/A||12 minutes|
|Yuneec Typhoon H Pro||4K||12||25 minutes|
|GoPro Karma||4K||12||27 minutes|
|Contixo F17+ RC Quadcopter Photography Drone||4K||16||18 minutes|
When you need detail, nothing beats UHD for jaw-dropping high resolution. This product, the DJI Mavic Pro, has an onboard camera that is able to deliver 4K video content and has some top-notch maneuverability in the air. In fact, the DJI Mavic Pro is often considered one of the best drones with cameras for aerial photography on the market today.
The Mavic Pro also stands out when it comes to raw range; you can still control and receive footage from up to seven kilometers away! Add to this its robust flight time of 25 minutes, and you start to realize why the Mavic Pro is so well-loved in the camera drone world. If you need to get to a remote footage location quickly, the Pro has a top speed of 40 miles per hour.
When you’re done with your footage, the Mavic Pro folds down to a compact, water bottle-sized form, which makes it easy to pack up and take to your next shooting location.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the DJI Mavic Pro. Apart from the impressive pros, we are going to take a look at some of the things that hold this otherwise amazing drone back.
The DJI Mavic Pro is super compact. It sounds crazy but the drone can actually be folded to the size of a small bottle of water. So you can take it pretty much anywhere you want. Other than that, Mavic Pro comes with something very special that is known as OcuSync transmission system. The transmission system gives the drone a transmission range of up to 4.3 miles (7km). While the controller can fly the drone at an impressive speed of 40mph (64km/h).
- This is one of the most affordable PROFESSIONAL DRONE (Under $1000)
- OcuSync Transmission System
- 4k Video Recording
- Easily controllable Indoor and Outdoor
- Ultra Portability (Easily fits inside a Pocket)
- About 23 Minutes of Battery Life
- Unstable in Strong Winds
- Requires a SmartPhone to Control
- Records in both (Portrait and Landscape Modes)
One of the coolest features of the 3DR Solo Quadcopter is its amazingly sleek and responsive controller. It has a clamshell design that features two stick to control the copter and a large display at the front that will show you everything that the drone itself is filming. This product doesn’t come with its own camera, but you can easily add a gimbal and a GoPro to the device so that you can take some truly stunning and original aerial shots.
The drone offers one of the best industrial designs we have seen and comes with complete Gimbal support. This means that it gets the superior stabilization as well as support that most of our beloved drones are known for. The 3D Robotics Solo has a “Return to Home” safety feature which allows the drone to return to the position it took off from, thanks to the GPS system.
Even though the control system is impressive in its own right, this camera drone also can be controlled via smartphone. In fact, 3DR has its own iOS and Android app so that you can use your favorite device as a control system – complete with video feed. 3DR designed the solo to be truly versatile; you can even plug the controller into an external monitor like an HDTV via the HMDI port at its rear. This feature lets you see the footage at a higher resolution.
- Awesome Design
- Gimbal Supported
- iOS and Android App Support
- Budget Friendly
- Battery Life isn’t that good
- GPS is kinda slow (Sometimes it doesn’t show the correct position)
DJI has a rather robust selection of camera drones that can work for anyone who’s serious about aerial photography. The T600 shines as part of this line due to the fact that you can remove the gimbal and camera system so that you can upgrade the camera drone in the future as camera technology progresses. This makes this a good evergreen drone; you can rest assured that your aerial photography will be of current-generation of quality.
The T600 Inspire 1 comes with a ready to fly system, which means that everything you need to fly this beautiful drone is already added in the box. All you need to complete your experience is a mobile phone or a screen and you will get a live HD view of the beautiful capturing. The arms on the DJI T600 Inspire one are made out of really strong fiber. These arms remain completely out of sight, which means that all of your video recordings will go smoothly without the arms interfering your amazing video footages. The camera on the DJI T600 Inspire 1 is capable of shooting videos at 4K and has the ability to take crystal clear, sharp, and meticulously detailed photos at 12 megapixels. This makes the Inspire 1 one of the best drones for photographers as well as videographers.
Users can easily remove the gimbal and the camera system from the T600 Inspire 1. This allows the user to easily upgrade the drone in future, or simply have the whole drone carried safely from one place to another.
Sadly, as good as the flying experience of the DJI T600 Inspire 1 is, the battery life is terrible, and the drone only managed to last us 18 minutes on full charge. Separate accessories such as the controller, and the battery can hike the price of this drone drastically.
- Awesome Built Quality
- 4k video recording
- Removable Camera
- Advanced Functions like “Follow me” and “Intelligent Flight”
- Very Expensive
- Battery Life Sucks (Additional Batteries are too Damn Expensive)
- Android App is not that great
- In order to get
If you don’t need blistering detailed 4K footage, then this less expensive camera drone by DJI may be just what you’re looking for. The gimbal on this product has some of the best stabilization available; your images will always appear to be tripod-perfect and still. Additionally, the 1080p videos that this camera produces will have excellent color, gorgeous detail, and you can even use Wi-Fi first-person-view so that you can create some truly realistic-looking footage.
Unlike the other DJI products that we’ve covered thus far, this product comes in at a very reasonable price point that is perfect for a beginner that’s just beginning to get into aerial photography. It even lasts a long time in the air; in fact, on a full charge, you can definitely expect about 25 minutes of footage thanks to the Phantom 2 Vision+’s 5,200 mAh battery.
Like the previous device, this camera drone also packs in a follow mode so that you can take tracking shots.
- Extremely Easy to Control and stable in the Air.
- 4k Video Recording
- Live View Feed
- Automated Flight mode and Return-to-Home Functions
- Very Expensive
- Battery Life is not that great
It’s sure bet that purchasing a 4K camera drone can get relatively expensive, but this product, which comes from Yuneec, is actually one of the more budget-friendly products in this category. Aesthetically, the Yuneec Q500+ is a very sleek product that has a lot of curves that make the product just look nice and fast. Additionally, control features like follow me, return home, watch me, and geo-fencing are all available out of the box.
As mentioned, this drone definitely delivers some UHD footage that is very stable thanks to the three-axis gimbal that is at the base of the product. If you want some nice environmental still shots, then you’ll be pleased to know that this drone also comes with the ability to take 12-megapixel photos.
Not only does this drone have a great set of footage options, but it also flies like a dream. You can control it via larger remote that has a built-in footage display or you can control it via the compact Wizard remote.
Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon is capable of offering a smooth, and completely stable 4K video recording that is all nice, sharp, colorful, and brimming with details; the 12 megapixels camera does a great job at capturing amazing stills, and the distortion-free lens proves to be more than just a gimmick. The camera can be used separately and attached to a handgrip included that can be used to take the same beautiful footage and photos on the ground as well. Unlike some other drone controllers, the controller on the Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon is actually based on an all-in-one concept; the controller features a screen that provides you with a first person view of the drone using the camera, along with the ability to access camera controls straight from the screen.
From the looks, it may seem that the Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon is actually better than the competition, especially with the competitive price, but it doesn’t exist without its flaws. In case you are wondering, there are some obvious flaws to the drone, and we are going to see which ones there are.
- 4k Video Recording
- Easy to control
- Strong and Durable built quality
- Charging Time is way more as compared to others
- A Giant Controller
- Blurry Videos from the Edges
- Doesn’t support WayPoint Navigation
- Video Quality doesn’t match the price
For those directors and videographers that enjoy using a fisheye lens, this product from Parrot is a great option. This is a uniquely-shaped camera drone that has a flight that might remind some of a hummingbird; in fact, this is a camera that you’ll love if you enjoy darting-style acrobatics. This is also a drone that can really record at higher altitudes and also has a sleek, compact design that makes this the go-to drone to use if you’re comfortable flying in high winds.
Do you like to fly at night? Then, the bebop can be an excellent camera drone for your needs because it has a rear LED that has a very strong output. This LED can illuminate darker areas, which means that you can get some excellent nighttime video of nature, environments, and even people. Also, the more premium camera drones tend to have flight times approaching 30 minutes, but this drone has a charge that will let you fly for an impressive 25 minutes.
- The Bebop packs in a 2700 mAh battery that will let you fly the camera drone for almost a half hour.
- The LED flash is a great tool to open up night flying; you can illuminate a fairly large area with it.
- For such a small camera drone, this product has a lot of power and can pick up to some very fast speeds.
- Its design is excellent for flying during windy days; it’s just squat enough to cut through the wind.
- The software that allows you to control the device via smartphone apps isn’t as consistent as it could be.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is a great, budget-friendly camera drone that should suit most beginner pilots due to its accessibility. Under the hood, this drone packs in a 1000 mAh lithium polymer battery that is able to provide about 12 minutes of 720p video footage and flight times. This drone is very small; in fact, it may just be the smallest camera drone in this guide, but that being said, it definitely can provide a very robust experience for those that are looking for cheap camera drones.
While this isn’t what anyone would call a professional camera drone, this product definitely serves as a good drone for taking footage from time to time. To fly it, you can use an NVIDIA shield or a standard smartphone; the controls are simple and intuitive for beginner pilots. Also, rather than a single professional-grade camera, the AR.Drone actually employs a dual-camera setup that’s positioned at the base of the drone, which means that you can take some pretty fun shots.
Incredibly simplistic controls make this drone a treat to fly. You can perform some cool stunts with your drone. Despite not having a high-end camera, the 2 built-in cameras provide plenty of functions that are fun to explore and try out. While you need a Nvidia Shield in order to use the physical controls, the drone is quite easy to use through your smart phone applications.
All the footage taken through the 2 built-in cameras get stored directly on the phone, something that is really cool. The drone is available in a multitude of different colors.
The battery life is expectedly short, pretty much like every other drone we have tested.
- Extremely easy to fly and play
- Funny Camera Functions
- Smartphone Supported Apps
- Battery Life Sucks
- You can’t use it without a Smartphone
Another DSLR camera drone that’s very beginner-friendly, the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro has a strong suite of features that make sure that it also serves as a great all-around drone as well. It even features a controller that has a built-in display that will let you monitor your footage, which is rare for modern devices. While this isn’t the cheapest camera drone out there, most beginners will relish in its key features.
One of the features that makes this a good drone for people who are learning is its durability. The device has a carbon fiber body that ensures that it can take a few hits without too much trouble. Add to this the fact that it has collision avoidance systems, and you’ve got a great camera drone for anyone that’s going to be learning to fly right.
Additionally, the drone includes GPS stabilized flight control that works in conjunction with the 3-axis gimbal to provide some truly professional-grade videos and images. Overall, there’s just a lot of great support in this product for the consumer.
- 4K video and take 12-megapixel photos
- Two controllers
- There is absolutely no assembly required with this drone
- The compass can sometimes malfunction
GoPro is basically this really good company that has created active cameras for ages. Their small cameras are powerful enough to record videos at true 4K. Their cameras can be taken anywhere and mounted to pretty much anything.
Needless to say, GoPro has singlehandedly dominated the active camera market. The company has surpassed the competition in camera market by leaps and bounds. For a long time, nothing has managed to come even close to the amazing cameras by GoPro.
These types of camera drones are always more versatile because you can change out the Hero 6 for another GoPro camera, which means that you’ll always be able to keep up with camera trends. When taking video and photo, the Karma has an excellent stabilization system that prevents shaky footage.
The karma also shines in the fact that it’s convertible. You can fold it up and mount it on your body like you would for a standard GoPro experience. When you’re ready to fly, you can just unfold it and attach the propellers in order to get airborne.
Apart from the built-in camera, the GoPro Karma actually supports a number of different GoPro cameras. The options include the Hero 4, Hero 5 Black, and Hero Session. The drone ships with a GoPro Karma grip in order to have the best possible, and smoothest video recordings.
- It comes with a Handheld Stabilizer
- Built-in Display on the Controller
- The software is not that advance (No “Follow Me” Mode)
- Missing “Obstacles Avoidance” Feature
- Battery Life Sucks (GoPro claimed it to be 27 minutes but it hardly last for 18-20 minutes)
- Missing Downward Positioning Sensor
Now before we start digging deeper into the details, you should know that the Cheerson Hobby CX-20 Professional shares a close resemblance to the DJI Phantom series drones. As much as they seem alike you can easily differentiate the two, thanks to the red accents on this one. Although the affordable price tag may lead you to believe that it’s a toy drone but that’s not entirely true. The drone happens to be quite powerful and comes with a lot of advanced features including vision positioning system. Unlike the AR.Drone 2.0, it actually has a dedicated remote controller that you can use for easy control.
With that out of the way, let’s not waste any more time, and take a look at just how good the Cheerson Hobby CX-20 Professional is. We will now start weighing in on the pros as well as the cons.
The drone comes with advanced features like vision positioning system, Pathfinder, and auto-return home. The camera mount allows the user to add a Go Pro camera and shoot beautiful 4K footage, and clear stills.
It’s competitively priced without sacrificing on the build quality. Attractive white design with red accents on the body. Easy to learn, and fun to fly with full physical controls.
- Positioning System, Path Finder, and Return to Home Features
- Mounted camera can be changed, you can even install GoPro
- Very low price as compared to others
- Short battery life, just like any other drone
- It takes a lot of time to fully charge the battery
- It is hard to find spare parts in the market for this drone
Video Camera Drones Buyer’s Guide
What is a drone?
A drone is an unmanned flying machine that can be piloted by an operator on the ground. These devices provide some fun aerial adventures, can be used for drone racing, and are absolutely excellent when used for aerial photography. Drones are also very versatile; in fact, there are even drone products that will be used for things like e-commerce, food delivery, and security.
What’s the point of a camera drone?
There was a time when aerial shots were expensive affairs that required huge cranes, low-flying airplanes, or helicopters. Camera drones, on the other hand, can deliver high-resolution images and video and are vastly more inexpensive by comparison. These small flying cameramen can accomplish a multitude of filming tricks and can stay in the air for an extended period without having to be recharged.
What kinds of videography jobs can you perform with a camera drone?
When you’re flying a camera drone, you’ll be able to aerial pan, execute tracking shots, and perform dramatic flyovers. For example, if you’re filming a wedding, it would add a lot of spectacle to your video composition to have a drone fly in and take aerial shots of the bride and groom. Additionally, these flying cameras can also provide you with a vantage point that isn’t easily reachable by standard methods so that you can truly provide a unique vide experience.
Can you use a camera drone to take aerial stills?
While many people use these cameras to provide video content, just about every camera drone has the ability to deliver aerial skills that can be used in art compositions. If this is the kind of drone photography that you’re interested in, look for a drone that has software/hardware image stabilization, a high megapixel count, and aerial stabilizers.
How much space do you need for a camera drone?
When you’re taking photos and videos with your camera drone, you don’t need a lot of space; you just need enough room for the drone not to be affected by things like trees, light poles, and other environmental hazards. While wide open spaces can be advantageous, you really aren’t limited to a camera drone, especially if you know how to maneuver one.