The overwhelming popularity of drones is highly attributed to their ability to take pictures and videos from altitude. The drone's cameras have revolutionised various spheres of life such as filmmaking, exploration and what not. It's a lot more than we can think of.
Having said that, there are different types of cameras that can be seen in integrated within a drone. If you are looking to choose the best drone with a camera, you would go through hundreds of such products and spend hours in deciding.
And we have a good news to share!
Our team carried out intense research to understand and analyse features of hundreds of drones with a camera and shortlisted 10 best drones with cameras. If you are looking for the top camera drones, then you should be reading this post.
DJI Mavic Pro12 MP Pictures- 4K Video
DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter12 MP Pictures- 4K UHD Video
Parrot Bebop 214 MP Pictures- 1080p Video
Typhoon Q50012 MP Pictures- 1080p Video
DJI Phantom 4 Pro20 MP Pictures- 4K UHD Video
Yuneec Typhoon H12 MP Pictures- 4K UHD Video
Voomal Syma X8G8 MP Pictures- 1080p Video
Hubsan H109S1080p HD Camera
Holy Stone F181H2MP Pictures - 720p Video FPV
DBPOWER UDI U8422MP Pictures - 720p Video FPV
DJI Mavic Pro is one of the advanced drones out there regarding general functional aspects and as well as in camera department. Mavic's camera outcomes are regarded as one of the crispest pictures out there in the drone world. And why not - It boasts a 12 MP camera that can click amazing pictures and shoot videos at 4K resolution.
DJI Mavic Pro is a winner in various aspects. It gives you a flight time of 27 minutes, and a flying distance of 7 km can be expected from it. We think both of these are incredible features as far as core aspects are considered.
DJI Mavic Pro has some of the best positioning system to deliver precise results both indoors and outdoors. The drone has features that allow it to land back to the take-off place and it can hover in various environments.
Speaking of the camera, it's a true 4K sensor based camera. It also allows you to take selfies with just a gesture. The ActiveTrack feature has several arrangements that enable shooting professional looking videos for the subject you desire.
DJI Mavic also works with your mobile using the DJI's mobile app. You can fully control the drone using your smartphone. You can also edit the pictures using the DJI GO Editor.
Overall, a fantastic camera drone that wins your heart in every way.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional quadcopter is preferred by more serious drone enthusiasts including movie-makers, owing to its excellent camera performance. Phantom 3 professional is an all-around drone that does a great job in most of the department. We have featured it in our list primarily because if its spectacular camera aspects
DJI Phantom 3 professional is obviously a lot heavier than DJI Mavic Pro and can handle the wind in much better fashion. DJI is well-built and comes with the main unit that runs on advanced processing core. The aircraft is easy to fly, and the navigation is easy too with a return-to-home feature incorporated.
You can always track the location of your DJI Phantom 3 with the DJI GO app, and the tracking is facilitated by GPS. Further Phantom 3 has sophisticated record logging system about its flights were taken. The software programming is pretty robust since you can order the Phantom 3 to stop flying at a particular distance for hovering for some reason (such as snapping a picture or live streaming).
Speaking of the camera, Phantom 3 boasts a 12MP camera that can record videos at 4K resolution at 30 fps. The 3 axis gimbal makes sure the camera is stable during flights, and you get crisp, clear pictures and videos. We think the Phantom 3 is a great to pick if you are looking for the good camera drone.
We talked a quite a bit about DJI drones and here is another brand that takes DJI heads on. A brand called Parrot has carved a niche for itself for making high-quality drones. We have been hearing great things about this brand and the model we have shortlisted in our camera drone list is Parrot Bebop 2.
Parrot Bebop 2 is a mid-range priced personal drone which has a unique design and is lightweight. However, you will be amazed to know that this little toy packs so much of power and offers some of the best features. Since our primary goal in this post is to explore and rate the camera aspects, this drone has a powerful 14 MP camera to snap super bright pictures at 4K resolution and record full HD videos at 1080p.
You can choose various image formats such as RAW or PNG. Parrot Bebop 2 can give you some incredible aerial footages that will be appreciated by you and your family/intended audience. The camera also has a fish eye lens for capturing images in more interesting ways. An internal memory of 8GB helps tp store the graphics media snapped by drone camera.
Speaking about its general functional aspects, it's quite competitive with DJI's frontline drones such as Mavic Pro or Phantom Professional. Parrot Bebop 2 gives you a flight time of about 25 minutes and a transmission range of 300 meters.
We have another high-quality drone that excels in camera area as well. Typhoon Q500 is undoubtedly worth its price owing to its high performance in basics and picture/video capabilities. Typhoon Q500 is made by Yuneec, which is a HongKong based company. Let's explore Tycoon Q500 in detail in following sections to let you know what made us feature this drone on our list of best camera drones.
Q500 is an advanced personal drone that delivers a flight time or battery life of 25 minutes which is on par with some of the drones we talked earlier in this article. It has a camera of 12 MP that can capture Ultra-HD, 4k pictures and videos at 1080p up to 120fps (including HD slow-motion videos). You can expect a good stabilization during video shots due to the steady drip feature. Advanced stabilization techniques as gimbal are used in this drone to deliver incredible images and aerial footages.
The drone uses a lightweight battery that gives a decent flight time. Typhoon Q500 has some of the intelligent features such as 'watching' and 'following' you when you are on the move, and it can keep recording high-quality videos. It also has 'Return to Home' feature like many other advanced quadcopters.
Q500 has a good ground station controller unit, and a mobile app helps to control the drone using a smartphone. Q500 can fly up to 400 ft above the ground.
If we indeed talk about a highly advanced and high-end quadcopter, then the latest one from DJI family will leave you speechless and in awe. It's DJI Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter. Well, you would be thinking already that we talked about DJI's best products already in this article (Mavic and Phantom 3 Pro) and what else this new product has to offer.
DJI seems to be pushing the limits when it comes to upgrading the features. Well, Phantom 4 Pro offers few worthy improvements incorporated, especially an upgraded camera. It packs a superior 20 MP camera integrated into the drone. This camera can shoot 4K videos at 60fps. The camera also uses a mechanical aperture to get rid of distortions that are usually caused by rolling shutters in a camera. What you get out of this camera are a crisp, clear image and high-quality videos. It also has the features of ActiveTrack and TapFly.
Functionally, the drone is almost similar to Phantom 3 Pro having same transmission range of 7 kms. However there's a slight improvement in flight time (battery life), you will be able to enjoy 30 minutes of drone flying at a stretch. The mobile app gives you flexibility of controlling the drone using your smartphone. One thing that is noticeable in this drone is it's far expensive than Phantom 3 Pro. However, considering the improvements in various department, the price difference is well justified.
So, we have our first hexacopter on this list. Yuneec Typhoon H has been picked up for this list because if its advanced camera specifications and tailor-made features for 360-degree videography.
However, Typhoon H doesn't just impress you in camera area, but it's a beast when it comes to performance as well. Let's figure out what are the features that the product has to offer us and if there are any shortcomings.
Typhoon H boasts some of the superior specs such as collision avoidance and is no-fly zone compliant. Being very compact in size, it has GPS assisted flight control system, return to home features and many others. The product offers a decent flight time of 25 minutes and a transmission range of 1.6 km. It comes with a nice unit controller which is Android based, allowing you to operate and control Typhoon H.
Speaking about camera specs specifically, this device has a 12 MP, CGO3+ 4K UHD camera which can snap stunning pictures and records 4K videos. You will be able to live stream videos in HD (720MP) via the downlink. The camera has a low-distortion lens and allows you film, captivating 360-degree aerial videos. Typhoon H can orbit you if you want it to. It can fly up to 150ft of height.
It packs tons of features and no wonder it's adored by drone fanatics and hobbysts alike.
If you are looking for a good camera drone, however working with a stiff budget? Well, we have a great camera drone that doesn't drill a hole into your pocket and offers excellent features as well. Syma X8G RC quadcopter looks very promising as the low-cost, high-performance camera drone. What are the principal features and specifications of this drone? Subsequent sections will tell you the same points.
Syma X8G might not look as aesthetic as Phantom or Parrot Bebop, but it's built well for delivering a good flight performance. An 8MP HD camera is capable of taking high-quality pictures and shooting videos at 720/1080p. Interestingly, the camera case is compatible with some of the leading action cameras such as GoPro.
It can give you a flight time about 10 minutes, and we suggest you have multiple batteries as spare to get more flight time. It has some of the best stabilisation and sensitivity features such as 6 Axis Gyro along with 6 axis flight control systems. Syma X8G has an Intelligent Orientation Control function that makes the drone align itself while it's in the air.
Syma X8G will perfectly suit you if you want to experiment with drone photography and videography within low budget. However if you are more seriously looking for longer duration videos and professional looking pictures, then you should look for more higher models such as DJI Mavic or the Phantom series. Having said that , Xyma X8G keeps winning the hearts because of its low cost and a great camera integration.
We have another mid-range camera drone featuring in this list. The one we have picked up falls in mid-range because of its price. If we talk about features and functional aspects, Hubsan H109S X4 Pro scores excellent marks. It has a good camera that can snap 1080p pictures and videos.
Hubsan H109S X4 Pro looks professional and is well built. At the core, it's designed with great flight control features such as 3 axis gimbal, accurate control system, headless mode, return to home, etc. You can be assured of a great flying experience that is safe too.
Talking about camera, the product has 1080p HD camera that can take good pictures and videos including real-time FPV streaming. The control unit is an Android based unit allowing you to explore and experiment with a broad range of flight/camera features of Hubsan X4 Pro.
Overall, we felt the drone well justies its pricetag and well secured its place in our top 10 camera drone compilation for 2017.
We have another low-cost camera drone on the list - Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter. Holy Stone was founded in 2014, and since then it has impressed quadcopter enthusiasts with its wide range of drone products. The reason we have shortlisted F181 quadcopter for this ranking post is it is one of the cheap camera drones out there in the market.
Holy Stone F181 has an HD camera to provide you with some decent aerial images and videos. The camera may not be as superior as those high-end models, but the job well for the overall price of drone. You will get a flight time of about 7 minutes with this product. F181 has been equipped with good flight control and navigation features. It has handy features such as headless security system and altitude hold function.
It also has 6 axis gimbal stablization system so that the drone is very stable during its flight. Drone is wind-resistent to certain extent, however owing to its low-weight one can't expect a full throttle resistentce to wind. Overall, we felt the Holy Stone has all that ingredients that make it a great choice for entry level quadcopter toy with a decent quality camera.
DBPOWER UDI U842 Predator surprisingly packs a bunch of rich features for such a low price. In fact, some of the features you will see in this drone are not even part of advanced drones out there. Well, we brought this cute looking quadcopter onto our top list because it's a great camera drone for an affordable price. And what delighted us was it had got its basics very strong regarding stabilisation and flying aspects.
U842 Predator looks stunning with the body colour mix of black and orange; it has got a nice base unit controller as well which can be attached to your mobile for viewing the live view while the drone is in flight mode. This drone doesn't disappoint you when it comes to flying safety and directions. The headless mode makes sure that drone doesn't go wrong as far as direction is concerned. You can control the drone using your mobile phone.
Speaking off camera, it has got a 2 MP HD camera with video recording capabilities and live FPV feature. In a nutshell, a good camera quacopter for an affordable price.
So, how to choose the best camera drone? How not to disappoint yourself by picking the wrong one? Here is our real quick buying guide to buying the great camera drone.
We are starting with a non-technical parameter to consider, and it's the most important one as well! What's your budget for buying a good drone with the camera feature? Because your options can change based on the budget, you allocate. You can always get the best camera if you have a higher budget and you would need to compromise a bit if you have the stiff budget.
While this is mostly the same case with camera drones. Decide on your budget, and we will talk about the tech stuff in next points.
We all know that the resolution of camera plays a vital role in having great quality pictures and videos. Specification of the camera is the first thing you need to look for.
Drones cameras range from a blurry VGA ones to a 20 Megapixel, 4K Ultra HD ones. If you have a stringent budget and want to start with a decent drone with a reasonably good camera, then a 2MP camera can be a good start, to begin with.
There are quite some drones that boast a 2MP camera and yet take great pictures.
However, there has been a significant improvements regarding camera resolution that a drone can feature. We have drones with the even 20MP camera with 4K Ultra HD capabilities.
If you have the moderate budget, then a mid-range camera of 8-12 mp would be great choice as well. A lot of people are opting for Ultra HD Cameras since the visuals from them are quite stunning and very impressive.
Video recording has been one of the most appreciated features of a drone and here are some pointers you should pay attention to. You should check about what resolution the videos are recorded at? Are they HD, Full HD or Ultra HD? A resolution above 720p would be HD, and you need to take that as a minimum threshold while choosing.
If you are buying a drone for more professional ventures such as film-making or capturing professional pictures, we suggest you go for higher-end models that offer 4K - Ultra HD videos, that shoots videos at 60fps. (Example, DJI Phantom 4 Pro).
Another thing you need to consider is the video live streaming and FPV (First Person View). At what resolution the drone is capable of live-streaming videos back to live-view monitoring panel? This is the query that you should have in mind.
We can't talk about the camera in isolation without discussing the functional aspects of the drone itself. The best camera drone is the one that gives you great shots and flies for a longer duration so that it can take longer videos. This itself implies that the drone is functionally advanced in itself to support the better camera needs,
Choose a drone that is functionally robust and gives you optimum results.
Q: How long a drone can shoot videos at a stretch?
It depends upon how long the drone itself can fly at a time. It's called as 'flight-time'. Latest drones can fly up to 30 minutes at a stretch, so you can expect the videos to be 30 minutes in length (provided the memory card is sufficient to hold that much data).
Q: Do megapixels matter when I am choosing a camera in a drone?
Up to certain extent. However what's important is that the camera is HD capable.
Q: What is live-streaming?
Live-streaming is the continuous live video recording while the drone is up in the sky. The footage is instantly be seen on the live view monitor that is attached to the control unit of the drone back on the ground.
Q: Do drones come with inbuilt memory cards to store the pictures and videos?
Yes. Most of the camera drones come with an inbuilt memory card storage.
Q: Can I expect professional video outputs with a camera drone?
Sure. A lot of movies and documentaries are made and being made using drone cameras. However, it's critical that you choose the higher end camera drones to derive the professional video outcomes.
This article is brought to you by Drone Trends's Editorial team. Drone Trends team is passionate about drones and quadcopters.