15 Best Drones with Cameras 2019 Reviews: Ultimate Buying Guideline

15 Best Drones with Cameras 2019 Reviews: Ultimate Buying Guideline

Are you planning to buy your first drone with camera? Do you have a hard time choosing the best one?

Drones have revolutionized aerial photography. If you are a photographer, this device gives you the perfect birds-eye-view perspective for the best photo or video without risking your life, which is a huge leap from the traditional cameras.

If you have a drone with camera, you can tilt and rotate it 360 degrees to get the best shot possible while you are on the ground safe. However, due to these functionalities that you can’t easily replicate with other devices, drones with camera tend to be pricey.

Thankfully, there are tons of drone cameras in the market and the competition has somehow helped lower their price. While this is great as you have a lot of options to choose from, this also makes it even difficult to decide which one to get. I understand your sentiment, and I am here to help.

I’ll be guiding you about which drones with cameras are for professionals and hobbyists, which ones are great value for money and which ones fit your budget. I’ll also give you tips on what features you should consider for your camera drone.

I’ll categorize the different drones with camera by size, skill level and budget. In this way, it will be easier for you to find what suits you best.

Before giving you a list of the highly recommended drone with camera, I’ll give you an overview of what to expect on this page:

Who this Guide is For

This guide is for those who are looking for top rated drones with camera for aerial photography and videography. In this article, I will cover the starter camera drones to high-end professional drones with camera that deliver stable and super high-quality 4K images.

Expect this to be a long read, but you won’t get bored because you’ll find everything you need for a camera drone here. After reading this article, you will be able to determine the best drone with camera for you!

Professionals drones with camera

If you are making money from photography or videography, going for professional drones with camera should be your next step. This type of camera drone is highly recommended if you are into filmmaking, workfor commercial agencies that inspect infrastructure and real estate or will use the camera for search and rescue operation.

Professional drones with camera usually come with a high-resolution camera, optical zoom features, extended flight time, long range, and intelligent flight modes. You can bank on this when it comes to delivering superior image and video quality.

Here are our picks for top rated drones with camera for professionals.

1. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Specs

Camera: 20MP with 2x Optical Zoom capability
Video transmission: 1080P 8KM
Sensor: 1/2.3 inch CMOS 12MP sensor with up to four-times zoom
Flight time: 31 minutes
Speed: 44MPH
Storage: 8GB internal storage, SD card support up to 128GB
Notable Attributes: ActiveTrack 2.0, Dolly Zoom, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design, HDR Photos

This could be the drone with camera that aerial photographers have been waiting for because it has everything DJI has to offer. Mavic 2 Zoom combines engineering and technology while considering the need of the users.

This camera drone embodies all the DJI’s advanced and signature technologies that have revolutionized aerial photography. It comes with powerful features that make flying and capturing photos and videos easy and fun. It also allows you to fly faster, longer and quieter.

With a 31-minute flying time, obstacle sensors to avoid barriers, ActiveTrack that maps a 3D view for precise recognition, Trajectory Prediction algorithm that tracks when the subject is blocked and High-Speed Tracking that tracks fast-moving objects, this drone is what every professional needs.

Also, this comes with 1/2.3 inch 12-megapixel sensor with up to four-times zoom, including a two-times optical zoom, so you can capture everything from wide-angle to mid-range shots because Mavic 2 Zoom is all about dynamic perspective!

If you need a drone with a high-end camera, this is for you. When taking pictures in 24 mm equivalent field of view, you can capture photos with its telephoto lens resulting in 48MP super-resolution photo in vivid details. This drone camera also supports four panorama modes (Sphere, 180°, Horizontal, and Vertical) and enhanced HDR photos.

There’s so much I can say about Mavic 2 Zoom, but this is how I want you to remember it – this is the most advanced and powerful drone with camera in the market. If budget is not a question and you want to get the best, go for Mavic 2 Zoom.

Read More: 5 Best Drones for Beginners 2019 – Tips & Buying Guidelines

PROS

  • Low noise
  • Obstacle sensor
  • Precise recognition
  • Trajectory prediction
  • High-speed tracking
  • Zoom during flight
  • Enhanced HDR photos
  • Support panoramas
  • Quick and accurate focus
  • High-resolution photo and video

CONS

  • Expensive
  • No precision landing during take-off

2. DJI Mavic Pro

Specs

Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K at 30FPS
Max Flight Time: 27 minutes
Max Speed: 40MPH
Notable Attributes: Portability, Battery Life

DJI Mavic Pro is a game-changer for aerial photography. It is a good starter drone for those who want a professional drone for aerial cinematography because it comes with powerful features and costs less compared to other DJI drones with camera.

Mavic Pro is small but comes with a serious camera on board. When you retract the propellers, this drone is practically the size of a water bottle, if not smaller.

Despite its size, this comes with cool features including obstacle avoidance, sensor redundancy, OcySync transmission technology, Return to Home mode, FlightAutonomy technology, Precision Hover, ActiveTrack Gesture mode, Tripod mode and Tapfly.

DJI Mavic Pro is perfect for those who want a professional camera drone for travel. This is also great for those who are serious hobbyists or those who are just getting into the commercial side of the industry.

Accessories

  • Lens Filters (PolarPro)
  • Extra Battery
  • Extra Propellers
  • Travel Bag
  • Car Charger
  • Smatree Mavic Pro Waterproof Case

PROS

  • Portable
  • Crash-resistant
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Quieter than other drone models
  • Can be controlled via hand gestures
  • Has built-in Active track feature mode
  • Has excellent flight time compared to other DJI models

CONS

  • Camera doesn’t offer a wide view
  • Not for beginners due to its complex models
  • The bad light may have blue color interferences

3. DJI Phantom 3 Standard

Specs

Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 2.7K at 30FPS
Max Flight Time: 25 minutes
Range: 5 kilometers
Max Speed: 40MPH

DJI Phantom 3 is a ready-to-fly and entry-level quadcopter for professional pilots. It comes with autonomous modes that free you up to focus on camera control and in getting the right shot. Phantom 3 is available in four different models Standard, 4K, Advanced and Professional.

This review will be about the Standard model that shares the majority of its features with the other models. Standard is cheaper compared to its competitors with similar features. While you might be able to find a similar product with the same feature at a comparable price, it won’t be as polished as the DJI Phantom 3 Standard.

The best thing about Phantom 3 is the addition of its three-axis gimbal that makes it ultra stable. You can rotate the drone and not worry about your shots because it keeps the camera steady. This drone with camera is stable in low wind conditions, so you can take long exposures to capture sharp photos.

This comes with Automatic Flight Assistant giving you absolute freedom and confidence, knowing that your drone will return to you at the press of a button. It also includes a remote built specifically for Phantom 3 Standard and a unique mobile app that allows you to turn your device into a camera controller giving you the option to fly your drone via the remote or your phone.

DJI Phantom 3 is hard to beat in terms of performance, quality, stability, and price. For professionals looking for an entry-level drone with camera that won’t let you down, Phantom 3 is the way to go.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Stable system
  • Can be easily controlled

CONS

  • You will sometimes see the wings on the video
  • Batteries need to be warmed up in cold temperature

4. DJI Phantom 4

Specs

Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K at 30FPS
Max Flight Time: 28 minutes
Max Speed: 45MPH
Notable Attributes: Battery Life, Obstacle Avoidance, Flight Modes

DJI Phantom 4 is one of the top drones on the market right now in terms of camera quality, speed, and flight time. This is best for those who want to get a top-notch drone with camera.

For those who need a serious camera for aerial photography or videography, this is a good pick. This can record videos at 4K, 2.7K, 1080p and 720p. It has 12.4MP camera that delivers superb high-resolution images.

Phantom 4 is one of the smartest flying cameras DIJ has ever created as it can fly intelligently with a tap, automatically creates seamless tracking shots, fly intelligently over or around obstacles and do so much more. With Phantom 4, flying drones has never been easier and fun.

This drone with camera is also equipped with amazing features to make flying easy. It comes with auto takeoff and auto return home with GPS technology for easy control. DJI also equipped Phantom 4 with Avoid Obstacle sensors to sense and react to its environment.

Phantom 4 is indeed a smart drone with camera because you can let it take care of almost everything. It can fly by itself. We highly recommend this for those who want a capable camera for aerial photography and videography.

Accessories

  • Extra Battery
  • Battery Charging Hub
  • Quick-Release Propellers
  • Lighting Kit

PROS

  • Very easy to fly
  • Smart Return Home
  • Propulsion System
  • Extended flight time
  • Vision Positioning System
  • Remote offers a better range
  • Avoids obstacles automatically
  • TapFly lets you fly with a tap of the finger
  • Tracks moving subjects automatically via ActiveTrack

CONS

  • Not crash-proof
  • Not for beginners
  • Software is not user-friendly

5. DJI Phantom 4 Pro

Specs

Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K at 30FPS
Max Flight Time: 28 minutes
Max Speed: 45MPH
Notable Attributes: Battery Life, Obstacle Avoidance, Flight Modes, FlightAutonomy, TapFly Free, Draw Modes, Gesture Mode, Return to Home Mode, AR Route Function, Dual Compass Module

For those who love DJI Phantom 4 but wish something more from it, then, Phantom 4 Pro is for them. This drone with camera is equipped with a 1-inch 20MP sensor capable of shooting 4K/60FPS video. It also offers Burst Mode stills at 14FPS.

Its onboard camera is designed with a custom engineered lens made up of eight elements arranged in seven groups. It’s also the first DJI camera to use a mechanical shutter, eliminating rolling shutter distortion which can occur when taking images of fast-moving subjects or when flying at high speed.

Its video processing also supports H.264 4K videos at 60FPS or H.265 4K at 30FPS. Its advanced sensors and processors ensure you that you will capture detailed images for advanced production. Phantom 4 Pro is as powerful as many traditional ground cameras.

This drone with camera also comes with expanded FlightAutonomy that now includes high-resolution stereo vision sensors placed at the rear, in addition to the pair placed at the front as well as infrared sensing systems placed on the left and right sides. This network creates 5-directional obstacle sensing and 4-directional obstacle avoidance that protects your drone from obstacles and giving filmmakers the confidence to capture more complex images.

Phantom 4 Pro also includes tons of impressive features including TapFly Free, Draw modes, Gesture mode, upgraded Return to Home mode, new AR route function, dual compass module, and more. It also automatically recognizes subjects and follows and captures them as they move, making it easier for you to capture complex shots.

Phantom 4 Pro is for professional photographers and videographers or filmmakers who need a robust and serious device for their profession.

Read More: 5 Best Cheap Drones Reviews 2019 – Budget Drones Under $100

Accessories

  • Extra Battery
  • Battery Charging Hub
  • Quick-Release Propellers
  • Lighting Kit

PROS

  • Easy to fly
  • Impressive stability
  • Best value for money
  • Smooth cinematic shots
  • Fun to fly in sport mode
  • Packed with tons of powerful features
  • Allows you to record video, edit and share
  • Raw video and pictures for good post-production color correction

CONS

  • GPS signal degradation
  • Built-in screen sometimes crashes
  • ActiveTrack/Follow isn’t that easy to control
  • Your drone should be in clear line of sight or you will lose signal

6. DJI Inspire 2

Specs

Camera Resolution: 30MP in DNG RAW mode
Video Resolution: 5.2K at 30FPS / 4K at 60FPS
Max Flight Time: 27 minutes
Max Speed: 67MPH
Notable Attributes: Dual-Operator Mode, Two Cameras, Obstacle Avoidance, Micro Four Thirds System, FlightAutonomy, ActiveTrack, Forward and Downward Vision System, DJI Lightbridge Technology

DJI Inspire 2 is a remarkable upgrade from Inspire 1. This is the first filmmaking drone in the world to integrate an HD video transmission system, 360-degree rotating gimbal, and a 4K camera with the simplicity of app control.

Inspire 2 comes with two different cameras – one slung underneath the aircraft offering a full 360-degree camera rotation and the other one mounted on the front of the aircraft for better first-person-view (FPV) opportunities.

Inspire 2 comes with advanced features for classic recording functionality that include dual operator mode and one Remote Pilot-in-Command. Those who are into aerial photography and videography will love this because this drone is built to dominate the sky.

This drone camera is compatible with ZenMuse X7 – a super 5mm camera created for aerial cinematography. Its image processing system has been upgraded to CineCore2.1, recording video up to 6K in CinemaDNG/RAW and 5.2K in Apple ProRes when using X7 camera. DNG/RAW mode can capture 30MP still images. It can also go from 0 to 50MPH in just 5 seconds and hit a maximum speed of 58MPH.

There are also DJI Inspire 2 models with Zenmuse X4S or X5s camera. The latter boasts a micro 4/3 sensor and supports 10 different lenses including zooms. Aside from its impressive camera, it has powerful features including FlightAutonomy, Advanced Obstacle Sensing system, Spotlight Pro, ActiveTrack mode, Forward and Downward vision system, DJI Lightbridge technology and more.

DJI Inspire 2 is for professionals who need a well-built drone with camera to capture magnificent videos and photos. This commercial quality camera drone is particularly helpful to aerial photographers because this is an excellent device for photographic and cinematic purposes.

PROS

  • Shoots in RAW
  • Interchangeable lens system
  • Solid build quality and backup systems
  • Capable of live 1080i
  • Two camera options
  • Offers PCIe SSD storage
  • Has intelligent flight modes
  • Has retractable landing gear
  • Supports 360-degree camera rotation
  • Dual operator control using FPV pilot camera
  • Obstacle avoidance and detection system

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Dual battery makes getting spares expensive
  • Props need to be locked into place
  • Requires high-performance CPU for post processing (for videos with 5.2K resolution)
  • Micro Four Thirds camera unit is costly

7. DJI Phantom 3 Professional

Specs

Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K at 30FPS
Max Flight Time: 23 minutes
Max Speed: 36MPH
Notable Attributes: Beginner Mode, Vision Positioning Technology

If you are a serious filmmaker hobbyist, Phantom 3 Professional will make a difference in what you do. This drone with camera will enable you to direct and tell your own story in ways you have never imagined.

Its crystal-clear camera, real-time HD video display and intuitive flight controls will help you capture professional-quality footage that is sure to blow you away. As the name suggests, this DJI drone camera is for professionals.

DJI equips Phantom 3 Professional with 4K video up to 30FPS and captures 12MP photos that look crisper and cleaner. You can enjoy a live HD view via your phone or tablet as you fly.

For first time pilots, do not worry, you will enjoy it because it features a unique Beginner Mode that helps you learn how to fly in a safe, limited area. It also includes Vision Positioning technology so you can fly indoors, low to the ground and in GPS-free areas.

Whether you are a beginner or experienced flyer, Phantom 3 Professional gives you complete control of your drone. It allows you to access the most-used features right on the remote controller. You can also control the camera conveniently by using your phone.

For filmmakers or videographers who need an excellent drone with camera under $1,000, get DJI Phantom 3 Professional. This device will be a good addition to your equipment and I assure you, it will not let you down, that’s for sure!

Accessories

  • Extra Battery
  • Extra Propellers (2 Pairs)
  • DJI Phantom 3 Propeller Guard
  • DJI Phantom 3 Camera Lens Protector + Cover
  • Remote Controller Strap
  • DJI Phantom 3 Hardshell Backpack

PROS

 

  • Easy to fly
  • Built-in GPS
  • Return to Home
  • Automated flight mode
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Produces excellent videos
  • Shoots breathtaking 4K footage

 

 

CONS

  • Batteries are too expensive
  • Android application is quite slow
  • Lacks advanced autopilot feature

8. DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Specs

Camera Resolution: 20MP
Video Resolution: 4K 10-bit HDR Video
Max flight time: 31 minutes
Max speed: 45MPH
Notable attributes: OcuSync 2.0 Digital Video Transmission System, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, ActiveTrack, Trajectory prediction, High-speed Tracking, Avoiding Obstacles, Hyperlapse, Hasselblad camera, 1-inch CMOS Sensor

Mavic 2 Pro is a professional-grade camera drone with a Hasselblad camera that offers a 20MP resolution with enhanced HDR and color sensitivity. Thanks to these features, you can capture gorgeous aerial shots in stunning color detail with less unwanted artificial effects.

Mavic 2 Pro also comes with an adjustable aperture that gives you more flexibility in handling different light conditions. This drone also supports a 10-bit Dlog-M color profile that yields a higher dynamic range for more flexibility in the grading room. Its 1-inch CMOS Sensor has an active sensing area that is four times more effective than the original Mavic Pro to let you capture more information in every pixel for better dynamic range, signal-to-noise ratio and low-light performance.

Its OcuSync 2.0 Digital Video Transmission System allows you to explore the world smoothly and safely. You will also enjoy faster, longer and quieter flying because this drone with camera has the longest flight time for a consumer drone at 31 minutes and will not destruct you with disturbing noise because it uses low-noise flight technology.

Mavic 2 Pro is a smart camera drone thanks to its system. Its ActiveTrack features allow for precise recognition, its Trajectory Prediction algorithm helps in tracking the subject when it is blocked or temporarily obstructed, and its High-Speed Tracking enables it to track fast-moving subjects like cars and boats at speeds of up to 72KPH.

Mavic 2 Pro is one of the best drones with camera for professional photographers, videographers and content creators who love to travel. It has a portable design making it a great travel companion for travel bloggers, documentary compilers and commercial drone pilots in any industry. Most importantly, it helps you capture superb photos.

DJI Fly More Kit

This kit is packed with all you need to get the most flight time out of your Mavic 2 Pro.

  • Two Extra Batteries
  • Two Pairs of Propellers
  • Charging Hub
  • Car Charger
  • Battery to Power Bank Adapter
  • Shoulder Bag

Accessories

  • DJI Goggle RE
  • Shoulder Bag
  • Backpack
  • DJI Mavic 2 Battery to Power

PROS

  • Low noise
  • Better design than Mavic Pro
  • Higher dynamic range
  • Bigger image size
  • Longer flight time
  • Increased speed in Sport mode
  • Delivers rich-colorful images and videos
  • Omnidirectional obstacle sensing (via the 6 sensors located around the drone)

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Slightly heavier than Mavic Pro

Hobbyists

If you love flying drones for fun and you are willing to shed some money to get a high-quality camera drone, this section is for you. The devices here are for serious hobbyists who want to upgrade their toy drone to a more powerful, high-quality equipment.

1. Skydio R1 Self-Flying 4K Camera Smart Drone

Specs

Size: 13”x16”x2”
Weight 2.2 lbs
Video Resolution: 4K at 30FPS
Camera: 13 onboard cameras
Flight time: 16 minutes
Speed: 25 MPH
Computer: 256-core Nvidia Jetson GPU
Live video stream: 720P at 15FPS

Skydio is relatively new in the drone market compared to DJI. However, the company offers competitive products that will surely impress you.

Skydio R1 is the world’s most advanced autonomous device because it can fly itself to capture fantastic footage making it the easiest and most fun camera you will ever find.

For beginners, you can launch this with ease. Just open the app and swipe up in the app and R1 will be ready for action. R1 gives you full autonomy by allowing you to go-hands-free as you can direct your shots straight from your phone or Apple Watch.

You can effortlessly direct R1 with one tap to access the Cinematic Skills like follow, lead, orbit, dronie-no pilot or controller. This drone camera has 13 cameras, can position itself for every shot by understanding where the people are in the scene, and anticipate where they will be up to 4 seconds into the future so you can capture Hollywood-style footages.

R1 is also a smart camera drone as it is powered by NVIDIA Jetson, a 256-core AI supercomputer. Thanks to this addition, you can focus on your activity because R1 is intelligent enough to understand who to follow, avoid obstacles and even predict what will happen next so it won’t miss any of your moves. Also, you don’t have to worry about the quality of the photos or videos as this comes with 2-axis mechanical gimbal for stability.

R1 doesn’t just capture awesome photos and videos; it also allows you to enjoy the moment. If you love running, biking and playing in the park and want to film your activities, then you can trust R1 to accompany you to capture your adventures so you can share it with the world.

PROS

  • Self-flying
  • Stable
  • Easy to fly
  • Automatic recording
  • 64GB internal memory
  • Smart drone camera
  • Intuitive easy to use app
  • Impressive 4K video quality
  • True 360-degree obstacle avoidance
  • Has 12x navigation cameras for omnidirectional vision
  • Works with iOS, Android and watchOS

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Short flight time
  • Doesn’t detect pets
  • Bulky (not as portable as rivals)
  • Lens may show barrel distortion

2. Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

Specs

Video: 4K at 60FPS
Camera: 20MP
Range: UP to 1 mile
Flight time: 30 minutes
Notable attributes: Intel RealSense Collision Avoidance, Intelligent Autonomous Flight Modes and 5-Rotor Fail Safe Mode

Yuneec Typhoon H is designed to help you unleash your creativity. This smart drone camera is capable of detecting obstacles and can navigate around on its own, thanks to Intel RealSense Technology.

You can continue filming without worries because the Intel RealSense R200 camera with Intel Atom-powered module builds a 3D model of the world, so it’s easy for the drone to avoid obstacles. It can also remember its environment that enhances the prevention of possible collisions. If it encounters a barrier in a particular area, it will remember the location and will automatically avoid it. Such a smart device!

Another great feature of Typhoon H is how it keeps track of the target. It will navigate around the obstacles and regardless of the size will stay in contact with the object even if it becomes obscured.

Typhoon H comes with an all-in-one controller that includes the integrated transmitter, receiver, and Android platform that gives you full control over the device. Don’t worry, the controller is easy to figure out, and has a solid feel. This camera drone allows you to program autonomous flight and capture stunning photos and videos.

For safety, this is designed with six rotors that automatically switch to five rotor mode when one motor fails. This feature enables the drone to remain in flight, making piloting safer than ever.

Overall, I had a great flying experience with Typhoon H. It has smooth rotations and panning, captures nice and vivid photos and videos, and not to mention, smart! For those who wish to upgrade their drone and get a professional drone for their hobby, this is highly recommended.

Read More: 7 Best Drone for GoPro 2019 Reviews – Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide!

PROS

  • Powerful transmitter
  • All-in-one controller
  • Controller display
  • Advanced shots with the tap of a button
  • Captures vivid videos and photos
  • Good and fast connectivity
  • Camera rotates 360 degrees

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Bigger than most competitors
  • No average time left calculator

3. DJI Spark

Specs

Dimensions: 143×143×55 mm
Flight time/battery life: 16 minutes
Transmission distance: 1.2 miles
Speed: Up to 31MPH
VPS Range: 98 feet
Gimbal: 2 axis
Camera resolution: 12MP
Video resolution: 1080p 30 FPS
Weight: .66 pounds (SUPER light)
Camera details: 1/2.3 Sensor Powerful Lens, 1080P resolution
Notable attributes: PalmLaunch, Gesture and TapFly Control, Obstacle Sensing, Subject Tracking from Various Angles,

DJI Spark is a mini camera drone that features all of the brand’s signature technologies, so you can take it with you wherever you go and seize the moment whenever you feel inspired. Despite its small size, DJI ensures that this mini drone is as competitive as their other products and is a great choice for serious hobbyists.

The addition of gimbal helps you achieve shake-free shots, its powerful lens delivers consistently sharp and vivid images with minimal color aberration and distortion. It also comes with Multiple Shooting Modes for versatile photography. If you are into videography, this is equipped with 1/2.3 inch sensor to shoot stabilized video at 1080P and stills at 12MP.

Spark is a smart, reliable, and intuitive drone with camera. It has intelligent flight modes that make it very convenient for beginners to explore and learn how to maneuver the drone. It also offers you a worry-free flight because it can return to its home point automatically with sufficient GPS signal.

Its FlightAutonomy system includes the main camera, a Vision Positioning System (VPS), 3D sensing system, dual-band GPS, high-precision inertial measurement unit, and 24 powerful computing cores. All of these features help Spark hover accurately anywhere with VPS up to 98 ft and sense obstacles from up to 16 ft away.

Another great feature present in Spark is the Flight Protection feature. It uses GEO system that lets you know where drone flights may raise safety or security concerns such as near airports and stadium so you can fly your drone safely and responsibly.

PROS

  • Portable
  • Gestures controls
  • Quickshot modes
  • Control, edit and share via DJI GO  app

CONS

  • Short flight time
  • Wi-Fi range is limited
  • No controller

Cheap Drones with Camera

Not everyone is willing to spend thousands of dollars to get a drone with camera. Some want to start aerial photography as a hobby by getting a cheap device, which is a wise move. Beginners have a lot to work on, and getting a high-end camera drone is not a smart decision if you need a gadget to practice. So, for those who want affordable drones with camera, these are my top picks for you.

1. Parrot Bebop 2

Specs

Camera: 14MP with fish-eye lens
Video: 3-axis full HD 1080P
Stabilization: Digital stabilization (Parrot system)
Flight Time: 25 minutes
GPS: Yes
Processor: Dual core processor with quad-core GPU
Storage: 8 GB flash storage system

Parrot Bebop 2 is for those looking for cheap drones with camera. I understand that some are desperate to own a drone camera, but can’t afford the ones DJI offers. Don’t worry as there are budget drones with camera that offer the same functionalities without breaking the bank.

For under $300, Parrot Bebop 2 gives you long flight time, 14MP camera, full HD 3-axis video stabilization, live HD video streaming, and side by side display mode. These features are so much more than I expect for a drone in that price range.

Aside from that, this camera drone is compact and lightweight but comes with powerful functionalities. Its on-screen display has flight telemetry and radar, accurate control for better flights with two precise joysticks, video streaming on your tablet with USB link and removable holder.

This also features customizable controls with eight shortcut buttons and extended range up to 1.4 miles without obstacles and inferences. You will surely love this because it finds satellites quickly and is really fast. Since the camera is built-in, you don’t need a gimbal to keep it stable.

However, you have to register this with FAA as it surpasses the weight limit of .55 lbs. Another downside with this is that it might be challenging for first-time drone flyers due to the lack of clear and fool-proof instructions for beginners.

Some of the things that newbies struggle with is mounting the propellers properly, connecting the controller to the drone and using the FreeFlight app. But for experienced flyers, these things won’t be challenging anymore.

For those who want to level up their drone experience and want to get one with camera at a low price, Parrot Bebop 2 is for you!

PROS

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Extended range
  • Decent camera for its price
  • Doesn’t need a gimbal
  • Can capture 14MP shots with relatively stable movement
  • Long flight time up to 25 minutes

CONS

  • Image distortions
  • Lack of clear instruction
  • Control sticks are sometimes unresponsive

2. Altair Aerial Outlaw SE FPV Drone

Specs

Camera: 1080P HD Video and Photography
Flight time: Between 18 to 20 minutes
Maximum flight range: Between 800 to 1000 meters.
FPV Video Camera range: UP to 500 meters
Charging time: 18 minutes

Altair Aerial Outlaw is probably one of the cheapest camera drones you will find in the market. But don’t be fooled by its price because this budget long range drone is as great as DJI Phantom at a fraction of the price.

For its price, Outlaw is very impressive because it has a long flight range, powerful brushless motors with high-tech functionality and innovative GPS features. It can also hold itself stable in the air in GPS Flight Mode, making it easier to fly and giving aerial photographers the perfect stability they need to capture amazing shots from atop.

For first-time drone flyers, good news – this is user-friendly. It is easy to fly and is very stable. Its features include Headless Mode, Altitude Hold and One-Touch Take-off and Landing, which are very helpful for the novice.

Also, you will be relieved to know this – it works straight out of the box. For a smoother flying experience, Altair Air provides instructional videos to help you get started. In addition, their customer support is very responsive, which is very helpful if you have an after-sales concern.

If you are still using a beginner drone and want to upgrade your machine, then this is a good choice. Outlaw SE will make your friends jealous because aside from the low price, it can outfly other drones.

You can fly this with real time FPV live video using a VR headset, phone or tablet. This drone with camera will make you smile due to its price, budget and performance. I highly recommend this if you want a great drone at a cheaper price.

Read More: How To Fly A Drone For Beginners

PROS

  • Incredible control distance
  • Powerful battery
  • Delivers crisp and sharp aerial footage

CONS

  • Doesn’t have the best flight time

Mini Drones with Camera

Most of us love to travel, so if you need one that you can easily take along with you on your trips, then a foldable and portable camera drone is the perfect option for you. Here’s a list of the best mini drones with camera that will surely fit your requirements in terms of portability.

1. DJI Mavic Air

Specs

Camera: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K at 30FPS
Max Flight Time: 21 minutes
Max Speed: 68.4KPH in Sport mode
Notable Attributes: SmartCapture, Gesture Control, Foldable and Portable, 3-axis gimbal for stability, 3-directional environment sensing, 8 GB of internal storage

DJI Mavic Air is built to accompany you wherever adventure takes you. This mini drone with camera is among the drones with camera that you can take with you wherever you go, but this is probably the best because it is lightweight, ultraportable and foldable. That’s not all; it offers high-end flight performance and functionality for limitless exploration that you will surely love.

This drone comes with a dedicated remote controller that is foldable and low-profile. Its ergonomic design helps you hold your smartphone conveniently. Meanwhile, it has detachable control sticks that can be stored inside the remote control making it more handy while on the go.

Although it’s small and compact, DJI is careful not to sacrifice stability. This camera drone comes with 3-axis gimbal system and it’s the only drone of its size to have one allowing you to capture steadier shots. It can capture slow-motion in full HD at 120 FPS and take still photos at 12 megapixels with low latency.

Mavic Air also comes with a new and improved Panorama mode that captures stunning 360-degree photos at a push of a button. It is also equipped with a new HDR algorithm that helps you obtain the right exposure settings based on the lighting conditions. Overexposed or dark areas are processed for more natural transitions between highlights and shadows, while DSP acceleration allows for more efficient shooting.

Mavic Air is the perfect union of form and function. With 21 minutes of total flight time, 4 km of transmission distance and a max speed of 19 meters per second, Mavic Air allows you to go farther, faster and higher.

PROS

  • Foldable
  • Portable
  • Stable
  • Compact and small
  • Better build quality
  • Won’t struggle to fly back home even with strong headwind conditions

CONS

  • Video crop
  • Short battery life
  • Doesn’t support D-Log
  • Poor range and radio signal quality
  • Only slim smartphones fit in the controller

2. Ryze Tello

Specs

Flight time: 13 minutes
Range: 100 meters
HD Transmission: 720P
Camera: 5 MP
Smart Switching: 2 antennas
Notable attributes: Auto Takeoff/Landing, Vision Positioning System, EZ Shots, 8D flips for aerial stunts, Throw & Go, Bounce Mode

Tello is another camera drone that will make flying fun. This little drone is great for adults and kids and is very easy to learn.

Tello is powered by DJI, the most popular technology company in the drone market, so you can bank on this drone when it comes to quality and performance. For beginners, you can start flying this by simply tossing it into the air. It has Bounce Mode that lets it flies up and down from your hand automatically.

If you are particular with the quality of photos it captures, I’m pleased to tell you that this can capture high-resolution 5MP photos. DJI also equips Tello with Electronic Image Stabilization to consistently capture clear pictures for great memories.

Although Tello is small and lightweight, it offers so much more than its size and weight, especially when it comes to your flying experience. This mini drone is super safe.

Tello comes with Auto Takeoff/Landing that you can activate with a single tap. It is also smart enough to alert you when the battery gets low, has Failsafe Protection that is very helpful if you lose connection and a Vision Positioning System to facilitate precise hovering.

If you are a techie and fond of mobile programming, the company offers Tello Edu that supports Scratch programming. With this, you can command Tello to perform corresponding movements by dragging coding blocks on their smart mobile device.

PROS

  • Stable
  • Portable
  • Super safe
  • Programmable
  • User-friendly app
  • Smart and interactive
  • Small and lightweight
  • Delivers high-resolution images
  • Compatible with Bluetooth controllers

CONS

  • No dedicated remote controller
  • You need to spend more to maximize its potential (Bluetooth controller and VR goggles)

How much is a drone with camera?

Drones with camera come at different prices. If you want to settle for a drone camera with limited range and less than 4K video quality, there are drones about $500. For this price range, Phantom 3 Standard is highly recommended.

If you want to get a ready-to-fly camera drone that can shoot 4K video quality between $1,000 and $2,000 Phantom 4 Pro, Mavic 2 Zoom and Typhoon H are among the most popular and reliable RTF camera drones in the market for this price. You may find these cameras at a much higher price depending on the bundle you buy.

If you need a more flexible drone camera with Micro Four Thirds system, then you can get DJI Inspire 2. However, this is more expensive compared to the other models. Usually, it costs over $2,000 to $8,000, but Inspire 2 is the leading RTF flying camera for this price range.

Still, if you need a heavier camera rig, then you’ve got to invest more and upgrade to a higher payload quadcopter that is designed for industrial applications like DJI Matrice 600. But, mind you, this will cost you at least around $5,000.

Where to buy drones with camera?

Nowadays, you can easily purchase things online, including the best camera drones, hobby-grade racing drones and of course, toy drones. The good thing with buying online is that you can do your research ahead and compare prices.

Also, you will see the reviews and learn the users’ feedback about the item ahead. If you are buying online, I highly suggest that you check the reviews and ratings – the more the reviews and the higher the rating, the better.

If you don’t know where to buy, you can visit the website of the brand that you are planning to buy or get one on Amazon. The latter is highly recommended because most items you are looking for are available there. However, make sure that the one you get is legit and is from the company that manufactures it.

For your convenience, here’s an overview of the different sites you can visit if you are planning to buy drones with camera.

  1. Dji.com – The no. 1 brand when it comes to producing high-quality and impressive drones.
  2. Amazon – Offers you almost all types of drones from different brands.
  3. getfpv – Your go-to store if you need high-quality FPV frames, components and more.
  4. HobbKing – Offers tons of different radio control device including drones.
  5. Helipal – Offers drone kits, industrial drones, FPV drones, FPD drone parts and more.

Conclusion

There are a lot of drones with camera today and each of them is equipped with different features. Some have more while others have less.

You should determine your reason, recognize the critical features that you need, and consider your budget before purchasing a camera drone because most of them can be pricey. Yes, there are still affordable ones, only that they offer fewer functionalities. If you need one for your profession or you are serious with your hobby, then prepare to spend at least $1,000 and expect the price to increase as you opt for a more feature-packed gadget.

What’s your favorite camera drone and why do you like it so much? Feel free to share it in the comment section below.

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