Today’s drones are the result of the latest technology and they support different equipment. These devices have been used for years in different fields, and they are finding new applications in various areas every day. Actually, their application area is unlimited. Among others, drones can be equipped with cameras in order to record their surroundings from the air while flying. For the high-quality footage, you need to use a so-called GoPro drone which uses a GoPro camera.
A combination of a drone and a GoPro, which is attached to the underside of a drone, makes a powerful set – some kind of a remote controlled hybrid UAV. Such an unmanned aerial device can be operated remotely, and it offers the possibility to make the quality maneuverable video and photography using a gimbal or fixed mounting bracket.
Their small size makes them suitable for different places, so you can get such a drone into the tight places you’ve never before imagined, and obtain the video footage or take the photos at the touch of a button. It is equipped with a small USB/HDMI port, as well as the SD card slots.
Due to the super stable flight and the agile maneuverability, they are being used in remote surveillance. This technology was initially utilized by the military for the surveillance purposes. In addition to the professional use, the drones with attached GoPro camera are also used for entertainment purposes.
Nowadays, the Gopro flying drone is also available for civilians, and many people around the world are already using such drones as an advanced RC toy for fun. These modern “aerial toys” come with extra features which allow you to enjoy flying and take the spectacular video footage during the different activities. In order to attach a GoPro to your drone, you must use a special camera gimbal to get the best quality videos or photos.
Best models: Top 5 best-selling products on Amazon
DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter
If you like making aerial photos and videos, DJI Phantom 2 drone is perfect for you. It has steady flight, so recordings are going to be crystal clear. Even better, it is pre-assembled, so all you need to do is connect the propellers, charge the battery and you are done. In addition, controlling this drone is very easy, so you won’t have any issues here. Keep in mind that this is a high-end product, so it isn’t very cheap, but it comes with the best features that are more than needed for this type of drones.
The battery in this drone has a capacity of 5,200-mAh, which is enough for a flying time of 25 minutes and a range of 300 meters. This time and the radius are possible thanks to energy efficient electric motors and self-tightening propellers. In a case you lose the remote controller, this drone will ‘’come’’ home thanks to the return to home function. In addition, it also has GPS and several, programmable features, and they can be reached via USB port.
The dimensions of this product are 12.5 x 8.1 x 17 inches and it weighs 2.2 pounds. It is one of lighter drones, capable of carrying a professional camera and provide HD recordings. This is done due to the fact the manufacturer used lightweight materials, such as high-quality plastic and aluminum (small components). Keep in mind that you get a camera in the package, but if you want to replace it, you are going to need a lightweight component.
You can connect this drone with our Android or iOS device. The connecting process is simple and it takes just a few seconds. After that, you will be able to watch amazing first person videos directly on your phone. This is very useful when you want to make videos of yourself or to spy on someone. Keep in mind that you are going to need a fast Wi-Fi in order to use this feature. For a much better insight on what this model offers, we suggest checking out our DJI Phantom 2 in-depth review.
Blade 350 QX3 RTF
Due to the fact that this drone has been made for people who like recording photos and videos from the air, it comes with matching features. The design of the Blade 350 QX3 RTF is specially chosen, in order to provide smooth flight, in order to make recordings of the best quality. The design and several features have been chosen in order to make this drone very easy to fly as well. In fact, the experience isn’t required, and you can master with the drone after a few minutes.
The flying time is 15 minutes, so it doesn’t sound like a very look flights are possible. However, due to the fact the electric motors are quick and can provide amazing performances, this drone has a radius of 300 meters or the same radius as more expensive drones. In addition, this drone comes with Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope feature that should increase the safety and reduce the risk of crashes. Combined with great maneuverability, this drone is one of the most interesting flying toys on the market.
The dimensions are 21.7 x 13.5 x 8.6 inches and this product weighs 7.2 pounds, which isn’t the lowest weight when it comes to drones of this type. However, it is made from durable materials, so it is resistant to scratches and lighter damages. On the other side, the drone looks modern and well-made.
This product comes pre-assembled, but it has no camera in the package. This means that you will have to get your own camera, which is a good thing due to the fact you can choose type and model that suits you the best. On the other side, this package includes 4 AA batteries.
Ionic Stratus Drone Quadcopter
Ionic Stratus drone is the best choice if you like larger drones that come with the latest features. It looks interesting and a bit different than most drones on the market. On the other side, it isn’t very expensive, so it offers a great quality and performances for a small amount of money. In addition, the design is modern and makes this drone look better than most drones from the same price range. Sadly, it comes without a camera, so this will have to be added separately.
The flying time is only 10 minutes, which isn’t enough. The situation is the same when it comes to the radius, it is only 150 meters. However, the manufacturer claims that you can get an additional, after-market battery that can increase the radius and the flying time. This is definitely an upgrade you should take into consideration.
The dimensions of the drone are 21 x 14.8 x 7.2 inches, but it weighs just 3.8 pounds. Thanks to this, it offers a great level of maneuverability and it is simple to fly. In addition, even if you don’t have any experience at all, you are going to be able to fly this drone like a professional. Additional features allow you to achieve this without a problem, but they don’t increase the price of the drone.
Some of the best features this drone has are a 3D roll, roll backward, roll forward and headless fly. With 3D roll, and rolling backwards/forwards all you need to do is to press a button and watch your drone make amazing stunts. The headless mode means that you don’t have to pay attention to the orientation mode. In addition, the shock absorption feature is more than useful when it comes to rough landings. If you want to know more about this model, we suggest checking out our Ionic Stratus drone review.
3DR Solo Quadcopter
Despite the fact that the 3DR Solo is not a big drone model, it has a high price. It is easy to understand why if you know that it has been designed and made especially for owners who like having professional drones with the latest features. Sadly, it comes without a camera, so this will have to be bought separately by you. On the other side, it offers the latest design features and it looks much better than most drones from the same category.
The flying time is between 20 and 25 minutes, and it depends on several factors, including the weather conditions. As you can imagine, the flying time is better than most drones from this price range has to offer. On the other side, it offers great features, such as orbit (when it makes circles around a pre-defined object), follow me, selfie and cable cam. In addition, it comes with an Android or iOS app, so you can have complete control via your smartphone.
One of the reasons why this drone is the best for aerial photography is the fact it has two 1 GHz computers. They allow the smoothest flying time possible and also make this flying machine better than the competition. Even better, you will be able to stream your videos directly to your smartphone.
The dimensions of the drone are 16.4 x 16.5 x 9.2 inches, but it weight s11.7 pounds, so it isn’t one of the lightest drones on the market. This is done by the manufacturer due to the fact they used high-quality materials, so this drone is more resistant to vibration, shocks and light crashes. In addition, smaller dimensions make it very easy to fly, so this drone is interesting to use and it offers probably the best maneuverability among all drones, designed for aerial photography. You can find out much more about this model by reading our 3DR Solo in-depth review.
3DR IRIS+ (915) Quadcopter
The main application of the 3DR Iris drone is to record your daily life. It has been specially designed for that purpose, it has low weight and features that allow it be one of the best drones for this purpose. It also doesn’t come with a camera, so you will have to get this component by yourself, which is a good thing because you can get a model that offers performances you need.
The flying time is between 16 and 22 minutes, but this drone is quick, so it can pass long distances without a problem. The design is another great thing about this drone, due to the fact it offers great maneuverability in the air. At the same time, it makes this drone light and small, so it can be used in areas where larger drones will have issues. Additional features, like ROI, where it keeps recording just one position make sit very practical and interesting to use.
On the other side, you can connect this drone to your PC, Mac computer or Android phone and pre-program the desired destination. In addition, this drone comes with all components that are already assembled. You will have to charge the battery. Mount it and your drone will be ready for the first flight.
The dimensions of this drone are 25 x 13 x 5 inches, so it isn’t one of the smallest drones on the market. Despite the large dimensions, the drone has a weight of just 9 pounds. Together, the dimension and the weight make this drone a perfect choice when it comes to making amazing acrobatics in the air. Even better, it is very easy to fly this drone, so you don’t need an experience. For much more information on this model, we suggest that you take a look at our 3DR Iris review.
What is a GoPro camera?
The GoPro are a kind of the HD action cameras which are used for aerial photography and in making the videos in the extreme action sports. Currently, the GoPro filming devices are dominant on the market when it comes to the action cameras.
They have a waterproof metal frame, and in most cases, it comes with a mounting bracket. Therefore, it is able to record videos during various extreme conditions without being damaged.
There are many quality GoPro devices on the market, but the Hero4 Session camera is one of the best cameras of that you can buy at this moment. A modern design and 1440p 30 fps video, make this model superior.
Most drones don’t have the included camera in their composition, but they support it and you can add it yourself. Also, when buying such a drone, pay attention to the gimbal for the camera – if it is included or not. Thanks to the gimbal, the camera is fixed, so the vibrations and shakes can’t destroy your video. It has many advantages over the regular stabilizers for camera.
Buying guide: important things to consider
When looking for drone models with a GoPro, there are many things you must take into account. Among others, you must pay attention to the type of camera, size and weight of a certain drone, its flight and control capabilities, design, battery life, and so on.
Of course, you need to compare the prices as well. So, let us see all of these issues separately.
- The camera – One of the most important things when buying such a drone is the type of GoPro that comes with your drone. You should know how quality footage a particular camera is able to make. For that reason, look carefully at the characteristics of the camera that is attached to a certain drone. This is a special miniature camera that can be mounted to a drone and it allows users to take footage while flying their drones.
In fact, this camera can be attached to various devices and objects. There is a range of different GoPro devices on the market, but if you are looking for a high-quality model, you need to buy one that has the best features and is compatible with your drone.
- Size and weight – Besides the technical features, the size and weight are another two important factors to consider. Of course, everyone likes having a drone with a camera that is small in size and lightweight, but to have the best performances alike. As for the size, most today’s models of drones that support a GoPro are about 15 to 25 inches in diameter and about 5-10 inches tall.
It is really fantastic to have such an advanced unmanned aircraft in such a small size! On the other hand, the weight is also pretty low, since these drones weigh from 3 to 10 pounds. Due to the small size and low weight, they have excellent camera stability while flying.
- Design – You must agree that the well-designed models would attract your attention without knowing their flying features. Unlike the drones in some other categories, the vast majority of these types of drones have a very nice appearance. The color, frame, and the roundness of edges contribute most to the general appearance of a certain model. After all, it just a matter of taste.
- Flight capabilities – Being these drones are intended for the best quality footage and photos, the flight capabilities also must be the best. The great flight stability and diverse of flight modes (with 3D flips, roll of, etc.) are of greatest importance when it comes to these drones. In addition to the flight capabilities, the flight time and flight range are also important factors you need to consider.
The flight time depends on the capacity of batteries, and it ranges from 10 to 30 minutes in general. As far as the flight range, i.e. how far a drone can fly from its base or controller, it ranges from 150 to 300m. Of course, the greater control distance and the longer flight time are two great advantages.
- Control features – For this issue, you should pay attention to the control mode, as well as is a drone can be controlled easily. Today’s advanced models can be controlled by the smartphones instead of the standard remote controllers, and many models have GPS flight modes. Your drone must have easy control layout and upgraded remote controls with a variety of different modes.
- Battery life – Such a drone needs long lasting rechargeable batteries. These drones use the special Li-Po (Lithium Polymer) batteries to run, and the high capacity batteries of that ilk provide the longer flight time. However, these batteries take an hour or even more to recharge.
- Price – As mentioned above, these amazing drones usually cost from 400 to 800 dollars. Okay, it might sound expensive for some people, but when you realize what a mighty aircraft you get for that price, you’ll also realize that such a price is pretty affordable indeed. By the way, it is not possible to make the professional-quality photos and videos from the air using the cheap drones. Is that right?
- Other things to consider when buying a drone that supports GoPro camera: gimbal characteristics, control transmitter, motors, propellers, frame, FPV system, included components in a package, and the warranty of a particular model.
Therefore, take into consideration all these features when buying a drone in order to pick up the best drone for Gopro camera on the market. It is not an easy decision, but you must know what you are looking for.
The given specifications are generally true, but some manufacturers like to exaggerate their brands in some aspects, so it is always recommended to read the customers’ reviews.
Not sure what model to buy?
When looking for a Gopro drone, you need to know the drawbacks of a particular model, in addition to its good features. It will help you a lot if you are still not sure what model to buy. Compare above mentioned models in terms of their specifications, designs, and prices. Apart from these five models, you should review the other models offered on the web, too.
In the following content, you are going to see the pros and cons of the drones that support GoPro cameras, generally speaking about this type of drones.
- These smart drones support a GoPro and therefore, they can be used for the best quality videos and photos. Aside from the great camera, you also need to mount a compatible camera gimbal. Otherwise, you will be limited to only one view angle, which significantly reduces your recording abilities. Such a drone is capable of making outstanding footage and photos from the air.
- They have excellent flight capabilities, with different flight modes and ultra-stable flight. Most models have safety features that prevent crashes, as well as an integrated GPS system in their frame. By the way, these drones are pretty easy to control and easy to fly. Most models offer streaming via WiFi to Android devices and iOS devices. Thus, you get FPV (First Person View) while flying your drone.
- These drones have smart control modes, so you can fly a drone in whatever direction with ease. In addition to the standard control functions (such as forward, backward, downward, upward, rightward and leftward flight), many of these amazing drones also have other advanced remote controls, including 1-button 3D roll function, auto return-to-home capability, and the like. Even better, they can be controlled by an Android device, such as a smartphone.
- Can be used for different purposes as GoPro devices are mostly used in the extreme action sports, such as the mountain biking, racing, surfing, rafting, snow skiing, paragliding, and for other extreme sports. When it comes to the drones they are utilized by many professional organizations, mostly in surveying and for surveillance purposes. This technology is “in bloom”, so they will find applications in different areas in the coming years.
- These cameras are able to make high-quality videos in the extreme conditions. Moreover, the drones that support such cameras are also able to fly in various extreme environments – in windy conditions, extreme temperatures, during the rain showers, and much more. This feature makes them suitable for the roughest outdoor places, where the recording from other devices and vehicles is not possible.
- You should know that some models have included gimbals for the camera in their construction while others do not have it. Also, some models come with a built-in GoPro camera, but most of them don’t have a built-in camera. A drone with a built-in camera is immediately ready for FPV recording (with minimal calibration). However, this camera can’t be attached, and hence, it cannot be used for other purposes. If you are going to use such a drone for flying rather than recording, then you should opt for a model that doesn’t have a built-in camera.
- For some models, you will need to upgrade the drone and the gimbal for the GoPro after installation, using the certain software. It can be a bit complicated and take you a lot of time alike, especially if you do not have any experience in this work. Therefore, make sure to choose a model that comes with all the necessary pre-equipped components.
- These drones are more expensive than many others on the market, so will have a big investment in such an aircraft. In addition to the cost for a drone itself, you will also have a cost for the GoPro and camera gear alike. However, such a “powerful aircraft” worth every dollar spent, and it is a decent investment indeed.
- The charging time is pretty long, so you will need to spend more than 100 minutes in order to charge the batteries after every flight.
So, when buying such a worthy product, you must consider the above-described buying guide and know what are the main advantages and disadvantages of a particular model you want to pick up.
You need to consider a drone and compatible GoPro camera separately. Take into account the features and prices, and opt for a model that best fits your needs!