The combination between a drone and a GoPro attached to a professional gimbal makes for quite a powerful set. Such an unmanned aerial device can be operated remotely, and it offers the possibility of shooting amazingly high-quality videos. GoPro drones can be used by both professionals and amateur videographers and you don’t even have to invest that much. You can also divide your spending in three:
- Buying the drone
- Purchasing the gimbal
- Choosing the GoPro camera
Of course, if you already have one of these, the budget will be smaller.
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, come 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 the camera.
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.
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.
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.
Considering the fact that 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-off, 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.
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.
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.
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,
- FPV system,
- included components in a package,
- 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.
Best Products On the Market
If you have a GoPro camera and are looking for a drone to use it with, we’ve got some of the best drones on the market that are right up your alley. The following drones listed are the top best-selling drones on Amazon that allow for an onboard GoPro addition.
DJI Phantom 2
Size: 12.5 x 8.1 x 17 inches
Camera: Go Pro Hero 3 and above
Battery: 5200mAh LiPo
Flight time: 25 minutes
Controller type: DJI Standard
Special features: Brushless motors, GPS position holding, Return to Home, Built-in GoPro mount, APM, one-touch controls, Zenmuse H3-3D 3-axis gimbal
Best use: Amateur and professional filming
If you like making aerial photos and videos, DJI Phantom 2 is perfect for you as it has a 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 drone supports a range of 300m which is quite nice and comes with energy efficient electric motors and self-tightening propellers. In addition, it also has GPS and several, programmable features, and they can be reached via USB port.
If we consider the weight, Phantom 2 is one of lighter drones, capable of carrying a professional camera and providing HD recordings. This is done due to the fact the manufacturer used lightweight materials, such as high-quality plastic and aluminum (small components).
You can connect this drone with our Android or iOS device. The connecting process is simple and it takes just a few seconds.
3DR Solo Aerial Drone
Size: 16.4 x 16.5 x 9.2 inches
Camera: GoPro Hero 4 and above
Battery: 14.8 volt LiPo (5200 mAh)
Flight time: 20 to 25 minutes
Controller type: smartphone
Special features: 3-axis Solo Gimbal, self-tightening glass reinforced nylon propellers, comes with a special pack for easy transportation
Best use: Professionals and amateur videographers
Despite its small size, the 3DR Solo Aerial Drone is quite expensive. Still, besides the fact that you can pair it with a GoPro camera, the drone offers some 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 drone is light but durable, due to the high-quality materials used to build it. It was designed to resist vibrations, 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.
Walkera QR X350 Pro
Size: 11 x 2 x 2 inches
Camera: iLook/ GoPro mount
Battery: 5200mAh LiPo
Flight time: 25 minutes
Controller type: DEVO F7
Special features: Brushless motors, GPS position holding, Return to Home, Built-in GoPro mount, APM, one-touch controls
Best use: Basic recreational flight, more for GPS purposes
If you’re looking for a drone that has very few features and mostly uses your GoPro camera and GPS capabilities to get the best shots, then this one is definitely for you. The Walkera QR X350 Pro has simple controls through the DEVO F7, has one-touch controls, and is very easy to use.
The controller is Mode 2, with the throttle on the left side while the pitch and the roll are on the right. It has a decent range, being 1 to 2 kilometers from the controller depending on where you are. Quite a few users have reported that it won’t die after one crash, which ensures that your GoPro will be fine if a collision does occur.
For the pro-drone users, you can upgrade the included 5200mAh to 5300mAh or even 5600mAh depending on your overall power preference. Some users prefer to keep the iLook camera because it’s already onboard and takes some decent images, being 720p HD video, for example. However, for those who want to get the best quality images possible, an onboard GoPro is better recommended.
3DR Iris Drone
Size: 25 x 13 x 5 inches
Camera: GoPro Hero 3 cameras
Battery: 3-cell 11.1 V 3.5 Ah lithium polymer
Flight time: 16 – 20 minutes
Controller type: Remote controller with on-screen telemetry
Special features: ROI – it keeps recording just one position, GPS, re-programmable features, great acrobatics, easy to fly
Best use: Professional & amateur videos
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.
While the flight time may seem a bit shorter than with other drones, the 3DR Iris 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.
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.
Yuneec Typhoon G
Size: 20 x 16.5 x 8.3 inches
Camera: GoPro mount
Battery: 6300mAh LiPo
Flight time: 25 minutes
Controller type: ST10+
Special features: Watch Me, Follow Me, Smart mode, Turtle vs Rabbit, Angle mode, Home mode
Best use: Great for those who want a drone with a number of different modes to play around with.
The Yuneec Typhoon G utilizes multiple different features and modes to create an incredible drone that can go as fast or as slow as you want it, mainly through Turtle vs Rabbit mode. Paired with a GoPro and Follow Me, you can film and photograph all of your outdoor adventures to the max. The 3-axis gimbal system aids in stabilizing the connected camera to ensure that you get the best shots while staying stable, no matter how fast you have the drone going.
With the ST10+ Ground Station screen, you get direct digital video and can see exactly what your drone is seeing, which is a perfect way to get the best shots based on what you are trying to view. Recording in real time is a great feature that drone users wanting a GoPro drone should look for, and the Typhoon G by Yuneec has it.
Keep in mind that you can make a purchase for this drone that incorporates its own 4K camera, but those who already own a GoPro, or just want this for a GoPro, buying the drone with the mount alone is better. It all depends on your personal preference, but you do have a choice.
To ensure that you get the best shots and do not have the propellers in the frame, which can happen, adjust the mount to have it angled down just a tad. Never have it angled all the way up or the images will be compromised from the propellers.
Overall the drone is very steady in terms of being able to take photos at high speeds and overall flying performance, but there are certain weather conditions that can cause it to become somewhat shaky, such as relatively strong winds. Always check the weather and do a test to see if it holds well first.
The drone can travel approximately 8200 feet away from the controller and can reach a maximum height of 3200 feet, although FAA regulations restrict residential drones to a maximum airspace ascent of 400 feet, so be careful.
DJI Phantom Aerial Quadcopter
Size: 8 x 17 x 17 inches
Camera: GoPro mount
Battery: 2200mAh LiPo
Flight time: 10-15 minutes, depends on the payload/GoPro used
Controller type: Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC)
Special features: Return to Home, WiFi, GPS mode, Altitude Mode
Best use: Very basic flying and aerial photography
DJI has a very large, thorough line of drones, especially when it comes to the Phantom line. In this case, the DJI Phantom Aerial Quadcopter is one of the most basic models you can get from the line. While DJI generally supplies their own cameras in their drones, this one uses a separate GoPro for the camera.
One of the most interesting components involved is the fail-safe function that can be configured to fly and land automatically from the position where it initially took off from. This is a great key component, not necessarily a feature, that can be used if the transmitter has been lost, or if you’d rather fly and control it through this method.
The Phantom Aerial UAV should only be flown outdoors and never inside, as it has a maximum ascent speed of 22 miles per hour or 10 meters per second, so it can be difficult to catch the maximum ascent and turn it before it can hit the ceiling. If you are a pro-drone user, however, you may not have a problem doing so.
The advanced GPS positioning feature allows for safe outdoor use, meaning your drone won’t sync to the wrong satellite and fly away on its own, and also compensates for any light weather conditions, such as wind. While WiFi options are available, streaming from the camera is not recommended as it may interfere with the remote control and cause a malfunction.
If you use a PC or a laptop with your drone, or want to do so with this one you can use the USB port to separately download the Naza-M autopilot system, which will allow you to configure a number of advanced parameters through the software.
BLADE 350 QX
Size: 21.7 x 13.5 x 8.6
Camera: GoPro, Garmin Virb
Battery: 11.1V 3S 2200mAh 30C LiPo
Flight time: 5 – 14 minutes
Controller type: –
Special features: Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope feature that should increase the safety and reduce the risk of crashes, great maneuverability
Best use: Amateur photography & video
Due to the fact that the Blade 350 QX was designed for people who like recording photos and videos from the air, it comes with matching features. The design is specially chosen, 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 very long 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. In addition, this drone comes with. The frame 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 include 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.
- For some models, you will need to upgrade the drone and the gimbal for the GoPro after installation, using 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!