The camera drones of today are highly different from the military style quadcopters that you may be familiar with. Right now, a drone carrying a camera or a drone with a built-in camera can be an excellent tool that can be used by hobbyists and even by professionals.
It will not be uncommon to see various drones zipping around in different open spaces as some even use them at home. It is also not uncommon to see camera drones for sale in various markets.
A drone with a camera is mostly used for aerial photography. It will take landmarks of various places instead of having to rely on a real camera being used by a camera man. The drone can be used easily and you don’t need too much exercise for it; even a beginner can do it.
Most people who use this type of drones are video enthusiasts and people who like to take great photos. Some do it because it is their job while others are doing it as a hobby.
With the vast selection of drones available, how can you possibly choose? Well, we did a selection of the bestsellers out there, hoping we’ll make the decision easier for you.
Bestsellers you ought to go to check
It is important that you look for well-rated drones with a camera so you can be sure that you are only getting the best.
Below, we put together a short top 5 of the drones with cameras for sale on the market and included a short description so you’ll know which one is best for you.
DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter
This drone is actually a quadcopter and comes ready to fly, with an included battery and a rechargeable remote controller. This quadcopter supports FPV which means you’ll get to enjoy the flying experience completely.
It’s the next best thing to actually piloting. You can download the Pilot app along with the purchase of this product to keep track of where your quad flies while you are using it.
With the DJI Phantom 3 Pro, you can expect to get high-quality images and videos due to the 4K camera and 3 Axis Camera Stabilization Gimbal. The resulted video is Ultra HD 2160p in resolution, which means that even professionals will be able to enjoy the drone.
The quad can also give long range ability, meaning that it can be used effectively for taking images and videos of places that you will not be able to reach immediately by foot.
This Phantom model is best suited for professionals who have had previous experience with flying drones. First of all, it’s quite expensive (about $900 on sale) and you shouldn’t be bumping such fine equipment on the walls or trees while you learn how to fly. Second, of all, the drone is designed to be smooth in flying and it is perfect for aerial photography, and if this is what interests you, you can get more familiar with all the features this model has to offer by reading our DJI Phantom 3 in-depth review.
SYMA X5C Explorers RC Quadcopter
This is another quadcopter that you’ll love just by taking a quick peek at its design. The white colored drone looks strong and sturdy and you can tell immediately that it will be something that you can use for a long time.
The quad is equipped with an HD camera that will allow you to take clear and sharp images and videos during flight. It also comes with a 32GB memory card bundle that will allow you to record more images and videos in the process. Purchasing an SD card would need to be done separately.
The SYMA X5C Explorers comes with a 6 Axis gyro stabilization system which allows it to remain stable in the air during the flight. Even more, it is equipped with 360-degree Eversion, which allows it to perform flips and other acrobatics while in the air.
The quad is wind resistant and offers lots of fun in both indoors and outdoors spaces. However, don’t expect to fly it for hours on the row. The flight time is quite short (about 7 minutes) and can leave you unsatisfied and wanting more.
But, there’s no need to change the drone; you just have to buy a few extra batteries. This way, you won’t have to wait 100 minutes (the usual charging time) before you fly again for 7.
This drone can be perfect for beginners and intermediate fliers due to the fact that it comes with simple controls. The camera is good enough and can take a lot of data. Easily connect this through another gadget to check the images and videos you have gathered with the use of the drone. For a better insight on this model and the best ones from this series, we suggest checking out our Syma X5 series in-depth review.
Holy Stone X400C FPV RC Quadcopter Drone
If you are searching for a camera drone that has powerful and responsive motors, then this may be the one for you. This comes with a built-in high definition camera that will take amazing aerial photos.
The 6 Axis Gyro System will also allow this drone to be stable during flight and the quad supports FPV real-time transmission. This also means that it can be connected to most smartphones running Android or iOS.
It would not be hard to see that this drone has a cool looking design which allows it to look fabulous while being flown. Some say that carrying this quadcopter can be a bit difficult because it is heavy, but it is still worth it. The Holy Stone X400C can fly for about 8 1/2 minutes before this needs to be charged again.
One of the best features this quad implements is the return-to-base function, which is possible due to the GPS equipment. This makes it perfect for beginners since it does not require a lot of maintenance and cleaning. The controls are also easy to understand.
UDI U818A RC Quadcopter
If you want to have a 6-axis gyro quadcopter that will remain stable in both outdoor and indoor environments, the UDI U818A is the best choice. The quad also comes with a four channel function that will make sure that flying will be steady and easy. Even more, the drone can get stabilized on its own, if needed.
The camera is not the best (640×480 pixels) but it can take both videos and photos. While a professional won’t have any use in this drone and its camera, a beginner will definitely enjoy using it for practice. The drone doesn’t support live feed, but you can see the recording after landing the drone.
The general flying time is up to 9 minutes, but you can acquire spare batteries that come in handy when you want to fly more. Considering the fact that it takes about 120 minutes for the battery to charge, acquiring other batteries is definitely an inspired idea.
No need to worry; even if you crash it from time to time, it will still manage to withhold its integrity. The 2.4GHz remote control will make sure that the quadcopter can be flown well and it will manage to send commands to the quad for about 30m of distance.
The drone is ready to fly out of the box and can be easily used by beginners. Since this is highly stable when being flown, the quad can be used easily. To get a much better insight into all the features it comes with, we suggest checking out our UDI U818A in-depth review.
Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone
This comes with a headless security system that will make sure you will never lose the copter while you are piloting it. Even more, the drone is equipped with a wind resistant control range so you can be sure you will never have any problems with letting it fly for up to a certain distance. The wind resistant control range is about 30 – 50 meters.
The HS170 is considered to be one of the best quads to use by beginners due to the durable chassis that will resist a few mild shocks. Even better, it is easy to control and comes equipped with LED lights so you can fly it at night.
However, you shouldn’t expect hours of flight as the drone will only support 6 – 8 minutes on one single charge. To improve this, you can try to get more powerful batteries or simply, by more standard ones.
In the package, you will also get the 2.4GHz remote controller, but you’ll need to have AA batteries in order to make it functional. Keep in mind that the batteries do not come with the package. The quadcopter also comes with a user manual, 4 additional rotating blades, and a screwdriver.
These drones are just a few of the models and types available out there that can be considered. There are still a lot more available on the market, but it will take us a long time to describe them all. That’s why we chose the best for both professionals and amateurs.
Buying guide: important features to consider
When it comes to purchasing the right drone, you have to consider the various features of each product. Below we made a short list with the most common things you will have to pay attention to.
You have to realize that taking pictures and videos will rely heavily on the type of camera that will be included. Some drones are equipped with their very own HD camera, but there are also some that will allow you to place your camera of choice. You can even choose a drone (or a quad) that supports a GoPro camera.
When you have more control over the type of camera that you are going to place, this can be an advantage because you will know the quality of the images and videos that you will get beforehand. There will be a lesser chance to be disappointed with the result this way.
When it comes to using camera drones, you know that you are not merely focused on the images that you can take. You also need to make sure that you will be taking videos that matter. How do you think your video will fare if people who view your videos can barely see what you are trying to show?
So, besides camera specs and its possibility to create amazingly crisp footage, you also have to consider the gimbal and mount. Usually a 3-axis or a 6-axis gimbal is all you need to get a smooth flight without too many shakes. Another factor to consider is the possibility to control the camera angle from the ground.
Size and weight
Do you honestly think that the size and the weight of the drone don’t matter? This is not true at all! The size is important because sometimes, the bigger the drone is, the more it will consume energy out of the battery.
Of course, larger drones have larger batteries in order to allow for an improved flight time, but if you also attach a bigger camera this might not be the case anymore. Just make sure you calculate all these variable correctly before making the purchase.
On the other hand, certain models are easy to bring around because they are small and almost weightless. However, if the drone is too lightweight, a simple breeze might make it harder for you to control it.
You have to keep in mind that each drone model comes with different specifications when it comes to controls. To make sure your future drone is easy to control, take a look at reviews left by owners and analyze the product description thoroughly.
Some will have an image of the remote control that you will use to move your drone around. This will give you a better idea on the type of controller.
You have to know now that not all drones can be powered by double A or triple A batteries. Some come with rechargeable batteries that you can easily recharge whenever you need to. People say that drones are powered by non-rechargeable batteries may last longer but this can only be a good option if you do not use your drone too often.
Aside from the batteries of the drone itself, you also have to consider the battery that you will be placing on the remote control. If the remote does not have enough power to control the drone then your drone will not move.
Do you need a drone that will allow you to fly for more than 3 miles at a time? Some drones are able to do that, especially if you are using models that are made for professional use.
If you have no plans of letting your drone fly long distances then you always have the option to just fly it in places that are nearby. If this is the case then perhaps flight range is not one of your main concerns.
There is a big chance that you are considering a drone that has a failsafe option. This means that the drone needs to have a strong GPS signal so it will be able to return home when it does not receive any contact from you.
There are various reasons why you may lose contact with your drone such as the following:
- Low battery on the remote control
- Losing contact with the drone as it has gone too far
- Weather conditions
As long as you have set up the home location, then letting your drone go back to your own home can be a nice feature that will surely benefit you. One tip to remember is to set up the drone to its maximum altitude when flying home. This will lessen chances of bumping into various obstructions before it gets to the base.
Other things to think about
Now that you already know the most important features, there are several other factors you need to think about in order to choose a better drone. For instance, have you ever thought about where you will be flying the drone?
Most of the time, it would be flying from your current location but it will not be able to ascend properly if there are a lot of trees or power lines above your home. Make sure that you will set up the drone on a clear area before you let it fly.
The limitations of the drone that you will choose will play a huge factor on the things that you can and cannot do. That’s why is important to get to know how accurate your drone is and how fast it can fly. Get to know how long it will take before it will remain out of batteries as well. This way, you can already work fast to take images and videos of the things you wish to see.
The drone regulations may not be officially set up just yet but at least knowing some details will give you an idea about what you are searching for. For instance, even if you know that your drone can fly up to 400 feet, you are not allowed to do this as you may interfere with other aircraft.
You are also not allowed to let your drone fly near the airport as this can be problematic not only for you, but also for those who are flying the planes. If in case you truly need to do this, get permission first so that your drone will not be confiscated.
Not sure what model to buy?
If you’re still not ready to decide, perhaps getting to know a bit more about the models discussed here, today, will allow you to understand them better.
For instance, the DJI Phantom 3 Professional can be used to take professional videos and images. The 4K camera manages to record videos that go up to 30 frames per second which is pretty high-quality.
In the case you want live streaming from the drone, you simply need to connect the remote control with your mobile device or tablet. The 23 minutes flight time is longer than with most camera drones on the market.
The next on our list is the SYMA X5C Explorers quadcopter. This drone is easy to control and fly and can stay up in the air for about 6 – 10 minutes. Since this may be a short time especially if you expect to take pictures, you are recommended to purchase extra batteries that will allow you to not wait too long.
If you only have one set of batteries, you need to wait for about an hour or more before you can let your quadcopter fly again.
The Holy Stone X400C FPV RC Quadcopter can be nice to use, especially if you are searching for something that is lightweight. The auto return feature can also be very useful and makes it a great drone for beginners.
The UDI U818A is one great looking quadcopter that will also be functional. The camera is decent and the fact that it is one of the bestselling quadcopters says a lot about what other people think about this product.
You can rely on the indicator lights to know the current status of this camera drone and at the same time, you can simply focus on taking awesome photos and videos. Even though the camera is not HD, you can always upgrade it to get better images and videos the next time you use it.
The Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini RC Drone is great for beginners. Not only will this be able to take a lot of crashes, you can also expect that the drone itself will not have any problems because of it.
You can choose from different modes so that you can fly as comfortably as you can. Of course, once you become more professional with flying drones, you may want to consider other models that will allow you to have professional looking images and videos you have always wanted.
It is important to know what can be expected from drones and understand their limitations so that you will know if purchasing drones will be worth it for you. Here is a basic list of pros and cons to guide you in the process.
- Drones can be used for warning – There are some places that will be hard to reach by humans and the use of drones will allow people to know what to expect before getting there.
- They can also provide hours of fun – For a lot of hobbyists, flying drones can be fun because this is the closest experience to actually flying.
- Drones will allow people to take great images
- Drones can be used for terrorist attacks – There are some people who make use of drones in order to gather information about the area that they would like to terrorize.
- Drones can invade other people’s privacy – that’s why the organizations in charge started working on regulations regarding this aspect. For now, you can’t fly your camera drone in populated areas as it could be construed as spying.
As you can see, knowing the most important features when it comes to camera drones is important in the decision-making process. Sure, reviews and owners’ opinion matter, but at the end of the day, you will be the one flying that drone. So make sure to find the drone that fits your needs first.