Top 10 Best Camera Drones Of 2019

There has never been a better time to buy a drone. That’s because drones contain top-class 4K cameras and sporty portable form factors. That is to say, many of the Best Camera Drones now fold up for easy transportation, so you can take them wherever you are, the next adventure goes on the road. Superstable video stabilization is also a feature of a great drone, and you will find it available in just about any drone model available. You do not have to be a drone operator to get started with a high-quality drone. Most drones are easy to pick up and fly, although selecting the best drone is still a difficult task.

If you are looking forward to investing in one of the Best Camera Drones, then you are at the correct place. Finding a quality dinner at a reasonable price is no longer difficult. You can legally fly with your drone is sometimes more difficult, especially in cities. The good news is that the best camera drones that are available give you a fair warning – usually through corresponding apps – that indicate where it is legal to fly without running into the rage of local authorities.

Now, below is our best camera drones comparison table. Have a look at them and then we’ll tell you about each of them one-by-one.

Best Camera Drones Comparison Table

Camera Drones
Drone NameFlight TimeRange
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom31 minutes 8km/5mi
Parrot Anafi25 minutes4km/2.5mi
DJI Spark16 minutes2km/1.2 mi
DJI Mavic Air21 minutes10km/6.2mi
DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.025 minutes7km/4.1mi
DJI Inspire 227 minutes7km/4.1mi
Ryze Tello13 minutes100m
Skydio R127 minutes100m
PowerVision PowerEye29 minutes5km/3.1mi
Yuneec Typhoon H Plus28 minutes1.6km/1mi

Here are the Top 10 Best Camera Drones

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Very portable, but a powerful flying creative kit

  • Weight: 905g
  • Dimensions (folded): 214×91×84mm
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 322×242×84mm
  • Controller: Yes
  • Video resolution: 4K HDR 30fps
  • Camera resolution: 12MP (Pro is 20MP)
  • Battery life: 31 minutes (3850mAh)
  • Max Range: 8km/5mi
  • Max Speed: 72kph/44.7mph

DJI’s Mavic Pro (2016) changed the perception of what was possible with camera platforms, making it possible to fold and carry a good quality lens without putting too much dent in the volume or weight of your hand luggage. It sold so well that perhaps the appeal of simple aerial photographs decreases – something that DJI tried to combat with software functions. One of the most amazing (both on the Mavic 2 Pro and the Zoom model) is Hyperlapse – a time-lapse in the air that can include movement and be processed in moments on board. The zoom model also gets a dolly zoom effect (ask a horror film geek), which is great fun.

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The hull has a fairly firm feel for something that is foldable so small, but it brings with it powerful engines and speed control systems, closed with surprisingly quiet screws. This makes it almost as capable as heavier drones in the wind – with high maximum speed and very responsive operation (which can be softened for film work). The omnidirectional sensors also make it very difficult to crash at normal speeds and even play a role in the excellent tracking of objects.

The only drawback of the Mavic 2 is the choice you have to make between the more expensive ‘Pro’ and the ‘Zoom’. The Pro has a 1-inch image sensor (20 megapixels) on a fixed 28 mm EFL but with an adjustable aperture, 10-bit (HDR) video and up to 12,800 ISO – ideal for sunsets and photos. The zoom retains the still very decent 12 megapixels of its predecessor but has a zoom lens (24-48 mm elf), which is more useful for cinematic effects. In our opinion, we consider both models to be the best camera drones right now.

Pros:

  • Very portable
  • Optical Zoom (on the Zoom model)
  • Great software features

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No 60fps for 4K

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Parrot Anafi

Light, foldable, and able to turn its 4K camera anywhere

  • Weight: 310g
  • Dimensions (folded): 244×67×65mm
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 240×175×65mm
  • Controller: Yes
  • Video resolution: 4K HDR 30fps
  • Camera resolution: 21MP
  • Battery life: 25 minutes (2700mAh)
  • Max Range: 4km/2.5mi
  • Max Speed: 55kph/35mph

The Parrot was not really a contender in the high-end video space until the Anafi arrived in mid-2018, but it was certainly worth the wait. Instead of pushing up prices and weight with sensors of questionable use (and the processing capacity to handle their data), Parrot leaves the business to avoid obstacles very much for the customer. In return, however, they have succeeded in keeping the portability and price manageable, partly because a large, sturdy zip-case is included, so you can shoot almost anywhere.

Although the carbon fiber elements of the body feel a bit cheap, this is actually one of the best-built frames on the market and very easy to operate thanks to the automatic start, landing, GPS-based return to home, and an exceptionally well-built folding controller with a hinged telephone handle, one that seems so much easier to operate, and so much more logical than the recent contenders of DJI.

The only problems are that the gimbal only works on two axes, relying on software to handle sharp turns, which only works well, and which for some reason also charges Parrot extra for in-app applications. features such as follow-up modes that include DJI. On the positive side, this gimbal drive can be turned all the way up for an unobstructed angle that most drones cannot manage and the system even has zoom, unheard of the price point. Overall, the Parrot Anafi is one of the best camera drones to buy right now.

Pros:

  • Very portable
  • 4K @ 100Mbps with HDR
  • 180° vertical-turn gimbal and zoom

Cons:

  • Only 2-axis control
  • Some features are in-app purchases

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DJI Spark

HD selfie-drone you can control with hand gestures

  • Weight: 300g
  • Dimensions (folded): 143×143×55mm
  • Controller: Optional
  • Video resolution: 1080p 30fps
  • Camera resolution: 12MP
  • Battery life: 16 minutes
  • Max Range with controller: 2km/1.2mi
  • Max Speed: 50kph/31mph

In terms of value for money, the DJI Spark is one of the best camera drones and does offer a lot. Although it does not really fold – making it a reassuringly rough body – the propellers do, so it’s not really that thick. Videographers have to settle for “standard” High Definition – 1080p – which is certainly more than enough to share your exploits on YouTube. Not only is the quality exemplary, but the ability to follow subjects also works well.

Where the Spark really shone (especially at the launch when it was really a novelty) was the gesture recognition. You can launch the drone from the palm of your hand and have a few pre-defined photos taken of you with simple movements. It is not perfect, but still surprisingly good.

For once, DJI’s tendency to make the first supply of bare bones does not seem so frustrating – you clearly get a lot of technology for your investment – and it’s nice to know that you can pick up a controller later if the range does not. I feel sufficient. For many, however, it will not, so search for a machine with the built-in controller if you can.

Pros:

  • Lives up to portability
  • Gesture controls
  • Quickshot modes

Cons:

  • Flight time disappointing
  • Wi-Fi keeps the range very limited

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DJI Mavic Air

This is the foldable drone you want in 2019

  • Weight: 430g
  • Dimensions (folded): 168×83×49mm
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 168×184×64mm
  • Controller: Yes
  • Video resolution: 4K 60fps
  • Camera resolution: 12MP
  • Battery life: 21 minutes (2375mAh)
  • Max Range: 10km/6.2mi
  • Max Speed: 68kph/43mph

The Mavic Air is a stunning technical achievement, an incredibly capable drone that – for most people – seems to be one of the best camera drones. With forward, downward and rearward-facing distance sensors, the drone can identify obstacles and not only alert the pilot but also plot a course to avoid a wall or a tree, if necessary. All this computing power has a downside. The battery life is 21 minutes, a little less in practice. Unfolding the thing is also surprisingly difficult.

As with other DJI drones, there is an extra “fly more” package available that bundles things that you really need (cover, spare batteries), but of course it is even harder for the wallet. The controller folds nicely away (you can even loosen the sticks), but it is actually a bit tricky, especially with the iPhone X, because the handles with which your phone stays in place, also make it difficult to sweep up the phone to activate. It is also a compromise to keep the screen within reach (larger RCs put it above), but the range is certainly impressive, and the DJI app contains some cool effects.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • 4K @ 100Mbps
  • Object avoidance with course correction

Cons:

  • Flight time could be better
  • Need to spend extra to get the case

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DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

Evolutionary not revolutionary, this is still a high-end camera drone

  • Weight: 1375g
  • Dimensions: 350x350xmm
  • Controller: Yes
  • Video resolution: 4K @ 60fps
  • Camera resolution: 20MP
  • Battery life: 25 minutes (5870mAh)
  • Max Range: 7km/4.1mi
  • Max Speed: 72kph/44.7mph

The Phantom was a revolutionary product, the earlier versions including the first drone with a gimble-stabilized camera instead of the user having to deliver their own drone. The robust design of the body means that although it is no longer the obvious choice for beginners or consumers (for whom folding products offer at least the same practical use), there is a strong use-case for the occasional professional. If you want to put the drone in the back of your car and do not mind taking the bulk of a specialized backpack (instead of just a side pocket like the Mavic Air), then the latest update from the Phantom Pro 4 is very seductive.

Redesigned props for a quieter flight are certainly pleasant, and the new OcuSync radio system that enables 1080p video on the monitors is a plus (although it will not work with the older controllers). If you already have a Phantom Pro 4, there is little reason to upgrade, to be honest – but it is certainly a contender, especially if you have truly professional photographic ambitions and want one of the best camera drones.

Pros:

  • Large image sensor
  • Design classic
  • Subject tracking

Cons:

  • Size feels a little clunky

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DJI Inspire 2

When the optics are essential

  • Weight: 4000g
  • Dimensions: 605 diagonal mm
  • Controller: Yes
  • Video resolution: 5.2k @ 24fps
  • Camera resolution: 20.8MP
  • Battery life: 23-27 minutes (4280mAh dual battery)
  • Max Range: 7km/4.1mi)
  • Max Speed: 94kph/58mph

The Inspire 1 has brought a breathtaking (and clearly Klingon inspired) design that keeps the props comfortable from most photos while ensuring a large, stable frame. The Inspire 2 cemented this professional quality with a magnesium body (careful where you handle it) and a lot of double redundancy for a safer flight. One of those duplicated parts is the battery; you have to fly both and they buy you about 25 minutes of power, depending on the camera you choose.

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Great, but a few spare batteries and the X4S camera is similar to the Phantom. The X5S (to which you can attach a zoom lens from a Micro 4/3rds camera) is a lot better with its large image sensor, but the flight times are decreasing, making the phenomenally expensive Zenmuse X7 more attractive. The Inspire 2 also has advanced object tracking, (optional) multi-user operation and other professional functions and is not really for casual use. It only lacks redundancy on the motors (six would be safer). However, it is undoubtedly one of the best camera drones on the market.

Pros:

  • Interchangeable lens system available
  • Solid build quality & backup systems
  • Capable of live 1080i broadcast

Cons:

  • High purchase cost
  • The dual battery makes getting spares expensive
  • Props need to be locked into place

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Ryze Tello

The drone that proves size isn’t everything

  • Weight: 80g
  • Dimensions: 98x93x41 diagonal mm
  • Controller: No
  • Video resolution: 720p
  • Camera resolution: 5MP
  • Battery life: 13 minutes (1100mAh)
  • Max Range: 100m
  • Max Speed: 29kph/18mph

This microdrone – well below the likely minimum registration weight – proudly claims that it is “powered by DJI”. To support that, it is not just a bit pricey for the size; it has a large number of software functions and positioning sensors. With surprisingly good image quality and direct storage, your Instagram channel can get a new perspective. Price is kept low; there is no GPS, you have to charge the battery in the drone via USB and you fly with your phone (a charging station and add-on game controllers can be used – Ryze offers theirs).

Images are stored directly on your phone, not on a memory card. The camera is only stabilized, but the 720p video looks good because of that handicap. If you want to look cool, you can launch it from your hand or even throw it in the air. With other modes, you can record 360-degree videos and the software includes a number of smart swipe-focused flips. Geekier pilots can even program it. The Ryze Tello is certainly one of the best camera drones on the market.

Pros:

  • Bargain price for the features
  • Brilliant indoors
  • Great way to start learning to code

Cons:

  • Range rarely reaches 100m
  • Can’t tilt the camera

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Skydio R1

The ultimate selfie drone and flying supercomputer

  • Weight: 4000g
  • Dimensions: 330x406x38mm (unfolded)
  • Controller: Phone App
  • Video resolution: 4K @ 30fps
  • Camera resolution: 8MP
  • Battery life: 23-27 minutes (4280mAh dual battery)
  • Max Range: 100m (300ft)
  • Max Speed: 40kph/25mph

Object tracking and collision avoidance systems are a nice boost for most drones but are only a relapse. The R1, on the other hand, has two cameras on each corner, two upwards, two more down and the main 4K camera, which gives the NVIDIA TX1 256-core processor a very complete picture of the environment. The R1 uses this data to create a detailed 3D map of its environment and even to predict the movement of the subject it is following (probably you) so that it can take the best picture without street lights, trees, leaves and more. The system is of a comparable standard as a self-driving car. The video is recorded in a built-in 64 Gb, and you can transfer it – and photos from that video – directly from the app. If you do something great, this is the automatic selfie drone that you have to beat and currently, no one is around.

Pros:

  • Incredible tracking tech
  • Full range of shooting modes/angles
  • Software very straightforward

Cons:

  • Supply patchy (not meeting demand)
  • Very, very expensive

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PowerVision PowerEye

Interchangeable camera monster

  • Weight: 3950g
  • Dimensions (folded): 340×285×296mm
  • Dimensions (unfolded): 513×513×310mm
  • Controller: Yes
  • Video resolution: 4K @ 30fps
  • Camera resolution: 16.1MP
  • Battery life: 29 minutes (9000mAh)
  • Max Range: 5km/3.1mi
  • Max Speed: 65kph/40mph

The PowerEye is a good example of the consumer benefits of being in a market dominated by one brand (DJI, in case you had doubts). It really makes new competitors look for ways to impress and with a Micro-4/3rds camera, this drone puts itself firmly against the Inspire 2 with a Zenmuse X5S. Impressively it makes up for it; there is no flashy 5k mode, but the 4k is good, the two included batteries are divided in two for shipping (so not too big for hand luggage) and the manually fold down arms provide a surprisingly compact travel mode in the (included) travel cover. I could only test the drone on a very busy day and the system first struggled to maintain a position, but it won. The control app and remote control are less complex than DJI drones, so fewer software functions, but the FPV camera is of a high standard dual-pilot flight for professionals. Overall, this is one of the best camera drones right now.

Pros:

  • A cheaper way of interchangeable zoom lenses
  • 3-year 24-hour no-question guarantee
  • High-quality case bundled

Cons:

  • Software a little lacking
  • Control perhaps a little too soft

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Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

Has six rotors and a generous extras package included with a capable camera drone

  • Weight: 1995g
  • Dimensions: 520×310mm
  • Controller: Yes
  • Video resolution: 4K @ 60fps
  • Camera resolution: 20MP
  • Battery life: 28 minutes (5250mAh)
  • Max Range: 1.6km/1mi
  • Max Speed: 49kph/30mph

With a sensor of an inch, the Typhoon H Plus has a camera that can handle the Phantom. Even better is it supported by a large and stable frame with six rotors, which can return if one motor is off. The retractable support legs provide 360-degree lens rotation, in contrast to the Phantom. Add to the advantageous features such as Intel-powered collision avoidance and object tracking software (including Follow Me, Point of Interest and Curve Cable Cam), the 7-inch screen on the controller, and the extra battery that Yuneec bundles and it feels like a good deal. The travel distance is not as far as you would expect and the construction and especially the controller could be felt as an unpleasant pro or RC fan aesthetics in comparison with the very customer-friendly approach of Parrot or DJI.

Pros:

  • 6-rotor S
  • Intel-powered sensors
  • Sunshade, extra battery, and other goodies supplied

Cons:

  • Control range
  • Controller grip not natural for some
  • Batteries lack a built-in monitor

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Conclusion

There are many good remote control drones that you can buy there, so it’s important to think about what kind of SUAS best suits your intended operation and then do good research on the best options. This article is an attempt to help you learn the bullet points from each of the most popular and Best Camera Drones on the market right now. Let us know your thoughts on this list by leaving your comments in the box below.

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