Drone Cameras

Top 10 Best Drone Cameras in 2017 Review

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) which are controlled via a remote control or pre-flight coordinates that are programmed into the main flight plan in the software that control the drones. These drones come in various kinds. There drones which are for professional purposes and then there are drones which are simply made for recreational purpose. Drone cameras has effectively reduced human effort for aerial videography and photography.

Despite reducing human effort, drone cameras make no comprises with the quality of output. For enthusiast and professional photographers alike, drone cameras are now the best options for any and all sorts of aerial photography.

Drone Cameras

These drones vary in prices based on specs and various other variables, starting from a couple of dollars to a few thousand dollars. Some of these drones have built in cameras while other need to be equipped with an aftermarket camera.

Just buying drones and knowing how to fly it is not enough. Different countries laws regarding flying drones. Before starting off with drone cameras, it is imperative that the user has necessary permits and has knowledge about various rules and restrictions regarding flying drones of the respective countries.

For example, taking into consideration the laws of United States of America, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restricts drones to a height of 400 feet. In many states, flying over houses without permission can count as trespassing, leading to chances of facing severe charges.

The market is filled with a variety of drone cameras, each specializing in different sectors. With a large number of producers and a huge variety in models of drone cameras, it can often get rather confusing when choosing the right one. When buying a drone camera, it is absolutely necessary to consider the requirements of the users first and narrow down the list to a specific few models that best serve the user’s demands.

After that, it is recommended that users look up review of the different models to look up past customer experiences and also know about real times efficiency of respective models. This furthers helps down to shorten the list.

For the user’s out there who require help in choosing the perfect drone cameras, this article with provide a list of the top 10 best drone cameras in the market currently in order to aid people in choosing the right drone camera.

Uses of Drone Cameras

Drone cameras are used for a variety of purposes. The uses of drone cameras range from recreational purposes to professional uses. The difference in size, shape and flight range of different drones enable them to be used to different and specialized purposes.

The drones are often used in search and rescue situations where visual feeds play a critical role in helping the rescuers pursue the best course of action. Drone cameras provide the best video feeds from a higher altitude that helps the rescuers in their job.

Drone cameras can at times be used for security purposes as well. To ensure civil security, drone cameras are often used to monitor suspected terrorists or criminals and by doing so, aids in the maintenance of law and order in the society. Also, during protests or large gatherings of people, it can often get hard to get an overview of the entire gathering.

In this case as well, drones help provide real time overview of the situation and let the security personnel know about any developments. Drone cameras can also be used for industrial inspection as well.

Of all the uses, aerial photography and videography is by far the most popular use of drone cameras. Aerial photography and videography industry has grown exponentially in the past few years. From personal photography to movie grade videography, these drone cameras are undoubtedly the best options to consider.

Equipped with a wide range of cameras, these drone cameras are perfect for the job. This article will showcase a list of the 10 best drone cameras that have been selected on the basis of various criteria.


Best Drone Camera Comparison

ProductModelRatingPriceReview
DJI Inspire 2DJI Inspire 2

N/A$3000-$3500
DJI Inspire 1DJI Inspire 1

3.8$3000-$3500
DJI MavicDJI Mavic

4.5$1000-$1050
DJI Phantom 4DJI Phantom 4

3.9$950-$1000
Yuneec Typhoon HYuneec Typhoon H

2.9$1000-$1050
DJI Phantom 3 (Professional)DJI Phantom 3 (Professional)

4.3$800-$850
Yuneec Q500 4KYuneec Q500 4K

4.2$800-$850
Yuneec BreezeYuneec Breeze

3.1$300-$350
Parrot AR Drone 2.0Parrot AR Drone 2.0

3.3$100-$150
UDI 818AUDI 818A

3.8Below $50

Review of Top 10 Best Drone Cameras

1. DJI Inspire 2

DJI Inspire 2- drone camerasAbout The Product

DJI is one of the most popular brands in the sector of drone cameras. DJI Inspire 2 is the latest release of DJI, its predecessor being the DJI Inspire 1. This drone has surpassed its predecessor in being more powerful and sturdier. The magnesium-aluminum body not only makes this drone lightweight but durable as well.

The 67 mph speed along with a maximum height of over 15000 feet let’s this drone reach places that might seem impossible on many other drones. However, it does not sacrifice the stability for the speed or maximum height, allowing it to take pictures rather smoothly.

Another amazing function that comes packed with this drone is the self-heating battery. Due to this functionality, users no longer have to worry about flying at great heights in freezing temperatures. This undoubtedly ensures this drone a position in the 10 best drone cameras.

Design and Quality

Of all the things that earns the DJI Inspire 2 a spot in the list of 10 best drone cameras, dual cameras play a significant role. Of the two cameras, the primary camera is situated on the bottom part of the drone and can rotate a complete 360 degrees, The secondary camera is a simple 2 axis camera situated at the front.

This design was used for the dual camera operation with each camera receiving its individual live feed. The CineCore 2.0 image processing system let’s this drone camera capture videos up to 5.2K at an immense rate of 4.2 Gbps bitrate. It also features a built-in SSD to store all the photographs and videos.

Pros
  • The DJI Inspire 2 is a major upgrade from its predecessor.
  • The most impressive attribute is it X5S camera. The camera has incredible viewing angle alongside a very good low light capability.
  • Furthermore, a flight time of 25 minutes along with 67 mph speed and great stability makes it a great choice for aerial photography.
Cons
  • Despite the impressive functions and features that comes equipped with the DJI Inspire 2, it does have a few drawbacks.
  • The camera, though is impressive, faces occasional problems related to the auto-focus features.
  • The obstacle avoidance mechanism also triggers rather early ruining the “fly-by” shots that are favorites of many photographers.
  • There are also a few issues with the image transmission mechanism and the DJI Go App seems rather underdeveloped and has a troublesome user interface.

Despite a few problems that are present in this drone camera, it is still one of the most superior drone cameras in the market now and thus has easily gained the top position at the list of top 10 best drone cameras.


2. DJI Inspire 1

DJI Inspire 1- drone camerasAbout The Product

The predecessor to the DJI Inspire 2, this drone camera still packs a punch when compared to other drone camera models of the current marketplace. This drone features dual cameras which lets the two cameras receive individual live feeds.

The cameras themselves can be controlled via a separate remote. This drone is rather bulky in size with a weight of around 6.5 pounds. However, the extra size helps the drone with increased stability at altitudes and prevents movements due to wind speed.

It can go at a speed of up to 50 mph and rise up to a height of 15000 feet. This drone is perfect for those who want speed and height in their drones to shoot videos of cars, boats, etc. The 23 minute flight time is enough to satisfy the needs of most.

However, it may seem rather energy hungry to those who want to use this for over 30 minutes. All these features make it an ideal choice to be placed in the list of 10 best drone cameras.

Design and Quality

The Inspire 1 comes with advanced optical and ultrasound system that enables the drone to maintain the perfect position even when there are no GPS signals. The secondary camera detects the movements relative to the ground by observing the ground below the drone.

This ground proximity reading is what controls the drone’s landing gears. This ensures that the landing gears are ready by the time the drone is preparing to land. The primary camera is a 12MP camera with fixed lens that is capable of capturing 4K videos with Sony EMOR 1/2.3-inch sensor.

This camera can rotate 320 degrees and tilt more than 90 degrees. This makes it ideal for photographers looking to capture the world at 4K crisp and clear videos. Furthermore, the detachability of the camera signals to the fact that future upgrades may no longer need for the entire craft to be upgraded rather only the camera.

This drone also has an option for extended battery that allows it to go a few more minutes, giving it a push to the list of the top 10 best drones cameras.

Pros
  • What set the DJI Inspire 1 apart from the other competitors is the complete system that came with its compact design.
  • The practical design, followed by a variety of features and settings that met the requirements of both beginners and professionals made it stand out from other drone cameras.
  • The other most intriguing feature is the 12MP camera that can capture 4K videos along with the secondary 3 axis gimbal with ground proximity sensor for better functionality.
  • This ensures proper flight system even in indoors.
Cons
  • With the improved functionalities that are provided by the Inspire 1, comes a few drawbacks.
  • The DJI App has a rather clustered interface and is difficult to use.
  • That along with the lack of PC interface makes it hard to use.
  • Furthermore, a couple of firmware bugs and issues with the ground proximity sensor can make it rather troublesome to use.
  • There’s also the issue with the gimbal which often causes problem with the calibration and landing gear.
  • Despite a few drawbacks that are currently there in the DJI Inspire 1, the features and pros simply outweigh the drawbacks.
  • This is a must have for all enthusiasts and professionals who want to take aerial photography to the next level.


3. DJI Mavic

DJI Mavic- drone camerasAbout The Product

The DJI Mavic is by far the smallest drone that captures 4K videos and has the live stream functionality. Generally smaller drones tend to lack functionalities and sacrifice on the battery life.

However, the DJI Mavic completely changed these. It has superior imagery, decent battery life and a good range. Not only that, its autonomous intelligent functions rival that of much bigger drones. This easily ensures a spot in the 10 best drone cameras for this drone

Design and Quality

The DJI Mavic has been created using intelligent design that lets the wings fold underneath and on the side. The rotor too can be folded in half that lets it to be moved behind the drone. This allows the rotors to remain attached to the drone rather than having to remove them each and every time during transportation like the other drones.

All of this weights just a little over one and a half pounds. Like the drone itself, the remote too is rather small in size. However, despite being small in size, the remote does not lack in any of the functionalities.

This remote allows the users to fly the drone without the DJI Go App while displaying basic telemetry in the LCD screen for safe navigation. This drone can be flown without a remote as well. Using only the smartphone and DJI Go App, users can safely operate this drone by flipping on a switch at the back of the drone that switches the drone from R/C mode to Wi-Fi control.

However, this will significantly reduce the range of the drone and thus is recommended to be used only for short range flights. Also, the remote can be combined with the smartphone to gain live feeds and access to complex controls and camera settings.

Pros
  • The DJI Mavic is undoubtedly one of the smallest and lightweight drones that has the ability to capture 4k videos.
  • This makes it a really powerful drone camera which comes with easy portability.
  • It’s hassle free since the propellers and rotors can be folded when keeping it away rather than storing them separately.
  • Furthermore, the stability offered by this drone even at winds of 20 mph makes it easier to capture stable videos and photos.
  • The gesture detection system makes this one of the rare drones with gesture control.
  • The sensors at the front of the drones prevents this drone from crashing while maintaining good positioning using its GPS system.
Cons
  • While the DJI Mavic has some really good features, it does have some drawbacks.
  • Specifically speaking, the angle of the camera is not really wide, which can be rather troublesome for a lot of people.
  • Furthermore, it tends to get blue casts in the pictures or videos in some certain lighting conditions.
  • Also it is rather complex in performing many functionalities in comparison to other drones due to a variety of factors.

Overall, this is a revolutionary design which portrays the idea that drones don’t have to be bigger to be better. Rather, even the smallest of drone cameras can be as good as other drone cameras.This drone camera is perfect for a wide range of consumers and thus has earned itself a spot in the list of 10 best drone cameras.


4. DJI Phantom 4

DJI Phantom 4- drone camerasAbout the Product

The DJI Phantom 4 features a revolutionary step by DJI. This quadcopter is one of the most power efficient quadcopters out there, allowing it a flight time of around 28 minutes. A flight time of that long period is easily enough to meet the demands of most consumers that are willing to try this quadcopter out.

The long flight time coupled with the advanced camera that records DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) videos at 25 frames per second and UHD 4K (3480 x 2160) at up to 30 frames per second, easily makes this a favorite among those looking to take magnificent and crystal clear photos or videos.

It can also record FHD 1080P at 120 frames per second for effects such as slow motion effect. Apart from that, the camera can also take 12MP photographs in DNG RAW or JPEG. The camera can also take photos in single shots, burst shots and time lapse modes. All these functions are more than sufficient to enlist this drone camera in the list of 10 best drone cameras.

Design and Quality

The DJI Phantom 4 has a sleek unibody construction made of magnesium. This lightweight body along with the streamlined body allows smooth and responsive flight experience for the controller, increasing the maneuverability of the drone in comparison to other drones.

This body has been built to perform tasks even in the windiest of days. While the magnesium body doesn’t exactly ensure a guaranteed crash protection, the front facing visual sensors have obstacle avoidance system and target tracking system which ensures that the drone does not face any trouble with flights, reducing the chances of crash to a great extent.

The vision position features also provides navigations support for the drone in case it loses its GPS navigation system. That along with active braking system ensures a good maneuverability for the drone, preventing any unwanted accidents.

Pros
  • The DJI Phantom 4 is one of the best drones produced by DJI.
  • It has many features that gives it an edge over other drones.
  • The visual sensors really set this drone apart.
  • These sensors are capable of detecting obstacles and thereby either halts or avoids the obstacle.
  • These also act as active tracker that tracks a subject to take videos or photos from various angles.
  • It also features 3 separate flight modes namely: normal, atti and sport, which cater to the needs of different individuals.
  • That along with the impressive 12MP camera and 94o Wide angle lens to capture great photographs and videos.
  • It also has a customizable remote controller and beginner flight mode to let people have the freedom of deciding how to fly this drone.
Cons
  • While the Phantom 4 is filled with loads of features, it does suffer from a few minor issues such as issues related to drivers and firmware, obstacle detection system which often fails to detect minor objects such as leafless branches that results in crash, occasional problem with battery, etc.

However, when compared to the advantages this drone has, the few drawbacks seem almost negligible, thereby earning this drone a spot in the 10 best drone cameras.


5. Yuneec Typhoon H

Yuneec Typhoon H- drone camerasAbout the Product

The Yuneec Typhoon H is a hexacopters, meaning it has six rotors instead of the traditional 4 rotors. However, this drone can still fly safely with only 5 rotors. While majority of the hexacopters in the market are built for professionals and require two people, one to operate the drone and one to operate the camera, the Typhoon H is a consumer friendly drone which requires only one person to pilot it.

However, there is an option for a second controller for the camera, a feature that is quite rare in drones of this price range. This bundle of features for the price is what puts this drone in the list of 10 best drone cameras.

Design and Quality

The compact body of the Yuneec Typhoon H is rather sturdy and holds together firmly. While it’s not the sturdiest drone out there, it is still quite sturdy enough to meet the demands of most consumers. Although it might not be able to handle a hard crash, there are safety mechanism in place that will prevent it from crashing in the first place.

What it lacks it design, it makes up with the additional features. It is still able to stay rather still even in windy situations, allowing users to take great shots.

Pros
  • One of the most impressive features of this drone is it’s obstacle avoidance sensor.
  • While most traditional quadcopters use visual sensors to detect obstacles, the Typhoon H uses sonar to detect obstacles.
  • Doing so makes it possible for this drone to avoid obstacles even in complete darkness whereas other drones would’ve crashed due to lack of visuals.
  • Apart from that, it has a wide variety of flight modes that are suited for different tasks.
  • Another impressive feature is it’s dedicated controller, the ST16 ground station, which unlike other drones, don’t require a smartphone app to make the best use of all the features.
  • It can also have a secondary controller to have control over its cameras, something that’s used by film makers.
Cons
  • Despite the wide array of features, the Typhoon H has some significant drawbacks.
  • The hinges of its legs are rather weak, making them the weakest links in the structure.
  • Another significant drawback is the 17-20 minutes use of the battery which triggered autonomous return.
  • The battery however, needs to be charged for well over 2 hours.
  • That being said, it is important to carry extra batteries in case of long use of the drone.

All these when weighed in terms of value, the features outweigh the drawbacks, granting it a position in the list of 10 best drone cameras.


6. DJI Phantom 3 (Professional)

DJI Phantom 3 (Professional)- drone camerasAbout the Product

Predecessor to the DJI Phantom 4, this drone itself is still quite a beast. This is a great drone for flying and every function of this drone is manually controllable. However, most of the complex aspects of safe and stable flight are still done automatically by this drone.

This was a major upgrade from its predecessor with inclusions like the 4K camera, manual control over the drone via smartphone app, etc. The fact that it can still perform in par with many of the new model drones is what earned this drone a place in the list of 10 best drone cameras.

Design and Quality

The Phantom 3 Professional had a huge upgrade in its build quality in comparison to the Phantom 2. It featured a much stronger and sturdier frame while maintaining stability in air. Furthermore, the aerodynamic design helped this minimize wind resistance when flying, allowing it to reach great speeds with much less resistance.

While it wasn’t exactly crash proof, the obstacle detection system present in it meant that it rarely had to crash. The inclusion of GLONASS greatly improved its positioning system, enabling it to fly smoothly both indoors and outdoors.

Pros
  • The most significant upgrade that came with this model was the inclusion of a camera that was capable of recording 4k videos.
Cons
  • However, the 4k videos did have the “rolling shutter” which made the pictures seem unsteady. This drone faces difficulty in capturing videos or pictures in times of harsh lights or high speed.

While the drone is not as steady in air as many present drones, it still has enough stability to completely function and thus earning it a spot on the 10 best drone cameras.


7. Yuneec Q500 4K

Yuneec Q500 4K- drone camerasAbout the Product

The Yuneec Q500 4K is a bang for the providing, providing features that are often absent in other drones of the same price range. It has a removable camera which can be used as a handled with an accessory as well. The controller also comes built in with an android device incorporated within the controller, not requiring additional smartphones to use the drone.

The drone also has great 4K video capture capabilities which is rather great for the price, thereby giving it a spot in the list of 10 best drone cameras.

Build and Quality

This drone comes packed in a large case to prevent nay damage during transportation. Once opened from the case, it is clearly visible that the frame is very sturdy and the construction meets the standards. The body is strong and sturdy alongside the heavy duty arms which are both strong and stable.

This resulted in the legs being firm and sturdy which is quite rare for drones of this type.

Pros
  • One of the best features of the Yuneec Q500 4K is it’s distortion free lens with a viewing angle of 115o, allowing the user to take great pictures.
  • Apart from that, the Watch Me feature makes it easy for the pilot to configure the drone to follow the pilot no matter how the drone is maneuvered.
  • That coupled with the quiet flight time and 4K video capture makes it an ideal drone camera for many people.
Cons
  • However, the lens of the Q500 4K is rather blurry at the edges. Apart from that, the automatic white balance of the camera is also rather inconsistent.
  • The largest drawback is the excessive heating of the battery charger during charging and the slow charge speed of the battery, meaning people have to rely on extra battery for long period of flight.

Despite the few inconsistencies, when weighed against the features that are packed in this drone camera, it can easily be said that this drone is one of the 10 best drones out there for people to purchase.


8. Yuneec Breeze

Yuneec Breeze- drone camerasAbout the Product

The Yuneec Breeze has been launched to cater to the needs of beginner aerial photographer. This is one of the smallest and cheapest drones that made it into this list. With a price tag of just $390, this drone comes packed with really good features that will make it irresistible and definitely one of the best bang for the buck drones, putting it in the list of 10 best drone cameras.

Build and Quality

The Yuneec Breeze has an all plastic body that might make the buyers skeptical at first. However, the intelligent design of this drone ensures that it does not snap or suffer major damage in times of crash. However, the crash tests were not very extensive and it is uncertain whether or not this drone would survive a major crash in a concrete pavement.

Pros
  • The Yuneec Breeze packs a lot of features for the price tag.
  • It boasts a 13MP camera that is capable of capturing 4K videos at 30 frames per second.
  • Apart from that, it is also able to take great pictures with the 13MP camera.
  • Different filming modes such as Orbit, Selfie, Follow Me, etc. allow users to use this drone as per their requirements.
  • The small form factor along with indoor position system allows this drone to fly and capture videos even at homes.
Cons
  • However, with all the good features comes a few drawbacks for the price.
  • The flight time is very poor with a flight time of only around 12 minutes.
  • This is very bad for anyone trying to fly this for more than 10 minutes.
  • Apart from that, the 4K video capture is also not very steady resulting often in shaky videos and photographs.

However, considering the price with hich it comes, these are drawbacks that can be considered at times owing to the huge number of features it provides. Because of this, it has been granted a place in the list of 10 best drone cameras.


9. Parrot AR Drone 2.0

Parrot AR Drone 2.0- drone camerasAbout the Product

The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is more like a dream toy than a drone camera. This is one of the cheapest drone cameras in the market and is undoubtedly easy for the beginners to try out with its 2 built in cameras and easy flight control. The cheap price tag however comes at a sacrifice of many features.

However, this drone is capable of fulfilling the demands of many novice aerial photographers for a small price. This affordability factor is what earns this a spot in the list of 10 best drone cameras.

Build and Quality

The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 has a plastic body and four rotors made entirely of plastic. It comes with two Styrofoam bodies for indoor and outdoor flights where the indoor body covers the rotors with foam rings and the outdoor body keeps the rotors exposed.

This protective body is undoubtedly necessary to protect this drone owing to its plastic infrastructure. It lacks a power button and can be turned on my connecting with the battery.

Pros
  • The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 doesn’t come equipped with a controlled and is controlled by a smartphone by connecting to the drone’s hotspot.
  • The form factor of this drone makes it ideal for stunts and fun photography experience.
  • The camera is a mediocre camera that can record videos in 720P, which is justifiable owing to the cheap price tag.
Cons
  • However, this is strictly for the beginners who have no intention of getting into professional aerial photography and videography.
  • The battery that comes with it can only power this for about 10 minutes before requiring a 90 minutes recharge period.
  • This bad flight time is something to be considered when buying this drone.

Overall, for the price tag, it has some really cool and fun features. However, what earns this a spot in the 10 best drone cameras list is the features that this drone provides in comparison to the cheap price.


10. UDI 818A

UDI 818A- drone camerasAbout the Product

There are drones out there in the market which are almost autonomous and then there are the ones which require complete pilot skills. The UDI 818A represents the latter class, relying completely on the ability of the pilot.

Coming at a price tag of just $49.99, this drone is undoubtedly the cheapest drone to make it to this list. This is a must have for any pilot wishing to improve their flight skills without the risk of damaging a drone that’s worth a couple hundred dollars, thereby giving it a position in the list of 10 best drone cameras.

Build and Quality

This drone is made with the bare minimum use of materials, meaning that there is only the frame that ismade of light and thin plastic, which houses the rotors. The electronics are fitted in a small cavity of the frame.

However, unlike other low end drones, the rotors are fit in with screws rather securely, making its build quality one of the best in the genre of low end drones.

Pros
  • The UDI 818A is undoubtedly made to last crashes. Included ith this are spare parts that are used whenever the drone faces any major critical damage.
  • The design of this drone is such that enables this to have high reparability, meaning it can come back from even the most severe of all crashes.
Cons
  • The camera isn’t all that great with video capture capability of just 640X480 pixels with 30 frames per second.

However, it is to be taken into consideration that this drone was designed primarily to train a pilot’s skill rather than using it for aerial photography, thus justifying It’s position in the list of 10 best drone cameras.


Conclusion

This list contains drone cameras that were built to cater to the needs of professionals along with hobbyist aerial photographers and those willing to use the drones for a little fun. With the gradual development in the aerial photography/videography and drone manufacturing process, there exists a variety of models in the current market with specs with to those placed in the above mentioned list.

However, when comparing peer to peer, these drones simply out qualify any other drones of the similar quality, price or genre. All of the drones that have been mentioned in this list are best in class for what they’ve been made. Some were included for the impressive features while some were included for the affordability factor.

Overall, various criteria were taken into consideration when selecting the top 10 best cameras in the market. Not only reliant on features or pros, this list comprises of drones that best fulfill their intended role and thus are the best of their category.

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