10 Best Drones with Camera, Comparison, Camera Quality and Prices

We all strive to go to some exciting places, take some images, and then share our experiences with our loved ones, friends and colleagues. However, capturing an aerial view of such memorable moments was a dream until now! Now you no longer need a Hollywood film budget to capture some amazing aerial shots, because you can have one of the following drones with camera in just a few hundred dollars!

Drones have many applications, but these camera drones have revolutionized the world as for as aerial imagery is concerned. The best part is that the technology is in reach of ordinary people. The quality of the footage these extremely affordable drones can take is second to none for which traditionally, helicopter or cranes were used.

You should be Clear on Why You need a camera drone!

To figure out the best drone with camera, first, you need to define a clear objective. Are you looking for a cinema quality professional videos, or you just want to use the drone for casual aerial videography? If you are not a very skilled drone pilot, you might also need specific safety features in your camera drone. Even, if you are trying to get hold of a cheap camera drone, I would mention some of those at the end of the article.

The following list of drones is prepared based on my own experience as a CASA certified drone pilot since early 2017 and also on research into online reviews of other drone enthusiasts and hobbyists or various forums.

I am confident that this will give you a clear comparison of camera quality of the following drones, safety features, desirable attributes and some flying parameters of these airborne cameras.  As a result, you would be able to reach on a buying decision based on your requirements.

There is no “Top of the List” camera drone in the following list, I just tried to compare the best drones with the camera out there, and the order of preference depends on your purpose, so you better find it out!

Drones with 4K camera:

1. DJI MAVIC PRO

DJI-Mavic-Pro-4k-camera-drone

 

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This is one of the hardest and extremely popular camera drones in the market.  A lot of sophisticated features packed in a small body, the speed, and range, are just exciting.  It can fly for 27 minutes and up to 65 kph. The camera is stabilized with a 3-axis gimbal. It has GPS and a return to the home safety feature for beginners. Therefore, it can be your first drone if you are new to drones.  It is foldable and extremely portable. If you want an easy to carry drone with a 4K camera, this could be the best option.

Key Features:

  • 4k Camera
  • 720p HD video streaming in long range and 1080p HD in short range
  • Control range of 7 km
  • Precision Hover Capability, suitable for beginners
  • Return to Home Button
  • Ability to Control the Gimbal during flight
  • 12 flight modes, including follow-me mode, the tripod and the point of interest modes
  • Obstacle Avoidance in two directions (front and bottom)

Cons:

Gimbal is delicate and easy to break by beginner pilots.

You may see props in the footage during few maneuvers, ruining the footage.

2.DJI Phantom 4 Pro

dji-phantom-4-pro-camera-drone

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This drone is an improved version of DJI Phantom 4 and differs in few aspects. I have flown only Phantom 4, but I am including the pro version in my list since our primary concern is the image quality, and Pro version is definitely superior in this regard.

Both can shoot 4K videos, but Phantom 4 can capture 4K at maximum 30 frames per sec (fps) while pro version can achieve 60 fps. Therefore, we can obtain some fantastic slow-motion videos on the pro version. Also, the image sensor size is more significant in the pro version which gives a better field of view, enhanced dynamic range and the improved footage quality. So, if you need cinematic quality videos, DJI Phantom 4 pro can do the job.

Key Features:

  • 4K 60 fps, 20 MP camera can capture at 100 Mbps
  • 30 mins of flight time
  • 7km range
  • Obstacle sensing in 5 directions and avoidance in 4
  • Built-in Monitor with the controller

3. DJI Inspire 2

dji-inspire-2-drone-with-4k-camera

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If you are into making professional videos, are an experienced photographer and need the ability to change the lens on the drone camera, then this could cause this drone for you. It can record videos in 5.2K cinema DNG RAW format. You can also record standard 4K videos. This camera drone allows a dual control, pilot controls the drone, and the photographer or videographer controls the camera. The pilot has an additional FPV camera on the drone which would help him to fly the drone.

When you are in the air, you sometimes are not sure what focal length or type of lens you may need for better videos.  DJI Inspire 2 drone gives you the ability to change the lens on its camera. This gives you a vast number of options and versatility in your professional aerial photography work. However, its Zenmuse X5S camera (20.8 MP) supports only specific lenses, and you still have limited choice of lenses. But this flexibility of using various lenses makes DJI Inspire 2 as the best drone with a camera in the market.

DJI Inspire 2 can record videos simultaneously at SSD and micro SD cards.

Also, it has two batteries, just in case one fails, your drone would fly on the second battery.

Key Features:

  • 5.2K cinema DNG RAW video capture
  • 4K standard video recording at 29.97 fps and full HD (1080p) at 119.88 fps
  • Social Media Streaming
  • Dual control, dual batteries, dual record, dual barometer, dual IMU
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Range of 7km in US and 5km in Europe
  • The vision positioning system (Camera and sonar sensors) which works without the satellite and hence indoor flying is possible with DJI Inspire 2.

Cons:

  • Not waterproof, so careful when flying in the rain!
  • No side and back obstacle avoidance sensors, but it has sensor on the top

4. Yuneec Breeze Flying Camera Drone

yuneec-breeze-4k-camera-drone

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If you want a 4K camera drone but don’t want to spend a lot of money, this could be the best camera drone for you which also has a GPS. You fly this drone with your smartphone by connecting WiFi with the Breeze Cam app. The app is very high quality, and Yuneec keeps it updating all the times. However, it is essential that you view the app tutorials to understand various symbols and colors which app shows you to communicate the status of the flight. There are two pilot modes available in the app where you can fly it in a traditional R/C control. Very simple to operate a drone, which can be used as a selfie drone to capture the aerial videos and photos of your shareable memories. Yuneec Breeze is a drone with a 4K camera and at an extremely affordable price.  The size is compact when compared to other 4K camera drones. With the help of its 5 automatic flight modes (in addition to two Pilot modes), you can capture some unique footage. Also, make sure that you keep the firmware upgraded using the app.

Key Features:

  • Compact Design
  • Flight time 8-10 mins
  • 1150 mAh 3S battery
  • 6 Flight Modes (Pilot, Selfie, Orbit, Journey, Follow me and FPV mode)
  • GPS (It is good to disable GPS during indoor)
  • 4K video resolution, 720p HD live and 13 MP still images

5. Yuneec Typhoon H

yuneec-typhone-h-drone-with-camera

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It is not a quadcopter but a hexacopter drone and has six props. However it can fly at five, just in case the one gets damaged! If the size of the drone does not bother you, then this award-winning drone could be the best camera drone for you.  Not only the drone itself but also, its controller is enormous which makes it not at all compatible, in spite of its foldability.

Enough of cons, now we come to its qualities and features. Starting from the built, the carbon fiber construction is strong and durable. It is a sophisticated aerial imagery platform you can rely on for your professional aerial videography and photography needs.

He android controller is fantastic. It has a large 7-inch touchscreen which shows the telemetry and battery status. You don’t need any phone or tablet, so it is desirable for many users.

It also comes with a Wizard, which is a small remote which you can use to follow me operation of the drone and it will capture your footage as you move, drive or surf.  You can do some basic maneuvers with this wizard, without requiring the controller.

It also has many flying modes, such as follow me, orbit, point of interest, journey, return to home, curve cable cam. It also has a safety feature of a no-fly zone.  No fly zone means, the drone stays within the regulatory height and does not go near the commercial airports using its GPS.

Key Features:

  • CGO3+ 4K UHD camera
  • 360 degree and 3-axis stabilized gimbal
  • 4K at 30 fps video capture ability
  • Live video 720p HD
  • Control range of 1.6 km (one mile)
  • Flight time of 20 to 25 minutes
  • Large integrated 7-inch controller screen

Cons:

  • Ultrasonic obstacle avoidance is an old and rudimentary technology. Furthermore, no obstacle avoidance at the back, bottom or above of the drone.
  • Upgrading software and firmware is a manual process
  • Long charging time for ST16 controller
  • Difficult to transport

Drone NameVideo RecordFlight Time(Max)RangeGPSReturn Home
DJI Mavic Pro4K27 mins7kmYesYes
DJI Phantom 4 Pro4K30 min7kmYesYes
DJI Inspire 25.2K27 mins7km(US), 5km(EU)YesYes
Yuneec Breeze4K12 mins80mYesYes
Yuneec Typhoon H4K25 mins1.6kmYesYes

Drones with 1080p Camera:

6. Parrot Bebop 2 Power

Parrot-bebop-2-power-quadcopter-with-camera

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It is an upgraded version of the extremely popular parrot bebop drone.  The frame and props are the same as Parrot Bebop 2, but the battery has been upgraded from 2700 mAh to 3350 mAh. It has some fantastic features. We all drone enthusiast love long flight times, and parrot bebop power has a flight time of 30 minutes on a single battery which is quite long and 5 minutes more than Bebop 2. You can fly this camera drone with its controller or by using the app.  It has a sports mode and can fly upto 65 kph.

It is a filming drone for anyone who is just starting out with personal drones. You can take videos in various flight modes and as the drone is following you. The camera is 14MP with digital stabilization and a wide-angle lens which is suitable for landscape filming. Along with the GPS tracking, It also has visual monitoring which uses image recognition. You can buy the drone in two finishes, matte black, and glossy black.

The safety feature on Parrot Bebop power includes a return to home, drone locator, and geofence. In Geofence, you set the limits and boundaries in which drone would then fly and will not cross those limits.

Key Features:

  • 14 MP Camera
  • 1080P video capture
  • Comes with Cockpit glasses
  • Affordable Price considering accessories included in it
  • Longer flight time of 30 mins
  • Longer Range of up to 2km

Cons:

  • No SD card, you have to use USB to connect to the computer
  • Limited 7GB usable storage with no option to enhance.

7. MJX Bugs 2w Drone with 1080P Camera

mjx-bugs-2w-camera-quadcopter

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This drone has two models, MJX Bugs 2w and 2c. Both are slightly different is price and functionality. MJX Bugs 2 has the FPV video transmission capability while MJX Bugs 2c has brushless motors. Both have 1080P camera, headless mode, and the air pressure (barometer) altitude hold.  Both have a GPS based return to home function and so are suitable for beginners.  Bugs 2 has good resistance in a windy situation, and its hover function (altitude hold) is good. If you run into any trouble during the flight, you just press the GPS, and the Drone would hold its position.

With a switch on the controller, you can switch it to headless mode, which would allow you to fly quickly without worrying about the orientation of your camera drone. The calibration of the accelerometer and the compass is required before you start flying the drone which is a useful safety feature.

Key Features:

  • Flight time of 18-20 mins
  • 6-axis Gyro for stabilization
  • Control Range: 800-1000m
  • Wifi FPV camera (with FPV transmission distance of 400-500m)
  • One Key Return to home function
  • One key GPS hold

Cons:

  • Proprietary battery.

I have done a detailed review of another 1080P camera drone Hubsan H501S X4 which you may be interested in reading about.

8. Force1 F100 Ghost Drone with Camera – 1080p Remote Control

Force1-f100-ghost-camera-drone

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If noise is an important consideration, then this camera drone could be the best option. It is a brushless drone, which means it is hushed when flying. The drone has many cool features. The props are easily installable with a click. The control range is 500m which is considered huge for this price range. The flight time is also better than the usual which is between 12 and 15 minutes.  The landing gear is high which is fantastic.

Key Features.

  • Long control range of 500m
  • Two speeds
  • 1080P HD camera
  • Comes with 3 Body Shells of different colors
  • Comes with an extra battery
  • 1800mAh Powerful Li-Po Batteries
  • It comes with a GoPro camera mount which enables you to attach a GoPro camera if you wish.

Drones with 720P Camera

You can get hold on one of the cheap drones with camera if you are happy with 720P HD camera. The following drone options are the most affordable drones with camera. If you are looking to buy a gift for your grown-ups or you are a beginner drone enthusiast, the following drones could be the first start up drones for you.

9. Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter 

 Holy-stone-F181-drone-with-camera

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With thousands of satisfied customers, this drone is definitely on the top of the list of quadcopter drones with a 720P camera.  Very reasonably priced, an elegant shape & look, and an optimized size (not too big and not too small) are just a few of the reasons people are buying this camera quadcopter. A perfect drone for beginners with many good attributes and functions such as one-key return to home, altitude hold, and headless modes. It can perform flips both 360 degrees as well as right and left with just push of a button so your grown-up kids would love this drone. Holystone is famous for making drones for kids.

Key Features:

  • 720P HD camera
  • Flight time of 7-10 minutes
  • 3D Flips and rolls
  • 4GB SD card
  • One-key Return Home
  • Headless mode
  • 4 Speed control modes
  • Altitude hold function
  • Easily detachable camera

Cons:

  • Does not have a GPS

10. Holy Stone HS160 Shadow

Holystone-HS160-shadow-quadcopter-with-camera

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If you like small quadcopter drones, this could be for you. It has a 720P camera and foldable design and highly compact size. HS160 shadow has fantastic altitude hold functionality. It has hundreds of good reviews on Amazon. You connect it to your phone using wifi and can also fly this using its app. It also has a controller which looks like a game controller, the bind of the drone with the controller is smooth and it can hold your smartphone. The videos are recorded on your smartphone.  The drone calibration is achieved with just a press of the button which is really quick.  It has FPV transmission capability and shows the video on your smartphone. You can use it as a selfie drone and carry it anywhere you want with ease.

Key Features:

  • 720P HD Wi-Fi FPV camera
  • 6-axis Gyro stabilization
  • 4 Speed modes are useful for honing your skills
  • App control
  • Good LED lights
  • Compact, foldable structure
  • One key start/landing
  • Flight time of 7-9 minutes

Cons:

  • Low Transmitter Control Range of 50-70m and low Wi-fi transmission range of 30m
  • Proprietary battery (but it comes with two batteries!)

If you want to see more camera quadcopters which are less than hundred dollars in price, you might read this article. Most of these have 720P HD cameras.

Technical Aspects of Drones with Camera:

For better understanding of the functionality of camera drones, you should also consider the following factors:

  • What does a Video Quality Means?
  • Why frame rate is Important. If you need to see the video n slow motion, you need higher frames per second.
  • The speed of the SD Card used for video storage.

Safety Aspects of Flying Camera Drones:

It is essential that you protect your investment in one of these best camera drones. Flying a drone in the forest, around bridges or buildings could cause a crash. Also, there are few things which if you overlook can create a substantial financial loss for you. Following are few of the things which you can make sure before flying these cameras. This list is however not exhaustive, and for professional work, it would be better to get a drone pilot license from the drone regulatory authority of your country of residence.

Compass Calibration:

It is critical that you must perform the compass calibration procedure on your camera drone. Compass calibration is essential for the proper functioning of GPS. If during the flight, you note that your drone is encircling in orbits, you must land it immediately and recalibrate the compass. Otherwise, you may crash your drone!

Understanding the Obstacle Avoidance Capability of your drone:

You don’t want your drone to be stuck on the tree. You should therefore fully understand in which directions; your camera drone can avoid obstacles. You can quickly achieve this by reading the user manual of the quadcopter and noting the location of the sensors. It is also important to note the working distance for obstacle avoidance.

Drone Rules:

Before you fly any of the above camera drones, you must understand the rules of the country in which you are planning to fly. Some countries are still in the process of making laws for camera drones and until they do that they have merely put a ban on any drone operation, so keep this in mind.

Drone Insurance:

If you are using these personal drones for any commercial purpose, you might also consider buying insurance. For a detail discussion of what factors, you must find before purchasing a drone insurance, you can read this article on drone insurance.