Aerial photography has really taken flight these years (pun fully intended) with the introduction of good quality, yet reasonably priced, quadcopter drones. The drones themselves are a great addition to a photographer who really wants to breathe new life into his photography, and capture moments from angles previously unavailable. Indeed, with a quadcopter, a whole new world of opportunities opens to the artist.
So if you are one, and you seek those elusive angles, look no further. We’ve assembled here a list of the top ten drones with cameras of the finest quality, so your shots always look stellar. But, without lengthening the intro, let’s cut to the chase and check out the list.
|Name||Photo||Price||Flight Time||Flight Range|
|DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter||$700 – $900||23 minutes||Over 5 km|
|YUNEEC Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter||
||$900 – $1,000||25 minutes||400 meters|
|3DR Iris+||$600 – $750||16-22 minutes||1 km|
|Parrot AR.Drone 2.0||$250 – $350||15 minutes||50 meters|
|DJI Inspire 1 Pro Drone||$3,200 – $3,500||18 minutes||2 km|
|3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter||$300 – $500||25 minutes||800 meters|
|Syma X5C-1||$50||7 minutes||50 meters|
|Cheerson CX-20 Professional||$200 – $250||15-18 minutes||500 metes|
|Blade Chroma||$350 – $400||30 minutes||600 metes|
|Syma X8G||$100 – $150||1-12 minutes||100 meters|
DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter
Our first entry is the DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone. DJI is a manufacturer on the rise nowadays, and its products are getting better and better with every model. Phantom 3 Professional is one of their best and most sought after products and with good reason.
When it comes to photography, this drone is unparalleled. It shoots video in 4k and 720p, and the photos it takes are simply of breathtaking quality. On top of that, the drone has incredible features that will make you instantly fall in love with it. It has a Follow Me function that allows the drone to automatically tail you wherever you go. It is also very nimble and maneuverable, and can easily be flown indoors. It has functions in which you can map out the course for the drone using the GPS and the drone will follow it.
It also has a three-axis gimbal for the camera and can offer up to 23 minutes of flight time. It can fly at a range exceeding 5 kilometers, making this drone one of the longest distance drones on the market.
- Exceedingly fine camera that supports 4K, 720p footage.
- Plenty of automatized flight functions.
- Offers a flight time of 23 minutes.
- Exceedingly long range, over 5 kilometers.
All in all, this is a most excellent drone for any photographer out there. Although, keep in mind that this is a drone more inclined toward professionals, and it carries a hefty price tag, so if you’re just starting out, we suggest picking a drone with a lower price.
YUNEEC Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter
But DJI has plenty of competition, and it’s found it in the Yuneec Q500 Typhoon. This quadcopter maybe doesn’t have the range of the Phantom 3, but it moves past it in the camera department. The Q500 Typhoon features a 12 MP camera that can take superb still shots through its anti-distortion lens. It also supports 4k video, but this time it films in 1080p resolution.
The Q500 Typhoon also has plenty of automatized flight features. It features the Follow me mode featured on the Phantom 3, and it features a Watch Me mode that is similar to the Follow me mode. The drone also has an impressive battery that allows it to fly continuously for 25 minutes, the time you can double with an extra battery, allowing you to fly for almost an hour. It will, however, take 90 minutes to charge the battery from empty to full, but for a 25-minute flight, it seems worth it. The craft also features the 3-axis adjustable gimbal for the camera.
- The drone features a great 12 MP camera with an anti-distortion lens.
- Excellent video quality, filmed with at 1080p resolution in 4k.
- Good flight time, 25 minutes.
- 3-axis gimbal for the camera.
So, if you’re not into the Phantom 3, the Q500 Typhoon is a very good alternative. You won’t get as much range, but you’ll get a slightly extended flight time and a better camera at that. On the side note, this is a professional aircraft as well, which explains the price tag.
Moving on to number three. This spot is occupied by another expert’s UAV, the 3D Robotics Iris+. This incredible craft knows all the tricks of the trade when it comes to aerial photography. This drone has a very good flight range of almost a kilometer, so you can really cover some great distances with it. It also offers 16-22 minutes of flight time, depending on how is the drone flown and how much weight it is carrying. And when speaking of weight, this craft can haul a good amount of it, as it can carry up to 400 grams (0.8 pounds) of equipment.
The drone also gives you options of manual and automatized flight. It can be flown using the standard 2.4 GHz controller, or it can be bound to your laptop or smartphone and flown using those devices. It also features the Point of Interest mode, in which you can keep the camera focused on a particular object.
- A fine drone with a good flight time of 16-22 minutes.
- Can carry up to 400 grams of equipment.
- The drone can be flown using the controller, or bound to a laptop or smartphone.
- Good flight range (1 kilometer).
- Has Point of Interest mode.
When all is said and done, this drone stands at the summit of high-quality drones. The ability to bind to a laptop or smartphone really gives this drone versatility, making it a favorite for many users.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
Joining us at number four is the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. Just like the ones before it, this is a top-of-the-line machine with performance and features to boot. it has a very good camera that supports 4k and films in 720p quality. It features the 6-axist gyroscopic stabilization system found in many entry-level drones, making it a very maneuverable drone and very easy to fly. The system also enables the drone to do full 360-degree flips.
The drone also has an option to bind it to a smartphone or tablet. Using their dedicated app, the drone can be flown using your telephone, and the app will display vital information like speed, altitude and battery level. You can also take pictures (in JPEG format), and shoot videos using the app, giving you total control of the device. The copter also comes with propeller guards as a standard, which greatly increases the durability of the machine.
The drone offers a flight time of 15 minutes and has a flight range of 50 meters.
- The drone has a good camera that allows you to film in 720p.
- The drone can bind to your phone or tablet, making it popular with users.
- The copter has a 6-axis gyro stabilization system making it easy to fly, and propeller guards for increased durability.
- Decent flight time.
- Decent price tag.
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is a fine machine, capable of all the things that expert level drones do. However, this is an entry level drone, making it viable for novices to get their hands on a very high-quality drone.
DJI Inspire 1 Pro Drone
With DJI Inspire 1, we dive into the world of big shots. The DJI Inspire 1 is a true drone for absolute professionals in photography, videography or cinematography. The drone has superb features and provides the user with superb video quality. The drone’s arms move up and down, so as to give the camera an unobstructed, 360-degree view or the world. It films in 4k, giving you the opportunity to make amazing HD footage, and the 16 MP camera will provide you with breathtaking shots.
The drone also features tons of modes for automated flight. Just to name a few, you’ll have access to point of interest mode, waypoints, course lock, and a few others. It combines with a superb battery that provides you with 18 minutes of flight time, which is awesome, considering the strain on it from all the features and camera quality. On top of that, the drone has an excellent flight range of 2 kilometers.
- Superb quality drone for expert pilots.
- Excellent camera that shoots 4k video and 16 MP stills.
- Plenty of features for automatized flight.
- The arms lift for an unobstructed view.
- A decent battery provides an 18-minute flight.
- Superb range of 2 km.
So, if you’re a pro and in need of a stellar device, Inspire 1 is your drone. With all these features and a marvelous camera quality, you will hardly be left wanting.
3DR Solo Drone Quadcopter
Up next, we have another 3DR product, the Solo. The Solo is a drone if incredible capabilities, because it functions on another plane, as compared to other quadcopters of its class. This drone is considered to be the world’s first smart drone, as it is controlled by twin 1GHz computers built inside it. These computers allow a wide range of features for an automated flight that really allow you to take your photography to the next level.
The drone is able to hover still in the air, and the camera mount can be moved about, enabling you to survey the surroundings. This is achieved via the Cam Cable function. It has a Follow me function, Orbit function, and a Selfie function, all of which are designed to breathe new life into your photography.
- World’s first smart drone, operated by two 1GHz computers.
- Plenty of automatized flight modes to choose from.
- 3-axis gimbal suited to mount a GoPro camera.
- Can hover in the air.
All in all, this is a great drone, and it is great for both experts and beginners. Indeed, Solo has a fair price tag, allowing newbie pilots to enjoy this craft as well.
When it comes to entry-level drones that combine superb quality footage and ease of flying, the Syma X5C-1 is the drone of the hour. This baby has all you need to make great footage at a great price. Now, it might not feature automatized flight modes, but the copter is so easy to fly, you won’t need them. It features the excellent 6-axis gyro stabilization system that makes the copter very easy to handle and very stable in the air. It also gives the copter the ability to do flips in any direction. In addition, the copter features the headless mode, which greatly improves the learning curve for new pilots
The drone features a fair 2MP camera that gives surprisingly good footage. On that note, the copter’s memory can hold about 800 photos, and can film for a grand total of 30 minutes. The copter can fly for a total of 7 minutes and charges for 90, which isn’t that good of a ratio, but if you get extra batteries, you’ll be able to double the flight time.
- Solid entry level copter, easy to fly and handle.
- 2 MP camera offers fair quality footage.
- Headless mode makes the copter a great learning platform.
- Very affordable price.
- 7 minute flight time.
All in all, for somebody looking to start somewhere, X5C-1 is the ultimate choice. Its ease of use and great handling will surely appeal to a novice flyer.
Cheerson CX-20 Professional
Cheerson CX-20 is yet another low-cost drone, but in the performance department, it packs quite a punch. The drone is made to be easy to fly and maneuver by even then least experienced pilots, which is why it was fitted with a 6-axis stabilization system. The copter has many failsafe features that make this drone almost impossible to lose. For one, the drone features a Return home option that lets you recall the drone automatically. The drone will return to your location and land on its own. It also features a feature that will halt the copter and make it hover if the connection with the controller snaps, and, if the GPS connection persists, the feature will automatically trigger the Return Home.
The copter is also very affordable and has a great flight time of 15 minutes, thus beating its competition. It also has a decent flight range of 500 meters, again outclassing the drones in its category, and can be safely flown indoors.
- Superb copter with a very affordable price tag.
- The copter has the 6-axis stabilization system, making it very accurate and responsive.
- The drone has plenty of failsafe features like Return Home function.
- If the connection snaps the drone will automatically halt and hover. If the GPS connection exists, the Return Home is automatically triggered.
- 15 minute flight time.
All in all, if you’re looking for a copter around 200 bucks, Cheerson is your number one choice. It is easy to fly, and the failsafe features will disallow you to ever lose track of your machine.
And our penultimate product is the Blade Chroma drone. Blade is a manufacturer widely connected to mini drones, but they wanted to turn it around, and thus built Chroma. This superb piece of machinery is a great addition to all those wishing for a reliable quad with great video qualities. Chroma has a 12 MP camera, allowing you to take superb stills. On top of that the drone films in HD, at 1080p. It also has automatized flight features, like Follow me and Tracking (akin to Waypoint).
But what is most impressive about the drone is its flight time. On a single charge, the drone can fly a staggering half an hour, which, for even an expert level drone, is truly awe-inspiring. It also has a decent flight range of 600 meters.
- Superb drone at an affordable price.
- Excellent camera that films in 4k, 1080 p.
- 12 MP still photos.
- Superb flight time, up to half an hour on a single charge.
- Decent flight range of 600 meters.
All in all, you can’t ask for a better drone with a price tag under $300. The Chroma offers excellent video capabilities, and is easy to fly and to control, making it one of the best drones on the market today.
And, for our final entry, we decided to put another Syma product. This time it’s the X5C-1’s big brother, a more professionally oriented model, the X8G. This model is stocked with plenty of features to satisfy even the most hardened of pilots. The drone is equipped with the 6-axis gyro that helps you keep the level at all times and execute even the most complicated maneuvers with ease. The drone possesses an 8 MP HD camera that is capable of filming at 720p. It is also compatible with GoPro cameras.
The drone has a fine controller with a LED screen that displays all the vital information on it. It can fly up to 12 minutes, making it very decent for its price range and class. It is also Headless, making it easier to fly for less experienced pilots.
- Excellent and affordable drone.
- 8MP HD camera allows for filming at 720p.
- Compatible with GoPro cameras.
- Decent flight time of 12 minutes.
All in all, this is a superb drone for intermediate and expert users. However, the low price of the machine makes it a viable choice for beginners too, allowing them to get a high-quality machine for under 200 dollars.
Well, that’s it for us. We hope you’ve found some decent machines in this article, and we hope you’ll have a lot of fun with one of the drones on this list. If not, well, at least we’ve given you a pretty good idea where to start. Also, for variety’s sake, we’ve included a few low-cost products, so even the professional photographers who are new to flying drones have a machine that will satisfy their artistic drives.