Drones are changing the status quo in every field, from photography, industrial inspections, rescue missions to real-estate marketing. Drones with quality cameras are quickly becoming investment considerations for hobbyist, consumers, and professionals. If you want to know about the best models of drones with cameras available in the market, keep reading.

quadcopters with camera

We have compiled a list of the seven best drones with cameras across the board to help you pick the most suitable choice.  we have tested each drone personally.

Best 7 Camera Drones of 2018

Drone NameWeightCamera ResolutionMax Flight TimeBattery
DJI Phantom 4 PRO	DJI Mavic Pro743g12 MP27 minutes11.4V 3830mAh LiPo 3S
DJI Phantom 4 PRO	DJI Phantom 4 PRO1388 g20 MP30 minutes15.2V 5870mAh LiPo 4S
Autel Robotics X-star PremiumAutel Robotics X-star Premium1419 g12 MP25 minutes14.8V LiPo
DJI Inspire 2.0DJI Inspire 2.03440 g30 MP27 minutes22.8V 4280mAh LiPo 6S
Yuneec H520Yuneec H52016333 g20 MP28 minutes15.2V LiPo 4S
DJI SparkDJI Spark300 g12 MP14 minutes11.4V 1480mAh LiPo 3S
Force1 U49C Red HeronForce1 U49C Red Heron1360 g14 MP15 minutes7.4V 1000mAh LiPo

DJI Mavic Pro

The DJI Mavic Pro takes our top spot among the best drones with a camera. It is a drone that has combined high performance, obstacle avoidance and a lot of automated flight modes in a portable compact model making it worth its price tag.

DJI Mavic Pro

  • Size: 9.45×7.1×11.4inches
  • Weight: 743g
  • Camera resolution: 12MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K at 30FPS
  • Battery: 11.4V 3830mAh LiPo 3S
  • Max Flight time: 27 minutes
  • Transmission Range: 4.3miles

The DJI Mavic Pro can be controlled using either its remote controller or your smartphone. The controller is smaller than other dji models and mavic is way-way more portable. It features the control sticks and a monochrome screen that relays flight data and camera controls. To fly in FPV and see what you are capturing, you can mount your phone onto the controller just below the control sticks. DJI Mavic Pro can be flown using controls on the DJI GO 4 app once you connect it to your phone via Wi-Fi. There is a switch on the controller that lets you easily change control from R/C to Wi-Fi mode.

The DJI Mavic Pro features a quality HD camera that offers a 78.8 degrees field of view while in air. Mavic’s camera can be rotated to a 90 degrees angle to allow you to shoot in portrait view. Photos captured are processed in JPEG or Adobe raw format. The camera is stabilized by a miniature 3-axis gimbal to ensure your videos are smooth even in windy conditions.

The intelligence features loaded into the DJI Mavic Pro drone make professional photography an exciting task. The drone can guide itself back to the exact spot it took off from using the GPS and video information it captures when taking off.

The DJI Mavic Pro employs Flight Autonomy technology to sense and avoid obstacles as far as 15 meters away. The ActiveTrack flight mode lets you choose an object for the drone to focus on and follow. The Gesture mode makes it possible to take selfies by using hand motions. The drone can be flown in normal mode at a regular speed of 24mph, Sport mode that can go up to 40mph and Tripod mode that slows down to 2.2mph.

The DJI Mavic Pro when folded is 83x83x198mm, close to the size of the average water bottle. You can take it everywhere with you. If you are a photographer or just love capturing great photos and videos, this the drone for you. Mavic was made keeping photography in mind. It is the only drone which can capture 360 views in this price range. There aren’t any drone i know of which can go over 4 miles.

DJI Phantom 4 PRO

Close to the top is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro.  The Phantom 4 Pro is an upgrade of the basic Phantom 4 that offers more polished and improved features of its predecessor.

DJI Phantom 4 PRO

 

  • Weight: 1388g
  • Camera resolution: 20MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K at 60FPS
  • Battery: 15.2V 5870mAh LiPo 4S
  • Max Flight time: 30 minutes
  • Transmission Range: 4.3 miles

The DJI Phantom 4 pro offers a superb camera system. The high-quality camera onboard uses a 1-inch 20MP CMOS sensor to capture photos and videos. Other than shooting videos in either 4K at 60FPS or 4K at 30FPS the DJI Phantom 4 Pro camera can also capture still shots in Burst mode at 14FPS for optimum accuracy.

The Phantom 4 comes installed with the latest safety technology to enhance FlightAutonomy. It features high-resolution stereo vision sensors at the rear and front as well as infrared sensing systems on both sides to create a 5-direction obstacle sensing network. This ensures the drone flies collision free giving the pilot the reins to concentrate more on capturing images and videos.

The remote controller of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro comes with a 5.5inch inbuilt screen already with the DJI Go app to manage controls, which displays content in 1080p resolution. The DJI Go app allows you to instantly edit and share your shots as soon as you take them. The Lightbridge HD transmission technology helps to transmit video feed by the controller making it possible via the vital flight statistics of the drone in real time. The remote controller supports both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz frequency bands to give most reliable control to the pilot.

When in flight you have three flying modes to choose from and quickly switch among:

  • Position mode- Is the primary flight mode and offers ActiveTrack and TapFly flight mode features.
  • Sport mode- This mode accesses  the drone’s agility and higher speeds of up to 72kph
  • Atti mode- It controls the drone’s altitude by holding it constant by switching off satellite stabilization to allow the pilot to focus on capturing smoother footage

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro also features an advanced battery management system to prevent overcharging or over draining its batteries and maintain them in excellent condition.

If you are willing to invest in a camera drone, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro should be worth your while.

Autel Robotics X-star Premium

The Autel Robotics X-star Premium quadcopter has been built specifically to offer you the ultimate aerial imagery experience with utmost flight simplicity.

Autel Robotics X-star Premium

 

  • Camera resolution: 12MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K at 40FPS
  • Battery: 14.8V LiPo
  • Max Flight time: 25minutes
  • Transmission Range: 1.2 miles

The Autel Robotics X-star Premium purchase package includes the Drone, intelligent battery, battery charger, charging cable, 64GB micro SD card, spare propellers, controller and a premium hard case. The battery charger provided is a 1-hour fast charger that charges the battery for exactly an hour irrespective of the charge percentage. The premium hard case is sized to fit in an airplane and offers the perfect storage for the drone making it easily portable.

The RC transmitter packaged with the X-star Premium operates with a 2.4GHz frequency. You can also fly the drone in FPV mode. Merely download Autel’s Starlink app and plug in your smartphone or tablet to the controller to get the drone’s FPV view.

While in flight mode in FPV the X-star Premium ensures quality video transmission throughout the flying range by broadcasting the video link via the 900MHz frequency band of the controller instead of the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band. You can guide the drone using the control settings on the app or via the controls on the transmitter.

The X-star Premium quad quality camera captures videos in Ultra HD 4K resolution and 12MP still images. X star offers up to a 108-degree field of view. X star employs a 3-axis gimbal stabilization system to ensure you capture smooth, stable and explicit photos and videos.

Autel X star features some smart flying modes to ensure your flight experience is as simplified as it can be. You can choose from Follow-Me mode, Orbit-Me mode and Waypoint mode. These modes work to control the drone movement more to allow the pilot to focus on setting up and capturing the perfect image and video shots.

Learners can activate the Beginner mode of the drone that limits the speed and transmission range to create geo-fence perimeter that guides the drone and prevent losing it. The Autel Robotics X-star Premium features both GLONASS and GPS navigation systems for accurate flying and positioning of the drone.

All these fantastic features of the Autel Robotics X-star Premium quadcopter are topped up with its excellent price tag , making it a great choice among the best drones with the camera.

DJI Inspire 2.0

The DJI Inspire 2 takes cinematography to new heights. It is the best drone for the job among the best quadcopters in the market. The DJI Inspire 2 offers stunning optics combined with efficient app functionality in a high-quality body.

 

DJI Inspire 2.0

  • Size: 42.7×31.742.5cm
  • Weight: 3440g
  • Camera resolution: 30MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K at 60FPS/ 5.2K at 30FPS
  • Battery: 22.8V 4280mAh LiPo 6S
  • Max Flight time: 27 minutes
  • Transmission Range: 4.3 miles

The DJI Inspire 2 comes in an aluminum body build and carbon fiber arms for damage resistance in the field. It also features a dual battery set up to facilitate its extensive flight time as well as safety. If the primary battery of the drone dies out while in flight the secondary battery will kick in to ensure you can guide the drone back safely and land it. When using a multi-charging station, the two batteries require 90minutes to charge fully.

The camera system of the DJI Inspire is the drone’s selling point. The camera set up is designed to accommodate different lenses allowing you to use the best lens for the job. The quad is most compatible with DJI’s high-quality camera, Zenmuse X5S for capturing images and videos. The Inspire 2 also is a second camera that is responsible for transmitting your view when you fly the drone in FPV mode. The FPV-image can be transmitted from 720p to 1080p depending on the range. The quadcopter uses a CineCore 2.0 processing system for its camera system.

When flying, the DJI Inspire 2 can sense obstacles up to 30 meters away and avoid collision thanks to its anti-collision system. The drone can be flown using your smartphone via the DJI GO 4 app or using the remote controller that employs Lightbridge technology and operates between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz for maximum signal stability. The controller uses a 6000mAh 2S battery for power.

The Inspire 2 employs a good number of automated flight modes that are very useful when capturing footage. The Spotlight Pro mode uses visual tracking algorithms to focus on specific moving objects to allow capturing of quality images and videos. Other modes unique to DJI drones such as ActiveTrack, TapFly and Smart return home are also featured in the Inspire 2.

The DJI Inspire 2 is high end drone for professional uses in various industries, such as real estate, construction or agricultural uses to name a few. In addition ,when you purchase all recommended accessories the price soars higher. However, in the cinematography field, this quadcopter is a worthy investment.

Yuneec H520

The Yuneec  Company made its debut in commercial drones with the H520 model. The hexacopter comes in orange color. The drone features powerful motors and long propellers to enhance its speed and performance in all weather conditions.

Yuneec-H520

 

  • Size: 520x457x310mm
  • Weight: 16333g
  • Battery: 15.2V LiPo 4S
  • Max Flight time: 28 minutes
  • Transmission Range: 1500 meters

The H520 has been designed with notable smart features to enhance the drone’s safety. It features a Sonar Sensor to enable it to sense obstacles ahead and avoid collisions. The 5 Rotor Failsafe feature kicks in to ensure the H520 lands safely in case any of its rotors stop working  in flight.

The Yuneec H520 offers the ultimate imaging solutions. The hexacopter has been designed to be compatible with three different cameras making it the ultimate cheap camera drone in 2017.

CGO-ET

This is the best camera option to achieve an aerial thermal imagery platform with the Yuneec H520. The CGO-ET is a dual-lens camera that streams thermal images using one lens and standard pictures with the second lens. The thermal imaging lens features an adjustable temperature range while the standard imaging lens is a low-light lens that is 20 times more sensitive compared to the human eye. The pairing of the Yuneec H520 with the CGO-ET set up includes a 3-axis gimbal making it most suitable for search and rescue missions, fire inspections and industrial maintenance.

E50

The E50 camera features a 4K ready sensor with a 40mm focal length. The focal length makes it possible to capture far away objects with the same clarity as it would with close-up objects. The E50 incorporates a one/ 2.3 inch CMOS sensor with a 12mp resolution to produce high-contrast imaging. The Yuneec H520, when paired with the E50 camera lens, is ideal for cinematography and vertical inspection tasks.

E90

 The E90 camera lens is the all-rounded camera to pair up with the Yuneec H520 if you do not need thermal imaging functions. This camera system can be used for cinematography, 3D mapping, survey projects and inspections. The E90 features a 1-inch sensor that can capture still images at 20mp and videos in 4K clarity using the H2 image processing chip. The camera can rotate 360 degrees and offers a wide-angle view of images and aerial videos.

The Yuneec H520 with its sturdy body build, imaging solutions and smart features makes it a must-have among commercial drones.

DJI Spark

The DJI Company being well-known for designing consumer and professional camera drones lacked a camera drone for the hobbyist who just wanted to capture great selfies, personal videos and photos.

DJI Spark

  • Size: 143x143x55mm
  • Weight: 300g
  • Camera resolution: 12MP
  • Video Resolution: 1080P at 30FPS
  • Battery: 11.4V 1480mAh LiPo 3S
  • Max Flight time: 14 minutes
  • Transmission Range: 1.2 miles

The DJI Spark is a small drone, and when folded it becomes even smaller, about the size of a soda can.  The basic purchase package under $500 of the DJI Spark includes compact sized drone and a single battery only. You can, however, purchase it as a bundle pack that also includes a remote controller and other accessories for less than $1000.

The DJI Spark is ready to fly out of the box, once the battery is charged up. It can be operated using your smart phone; connect to the drone’s Wi-Fi signal and open the DJI GO 4 app for virtual control sticks. The wireless range of 100 meters away and 50 meters high can, however, be limiting. Hence we recommend purchasing the Spark’s remote controller. With the controller, you can comfortably capture images and videos up to 1.2miles.

For capturing selfies the DJI incorporated Gesture Mode into the Spark model smartphone-free flying.

  • Place the drone on your flat palm.
  • Hold it out in front of you with the camera facing you.
  • Double tap the power button.

The drone will give a quick scan, lock onto your face then spin up its propellers. Let go of the quad and it will hover in front of you.

  • To capture a selfie make a frame shape with your thumbs and forefingers.
  • To begin or stop recording a video hold your hand out to your side at a 45-degree angle.
  • To give direction movements, hold up your palm to the camera until the front lights turn green. You can now move your hand up, down, left or right for the drone to follow.

Note: Firmware updates on the drone improve the gesture control performance so check out the company’s website for the latest tutorials once you purchase your Spark.

The Sparks camera is stabilized by a two-axis motorized gimbal to ensure you capture smooth images and videos both indoors and outdoors. The drone can be charged using a USB cable via its Micro USB port so you can carry a power bank with you to always have the drone charged up to document your memories.

Force1 U49C Red Heron

Do you just want an affordable drone with a great camera? Look no further; the Force1 U49C is your best choice. Being low priced does not hinder the quadcopter from delivering quality in its features.

Force1 U49C Red Heron

 

  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Video Resolution: 720P
  • Battery: 7.4V 1000mAh LiPo
  • Max Flight time: 15minutes
  • Transmission Range: 200 feet

The Force1 U49C Red Heron is controlled using a 2.4GHz ergonomically designed transmitter. The Drone is more specifically designed for beginners in drone flying. The quadcopter is loaded with features for beginners to get the drone up in the air easily.

  • 360 degree protected propellers– The quad’s propellers have 360-degree propeller guards for protection against crashes. This is useful for new hobbyist.
  • Alarms– The drone will beep when it is getting too far or the battery is getting too low. The low-battery and low-signal alarms are helpful to training learners to keep an eye on their drone’s condition.
  • Headless mode– The drone can be flown in headless mode enabling beginners to guide it in whichever direction they wish irrespective of the side the drone is facing.
  • 1-Button Lift/Land– The quad features a single button for lift or land. This feature automatically accelerates the drone’s speed to get up in air then decelerates to land it safely to avoid the tendency to crash the drone by beginners before getting the hang of flying a drone.
  • Altitude hold– This feature makes flying a breeze by marinating the same altitude of the drone even after you release the throttle control. It makes it easy for beginners to frame and capture great videos and photos hustle free.

The Force1 U49C Red Heron camera system is a superb component compared to drones in its price range. The drone features a high-quality HD 720p camera that offers a 120-degree wide view. Stability of the camera is ensured by adding rubber-damping camera technology to reduce vibration.

The complete purchase package of the Force1 U49C Red Heron includes drone, extra full set of propellers, a spare battery to boost your flight time, UB charger cable, 4GB micro SD card, micro USB cable and USB card reader.

Conclusion

Drones with cameras are more sophisticated. Though the high quality of cameras comes with a high price tag, the performance and results of such drones are worth the investment. As a professional, employing the use of drones can make you stand out among  competitors

All the drones listed above are built for durability, so if you keep them in good shape, they can be of service for a long time.  Best drone really comes down to your use. If you are professional who is looking from a drone for managing construction projects we would recommend you DJI Inspire 2. However if you are a selfie queen we would recommend you going with DJI Spark. If you are a regular user who is looking to buy drone for recreational purposes like me I would recommend you mavic pro or DJI phantom 4. Mavic pro is good for recreational use, making videos and just flying out. However if you are like me and you want to hang things with your drone, get Phantom 4 since it’s more durable and frame is way more stronger than mavic pro.