Drones with camera went from being a casual summer hit to a mainstream tech gadget. With their uses in different industries, such as video production, search and rescue, agriculture and more, simply the desire to explore the world from completely new and breath-taking angles along with experiencing what it’s like to fly, and capture memories, it is a perfectly good reason for wanting a camera drone.
Letting you capture some amazing footages in high-resolution 4K video, they are more affordable than ever and with quality beginner models now costing less than $60. Good camera drones start at a few hundred dollars.
Now before you go buying one, there are some factors like ease of use, flight time, durability and features you should keep in mind. You do not want a drone which will break easily, you need something resistant to most common crashes, something made from carbon fibre or if your budget is low a good ABS plastic, not the weak one.
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Below average flight time might become annoying, so keeping few batteries on hand shouldn’t be an issue unless you can wait for your drone to recharge and take on the sky again.
We’ve tested dozens of drones, evaluating them based on design, ease of use, camera quality, durability and flight time, to bring you our list of top five picks.
List of Best Top Rated Drone Cameras 2018 With Reviews
- CGO3+ 4K 12MP UHD camera
- 6 Rotor Safety with 5 Rotor Fail-Safe
- Sonar Collision Prevention
- Retractable Landing Gear
- Up to 25 Minutes Flight Time
- 8 Smart Flight Modes
- Android powered ST16 Ground Station features a 7-inch touchscreen
- It can also be paired with a second controller though, which opens up the possibility of separate pilot and camera, something not easily done with any other similarly-priced drone on the market. This drone is an excellent build.
- The fold up arms and snap on propellers are great features. Also, the feature of switching the indicator lights is great when you take night photography, no glare from the lights.
- Typhoon H uses sonar, which means that it can still avoid obstacles in low light and complete darkness. The Typhoon H boasts features like Cable Cam, Orbit, Follow mode, and even a few others — all of which allow the user to relinquish control of the drone’s flight and focus solely on controlling the camera.
- To test the legitimacy of the given specs, we popped in a full battery, fired it up, and kept the drone at a simple hover while we stood by with a stopwatch. Under the least-demanding conditions, the Typhoon stayed in the air for just under 24 minutes and gave us 18 minute airtime in a bit harder flight.
- YUNEEC TYPHOON H has just about everything you could want in a camera drone: smart autonomous flight modes, obstacle avoidance, a dedicated touchscreen controller, and even a 4K camera with full 360-degree rotation.
That’s a hell of a package, and if you’re in the market for an aerial photography/videography drone, the Typhoon H is definitely a top contender.
- 12 MP camera supporting upto 4k Video Recording with 3-axis stabilization (pitch, roll, yaw)
- OcuSync Transmission System
- SkyAutKonomy for obstacle detection
- ActiveTrack for advanced autonomous flight strategies
- Max speed of 40 mph (65 kph) in Sport mode without wind
- About 23 Minutes of Battery Life
- An unprotected drone could hit obstacles during long distance flight or when descending fr.om an inadequate height in Return to Home mode.
- The Mavic uses SkyAutonomy technology to sense obstacles up to 15 meters, so that it can fly at up to 22mph (36kph) while avoiding the things it sees.
- When you have a 4K sensor, you expect 4K results without compromises. Every shot you take with the Mavic Pro can be up to 4K, captured at 30 frames per second. The Mavic Pro camera records true 4K video — four times the size of 1080p — at 30 frames per second and Full HD 1080p at 120 frames per second, so you can create incredible slow motion.
- Its minimum focusing distance is just 19in (0.5m), making it perfect for everything from the ultimate drone to once in a landscape. ActiveTrack uses deep learning, computer vision and advanced autonomous flight strategies to make complex, creative shots as simple as possible with just a tap.
- Whether you just want to take a snap or are building up your portfolio, the Mavic’s 12-megapixel camera with Adobe DNG RAW support is ready to shoot.
So, with this tech here, you won’t need a film crew and still you can shoot like a pro.
- 20 MP camera supporting up to C4K:4096×2160 24/25/30p @100Mbps recording
- Fully controllable 3-axis gimbal camera
- Satellite stabilization
- Max speed of 45 mph (72 kph) in Sport mode without wind
- Infrared sensing system with range of 0.6 – 23 feet
- Forward, Downward and Backward Vision System
- Maximum Control Range of 4.3 Miles
- Visual Tracking of Moving Subject
- Up to 30 Minutes Flying Time
- When shooting aerials, the remote controller is responsible for most physical controls including piloting and capture. However, more challenging shoots require a real-time video feed, vital flight statistics and advanced settings. These are traditionally handled through a smart device, making the smart device essential to aerial imaging.
- For keeping flight steady and reliable, data from Compass and IMU sensors is run through advanced algorithms to check accuracy and any inaccurate data is simply discarded without affecting flight, keeping flight steady and reliable.
- Using brand new DJI Lightbridge HD video transmission technology, the Phantom 4 Pro has a maximum transmission range of 4.3i (7km) *. Before each flight, it scans a range of available frequencies to find and use the one with the least interference. By supporting 2.4GHz and 5.8 GHz frequency bands, it gives you more reliable control.
- Tightly integrated with DJI GO 4, Lightbridge video transmission also sends vital flight statistics in real time, and can be used to quickly download photos and videos to connected mobile devices. What’s better than having Gesture Mode preinstalled where your selfies can be captured easily using a few gestures without the remote controller.
- Advanced computer vision technology allows the Phantom 4 Pro to take instructions through gestures. The subject simply lifts their arms when facing the camera and the aircraft will recognize this movement by locking on and placing the subject in the centre of the frame.
- When ready for a photo, the subject holds their arms out to signal the aircraft and it gives you a three second countdown to strike a pose, allowing moments to be captured without the remote control.
- 12 MP White balance, light exposure, ISO, shutter speed camera supporting up to 4K UHD at 30FPS
- Integrated 3-axis precision gimbal camera
- Handheld SteadyGrip for capturing video footage
- Flight modes include Watch Me & Follow Me, Angle mode and Home mode
- 5” ST10+ Ground station display with Two Pilot Mode
- Up to 24 Minutes Flying Time
- Easy to use yet sophisticated, the Q500 grants even amateur photographers the ability to produce professional-grade images and video. The fully controllable 3-axis gimbal camera can shoot straight ahead to capture the horizon, or pivot up to 90 degrees down to capture overhead footage.
- The Typhoon’s camera produces excellent results, and while the drone is slower and more sluggish than others, it’s remarkably easy to pilot. Everything from taking off till landing went incredible smooth. The gentle acceleration makes it just perfect for aerial filming, the resulting videos are very smooth and steady.
- The Typhoon’s flight control system is great overall, it makes flying dead simple and trumps everything we’ve used. Roughly 16.5 inches long and standing just over 8 inches tall, the Q500 weighs just under 4 pounds with the battery and payload both attached.
- The ST10+ Personal Ground Station controller, included with all versions of the Q500, houses all the necessary joysticks, buttons, and settings necessary for everything from flying and landing the drone, to activating its features and capturing photos or videos. Outfitted with a crystal-clear, 5.5-inch color touchscreen, the ST10+ gives you a front row seat to exactly what the drone sees as it flies.
- Though much of the screen is dedicated to a live video feed, pilots also receive constant updates on the craft’s battery life, its altitude and distance from the controller, ground speed, and GPS status, among several others.
Flip the top-right switch on the remote to Smart mode, and the Q500 enters one of two autonomous flying modes: Watch Me and Follow Me. In the Watch Me mode, the camera will remain pointed at the operator, but the drone will stay under manual control.
In the Follow Me mode, the drone will follow the operator automatically as he or she moves.
The big props make the sound pretty much unnoticeable at roughly 100′, unlike the “swarm of bees” sound made by smaller higher pitch props. The 5,400-mAh lithium-polymer battery gives an average flight time of 20 minutes under average flight condition.
So, if you are looking to become a serious drone pilot, it’s a perfect drone to begin the journey with.
- 1/2.3” CMOS 12 MP camera supporting up to 4096x2160p 24/25 video recording
- 3-axis stabilization (pitch, roll, yaw) gimbal
- Lightbridge digital streaming for live 720p video streaming
- GPS+GLONASS Dual Positioning Module
- Up to 23 Minutes Flying Time
The Phantom 3 Pro boasts approximately 23 minutes of flight time, comes with 4K video resolution and 12MP still photos, both at 30fps. The operating range is 2,000 meters, which is very decent for a drone of this type, being one that is made for aerial photography. The drone measures about 23 inches from wingtip to wingtip and weighs just under 3 pounds. LED lights at the bottom of each wing help you keep track of it in the air.
The Phantom 3 Professional carries a fully stabilized 3-axis 4k UHD video camera for smooth, crisp videos and still photos.
- The drone comes with a feature known as the Lightbridge digital streaming, this feature allows the user to live stream 720p videos on the internet, while the full-size video is being recorded and stored internally.
- Last but not the least, the Phantom 3 Professional comes with an iOS and Android-compatible application that lets you control the camera, as well as have a live view of everything that is being recorded by the camera on your phone.
The Future of Camera Drones
If you take a closer look at the models on the market today, you’ll see several clear hints and clear signs in regard to where the drones are heading; at least for the foreseeable future. One of the massive issues that drone pilots have to deal with is the number of hardware restrictions.
The biggest of which are the battery life and power restrictions. Even the most expensive of drones still have around 20-25 minutes of flight time per battery and having more than one fully charged battery on you at a time is actually a normal occurrence.
Especially if you plan on using your drone for image and video capture. Drone manufacturers are currently experimenting with different battery solutions as well as trying to design ways in which to obtain a bigger, more powerful battery. Another innovation, which is currently on the drawing board, is a way in which pilots can actually handle and operate the camera to its full extent while in flight.
With this technology, you’ll do a lot more than just pointing the camera in the right direction or fiddling with the gimbal settings. The idea is to make everything from filters to lighting to lens settings to the most advanced bitrate and recording options available at your fingertips off of your tablet or controller.
The controller itself will be undergoing massive transformations, which have already started to take place.
What we can be certain of is the fact that drones will carry on evolving and bring more features to the table. Slowly, but surely, drones will grow and all their current shortcomings will be resolved and improved upon.
Over To You : Which is Your Favorite Drone Cameras 2018
I hope you like our detailed list of Best Top Rated Drone Cameras 2018 : Buyers Guide Reviews. So share your experience with us in the comments below!