Best Camera Drone

Looking for the best drone you can buy? Whether you’re a novice pilot looking for your first flying machine or a seasoned aerial enthusiast looking to upgrade to a professional drone, we’ve reviewed, rated, and ranked all of the best Camera drones available in 2023.

Drones have evolved significantly in recent years, with battery life, connectivity, image quality, and image stabilization improvements.

Shots once only possible with professional equipment can now be achieved with consumer drones costing just a few hundred pounds. Even some of the smallest drones, which can be folded into a pocket-sized package, are capable of capturing smooth 4K footage from the sky.

At a Glance

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Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional, there are several things to think about when looking for the best drone for you. While image quality will always be important, other factors can make a big difference.

Usability will be key for first-time flyers, while abilities like obstacle avoidance and autonomous hovering can take the fear out of flying. Experienced pilots may also want manual photo controls and the ability to fly in any weather.

There are also compromises to consider. Lighter drones are likely to skirt registration regulations, giving you more freedom to fly, but they’ll also be harder to control in windy conditions.

On the other hand, while heavier drones must be registered with the relevant authorities, they are likely to offer greater stability as well as well-rounded shooting abilities.

Our best drone at the moment is the DJI Mavic Air 2. It’s a fantastic all-rounder that combines impressive image quality, beginner-friendly flight modes, and a compact form factor that’s perfect for taking on your travels. But while it is the best option for most.

Our Recommendation For Best Camera Drone

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The Best Camera Drone 2023

1. DJI Mavic Air 2

Best Camera Drone Overall

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Weight: 570g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery size: 3,950mAh | Range: 10km

  • very easy to fly
  • Shoot great 4K/60p videos
  • Strong 34-minute battery life
  • The camera stream sometimes stutters
  • No display on the controller

A dramatic improvement on the original Mavic Air, the Mavic Air 2 is the ultimate all-terrain drone for beginners and hobbyists. As a mini version of the Mavic 2 Pro, it combines the ability to shoot excellent 4K/60p video, a wide range of recording features, and an impressive 34-minute flight time.

A new 1/2-inch sensor ensures better ISO performance than its predecessor and supports 1080p slow-motion video at up to 240fps.

Meanwhile, the Mavic Air 2’s new controller brings Ocusync 2.0 connectivity, which increases its range up to 10km and improves the stability of its signal to the DJI Fly app.

With subject tracking and all the familiar Quickshot automated modes, it’s the sweet spot between the more basic DJI Mavic Mini and the more expensive Mavic 2 series.

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2. DJI Mavic 2 Pro

Best Premium Drones

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Weight: 907g | Controller: Yes | Camera Resolution: 20MP | Flight time: 3,950mAh | Range: 8km

  • Excellent folding design
  • Advanced but easy to fly
  • One-inch 20MP sensor
  • Noise is a problem above ISO 100
  • No portrait shot option

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro remains the best premium drone you can buy for several reasons: It has a large sensor, it’s a joy to fly, and the foldable design makes it portable and easy to travel with.

If you need zoom or serious portability, then the Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic Mini are worth looking into. But otherwise, this is a good all-rounder for those who need a bit more quality than the Mavic Air 2.

Its one-inch 20MP sensor can capture Raw stills and 4K video at 30fps, while the aperture is adjustable between f/2.8 and f/11, meaning less need for ND filters.

What’s more, despite its impressive skill set, the Mavic 2 Pro is easy to fly and intuitive to control with its associated app. At the same time, a variety of intelligent flight and shooting modes make capturing cinematic shots a breeze. .

It also offers some of the most advanced flight and camera technology currently available, making it capable of delivering professional-quality footage, yet still accessible even to beginners. As long as you don’t need optical zoom, this is pretty much the perfect drone for most people, if you can afford it.

3. DJI Mavic Mini

Best Mini Camera Drone

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Weight: 249g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery Size: 2600mAh | Range: 5.8GHz: 4000m (FCC); 2500m (SRRC)

  • Smart, foldable design
  • Incredibly stable video capture
  • No 4K or 60fps 2.7K video
  • No object tracking

The DJI Mavic Mini is a perfectly timed masterstroke by DJI. It tackles the changes in drone law in the US and UK head-on while delivering excellent video quality in a compact, premium body.

Laws now state that drones weighing more than 250g must be registered with aviation authorities, the FAA in the US and the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK, and before the launch of the Mavic Mini, there were no well-reviewed options in this featherweight class.

This means that, at the moment, DJI has secured a monopoly in the sub-250g premium drone market because, unlike one of its main rivals, the Parrot Anafi , which weighs around 300g, the Mavic Mini does not need to be registered. Advertisement

It’s not the drone of our dreams, as the absence of 4K or 2.6K 60fps video recording is felt, but the DJI Mavic Mini is still in a league of its own, combining a compact and lightweight body with a robust and decent flight experience. . -quality video capture.

You may also like: Best Cameras For Vlogging

4. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

Best Lightweight Camera Drone

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Weight: 905g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery size: 3,950mAh | Range: 8km

  • Easy to fly and intuitive to control
  • 24-48mm optical zoom lens
  • 12MP small sensor
  • Noise is a problem above ISO 100

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is largely identical to the Mavic 2 Pro apart from one crucial difference: its camera system.

While both drones are incredibly portable, share the same lightweight folding design, and offer a range of high-spec features, the Zoom combines a smaller 12MP sensor with a 24-48mm optical zoom lens.

That means you can capture close-up shots of subjects like people while maintaining a safe and legal distance of 50m.

Due to the smaller sensor, the image quality doesn’t quite match the Mavic 2 Pro and the f/2.8 aperture is fixed, but photos and videos are still good enough for professional use.

The real bonus is that zoom lens, which opens up a world of creative shooting potential. The range is good, distortion minimal, and control is intuitive via the associated app.

On top of that, you get all the intelligent flight modes you’d expect from a DJI drone, including Active Track and Hyperlapse, as well as a decent 30-minute flight time. If you want a drone with zoom, this is the one for you.

5. Ryze Tello

Best Affordable Camera Drone

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Weight: 80g | Controller: optional | Camera resolution: 5MP | Flight time: 13 minutes | Range: 100m

  • Responsive flight controls
  • Light and compact
  • Choppy video stream
  • Unstable in the wind

Simple, lightweight, and affordable, the Ryze Tello is designed to be a fun drone for first-time travelers. And despite its cheap price, the Tello offers a lot: the battery offers a reasonable 13-minute flight time, while downward-facing light sensors allow the Tello to hover in place and perform a handful of automated tricks.

Image quality from the 5MP nose-mounted camera is less impressive, with limited dynamic range and noticeable compression artifacts when streaming 720p HD video. Because the video is streamed directly to your smartphone, the frame rate is affected by any drop in connection strength.

That said, the app is refreshingly simple and provides an easy way to pilot the Tello, with a rewardingly responsive on-screen dual-stick setup. The theoretical range is 100m, but 30-40m is more realistic, which, given that even the slightest breeze can blow the 80g, Tello, off course, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The Ryze Tello is fundamentally a fun drone to fly on a calm day, moving quickly and reacting nimbly to intuitive inputs. The limited range is somewhat restrictive, but, as long as you don’t mind choppy video, it’s the best starter drone out there.

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6. DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

Best Professionals Camera Drone

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Weight: 1375g | Controller: Yes | Camera Resolution: 20MP | Battery Size: 6000mAh | Range: 8km

  • Large 1-inch 20MP sensor
  • Robust and fast drone
  • Record 4K/60p video at 100Mbps
  • Big and bulky
  • More expensive than the Mavic 2 Pro
  • More complex than folding

DJI’s Phantom range was the series that really took their drones to new heights, and while the Phantom 4 Pro V.20 isn’t the newest model on this list, it’s still a good choice for professionals who need something rugged and reliable. for windy conditions.

Released in 2018, the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 was a huge upgrade from the Phantom 4, bringing obstacle avoidance modes and intelligent flight modes like ActiveTrack. Its 20MP 1-inch sensor can also capture stunning raw still images and 4K/60p video at 100Mbps in the D-log color profile.

Of course, the size of the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 (it weighs 1375g) means it’s not quite as convenient as the foldable Mavic 2 Pro, which also has a 1-inch 20Mp sensor. But it also comes with a mechanical shutter (to avoid rolling shutter) and boasts a higher 4K frame rate thanBest its smaller brother.

7. Holy Stone GPS Drone with 1080P HD Camera

Best Waterproof Camera Drone

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Weight: 522g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 12MP | Flight time: 3,800mAh | Range: 6km

  • It can fly in the rain and land on water.
  • Converts to a handheld camera
  • Image quality falls short of its rivals
  • Lacks Raw video modes

Ignore the culinary name: the Holy Stone GPS Drone with 1080P HD Camera is a flyer, not a fryer. And in a market dominated by drones that don’t like water, PowerVision’s aerial orb is distinctive in its ability to fly in the rain and land on lakes (with the Wizard bundle).

Image quality is affected by the plastic waterproof housing, but being able to operate in – and float upon – the wet stuff opens up various creative possibilities.

So, too, does the versatile modular design. The Holy Stone can also be deployed as a handheld gimbal camera and an autonomous AI camera, which can be mounted to a tripod and controlled with hand gestures.

The flip side of the adaptable setup is that it’s slower to deploy. It might be lightweight, but removing the protective casing from the body, adding the propeller arms, and setting up the controller takes a few minutes.

Image quality is also not class-leading. The Holy Stone produces decent, detailed 4K footage in bright conditions, but the 12MP 1/2.8-inch fixed-aperture, fixed-focus CMOS sensor can’t compete with DJI’s Mavic drones. Currently, it is also not possible to record in Raw video formats.

Still, for short, crisp video footage in bad weather, the Holy Stone is one of the best options out there.

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8. Parrot Anafi

Best Tiny Camera Drone

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Weight: 3202g | Controller: Yes | Camera Resolution: 21MP | Battery size: 2700mAh

  • 4K UHD video at 60fps
  • 180-degree vertical camera
  • No obstacle avoidance

This lightweight insect-shaped drone may be small, but its photography skills are among the most impressive.

Its camera has 180 degrees of vertical range, allowing it to take photos straight up, a feat no other drone can match. It also has a 2.8x zoom lens with no reduction in image quality.

The Parrot Anafi is a particularly good option for fans of selfies. Its Follow Me mode tracks your movements, automatically adjusting for more photogenic angles, and its SmartDronies modes (Orbit, Parabola, Boomerang, and Tornado) make the drone fly around you in various circles and arcs. Advertisement

The main drawback is Parrot Anafi’s lack of obstacle avoidance, which makes it difficult to recommend to new users. It’s also a shame that a couple of flight modes are locked as additional in-app purchases after you’ve paid for the drone.

9. DJI Mavic Pro

Best DJI Drone

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Weight: 734g | Controller: Yes | Camera Resolution: 12.35MP | Battery Size: 3830mAh | Range: 4.3 miles

  • Very portable
  • Dedicated remote control
  • Weak shots in low light

It’s now been superseded by the DJI Mavic 2 Pro (see above), but it’s still one of the best consumer drones out there, and it’s now more affordable too.

The Mavic Pro was the smallest drone in DJI’s lineup until the DJI Spark came along. Don’t let its diminutive size fool you, though: this pint-sized flyer packs the kind of performance DJI’s larger drones are famous for.

The camera is mounted on a gimbal, which is unusual for drones of this size. It delivers fantastic results with both photos and video in good lighting, although the small sensor size means shooting in low light can sometimes be tricky.

The Mavic Pro has a top speed of around 40mph, so it’s no slouch in that department, and the battery is good for around 20-25 minutes of aerial action.

As is the case with other DJI drones, the Mavic Pro comes with a dedicated remote controller that uses your phone’s screen to show you exactly what the device is seeing.

The range is estimated to be over four miles, giving you the opportunity to capture some amazing still images and videos without worrying about your connection dropping.

10. DJI Inspire 2

best flagship-level drone

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Weight: 3440g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 30MP | Battery size: 4280mAh | Range: 7km

  • Amazing build quality
  • Good battery life
  • Many functions
  • Really expensive

Knocking its predecessor off this list is the impressive Inspire 2. With a sleek update to the metal composite bodywork, it’s a much more attractive piece of kit. Plus, with more advanced object avoidance technology, you don’t have to worry about that beautiful body getting scratched by accidentally cutting down a tree.

You get over 25 minutes of flight time with the dual battery arrangement, and the ability to swap camera lenses means professional photographers and videographers have full control over their images and 5K video.

The full-featured smartphone app and dedicated remote control make this drone incredibly easy to control, but make no mistake, this is a professional kit.

For most people, there may be a drone that best suits their specific needs or budget. The DJI Mavic Mini, for example, is brilliant for beginners, while the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is still a great bigger option for experienced aerial filmmakers.

And while DJI is the undisputed leader in the drone market, there are several alternative options available, from Parrot’s range of rivals to Powervision’s unique waterproof PowerEgg X. Whatever you are looking for, you will find the best drone for you on the list. down.

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Mark Wilson
By Mark Wilson

Mark is CamerasFob Editor and is responsible for all of the site's photographic coverage, from the latest mirrorless cameras to drones and digital photo frames. Naturally, he also writes explainers on the latest camera phone tech and is attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person.

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