Over the past few years, drones have gone from a niche market to a full-blown phenomenon. They come in all shapes, sizes and configurations to suit your needs, and the market is super-saturated with a multitude of options for camera drones. Whether you’re hobbyist, a budding film-maker, or an extreme sports junkie, there’s definitely a drone out there that will suit your needs. At www.tech-headz.com, we strive to find the best camera drones based on your needs so that you can select the best choice.
Check out down below what we at www.tech-headz.com think are some of the best camera drones for 2017.
The DJI Mavic Pro Camera Drone is one of the most portable camera drones out there. It’s much smaller than it’s cousins the DJI Phantom and DJI Inspire, but still packs a high quality punch with the ability to film 4k video at 30 FPS and have a flight time of 27 minutes. This is one of best drones out there for action sports enthusiasts because you can easily tuck this in a backpack and take it with you on any adventure. It’s a small package weighs only 1.6 pounds and 11.4 x 7.1 x 9.4 inches.
The controller comes with a screen that gives you basic information, indicators, and the ability to monitor the camera live. It’s fairly ergonomic and about the size of a typical video game controller. However you can forego the controller and use your smart phone instead, which opens up the DJI Mavic Pro to more features. One such feature is Active Track, which allows the DJI Mavic to follow it’s user around. With a top speed of around 40mph, many action sport athletes will get amazing footage of themselves hiking, rowing, running, snowboarding, etc.
Another feature is it’s ability to know where you are and where it is. Once it takes off, it has dual satellite connectivity and access of up to 20 satellites to aid its navigation. This can help it find it’s way back home to you if the battery is starting to fade, especially with it’s 4.3 mile range. It’s four vision sensors also aid with it’s obstacle recognition. Worrying about your expensive drone getting lost or damage can be a thing of the past.
It’s definitely DJI’s attempt to grab a piece of the extreme sports market as the prime competitor to the GoPro Karma Drone and does an excellent job holding its own against it.
Camera Resolution: 12MP | Video Resolution: 4K at 30 FPS | Flight Time: 27 minutes | Max Speed: 40mph
DJI Mavic Pro Camera Drone
The DJI Phantom 4 Camera Drone is the next evolutionary step to it’s predecessor, the DJI Phantom 3 Camera Drone. Many of the improvements can be considered incremental, such as an increase in max speed from 35mph to 45mph, flight time from 23 minutes to 28 minutes, and a range from 1.2 miles to 2.2 miles.
However, the DJI Phantom 4 comes with a plethora of new features that the DJI Phantom 3 doesn’t have:
- Obstacle Avoidance – The DJI Phantom 4 comes with 4 individual sensors in the front of the drone to map out its surroundings and avoid anything that might be in its flight path. If the drone senses that it will hit an object, it will automatically slow down and come to a complete stop. It’s a VERY helpful feature, especially for rookie enthusiasts who are learning how to fly a drone.
- TapFly – The DJI controller allows you to attach a portable smart device (tablet, Android Phone, or iPhone) to give you a real time video feed of what the drone sees. It also allows you to tap the screen in any direction you want the drone to fly to it until it reaches your intended target. It allows you to focus on the camera work while also being able to fly.
- Active Track – Using smart image recognition technology, the DJI Phantom 4 allows you to select a target for the drone to track and follow. Once selected, the drone can follow you as you bike, hike, ski, snowboard, or any other adventure-oriented activity you wish.
Camera Resolution: 20MP | Video Resolution: 4K at 30 FPS, 1080p at 120 FPS | Flight Time: 28 minutes | Max Speed: 45mph
The well-built, incredibly powerful DJI Inspire 1 Camera Drone is a behemoth of a drone. It comes with an upgrade-able 4k camera that’s also remove-able, just in case you need to do some handheld video. At 6.5lbs and 11.9×17.2×17.8 inches, it’s one of the largest, yet sturdiest camera drones out there. Instead of plastic like many of the other drones available on the market, the DJI Inspire 1 is built with metal components and a black carbon fiber frame.
The landing gear is retractable, and as the drone lifts off, the propellers and gears raise up out of the camera’s field of view. This gives you an unobstructed, 360 degree field of view for the camera lens, which can rotate to face any direction you desire. It can be a bit difficult to handle the camera and flying at the same time, but the DJI Inspire supports up to two controllers so you and your co-pilot can focus on either flying or filming. You can purchase the DJI Inspire 1 with two controllers, or just buy a second remote later on.
Camera Resolution: 12MP | Video Resolution: 4K at 30 FPS | Flight Time: 18 minutes | Max Speed: 50mph
The Parrot Bebop 2 Camera Drone is a compact, lightweight drone that’s extremely durable. The built-in HD camera shoots sharp 14 megapixel images and records 1080p HD videos with its wide-angle fish-eye lens. With Parrot’s free smartphone/tablet app, you’re able to stream the video from the camera straight to your phone. The app is easy to use and allows you to operate the camera separately while flying the drone. It’s a very responsive setup with your phone’s touch controls and is an excellent drone for beginners. It’s also amazingly safe as the safety propellers will stop as soon as it touches anything.
Camera Resolution: 14MP | Video Resolution: 1080p at 30 FPS | Flight Time: 25 minutes | Max Speed: 35mph
The DJI Phantom 3 Pro Camera Drone is the kind of the jack of all trades when it comes to camera drones. It’s also one of the easiest ones to fly and comes with some amazing features and great video quality. There are other drones on this list that are similar to Phantom 3, but this one will give you a well-rounded experience.
There are 4 Phantom 3 models to choose from, and the DJI Phantom 3 Pro comes at the top of the list. It comes with features such as Follow-me, GPS waypoints, Home Lock, optical flow, and ultrasonic sensors for holding position when GPS signal isn’t available. These super helpful features will help you focus on controlling your camera instead of worrying about crashing your drone so you can get a better shot.
It’s also the only version that has 4K Resolution video at 30 frames a second while the Phantom 3 Advanced comes in at 2.7K Resolution. It has a much longer flight time at 23 minutes than the other models and has a maximum flight range of 3.1 miles.
Camera Resolution: 12MP | Video Resolution: 4K at 30 FPS | Flight Time: 23 minutes | Max Speed: 36mph
Although relatively unknown, the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro Camera Drone is one of the biggest competitor to DJI Phantom 4. Like the DJI Inspire 1, the Typhoon H Pro comes with a 360-degree rotating 4k camera and retractable landing gears. However, instead of 4 rotors, there are 6, which gives it a much smoother and more stability, even if one of the motors stops working. It also comes with its own controller so you won’t need to use your smartphone to steer it and has RealSense obstacle avoidance just in case you tend to fly too agressively.