Best Drones with Cameras | Quadcopters with Camera

Did you know that what we most refer to as drones and actual called something else?  What come on man are you serious?

You bet the “drone market” is actually composed of multi-rotors, but most folks just call them drones because we have been calling them that for so long. The most common multi-rotor drones are quadcopters or the ones with four rotors.

If this is your first time looking at or researching drones might I suggest you head over to this page to quickly find out what you need to know before buying a drone. A quick lesson from that article is this, the cheaper wallet friendly drones under $100 are harder to keep in the air and the more expensive $500+ drones are super easy to fly.

best-camera-drone-dji-inspire-1

source: dji.com

The high price tag of drones scared me at first when I wanted to jump into the drone world so I opted for one of the cheaper toy drones. Read my experience with it compared to a more entry-level camera drone here. Now lets get into the good stuff

Do you know what kind of drone you want or are looking to purchase?

Are you looking to pickup a drone just for fun to fly around on the weekends or evenings or are you looking to build a aerial photography / cinematography business? Either way the list we have compiled can get you started fast.

Best Camera Drones For Sale Buyers Guide

Below you will see a list of the Top 10 Camera Drones on the market right now. From the Best Foldable droneto the Best Selling drone on Amazon to even the Best Beginner Drone with a Camera. Pricing will change from time to time so please click on the link to see the most recent prices of each.

This is the category everyone has heard of. Ninety percent of drones or quadcopters will fit into this category. Camera drones are almost always read-to-fly drones out of the box with cameras that have a stabilized camera for taking aerial photos and videos. Drones with cameras can be used several ways other than what you would think, for example they can be used for search and rescue operations, video production, crop dusting for agriculture, and many many more.

dji-mavic-pro-vs-gopro-karma-review

However the normal person doesn’t buy a drone for one specific reason, they tend to buy their drone for multiple reasons. Some of the most common reasons are wanting to experience what it is like to fly, traveling around the globe and exploring different areas from new perspectives in the sky, and my favorite is capturing family memories like you have never done before, all perfectly examples of why you should get a camera drone today.

DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter with 4k camera

dji-phantom-4-quadcopter-4k-camera

What we liked:

  • 4K Streaming Video
  • Over 20min of Flight time
  • Advanced 3D Positioning 
  • Obstacle Avoidance Technology

What we didn't like:

  • Higher Price Point 
  • Similar specs can be found in the new foldable Mavic Pro

The DJI phantom 4 camera drone is in a class of its own when it comes to top camera quadcopters. When DJI released the Phantom 4 they wrapped some super innovative technology into it. The Phantom 4 is super reliable and very fast. Not only that but the HD live video streaming is the best we have seen yet. But here’s the kicker, straight out of the box this thing is a breeze to set up and get you airborne in no time at all. We truly haven’t found anything this drone can not do yet.

DJI added new 3D cameras and new computer hardware specifically designed for creating three dimensional maps of what the camera sees below. This technology is what the Phantom 4 uses in its obstacle avoidance feature. What is obstacle avoidance you ask. If your new camera drone is flying directly toward a tree the phantom 4 will see it with its cameras and automatically reroute the drone around the obstacle. Pretty neat right? But wait there is more features that the Phantom 4 has to put it on the top of our list.

The Phantom 4 drone with 4K camera and gimbal is the fourth generation of the Phantom series from DJI

DJI quickly found a design that works very well for their drones and just made it better and better. So it is no exception that the P4 not only looks great but every feature has been fine tuned to make it even better.

DJI Care 

DJI has what they call DJI Care. This is a damage protection plan for your drone. If you own a DJI drone you can purchase DJI Care and it you crash your drone, even if it was your fault they will fix it for free. It is very similar to the Apple care program that most people have for their iPhones.

The Phantom 4 from DJI is one of the best drones for sale right now and here are some reasons that make the Phantom 4 so good.

  • 4K Video with 12 Megapixel Photos
  • HD Video Streaming to your Mobile Device (4 mile range)
  • Powerful DJI Go App
  • Long Battery Life
  • Advanced 3D Vision Positioning for More Stable Flight
  • Front Facing Obstacle Avoidance
  • Follow Me Subject Tracking Technology
  • Quick Release Propellers
  • Free In-app Flight Simulator for Learning to Fly

Easiest to Fly Drone - DJI drones Phantom 3 Quadcopter

dji-drones-phantom-3-pro

Anytime some asks me what drone should they buy, this is my go to recommendation.

The DJI Phantom 3 Quadcopter with Video Camera Drone is one of the easiest to fly, has a great video quality, and oh yea has long flight times too.

The phantom 3 is the standard that most other drones tried to match, sure there are other models of camera drones that have similar functions, but they don’t compare to the experience you can get with the Phantom 3 for the same price.

The Phantom 3 is the older brother to the Phantom 4 and sibling to DJI’s Inspire 1. But don’t let that take anything away from the Phantom 3. Dollar for dollar the Phantom 3 camera drone is the best value on the market right now. I used to tell my friends and fellow enthusiast to invest in a much cheaper drone before buying a phantom series quadcopter but now with all the advances DJI has made the Phantom 3 is one of the best rated drones you can buy today and it is super easy to fly.

When you think of drones or camera drones one name comes to mind DJI. DJI has all but cornered the market of camera drones. Just go to youtube and search for phantom 3 or DJI drone and look at how many review videos pop up. Want to compare the Phantom 3 to the other drones on the market, just search youtube. Whats even better is that the Phantom 3 has a huge following of aftermarket accessories readily available.

The first time I took to the skies with the Phantom 3 I was amazed at how easy it was to fly. It was ten times easier to fly than the Phantom 2 and the quality of the video was amazing. DJI has since broken the Phantom 3 into four different models to choose from. Check out this guide comparing them all to select the best phantom 3 for you.

DJI Phantom 3 Models to Choose From

Phantom 3 Professional dji-drones-phantom-3-pro

Phantom 3 Advanced phantom-3-advacned-drone

Phantom 3 Standard dji-phantom3-standard

The Phantom 3 Professional comes with all the bells and whistles, GPS waypoints, Follow-me technology, point-of-interest, ultrasonic and optical flow sensors, 4K video, and over 20 minutes of flight time.

The Phantom 3 Advanced is basically the same as the professional version except it doesn’t have the 4k camera instead it is equipped with a 2.7k camera instead.

The Phantom 3 standard is one of the cheapest ready to fly drones available. It comes with a controller similar to the phantom 2, follow-me technology, gps way points, shoots 2.7k video, but doesn’t have the ultrasonic or optical flow sensors. DJI also released a DJI Phantom 3 4K which is basically the same as the standard model but just with a 4k camera.

What we liked:

  • Different Model Options to Choose from
  • Over 20min of Flight time
  • Low Price point on Standard model
  • Super Simple to fly

What we didn't like:

  • Doesn't include some of the advanced features of the Phantom 4

Best drone for professional video - dji inspire 1 4k

dji-inspire-1-raw

When it comes to advance quadcopters or video drones the DJI Inspire 1 is the go to choice. It comes with all the standard features of the Phantom 3 or 4, but in a much bigger and higher level of design.
For example, the Insprie 1 comes with a 4K camera on a 360degree gimbal.  A what?? The camera on the Inspire 1 can pan 360 degrees without ever getting a shot of the drone’s landing gear.
But wait how is that possible. When the drone takes off the landing gear on each side actually lifts up out of the cameras line of sight. What is even better is that the camera can be controlled independently of the quadcopter itself. If you have two controllers one person can control the DJI drone while the other is busy recording video with the camera. Now is that professional grade or what??

There aren’t a lot of things that the Inspire 1 doesn’t do well

The DJI Inspire 1 can be customized to fit your every need. DJI offers a few different off the shelf versions of the Inspire 1. For professional videographers the Inspire 1 comes in a Pro model or a RAW model.
The Pro version offers a micro four-thirds 4k camera with a sensor that is almost ten times larger than the standard sensor, interchangeable lenses, and over 12stops of dynamic range.
If that is not enough then the RAW version offers a 500GB solid state hard drive on board with 4k video recording in RAW format. Which gives you endless post editing options after you get done shooting your video. But here is the real kicker, all of the Insprie 1 models offer a detachable camera that can be added to DJI’s Osmo hand held gimbal to give you those professional shots on the ground too.

Best Professional Drone – DJI Inspire 1

We have only touched the surface on some of the impressive features of the Inspire 1 but let me emphasize one thing. This isn’t a drone you want to buy for your kids to fly. The inspire one starts out around two thousand dollars and goes up depending on which model you buy. The inspire 1 is mainly for those who are looking at getting into commercial aspects of flying a drone, aerial photography, real estate photography, videography, search and rescue, or 3D mapping.

The DJI Inspire 1 is still one of the easiest drones to fly today and capture great photos or videos with. So whether you are looking to impress your buddies or want to pursue a professional career with your new drone the Inspire 1 is something you need to take a hard look at.

What we liked:

  • 360 degree gimbal
  • Professional Quality Video and Photos
  • Removable Camera and Gimbal
  • Longest Flight Times we have Tested

What we didn't like:

  • One of the most expensive drones we have tested

Yuneec Typhoon H hexacopter

yuneec_typhoon_h

With DJI catching most of the lime light Yuneec has been quietly masterminding a way to get a piece of their pie. Introducing their latest drone the Tyhoon H. This is one of the biggest competitors for the phantom 4 from DJI. The Typhoon actual has 6 rotors not 4 so it isn’t a quadcopter it is a hexacopter. Even better is that the arms of the rotors are foldable making it easy to fold up and transport.
Taking a page out of DJI’s playbook Yuneec made the Typhoon H with retractable landing gear and a 360 degree gimbal, sound familiar?? But wait a minute, you said this was a big competitor to the Phantom 4, all of the features just mentioned sound a lot like the Inspire 1 not the Phantom 4.
Okay you are right, but here is what makes the Yuneec Typhoon H Camera Drone similar to the Phantom 4,

  • Both have over 20 minutes of flight time
  • Both have obstacle avoidance technology built in
  • Both shoot 4K video
  • The Typhoon H is priced similarly to the Phantom 4

This drone flies great and has a full list of features and with it having 6 rotors instead of 4 if one of the motors fail the drone can fly on 5 rotors and make it safely back to the home location without crashing.

Typhoon H ST16 All-in-One Controller 

typhoon-h-controller

source:drone.ca


The Typhoon comes with an all-in-one controller, what does that mean? You don’t have to use your tablet or smartphone to see the video feed. Which keeps your phone free while you are flying your drone, a downside to all of the DJI drone models.
However the UX of the Yuneec will take some getting used to as it is not even close to how simple DJI’s flying platform is. Call me a DJI fanboy but once you get used to a platform, learning a whole new one doesn’t make a lot of sense. That is one of the main reasons we still choose the DJI Phantom 4 over the Yuneec drones. The other reason is that if you want true obstacle avoidance like the P4 you will need to buy the Typhoon H “Pro” with realsense technology, that is going to set you back another four hundred dollars making it more expensive than the phantom 4 camera drone.

Whats the Bottom line?
The Yuneec Typhoon H Camera Drone is a serious competitor in the video camera drone space. It has some features that you would typically see in the Inspire 1 and it looks similar to more expensive professional level drones. If you want to get into making professional aerial photography or professional aerial videography, but don’t want to drop a cool two grand or more, than pickup this Yuneec hexacopter.

What we liked:

  • 360 Degree Panning Gimbal
  • Over 20min of Flight time
  • Hexacopter with 6 rotors
  • Ability to fly on only 5 rotors if one fails

What we didn't like:

  • Priced higher than the Phantom 4 if you opt for the realsense technology
  • Not sure how durable the foldable arms will be long term

Best Value Beginner Drone - Yuneec Typhoon q500 4K

yuneec_q500_typhoon_4k

The q500 was one of Yuneec’s first drones they released. The Typhoon q500 4K is similar to the q500 just with an upgraded UHD 4K camera. It can capture 4K video just like its big brother the Typhoon H and other DJI drones.

The design of the q500 4k is either a love it or hate it design. It doesn’t look anything like the other quadcopters or camera drones on the market. In fact, it probably most closely resembles a RC helicopter when compared to the other camera drones. Although it seems like most folks hate the design rather than like it, I think it looks pretty neat.

But for the price it is definitely a drone to consider. The q500 4K comes standard with:

  • Two batteries
  • A hand held steady mount
  • A detachable gimbal and camera.

Another feature you can’t get from the DJI Phantom line up.

After the release of the Typhoon H the Yuneec q500 4K can be found for some reasonable prices, but not as low as the Phantom 3 standard. With the q500 4k not being that popular you aren’t going to find tons of review videos and articles on the internet. Nor will you find third party accessories readily available like you will for DJI quadcopter.  

However, don’t let that stray away from considering this drone. The controller features a built in screen, the gimbal and camera are removable, and it comes with a hand held steady mount. All features you can’t get from DJI drone.

What we liked:

  • Removable gimbal and camera
  • Over 20min of Flight time
  • Extra Battery and Case come standard with this drone

What we didn't like:

  • Either love or Hate the Design
  • Controller takes some getting used too

3DR Solo Drone - On Sale for a Limited Time

3dr-solo-drone

What we liked:

  • Super Easy to Fly
  • Over 20min of Flight time
  • GPS Way points 

What we didn't like:

  • No Camera with the drone
  • Short Flight Range
  • 3DR is no longer making the Solo Drone

3DR recently announced that they aren’t going to be making anymore 3DR Solo drones. What does that mean? Well if you are in the market for a cheap drone then you need to head over to best buy and pick one up before they sell out. Because once they are gone, they are gone. Bestbuy.com currently has them listed at $399 with an extra battery, extra props, and a hardshell backpack. Tell me where you can get all of that with your drone for $399. The big downside to the 3DR Solo drone is that the 3DR doesn’t come with a camera so you will need a GoPro to work with the built in software.

Bestbuy.com currently has them listed at $399

The 3DR Solo drone is the only drone on the market with dual 1ghz chips built into the drone. Want to know the best part? If you are a programmer or developer the software is all open source, meaning that it is readily available. So can create custom flight programs just for your drone. Or if you aren’t a programmer or developer several others have already created programs compatible with the solo drone. Just head over to the solo mod club and have a look around.

If you do decide to opt for a 3DR drone as your first ready to fly beginner drone make sure you pick up a gimbal balancing and stabilizing kit. There are a couple third party companies that offer them for around twenty dollars and it dramatically improves the quality of your video.

Parrot BeBop 2.0 Drone

parrot-bebop-drone

What we liked:

  • 1080p Streaming Video
  • 14 mega pixel camera
  • Obstacle Avoidance Technology

What we didn't like:

  • When you add in the Sky controller price is more expensive than the better DJI models
  • Video lag on the drones android or iOS app

The Parrot Bebop is the second generation of the Bebop drone. However parrot has sunken a lot more technology into the second version, it is smaller, faster and oh yeah smarter!! But with that comes a price.

Similar to previous Parrot drones you can use your android or iphone to control the drone, but they added a new sky controller option that gives you joystick controls, longer range, and an HDMI output.

One of the biggest improvements the BeBop 2.0 gets is the video camera

One of the biggest improvements the BeBop 2.0 gets is the video camera, it has a 14 mega pixel camera, automatic image distortion filter, image stability control, and more. Wait with what?? Image Distortion, ever see how a go pro gives you a wide field of range but it adds that fish eye look to it. The image distortion feature fixes that make the image look normal. It gets better with the new processor the BeBop 2.0 can now stream HD video back to your phone or tablet at super fast speeds as well as record 1080p video to the internal 8GB of memory on the drone.

The biggest problem we have with the parrot bebop is that the mobile controls from your phone of tablet are gimmicky and don’t work that well, so to get the true drone experience out of this model you need to opt for the sky controller which sets you back another four hundred dollars. Putting the parrot bebop more expensive than the DJI Phantom 3.

Foldable Drones - Collapsable Drone

Late in 2016 a new category of drones emerged. Compact foldable drones. GoPro was the first to market with the GoPro karma. The Karma has foldable landing gear and retractable wings or rotor arms but it is still quite large when folded. Then came the DJI Mavic Pro foldable camera drone. The DJI Mavic Pro folds up into the size of an iphone 7 plus, pretty remarkable when you think about it. But rather than give you an exact run down of each model here head over to these articles to see a comparison review of the DJI Mavic Pro vs GoPro Karma

GoPro Karma Drone 

gopro-karma-drone

The GoPro karma is a super easy to use drone and anyone can fly it whether you are an experienced drone pilot of if you have never flown before, claims GoPro. One of the things that we feel like GoPro left out was the follow me feature, you get other camera modes, but not the most popular mode that all the other drones typically have.

Some of the main advantages of the Karma are that the drone works with a camera most people already have, a gopro hero 4, session, or the new gopro Hero5. Even better is that the gimbal is removable and it comes with a separate motorized Karma grip that the gimbal attaches too. Given you steady stabilized video on the ground as well as in the air.

The GoPro karma also offers two-person control as well if you have two controllers. One person can control the drone while the other controls the camera. The thing you need to be cautious of is this, does the extra features of the removable gimbal and second person camera control out weight the downsides? If it does than the Karma is the drone for you, if not then take a look at the Mavic Pro.

What we liked:

  • Removable Camera and Gimbal
  • Over 20min of Flight time
  • Collapsable Rotor Arms

What we didn't like:

  • Larger than the Mavic Pro when folded
  • Flight Range is only a half a mile

DJI Mavic Pro - MIni Portable Drone

dji-mavic-pro-foldable-drone

Since all of DJI’s drones have been simple to use and fly it should come as no surprise that the mavic pro is the same. The mavic pro can be flown from the DJI app or a small handheld controller. The Mavic drone comes with two cameras and additional sensors that work in harmony for obstacle avoidance, three dimensional vision, and stabilizing the drone at a specific height.

The mavic folds up to almost nothing and can fit right into your common backpack with almost anything else you want to carry. The Mavic is also super easy to setup and get in the air in no time. As matter of a fact there is a youtube video that shows someone unfolding the drone, starting it up, and hovering in place in less than a couple minutes. Pretty crazy isn’t it.

DJI Mavic Pro Drone

DJI Mavic Pro Drone

The only thing the Mavic doesn’t have that the karma does is a removable camera and gimbal. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise as the only model in DJI’s lineup that does is the Inspire 1. But I am going to hazard to guess that the standard mavic user will be carrying a compact mirrorless camera or a DSLR with them anyways so you won’t need a removable camera.
Do yourself a favor and head over to our other Karma vs Mavic posts and compare the two yourself. Either way they are both a good tool to add to your drone arsenal.

What we liked:

  • 4K Streaming Video
  • Over 20min of Flight time
  • Folds up small enough to fit in an ordinary back pack
  • Obstacle Avoidance & Follow Me Technology

What we didn't like:

  • Haven't Found anything yet

Best Beginner Drone Under $100 - Syma X5C-1

syma x5c-1 beginner drone

What we liked:

  • Easy to Fly 
  • Very affordable under $50
  • Spare Parts are Readily Available

What we didn't like:

  • Short Flight time of 7min
  • Controller feels like a toy controller

The Syma X5C-1 is the upgraded version of the extremely popular X5C. Just look around the web and you will see that the best cheap drone or the best drone under $100 is the Syma X5C-1. As matter of fact it is so good that many others have copied the design and relabeled it to sell there own. Just take a look around amazon and you will see what I mean.

Best Drone under 100

The X5C-1 comes standard with a 2MP camera capable of taking around 700 pictures or 30 minutes of video. It comes with a measly 7 minutes of flight time and a charge time of 90 minutes. So make sure you get some extra X5C batteries if you pickup this beginner drone, that way you can charge a set of batteries and increase your flight time.

If you’re getting started in aerial videography or you just want to take some cool pictures, try out the Syma X5C-1 for cheap starter drone quad.

Video Footage from each of the Camera Drones

So now that you have read the reviews on each of the ten models lets check out he video quality of each drone.

DJI Phantom 4 Unedited 4k Video

DJI Phantom 3 Pro Unedited 4k Video

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Unedited Video

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Unedited Video

DJI Inspire 1 4K RAW Unedited Video

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro Unedited 4K Video

Yuneec q500 4K Typhoon Unedited 4k Video

3DR Solo Drone with GoPro Hero4

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