Top 5 Best Camera Drones | Which Camera Drones Are The Best?

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top 5 best drones under $200 in 2019

Top 5 Best Camera Drones | Which Camera Drones Are The Best?

Thinking about getting a drone this summer? You should. We finally bought one and it has been a lot of fun going out on the weekends and taking it up in the air! In this product review, you’re going to find the top 5 best camera drones on the market.

We spent a full day in Best Buy figuring out which drones were the absolute best. With most of them, the number one statistic we were concerned about was battery life. Come to our surprise, these drones actually have quite a respectable battery life for being in the air and using as much power as they do.

We also wanted to know the overall top speeds. It seems a lot of people these days are using drones for action sports such as skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, cliff diving, all kinds of action sports to get that perfect shot. Realtors have even started using them to capture beautiful aerial shots of the properties they are selling. There’s just so much you can do with these drones.

Table of Contents

Topics Covered In This Product Review

  1. What Is A Camera Drone?
  2. What Are Camera Drones Used For?
  3. How Fast Can A Camera Drone Fly?
  4. Can Camera Drones Fly At Night?
  5. Do Camera Drones Come With Accessories?
  6. What If My Drone Breaks? Can I Get Replacement Parts?
  7. Top 5 Best Camera Drones
  8. Tip For Owning A Camera Drone
  9. Wrap Up

Affiliate Disclaimer – If you purchase a camera drone with any of our affiliate links, we will donate a good portion of it at no expense to you. With our product review revenues, we donate a good chunk to help our United States Veterans on a monthly basis. Your support greatly helps and we genuinely appreciate it. We try our best to make our reviews unbiased and backed by our findings by using and testing each product that we review in our testing facility.


1. What Is A Camera Drone?

Camera drones have many different names, you will hear names such as quadcopter, drone, and quadrotor. For our review, we’re going to use the term “camera drone”.

Here is the short answer to the question of “what is a camera drone”.

A camera drone, or quadcopter, is a simple flying mechanical vehicle that has four arms, and in each arm, there is a motor attached to a propeller. Two of the rotors turn clockwise, while the other two turn counterclockwise. Camera drones are aerodynamically unstable and require a flight computer to convert your input commands into commands that change the RPM’s of the propellers to produce the desired motion.

In addition, these camera drones are equipped with high-quality cameras that can take pictures and high-quality video from the air. What’s cool about them is you can literally take them anywhere and capture images that you would never be able to get from the ground.

Controlling The Camera Drone

Your typical camera drone comes with a 4 channel controller that sends wireless commands to the drone while it’s airborne. The types of commands affect the drone’s throttle, yaw, pitch, and roll. The connections between the controller and the drone are the same as your typical WiFi connection which is 2.4 GHz.

Usually, a controller will also have 4 trim buttons that allow you to make minor adjustments to your camera drone’s flight behavior. If you ever notice that with no control input, your drone will drift in a random direction. When you apply trim for that specific control to move in the opposite direction, your drone will no longer drift in a random direction.

Camera Drone Propellers

Something you always want to remember about drone propellers is that there are two sets of propellers and two sets of motors that operate in opposite directions. If you buy a drone and if you ever need to do anything to the propellers, mark which engine each propeller came from. If you put the wrong propellers on the wrong motors, your drone will be trying to fly downwards instead of upwards. This could potentially be a bad situation, especially if you’re flying over a body of water.

Final Words On “What Is A Camera Drone”

The few sections above are the most important basics about camera drones. You never want to go out and not know anything about your drone so we want to give you as much information as possible.

A side note on the camera: when it comes to your camera, you always want to make sure it’s mounted snugly. In addition, always make sure the camera lens is wiped clean. You don’t want to be in the air wanting to capture a really good shot, only to find out your camera lens is dirty.

2. What Are Camera Drones Used For?

Camera drones have a very wide range of uses. In addition, many businesses and professions can benefit from drones as well. Think about real-estate, if you’re selling real estate, you can use camera drones for taking aerial photos of the properties you are selling. Also, photographers love to use drones as well. Many photographers sell stock photography and nothing looks more beautiful than a gorgeous picture of a sunset from 100 feet in the air. So you see, there are so many different things you can use a camera drone for.

Other types of people who use drones are people who participate in action sports. Whether it’s fishing, downhill mountain biking, dirt biking, skiing & snowboarding, skateboarding, wake-boarding, all of these action sports look much better when they are captured on film by a camera drone.

As far as hobbyists are concerned, many people like to go out on the weekends and explore new places. Whether it’s a new beach, the top of a mountain, or a luscious forest, any of these landscapes would look absolutely beautiful when shot by a camera drone.

There are many other professions and uses for hobbyists as well but the above uses are what we have seen most often. We even took these drones out on the boat while we were fishing and they can do some awesome fishing photography as well.

3. How Fast Can A Camera Drone Fly?

Our favorite and most popular drone we tested was the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. This drone can fly at a maximum speed of 44 mph at its top speed!

Now if you take the drone out of sport mode and just using the drone for casual flight and taking pictures and video, you can get up to 32 mph. Still pretty fast for a camera drone.

Just because this drone can fly at a top speed of 44 mph, does not mean you should fly it at those speeds at all times. It’s like driving a car, you never want to be driving your car at its top speed. In fact, most people notice a comfort level between 10-15 mph.

The only reason you would want to go that fast with a drone is if your drone is in chase mode. Chase mode is where your drone follows you. This feature is useful for dirt bikers that like to take follow videos of them on their bikes. Another example would be a boat traveling at higher speeds, the drone will be able to take video from behind while the boat is zipping through the water.

Even though most drones can get up to 30 mph or more, you never want to go this fast.

4. Can Camera Drones Fly At Night?

As of right now, it is illegal to fly a drone in the night sky. This ruling falls under the FAA rule Part 107.29. Here’s the thing though, many drone operations actually happen at night. Drone operations that happen at night are for anti-poaching, search, and rescue or emergency response. Data proves this as well. Since December 31, 2017, the FAA has received over 5,000 requests from drone operators and companies that want to operate at night.

Here’s the funny thing: to this day, the FAA has never received any reports of a drone accident that is operating under a night time waiver.

Some drone operators claim that it is safer to operate at night. The reason why is because their collision lights make the drone easy to spot in the sky without the added glare of the bright sun.

But as we stated a little bit ago, as of right now it is illegal to operate your drone in the sky after the sun has gone down.

5. Do Camera Drones Come With Accessories?

This really depends on if you’re buying a combo package or not. If you’re buying your drone at Best Buy, you likely won’t get any extra accessories with your drone. However, when you buy a package on Amazon, you will usually get a bunch of accessories that come with it. For example, our #1 and #2 drones come with a bunch of accessories.

Normally the kinds of extra accessories you will get will be extra batteries, a second set of propellers, SD cards for saving your images and videos, or some very nice carrying cases for your drone. The package deals are definitely worth it and the accessories come in handy when you need them.

6. What If My Drone Breaks? Can I Get Replacement Parts?

Replacement parts for any drone are pretty easy to find these days. All it takes is a simple search on Google and you can find just about any part you need. We recommend using Amazon since they have just about anything you’re looking for. If you’re just needed general parts for your drone, just use Amazon as we stated above. However, if you’re needed brand-specific parts, your best bet would be to contact the manufacturer of the drone itself.

7. Top 5 Best Camera Drones

Are you ready to finally see our top 5 picks that we chose? We had a ton of fun testing these drones. As we stated earlier, we tested them on a boat while we were fishing and these drones can surely fly! The drones are in order 1-5 with #1 being our ultimate favorite.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro (Most Popular)

1. DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone Quadcopter

best drones in 2019

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro embodies all of DJI’s advanced and signature technologies, including Hasselblad Camera (Mavic 2 Pro), 8 km 1080p Video Transmission, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, & Hyperlapse. The Mavic 2 Pro is all about dynamic perspectives. Capture everything from wide-angle to mid-range shots for even more creative options.

Product Details:

  • Latest Flagship Drone: Powered by Hasselblad L1D-20C Camera provided Ultra-Image Quality; 20 MP 1 inch CMOS Sensor and Adjustable Aperture, 10-bit HRD Video.
  • Better Flying Experience: Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, low noise propellers, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots, 8GB internal storage, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, SD card support up to 128GB.
  • More Functionality: ActiveTrack 2.0, Dolly Zoom, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design, HDR Photos.
  • Package includes: Mavic 2 Pro Aircraft Body, 1X Intelligent Flight Battery, Gimbal Protector, Remote Controller, 3x Propellers (Pair), Battery Charger, Power Cable, Communication Cable (USB3.0 Type-C), USB Adapter, Spare Control Sticks (Pair), RC Cable (Lightning connector), RC Cable (Standard Micro USB connector), RC Cable (USB Type-C connector).
  • Extra Dealer’s Choice Accessories: Polares Filter Set (CPL, ND8, ND16, ND32), 64GB MicroSD card, Landing Gear, Landing Pad and 10L lightweight backpack. Authorized Dealer, Full Manufacturer warranty.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 7 reviews) = 4.5 out of 5 stars

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DJI Mavic Air

2. DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter

best drones in 2019

A marvel of engineering and design, the Mavic Air was built to go wherever adventure takes you. Inheriting the best of the Mavic series, this ultraportable and foldable drone features high-end flight performance and functionality for limitless exploration. 3-Axis Gimbal Camera.

The Mavic Air is the most portable DJI drone to house a 3-axis mechanical gimbal, with its angular vibration range reduced to 0.005 degrees. Set in a triangular formation, gimbal dampeners help create even steadier shots. 32 MP Sphere Panoramas. In addition to Horizontal, Vertical, and 180 degrees panoramas, the Mavic Air stitches 25 photos together in just eight seconds to create crystal-clear 32 MP Sphere panoramas.

Product Details:

  • DJI AUTHORIZED DEALER – Includes Full DJI USA WARRANTY.
  • DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter Drone – Flame Red.
  • The ultraportable Mavic Air features high-end flight performance and functionality for limitless exploration, 32 MP Sphere Panoramas.
  • INCLUDED IN THE BOX: Drone – Remote Control – Intelligent Flight Battery – Charger – Power Cable – Propellers (Pair) x4 – Propeller Guards (set) – RC-to-Lightning Cable – RC-to-Micro USB Cable – RC-to-USB Type C cable – Gimbal Protector – Communication Cable – USB Adapter – RC Cable Sliders (Large & Small) – Carrying Case – Replacement Control Stick Pair – 1-Year Limited Warranty.
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter Drone (Flame Red) – DJI MAVIC AIR Intelligent Flight Battery Mavic Air accessories – Deco Gear DJI Mavic Air Hardshell Backpack.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 14 reviews) = 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Also Read:

DJI Spark (Best Budget)

3. DJI Spark With Remote

best drones in 2019

Though agile in the air, drones can be bulky and cumbersome when on land. Not so with the DJI Spark which won’t hold you back no matter what the adventure. This compact quadcopter features an integrated camera with motorized stabilization to capture 12MP photos, 1080p Full HD videos, and even aerial selfies.

The drone’s compact size, 31 mph top speed, and up to 16 minutes of flight time will appeal to a variety of users, from FPV enthusiasts to racers to those just looking for more dynamic shots than are possible with simply a smartphone or camcorder.

The drone features GPS- and vision-based navigation for outdoor or indoor use, a variety of flight modes, and a 3D obstacle detection system. Package Includes DJI Spark Quadcopter 3 pairs of 4730S Quick Release Folding Propellers for Spark Drone DJI Remote Controller for Spark Quadcopter one Intelligent Flight Battery for Spark Quadcopter one Charger one Micro-USB Cable Hard Foam Storage Box.

Product Details:

  • DJI Spark Remote Control Combo Includes Remote controller and standard Spark accessory kit (See Details Below).
  • 2-Axis Stabilized Gimbal Camera 12MP Still Photos / 1080p/30 Video Gesture and TapFly Control.
  • FlightAutonomy with Obstacle Detection Subject Tracking from Various Angles GPS- & Vision Position-Based Navigation.
  • Top Speed of 31 mph in Sport Mode Up to 16 Minutes Flying Time.
  • Up to 1.2 Mile Control Range Control, Edit, Share with DJI GO App.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 134 reviews) = 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Parrot Anafi

4. Parrot Anafi Drone

best drones in 2019

Product Details:

  • This drone with a camera equipped with f/2.4 wide angle ASPH lens, HDR, and up to 2.8 times digital zoom captures spectacular 4K videos, Full HD or 2.7K videos (2704×1520), and 21 MP photos without loss of quality. Additionally, you have a timer, a Burst mode that captures 10 photos per second, and wizards to take over professional settings.
  • The ANAFI Parrot Drone can have up to 25 minutes of filmed flight time thanks to an intelligent Li-Po battery that optimizes its life and charges 60% faster using the Power Delivery USB Type C charger.
  • With its ultra-compact and lightweight carbon frame (320 g), this quadcopter drone unfolds in less than 3 seconds, reaches a speed of 55 km/h in sport mode and withstands bullets up to 50 km/h.
  • Equipped with a Parrot Skycontroller 3 folding remote control, the ANAFI Parrot Drone can be located at any time thanks to the activation of your smartphone’s vibrator when attention or immediate action is needed, as well as the Geofence, SmartRth, and Find My Drone functions.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 89 reviews) = 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Yuneec Q500

5. Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter

best drones in 2019

The Yuneec Q500 Typhoon Quadcopter with 4k CGO3 3-Axis Gimbal RTF Camera is a complete air and ground imaging solution that captures unparalleled 4K video and 12mp still images while maintaining the Typhoon family tradition of being easy and safe to fly. The Q500 4K Typhoon arrives factory-assembled, test-flown, ready to fly and film out of the box. The Typhoon Q500 4K includes the aircraft, CGO3 Camera and 3-Axis Precision Gimbal, ST10+ Personal Ground Station, Battery, Charger, SteadyGrip, and 16GB micro SD card.

Product Details:

  • Personal Ground Station with built-in touchscreen, Integrated 3-axis precision gimbal camera.
  • 4K/30fps ultra high definition video, 1080p/120fps slow-motion video.
  • User-controlled video resolution, white balance, and light exposure.
  • 12-megapixel photos with No-Distortion Lens.
  • It does not include the Aluminum case, includes one battery.

Overall Consumer Rating (based on 75 reviews) = 4 out of 5 stars

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8. Tips For Owning A Drone

Remember The Law

The law doesn’t really apply to the cheaper drones that are less than $100. The cheaper drones are classified as more of a toy. However, there are laws for the more expensive drones that have autonomous flying capabilities and shoot high-quality video and photo. You’ll need to register your drone with The Federal Aviation Administration or (FAA). It’s easy to do and you can register on the FAA website.

Learn About Your Drone

Do as much research as you possibly can before you start using your drone in public. Here’s the thing, you don’t want to go receive your drone in the mail and just go start flying right away. You need to learn the controls and how they work first. We’ve seen this first-hand, a new drone owner didn’t bother learning about their drone first. They took it up in the air and the drone fell to the ground and broke one of the rotors. Learn about your drone before flying.

Check Your Drone Before Flying

This one is important, it’s the same reasons why single-engine airplane pilots check their planes before flying as well. You want to make sure all your components are in working order as well as your rotors. The last thing you want is to take it up in the air and have a component malfunction.

Respect Others If Flying In Town

Let’s be real here, drones can be quite noisy and some people don’t like this. The noise they make can be annoying at times as well. If someone asks you to stop, just do it. It’s not worth the hassle of someone calling the police on you for something as little as a noise complaint.

9. Wrap Up

So you see, there are so many awesome drones to choose from. It’s a tough decision, but I’m sure you already know which ones stand out the most. We know that the GoPro Quad-copter should be on this list as well, but we didn’t include it because it’s not as “universal” as the others.

We also didn’t want to include the GoPro drone because those drones only work with a GoPro. We realize that not everyone owns a GoPro so it wouldn’t have made much sense to include it in this review. Overall, these are the top 5 best camera drones on the market. Get out there and explore the world from a birds-eye view!

Your first flight will be a lot of fun and something you will never forget. If you have any questions about these drones, feel free to leave a comment below. Feel free to use our contact form on our contact page if you’d rather contact directly as well. We will respond to your email in a timely manner.

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