Looking for a drone with a camera so you can fly it over your house, farm, or city to get some amazing shots?
With this awesome buying guide, you’ll get a detailed review of the top 10 best drones with cameras in 2018 including the pros and cons! We hope to make your buying experience fun and easy.
Today drones have evolved to where many of them have their own cameras. These models are designed to where you can record all sorts of things from far off in the sky with them. This is great for hobbyists and businesses alike to use for a variety of intentions.
It’s not easy to find a good drone with a camera. In 2018, there are plenty of great options to choose from. Each has a very of positive aspects but there are plenty of negatives about a number of them as well. In this buyer’s guide we are going to break down each drone and discuss the benefits and drawbacks to the build quality, flight time, maximum speed, and other various specs so you may be properly education in choosing a quadcopter to buy.
I have taken a look at ten of the best drones with cameras for 2018 to see what makes them different from each other. You might be surprised at what you can find on today’s market. However, you must also look carefully at some of the points relating to what you are getting and how something might work for your needs.
DJI Mavic Pro – Best Small Drone with Camera
The DJI Mavic Pro is the first option to take a look at. This uses the OcuSync transmission system to help you control it at around four miles away from your receiver. It can also fly at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. This model is also made with a powerful system that monitors y our controls. Sensor redundancy is used to keep the drone active in the sky without having any conflicts in how it moves.
The 4K camera is also very powerful. It is secured smoothly onto the drone’s body and will not shake while in flight. It can also be adjusted to lower resolutions for an improved framerate. The DJI Mavic Pro can be tough to control if you do not place it on a flat surface to help it take off. This can be a challenge to use if not managed right before it takes off.
- This can be folded down and stored in a compact space with ease. The arms on the drone will move inward when not in use.
- The battery power on this drone can work for close to 30 minutes depending on how you use it.
- This is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It can work well in many conditions with GPS and GLONASS technologies in mind.
- This can be tough to handle in some windy conditions. This is primarily due to the lightweight body of this drone.
- You will have to be rather careful when trying to land this drone.
GoPro Karma – Most Portable Camera Drone
Made by one of the top names in the world of 4K HD cameras, the GoPro Karma can work with the HERO5 Black camera. In fact, the HERO5 Black camera is included in this model.The Karma Controller that comes with this is very useful. It comes with a full color screen that shows what is on the camera in real time.The Karma Stabilizer feature helps to keep the drone stable and level in the air. This also keeps it from shaking or tilting far too much while in flight. It can also take off in just a matter of seconds from most surfaces and will not be impacted by windy conditions all that much.
The camera itself is made with a 12-megapixel photo feature and 4K30 video support. It also uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections to link to your controlled quickly. It creates a powerful connection for use that will not be all that easy to break off or lose while in the air.This model does have some legs that make it easy to set up for takeoffs and landings. However, it doesn’t do well on some slanted surfaces.
- It is very light in weight and can be folded down when not in use for easy transport and storage.
- The automatic one-button takeoff feature makes it easier for the unit to start working. This is designed with new users in mind.
- This doesn’t necessarily work with every action camera out there. It is best to use this with the camera that comes with it.
- A GoPro account is required in order to actually get this to work.
3D Robotics Solo – Best Camera Drone under $300
The controller on the 3D Robotics Solo is the top feature to look at. This comes with a video game controller-like design that allows for a simple interface. It can also link up to a smartphone that has a proper app installed and a Wi-Fi connection. This is to help you look at what’s on the camera in real time.This uses a number of shooting options. You can use the app to gear the drone to specific locations within its range. You can even use it to take photos from the camera while up in the air.
An HDMI port also allows you to connect the drone controller to any screen. This should give you a larger shot at what you are recording. This even works at distances of up to half a mile from your controller. It only needs a basic Wi-Fi connection for it to work. The mount for a camera will have to be set up on the bottom part of the drone first. This can be tough to secure at times.
- The drone’s app helps it to memorize spots that it takes off from and where it takes pictures from. It can be flown back to the spots that it records.
- The twin computer setup uses two 1 GHz computers to help with keeping track of its power and location.
- The LiDAR system improves upon how this can stay stable. It reviews local conditions and adjusts the rotors to keep it intact in any condition.
- At a little more than three pounds in weight without a camera, it is relatively heavy when compared with other choices.
- Not all cameras can work well with this drone.
- The customer service provided by the manufacturer has been notorious for being inefficient and hardly there for customers.
Parrot AR Drone – Easiest Beginner’s Quadcopter
This is a drone that works for indoor and outdoor flights alike. The Parrot AR Drone uses an indoor protective hull that surrounds the rotors. It can be quickly removed in just a few seconds to make it work well.
This also uses an HD video camera mounting feature that links up to the battery quite well and helps get the camera to be read on your device. The camera will stream things directly to your device through a Wi-Fi signal. This is an easy to use and efficient option that especially works for about half a mile from your control device. In fact, it creates its own Wi-Fi network so you don’t have to worry about using any hotspots just to make it work. The motors also use a high-propelled drag setup. This keeps the drone steady in the air without it being hurt by windy conditions. It helps you move the drone around in a variety of places regardless of whether you’re indoors or outdoors.
Even with this, it can be a challenge to set up a camera at times. You will have to provide your own camera to make it work.
- The programming on this can be easily updated to meet FAA standards when and if the change.
- The response for the camera is very quick. You can use a mobile device to adjust the zoom and still image shot features on the camera among other controls.
- You will have to provide your own mobile device to be used as a controller. It might be tough to control this depending on the design that you have.
- The battery only lasts for about five to ten minutes on a full charge.
Arris xSpeed 250B – Best Racing Drone with Camera
You can enjoy taking photos with the Arris xSpeed 250B or you can use it for drone racing activities. This is an RTF model that uses both an AT9 transmitter and RD9 receiver to keep it operational. It also uses an FPV camera that uses an adjustable angle from 0 to 30 degrees pitch up depending on your setting.
A damping plate is also added onto its frame. It reduces vibrations and promotes a better setup for flight. The plate also keeps the camera on it from being likely to shake or become loose while you are flying it.
The carbon and glass fiber body of the frame keeps this light in weight. It is a little less than three pounds in weight. It is nimble enough to respond to a variety of control demands and works effectively in most cases. The gimbal on this model does offer a simple pitch adjustment feature. It does not do much in terms of turning the camera from left to right.
- This is compatible with a variety of outside camera control apps for use on your smart device. The Openpilot app is the best one for this model.
- This is sturdy enough to survive through a variety of impacts and outside conditions.
- 3S and 4S batteries can be used on this drone.
- You can fly this from about a mile away from its transmitter.
- You will have to provide your own camera for this model.
- The mounting process for securing a camera can be complicated. This is especially if you have a larger action camera to work with.
DJI Phantom 3 – Best Quadcopter under $500
The DJI Phantom 3 uses a basic controller setup that comes with the Automatic Flight Assistant feature. With this, you can use an app control to move the drone back to where you launched it from. The live HD camera feed is very accurate and crisp.
This uses a long-running battery that works for about twenty minutes on a full charge. It can record 2.7K video at 30 fps. You can also shoot 12-megapixel images on the camera. The camera itself is integrated so you cannot actually replace it with something a little stronger. This uses a microSD card to record information onto the camera. You can get up to 8 GB of video and photo content from the drone onto your card, thus letting you shoot for a while.
The Wi-Fi connection that links to your mobile device is very strong and responsive. The GPS module also helps improve upon how well you can shoot videos outdoors.
- You can fly this for about a kilometer from your controller.
- The legs on the drone are smooth and flat and can work on many surfaces. They are also tall enough to keep your rotors and camera from being disrupted.
- This works must better for outdoor conditions than it does for indoor use.
- The video quality is not as strong as the 4K setup that works with many other models.
DJI Phantom 4 – The Best Commercial Drone
The DJI Phantom 4 is a more high-model option when compared with the Phantom 3. It uses a camera that links to a GPS system and can shoot 4K videos at 30fps. You can also take 12-megapixel shots with the camera.
The gimbal stabilization feature lets you keep the drone stable while in the air. It uses a hover function to take smooth footage from a variety of spaces while you are in the air with it.
This also uses waypoints that are programmed into the GPS sensors to help you fly the model quite well. You can direct it to a certain spot within range. It responds well and adjusts the power of its motors depending on the amount of wind it comes into contact with. This creates a better overall flight experience when used right. This can be tough to program at times though. The app for supporting the drone is complicated and features plenty of technical controls that may be hard for some newer drone users to handle.
- The f/2.8 lens makes it easier for you to shoot the clearest possible images.
- The Vision Positioning System helps the drone finds its position in any indoor or outdoor condition. This uses two separate satellites to find its information.
- The app that works with this drone does have a few bugs here and there.
- The gimbal for the camera is often tough to adjust and control.
DJI Inspire 1
Designed to be one of the easiest to control drones on the market, this choice from DJI uses a 4K camera and a three-axis stabilization gimbal. It is a RTF model that is efficient and easy to work with in a variety of cases. This can be controlled from up to a mile away and also uses a series of legs that can fold into place while in air. It is a high-end model when compared with other choices.
The controller used on this drone uses a basic design that is easy to follow with. It uses a few additional buttons for recording and direction purposes. It also has a support feature for a smart device for your live camera viewing needs. This works well with a Wi-Fi connection to create a detailed image that is easy to look out through. However, this works better if you have a strong antenna on the receiver.
- The locking systems on this model are more advanced and secured than on others.
- The lens feature can be quickly adjusted right on its main body.
- This is a much heavier model than many others out there. It is more than fifteen pounds in weight and requires plenty of effort to get off the ground.
- The lens is great for many basic shooting needs but it might work better if you have a replacement lens with more capabilities on hand.
Cheerson Hobby CX-20 Professional
It is very easy to fly around with a drone when you are using the Cheerson Hobby CX-20. It uses a path-finding feature that identifies its surroundings and uses a GPS system. This works with a very compact design that keeps all the important parts for the model together. The MX and GPS autopilot works to find where you take off from so it can land on its own. It only requires a simple control push on your remote. It runs quickly and works with very little effort to keep it intact in the air.
This can fly at a speed of about 10 meters per second. It can fly for about ten to fifteen minutes at a time when the battery is fully charged, thus improving on how well you can enjoy flying it around.
This only works for about 300 meters from your receiver. You will have to keep it close to your receiver for the best results.
- At a little less than two pounds in weight, it should be very easy to work with.
- It only takes two hours for you to charge up the battery.
- The basic controller uses a simple left-hand throttle setup. It is very easy to get used to.
- Lights may be added onto the drone to make it easier for you to shoot images with.
- This is a very fragile model that can easily break apart if it is not handled properly.
- The legs on this drone are relatively short in length.
DBPower UDI U842
You will get live HD video linked to your smart device with this DBPower camera drone. The FPV Wifi feature helps to link the video wirelessly from a far off distance, thus creating an effective shot.
Gravity induction is included to let you fly your drone forward and in other directions to the angle where your mobile device is being held in. This simplifies how the control process is handled. It keeps you in full control of your drone when using it.
This is a very fun to use model that is very effective in the sky. It even uses a headless mode that lets you control the drone well without having to worry about the drone’s direction when in the sky. It can break apart easily if you get it in contact with any hard surfaces or walls while flying so be careful when using it.
- The drone is compatible with a majority of smartphones. You simply need to install the proper app to make this work.
- It is easy to add and replace propellers as necessary.
- The battery can be charged up with USB port.
- This operates for less than 100 meters.
- The video transmission range is only good for about 30 meters from your receiver.
- This only flies for about five to ten minutes on a full charge. After that, it takes close to three hours for you to fully recharge the battery.
A Few Key Tips
When looking for the best drones with cameras for 2018, you should look at a few points:
- Think about what you plan on doing when recording videos from your drone. Professional users might benefit from a drone with a more detailed high-resolution camera.
- Check on the size of the drone versus where you would plan on using it. A larger drone works better when you are flying it out in mainly outdoor settings.
- The controller on your camera drone should be checked just as well. Look to see that the controller you are using is easy to handle.
- Watch for the weight of your drone. Depending on how big it is, you might have to get it registered with the FAA. Check on all proper registry requirements to see what you might have to do and to see if your drone of interest has to be registered.
- Take a look at any camera feature that is integrated into your drone. You might be able to add your own compact HD action camera onto your drone. Sometimes the drone will already be built with a camera inside. Check and see if whatever you have inside your drone can actually be adjusted in some manner too.
Good luck with finding the best drone with a camera for your use. You will be surprised when you look around to see what types of cameras are out there and how they may work well for you.