While one of the best beginner drones can be a great way to get the hang of these aerial devices, this type of machine will not give you much in terms of photography. When it comes to using a drone for aerial shots, whether that may be for catching some great landscaping images or capturing a video for an advert, you need a high-quality device. In this post, we share the best professional camera drones that you should consider if you wish to capture memorable moments like a pro.
1. DJI Phantom 4 (Best Overall)
Whether you are looking to get your hands on a drone that is ideal for beginners or need a more advanced device, the DJI brand has become the center point of these quadcopters. The DJI Phantom 4 is probably one of the best choices that you can make when it comes to professional camera drones.
This device features a camera with a 20MP sensor. The camera is built into the drone for easier access and better convenience. A one-inch CMOS sensor is used to deliver quality photographs. In addition to the ability to provide you with still images, this drone also features true HD video recording and has the original Lightbridge HD video transmission system integrated for live streaming.
The DJI Phantom 4 is compatible with the official DJI Go 4 mobile application. The app can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices. If the drone’s price is too high, then consider the Phantom 4 PRO, which also comes with a series of advanced features, at a slightly lower price.
Autel Robotics has also become a well-known brand in the drone industry, providing some of the highest quality professional camera drones that you can find on the market today. Autel Robotics’ EVO is one of the more affordable options from the brand but is still equipped with useful features for professional photographers.
The 4K video capability offered by the EVO is certainly one of the first features you will note. This gives you crystal clear video footage, which can be streamed live, as well as recorded for later use. The drone is perfect for both photography and cinematography – whether you wish to produce live footage, advertorial content, or still images.
Apart from 4K video recording, the drone’s camera also features a high-quality 12MP camera sensor that can produce still images. The drone is both powerful and compact at the same time, as it easily folds and fits into a portable carry case making transport a breeze.
3. UPair One
If you’re looking for professional camera drones that can give you access to 4K video recording capabilities, but you cannot afford to spend thousands on the device, then the UPair One is an option that definitely needs to be taken into consideration. This drone comes with a 4K HD camera that is able to provide you with both recorded video content, as well as live feedback to ensure you can see exactly what you will get after your flying session.
The UPair One comes with a number of additional features to help make your experience with the drone more convenient. The Follow Me feature is certainly one to be noted here. When switched on, the drone will never fly to a distance where it may lose connection from the remote. Instead, it will follow you around wherever you go. This is great for capturing footage of an adventure, for example, but also gives you the ability to capture landscape video and photos.
This drone also comes with an Altitude Hold feature, along with a Headless Mode, built-in GPS, and even a “return” function that works with just one single button. The camera features a 120-degree lens for a wider view of the area being captured.
4. Hubsan Zino
Another lower budget friendly option would be the Hubsan Zino, especially if you are looking to get your hands on a 4K drone that can give you better quality video footage of your surroundings. This quadcopter comes equipped with a brushless motor, which essentially means less noise and more power. The drone has a built-in GPS system for improved navigation and comes with WiFi connectivity that allows you to easily stream live footage as you are flying the drone.
The Hubsan Zino, just as the name suggests, is a device that can be folded. This makes it a great option if you need something that is portable and easy to carry around. The drone features an f/2.2 wide-angle lens, which provides a much better view of the landscape you wish to capture. It also supports a range of different maneuvers thanks to the three-axis system built into the drone.
All of these features are packed into a drone that has a simple and sophisticated design. There is nothing complicated about the Hubsan Zino, making this camera drone perfect for any photographer – even if they are not particularly experienced at flying drones.
5. Potensic T35
While 4K is a nice feature to have in a drone, it is not essential for capturing great footage. Many people do well with a standard high-definition camera, especially if their budget does not allow for a 4K option. In such a case, the Potensic T35 is a particular option that you should take a closer look at. The drone has an affordable price tag putting this drone into a much less expensive range of devices.
The Potensic T35 is a quadcopter that comes with a built-in camera fitted with the ability to record 1080p high-definition video footage. The drone also features a Dual GPS system for improved positioning including GLONASS technology. The addition of the Return Home feature makes it easy to ensure the drone will not get lost. When it loses signal from you, it will automatically fly back to your “home” location. The 2500mAh battery provides an extended flying time before you need to head back to recharge.
If you’re looking for professional camera drones with HD technology and can afford to spend slightly more, an option you might want to consider is the Holy Stone HS100. This drone features a number of functions that make it one of the great professional camera drones, such as the built-in WiFi which allows you to easily sync the drone with your smartphone. This gives you a bird’s eye view of the area and the ability to see the live content streamed directly from the drone.
The drone features a 1080p HD video function, along with the ability to capture high-definition still photos. The included remote control is easy to use and allows you to attach your smartphone and have a live view of what your drone is recording. The GPS system that comes built into the drone ensures it will never get lost. You can set a specific location as your “home,” and the drone will automatically return to that position if it gets disconnected from you.
7. DJI Spark
This is another excellent option from the DJI brand but, unlike the previous drone from the company that we looked at, you won’t be expected to pay an arm and a leg for it. While the DJI Phantom 4 was able to deliver 4K video footage, the Spark one is equipped with an HD camera that can provide you with 1080p resolution content.
The DJI Spark comes with a 12MP sensor camera that allows you to take still photos that look crystal clear and perfect for publishing. You also get 30 video gestures to utilize and a Tap Fly control feature that ultimately make the use of the drone much easier. The Spark is also capable of detecting obstacles in its way and has a navigation system that uses both GPS and vision detection for improved accuracy.
The Yuneec Q500 Typhoon is another quadcopter that comes equipped with a 4K camera. The brand behind this drone might not be as well-known in the industry as DJI, for example, but they do produce a number of quality drones and related products. The drone is not only fitted with a 4K video camera, but also with a standard lens that is able to provide you with high-quality stills. One of the most important reasons why the Typhoon ranked lower in our review list is because we think its battery life could certainly be improved.
On the plus side, the Yuneec Q500 features a case that is made from aluminum, which adds to its durability factor and ensures that smaller crash landings would not lead to wasted money. You also get a “Personal Ground Station” with the purchase of this drone, allowing you to be in control at all times easily. You can switch between the 4K and 1080p video recording modes.
If you find yourself on a more limited budget and would still like the opportunity to add some creative elements to your photography work, this is where the Force1 U45W Blue Jay will be a great help. This drone might be promoted for beginners, but it does come with a range of useful features that can be beneficial when you find yourself in that perfect landscape you would like to capture.
The Blue Jay features 720p video recording, along with the ability to capture stills at the touch of a button. The drone also has built-in WiFi connectivity that allows it to communicate with your smartphone wirelessly.
10. Altair Aerial AA108 (Budget Winner)
Last up is the cheapest drone on our list but still deserves an entry on our list of professional camera drones as it can also be a great addition to your start-up photography toolset. The Altair Aerial AA108 features 720p HD video recording capabilities and can capture still photographs whenever you wish. One great thing about this drone is the fact that its camera is compatible with certain VR headsets.
The Altair Aerial AA108 is available at an excellent price point, and it comes with two batteries, ensuring you can continue flying once the first battery runs out. This drone is perfect for landscape photography but can also be used as an indoor drone.
Choosing Professional Camera Drones
Landscape photography used to require trips up the mountain or even a journey in a helicopter. Today, getting a drone up into the air is all that is needed for you to capture great photographs while standing on the ground. We shared some of the best professional camera drones that you can use to get superb images from a sky view.