Best Drones for Professional Filming and Photography

best overall rating
  • Lightweight.
  • Durable.
  • Optional burst mode.
premium choice rating
  • Aerodynamic design.
  • Two batteries for longer life.
  • Can be programmed through Scratch.
great value rating
  • Compact.
  • Can be activated by tossing it into the air.
  • Works with VR.

A lot of people see drones as a toy, but drones can be a great photography tool, especially if you’re trying to get shots that you’d normally need a helicopter or crane for. Drones can move quickly, snap great shots efficiently, and some can even pilot themselves to avoid damage or automatically follow you around for action shots. Being able to take photos from any angle can open up plenty more unique ideas and artistic shots, especially after you’ve practiced with your drone for a while.

Below are ten of the best drones for photography that we could find, as well as some of the important things that make them unique and help them stand out from other drones on the market.

View the Best Drones for Photography, Below.

best overall rating

1. Parrot PF728000 Anafi Drone

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This quadcopter drone uses a high-definition, 21-megapixel, 4k-resolution camera to capture incredibly detailed photos and videos from above, reaching speeds of up to 55km/h and enduring plenty of bumps and bashes before needing any kind of repairs or maintenance. The burst mode can capture up to ten photos per second, making it much easier to get the perfect shot on a moving object or animal, and the Li-Po battery automatically optimizes itself based on how you use the drone to stop it from running out mid-flight.

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The durable and easy-to-use nature of this drone, combined with its extremely powerful camera make this drone a great choice for wildlife photography.

Why We Like It
  • Lightweight.
  • Durable.
  • Optional burst mode.
  • Extremely high-resolution camera.
  • Optimized battery.
Resolution
4k (photos), 2740x1520 (videos)
Flight Time
25 Minutes
premium choice rating

2. DJI Inspire 2 Drone

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The sharp design of this drone makes it an efficient, fast piece of equipment that can carry a fully-operational 4k camera high into the air, letting you see 360 degrees around it with the integrated video transmission system. The twin batteries give it almost half an hour of full-speed flight, and its body contains a self-heating system that can keep it functional in extremely cold temperatures. On top of that, its sense-and-avoid-system lets it automatically dodge small obstacles.

This drone can take care of itself thanks to some of its automated systems, meaning that even the worst drone pilots will have some support from the unit itself while they’re getting into position.

Why We Like It
  • Aerodynamic design.
  • Two batteries for longer life.
  • Can be programmed through Scratch.
  • Certain automated features, like takeoff/landing and avoidance systems.
  • Landing failsafe.
Resolution
5.2k
Flight Time
27 Minutes
great value rating

3. DJI Tello Quadcopter Drone

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This drone may be small, but it’s just as powerful and effective as its larger brothers, with the added bonus of having full VR headset support for scouting out great shots in person. The dual antenna system makes the video transmission and control reception much more reliable and stable, even in poor weather, while the high-quality camera and image processor help you take excellent photos and create amazing videos, even while you’re making it perform stunts and tricks to get some impressive and unique angles.

The smaller size and simplicity of this drone make it great for younger filmmakers or first-time drone owners that want something less bulky to work with.

Why We Like It
  • Compact.
  • Can be activated by tossing it into the air.
  • Works with VR.
  • Lightweight and durable.
  • Strong 5-megapixel camera.
Resolution
5-Megapixel
Flight Time
13 Minutes

4. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone Quadcopter

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This aerodynamic quadcopter uses a multi-directional sensor system to keep it safe in difficult spaces but still boasts a really high 27kph maximum speed and near-silent set of propellers to let you zoom it around without having to deal with a sluggish, noisy piece of technology. Its built-in zoom features let it get a better view of distant objects, and the partially-automated tracking means that it can follow cars or other fast objects to make action shots far easier. Not only that, but it can create 48-megapixel photos by combining multiple angled images together automatically.

This drone is an excellent tool for filmmakers, making action shots and difficult sweeping movements much more comfortable in a vast range of situations.

Why We Like It
  • Incredibly fast.
  • Nearly silent.
  • Tracking feature.
  • Panorama feature.
  • Omnidirectional avoidance system.
Resolution
12-Megapixel
Flight Time
31 Minutes

5. Yuneec Typhoon H Pro

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This twin-battery drone uses six balanced rotors with a five-rotor failsafe to create a very smooth, stable aerial camera for all kinds of photography and video projects. It had eight different smart-flying settings and can automatically return to its 'home' point, as well as manage its own takeoffs and landings without needing an experienced pilot behind the controls. With 4k video capabilities and a 12-megapixel camera, it's able to get fantastic footage and pictures quickly, easily, and efficiently in nearly any situation.

If you're wanting to use drones for photography but aren't a confident pilot, this may be one of the best in terms of automatic features and fail-safes.

Why We Like It
  • Six rotors for extra balance.
  • Automated flying options.
  • High-quality camera.
  • Automatic landing and takeoff
  • Excellent video feed reception.
Resolution
4k
Flight Time
30 Minutes

6. DJI Phantom 4 PRO Professional Drone

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The odd design of this quadcopter hides a lot of stability, a powerful camera, and excellent video capabilities, meaning that it's a great piece of kit for any filmmaker who needs professional-level photos and videos on short notice. A collection of five sensors on different parts of its body help keep it away from nearby objects, automatically moving it away from solid surfaces and keeping it in open areas where it won't bump into anything. Its mechanical shutter allows it to take much more stable pictures than some other drone, even while it's in motion.

This drone is an excellent mixture of simplicity and professional quality, making it useful for both newcomers and long-time filmmakers alike.

Why We Like It
  • Really stable.
  • Automatic obstacle avoidance.
  • Mechanical shutter.
  • Infrared sensors.
  • Incredibly high-quality photos and videos.
Resolution
20-Megapixel
Flight Time
30 Minutes

7. DJI Spark Combo

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The Spark is incredibly agile, and fast-moving, able to reach 31mph in it's specialized 'sport mode' and automatically avoiding any significant obstacles in its way, with or without the pilot's input. It can capture 12-megapixel photos and full 1080p video while still or while in motion and uses its compact size to make takeoffs and landings much easier in tighter spaces. The built-in stabilization system is meant to help keep your images blur-free and easy on the eyes, even while it’s moving at high speeds.

This drone is great for taking tricky in-motion shots and videos without it making them look blurry, something that regular cameras can very rarely pull off properly.

Why We Like It
  • Avoidance system.
  • Extremely fast and agile.
  • Optional sport mode for more rapid movement.
  • Stabilizes itself.
  • Compact size.
Resolution
12-Megapixel (photos), 1080p (videos)
Flight Time
16 Minutes

8. DJI Mavic Pro 4K Quadcopter

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This drone's angular design makes it much more stable than other models, providing a much smoother and more professional-looking set of photographs and video footage every time you're done taking photos or filming an area. Its 4k camera gives it plenty of visual power and graphical quality, and the entire unit can be optionally controlled from your phone rather than the control unit if you have a Wi-Fi connection, making it useful for getting shots in more significant buildings or warehouses that you can't reach the top of.

Although it seems simple at first, this drone offers a very professional set of features in an easy-to-control frame.

Why We Like It
  • Reaches up to 40mph.
  • Incredibly stable for smoother video footage.
  • Can be controlled normally or through your phone.
  • Returns to a set home point if it loses signal.
  • Simple control scheme.
Resolution
4k
Flight Time
27 Minutes

9. Holy Stone HS100 GPS FPV RC Drone

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This quadcopter uses a Wi-Fi-controlled camera to snap pictures and record videos with ease, using its built-in GPS system to help you get your drone into the right spot without having to fiddle around with the controls too much. It will also automatically return to the last home point you set for it if the signal dies or its battery starts to run low, so you won’t need to worry about it suddenly dropping out of the sky and breaking – you can control it from up to five-hundred meters away, giving you a way to get some incredibly distant shots.

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This drone can be an excellent tool for getting more complex shots thanks to its automated features, including selfies and hands-free images of the people controlling it.

Why We Like It
  • Automatically returns home if it’s about to switch off.
  • Powerful 1080p camera.
  • Wide 120-degree field of vision.
  • “Follow Me Mode” for easy selfies.
  • Variety of different modes and control options.
Resolution
1080p
Flight Time
15 Minutes

10. DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter

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This quadcopter allows for a unique panoramic setting that stitches together a range of different photos, creating 32-megapixel spherical panoramas of a chosen area that can be great for all kinds of art projects and photo backgrounds. In terms of video, it’s able to stabilize itself even while it’s moving at high speeds, reducing the amount of blurring and sudden shakes you’ll see in the finished footage.

With a wide control range and the ability to use your phone as a backup controller, you can get all kinds of shots and video clips using this drone without having to drag a whole set of equipment with you behind it.

This drone offers a lot of features in a small frame, while other compact models often suffer due to their lack of useful features and settings.

Why We Like It
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Compact, can be folded up.
  • Can be controlled from your phone.
  • Powerful, high-quality camera.
  • Can create panoramic shots.
Resolution
12-Megapixel
Flight Time
21 Minutes

Buyers Guide for Best Drones for Professional Video and Photography

These drones started out as a fun past-time for students but later opened up new and improved concepts in the field of photography. Just over a short tenure of the last five years, the drones have greatly improved in terms of flight modes, safety, and speed.

Now, with cameras mounted on top, these drones are proving their worth and showing the world everything from a pilot’s eye view, like raw footages of volcano eruptions, waterfalls, disasters, wildlife, etc. whereby letting you maintain your safe distance.

The industry is bound to grow in the coming years, with the drone technology being used in multiple fields. The employment of drones for filming is not a new concept anymore, with these small, compact devices you can see and explore newer avenues, and places no human could ever set foot on.

So, are you ready to get this thing flying?

If you are a photographer/ videographer looking for adding a new perspective to your images and videos, or have a hobby or interest towards this new gizmo, you should get a move on right away!

It may feel a bit intimidating at first, but once you get started, there is no turning back.

Here are the main attributes you should look for when buying your very own, first drone:

Decide on a Drone

With a variety of options available now, the drones are equipped with six and even eight rotor blades. The most commonly available drone, however, is the quadcopter.

The typical quadcopter has four motors and rotor blades and an accelerometer. It can easily hover, ascend or descend and move sideways or make a complete 360-degree turn, as directed by the controller.

It has an X-shaped or H-shaped body, which provides extra support and smoother flying experience. Most of these quadcopters can carry a general weight of about 2 pounds and can easily be navigated across different areas. Designed for use by learners and priced much lower than the advanced versions, these are the best to get started on with.

However, with the greater power they give, there is a certain responsibility you have to show. You need to keep in mind that you do not own the airspace; you are actually sharing it with everyone, even the commercial aircraft.

Just like the rules for driving on the roads, you need to learn the basic airspace regulations of the FAA of your country, before taking off in the air, to ensure a safe flight for yourself as well as for others.

Here is some basic information on drones, which may clear any misconceptions that you may have:

Are drones very easy to Fly?

Not, all of them, and definitely not instant. It may take a while, but it’s definitely possible. The flight controller which is an integral part of these quadcopters, enable them to fly smoothly over the place.

With drone technology, the more money you are willing to spend, the better and easier to fly option you can get, with additional features, sensors, and more control.

Do they Require any Special Assembly or Checks Before Flying?

The drones can be divided into three distinct categories:

  1. The RTF (Ready to fly)
  2. The BNF (Bind and Fly)
  3. And the ARF (Almost Ready to Fly)

 

  1. RTF: The basic quadcopter, is the easiest to start. All you need to do is charge the battery, install the propellers and connect the controller with the drone and fly-off!
  2. BNF: This type, does not include controllers. You can either connect your existing controller or look for a new controller for this. However, do check that the controller connects with the drone first before buying it.
  3. ARF: These require slight assembling and may or may not include all the essential components of the drone. So before buying an ARF drone, make sure you go through its contents carefully ensuring it includes all the necessary equipment.

Decide Your Budget

Since these drones take up a significant portion of your savings, you need to do thorough research before buying one. The following points will help you make the most out of your investment:

Buy a charger

A good charger lasts longer and is always safer and more reliable for your battery. The bigger chargers are usually suitable for most of the battery types. So even if you plan on buying another drone in the near future, the charger can work well for later too.

Get a Good Quality Controller

Buying a good controller is a great add-on to your drone experience. One good controller can last you over 10 years! You can even upgrade it to the latest features and technology through its removable ‘transmitter’.

Get Market Knowledge

Don’t rush into buying a technical device such as this drone. No matter how much tempting it may seem, it is always better to do a thorough analysis of the market and avoid making any wrong decision. Else, you may get stuck with a poor, costly, useless product.

Get to Know Other Drone Photographers in Your Area

There are various online communities and forums for people who share similar interests on drone photography. Being part of such forums and communities actually helps you gain insights about the latest industry trends, learning new techniques and guidance against any issues you may be encountering.

Basic Guidelines Before Buying and Taking Off

Although these are simple, small-sized drones, but you need to keep certain essential points in view for a safe and enjoyable experience:

  1. Regulations

For flight safety, there are certain rules and guidelines you have to follow in order to avoid any serious complications from occurring.

Most importantly and as common sense would tell you, do not fly near or above crowds. This would help keep everyone safe in case of any control issues or any other major mishaps.

Moreover, always keep your drone in clear sight and at a maximum elevation of 400 meters. The FAA has clear instructions regarding these drones for safety, you should go through them here before starting on with your heli-drone.

  1. A good quality controller

The controller looks like the Xbox/ play station controllers, with one small stick for controlling the height and sideways movements and the other for the speed and rotatory movements.

A good remote for you should be the one you are comfortable with and is easy to use and highly responsive to your instructions.

  1. Spare parts

A good drone comes with readily available spare parts. No matter how good a pilot you may be, the possibility of an occasional crash cannot be ruled out completely. So, invest in a good product, which actually has shields to protect the propellers and has a ready supply of repair or replacement parts in the market.

  1. Batteries

A typical battery does not offer more than 10-20 minutes of flying. Get a good battery, to enhance the flying time and switch it for increased safety and longer charged life.

  1. Camera

A good camera yields the clearest and sharpest images and high-quality videos and gives you the best results possible. Even better models let you capture an HD footage and live feeds.

Lower priced models have lower resolution cameras, which may be good for starters, but for professional use, they are not that apt. Looking for a stabilizer that will keep your footage still and is affordable? Take a look at our handheld go pro gimbals and stabilizers here.

  1. Price

Since these come equipped with a camera, or you may be required to buy a separate camera for professional video/photography, you need to keep an open outlook towards the price.

The more pricey options, come with better features, longer battery life and increased flight time and other features.

  1. Time to charge and fly

The time taken for a battery to completely charge may be about an hour or more, however, most of these flying machines fly for only about 10-20 minutes.

  1. Areas for flying

A drone may be designed for safe indoors flying, but mostly you will want to fly it outdoors, giving it the ultimate liberty and avoiding the chances of any collisions.

How Important is the Flight Time/Battery Life of a Drone?

The longer the drone can stay in the air, on a single charge, the better. Good quality drones come with greater battery life and let you capture solid footage over a longer span of time.

However, you can always enhance battery life by replacing the battery with better ones.

But in any case, your drone has to be equipped with a trustworthy battery. Most of these batteries when purchased separately, are heavy, and expensive. But you must consider buying a LiPo battery for your drone; they have a far longer life and are able to store more power and in turn, give you a longer time in the air.

The battery also depends on the drone size; a larger drone requires a bigger battery to run it. Typically a drone is able to stay for 15 minutes in the air; however, a longer duration than that, is always better.

What Are the Basic Safety Measures to Adopt While Flying?

The FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) has set new regulations for these drones, but it is safe to fly at a maximum elevation of 4000 meters, to avoid collisions and any accidents. Also, its’ always safe to stay away from crowds, or other aircraft, airports, and areas where there are chances of such mishaps.

Another safety check is to ensure the battery is completely charged before every take-off. Keep a constant check on the battery and rotors, and other parts of the drone before every flight to ensure a safe, smooth flight without any serious accidents.

Many of these drones tell you the battery life required to fly and come back from a certain distance, to help you get a better estimate of the flight time. However, it is always safe to start off with a fully charged battery. Battery life is not always time-dependent as well, it may get depleted due to the altitude, speed, and even if the weather conditions are rougher than usual.

Each drone has its own speed and maximum altitude depending on a variety of factors such as its design, weight, and height.

As per law, your drone must remain in sight at all times. So you must fly in an open area, where the chances of hitting anyone or getting the drone damaged are minimal. Also, it is always better to set the ‘return to home’ feature, to have the drone safely back in case of a mishap.

Always read the instruction manual that comes with your model. Keep a few feet distance from your drone as the rotors could cause harm. If in case a crash is imminent, kill the speed and throttle to minimize the anticipated damage.

Are Replacement Parts Easily Available?

These drones are actually very fragile in nature. If you are an amateur, chances are you may break a few propellers, spindles, and other parts, as you make your course.

However, since it is a growing market, and a big investment on your part, the manufacturers are now trying to ensure maximum availability of spare parts where needed.

All these models have spare rotors included as part of the package, as this is the part which bears the most breakage. However, since the two blades propel clockwise and the other two anti-clockwise, in reality, you just have two replacements for each spindle pair.

For all other parts you must explore the market; always try to look for a model whose spare parts are easily available. Even if the cost is high, it is better to go for a model, whose manufacturer provides spares when need be, else your whole investment could go to waste.

Cheaper brands could also include a brushed motor with a shorter life; the brushless motors are the best for longer life and require zero maintenance through their lifespan, but they come with the more pricey drones.

Conclusion

The basics of learning how to fly a drone along with taking stunning photographs and video involve handling the drone in such a way so as not to crash it. The more comfortable you fly, the better you can get at photography. You need to opt for a strong, sturdy drone, but it must give you value for money, as buying this product it does take a big chunk out of your savings box.

We hope this review was helpful for you in finding the model most appropriate to your budget, requirements, and skills.

Wish you a safe, and enjoyable flight!