The drones we review are ready-to-fly models, so you can use them right out of the box. In most cases, you'll need to bring your own Android or iOS device to view the camera feed in real-time, but we've reviewed a few models that stream video directly to a remote control. We don't cover racing, industrial, or agricultural aircraft here—our focus is on aircraft intended for aerial imaging and videography.
DJI refurbished products are available at reduced prices, while simultaneously meeting performance and quality standards. The refurbished products are thoroughly tested before they are sold, and they include a full standard product warranty and new packaging. And if you’re not happy with your refurbished product, you can return it within seven days (just make sure that you haven’t activated it yet).
EDITED to 4 stars from 1 star. The copter had flown great initially until it didn't. So I returned the unit for refund. Then after a couple of weeks I got an unexpected email from Holy Stone asking me if they could send me a new one. I said no, I'm just asking for a refund. I was then told, no, you don't understand, you already got your refund. We just want to replace your copter for you anyway. That's outstanding service. More than I deserve but extremely impressive. They obviously place their customers and reputation above all else. Given the high marks this copter receives from others ... full review
Almost every piece of electronics has been modified from the Vortex 250 Pro and big improvements have been made—starting with the flight controller. It’s an all new design called Synergy, with duel F3 processors for faster 8KHz update rates. Because of this, it also comes with Bataflight firmware pre installed instead of Cleanflight. If you didn’t understand any of that, just know that this drone will fly super locked-in.
The DJI Mavic Air offers a 32MP sensor, 4K video capability up to 30 fps, and fully panoramic image functions. There’s a 3-axis gimbal for stability when filming in flight, and there’s some pretty detailed environment sensing to help the drone get its bearings while flying. The model delivers up to 21 minutes of flight time, which is on par with much of the mid-to-pro-level drone market. There’s 8GB of onboard storage, HDR capabilities, and more.
The Vortex 285 is another drone from ImmersionRC. It’s actually one of the first ready-to-fly FPV racing drones that came to market back in 2015, but because of the features it has and the price, it’s still very relevant even today. It runs similar firmware to the Vortex 250 Pro, but the hardware is just slightly slower which means that it shouldn’t be as responsive.
Jim Fisher is our lead analyst for cameras, drones, and digital imaging. He studied at RPI and worked on the retail side of the industry at B&H before landing at PCMag. He has a thing for old lenses, boneyards, and waterfowl. When he’s not out with his camera, Jim enjoys watching bad and good television, playing video games (poorly), and reading. You can find him on Instagram @jamespfisher
There are many different kinds of drones available today. The typical cost for a toy drone ranges from about $20 to $250. Camera Drones start at around $300 and go up from there. The DJI Mavic Pro (the best drone we’ve tested) retails for just under $1,000. Professional drone users will spend tens of thousands of dollars to get the best image quality and flight time.
It is a good time to get yourself a camera drone in 2020. The best UAV companies are continuously trying to impress the market with unique and innovative camera drone models that not only have great features but are also reliable and intuitive. What’s more, prices of camera drones have come down. You can buy an entry-level camera drone for less than $400 USD. For above $1000 USD you can purchase a professional drone with professional image quality and performance.
The HS110D is an amazing camera drone. The app is completely different than the one I have for my other drone (HS160). It is so much better. The app for the HS110D is very clean an refined. Not to mention that there is a fairly accurate battery indicator inside of the app. When you are flying during the daytime and can’t see the lights on the drone, you will know when you have low battery. There is also a flip mode which is pretty cool for doing tricks, but seeing as this is mainly a camera drone I don’t see myself using that feature too much. The flip mode also serves a useful purpose as well as just for entertainment. Because the drone will not do flips when it is low battery, if you want to know when the drone is low battery you can just attempt a flip and ... full review

At just a tap away, QuickShots like Dronie and Rocket help you take impressive videos with cinematic effects. TapFly allows you to maneuver Spark when you tap on different locations on your smartphone screen. You can buy the Spark Controller Combo today for $399, which contains a remote controller, an extra Intelligent Flight Battery, three extra propellers, and more. For more value, get the Fly More Combo for $549, which contains a remote controller, two extra Intelligent Flight Batteries, four extra propellers, and more. For even greater savings, users can also purchase a refurbished Spark or a refurbished Spark Fly More Combo, which both come with certified quality and a full warranty.
The Altair Aerial has an amazing 720p HD Realtime FPV setup with the Flyingseee App that comes free with the drone. If you’re looking for a racing FPV drone you’re going to want to spend $300 or more and find something custom made, but this FPV drone will definitely satisfy most flyers who are looking to spend $120.00 or less. The customer service offered by Altair is amazing, you can read more about it in our full review of this drone.
On the hunt for something truly special in the world of cheap drones with camera? This easy to use and portable quadcopter is the perfect starter drone for any beginner. It includes everything a beginner needs to get started flying drones. The remote controls have notes printed which makes it incredibly easy to learn what all of the different functions do. It also comes with headless mode which optimizes proper functionality even when you can't see your drone. It even includes a one key return home function which means the press of 1 button brings the drone back to you. It also includes a powerful air pressure hold function that allows you to release the throttle and enables the drone to hover while maintaining its height. Its compact design packs easily into the compact craft box that comes with the drone. This makes it easy to carry and transport from place to place.
My personal favorite feature of the Mavic Mini is the flight time. By utilizing cylindrical style Lithium-ion battery cells (the same type of battery found in a Tesla car),the Mavic Mini can fly for up to 30 minutes. These batteries are also smaller and easier to manufacture. That means buying extra batteries will be much cheaper than the other DJI drones.

Even if you have no good reason to justify buying one, you have to admit that drones are cool. Some are glorified tech toys, but most models we highlight here are fit for use in imaging and cinematic applications small and large. If you think you can use a flying camera in your next project, there's some good news—the tech has come a long way in a very short time. There are models on the market now that put earlier copters to shame in terms of video quality and stabilization.


With a camera that tilts a full 180 degrees, a Hitchcock-style "dolly mode," and built-in zoom, the Parrot Anafi can shoot some footage no other drone on this page can manage. The downside is, the footage isn't as sharp and clear as what you'll get from DJI's machines. Out of the box, the Anafi is very sluggish to fly, but head into settings and bump up the speed and it will fly just as well as more expensive options. Flight time is a solid 25 minutes, and it's hands down the quietest drone I've ever flown.
Overall you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for in the toy drone section with something for a camera to play with. The HD 720p camera takes great video and pictures. The price is right at under $130.00 amazon, and really the customer service is the kicker. No other drone company we’ve spoken to has displayed such dedication to making sure their customers are happy.
The DJI Phantom series drones are some of the most capable and recognizable drones on the market. The Phantom 1 was a revolutionary aircraft that put DJI and prosumer drones on the map. The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 has collectively built on the series success and continues to be used for photography, filmmaking, inspections, and various other applications.
The Inspire 1 is an old drone. In fact, It’s almost 3 years old now and yet there’s still no other drone that has all of the same functionality in a ready-to-fly package. You could say that the Inspire 2 replaces the Inspire 1, but with a starting price of $3,000 that can easily go up to $10,000 if you want the best camera option, not all film makers can afford it. That’s the main reason why the Inspire 1 is still relevant, but there’s more. The inspire 2 can’t hold the Zenmuse Z30 or the Zenmuse XT cameras for long zoom and thermal imaging.
The price for this little drone is only about $30. It’s one of the cheapest quadcopters you can buy (but cheap isn’t necessarily a good thing). It’s very fast for how small it is, but at the same time since the rotors are so small and close together, people have found that it’s a bit hard to do bank turns with it. Since the Proto X is so cheap, there is a chance that you could buy a defective one, but you can always just send it back.
The transmission range is 4.3 miles for 30 minutes and it offers a true 4K stabilized and smooth footage. Buttons are simple to access and users can command the drone to return home, including automatic take-off and landing, capturing photos, videos, etc. It can autonomously follow objects, thereby creating a box shape around the object. Cinematic shots are easy, where you just select the point that is to be shot and the drone flies a perfect circle around it. Automatic flight routes can also be set for surveying.
Featuring a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor, the Skydio 2 records stunning 4K HDR footage at 60 fps and captures 12-megapixel stills. With autonomous speeds up to 36 mph, it captures dynamic cinematic shots with ease. Fly from the app, hand-held Beacon remote, or with a controller for even more precision. Its portable design makes it a compelling option for travel bloggers, documentary compilers, and commercial drone pilots in any industry.
All Mambos have a special mount on them that you can use to add on additional accessories. The newest accessory is the FPV camera. When combined with the included FPV goggles, the Mambo FPV allows you to fly the drone in a completely new way from other toy drones. You get to see what the drone sees and fly around as if you were inside the cockpit of the drone.
In addition to its foldable, portable design, Mavic Mini continues to impress with 2.7K Quad HD videos and 12MP images. A 3-axis motorized gimbal provides effortlessly smooth footage that looks like it came from a Hollywood set. You can also transform everyday moments into a work of art with QuickShots, which provide you with creative preset motions.
Camera drones are useful for amateur and professional photographers and videographers, as they are able to shoot from different and difficult angles, which is not possible with traditional cameras. You can shoot from anywhere, provided you get the required permissions and take any angle on the subject with the slick features available on the camera drones. You don’t have to climb trees anymore to get that beautiful panoramic view. Today, drone technology has become less expensive and due to its increasing popularity, most enthusiasts are able to afford it. Small indoor drones come with simple cameras, but they can only take low-quality pictures, whereas the larger ones can shoot at 1080p HD or more and have controllers. Let’s check out some of the best camera drones.
The Mambo FPV is a cool drone. It comes with everything you need (other than a smartphone) to start doing FPV. Although Parrot advertises the Mambo as an FPV racing drone, it’s not a real FPV racing drone like the ones in our FPV Racing section. It’s more of a cool FPV toy made for beginners and kids. In any case, I’m sure it will be a lot of fun around the holidays!
This category is better for those who need drones for commercial reasons, possibly for recording clips for an advertisement or a picture for their business’ profile, for example, or for residential fliers who want the best camera drone on the market. These camera drones for sale are professional in all aspects, with both the camera and the drone being high tech in accordance with the design.
One really cool feature of the Mavic 2 is the bottom facing LED fill lights. This is something that you have to see in person to truly appreciate. These LED lights are like having a full size room light hanging from the bottom of your drone. These lights help the Mavic see in the dark when landing, but you can also turn them on and off manually from the controller.
It does include a camera, although not the greatest quality but still fun to play around with. This drone, like many others also has a headless feature, but also features an altitude hold function or hover which is something most of the less expensive drones do not have. This is especially useful when trying to learn how to hover. FPV is not possible with the small LCD display on the controller but it does give you some vital information about the drone during flight.
Drone Racing is a real sport with real competitions and very real prize money, and it’s starting to take off all over the world. Nobody knows where this sport will end up years down the road, but it’s only getting more intense as technology advances. One day drone racing could become just as popular as any other major sport, so if you want to be the best, you better start now. Click here to learn more about drone racing and where to start.

The modular design of this unique-looking racing drone for sale makes it easy to upgrade if you so choose, and the parts are high-quality and quite durable. It has a decent range and flight time and three flight modes that make it easy for beginners or more experienced pilots to use. This is not the most advanced racing drone out there, but if you’re just getting started in this exciting field this drone is a good place to begin.


Even if you have no good reason to justify buying one, you have to admit that drones are cool. Some are glorified tech toys, but most models we highlight here are fit for use in imaging and cinematic applications small and large. If you think you can use a flying camera in your next project, there's some good news—the tech has come a long way in a very short time. There are models on the market now that put earlier copters to shame in terms of video quality and stabilization.

Empowering professionals to create the unforgettable, the Inspire 2 is an exceptional filmmaking drone that features DJI’s most advanced drone technology. An all-new image processing system can record up to 6K in CinemaDNG RAW, 5.2K in Apple ProRes, and more. Representing the finest in speed and agility, this professional drone reaches 50 mph in just five seconds and has a maximum descent speed of 9 m/s. The Inspire 2 also features a dual battery system as well as self-heating technology that allows users to fly it in low temperatures. This professional drone brings exceptional image quality, power, and intelligent flight performance straight to your fingertips. Users can save $750 by purchasing a refurbished Inspire 2 for $2749.


The Inspire 1 is an old drone. In fact, It’s almost 3 years old now and yet there’s still no other drone that has all of the same functionality in a ready-to-fly package. You could say that the Inspire 2 replaces the Inspire 1, but with a starting price of $3,000 that can easily go up to $10,000 if you want the best camera option, not all film makers can afford it. That’s the main reason why the Inspire 1 is still relevant, but there’s more. The inspire 2 can’t hold the Zenmuse Z30 or the Zenmuse XT cameras for long zoom and thermal imaging.
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