This thing is a highly sophisticated and advanced piece of aeronautics technology. It is not a toy. The firmware and remote controller requires updating before operation. That consists of downloading the zip file from the Dji website, loading them onto the micro SD card, and inserting it into the micro SD slot on the gimbal. After that it's pretty automatic. First flight: DO NOT FLY INDOORS for the first flight. Attitude mode means it relies solely on the VPS sensors and does not have GPS guidance. In which case the bird can get a little squirrelly and takes practice and experience with the controls to know how to maneuver without GPS. To stop the motor when landing, either initiate the Return to Home function (in which case the drone will land itself) or put the sticks both down and inward for an instantaneous canceling of the motors, or put the ... full review
2) the instructions are ridiculously basic. Not sure if they were written by someone who's not English fluent, but we were able to figure it out. They don't address the camera at all. You'll be able to figure out where the camera attaches by process of elimination (on the bottom), and the big USB has one of the tiny USBs inside that goes into the camera (I'm sure there are real words for those pieces that I don't know!).
The EVO has obstacle avoidance sensors on the front and in the back. In the font, you get two obstacle avoidance cameras (same as the Mavic). On the back, you’ll find not cameras, but a IR sensor for obstacle avoidance. IR sensors or good for close obstacle detection, but they don’t work for seeing obstacles that are more complex or far away. The Mavic Air and Mavic 2 use cameras on the rear, so they will naturally do better at avoiding obstacles at higher speeds. In any case, if you need obstacle avoidance on your drone, the EVO has it.
I've bought about a dozen or more different micro drones over the last two years and would put this one at the top of the pack. I read the reviews and saw the problems with the charging port. As a result I've made an effort to be gentle with the charging port and have had no probles at all et. Altitude hold is a terrific feature for beginners just learning to fly these things. The auto take-off is another big plus. Very smooth acceleration was a surprise at first, after flying it for the first 5 min's I decided I liked the way it handled better than any micro drone I've owned. Slightly less flight time and a bit bigger mean it's not as 'zippy' as some like the Aukey but when flying indoor's that just translates to fewer impacts with walls and other objects. The prop guards ... full review
This drone is small and cute but pretty durable and very safe for young kids. It’s more suited for indoor use because wind can be a problem due to its small size and the ducted fan design. Some complain that it doesn’t have a hover feature, but neither do other drones in it’s price point. For the price, its a great choice if you want to have some fun with a drone that’s not going to break the bank.
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
This is a GREAT little drone...Another winner from Holy Stone! Incredible technology in a tiny, fun package! The description says that this is a drone for the kids...and so it is...even if the "kid" happens to be nearly sixty! It is easy to fly, with the altitude hold function which keeps it set at whatever height you want. Headless mode is good for new pilots; you don't have to pay much attention to which way the drone is headed so forward is always away from you and back is always toward you, right is always right and left is always left. (One caveat to that...once the drone is paired to the transmitter at the beginning of each flight, don't move or turn around, and always keep the drone in front of you, in your field of vision.) Once you've got the flight mechanics mastered in Headless mode, you can free ... full review

For those looking for a basic done that has FPV camera capabilities that are still pretty decent, but at a fair price, the Hubsan H502S is definitely the way to go. There are minimal features, mostly just the GPS function, which is a nice touch that makes all the difference, and you get up to 12 minutes of flying time on a single charge. You also get Return to Home, Follow Me, one-key control, the whole set.


The mini drone has a bunch of built-in quick shot functions that let the unit fly itself in preprogrammed aerial patterns, and DJI has even created a SmartCapture mode which lets you control the craft with hand gestures. Hook it up to the DJI Fly app and you can even control the drone with some cool features there, including a tap-to-fly option where you literally touch the place on the camera you want the copter to fly. The whole thing weighs only 430g — a true marvel of engineering for its size. Pick up this package on Amazon and you’ll get everything you need to start filming amazing flight-perspective vistas.
The best camera drones in 2020 are equipped with a handful of smart flight features. These make capturing stunning footage in difficult situations much easier and fun. For example, for times when you are shooting fast-moving objects, a feature like ActiveTrack will direct the camera drone to recognize and track a subject while keeping it in the frame. There are a variety of other intelligent features available on camera drones, so do be sure to check those out before buying yours.
Want to keep your budget below $300, we suggest you choose one of the Altair drones we recommend. Altair is a great company (learn about Altair) out of Nebraska and provides top notch customer service! Shop the Altair Outlaw SE which goes 600+ meters and has a battery life of 15 minutes or more! Altair also offers the Falcon as a budget option for younger drone pilots and the 818 Hornet as an option for ages 10-14.
For those looking for an affordable drone with camera it still looks modern and sleek, this is the one for you. This drone comes in a sleek matte black and is built with a sturdy construction. It even comes with a controller to allow you to easily control your drone without your smartphone. If you'd like to use the camera to view the world the way your drone does you can always mount your phone on top of the controller. This gives you full access to your drones features and allows you to get the most out of your flight. This drone comes with an HD camera that allows you to see the world clearly and take great photos and videos. It comes with both headless mode and an altitude hold function. It also comes with bright LED lights that allow you to keep track of your drone even in the dark, making it solid competition for the best cheap drone on our list.
Camera quality is hard to rate, but we think we’ve come up with a good number based on the look of the image each drone is able to produce, the sensor size, the shooting resolutions, and whether or not the drone has additional features like changeable lenses or ND filters. This is a very important rating to look at. With all of the factors we take into consideration in this category, you can be sure that the drone with the best rating will indeed have the best camera onboard.
The Mavic Air is an excellent camera drone for those on the go, offering a foldable design and a powerful 4K camera. Built to accompany you on any adventure, the Mavic Air is smaller than the Mavic Pro and offers many of the same great features. This camera drone can capture crystal-clear 32MP Sphere Panoramas by stitching 25 images together. The sky can’t be captured due to the limited gimbal tilt range, but a zenith stitching algorithm completes the full 360° shot.

Kennedy Martinez is a resident writer who joined Dronethusiast at the beginning of 2019. She has years of experience reviewing drones and other tech products. When it comes to flying drones, Kennedy loves the ability to create artistic videos from a unique point of view. Kennedy enjoys researching new drones and other exciting products that are available to consumers which is why she is committed to creating the best buyer's guides for our readers.
Update 2: Yuneec, the manufacturers of the Typhoon H Pro, are the most awesome team to work with. They reviewed my flight logs and determined that something unusual had happened during my last flight causing the copter to drop out of the sky or fly off. I never saw what happened to it. The customer service department was very apologetic over the incident, which probably wasn't their fault at all. I requested a quote to purchase the parts that I had lost. I loved the device and wanted another one. With sincerity and professionalism, Yuneec had replaced my missing drone with a brand new one; no charge( not even shipping costs). They did not have to do that for I was willing to pay for the missing copter. Yuneec, you have the best customer service I've ever worked with or had ever heard of. I will always be a fan ... full review
Try sticking close to home until you move beyond the “new out of the box” phase. Thankfully, Syma packs four spare propellers and four spare blade guards to help repair any damage from those almost guaranteed first-timer crashes. While the battery life might be short and its built-in camera less than stellar, its overall value makes this drone a top recommendation for beginners.

With a reasonable flight time of 30 minutes and a range of 11 miles, you’ve got a lot to work with in terms of setting up your shot and creating sweeping artistic videography. While larger than some of the other drones reviewed here, it’s able to fold and should fit in a large backpack. It’s easy to control and fly, with accurate obstacle detection and top speeds of 45 mph.
The Hubsan X4 H107C has super stable flight capabilities, gives you approximately 10 minutes of flight time, includes gyro sensitivity that can be adjusted based on your personal preference, and a 0.3MP camera that can record video and take picture paired with a Micro SDHC card. The only feature that seems to exist, and is worth mentioning, is that it can do a 4-way flip, which could be fun and something interesting to add to a video.
It weighs less than 250 grams and so is very light and stays in the air longer compared to other types of quadcopters. As it is under 250 grams, you can fly it in the US or Canada without registration. The drone offers support for 12 MP aerial photographs with 2.7K quad HD videos. The 3-axis gimbal offers good camera stability and ultra-smooth footage. There are many shooting modes, such as Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket and so on. QuickShot offers an easy way of executing preset motions for recording.
Our top pick is the best budget camera drone around and is sure to wow with a 720p HD camera and 6 axis gyro technology. It comes with headless security, which makes it easy for beginners to learn without destroying their drone. It also has one key return, which allows you to easily and quickly call the drone home when you’re finished flying. It even comes with an altitude hold function, which can be incredibly useful for getting a great view of one particular spot. As one of the best low cost drones with camera, the Holy Stone F181C Quadcopter Drone is an easy top pick. It comes with two batteries so you can keep flying for longer. This drone flips four ways, so it’s great at doing tricks once you get the hang of flying it. It is easy to safely land, with one key engine start and stop. This is a great pick for pros and beginners who are looking for a fun drone that won’t break the bank.
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.
DJI models currently dominate our top picks, and there's a good reason for that. The company is simply a few steps ahead of its competition right now, and has a product catalog with models at various price points, which take up a good number of the slots in our top ten. It made a huge splash with its iconic Phantom series, and now makes the best small drones we've tested in the form of the Mavic series.
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). 

It shoots 1080p video and stabilizes it using a mechanical gimbal. This makes the Spark much better at shooting video than drones that only rely on digital stabilization. You can get exactly the kind of shot you’re looking for by connecting the Spark to your phone via Wi-Fi and using the virtual joysticks, but there’s an easier way of shooting that can make even a beginner look like a pro.
The battery on the F181 will last about 7-9 minutes and takes about 80 minutes to charge. This quad actually comes with an extra battery, but according to the manufacturer, you should wait 10 minutes between flights otherwise the motors and circuit board may overheat. This was reiterated by the reviews we have seen by others who were disappointed that their motors overheated on the first day. Customer service does appear to be excellent in dealing with these types of problems.
I can’t cover everything about the Inspire 2 on this page, but one thing that I need to mention is that this is not something you should buy for your 12-year-old son as a gift. The Inspire 2 costs roughly $6,000 and is intended mainly for people who want the absolute best aerial photography/cinematography tool on the market; however, the Inspire 2 is still one of the easiest drones to fly, so don’t feel intimidated. Whether you have a real use for this drone, or you just want something that will impress all of your friends, the Inspire 2 is definitely a drone worth looking into.
If you’re looking for the perfect drone to take your creativity to the next level, or if you work in videography, look no further than the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. The advanced camera features, including 20 megapixels, 4K video, and an accurate mechanical shutter put it on par with many traditional cameras. It delivers stunning video and images that any photographer would be proud of.
It can take 4K videos at 30 fps and 60 Mbps data rate. The quadcopter has a speed of 22 MPH and its range is 2.5 miles. Video transmission is possible up to 4 km. It makes use of a brushless motor and has a button for auto-return to home. The camera is mounted on a three-axis gimbal stabilizer that helps it to take smooth videos and sharp photographs even while in motion.
With an average flight time of 34 minutes, you’ve got plenty of time to set up shots and capture epic video. The specs are impressive too, with the Mavic Air 2 delivering 4K/60fps video on a three-axis gimbal for stability. Photos are crisp and clear, at 48MP resolution. It’s also the first drone with 8K HyperLapse capabilities. Although the footage isn’t as great in low-light, most of us are flying in daylight hours anyway.
The HS170 does quite well in windier conditions so it would be good for indoor or outdoor use. It has a range of about 100-165 feet, flying time about 6-8 minutes, and a charging time of about 60-80 minutes. The HS170 is not a camera drone, but it has many other features. You can turn the LED lights off and on from the remote control. It has headless flight system, 3 flight modes for different skill levels, and one button flip and roll controls.

Although this isn’t really a camera drone, it comes with an action camera mount, so you can attach your GoPro or Yi cam to get some aerial shots. Honestly, with a little bit of practice, maybe a better camera mount and some good editing software, you could probably produce some amazing shots using something like the Hero 6 with its built in image stabilization.


The EVO from Autel Robotics is clearly copying the DJI Mavic series, but surprisingly this is more than just a subpar clone. Clearly the styling a little different from the Mavic 2 or Mavic Air. Just like the last drone Autel Robotics made (the X-Star Premium) the design of this thing looks very strange in my opinion. It comes in this bright orange color which is great for visibility, but some might argue it looks like a cheesy toy. Other than the color, the general design is pretty good. It folds into a small shape and has a full 3 axis gimbal just like the Mavic.
Our expert reviewer and tester evaluate drones on a number of factors. For starters, we examine the size and design, taking into account my many rotors the drone has, how portable it is, and if it comes with an included remote control or camera. Next, take it out to a park or wilderness area and test how easy it is to learn and fly. We pay attention to the learning curve of learning the control, and how much latency there is in video transmission (if the controller has such a feature). We also look at flight capabilities like omnidirectaonal sensing, obstacle avoidance, tracking, and automatic landing.
The transmitter has a 4.3 inch color LCD screen (LCD resolution: 480 x 272). It shows you all the pertinent information such as battery life of the quad and the controller, and your telemetry. All the settings and calibrations are shown on the screen as well. You can fly FPV and it is compatible with Hubsan goggles and also various 3rd party goggles. It does require 8 AA batteries to operate, but it comes with a JST connector built in so it can also use a lipo battery.

One thing that people overlook when searching for toy drones is the controller. Some come with tiny controllers and others like this one come with a larger controller. You might prefer the smaller controller for convenience, however the larger controller will make the drone easier to control. It will also make transitioning to more expensive drones like the Spark and Mavic Pro seem more familiar.
If you’ve ever seen the live video feed on a racing drone, you’ll know that the video quality looks worse than a 20 year old tv broadcast. It’s really sad that professional pilots have to fly using such old technology, however Connex has been working on a solution to this problem for a few years now and the Falcore HD racing drone is the result of all their hard work.
To launch the drone and set up your shots, you just use your smartphone, or your Apple Watch. There are a few ways that the R1 can follow you. These flight modes are called Cinematic Skills (Follow, Lead, Orbit, Side, Tripod). Using follow will make the R1 follow you from behind. Lead will make the drone predict your direction and stay in front of you. Side stays to the side for panning shots. Tripod keeps the drone in one spot while looking at you like an automated tripod in the sky.
Thanks to the speed of the processor that handles machine learning, DJI was able to add more smart features to the Mavic Air than any other drone available today. One of these new features is called Smart Capture. It’s like Gesture Control for the DJI Spark, but much better. You can takeoff from the ground using just your palm, use palm control from up to 20 feet away, control distance with two palms, take pictures, videos, group shots and more.
I have been flying helicopters for several years now but this is my first quadcopter. I was very pleased with the packaging it came in as it was very well protected. The gyroscope works flawlessly, it hovers in place with no problem whatsoever after trimming it, and it is very quick and maneuverable. In fact, I would not recommend this for younger children due to its speed. The propellers are well protected with guards; after many (unplanned) crashes into the walls, it is none the worse for wear. Flight time is roughly 8-10 minutes and it comes with 2 batteries. I've flown it outside with light wind and it performed very well. It does have the feature of headless mode, which means that the copter orients itself to the remote control rather than on any heading; I find this feature very useful, especially outside where you can't see front, back, ... full review
It weighs less than 250 grams and so is very light and stays in the air longer compared to other types of quadcopters. As it is under 250 grams, you can fly it in the US or Canada without registration. The drone offers support for 12 MP aerial photographs with 2.7K quad HD videos. The 3-axis gimbal offers good camera stability and ultra-smooth footage. There are many shooting modes, such as Dronie, Circle, Helix, Rocket and so on. QuickShot offers an easy way of executing preset motions for recording.
It's no exaggeration to say that drones have changed the way we view the world. They've taken once difficult and expensive moviemaking techniques and made them accessible to anyone. Videos that once required a camera crew, expensive cranes, and hours of filming can now be done in minutes by the best drones with the tap of a single Auto Takeoff button.
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 mini drone has a bunch of built-in quick shot functions that let the unit fly itself in preprogrammed aerial patterns, and DJI has even created a SmartCapture mode which lets you control the craft with hand gestures. Hook it up to the DJI Fly app and you can even control the drone with some cool features there, including a tap-to-fly option where you literally touch the place on the camera you want the copter to fly. The whole thing weighs only 430g — a true marvel of engineering for its size. Pick up this package on Amazon and you’ll get everything you need to start filming amazing flight-perspective vistas.
Just like all of the drones from ImmersionRC, the Vortex 180 is an extremely well-built ready-to-fly racing drone with all of the features that beginners and pros need. The first thing you’ll notice from the older Vortex quadcopters is the cleaner design. All of the electronics are sandwiched between the carbon fiber on the top and the printed circuit board on the bottom. The only thing that sticks out is the camera which is protected by a hard plastic case.

FPV, or ‘First Person View’, drones give you the best possible experience imaginable, giving you a front seat to the action. FPV works by having a camera mounted on the drone, broadcasting a live video stream to the drone’s transmitter, FPV goggles, or a smart device. You’re able to fly more precisely and gain better shots with an eye in the sky than you normally would from your view from just the ground.


The Phantom 4 is an impressive photography drone that features a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, 4K 30fps video, and 12MP stills. If you don’t require 4K video, there are also options to shoot in 2K, Full HD, or 720p. The 12MP sensor on the Phantom 4 camera has an ISO range of 100-1600, and the camera also supports auto exposure bracketing, EV bias, and HDR imaging.
The Realtime FPV App Flyingsee is easy to download and connect to the video cam drone. You simply attach your phone to the remote controller in the provided phone holder, and with a simple wifi connection your ready to fly. The range of the video is around 50 Meters which is a little above average for most entry level FPV Drones. Without spending $500 or more, this is the best
Our top pick is the best budget camera drone around and is sure to wow with a 720p HD camera and 6 axis gyro technology. It comes with headless security, which makes it easy for beginners to learn without destroying their drone. It also has one key return, which allows you to easily and quickly call the drone home when you’re finished flying. It even comes with an altitude hold function, which can be incredibly useful for getting a great view of one particular spot. As one of the best low cost drones with camera, the Holy Stone F181C Quadcopter Drone is an easy top pick. It comes with two batteries so you can keep flying for longer. This drone flips four ways, so it’s great at doing tricks once you get the hang of flying it. It is easy to safely land, with one key engine start and stop. This is a great pick for pros and beginners who are looking for a fun drone that won’t break the bank.
Most of the time, you will buy drones from Amazon.com or directly from the site of the drone manufacturer. Physical drone storefronts are less common, although they do exist. We have provided Amazon links for all of our drones, and since we’re affiliate partners with the site, we get a little bit of money if you use them. So if you like our writing and this guide has been helpful to you, please consider buying a drone using the links we provide!
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).
This drone is so fun to use. I am an amateur with drones so it has been fun learning to fly it. The drone is very lightweight and is a nice size. I love that you can view what you are recording on your cell phone, this makes it so much easier if you are recording for a specific type of video. At first I was a bit confused on how to get the drone started but after some practice it got easier. The drone was easy to pair with my Samsung Galaxy 6 phone. The drone is easy to lift off and I have been able to learn to land after a few tries. I did bang it a couple of times and so far it has not broken. I tried the tracing route feature and it is really cool. The batteries don't last a really long time ... full review
There isn’t much that the Inspire 2 CAN’T do. It comes standard with all of the features of the Phantom 4 Professional, but with a design optimized for performance and industry leading video features. It’s almost twice as big and twice as fast as the Phantom 4 (reaching speeds of almost 60MPH), and with it’s transforming design, the propellers will hardly ever appear in your videos. Additionally, the Inspire 2 comes with a dedicated FPV (first-person-view) camera so you can see where your flying at all times. With all of these features, you no longer have to blindly fly backward or sideways to get the shots you want.
×