Unfortunately, a good drone is going to cost you good money. Drones with cameras have a lot of expensive technology inside of them which drives the manufacturing cost up. The Phantom 4 Pro is a drone with 7 individual cameras, two IR sensors, two compasses, two gyros, two accelerometers, Barometric Pressure Sensor, GPS/GLONASS receiver, 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz two way transceivers. Every component has some kind of computer attached to it. The motor controllers, power distribution board, flight controller, and even the battery have built in micro controllers that run low level tasks, like controlling the speed of a motor, or monitoring battery voltage.
But perhaps the biggest change to the field is the fact that drones have made aerial photography and videography accessible to everyone. Some of the high-end drones on this list may get a little pricey, but these are all consumer-grade products perfect for anyone with an interest in the field. We’ve hand-picked the top 24 best drones with cameras for all needs and all experience levels.
One thing that a lot of new FPV pilots don’t understand, is that ready-to-fly options are never going to be the drone you stay with forever. At some point, you’re going to want a part that will make your quad fly better in some way. You might want something simple like a motor which is fine, but things get complicated if you start trying to replace flight controllers, or get a completely new frame. That’s when it’s time to move to a DIY racing drone.
My wife bought this for me for my birthday last week. She'd noticed me looking at drones in the store, and I'd told her about the mini-drones I'd seen some of the local high school students playing with, but she also knew I was concerned about getting something that would break on first impact - having never flown one before, I knew it was inevitable I'd end up crashing it a few times.
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.
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.
Video transmission is a vital aspect of aerial photography in that it transmits what the camera captures straight to your phone in real time. If video transmission is delayed or interfered with, you might find it difficult to control your drone’s HD camera, let alone store those carefully captured images. Advanced transmission systems support dual frequencies of both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz for greater interference resistance, and have a long transmitting distance.
If you like the design of the Inspire 2, but just can’t afford it, you might also consider buying the Inspire 1. It’s obviously nowhere near as good as the Inspire 2 if you compare the features, but the video quality you can get from the older X5 camera is still in a lot of cases better than the Phantom 4 Pro. DJI also makes hi-zoom and thermal imaging cameras that work with the Inspire 1, in case you need something for agriculture or search-and-rescue use.
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 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.

If you’re familiar with the Parrot Mambo, the DJI Tello is very similar but even better. It has a slightly longer fight time (13 minutes in ideal conditions), better build quality, and two cameras. Just like the Mambo, the Tello has a camera on the bottom that is used for keeping the drone from drifting. This means you won’t have to fight the drone to get it hovering for the first time. It will simply takeoff and hover effortlessly. Thanks to the intel processor, there is also a second camera that faces forward for FPV flying and streaming live video back to your smartphone.
You get up to 9 minutes of flight time, have a 640x480p camera, and video capabilities that lack audio as there is no microphone. You can do flips in the air at the touch of a button on the transmitter, and there is a button that lets you share a video on social media instantly. The LED lights located at the center of each propeller and the headlight are pretty useful for flying at night, too.
When the AR Drone 2.0 first came out, it was one of the coolest drones for sale on the market. It has a 1GHz 32 bit processor, 1GB of ram, gyros, accelerometers, magnetometers, a pressure sensor, an ultrasonic sensor, 2 cameras and more. Even though it’s over 2 years old, the AR Drone is still one of the most advanced quadcopters available in its price range which is $299.
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. 

The Anafi is a great drone for the price, but the biggest complaint I have by far is the lack of any sensors for obstacle avoidance. The only obstacle that this drone will stop you from hitting is the ground, that is, as long as you don’t hit a tree first. All of the other drones in this price range have some kind of obstacle avoidance, so why they couldn’t even add some IR sensors is beyond me.
Removable cameras: In some models, users can remove the cameras and fly the drone without the camera attached, excellent if this is a gift for a beginner who still needs to learn to fly. This helps to reduce the weight of the drone, thus enabling longer flights. More importantly, this feature enables camera upgrades when there are advances in the technology. Perhaps your gift to mom or dad next year will be just such an upgrade.
It comes in an amazing design and can even be controlled with voice commands. The camera has an HD resolution of 720 pixels. It comes pre-assembled and so just needs charging for setting up. The 720p HD camera can take pictures at a 120-degree wide-angle. It also has an FPV aspect, which means that it has a Wi-Fi real-time transmission for connecting to the phone.
The Mavic Air is not a foldable Spark. This is a drone with all of the features that make it worthy of the Mavic name. Aside from the main camera, there are two front facing cameras, two rear facing cameras, and two downward facing cameras. All of these cameras are used for obstacle avoidance and advanced vision positioning. Just like the Mavic Pro, you also get dual IMUs, GPS and GLONASS for more accuracy. With all of this data to process, the Mavic Air has many different onboard chips that are designed for specific tasks like video encoding, machine learning, flight control, battery management and more.
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.
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.

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).

There are two versions of this drone. Tello is the standard version and Tello EDU is the version with all of the programming features. Tello EDU also has image recognition for identifying the Tello Mission Pads. These special pads allow you to program Tello to do something when it sees each unique pad, or use it as a tracking marker for more precise flying and navigation.
If you want the coolest drone on the planet right now, or you need a drone that can film you riding your bike down a mountain, or doing parkour in the forest, this is the drone to get. For the rest of us, one of the DJI Mavic models is a much more practical option. I do think that what Skydio is doing is very impressive though. When it comes to autonomous drones, I think Skydio is at least a year or two ahead of DJI.
Drones aren't just flying cameras, though; they're also the modern version of remote-controlled vehicles. And again, they've made flying easier and more accessible, thanks to intelligent collision sensors that protect your investment from mishaps. There are a dizzying array of drones available, but there is a basic division to be aware of—cheaper drones, while fun, will never fly as well or deliver the kind of video and photo results possible with more expensive models. With drones, you get what you pay for. That said, if you're not worried about wowing YouTube with your sweeping panoramic masterpiece, you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good, fun drone. Here are the best drones I've tested for every budget.
It is a bare-bones quadcopter that relies entirely on the skills of the pilot handling the remote. Controls are easy to use. It comes in a minimalistic design with a plastic frame and electronics placed in a small cavity at the center. It has a small battery-powered at 500 mAh. The camera is small and is connected by wires. It also has a micro-USB card for storing videos and images. The rotors are small at 5.25 cm diameter and made of plastic with a small screw locking it in place. You also get a spare set of rotors along with a small screwdriver. Buttons on the quadcopter can take photos, start and stop videos, flip and change the flight mode, etc.
Equally important is the gimbal quality. Aerial photography requires stabilization for capturing smooth footage during flight. That is why we emphasize choosing a top quality gimbal that can reduce the shake resulting from flight. Currently, on the market, there are 2-axis gimbals and 3-axis gimbals, and we strongly recommend going for no less than the latter.
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.
If you want a drone that can shoot amazing videos for your budget film, I would let its flaws stop me from getting it. With the micro-four-thirds sensor on the X5 camera, some interchangeable lenses, and the transforming design that lifts the propellers out of your shots, the Inspire 1 is able to get footage that would be impossible using a drone like the Phantom 4 Pro.
Video transmission is a vital aspect of aerial photography in that it transmits what the camera captures straight to your phone in real time. If video transmission is delayed or interfered with, you might find it difficult to control your drone’s HD camera, let alone store those carefully captured images. Advanced transmission systems support dual frequencies of both 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz for greater interference resistance, and have a long transmitting distance.

It’s a great drone if you want something to take fast selfies on the go. The biggest selling point for the Hover Camera is the compact cage design. All four propellers are fully protected, making it great for indoor flying, where you’ll find lots of obstacles like walls, people, pets, and who knows what else! The cages are a great feature, but what’s equally as nice is the folding design. When you’re done flying, the Hover Camera can fold up into small black rectangle, allowing you to easily fit it in all kinds of bags and cases.
The flight time is 25 minutes of filming and it makes use of an intelligent Li-Po battery that charges 60% with the PD USB Type C charger. The design is a light carbon frame in an ultra-compact form, which takes it to speeds of 55 kmph in the Sport mode. There is a parrot Skycontroller 3 for remote control. Other features include Geofence, SmartRth, and Find-My-Drone. It is ergonomic and easy to use with the FreeFlight 6 app being powered by AI for automatically taking cinematic shots. GeoFence enables defining the virtual perimeter so that it does not fly out of the specified area. The Smart RTH means that it will return home if the battery is low.
The nice thing about buying a cheap drone like the Vision 250 is, you can buy it, fly it for a few weeks, fly it for a few months, or until you outgrow it. Then when you’re ready to build your own racing drone, you can use all the money that you didn’t spend before and spend it on things that will last years, like a good versatile controller and some HD goggles.
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The Mavic 2 Pro offers exceptional cinematic quality for all drone users. This drone is equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c camera that possesses the Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS) technology, transforming your shots with glorious color and detail. The Pro version also has a 1-inch CMOS sensor, 10-bit Dlog-M color profile, and adjustable aperture, delivering outstanding image quality in all types of environments. With onboard omnidirectional obstacle sensing, the Mavic 2 Pro is able to detect objects on all sides of the aircraft. This drone offers an exceptional experience for those that want to push their aerial photography.

Every drone has a different control range. Most toy drones can go about 40 feet  to 300 feet. Camera drones are able to reach distances of over 4 miles, and airplane drones can fly even further. The biggest limitation for a drone with a quadcopter like design is battery life. Even with a consumer drone like the Phantom 4, if there’s no interference, you will run out of battery long before the drone loses its connection. We’ve flown Phantom 4 as far as 4 miles away before needing to return home.
The thing that makes the Mavic 2 Pro stand out from the Mavic 2 Zoom and all the other drones out there is the Hasselblad camera. If you aren’t familiar with Hasselblad, they’re a camera company that makes the best medium format cameras in the world. Hasselblad was actually bought by DJI a while back and now the two companies have worked together to create the Mavic 2 Pro camera.
UPDATE: We called and emailed Holystone and they have delivered! Their customer service is outstanding! This is one of the reasons why after shopping for different quadcopter brands by reading the product reviews, the customer service factor was a huge consideration for me. So, we got the replacement 3-4 days after we called and emailed them about a problem on the trimmer with the first quadcopter sent. It definitely worked and performed way better. It took awhile before we figured out how to make it fly and try different things with it. So for those who almost or about to give up on their quadcopter, please call their customer service and they will be very happy to help you. I'm glad we did. It pays to be nice too.
If you haven’t heard of Lumenier, you haven’t been in the racing drone space for long. Lumenier makes some of the best FPV components. Some components are high quality custom branded parts, and others are designed and manufactured from scratch. The QAV-R is one of the best products Lumenier makes. It’s a 5 inch professional grade racing and freestyle drone frame, pared with some of the best electronics you can get on a drone in this category.
The Skydio R1 is an amazing piece of new technology. It’s the first truly autonomous drone that you can buy right now. If you’ve ever flown a drone before, you know that it can be hard to shoot videos of yourself. Even with the obstacle avoidance and follow modes like Active Track on DJI drones, it’s really hard to control the drone and get it into the right mode to follow you. Once the drone is following you, it will usually go a few seconds before coming to an obstacle and failing to follow you.
The TBS Vendetta is a quadcopter designed specifically for FPV (first person view) racing and freestyle flying. Today, you can find quite a few mini FPV racing drones that come ready to fly, but the Vendetta was one of the first racing drones to come out with everything you need to fly. It comes with almost everything you need to start learning to race. The only things that it won’t come with is a controller, battery, charger and FPV video goggles, but in the world of drone racing you’ll usually want to choose that stuff to fit your needs anyway.

Unofficially, on my kitchen scale, this unit weighs in at about 1.5 pounds, without prop guards, compared to 4 to 5 ounces for the other two, making this a much more stable unit. The HS 100 has GPS capability added. This feature eliminates the issue of the drone drifting away in windy conditions and allows the drone to hold steady with regard to altitude and distance from the controller. This allows the pilot to concentrate more on taking photographs than on trying to control drone flight.
The biggest drawback of the Vortex 285 is the frame design. It’s about 35mm larger than the Vortex 250 Pro (which isn’t a problem for traveling thanks to the folding arm design), but the frame has a lot of small plastic pieces holding it together. In other words, the Vortex 250 Pro and Vortex 180 will be a lot stronger than the 285 because they have a stronger and more simple frame design.
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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.
This drone really stands out style-wise from other good cheap drones. It has striking green streaks on top that give it the look and feel of an alien insect. This drone also comes with a controller, which can sometimes be rare in affordable drones. It is made of strong ABS material. ABS material is light, flexible, bendable, and soft. This makes it a really durable drone which is perfect for beginners and crash-prone pilots. It comes with real-time transmission via its wifi network. This allows it to connect directly to your phone so you can view everything your drones camera sees in real time. It has a headless mode which allows it to be operated easily regardless of which direction it is facing. It also has gravity induction which allows you to fly your drone forward, backward, left, and right in correspondence to the angle at which you hold your mobile device.
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