If you look on the top, you’ll see a few little connectors. These connections allow you to mount either a ball shooter or a little grabbing arm. There’s one other thing you can do with this connector though, and It’s super cool if you’re buying this drone for your kids. It’s a Lego mount! There are a few Lego mounting points on the Mambo, so you can turn it into whatever kind of Lego ship you can think of! The only limitation is how many Legos it can carry.
The Hubsan H501S packs a lot of features into a much smaller frame than other quadcopters with similar features. To start, it has a 6-axis flight control system,built in GPS and altimeter which keeps this unit very stable in flight. This allows it to have features such as follow-me, return-to-home, and hold-position. It also does quite well in windy conditions. It has four brushless motors complete with gold blades. There’s a spare set in the box too. The fixed 1080P HD camera transmits standard 5.8G wireless video from a distance of about 300 meters. There is an SD slot to record video directly under the camera. The lipo battery is large at 7.4V 2700mAh and has a charging time of approximately 150 minutes. You should have a flight time of about 19 minutes.
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.
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 flight time is only 22 minutes on one battery, which is a pretty good amount of time. It’s a pretty big drone, though, weighing in at 21 points, so it’s definitely not a toy. Unfortunately, a lot of people have had issues with dead batteries being sent. Some have had issues reaching DJI and have even been asked to send them a proof video. If you receive a faulty battery that is dead on arrival and will not charge, ensure you contact them straight away for a replacement.
The JJRC H26WM is a great drone for beginners or those who want a casual drone to zip around with. The camera is pretty decent but nothing too fancy, so don’t expect the world from it. The maximum amount of flight time you can get is approximately 7 minutes, so having an extra battery is a good idea. The camera allows for 2MP in FPV which swings around in all directions.
First of all, there’s no obstacle avoidance like you would see on DJI’s new drones, so if you lose connection with the drone, it won’t intelligently come back while avoiding obstacles. The other big drawback is that it’s a big drone that uses a lot of power, so the flight time is only about 16 minutes, and it goes down even more if you put a heavy camera on in like the X5R.
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!).
If the Mavic 2 Pro didn’t exist, I would say this is obviously the best drone of all time. It’s not as compact as the Mavic Air, but the extra features more than make up for it. It’s a true workhorse, which is probably why DJI created an enterprise drone based on the Mavic 2 Zoom. There’s really nothing I can find to complain about with the Mavic 2 Zoom other than the fact that the Mavic 2 Pro has better video quality. But if that extra bump in quality isn’t worth the extra $250, go with the Mavic 2 Zoom.
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.
There are actually two relatively new Vortex drones; the Vortex 150 and the even newer Vortex 180. The only difference between the two is the arm length, motor size, and prop size. The Vortex 150 uses custom 1306-3100kV motors and 3 inch propellers. The Vortex 180 uses custom XNova 1407-3500kV motors and 4 inch propellers. If you like smaller quads, the Vortex 150 might interest you, but if you want to race and like having a lot of power then you’ll want to go with the bigger motors and props on the Vortex 180.
This is a nice sturdy and attractive quadcopter for the price with a lot of features only found in the more expensive drones. It’s good for beginners and intermediate pilots, but not recommended for those wanting to take professional video and photography. It doesn’t have any of the features that make a good video drone, like stabilized video, low video compression, or just having control over the camera settings.
The best drones combine the sheer exhilaration of flight (especially when experienced in conjunction with one of the best VR headsets) with the childlike joy you get steering an RC car around the open asphalt. The drone market has really boomed in the last few years, too, which means a growing range of options, whether you're a total beginner or a seasoned pro looking to enter your drone in a high-stakes drone racing league.
Yes, the main feature of the Falcore is the video streaming quality, and that alone is a good enough reason to want this drone, but there’s some other features that make it great for beginners as well. The new SHIELD mode is something we’ve never seen in a racing drone before. It’s a flying mode that uses ultrasonic sensors to keep the Falcore at about 3 feet from the ground at all times. It also mixes the roll and yaw controls together, so you can fly with only one control stick ( left/right and forward/backward). This makes flying the Falcore more like driving an RC car!
The Mavic 2 Zoom has a few features that make it different from the Mavic 2 Pro. The first difference is the smaller 12 megapixel 1/2.3" CMOS sensor. This sensor is the same size as the Mavic Air, and delivers similar image quality. The most important feature is true optical zoom. With optical zoom there's no loss in image quality because you’re zooming using the optics of the lens instead of pixels on an image sensor. You also get a 2x zoom in 4K instead of 1.4x on the Mavic 2 Pro and Parrot Anafi.
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.
It is the most famous name in consumer drones and DJI always delivers the goods. The Mavic 2 Zoom was launched in 2018 and comes with some ground-breaking features. The camera comes with a 4x lossless zoom and FHD video. It also includes a 2x optical zoom of 24 mm to 48 mm. The sensor has a resolution of 12 MP and 1/2.3 inches CMOS. Other features include avoidance sensors that cover all around the object.
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.
It has a built-in positioning system which allows for ONE-KEY RETURN. If you’re flying outside and happen to loose track of it, just push one button on the remote and it will return to the remote. Well… it will return sometimes. Like all of the other toy drones, ONE-KEY RETURN doesn’t really work that well since there’s no GPS onboard, but it will send the quad back in your general direction which is cool.
The Phantom 3 Pro shoots video at 4K, 3820 x 2160 pixels on a fully stabilized, 3-axis gimbal. You can shoot 4K videos of up to 30 fps and take 12 MP photos. Besides, it has a vision positioning system enabling a stable flight experience indoors as well, whereby you can fly it low to the ground in GPS free areas. Live viewing at 720 pixels is possible with Lightbridge digital streaming, along with full-resolution videos getting recorded in the microSD card. It also comes along with a flight battery and remote control that is rechargeable.
It is a convenient and portable camera drone that comes with a case. The aluminum case comes with enough storage space to keep all drone accessories together. The blades are foldable and easy to store. It has different control modes, such as headless and altitude. It has just a single key for take-off and landing, making it easy and functional. The camera is a 4K HD one with 120 adjustable FoV. The 5G Wi-Fi camera offers clear and HD image transmission that can be easily saved on to the SD card or on your smartphone. These can be auto-generated and shared with friends or social media immediately. The recording mode is HD 2048 x 1152 pixels and the maximum transmission distance is 200 to 300 meters.
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.
It is the perfect camera drone for anyone, with all the core features and available at a reasonable price. The camera range and controller are excellent and it is compact enough to throw in a bag and travel. That is the major selling point of the Mini. The main features are a 30-minute flight time, an HD video transmission of 4 km, 3-axis gimbal with a 2.7K camera and physical controllers working with Android and iOS phones.
The flight time and speed on the Mavic 2 is unmatched by anything but the Phantom 4 Pro. It’s super fast in sport mode, and surprisingly faster than the old Mavic Pro even in the normal flight mode with obstacle avoidance enabled. With all that speed combined with a 30 minute flight time, you can go super far distances without worrying about if you’ll make it back to home base. The video feed is also improved over the old mavic. With Ocusync 2.0 you get a full 1080p video feed with little to no interference even in urban environments.
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
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.
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.
This simple but powerful drone kit is designed for teens and first-time DIY drone builders. Its instructions will teach you the basic principles of drone building, so even if this doesn’t end up being your favorite drone for sale ever, it will help you learn to build and fly other drones in the future! It sacrifices a bit of customizability, but more than makes up for it with its ease-of-use and incredibly low price of only $33 USD.
The Altair AA108 is durably built and will not break easily. You can count on a solid flight time of around 10 minutes, a bit less when you’re running it FPV. However the 720p camera really works well and connects to your phone through WiFi. It’s easy to fly because it has 3 flight modes, 1 beginner, 2 intermediate and 3 advanced mode. It also has Altitude Hold which allows you to take your thumb off the control and the drone holds it’s own altitude, making it very stable because it’s not bouncing up and down as you try to maintain altitude!
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.
The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 features a professional-grade 1-inch CMOS sensor that can record in 4K video resolution and 20 megapixel still photos. Its mechanical shutter makes this model a rarity and highly sought after for aerial inspections and mapping. Advanced omnidirectional obstacle sensing makes it even easier to capture that picture-perfect shot, without compromising the safety of the operation.
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.