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.
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.
Headless mode took me some time to figure out, but once I did it worked like a charm! Very stable flyer. Very durable. I have crashed this a few times doing some extreme flying (trying to fly through obstacles like picnic tables, playground etc) It took some nasty beatings and still flies excellent. The prop guards are a thicker gauge and will def. protect the quad, however, I like to fly with them off to kill some weight and the quad performs a little more aggressively too. The camera is removable also if you want to shave more weight. Even with the prop guards off it's still strong (most of my crashes were without the prop guards) over all 100% recommended and if the video helps please leave a thumbs up.
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 video stabilization is not like what you'll find on the Yuneec breeze or the Passport Drone. Although the Bebop doesn't have a gimbal, it does a very good job of simulating one. Using the 180 degree lens and an onboard image processor, it will crop out the full image and record in a 1080p window of the image sensor. By doing this, the video is extremely stable. You can even make the camera look up and down or left and right without moving the drone.
This drone has a lot of really cool features. Although it’s only 90 mm in size, it has 7500KV brushless motors capable of running 2S or 3S batteries. That means this thing will fly like a mini bullet! To drive each motor, the Armor 90 has a 4 in 1 ESC capable of handling 10 amps of power per motor. It’s also Oneshot/Dshot300 compatible for super fast motor response times.
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.
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.
Although many drone racers like building their own drones, you can find models suitable for racing, such as the UVify Draco, Aerix Black Talon 2.0, and Walkera F210 3D. A racing drone should be small, with good maneuverability and high-speed capability. Some racing drones come with a video headset, so you can guide the drone in first-person view. Most of these headsets can record video, allowing you to film and view your racing victories.
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.

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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
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 X5S is a micro 4/3 camera with interchangeable lenses. You have the choice of shooting RAW 4K video at 60FPS, 12-bit RAW 5.2K video at 30FPS, and if you like Apple Prores, there’s even Prores 4444 XQ support. The X7 is DJI’s flagship cinema camera. It shoots 6K video, and no that’s not a typo! It has a bigger super 35 image sensor with 14 stops of dynamic range, more recording formats, and better low light performance. DJI also offers 4 custom f2.8 lenses for the x7 ranging from 16mm to 50mm. If you’re into stills the X7 will even shoot 24MP photos.
This drone has a lot of really cool features. Although it’s only 90 mm in size, it has 7500KV brushless motors capable of running 2S or 3S batteries. That means this thing will fly like a mini bullet! To drive each motor, the Armor 90 has a 4 in 1 ESC capable of handling 10 amps of power per motor. It’s also Oneshot/Dshot300 compatible for super fast motor response times.
There are a few downsides to this drone, the main one being the price. At $1,999 USD, not everyone will be able to afford it. It also uses a 2 axis gimbal, so panning motion is not very smooth. Since it doesn’t have a controller, that also means you can’t fly the drone farther than wifi range will allow. The biggest issue with this drone in my opinion is the size It’s not much larger than the Mavic 2 when unfolded, but that’s the problem, it doesn’t fold up at all. This means if you want to fit it into a camera bag or small backpack, you’re just out of luck.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Out of all the ready-to-fly racing drones out there, the Falcore is one of the only sets that comes with almost everything you need to get flying. Connex designed their own drone, battery, and controller from the ground up to give new drone users a streamlined flying experience. The only thing you will need to buy for the Falcore is some good FPV goggles or a monitor that has an HDMI input. You could even use DJI Goggles!

The Phantom 4 Pro is an excellent choice for aerial photographers that seek professional results. It features a 1-inch CMOS sensor and shoots 4K 60fps video, making it great for filmmaking and photography. It also features DJI’s FlightAutonomy system, providing you with five directions of obstacle sensing. This can come in handy when flying in tight spaces, which is sometimes required for filming and photography. If this feature isn’t hugely important to you, you can save some money and get a Phantom 4 Advanced, which comes with two directions of obstacle sensing. While this drone model is no longer in production, you can pick up a refurbished one! 

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 X5C is nothing special. It’s a simple quadcopter that almost looks like a DJI Phantom at first glance, but you won’t be taking amazing aerial videos with it, or racing through the forest. It has gyros and accelerometers to keep it stable and an auto flip feature like most drones out there. It also comes with a small camera for recording video with quality similar to a an old webcam.
Designed to be both powerful and lightweight, the Inspire 1 is an all-in-one professional filmmaking platform. The Inspire 1 V2.0 drone features a unique propulsion system, aerodynamic design, and a modular system. This professional drone also features a 12MP camera, with a 94-degree wide-angle FOV, giving users an exceptional wide view. With onboard Lightbridge technology, Inspire 1 V2.0 also provides users with a 720p HD live view. For other incredible filmmaking drones, the Inspire 1 Pro and Inspire 2 RAW combine advanced aerial technology with incredible M4/3 imaging capabilities. All inspire 1 series drones are only available as refurbished units, offering users professional camera drones at discounted prices.
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.
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.

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 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.
You should choose a drone that automatically returns when the battery is low, allowing you to avoid losing or crashing the device. This feature is called RTH for "return to home." Flight time can be as short as five minutes. It depends on the model. Most people will want at least 10 minutes of flight time. You can find models with a flight time as high as 35 minutes.
The video stabilization is not like what you'll find on the Yuneec breeze or the Passport Drone. Although the Bebop doesn't have a gimbal, it does a very good job of simulating one. Using the 180 degree lens and an onboard image processor, it will crop out the full image and record in a 1080p window of the image sensor. By doing this, the video is extremely stable. You can even make the camera look up and down or left and right without moving the drone.

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So, you’ve decided to buy one of the many drones for sale. Maybe you want to get in on the future of aerial photography. Maybe you’re looking for a fun and futuristic toy for your kids. Or maybe you just want to see what all the fuss is about. No matter the reason, unmanned aerial vehicles make great tools and toys, and there’s never been a better time to get one for yourself.

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.
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.

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.
And now the bad news. You get what you pay for, and if you want an aerial video platform that can capture stunning footage, you need to be ready to spend some cash. Because drones are such pricey propositions, it pays to do your research before buying one. We've tested many of the ready-to-fly models on the market to determine what's important to look for, and the best models available.
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.
A lot of people also asked about the charger and whether or not they would need to buy one, but the drone comes with a USB charger that connects the drone to the remote. One user even commented saying that they were using a phone charger cord, which is a great replacement if the original cord breaks. You will need 6 AA batteries for the remote itself, so make sure you stock up!
My first issue is the lack of documentation for the Standard model. I am able to locate documentation for the Advanced and Professional models but nothing for the Standard model. If it exists it's a well kept secret. I did read the users manual for the Advanced model but it has flight modes which are not present in the Standard model. Due to the lack of documentation I couldn't diagnosis a problem I appeared to be having with my aircraft. On a hunch I ended up exchanging it ... full review
The Nano doesn’t have the auto flipping functions that the Alias does, but that isn’t a problem since you can do flips manually and it’s more fun. Since the Nano QX is smaller than the Alias, it’s much cheaper. The only annoying thing about having a smaller quadcopter like the Nano QX is that it’s harder to see when flying far away, so it’s easier to lose orientation, but in general, it’s still a good quadcopter to learn with, especially since you can also use it with any DSMX RC transmitter.

The Vortex 250 Pro is another great ready-to-fly racing drone and it’s a direct competitor to the TBS Vendetta. It’s about the same size, but a bit heavier and comes with two bladed propellers instead of three like the vendetta. Typically, two bladed props will be slightly more efficient, but three bladed props have more power and a crisper flight characteristic to them. You can change the props on both quadcopters if you want to, but then the flight controller will have to be re-tuned.
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.

This is one of the most unique drones I’ve seen in a while. Instead of having a quadcopter design like all the other drones, the Parrot Disco is a flying wing. Unlike other flying wings, the Disco is very easy to fly thanks to Parrots flight controller which uses all of the same sensors found on a typical camera drone. since the Disco is technically a plane, it can’t stop while flying and it can’t take off vertically either. To launch it, you throw it forward and it automatically flies itself until you take over the controls.
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 4 Pro is an excellent choice for aerial photographers that seek professional results. It features a 1-inch CMOS sensor and shoots 4K 60fps video, making it great for filmmaking and photography. It also features DJI’s FlightAutonomy system, providing you with five directions of obstacle sensing. This can come in handy when flying in tight spaces, which is sometimes required for filming and photography. If this feature isn’t hugely important to you, you can save some money and get a Phantom 4 Advanced, which comes with two directions of obstacle sensing. While this drone model is no longer in production, you can pick up a refurbished one! 
If you’re looking for a fly camera to capture jaw-dropping aerial footage and photos, or just want to chronicle your adventures in a way you can be proud to show on the big screen, you likely want a 4K drone. 4K provides spectacular, 8-million-pixel quality resolution, which contributes a whopping four times more nuance and detail than you get from 1080p Full HD. With 4K, there is usually less noise — grainy or uneven spots. It’s also outstanding at rendering highlights and shadows, and it delivers superior results in low light. On the other hand, a drone with HD camera provides media that is easier to edit, still looks remarkable when viewed on a mobile or 1080p screen, and is generally easier to download to social media sites. With an HD camera drone, 4K camera drone or other drone camera, you can add a professional-quality edge to your projects by using drone lens filters to fine-tune your results and video editing software to incorporate specialty effects, multi-camera editing, image stabilization and more to fulfill your creative vision.
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.

It is a compact camera drone with a foldable design. It has a flight time of 30 minutes. The camera is a 12 MP one capable of capturing stunning 4K videos at 60 fps. It is built on a gimbal platform with 3-axis stabilizers providing greater stability and has a 94-degree FoV. It has both GPS and GLONASS, including 2 cameras in the front, with the help of which it can create a 3D map of the surroundings and move through it securely and efficiently. Users can see and control the activity from a 3.3 inches OLED screen built in it.
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.
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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
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.
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