The Mavic Air takes most of the features DJI has implemented in their Pro drone line and just packs them into a much smaller package. It isn’t exactly mini-drone sized when it’s fully unfolded, but once folded up, DJI touts a size no taller or thicker than the average smartphone. Even the intuitive controller folds up to a smaller size, too, so clearly, DJI was building this drone with portability in mind.
The Mavic Air 2 (9/10 WIRED Recommends) is the drone that most people should buy. It's portable and lightweight, but it still manages to pack in a brilliant half-inch sensor for high quality images and video. Tons of automated features mean you can just fly and get the images you want, or shoot video and let the drone avoid obstacles and track your subject. You'll even get 60 frames-per-second 4K video—something that still isn't available in the more expensive Mavic 2 Pro—and Spotlight, a powerful automated flight mode pulled from DJI's pro-grade Inspire drone.
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.
I haven't gotten a lot of practice with it, yet - the weather hasn't been very cooperative, and I'm nervous to fly it in windy conditions - but I managed to learn how to land it without crashing before the first battery died. Yes, first - it comes with 4 rechargeable batteries for the drone itself, and a charging cable for the display. You'll have to supply the batteries for the controller itself, but ... full review
The quality of photography is primarily be determined by the resolution of your camera. Good cameras have a 4K video resolution. These are mainly used by professional photographers. You do not have to obtain this specific resolution in order to take decent videos. If this drone is going to an amateur or will only record recreational videos, you can find some lower resolution cameras that are suitable but still take brilliant pictures.

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!
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.
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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.
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.
This FPV drone focuses more on the actual drone than it does the camera aspects, however, considering you get more features and capabilities. You can use a FPV real time HD live transmission with your mobile device using the FPV WiFi feature, have Headless mode, a low voltage alarm, 360-degree flips, and gravity induction that allows you to fly at all angles and in every direction.

It is light at just about 4.6 ounces and fits well in the hand. It is powered by 4 AA batteries. The quadcopter is fun to fly, as it is small and lightweight and can be easily maneuvered. It can also perform stunts like 360-degree turns, backflips, somersaults, etc. The camera is at the bottom and weighs just 0.2 ounces, coming with a 4GB micro-SD card and a small lens. Videos can be shot at 640 x 480 pixels at 30 fps and still photos at 1280 x 960 pixels, with decent looking colors.
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.
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
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.
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