Best Cameras For Aerial Photography
Aerial photography and videography is an important selling point of a drone these days. People don’t just want to learn to fly; they want to get to shoot film while flying these incredible machines.
There are lots of brands out there looking to draw in this demographic with high-end cameras, interesting software and other tricks and details. The next ten drones and quadcopters are some of the best around with the best cameras, controls, and other top features.
1) The Dji Phantom 3 Professional.
The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is sure to be at the top of the list for many keen aerial photographer and videographers because it is such a great all-around drone with impressive capabilities.
It is important to note that this is the professional form of the 3rd gen model, not the more expensive 4th gen. The reason this one has chosen is that it offers the same 4k video capture, responsive gimbal and camera settings as its successor at a much better price.
It may not have obstacle sensors, but it still uses vision position tech, FPV live streaming a GPS positioning.
2) The DJI Inspire 1 Pro.
Another DJI model that is worth mentioning because of its range of features is a 4k video the DJI Inspire 1 Pro. This model has some interesting little tricks and design features, and the onboard camera is better in many ways than that of the Phantom 3 Professional.
This Drone offers a 16mp camera – rather than 12mp – and there is also the option to shot in raw and change the lenses. The reason is it less attractive than the previous model is perhaps because this is one for the real professionals with the patience to adapt and make changes. Even so, it still has plenty of exciting automated programs and dual operator controls.
3) The Yuneec Q500 4k Typhoon
Yuneec may not be as well-loved as DJI, but their top-of-the-range Q500 4K Typhoon is on a par with the Phantom series regarding the video capture. Again, it offers 4k video, 12 mp still photos and a stable 3-axis gimbal.
Where this model is a little different is in the use off of free flight programs. Watch Me and Follow Me modes are as the names suggest, putting more control in the drone’s hands, and there is also a No-Fly Zone mode to follow FAA regulations. Again Live FPV streaming allows for a steady feed of information and GPS positioning is enabled.
4) The 3D Robotics Iris +
The free features of the Yuneec Q500 4K Typh0on are exciting for anyone that wants to control the action and be a part of the scene, rather than being continually at the controls of the camera.
That is why the 3D Robotics Iris + is an attractive alternative. It doesn’t have the style of the previous models, but it does let operators plan a flight path, lasting between 16-22 minutes, with the DroidPlanner 2 app via a laptop or mobile device.
Here is a great upgrade for GoPro users that want something a little more intelligent to strap their camera too.
5) The 3D Robotics Solo
Another 3D Robotics model that has people talking is the 3DR Solo – a tiny smart drone that powered by twin 1GHz computers and streams video direction to smart devices.
This connectivity allows for greater feedback on the footage that shot and the ability for real-time adjustments, as the footage can pause and the settings readjusted while the drone is airborne.
It sounds complicated but is designed to be pretty user-friendly with the push button flight, iOS and Android app and the smart shot tech.
6) The Parrot Ar Drone
The Parrot AR Drone had to make an entry somewhere in this list of aerial photography drones because of the brand – everyone knows Parrot. The reason that this model doesn’t rate so highly is that it doesn’t have the same level of video capabilities – just 720p HD video – or the same range of exciting features.
There is the AR.A free flight app that brings the controls to a mobile device so that users can change the viewpoint and adjust the camera. It also has a 4GB flash memory for lots of footage and the ability to flip 360 degrees – if that might somehow enhance a film.
7) The Syma X5c-1.
At the bottom of out list we have four smaller quadcopters that are less impressive in stature and features, but still able to offer a great lesson in aerial videography for newcomers. The first is the Syma X5C-1.
The camera here is pretty simple in comparison, with 2mp and 30 minutes of video time, but it is a great starting point thanks to the ease of flight, the propeller guards (in the case of crashes) and the extra features like the 360-degree flips and LED lights.
8) The Syma X8g
Another Syma model of interest is the X8G as it has a much more powerful camera (8mp and 1080p video), a fresh design and a decent flight time of 10-12 minutes.
It just appears to be more attractive and capable that the former option as it also has an LCD within the controller, the camera is detachable – so users can add a model of their choice – and it has Intelligent Orientation Control.
9) The Cheers Hobby Cx-20
Next up is another model with “professional” in the name – only this time it is a smaller, simpler Cheers quadcopter. This Hobby CX-20 take the traditional mini-drone and enhances the specification for aerial photography. It has a 15 minute flight time – double that of the SymaX5C-1 – and has a camera mount for a GoPro.
An additional benefit is the Vision Positional system that allows for more stability in the air, careful use of the Return To Home function and indoor flight. This intelligence, in addition to tho the AutoPathfinder and 6-axis Gyro, makes it much more capable than many buyers might expect.
10) The Blade Chroma
The final model to mention here is the Blade Chroma. In some ways, we are saving one of the best until last because even though this is a more affordable, the simpler quadcopter is many ways; this beginners model still has a lot of exciting features.
It even offers the 4k video camera and 12mp still photography of the top-rated Phantom at the start of this list. This good looking model can fly for an impressive 30 minutes, has a touchscreen display on the controller, has two autonomous flight modes and mostly blends the best of the low-end quadcopters with the best of the high-end drones.