Drone with camera test

Modern drones with cameras not only provide high image quality, but also have good flight stability and usually a gimbal system that provides jitter-free recording.

The quadcopter with camera is ideal for video recording, photography and even capturing images for FPV flights.

When buying a drone, it should be clear in advance if it should have a built-in camera or if you want to retain the ability to equip the drone with various open cameras. For this we recommend various ActionCams, GoPro cameras are very suitable.

Beginners should use inexpensive entry-level models such as the DJI Phantom 3 or DJI Phantom 3 4K for their first flying experience.

Typhoon Q500 4K has shown in the test, which provides an exceptionally clear image. The videos were of the same quality as the photographs.

Drone with a camera in the test

DJI Mavic 2 ProDJI Mavic 2 ZoomDJI Mavic ProDJI Mavic AirDji Phantom 4DJI Phantom 3 ProfessionalParrot Bebop 2Typhoon Q500 4K

rating
Maximum flight time 31 minutes 31 minutes 22 minutes 21 minutes 26 minutes 24 minutes 24 minutes 23 minutes
Flight behavior World class World class Very good Very good Very good Very good Very good Well
camera 20 megapixels
Video Resolution: 4K
Photos up to 48 MP
Video Resolution: 4k
12 megapixels
Video Resolution: 4K
12 megapixels
Video Resolution: 4k
20 megapixels
Video Resolution: 4K
12.4 megapixels
Video Resolution: 4K
14 megapixels
Video Resolution: Full HD
12 megapixels
Video Resolution: 4K
Range 7 km 7 km 7 km 2.5 miles 7 km 2 km 2 km (with Skycontroller 2) 300 m
features The perfect drone for travel
Dlog M10 bit color capture
Hyperlapse
The perfect drone for travel
2x optical zoom
Dolly scaling function
Hyperlapse
Foldable drone
Price / offer: Very good
Foldable drone
Transfer rate 100 Mbps
Suitable for professional photographers and filmmakers cheap 4k drone FPV drone
Flip function
Inexpensive Allrodunder 4k
Large scope of delivery
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How much does a drone with a camera cost?

For 100-200 euros you can get a small mini drone with a camera, but you shouldn’t expect too much here.

The price for a good quality camera drone starts at $500. More expensive models usually have better camera, more direct control, and reach higher speeds.

The decisive factor in the purchase price is how long the model has been on the market. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is one of the latest drones starting at $1,500. However, this is also the pro version, i.e. an improved DJI Phantom 4 model, which you can get from around $1,100. Compared to the regular version, the “professional model” has additional obstacle detection sensors, a more powerful battery and a better camera.

Sensors

The improved sensors are of course very useful, but whether other improved features justify the surcharge also depends on the drone’s application. Both the predecessor and the improved version are equally well made of materials.

Professional models like the DJI Matrice 600 are suitable for industrial, surveying or logistics applications, but cost> 5,000 euros. In these areas, multicopters with 6 or 8 drives are commonly used.

They can be equipped with various sensors and offer greater flight stability than a conventional quadcopter. They also have higher lifting capacities, different shooting angles, smoother ride (less vibration), significantly more power, and are compatible with a variety of cameras and gimbal systems.

Laws and regulations

Drone laws

Before deciding to buy a quadcopter, check the legal requirements. For example, the drone cannot fly in reserves, public places (department stores, markets, etc.) without special permission.

Laws also differ from country to country. So find out in advance what exactly applies and where! Drones for everyone have been around for a long time, so some countries are still a little behind strict laws.

The following legal framework applies in the USA:

Do not fly with a drone near airports, over crowds, in residential areas, industrial buildings, military installations and energy systems.

It is also prohibited to fly over federal or state authorities, as well as over the locations of the police and rescue services.

The drone can also only be flown within sight and at a maximum altitude of 100 meters.

Every drone weighing more than 250g is subject to labeling in the USA. The address and name of the drone owner must be prominently displayed in writing.

If the drone weighs more than 2 kg, proof of knowledge is required, something like a driver’s license.

Drones weighing more than 5 kg are not allowed in the USA. Their flight requires a special permit!

A drone with a camera should also not be used to spy on other people or violate their privacy. You can report it!

Therefore, pay special attention to where and over what areas you are flying. We recommend flying over a wide open area or in a private area!

Serious errors in flight, especially a beginner, can result in serious property damage or injury. So first practice in the field next to you until you are safe before daring to go into smaller zones.

Mini drone with camera

Mini drone with camera

Mini drones are not only cheaper, but also make it possible to fly around the apartment quickly and easily. Because they are so small, they convince with their high maneuverability and are well suited for people looking to improve their flying skills, as the drone responds much faster to direct control.

A mini drone without a camera starts at 50 euros. Due to its small size, a longer life of the quadcopter is guaranteed.

For a mini drone with a camera, of course, the acquisition cost goes up to three digits. As a rule of thumb, the more expensive, the higher the image and video quality.

Since mini drones are very light and small, the optimized weight of the camera is also in the 5-15g range. Therefore, a mini drone with a camera cannot deliver images of the same quality as its larger relatives.

However, they are still enough for private photos.

Different models

There are many models on the drone market, some of which have interesting features and functions for specific applications.

Drone with HD camera

An Ultra HD camera is built into many drones from a few hundred euros. They are especially suitable for hobbies and partly for the semi-professional field.

Drone with 4K camera

You can’t go wrong with a 4K camera with a resolution of at least 12MP. A drone with a 4K camera delivers the best images in the highest quality. Such quadcopters or multicopters are also used in the professional sector.

Drone with live camera

Many of the models we tested are drones with live cameras. This means that the image is broadcast live directly to the built-in screen or mobile device. Thus, you can only control the drone from the screen if it is out of sight or far away.

Drone with thermal imaging camera

A good drone with a thermal imager is quite expensive and usually costs several thousand euros. The thermal imaging camera itself is worth four digits.

In the professional sector, it can be connected to multicopters such as the DJI Matrice 600 or DJI Matrice 100.

Really good drones with thermal cameras can cost $10,000 or more.

Drone with camera and glasses

Drone with FPV goggles

FPV flying is gaining momentum among drones and is becoming more popular.

The set includes a drone with a camera and glasses. Individually, the cost of good FPV goggles can be in the middle three-digit range.

There are a few things to keep in mind when buying a drone with a camera and goggles. For example, how far the field of view of the glasses extends. The wider this area (FOV), the more you can see in flight, but a larger field of view is associated with a loss of image sharpness at the edges. So here you need to weigh what is more important.

In addition, stable image transmission to the FPV goggles must be guaranteed.It is also possible to record the transmitted image and save it on a terminal device or memory chip, or transfer the image in real time to another screen.

Another feature is the adjustable interpupillary distance, which is not available in all FPV goggles. However, this can improve the realistic perception of the image.

Cheap drone with camera

If you’re looking for a cheap drone with a camera, don’t expect too much from image quality. However, we recommend the DJI Phantom 3 Standard with HD quality to every beginner.

For a drone with a camera, the price of $500 can be considered low. There are hardly any cheaper models without a sharp loss in image quality, workmanship and stabi
lity of the drone flight.

Control the drone and control it with the camera

To stay in the middle price segment, we limit ourselves to quadcopters, that is, unmanned aerial vehicles with 4 drive motors with one propeller.

Quadcopters basically come in three different flavors: H-shaped, X-shaped and + -shaped!

In the latter case, it is easier to control the motors and change the movements in the four main directions, but this arrangement leads to a slower rotational motion.

The H and X shapes are very similar and sometimes appear in combination with each other, such as the Typhoon Q500 4K.

The classic 45-degree motor arrangement can also be seen in the DJI Phantom 3 (X-shape).

Compared to the + arrangement, both have the advantage that the motors and propellers are not visible in the camera image, which means that higher quality aerial photographs can be taken.

However, the control of all 3 types of drones is the same. Depending on the model, the control of the aircraft differs in the degree of difficulty. Compared to conventional models, flying is relatively easy if the quadcopter has a built-in stabilization system.

With small, fast and agile drones, you can even try out loops, throws and other tricks in the air. Aerobatics is often not a problem for mini drones because they are stable and can withstand falls. However, such aircraft do not usually have a sensitive camera.

Remote control

Typically, the drone can be controlled by radio control as follows:

If you move the right stick forward or towards yourself, the aircraft will move in the corresponding direction in normal flight mode. The left stick is responsible for up, down and pivoting movements.

However, professional aerial photography using a drone with a camera takes some practice. You can usually move the camera vertically with the wheel on the remote, that is, up and down. To rotate the camera right or left, all you have to do is rotate the whole drone. The gimbal system always keeps the camera horizontal.

There are also expensive gimbal systems that can be mounted on large drones, which also allow the camera to move horizontally.

Which camera should you choose?

Different cameras may be used depending on the application. However, many drone models already have a permanently installed camera.

If you want to buy a “naked drone” and equip it yourself, we recommend one of three types of cameras:

GoPro

Gopro hero 4

The GoPro is your typical action camera. It is suitable for outdoor photography and filming. These cameras are usually housed in a waterproof case. Action cameras are stable and therefore ideal for drone flights.

SLR camera

SLR

A DSLR camera is very suitable for especially high quality photos. However, the disadvantage of such a compact camera is that it is much more expensive and less reliable. If the drone crashes, there is an increased risk of the expensive camera breaking on impact.

Conventional cameras

Mavic Air

Regular cameras are usually the cheapest option. If they are permanently installed in a drone, cameras often have a stable body and are designed to fly.

We recommend equipping a GoPro drone or other ActionCam instead of a standard camera.

Conclusion on a drone with a camera

In general, it is advisable to spend a little more money if you want to take very high quality photos and videos with your drone.

GoPro offers the best action cameras that can be easily installed on many drone models.