Best Drones for Photography (2020 Updated List)

Are you the one Who is still Searching for Best Drones for Photography, Just read this article.  Nowadays, amateur and professional photographers use drones for aerial photography which was earlier done with the help of helicopters. By using drones, they can shoot or take snaps at any angle which is not possible with traditional camera. Drones have evolved a lot since a decade. Around 10 years ago, they were exclusive to Hollywood production. There are many drones in all categories including drones for beginners, budget drones, expensive exclusive to aerial photography etc. Drones come in all sizes, with different flight time and with different specifications. Thus, we have picked up few best drones exclusive for photography. Depending upon your requirement and budget you can pick one from our list of Best Drones for Photography.

You can check our other related articles best Drones Under $200 , Best Drones under $300 and best Drones under $1000.

When it comes to aerial photography, you need to keep your eye on drone’s image quality,cost and portability. There are many low cost, cheap and portable drones available in market but then you need to compromise on image quality. For aerial photography, image quality is of utmost importance. Now before moving ahead for our list of Best Drones for Photography. Let’s first try to understand a bit about how drones work. This will give you basic understanding about various parts and technology used in drones.

How do Drones Work and What is Drone Technology?

In order to decide which is best drone for you, it is necessary to understand a bit about how different types of drones work. Drones rely on rotors for propulsion and control. The upward lift (vertical motion) of drone is excellent if these rotors spin faster. The movement of drone completely depends upon speed of rotor.

These rotors are attached to motors which are of two types – brushed and brushless. So what is the difference between the two motors? They vary in the way they work. Brushed motors uses magnetic process to move magnetic field that turns the rotor.  Brushless motors which are more expensive rely on electronics rather than additional physical parts such as brushes,to generate power. Due to this less friction is generated as friction slows the motor down. Brushless motor produce less heat and are preferable.

But for beginners, it is fantastic to have these cheap motors to crash with confidence. Also beginners should look for rugged models with rotor protectors and one touch call functions. Brushless motors are preferred because of their weight and durability. We have spent countless hours trying to figure out best drones for aerial photography. Now you don’t have to run through enormous sites nor do you have to read long blogs to figure how which drone is best for your requirement. We have made you task easy. Take a look at following best picks for photography.

Best Drones for Photography

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS Price
DJI Mavic Air 2 DJI Mavic Air 2
DJI Mavic Air 2
  • Max Speed:42 MPH
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DJI Mavic Mini DJI Mavic Mini
DJI Mavic Mini
  • Max Speed:29 MPH
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Parrot Anafi FPV Parrot Anafi FPV
Parrot Anafi FPV
  • Max Speed:35 MPH
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DJI Mavic 2 DJI Mavic 2
DJI Mavic 2
  • Max Speed:48 MPH
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DJI Phantom DJI Phantom
DJI Phantom
  • Max Speed:45 MPH
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DJI Inspire 2 DJI Inspire 2
DJI Inspire 2
  • Max Speed:58 MPH
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Autel Robotics Autel Robotics
Autel Robotics
  • Max Speed:45 MPH
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Ryze Tello Ryze Tello
Ryze Tello
  • Max Speed:35 MPH
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DJI Mavic Air 2

 

 

 

DJI Mavic Air 2 is the best drone when it comes to aerial photography or videography. The new DJI Mavic Air 2 is incredible in its performance. This drone capability will delight users to new heights. It is powdered with front, downward and rear facing distance sensors to identify obstacles may it be wall or tree. This just not warns pilot but also its flying path.

Impeccable feature of this drone is its whopping 34 minutes flight time. Not just this, the real lucrative feature for photographers is the new 4K 60fps camera along with 8 megapixel half-inch sensor.This popular foldable design comes with 48 Megapixel cameras and an 8K hyper lapse feature. It also features DJI smart-flight modes such as Active Track, which directs the drone to autonomously follow. This drone is dramatic improvement on the original Mavic Air.

 

Pros
  • 4K 60fps camera
  • 34 minutes impressive flight time
  • Still image resolution: 48 megapixels
  • Max speed: 42 mph in sport mode
Cons
  • No side or top sensors
  • App could be better
  • No screen on controller

 

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DJI Mavic Mini

 

The Mavic mini is DJI’s smallest and lightest camera drone. Don’t judge this drone on its size. Despite being compact, it offers many features which often come with expensive drones. It’s camera shoots 2.7K video at 30 frames per second and takes 12 megapixels with 1/2.3 inch sensor. It has whopping 30 minutes of flight time along with plenty of feature making this drone ideal for new pilots. They have their own app – DJI Fly. There are many accessories for new pilots like 360° Propeller Guard and DIY Creative Kit. The best part of DJI Mavic mini is its light weight (250g) so you don’t need to register with US, UK and EU authorities.

One of the reason why Mavic Mini is light is weight is due to fewer sensors for obstacle detection. This means there is possibility of crash, but don’t worry once you get hang of Mavic Mini is super easy to fly, quiet and stable. It will be wise decision to spend extra 100$ on fly more combo which gets you extra propellers, 3 batteries, charging hub and carrying case.

Pros
  • Less expensive
  • Good for personal use and social media sharing
  • Miniscule size, built-in safety features, HD video
Cons
  • Speed – 29MPH
  • Range – 4km of HD transmission
  • Not so great video quality (2.7K) as compared to other drones (4K)

 

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Parrot Anafi FPV

 

Parrot wasn’t a stronger competitor to high end drones until mid-2018, when Anafi arrived. This drone has left upto you to manage obstacles on your own. Anafi is smart choice as it comes at reasonable price and frequently used features. It is super portable. You can just carry it anywhere in the world without worrying about its weight. It also helps you in transportation by providing hard fabric case. Parrot Anafi’s body may seem cheap by looks, but don’t judge this drone by looks. It is super durable frames in market currently. The 21 megapixel drone is easy to use, offers features like automatic take-off,landing, and GPS return home feature along with folding controller. With 25 minutes of flight time, you can even tilt its camera vertically and can shoot beautiful images from below.It is also powered by 3X digital zoom lens.

The only pain point is you need to depend on software to handle sharp turns as gimbal is only powered on two axles.  Also, follow me feature is not included as standard feature in parrot unlike DJI. You need to pay bit extra to get that feature in your drone. Parrot Anafi is combined with head up display google for mesmerizing flying experience. It is powered by 180° vertical-turn gimbal and zoom.

Pros
  • Ideal for portability and versatility
  • Some features needs in-app purchases
  • Speed – 35mph
  • Range – 2.5 miles
  • 4K HDR videos
Cons
  • No obstacle detection and avoidance
  • Slow charging

 

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DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

 

 

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom changed the drone dynamics in market; by being foldable, low weight and carrying decent quality lens as contrast to best camera drone available in market in 2016. One of the most special features of this drone is Hyper lapse–the technique in time lapse photography for creating motion shots. It comes with impressive battery life of 31 minutes with transmitter range of 5 miles. Its maximum resolution can touch 4K/12 megapixels.

It comes with excellent zoom facility, may be you will not need that extra zoom facility. New comers will not wait much after grabbing this drone for Dolly zoom function. A function where the drone flies backward while zooming in (it has a 24-48mm 2x optical zoom lens) to keep the subject at the same size while stretching and morphing the background. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom 4X camera makes this a great choice for shooting from afar. This drone is smart choice for videographers who values zoom lens more as compared to some extra megapixels. Its digital zoom can be used to capture photography of noise sensitive wildlife.

Both DJI Mavic 2Pro and DJI Mavic 2 zoom are pretty much same. They both belong to same family having same DNA (which includes same size, same equipment and same multi directional obstacle avoidance system) except the camera. Pro has 1 inch image sensor (20 megapixel) at fixed 28 mm focal length and  zoom has 12 megapixels with 24-48 mm focal length. Pro is great for sunsets capture while Zoom is mainly used for cinematic effects.

Pros
  • Super portable
  • Great software features
  • 24-48mm Optical Zoom Camera
  • Ultra bright display
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Low resolution stills

 

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DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

 

 

DJI Phantom series has contributed immensely to drone aspirant’s expectations. The Phatom1 product was game changing product in market that has placed DJI brand in consumer’s mind. The DJI Phantom 4 ProV2 is built on same series success and is used widely for photography, videography, filmmaking etc. This drone has professional Grade A sensors to capture still pictures with 20 megapixel camera and can record video in 4K resolution. DJI Phantom propellers make sure to cut the noise by half and give you a quieter flight experience. This drone is mainly preferred by professional aerial photographers. It is also popular among users for search and rescue missions. Phantom 4 Pro V2 is strong and robust drone with 1375 gms of weight.

Phantom Pro V2 comes with 5 directional obstacle sensing system and mechanical shutter. It’s right choice for drone pilot who wishes to shoot high quality videos and photos. Phantom 4 Pro V2 has huge options for manual setting of camera which makes it fantastic choice for aerial cinematography. Phantom 4 Pro V2 is equipped with OcuSync 2.0 transmission system and can be connected to DJI Goggles. Phantom 4 Pro V2 is equipped with 12 intelligent flight modes. It flies exceptionally well in bad windy weather conditions.

DJI Phantom is available in two models – basic and Pro.  As name suggests, Pro is power pack with some premium features as compared to its basic version.

Pros
  • Sturdy Components
  • 20 megapixel image resolution
  • 4k Video resolution at 24-60 fps
  • Max flight time – 30 minutes
  • Max flight speed- 45mph
Cons
  • Little heavy in size
  • No record button in camcorder mode

 

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DJI Inspire 2

 

 

DJI Inspire 2 was launched in 2016 but it is still ahead of competition thanks to its performance and capability. This is so because of its ability to carry DJI detachable and easy upgradable Zenmuse camera and its unbeatable speed and agility. Inspire 2 is capable of detecting obstacles up to 30 meters ahead while upward facing infrared sensors sense objects within 5 range. Its flight time is 27 minutes with top speed of 58 mph, along with range of 7Kms. With metallic composite body, it looks much more stylish during flying. You just have to relax during flight as its obstacle detection system will take care of any objects in its path. It is powered with intelligent flight modes.

Inspire 2 comes with dual camera system. With the help of this, one can pilot the drone and can control the movement of video camera simultaneously. Here you get an opportunity to swap camera lenses owing to complete control over images. Its camera allows you to capture 5.2K video at 30 fps and 4K at 60 fps. You can grab still images at 20 MP. Its dedicated remote controller and smart app makes this drone is easy to control and fun to fly. But beginners beware as this is professional drone kit.

The biggest reason that makes Inspire 2 stand out from the crowd is its dual battery setup. This gives more flight time, protects battery malfunctions and ample power to camera, stabilizers, sensors etc. The most noticeable difference between Inspire 2 and its predecessors is its forward facing FPV camera.

Pros
  • Dual camera system
  • Top speed –58mph
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • Good battery life
  • Plentiful accessories and upgrade options
Cons
  • Bit expensive
  • Little heavy

 

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Autel Robotics EVO

 

The Autel Robotics EVO is very small drone with solid battery life. It offers stabilized 4k camera in 60fps and obstacle detection system. This drone doesn’t provide many advanced features when compared to competitors. However if you are looking for high frame rate capture then EVO is appealing choice for you. The catchy thing you would notice about EVO is its color scheme.  EVO has expected safety feature. Position lock is acquired quickly in EVO as it leverages both GPS and GLONASS satellites. So need to panic when connection is dropped between remote and the drone. Robotics EVO will automatically return to its home point. Nevertheless, you can activate return to home manually.

Autel EVO average flight time is about 26 minutes. There is no top, bottom or side sensors as you get in DJI family. However, you still get automated tracking limited to front and back motion. EVO includes a remote controller which houses a 3.3-inch OLED screen.  Providing you with critical flight information or a live 720p HD video feed letting you see the camera view without the need for a mobile device. EVO doesn’t have internal memory but it has single micro SD slot included with 32GB card. EVO captures stunning photos at 12 megapixels with a wide dynamic range.

Pros
  • 3 inch display on controller (phone is not necessary)
  • Solid battery life
  • Stable 4K video at up to 60fps.
  • Compact and folding design
Cons
  • Memory card door very tight
  • Not many safety features included
  • Default video profile appears over sharpened
  • Not many automatic feature modes like DJI

 

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Ryze Tello

 

Ryze tello is powered by DJI. It comes with great positioning sensors. It comes with 5MP camera and 720p video resolution. It helps kids and adults who are ready to fly and learn about drones with coding education. It is compatible with VR headset. It has 13 minutes of battery life. You can program this drone.

The price is not so high. As there is no GPS, you need to charge the battery inside drone via USB.  Images are saved directly to your phone and not a memory card. This drone is good for low altitudes, short distance flights and aerials selfies. Ryze tello is simply a toy which is operated via smartphone. It is the best and cheap drone available in market. This drone is mainly used for selfies. Ryze tello Drone is quite light in weight only 80 gms and can fit in your jacket’s pocket.

To start the drone simple launch tello app on your phone select hand launch, throw it into the air and steer it using the virtual joysticks. Here comes the bit exciting feature of tello. Use the separate tello EDU app (iOS and android) it’s possible to program the Tello to perform a series of manoeuvres with no real-time input from the pilot. Just drag and drop series of blocks (like fly forward, take off) into specific order and tello will follow the commands. This is the fun way for kids to learn basic robotics.

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Programmable via scratch
  • Brilliant indoors
Cons
  • Rang less than 100 m
  • Low quality video
  • No GPS or return to home feature
  • No obstacle detection
  • Not foldable

 

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Choosing best drones for photography can be difficult. It all depends upon your needs and what you can afford. If you get a chance to borrow or rent drone, then don’t miss this. You can get actual feel of drone when you have them in the air. We have highlighted important features offered by drones in this article in order to make your selection task easy. So choose wisely because this is expensive investment for future. Don’t get extra fascinated by unwanted features offered by pricy drones. At the same time, it is not a good idea to run behind cheap toy drones. It will frustrate you with limited features, primitive controls and just a few minutes of flight time.

Things to look while selecting Best Drones for Photography

Battery life

Just like smartphones, drones also run out of battery. Even the best models struggle to surpass 30 minutes of flight time. You can carry extra pair of batteries. Make sure to include cost of spare batteries in total price of drone while considering options.

Camera

If you are professional photographers/videographer then camera quality should be taken seriously. Make sure to look for integrated camera in drone models. Many models also give the option of attaching your own.

Brushless Motors

We have discussed about brushed and brushless motors in first para of our article. Brushless motors are expensive compared to brushed motors but its worth for its value. It gives you quieter flight experience and longer lifespan. You don’t have to worry about replacing them in near future.

Integrated GPS

When you enter premium drone market, you will often find models with integrated GPS function. With the help of integrated GPS function machine knows its location on the earth. You drone can easily return home with one click and can easily hover in one place.

Gimbal

As drone price value increases, you will notice models having something known as integrated gimbal. Due to this, camera remains steady while it explores around high wind and elevated altitudes. Toy drones mainly doesn’t offer this feature as it is never required by them. They are often flown indoors or at lower altitudes. So, when looking for drone models make sure drone has this function if you wish to shoot videos from height.

Obstacle Avoidance

This is premium feature often offered by premium models. However though it is expensive to afford it, it does justice for price being charged to you. It protects your drone from crashing against tree, unknown objects in your drone path.

Range

Range can tell how far your drone can move away from you before losing any signals. More premium drones offer higher range. However it is always important to keep your drone in sight.

We would love to hear any feedback/ideas you have in your mind after reading this article of Best Drone for Photography

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