Best Drones To Buy For Aerial Photography 2020
There’s never been a better time to own a drone. That’s because drones are indoor top-notch 4K cameras and somehow can be of huge importance how big the drone is. That is, many of the best drones fold up for easy transport.
Super-steady video stabilization is also a must check of a great drone, and you’ll find this available in just about every drone model out there.
You don’t have to be an expert drone operator to get started with a high-quality drone. It’s is such a tedious task to pick which drone fits into your budget and agenda.
I’ve recommended the following top drones after many hours of rigorous testing. Drones by DJI and Parrot continue to rule the world of UAVs, whether you’re a first-time flier or a drone pilot expert looking for the ultimate hovering camera.
The best part of picking from the best drones in 2019 is that affordable or even cheap drones now shoot 4K resolution video with steady image stabilization. It’s true; you don’t need a huge fat budget to get Hollywood standard kind of clarity.
Even if our No. 1 drone recommendation, the DJI Mavic Air, isn’t exactly inexpensive, it’s still the best drone for your money.
Finding a quality drone at a reasonable price isn’t hard anymore. Being able to fly your drone legally is sometimes more tricky, especially in cities. The good news is that the best drones available give you fair warning – usually through accompanying apps – that map out where it’s legal to fly without incurring the wrath of local authorities.
Here are our best to buy drones for everyone, regardless of your level/skills.
- – DJI Mavic Air
Weight: 430g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery size: 2,375mAh | Range: 6.2 miles)
Incredibly portable 4K video at up to 100Mbps Near-perfect obstacle avoidance. You might want to get yourself extra or multiple batteries to enjoy more time in mid-air.
DJI Mavic Air is a drone you will fall in love with, the premier foldable drone that can capture steady 4K video at 60 frames per second, yet fit into a backpack or even a jacket pocket. There aren’t many compromises either if you’re okay with a 21-minute battery life. After so much test and trial, Our tests show its true flight time can be as little as 18 minutes (trying the 21 minutes mean you want to buy a new one), but that’s enough time for most people, especially if you buy into the recommended Fly More Bundle with three batteries.
The Mavic Air is small, fast and can do a lot of neat tricks. It can track moving subjects (with a specific mode called follow-me), hover around them on a pre-coordinated path(point of interest) and take spherical video as if it’s crashing down to earth to capture your ultimate drone selfie.
The reason this tops our list is that it’s the best foldable drone for your money, but we do encourage spending a bit more for the totally worth it Fly More Bundle ( that comes with 3 batteries).
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro
The king of drones returns
Weight: 907g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 20MP | Battery size: 3,850mAh | Range: 3.1 miles $1,417.18
Excellent foldable design new photo and video modes Superior camera can’t shoot 4K at 60fps
The second iteration of DJI’s Mavic Pro delivers the sharpest videos and stills of any consumer drone thanks to its gimbal-stabilized Hasselblad camera, which boasts a one-inch CMOS sensor. Pictures are brighter, more detailed, and noticeably superior to those taken using the previous model.
DJI has made improvements on the software side too, with new modes for capturing photos and videos – including hyperlapse, which creates stunning aerial videos
This comes at a price – the Mavic 2 Pro is a pricier proposition than the previous iteration – but it might become much more tempting over time. Many retailers offer special deals on premium drones, and the Mavic 2 Pro may be among them.
- DJI Spark
Small price, smaller drone perfect for students.
Weight: 300g | Controller: Yes/Not included | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery size: 1,480 mAh | Range: 1.2 miles
Price – $549
Controller-free gesture controls automatic Quickshot modesShort flight time
The DJI Spark is the company’s most approachable drone. With its incredibly cool gesture controls that make you feel like a pro and its different colored body shells, it’s definitely more fun out of the box than a lot of the others on this list.
It is easily controlled using your smartphone, but it’s worth noting that that’s the only controller you’re going to have unless you fancy buying a separate controller. It’s definitely affordable in terms of drones, but still, we would like to have a controller thrown in for good measure.
It’s an incredibly light drone, unsurprisingly as it’s the size of a can. This is both one of its greatest strengths and its greatest weaknesses as it’s super easy to carry around in your bag but will be affected by wind during flight.
- DJI Phantom 4
Sturdy and feature-rich
Weight: 1380 g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 12.4MP | Battery size: : 5,350mAh | Range: 3.1 miles Price – $1,195
Nice and stable 4K footage Fish-eye lens excellent smartphone app not easily upgradeable though.
A refinement of the already impressive DJI Phantom 3 Professional, the Phantom 4 brings with it a more sturdy construction, updated object-avoidance technology to make you worry less around an obstacle – like so many of DJI’s offerings – an excellent dedicated remote control which connects to an equally feature-rich smartphone app.
4K video recording is supported, and the gimbal design means you get rock-steady footage even when the drone is moving at speed and changing direction. The biggest downer – and you’ll notice this is a common complaint with many commercial drones – is the battery life, which is only around 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how hard you’re pushing the drone.
While it’s not quite in the same league as its Inspire 1 sibling, the Phantom 4 offers a similar degree of performance and functionality for a lower price, making it an excellent option for budding aerial photographers rather than experienced professionals.
- Parrot Anafi
A tiny drone with an incredible camera range
Weight: 3202g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 21MP | Battery size: 2700mAh
Price – $549.99
4K UHD video at 60fps rotates 180-degree vertical camera has no obstacle avoidance
This lightweight, a bug-like drone might be small, but its photography chops are among the most impressive around if not the most impressive.
Its camera has 180 degrees of vertical range, which enables it to take photos directly upwards – a feat no other drone can match. It also has a 2.8x zoomable lens with no image quality reduction.
The Parrot Anafi is a particularly good choice for selfie fans. Its Follow Me mode tracks your movements, adjusting automatically for more photogenic angles, and its SmartDronies modes – Orbit, Parabola, Boomerang, and Tornado – cause the drone to fly around you in various circles and arcs.
The main setback is the Parrot Anafi’s lack of obstacle avoidance, which makes it hard to recommend to new users. It’s also a shame that a couple of flight modes are locked away as extra in-app purchases after you’ve paid for the drone.
- DJI Mavic Pro
One of the best around
Weight: 734g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 12.35MP | Battery Size: 3830mAh | Range: 4.3 miles
Price – $799
Highly portable dedicated remote controller low-light shooting
It’s now been superseded by the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, but this is still one of the best consumer drones around – and now it’s more affordable too. Until the DJI Spark came along, the Mavic Pro was the smallest drone in DJI’s lineup. Don’t let its diminutive size fool you though – this pint-sized flyer boasts the kind of performance that DJI’s larger drones are famous for.
The camera is mounted on a gimbal, which is unusual for drones of this size. It delivers fantastic results with both photos and video in good lighting, although the small size of the sensor means low-light shooting can sometimes be tricky. The Mavic Pro has a top speed of around 40 mph, so it’s no slouch in that department, and the battery is good for around 20 to 25 minutes of aerial action.
As is the case with other DJI drones, the Mavic Pro comes with a dedicated remote control that uses your phone’s display to show you exactly what the device is seeing. The range is quoted as being over four miles, allowing you to capture some amazing stills and video without worrying about the connection dropping.
- DJI Inspire 2
Perhaps the finest flagship-level drone in existence today
Weight: 3440g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 30MP | Battery Size: 4280mAh | Range: 7 km
Price – $2,999
Amazing build quality good battery life with lots of features, It’s quite pricey
Soundly knocking its predecessor off the top spot is the highly impressive Inspire 2. With a sleek metal composite bodywork upgrade, it’s a much more attractive piece of kit. What’s more, with more advanced object avoidance technology you don’t have to worry about that beautiful body getting scratched by you accidentally clipping a tree.
- DJI Inspire 1
A professional drone with a professional price tag
935g | Controller: Yes | Camera resolution: 12.76M | Battery size: 5700mAh | Range: 2 km
Price – $1,994.99
Amazing build quality easy to upgrade price for the typical consumer
The DJI Inspire 1 may look like some kind of fearsome war-robot from the far future, but once you’ve gotten over its rather intimidating appearance it’s all too easy to fall in love with this agile and feature-rich device.
It comes with its own controller, which boasts amazing range (you’ll need to supply a monitor via your smartphone or tablet’s screen, though), and the camera – which is mounted on a gimbal for aiming – is upgradeable, so you don’t need to worry about your investment becoming obsolete after a few months.
Performance in the air is nothing short of exemplary, even in quite windy conditions. The DJI Inspire 1 is also incredibly swift and – when twinned with that excellent controller – easy to maneuver. It’s only shortcomings are its cost and the fact that the bundled battery only gives you around 15 to 20 minutes of flight time before it needs recharging.