The 8 Best Camera Drones for Photography of 2020

Capture bird-eye's view images with these drones

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The Rundown
  • Best Overall: DJI Mavic Air at Amazon, "It’s lightweight and can fold up easily, yet packs a powerful punch with 4K Ultra HD video at 30 frames per second."
  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: DJI MAVIC 2 PRO at Amazon,"For those who want something more serious than a consumer drone, but aren’t quite in need of professional-grade tech."
  • Best Budget: DJI Spark at Amazon,"Affordable but also offers features you normally would only see on more expensive DJI models."
  • Best For Video Under $1,000: Parrot Anafi at Amazon, "From a photographer’s perspective, the Parrot Anafi is fitted with a serious camera that delivers great images."
  • Best Entry-Level: DJI Ryze Tello at Amazon, "Great as a learning tool or a fun photography toy for budding drone pilots or kids."
  • Best For Camera Versatility: Yuneec Typhoon H Plus at Amazon, "This drone offers serious performance and plenty of flying time to capture the shot of your dreams."
  • Best Splurge: PowerVision PowerEye Professional at Amazon, "It may be too much for amateurs but should impress pros who are looking for ultimate control and impressive tech."
  • Best For Pros: DJI Inspire 2 at Amazon, "One of DJI’s most powerful drones, delivering stunning, high-res photos and videos."

Best Overall: DJI Mavic Air

What We Like
  • Wide range of shooting modes

  • Plenty of storage space

What We Don't Like
  • Wi-Fi is susceptible to interference

The Mavic Air is a travel photographer's dream — it’s lightweight and folds up easily, yet packs a powerful camera with 4K Ultra HD video at 30 frames per second, and the ability to shoot in RAW. A three-axis gimbal keeps things smooth, and with an internal 8 GB of storage and Micro SD slot, that means plenty of space to store your work.

The Mavic Air has a 21min battery life and a 2.4-mile max range, perfect for photographing rugged landscapes or sweeping vistas. A wide range of shooting modes are also included, such as panorama, bursts, and interval, which gives a lot of opportunity for creative shooting. 

Consider purchasing multiple batteries and the Mavic Air Battery Charger, as unfortunately, the batteries take some time to fully charge. The Air also operates on Wi-Fi, rather than DJI’s OcuSync system, meaning it is more susceptible to interference. However, the videos and images from the Air are some of the best in this price range. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: DJI MAVIC 2 PRO

What We Like
  • Extensive flight time

  • 4K HDR Video

What We Don't Like
  • No zoom option

  • Pricey

The Mavic 2 Pro is an exceptional choice for serious photographers. Photographers will appreciate the 20mp Hasselblad camera, 4K HDR video, and an adjustable aperture from f/2.8 to f/11. 

The Mavic 2 Pro offers 31 minutes of flight time, one of the longest on the market, allowing for ample time to capture video or stills. An internal 8GB storage is included, and the drone is lightweight and compact, easily folding for travel. It is easy to use and offers a range of photography modes, including Hyperlapse, and it also shoots well in low-light environments. 

It’s an expensive option, but one of the best drones for those who want something more serious than a consumer drone, but aren’t quite in need of professional-grade tech. However, it’s worth noting that the Mavic 2 Pro doesn’t offer zoom — if this is something you need, you may want to consider the Mavic 2 Zoom, another great choice within this price range. 

Best Budget: DJI Spark

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • USB Charging option

What We Don't Like
  • Can feel flimsy

  • No 4K video

The DJI Spark is an incredible drone for photography and video — it’s affordable but also offers features you normally would only see on more expensive DJI models, such as obstacle avoidance, a two-axis gimbal stabilizer, and a compact and lightweight frame. Its 16min max flying time is not as long as some, but it can be recharged via USB while you’re on the go. 

The Spark impresses with a 12mp camera and 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second. While the Spark can’t offer 4K video or RAW, the resulting imagery is still clear and impressive.

This drone is reliable, fun, and, at only 300g, very easy to travel with (although, due to its low weight, be cautious when flying in strong wind). It’s one of DJI’s most popular models for good reason, especially with travelers. The Spark is a fantastic option for an affordable drone that can create beautiful imagery, easily able to rival its more expensive peers.

Best For Video Under $1,000: Parrot Anafi

What We Like
  • 4K HDR Camera

  • Camera stabilization

What We Don't Like
  • No obstacle avoidance

From a photographer’s perspective, the Parrot Anafi is fitted with a serious camera that delivers great images. With a 21mp camera, 4K HDR video, and a digital zoom feature, the Anafi is a good choice for shooting video or for shooting in RAW. The camera tilts up to 180 degrees, perfect for getting a unique perspective or a hard-to-reach shot and three-axis gimbal works well to stabilize the flight. 

The Anafi has a 25min maximum flying time, a decent amount, and it can fold up small into an included carrying case. However, it’s worth noting the Anafi doesn’t offer obstacle avoidance and certain flight modes are only available through in-app purchases. If you’re ok with that, then the Anafi is a strong contender for 4K videography. 

Best Entry-Level: DJI Ryze Tello

What We Like
  • Lightweight

  • Inexpensive

What We Don't Like
  • No GPS

  • Low camera quality

If you’re brand new to drones and want a cheap and easy to use learner model, the DJI Ryze Tello is your best choice. While the quality of the camera and video are what you’d expect for an entry-level drone, it is intuitive and a lot of fun too. Try brushing up on your drone photography skills with the Tello before deciding to upgrade to another model.

The Tello offers a 5mp camera and 720p video and a 100-meter range with built-in stabilization. Consider it for indoor or backyard use, as it doesn’t have GPS to return home automatically. Control via your phone or tablet, and all videos and photos are stored automatically to your controlling device. You’ve got 13min maximum flight time and, at a very light 80g, always be careful when flying this one outdoors. 

The Tello is great as a learning tool or a fun photography toy for budding drone pilots or kids.

Best For Camera Versatility: Yuneec Typhoon H Plus

What We Like
  • Long battery life

  • 360-degree camera

What We Don't Like
  • A bit heavy

The Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is a top-notch drone for experienced pilots who want to push their photography to the next level. With a relatively long battery life of up to 28 minutes, a 20mp camera and 4K Ultra HD video at up to 60 frames per second, this drone offers serious performance and plenty of flying time to capture the shot of your dreams. 

It also wins points for its 360-degree camera, which can seamlessly turn, independent of the actual drone. For videographers, this is a great feature for aerial shots not seen on many drones. Collision avoidance and a return to home feature are also included, as are fun flight modes such as Orbit Me and Point of Interest, allowing the drone to circle the subject while continuously filming.

Although the video and images are fantastic, this drone weighs in at just under 4lbs, making it a bit heavy and bulky for frequent travel.

Best Splurge: PowerVision PowerEye Professional

What We Like
  • Dual viewing capability

  • Obstacle detection

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy

  • Large

The PowerVision PowerEye Professional is a heavy-duty drone for professionals. It offers high-level specs in a large, solid drone. At just under 9lb, it may be too much for amateurs but should impress pros who are looking for ultimate control and impressive tech.

The PowerEye stands out for its Dual Viewing capability — it offers two cameras, one with first-person view, for drone control, and one for subject matter view. The subject view camera is a micro four thirds, with a Panasonic Lumix G f/2.5 APSH lens included. Other micro four-thirds lenses can be swapped in, giving you a whole new range of creative control with your drone photography.

The included PowerVision Object Detection Technology notifies you when you are close to an obstacle, but doesn’t automatically avoid it. However, this could be a dealbreaker, depending on where you will be flying. 

If you’re a pro looking for a versatile drone for filming or video and don’t mind the larger size, the PowerEye Professional is an amazing option.

Best For Pros: DJI Inspire 2

What We Like
  • Great range

  • 4K video

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Heavy

The DJI Inspire 2 will do more than just inspire pros or experienced hobbyists — it’s one of DJI’s most powerful drones, delivering stunning, high-res photos and videos. It’s one of the best, an incredibly powerful drone with a flying range of up to 4.3 miles. 

The Inspire 2 supports dual cameras, one for forward drone control and one for subject matter videography and photography. It’s important to note that both the subject matter camera and gimbal aren’t included in the Inspire 2’s already high base price, and will need to be purchased separately, along with any additional lenses. The drone is designed to work together with Zenmuse’s micro four-thirds cameras, including its newest, the X5S. The X5S offers a 20.8mp camera, 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, and 20 frames per second continuous burst shooting, a high-performance camera. Unfortunately, the older model Zenmuse cameras aren’t compatible. 

Two batteries also contribute to a decent flying time of 23-27 minutes, depending on which camera is used, and the drone itself is a solid, carbon fiber build, and of the incredibly high standard that DJI is known for. It soars through the air with ease and creates cinematic quality footage. 

If it’s within your budget, and you’re ok with a heavier drone (it weighs in at 7.58lb before the camera and gimbal are added), it’s a top option for professionals.