Drones are now widely accessible for use by the average consumer. There are all sorts of drones that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. There are racing drones, fishing drones, camera drones, GoPro drones, FPV drones, drones designed specifically for kids, and more.
Not only are drones a ton of fun, but in 2020, there are a lot of drone options that are affordable for the average family. Let’s take a look at some of the best options out there!
Finding the best drone for you isn’t easy, particularly with new registration schemes and laws adding to the buying confusion. At the same time, there’s never been a better time to buy a flying camera – whether you’re a beginner or a professional looking to shoot some fantastic aerial photos and video, the latest drones combine great image quality, ease of use and unprecedented value for money.
The Best camera drones for aerial video and photography, from pro UAVs to the best drones for beginners
1) DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Weight: 907g | Dimensions (folded): 214×91×84mm | Dimensions (unfolded): 322×242×84mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K HDR 30fps | Camera resolution: 20MP | Battery life: 35 minutes (3950mAh) | Max Range: 8km / 5mi | Max Speed: 72kph / 44.7mph
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro remains the best drone for most people for a few reasons – it has a large sensor, it’s a joy to fly, and the foldable design makes it portable and travel-friendly. If you need zoom or serious portability, then the Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic Mini are worth investigating. But otherwise, this is the best all-rounder in the skies.
2) DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
Weight: 905g | Dimensions (folded): 214×91×84mm | Dimensions (unfolded): 322×242×84mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K HDR 30fps | Camera resolution: 12MP (Pro is 20MP) | Battery life: 31 minutes (3850mAh) | Max Range: 8km / 5mi | Max Speed: 72kph / 44.7mph
DJI’s Mavic 2 Zoom has the same DNA as its stablemate the Mavic 2 Pro. Both birds are the same size and pretty much the same weight (the Pro is a measly 2g heavier), and they’re both equipped with the same multi-directional obstacle avoidance systems and the very same internals. In fact, the only difference between the two is the camera they’re equipped with.
The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom sets itself apart from other drones thanks to an optical zoom lens. It’s loaded with features, including obstacle avoidance, and is a fine choice for enthusiast pilots.
3) Autel Evo
Weight: 863g | Dimensions (folded): 139×76×89mm | Dimensions (unfolded diagonal): 338mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K 60fps | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 30 minutes (4300mAh) | Max Range: 7km / 4.1mi | Max Speed: 72kph / 45mph
Autel’s drone might not have been launched with the quite the same fanfare as some of the others on this list, but it quickly cemented it’s place in this list, producing excellent video from its 1/2.3 sensor. It also has a good collision sensing system; binocular at the front to assist with tracking off with landing.
For convenience, many professionals prefer working with the EVO thanks to the inclusion of an OLED screen for FPV in the standard remote. If a bigger screen is needed, a phone can still be attached, but a color monitor in the compact controller is far more functional than the telemetry-only screen in the Mavic controller, and it still manages 3 hours between charges.
4) Parrot ANAFI FPV
Weight: 310g | Dimensions (folded): 244×67×65mm | Dimensions (unfolded): 240×175×65mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K HDR 30fps | Camera resolution: 21MP | Battery life: 25 minutes (2700mAh) | Max Range: 4km / 2.5mi | Max Speed: 55kph / 35mph
The Parrot Anafi puts all emphasis on size—the small, folding drone is ideal for travel, thanks to 4K video capture, a small airframe, and USB charging.
Parrot wasn’t really a contender in the high-end aerial video market until the Anafi arrived in mid-2018, but it was definitely worth the wait.
A new Parrot Anafi FPV kit has been recently introduced, which combines this drone with head-up display (‘first-person view’) goggles for a fully immersive flying experience.
5) DJI Mavic Mini
Weight: 249g | Dimensions (folded): 140×82×57mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 2.7K 30fps | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 30 minutes (2400mAh) | Max Range: 4km / 2.5 miles | Max Speed: 47kph / 29mph
For most people, the DJI Mavic Mini will be the best drone for their needs. It’s tiny—able to fit in the palm of your hand—easy to fly, and can last up to 30 minutes in the air. And,it’s also the least expensive of DJI’s drones, making it more accessible to the masses.
The Mavic Mini’s camera resolution tops out at 2.7K/30 fps, so it’s lower than that of the 4K-capable Mavic Air and Mavic Pro, but we like that it’s gimbal-stabilized, which produces just as smooth video.
6) DJI Mavic Air
Weight: 430g | Dimensions (folded): 168×83×49mm | Dimensions (unfolded): 168×184×64mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K 60fps | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 21 minutes (2375mAh) | Max Range: 10km / 6.2mi | Max Speed: 68kph / 43mph
The DJI Mavic Air is the company’s smallest, most portable drone, and is just as full-featured as its larger siblings.
Prior to the arrival of the Mavic Mini, the DJI Mavic Air was our top pick for the best drone. It’s one of the most compact drones around, yet takes excellent 4K video and fantastic photos. It’s a cinch to fly, can avoid objects, and can be controlled using nothing more than hand gestures.
We especially liked some of its novel features, such as the ability to take 360-degree photos. Battery life is a little short at 20 minutes, but the Air’s battery can be swapped out in a cinch, and the whole package—including the controller—packs away into a neat little bag.
7) Ryze Tello
Weight: 80g | Dimensions: 98x93x41 diagonal mm | Controller: No | Video resolution: 720p | Camera resolution: 5MP | Battery life: 13 minutes (1100mAh) | Max Range: 100m | Max Speed: 29kph / 18mph
If you’re looking for a titchy but very well equipped ‘selfie’ type drone that stays in the air for 13 minutes at a time, comes with digital image stabilisation, shoots video in pretty decent 720p, snaps 5mp stills and hovers on the spot without the aid of GPS, then consider this remarkable little contender from Ryze.