Looking for an affordable and reliable Aerial photography drone to take breathtaking landscape and street photos from unusual angles? I collected the most popular aerial photography drones in this article and give some tips on how to choose such photography equipment.
Best Drones for Aerial Photography
It’s not only aerial photographers who use drones for their work. They are also popular among those who specialize in landscape and real estate photography because shooting from unusual angles gives an opportunity to achieve remarkable results. I believe that a professional drone camera can be useful in any photography genre, so it is necessary to buy it. But in order to get amazing pictures, you need to have the best drone for photography, so this is my review.
The F200 Shadow Hex produced by Force1 is truly the sweet spot not only for professionals but also for beginners and hobbyists.
It has impressive Point-of-Interest and Follow-Me modes, that permits recording all of your moves. Furthermore, you will be able to set the location where you want to make a video. In addition, it is possible to see the Shadow Hex’s fly route with the help of the phone’s GPS map.
Also, the drone is equipped with a 1080p HD camera and you can connect to the Shadow Hex using your iPhone or Android. All that you need to do is just to insert your mobile phone into the drone’s remote controller.
This amazing portable drone will take off from your hand and then the gesture mode will be instantly turned on. Besides, you will be able to predefine the Spark’s flight paths before it starts flying. The drone is fitted with a camera that offers miraculous 12MP photos and 1080p videos.
Furthermore, its new QuickShot mode will automatically create a short video choosing the best shots taken during the flight. And the obstacle avoiding system together with gesture recognition makes it one of the best drones for beginners at the market. Besides, you have an opportunity to download an app, which you will need to use for flights over 100 yards away. However, you always can use remote control.
I want to present to you one of the most advanced models from this French company. Many photographers contemplate it to be the most effective drone for property photography. It comes in two versions: Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro. The first one stands out for an optical zoom camera, but the matrix size is 1/2.3 “, while the second has a 1” CMOS. Mavic 2 has a foldable design and is 214×91×84 mm in shipping condition.
The flight range is up to 8 km, while flight time is up to 31 minutes, which is unique for consumer models. You don’t need to get to the shooting location to get the desired frame. If you didn’t control the battery charge or the device lost the control signal in conditions of strong radio interference from a megalopolis, then it will return to the take-off point and land. Moreover, there are sensors on all sides, which “see” the obstacles in front of them and automatically avoid them or stop.
Equipped with a 20 MP Hasselblad L1D-20C camera with a sensor and variable aperture of f/2.8-f/11, the Pro version is suitable for shooting 10-bit HDR video. The camera’s viewing angle is about 77 degrees. The L1D-20C camera is also equipped with Hasselblad’s Natural Color Solution (HNCS), an up-to-date technology that allows the photographer to take professional images with incredible colors.
Parrot Anafi is probably DJI Mavic’s closest competitor. The foldable construction, a camera with a 2.8x optical zoom and180o vertical rotating angle, the ability to charge batteries via a USB-C port – all these factors make the Anafi a worthy contender for the best aerial drone title.
To achieve the best image quality, Parrot employs a 21MP 1/2.4” CMOS-sensor manufactured by Sony. The 4K video footage is recorded aboard at thirty Federal Protective Service, whereas the Full-HD resolution is recorded at up to sixty Federal Protective Service.
Thanks to the HDR support, the content is clear, bright, and vibrant. You can also use zoom without quality loss – 1.4x for 4K, and up to 2.8x for Full-HD. The flight duration in regular mode is up to 25 minutes. The maximum distance is 2.4 miles, which is more than you can expect from affordable drones.
If you want to find the best aerial photography drone, pay attention to this model, which is the basis of the company’s line of consumer drones.
It is the primary aerial icon drone with an expert high-quality camera with a 1” matrix. It has a high contrast ratio, maximum ISO 12800, 20MP resolution and f2.8 aperture. The lens has a wide 84° viewing angle. Thus, you can take pictures in both JPEG and DNG format.
All these features of the best drones with a camera help to take spotless images with extensive post-processing capabilities. Thanks to the special camera, this drone can be compared to semi-professional cameras and camcorders. It allows you to get a 360-degree nature and landscape panorama without additional efforts. You can even shoot high in the mountains. The maximum is four miles above sea level. Also, there is a smart autopilot system with obstacle detection sensors, the flight time of up to 30 minutes with one battery, flight range of up to 4.3 miles, and an excellent tool for aerial nature photography. This model is recommended for drone wedding photography.
The Yuneec Mantis Q is a new aerial photography drone from American brand Yuneec. Its primary advantages are foldable design and long flight duration. Judged solely by these characteristics, this quadcopter can compete with DJI Mavic Air or Parrot Anafi, but, sadly, the drone’s photo shooting capability bring it to a lower class, similar to the DJI Spark and Parrot Bebop 2. The reason is that the Yuneec Mantis Q doesn’t offer mechanical gimbal stabilization except for controlling the camera vertical angle.
Regarding the aerial photo drone functionality, it supports DNG, both in 4:3 (4160×3120) and 16:9 (4800×2700) aspect ratios. CMOS-matrix size is 1/3.306”, which is a bit smaller than the industry standard. The manufacturer also mentions 4K-support (30 fps), but due to the lack of electronic stabilization, it’s useless. Realistically, we will point out supporting solely a 1080p (60 independent agency with digital triple-axis stabilization) video output.
The biggest advantage of this professional drone camera is the flight duration which is equal to 33 minutes on a single battery charge (3S 2800 mAh rechargeable battery). Also, you can use voice commands to control the drone and the camera and the included physical controller, which allows for controlling the device at a distance of up to 0.6 miles (American FCC standard). This model is a valid option to start a drone photography business.
The DJI Mavic Air is the cheapest and smallest quadcopter from the Mavic line. In terms of quality, it’s somewhere between the DJI Spark and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. This model is the best aerial photography drone if you find Spark’s flight duration and functionality insufficient but aren’t ready to spend a lot of money on a Mavic 2. When folded, the drone takes up minimal space and weights 430 grams, which is perfect for hiking.
This aerial photography drone has a camera with a 1/2.3” size CMOS sensor, 12 MP resolution, a fixed focal distance of 24mm and f/2.8 aperture. It supports ISO 100-1600 (auto) and ISO 100-3200 (manual setting), a focal length of 4 mm (24 mm in equivalent to the 36×24 mm “full shot”), and an 85o viewing angle.
The drone permits for capturing bird’s-eye pictures of up to thirty-three MP, employs automatic exposure bracketing, has AN HDR mode, and supports time-lapse photography. Images can be saved in either JPEG or DNG (RAW).
The drone has sensors at the bottom, front, and back, which help it avoid different obstacles. A single flight can last up to 21 minutes, while the maximum working distance is 4 km, meeting all the best drone for real estate requirements.
Top 7 Drones for Aerial Photography in 2020
Before you get to choose the drone that will take you to new heights and clearer perspectives, you should first check some important details about the prospective drone that you are about to buy
As you can see there are many different drones nowadays, but each of them has its own strong and weak sides. And it goes without saying, that if you have just acquainted with the world of aerial photography, it’s better to choose easy-to-control drones. Although such ones can’t fly for a long time or reach high speed, they will help you to learn the main basics of flying. And only after a certain period of time, you will be ready to purchase a professional drone, which will open even more opportunities for you.