10 Best Aerial Photography Drones for Beginners and Pros

By Tati Taylor 9 days ago, Drones

What are the best aerial photo drones to capture amazing bird’s-eye view photos?

top aerial photography drones

Aerial photography drones are rather expensive nowadays, so no wonder, people choosing such gear want to get a high-quality model. Considering the general statistics, DJI Mavic 3 is one of the most popular drones, but it doesn’t mean it will suit all people. Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro also has impressive characteristics but it can’t boast portable dimensions and intuitive controls, unlike Mavic.

For instance, if you frequently work outdoors in unfavorable weather, you’d better opt for PowerEgg X Wizard. It has a weather-sealed body and can even land on water. As a matter of fact, it is possible to find a good drone for $400. If you are chasing unparalleled image quality, e.g., when shooting weddings or real estate, you’ll have to shell out about $2,000 or even more.

Top 10 Aerial Photography Drones to Buy

  1. DJI Mavic 3 - $2,049 - High-speed data transfer
  2. Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro - $2,500 - Phone-free operation
  3. PowerEgg X Wizard - $1,150 - Can land on water
  4. DJI Mavic Air 2 - $958 – Avoids obstacles
  5. Skydio 2+ - $2,399 - For action sports
  6. DJI Phantom 3 - $810 - For taking photos indoors
  7. DJI Inspire 2 - $3,125 - Interchangeable cameras and lenses
  8. DJI Mini 2 - $449 - Lightweight & foldable
  9. Holy Stone HS720 - $174.99 - Simple to operate
  10. Potensic T25 - $149 - GPS functionality

When selecting the best drone for photography, it is necessary to consider your budget, camera functionality, image resolution, dimensions and weight, battery life, max speed, and range. In this overview, I will describe decent models from different price categories. For example, I have included a cheap drone, namely, Potensic T25, which is a nice choice for people with limited funds. There are also several drones for beginner users. They are extremely easy to operate. No matter what drone you choose, you will be able to take fantastic bird-eye view photos and jaw-dropping videos.

1. DJI Mavic 3 – Our Choice

High-speed data transfer
dji mavic 3 aerial photography drone

Weight: 1,97 lbs | Video Resolution: 4K HD, FHD 1080p | Still Resolution: 12 MP | Battery Life: 46 min | Max Range: 9.3 miles | Max Speed: 47 mph

  • ✚ Customizable aperture
  • ✚ Long flight time
  • ✚ Smart return-to-home feature
  • ✚ Wider FOV
  • Not found
Rating

Mavic 3 is the first drone with a camera by DJI capable of transmitting a 1080/60fps live feed. Thus, footage recorded by this drone is displayed at specifications close to what a camera actually records. Besides, this 4K drone is a pleasure to manipulate as it accurately responds to all controls. Thanks to the innovative Advanced RTH system, it can return to the home spot in a quick, safe, and optimized way. Photographers can also take advantage of the Pro mode if they want to make manual adjustments and shoot RAW.

dji mavic 3 aerial photography drone lifestyle

This drone is fitted with a tele camera, which is capable of recording lifelike and dynamic footage. Besides, this Hasselblad camera employs Vision Detection Auto Focus (VDAF) technology that works with multiple sensors to gauge the distance and optimize focusing speed. Another advantage of Mavic 3 is its adjustable aperture, so you can receive amazing results in different conditions.

2. Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro

Phone-free operation
autel robotics evo 2 pro aerial photography drone

Weight: 2.59 lbs | Video Resolution: 6K | Still Resolution: 20 MP | Battery Life: 40 min | Max Range: 5.5 miles | Max Speed: 45 mph

  • ✚ No GEO fencing in no-fly zones
  • ✚ Optimized for shooting in foggy weather
  • ✚ 4x lossless in-camera zoom
  • ✚ Collapsible design
  • Software calls for improvement
  • Lacks panorama mode
Rating

This camera drone was developed with true 10-bit A-Log profiles and can capture up to 1 billion colors. It defines and preserves rich detail in shadow and highlights, so you can spend less time editing your photos. Even if you have to take images in scarcely-lit spaces or areas with limited visibility, this drone with camera will collect as much color data as possible.

autel robotics evo 2 pro aerial photography drone interface

Thanks to the embedded Smart Flight System, you won’t experience any problems controlling the EVO II. Besides, due to 12 computer vision sensors, this drone perfectly copes with avoiding obstacles on its route. I also like the range of handy functions – Go Home, Failsafe, and the Starpoint Positioning System. However, the most praise-worthy feature is the availability of a smart controller with a built-in 3.3-inch OLED display. Thus, you can reach the needed spot, snap a shot, and return the drone back without using a mobile device.

3. PowerEgg X Wizard

Can land on water
poweregg x wizard aerial photography drone

Weight: 1.9 lbs | Video Resolution: 4K HD | Still Resolution: 12 MP | Battery Life: 30 min | Max Range: 3.7 miles | Max Speed: 40 mph

  • ✚ Audio-sync recording option
  • ✚ AI face recognition
  • ✚ Can function as a gimbal
  • ✚ Watertight housing
  • No RAW video modes
  • Image quality isn’t great
Rating

You may not even discern flat out that this white egg is actually a drone. What’s more, you can easily transform it into a hand-held or tripod-mounted camcorder. Though the design is truly off-kilter, PowerEgg X can fly and soar in the air smoothly. Besides, it has a watertight housing, so you can improve your aerial photography skills even in rainy weather. If needed, you can land this drone on ponds and pools.

poweregg x wizard aerial photography drone interface

The developers used patented Sync Voice technology so this drone with camera can pick up sound from the mobile’s mic and wireless mic, and automatically sync the audio with the recording. Another highlight of this piece of gear is its AI Face Recognition technology. It works very accurately, can detect faces at multiple angles, and lock the frame when following a subject. Videographers may feel a bit disappointed with this drone because of the lack of RAW format support. But that is of minor inconvenience if you are solely interested in photography. The support for DNG format is available.

4. DJI Mavic Air 2

Avoids obstacles
dji mavic air 2 aerial photography drone

Weight: 20.1 ounces | Video Resolution: 4K UHD | Still Resolution: 48 MP | Battery Life: 35 min | Max Range: 6.2 miles | Max Speed: 42.3 mph

  • ✚ Straightforward operation
  • ✚ Portable, foldable design
  • ✚ Capacious battery
  • ✚ Intelligent tracking
  • Lacks side or top sensors
Rating

If you think that the best drone for photography and videography is portable, capable of shooting RAW stills, 4K/60p videos, and slow-mo FHD footage, then DJI Mavic Air 2 will be an ideal option. This selfie drone is equipped with front, downward, and rear-facing distance sensors, so it can detect obstacles and avoid them masterfully. In fact, it can easily make an alternative route if there is a wall in front of it.

dji mavic air 2 aerial photography drone lifestyle

The shooting functions are very intuitive, so even novices can have a smooth start in aerial photography. If needed, you can lock your camera on a subject by using Spotlight 2.0. ActiveTrack 3.0 perfectly copes with keeping subjects centered. If you want to photograph moving subjects, you should turn POI 3.0 on.

5. Skydio 2+

For action sports
skydio 2+ aerial photography drone

Weight: 1,76 lbs | Video Resolution: 4K HD | Still Resolution: 12 MP | Battery Life: 27 min | Max Range: 3.7 miles | Max Speed: 36 mph

  • ✚ Great auto flight controls
  • ✚ 360° obstacle avoidance
  • ✚ Terrific subject tracking
  • ✚ Practically crash-proof
  • Long startup time due to glitches
Rating

Skydio 2+ is a very smart drone that has 200º color cameras and can “see” virtually every object around it. Thus, it is unlikely to become damaged because of crashes. If you like taking photos and recording videos in various places, be it a dense forest or a snowboard mountain track, you can fully rely on this drone.

skydio 2+ aerial photography drone lifestyle

The tracking features of Skydio 2+ are far above average. It uses cutting-edge Beacon technology, can “keep tabs” on a moving object in an autonomous mode, avoid obstacles, and even predict where a person or a vehicle will move further. Besides, it quickly adapts to changing paths. Unlike the forerunner, this drone can easily fit into regular drone backpacks.

6. DJI Phantom 3 Advanced

For taking photos indoors
dji phantom 3 advanced aerial photography drone

Weight: 8.6 lbs | Video Resolution: FHD 1080p | Still Resolution: 12.4 MP | Battery Life: 23 min | Max Range: 3,1 miles | Max Speed: 45 mph

  • ✚ Remote controller
  • ✚ Indicates charging levels
  • ✚ Amazing control and FPV range
  • ✚ Dedicated RTH button
  • Spare batteries cost much
  • No dedicated arming/disarming button
Rating

The company is developing at a frantic pace and the technologies they use for its drones are truly amazing. For example, DJI Phantom 3 Advanced comes with a new-gen Lightbridge technology that allows streaming 720p HD videos right from the drone. What’s more, a pilot can control the camera and see a video in real-time during flight. If you install the DJI Pilot app, you will be able to share your recordings straight away.

dji phantom 3 advanced aerial photography drone aerial

Phantom 3 can also function as an indoor drone thanks to the availability of optical and ultrasonic sensors. When you turn on Vision Positioning, this camera drone can fly in closed spaces without a GPS signal. This drone comes with all the cool features typically available in DJI products – GPS navigation, auto takeoffs and auto landings, a capacious battery, an integrated safety database of no-fly zones, and a handy app for iOS and Android devices.

7. DJI Inspire 2

Interchangeable cameras and lenses
dji inspire 2 aerial photography drone

Weight: 16 lbs | Video Resolution: 4K | Still Resolution: 20 MP | Battery Life: 27 min | Max Range: 4.1 miles | Max Speed: 58 mph

  • ✚ Beginner-friendly
  • ✚ Designed to last
  • ✚ Market-leading safety functions
  • ✚ Dual battery
  • Large weight and size
Rating

If you are looking for the very best aerial photography drone, you can’t expect it to cost little. This model isn’t cheap but it allows saving money in the long run. First off, it allows swapping lenses and even cameras. This is a huge bonus considering how costly new devices are. Moreover, the Inspire 2 can lift its legs from the lens rotation so a computer/second controller, can turn it freely.

dji inspire 2 aerial photography drone interface

In case you want to stream your footage in real-time – no problem. The drone supports 1080i50 and 720p60 transmission signals, so you only need to plug in a remote controller to the satellite truck and enable broadcasting. As for the safety features, they are on point. Moreover, this drone can serve you for many years without any issues, which reduces maintenance costs.

So, if you are determined to level up your video recording game and can afford a premium drone, the Inspire 2 is worth checking out. You will receive crisp footage that will require minimum tweaks in drone video editing software.

8. DJI Mini 2

Lightweight & foldable
dji mini 2 aerial photography drone

Weight: 8.78 ounces | Video Resolution: 4K HD | Still Resolution: 12 MP | Battery Life: 31 min | Max Range: 6.2 miles | Max Speed: 35.7 mph

  • ✚ 4x zoom
  • ✚ Direct download and instant editing
  • ✚ Level 5 wind resistance
  • ✚ Smart modes
  • Fails at avoiding obstacles
Rating

DJI Mini 2 is a great beginner drone, which you can use to understand how to take images and record videos at large heights. With it, you can capture breathtaking mountain views, seascapes, and more. It has a very small size and can be carried in a regular bag. Besides, you can use the drone in the US, the UK, and Australia without filling out registration papers.

dji mini 2 aerial photography drone lifestyle

Even if you are going to record footage in windy locations, you will still receive crisp footage as this drone resists level 5 winds and can take off at a max altitude of 4,000 meters. Thanks to 4x digital zoom, bringing distant objects closer to you will be easy.

9. Holy Stone HS720

Simple to operate
holy stone hs720 aerial photography drone

Weight: 16.2 ounces | Video Resolution: 4K HD | Still Resolution: 8.2 MP | Battery Life: 52 min | Max Range: 0.6 miles | Max Speed: 44 mph

  • ✚ Collapsible design + carrying case
  • ✚ GPS-based intelligent flight
  • ✚ Follow-me mode
  • ✚ Camera with a shock absorption
  • Takes a long to recharge batteries
Rating

If you are searching for a reasonably-priced camera drone that is capable of shooting HD footage, this model can fit the bill. Though it is cheaper than other variants in this overview, Holy Stone HS720 offers advanced features, intelligent flight modes, and good flight time. Moreover, it has a durable, sleek design, as well as a 2K camera.

holy stone hs720 aerial photography drone lifestyle

Another argument in favor of this drone for real estate photography is that it comes back to the home spot when the battery charge is low, a signal is lost, or when you press the “Return” key. Besides, you can take advantage of its smart functions. The drone can follow you, fly along the indicated path, or fly around a point along a circular trajectory. When the shooting is over, you can fold the drone and put it in the carrying case (included in the kit).

10. Potensic T25

GPS functionality
potensic t25aerial photography drone

Weight: 3.98 lbs | Video Resolution: FHD 1080p | Still Resolution: 4 MP | Battery Life: 10 min | Max Range: 984 feet | Max Speed: 25 mph

  • ✚ Follow-me option
  • ✚ Auto return-home feature
  • ✚ User-friendly application
  • ✚ Bundled carry case
  • Built-in camera could be better
Rating

Potensic T25 is an affordable drone that you can purchase and use to understand the intricacies of GPS drone flying. It has the return-home function, so you only need to set the take-off point and it will land there when a session is over. Thus, you can have peace of mind about the safety of your device.

potensic t25aerial photography drone lifestyle

Though Potensic T25 is positioned as a cheap drone, it is equipped with a great 2K 120-degree FOV lens real-time transmission camera, so you can receive detailed images even if the drone is flying very quickly. Besides, you can take this drone in the air, inspect the location, and only after that start taking images. Another amazing feature is GPS positioning, so the drone will locate and connect to your phone, and will follow you automatically.

IMAGE NAME FEATURES
dji mavic 3 aerial photography drone
DJI Mavic 3
OUR CHOICE
  • Customizable aperture
  • Long flight time
  • Wider FOV
CHECK PRICE
autel robotics evo 2 pro aerial photography drone
Autel Robotics EVO 2 Pro
PORTABLE
  • No GEO fencing in no-fly zones
  • 4x lossless in-camera zoom
  • Collapsible design
CHECK PRICE
poweregg x wizard aerial photography drone
WATERPROOF
WATERPROOF
  • Audio-sync recording option
  • AI face recognition
  • Can function as a gimbal
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose Aerial Photography Drone?

It is a really bad idea to start selecting a camera drone by studying the specs and a list of features. You’d better define how much money you are ready to spend on this equipment and how you will use it. Do you need a portable copter to have some fun in your garden or even a house? Are you shopping for a pro-level drone to extend your photography services with aerial shooting? Think carefully and determine your priorities. I have listed the most common things on how to choose a drone below.

Flight Range

When you choose a drone for photography https://fixthephoto.com/best-drone-for-photography.html (Best Drone for Photography List), it is paramount to learn about how far it can fly without losing connection with a controller. Typically, the bigger the distance, the more flexible the shooting process is. If you plan to capture mountain peak views or some far-flung spots, you definitely need a copter with a huge flight range.

Obstacle Avoidance

Even if you opt for a durable drone, you should do all possible to prevent various collisions. This task becomes easier if a copter is equipped with special sensors to scan surroundings, define how close different objects are, and what the best route to avoid obstacles is. If you purchase such a drone, you will be able to work in stormy weather and in tight spaces with next-to-none risks.

Controller System

aerial photography drone controller system

You can control your drone via a dedicated controller, a mobile app, or both ways. No matter whether you are selecting a drone wedding photography or for any other genre, you definitely want it to be obedient and responsive to your commands. Typical, a separate controller is more advantageous in this regard. Besides, some controllers have built-in screens or smartphone mounts, so pilots can see what’s being recorded without delays.

Size

For some people, the best aerial photography drone is small, while others want a bigger and more feature-rich model. As you see, the choice boils down to personal preferences. Currently, manufacturers produce foldable copters so that photographers and filmmakers can get functional gear that is easy to carry around.

GPS

aerial photography drone gps

If you navigate the section of premium drones, you will see that most of them have an embedded GPS. Besides, they are equipped with the return-to-home function (RTH) and will easily find their way to the take-off spot. This is truly amazing and reduced the chances of losing your expensive equipment. Besides, GPS enhances the overall stability of a drone.

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