With vlogging being one of the most popular money-makers on social media, flying cameras are all the rage! Whether you're looking for a cheap drone or a professional camera drone that follows you, you're sure to find what you're looking for right here. If you want to buy the best drone for beginners, it can be difficult to know where to start, especially when attention to detail is so crucial - you don't want to waste your money on a cheap drone with a camera if it can't get a good image, right?
That's why we looked at top-trending brands in the drone industry and put together the top ten camera drones to buy online in 2020. You can look at the notorious DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 drone which films in 4K, or perhaps you're more interested in a cheaper HD option under £100. Before you start shopping on Amazon and eBay, read up on the key features to look out for down below to help you pick the best drone with a camera for you.
There are a wide variety of camera drones available in the UK and each one serves a different purpose. Ask yourself if you need a drone for taking fun family videos, or if you need it to improve your portfolio. Every drone is different and we're here to help you find the best camera drone for you.
As of the 30th of November 2019, it is now illegal to fly a drone in the UK weighing between 250g and 20kg, without obtaining a license first. This is because of the dangers and precautions that the pilots must be aware of, especially in public areas.
But, don't let this put you off your drone-flying dreams! You can study and take your test online - once you pass, you can freely fly your drone out in the open! The test is super simple and we've even gone through and highlighted the drones in our top 10 list which don't require a license. These drones are still really fun to fly and some still require a lot of technique and skill if you're looking to advance in the hobby.
If you're investing the money into buying your own camera drone, you'll want to make sure that you get good value for money. Whether you're buying a drone for professional filmmaking or you're looking to start learning about aerial photography, you'll need a decent camera to create good content.
Camera drones can capture stunning, clear footage if it has the right resolution. The most popular type of resolution found in professional camera drones is known as 4K, while lower-grade cameras film in regular HD. The significant difference that separates these two features is the number of pixels. A 720P HD camera, for example, picks up 1,280 × 720 pixels. On the other hand, a 4K camera has 3,840 × 2,160 pixels.
You can buy a cheap camera drone which shoots in 720P HD and still manage to capture good quality content. Although, if you're interested in clear, high resolution videos, we'd recommend that you buy a 4K camera drone. We've found the best ones of each and listed them down below!
When watching drone footage on Youtube, we don't realise what exactly the drone is enduring whilst filming. During almost every flight, the drone is exposed to changing winds and sudden switches in altitude or direction. This can make the footage very shaky and practically impossible to rewatch, which is why every professional camera drone should have a gimbal.
A gimbal is a feature that controls and absorbs the jittery movements that you see on raw camera footage by holding down the weight whilst supporting several areas of the camera. It's this element of balance that is so strongly required when making videos or even taking pictures with a camera drone, so you should definitely take this into consideration before you buy!
The most popular gimbal for camera drones is the 3-axis gimbal which supports the tilt, roll, and pan, allowing the drone to move up, down and side to side without shaking the camera.
As we've mentioned, camera drones go through a lot while they're in the air. You need to make sure that you have a sturdy control from where you're stood, and also keep an eye out for any other useful features your drone might have, like extra storage or foldable arms.
When it comes to flying, you want to be able to take your drone as far as it needs to get that perfect shot. To save you chasing around trying not to lose signal, look for a camera drone with a strong range. This means that you can control your flight path right from where you're stood, you don't even have to move!
When you're buying your drone, think about how you plan to use it. If you want to record long-haul flights, you'll need a wide range to give you more time. More often than not, professional drones will have a range of about 6+ kilometers, which is perfect for beginners and pros.
If you're wanting to get the hang of simply lifting the drone off of the ground and practicing a few tricks, you can get by with a weaker range for now.
With technology advancing as rapidly as it is, we're not surprised at the rocketing number of drones which are now compatible with smartphones.
You can slot your phone in the manual controller to give you a live view of your drone's perspective. This is hugely helpful if you're tired of sending your drone out over and over again in an attempt to get the perfect shot.
Some drones which connect to your smartphone allow you to control everything by an app. This means that you can access intelligent skills like ActiveTrack and FollowMe to track specific people or objects in the frame. These extra features abandon the concept of the traditional handheld remote, which is great for young enthusiasts who aren't quite ready for drone coding and programming.
A drone can be blessed with an 18km range, but can also have a weak battery which means that you need to work quickly to get a good frame before your battery drops.
A solution to this is buying multiple battery packs to charge up and take with you while you're out and about. But we'd still strongly advise that you find a camera drone that has a substantial amount of battery to last you long enough.
This is anywhere above 12 minutes, although the practise drones usually have around 7 minutes which is good for beginners. You can find out which drones have the best battery life in our comparison table.
Most drones are compatible with SD cards or microSD cards, which make it much easier to film long videos without running out of storage space mid-flight. It's good to check to see how much content you are able to capture with your drone by determining the ways in which you want to use it - professional filmmakers need lots of room for footage, but if you're just trying to get a birds-eye view whilst out on a hike, you can manage with as little as 8GB.
Most drones have at least 8GB of storage and an additional slot for an SD card, although if you have a beginner's basic camera drone, it's likely to just use an SD card which you can remove and format once you're ready to reuse it.
This feature is far more convenient than you'd think. Carrying a drone doesn't sound like too much of an issue, but when you're heaving along the rest of your equipment or luggage, it's not ideal - especially if you're travelling with it.
High-tech fold-up arms make this a lot easier, as you can fit the drone right in your backpack before you hit the road. Although, keep in mind that this isn't one of those features that's to be expected when buying an expensive drone. In fact, even some of the most popular camera drones have a solid structure, which doesn't fold and needs its own case. It's simply a matter of brand and model, so remember this while you're choosing your favourite!
There are a lot of details about camera drones and they all have a significant impact on whether or not the drone is perfect for you. Take a look at our top ten camera drones to find out how you can use each one to get the maximum potential.
|License Required||No (81.6 g)|
|Video Resolution||720P HD|
|Battery Life||8 mins approx.|
|Storage||Imported to smartphone|
|License Required||No (80g)|
|Battery Life||13 mins approx.|
|Storage||Imported to smartphone|
|License Required||Yes (430 g)|
|Battery Life||21 mins approx.|
|Storage||8GB internal / 128GB microSD card|
|License Required||Yes (780 g)|
|Battery Life||16 mins approx.|
|Storage||SD card (capacity unspecified)|
|License Required||Yes (320 g)|
|Battery Life||25 mins approx.|
|Storage||16GB SD card|
|License Required||No (249 g)|
|Video Resolution||2.7 K|
|Battery Life||30 mins approx.|
|Storage||128GB microSD card|
|License Required||Yes (898 g)|
|Battery Life||31 mins approx.|
|Storage||8GB internal / 128GB SD card|
|License Required||Yes (1388 g)|
|Video Resolution||4K video|
|Battery Life||30 mins approx.|
|Storage||32GB internal / 128GB SD card|
|License Required||Yes (898g)|
|Battery Life||31 mins approx.|
|Storage||8GB internal storage / 128GB SD card|
|License Required||Yes (3.440 kg)|
|Battery Life||27 mins approx|
|Storage||16GB microSD card|
Mavic 2 Pro Drone Quadcopter
Phantom 4 PRO V2.0
Mavic 2 Zoom Drone Quadcopter
ANAFI 4K Drone
E520S Camera Drone
Mavic Air Drone
Shadow Drone Quadcopter
|Features||The Perfect Drone for High-...||High Tech Hasselblad Camera...||Revolutionary Development f...||A Camera Drone with Powerf...||A Camera Drone Fit for Ever...||An Agile Drone for Cinemato...||Draw Your Flight with GPS P...||Small and Sturdy||A Fun Stunt Camera||The Ultimate Drone for Begi...|
|License Required||Yes (3.440 kg)||Yes (898g)||Yes (1388 g)||Yes (898 g)||No (249 g)||Yes (320 g)||Yes (780 g)||Yes (430 g)||No (80g)||No (81.6 g)|
|Video Resolution||6K||4K||4K video||4K||2.7 K||4K||4K||4K||720P||720P HD|
|Battery Life||27 mins approx||31 mins approx.||30 mins approx.||31 mins approx.||30 mins approx.||25 mins approx.||16 mins approx.||21 mins approx.||13 mins approx.||8 mins approx.|
|Storage||16GB microSD card||8GB internal storage / 128GB SD card||32GB internal / 128GB SD card||8GB internal / 128GB SD card||128GB microSD card||16GB SD card||SD card (capacity unspecified)||8GB internal / 128GB microSD card||Imported to smartphone||Imported to smartphone|
With the jaw-dropping prices of some of the higher-quality drones, you know that it's important to look after it properly so that it will be running in tip-top condition for as long as possible. While there may be more specific advice in the manual of the drone you decide on, there's some general advice that everyone should remember.
Firstly, always do a pre-flight check before take-off. Check that the propellers are on correctly and are tightened, the drone is updated and on the right mode, the controller and the drone are connected properly, and that the lens cover is off. The batteries are also extremely important; make sure that the battery is fully charged, in good condition, and is inserted correctly. It's always a good idea to bring some spare batteries too, as well as some spare propellors.
In addition, check your surroundings so that you have a good idea of what to look out for. Is it too rainy or windy to fly safely? Are there any tall buildings or trees to be careful of? If a problem goes unnoticed, it could spell disaster once the drone is up in the sky, so you may want to write up your own personal pre-flight checklist to go over before use.
Directly after use, remove the propellors and battery. Make sure that you store the drone in a padded bag or special case to guarantee that it won't be damaged while you're on the go. You may want to bring tools for any emergency maintenance while out and about.
It's important that you clean the drone as much as you can after using it, too. Use a blower brush to get rid of any dust, dirt, grass, or other debris; you can use the blower to gently clean the camera lens and any delicate places, and the brush to sweep the dirt away. Any stubborn build-up or stains might need to be tackled with a damp microfibre cloth, or with a more powerful cleaner such as isopropyl alcohol.
If you want a camera drone to help record those amazing adventures of yours, you may be looking for more gadgets and accessories to take - after all, it's dangerous to go alone. Take a visual stroll through some of our other articles for more ideas.
Now you know everything that you need to know to finally place your order for your brand new camera drone. Owning one of these drones can help you to break barriers in whatever task that you might need it for, whilst reaching heights that you've never seen before! We hope that you enjoy learning about these innovative models and trying them out yourselves!
Author: Annie Speight
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