This guide provides all of the information you need to quickly find the best camera drone for you, whether you’re a new or intermediate pilot.
There are lots of options out there when it comes to buying a drone.
To help you sort through all the noise, this guide is a full review of the best drones with cameras for sale in 2021.
Let’s get started:
The links below contain a ton of great information for both new and intermediate pilots.
If you feel you know all of this information already, skip to the next section.
- What Is A Camera Drone?
- 18 Most Important Features When Buying a Camera Drone
- How to Choose the Right Camera Drone For Your Needs
- U.S. Drone Laws and Regulations
- How to Get a Commercial Drone License
- FAA Drone Information
Best Camera Drones for Sale in 2021
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro — Best Camera Drone 2021
- DJI Mavic Pro — Best For Amateur Photography & Videography
- DJI Mavic Mini — Best For Recreational Pilots
- DJI Mavic Air 2 — Best For Traveling
- DJI Mavic 2 Zoom — Best Zoom
- DJI Phantom 4 Pro— Best For Professionals
- Yuneec Typhoon H3 — Best For Cinematography
- Holy Stone HS720 — Best Under $300
- DBPOWER X400W — Best For Beginners
- Hubsan X4 (H107C) — Best Cheap Camera Drone
Fly Responsibly: If you live in the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration requires many drones to be registered. This includes hobby and professional drones. Visit the FAA’s drone registration page for more information. Also check out the U.S. drone laws and regulations and our guide to getting a U.S. commercial drone license if you plan on becoming a professional pilot.
1. Best Camera Drone 2021 — DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Pros: High-quality images. Obstacle sensing and collision avoidance. Fast speed and long 31-minute flight time. Easy to operate. Great for traveling with.
Cons: A larger investment than most other drones.
Allow me to introduce you to the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, a drone that captures some of the highest quality 20-megapixel images available on a drone.
This powerful quadcopter is a favorite by both professional pilots and recreational pilots with its automatic collision-avoidance protection, 31 minutes of flying time, and a top speed of 44 mph.
The Mavic 2 Pro has a three-axis gimbal-mounted camera that rotates freely and that can hold its position accurately for steady shots.
The 8 GB of internal storage (and SD memory card support of up to 128 GB of extra storage) give you ample space to save photos and videos, and there are tons of useful accessories available for this quad to enhance your flights.
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro has one of the longest ranges of any drone (8 km) and one of the longest flight times (31 minutes).
I can’t tell you just how helpful it is to know that flyaways are almost a thing of the past for this drone and you don’t need to switch batteries every 15 minutes just to get the shots you want.
And when you do need to charge batteries on the go, they only take an hour each (compared to 1.5 to 2 hours for similar models).
But what brings this drone together is its portability.
You get all of this amazing tech in a drone that’s half the size of its competitors AND it folds down to around the size of a water bottle for easy transport.
Portability is the future, and I believe the future has already arrived with this quadcopter.
All in all, the Mavic 2 Pro is one of the best drones on the market today.
2. Best For Amateur Aerial Photography & Videography — DJI Mavic Pro
Pros: Top tier technology in a portable package. High end camera. One of the longest ranges and flight times available. Fast max flight speed. Easy-to-use and accurate autopilot flight modes.
Cons: A small percentage of people have complained about batteries arriving as duds. However, they were returned to the manufacturer and replaced.
Welcome to the DJI Mavic Pro.
This quadcopter finally took the top complaints of drone pilots over the last five years and addressed them in an all-in-one, complete package.
First off, the camera is fantastic. It takes 12 megapixel still photos and shoots 4K video while being perfectly stabilized by its shock-mounted 3-axis gimbal.
You can capture slow motion video up to 120 fps at 720p and 96 fps at 1920 x 1080 full HD.
The camera can also take crisp photos at 4000 x 3000 pixels and with its 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor.
And the drone’s autopilot flight modes are super accurate and easy to use.
The Mavic Pro is a solid option for amateur aerial photographers and videographers.
3. Best For Recreational Pilots — DJI Mavic Mini
Pros: Quick Shot modes. Excellent flight time. 12MP still photos. 2.7K video. Weighs less than 250 grams. Can be controlled with a smartphone.
Cons: App can sometimes drain phone battery rather quickly.
The DJI Mavic Mini is one of the most affordable high-powered drones on the market.
It’s incredible compact, making it easy to take on trips and travel with, and it comes with a 12MP camera that shoots video in 2.7K.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find those specs on another drone of this size.
The Mavic Mini comes with a long 30-minute flight time as well, and there’s no need to carry around a big controller because you can operate it with your smartphone.
This quadcopter is great for new pilots who want quality videos and images and anyone who wants a portable mini drone.
4. Best For Traveling — DJI Mavic Air 2
Camera: 48MP / 4K | Flight Time: 34 mins | Range: 18.5 km | GPS: Yes
Pros: Great size and portability for traveling. Powerful 48 megapixel camera that shoots video in crisp 4K. Incredibly long range. Flight time is also one of the highest available.
Cons: Radio interference in city areas can reduce range.
In April 2020, DJI launched the DJI Mavic Air 2, one of the best drones for traveling with and an excellent overall piece of technology in general.
The 48 megapixel, 34-minute flight time, and affordable price point make the Air 2 a great option for a wide range of pilots.
Its autonomous flight modes and 3-axis gimbal (for camera stability) allow any pilot to get expert quality shots, and it can fly up to speeds of 42 mph.
The Mavic Air 2 is worth considering you’re looking for a great combination of portability, affordability, and beautiful aerial photos and videos.
5. Best Zoom — DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
Pros: Excellent combo package. Up to 4X optical zoom. 8km control distance. Stable outdoor flyer. 12MP stills to 48MP stills. 360-degree panoramas. Obstacle sensing. 31-minute flight time.
Cons: Follow the directions and read the manual. Many of the Mavic 2 Zoom’s more unadvertised advanced features are there.
The Mavic 2 Zoom comes with a 2X optical zoom camera (up to 4X if the camera is set to 1080p), 360-degree panoramas, an 8km control distance, obstacle sensing, and a 31-minute flight time.
The Mavic 2 Zoom’s still photos aren’t advertised to be as good as its counterpart (12MP vs 20MP).
However, with “super resolution mode,” the drone can stitch together 9 photos and take super high resolution 48 megapixel still photos.
Also, if the camera is set to 1080p, you can zoom from 24mm to 96mm (4X zoom), take a 360-degree panorama, and have it ready for sharing.
The Mavic 2 Zoom is a nifty quadcopter that gives pilots more variety to be creative with their shots.
6. Best For Professionals — DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Pros: Collision avoidance. GPS-assisted flight. Long flight time. Advanced camera. Lots of accessories available. Great online support community. Long control distance.
Cons: Bigger size, so if you’re going to travel with this drone a carrying case is recommended.
The DJI Phantom 4 Professional is one of the most technologically advanced aerial drones on the market. It sports a high quality camera that takes 20 megapixel still photos and shoots video in 4K resolution, and it comes with a ton of autonomous flight modes.
But one of my favorite aspects of this quadcopter is its five directions of obstacle sensing. You can fly the drone thousands of meters away from you, around buildings, over trees, and it will automatically return back to you while avoiding all of those same obstacles on its own. It’s truly amazing.
I also love the Phantom 4 Pro’s 30-minute flight time. Battery life is one of the biggest complaints among drone owners. With the P4 Pro, I was able to get all the shots I needed with ample time to land safely before the battery ran out. If I was on a particularly long shoot, I simply brought some spare batteries with me and never worried about not having enough air time.
My only concern is that the P4’s size makes it difficult to transport (this is true for most drones of this size). I’d suggest buying a carrying case if you’re planning to travel with your drone. Carrying cases these days will also hold all of your other parts/accessories as well.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this multirotor. It flies well, the GPS gives you some great autopilot capability, and it has one of the longest flight times of any drone available today.
7. Best For Cinematography — Yuneec Typhoon H3
Pros: Hexacopter (6 blades) for added stability. Comes with Normal, Vivid, WDR, 10 Bit Log, and B&W picture modes. FPV (first person view) LCD screen standard on the controller. Shoots 4K video at 60 fps.
Cons: Range is shorter than most other drones in this tier, but still long enough for most pilots’ needs.
The Yuneec Typhoon H3 is a powerful drone for aerial cinematography.
Yuneec is one of the best manufacturers geared towards designing professional-quality rigs. The Typhoon H3 is one of them.
With a 20 megapixel camera that shoots video in 4K at 60 frames per second, the H3 is set up to take slow motion video in crisp, clear detail.
Its controller comes with a first person view (FPV) screen built-in, so no need to buy a separate monitor if you don’t want to.
With its 3-axis gimbal and hexacopter design for added stability, and the Typhoon H3 is an excellent choice to consider for cinematographers.
8. Best Under $300 — Holy Stone HS720
Pros: Smartphone FPV capability. Return to Home and Follow Me modes. Folds down so it’s easy to transport. 90°adjustable lens camera. Able to set custom flight paths.
Cons: Additional batteries must be paid for separately.
The Holy Stone HS720 is one of the best deals in the drone industry.
At less than $300, the HS720 has a powerful camera for a drone in this tier.
Its 4K UHD camera gives you the capability to take some wonderful shots, and a 26-minute flight time gives you more than enough battery life to get some quality shots.
The HS720 also comes with GPS Return to Home and Follow Me modes, easily allowing you to instruct the quad come back when you want it to land and follow you.
For this price, the Holy Stone HS720 is nice option to consider.
9. Best For Beginners — DBPOWER X400W
Pros: Surprisingly good camera. Good flight time. Affordable FPV experience. Small enough to fly indoors and out. Strong motors. Headless mode. VR headset compatible.
Cons: Can get pushed around if conditions are too windy.
The MJX X400W from DBPOWER is one of the drones I recommend most to new pilots.
It comes with a 720p camera that’s surprisingly crisp for such an inexpensive drone, it has a nine minute flight time, and it has a 100 meter control range, which is more than enough to get the shots you want.
But most importantly, the drone comes with FPV capability. You can attach your mobile device to the drone’s controller and get a first person view from up above. The X400W is one of the cheapest ways to get a bird’s eye view.
In my tests, the quad was also powerful enough to handle outdoor winds quite well. It does get pushed around a bit, but for the most part it’s quite steady.
The MJX X400W is a fantastic drone for pilots who want to learn how to fly, practice their skills, and get an FPV experience.
10. Best Cheap Drone — Hubsan X4 (H107C)
Pros: Fun to fly. Good indoor and outdoor drone. Two flight modes for different skill levels. Short battery charging time to get back up in the air quickly.
Cons: No FPV capability.
The Hubsan H107C is the final Hubsan in this list, but I believe it is a fantastic overall mini drone.
Hubsan got all of the right aspects correct. It has a nice, long 100 meter control distance, a short 30 to 40 minute charging time to get you back in the air quickly, and a surprisingly good 2 megapixel camera that shoots video in 720p.
Its 8-minute flight time is also very respectable, and it comes with normal and expert modes for different skill levels.
All in all, I found this quad to be a really fun flyer that’s also durable and easy to fly.
The Hubsan H107C is a great little cheap camera drone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best camera drone?
The best camera drone for sale right now is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. It comes with tons of advanced features, like obstacle sensing and autonomous flight modes. It folds down, making it easy to transport. And it can fill the needs of a wide range of pilots.
How do I choose the right drone?
To choose the right drone, first decide what price range you want to look at. Beginner drones typically cost $20 to $200. A bit more advanced drones cost $200 to $500. And really high quality drones will usually cost $500 to $1500. Once you know your price range, then look at camera quality, flight time, range, and any other features you may want. This will all depend on your flying needs.
Which drone has the best camera quality?
The DJI Mavic Pro, Pro 2, and Zoom offer the best camera quality for the money. If you want something with an even higher quality camera, you will likely pay over $3,000. These drones are usually reserved for professional film sets.
Which is better: the Mavic Pro or Zoom?
How much does a good quality drone cost?
Thanks to technological innovations, good quality drones can cost as little as $300. You can now get 4K cameras on these drones. However, most good quality drones cost between $500 and $1500.
What is the best camera drone for beginners?
The best camera drone for beginner pilots is the DBPOWER X400W or the DJI Mavic Mini. The X400W is a cheaper option that’s very simple to operate. The Mavic Mini is more expensive but provides a wide variety of features and comes with a higher quality camera.