Top Pick for
Overall camera drone
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Finder's team looked over numerous camera drone product listings from a range of manufacturers and chose these top picks based on reviews left by real customers. For each category, we carefully checked key features to determine which drones would be best suited to match your needs.
As mentioned in our best drones roundup, DJI's mid-range Mavic Air 2 is the best overall camera drone you can currently get your hands on. And with 5-star ratings making up 89% of all reviews on Amazon, customers clearly love using the capable and compact drone.
The drone comes loaded with recording modes and features, including the popular QuickShots functionality, which automatically captures complex camera shots in super sharable formats designed for social media. DJI's FocusTrack technology is also featured on the Mavic Air 2, which is welcome news for those looking to capture smooth footage of a moving object.
The Mavic Air 2 also supports capturing 8K hyperlapse footage for those who value every pixel of detail. Unfortunately, that's the only thing you can record in 8K. For every other mode, the highest resolution you'll crank out of the drone is 4K. This isn't the end of the world, though. While 8K functionality would future-proof the drone, most people won't have a device that supports playback at that resolution anyway.
The Mavic Air 2 sports a foldable design which makes it more compact and easy to carry around. The drone weighs in at a reasonable 570 grams, which isn't anywhere near as light as the DJI Mini 2 but is still easy enough to transport.
Some customers mention that DJI's "Fly" app can be buggy at times. Others say the drone's lack of top and side-mounted object avoidance sensors means you'll have to keep a watchful eye on the drone, making sure it doesn't bump into anything.
With its 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, DJI's Mavic 2 Pro is the best camera drone you can pick up if you're looking to capture the best looking photos from above.
DJI makes use of its majority ownership of Swedish camera-maker Hasselblad, with the company using its L1D-20c camera and colour processing technology on the Mavic 2 Pro. Behind the lens, a large 1-inch CMOS sensor captures 20MP photos and 4K video. The larger sensor helps the drone to capture more detail in every snap, while also improving its low-light performance.
Where the drone falls short of its sibling, the Mavic Air 2, is video capture performance. The Mavic 2 Pro supports 4K video recording at 30 frames per second, capturing a great deal of detail at a high resolution. Still, that's not quite the 4K at 60 frames per second offered by the cheaper Mavic Air 2.
Like most of DJI's other consumer-grade drones, the Mavic 2 Pro features a foldable design that makes it easy to take from place to place as you find the right spot to get that perfect shot. All of the high-end tech packed into the drone pushes its weight up to almost a whole kilogram (907 grams). Even with that extra heft, 31 minutes of flight time can be squeezed out of the Mavic 2 Pro's interchangeable battery.
In their reviews, several customers praised the Mavic 2 Pro's handling and stability. Others said the drone is power-hungry and that you might want to pick up a spare battery to maximise flight time between charging. These batteries aren't the cheapest, hitting $199 on Amazon.
With a focus on versatile video capturing and a 4.8 out of 5 rating on Google, the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is the best camera drone for those wanting to record high-quality video.
The key selling point of the Mavic 2 Zoom is in its name: zoom functionality. Its camera is equipped with 2x optical zoom, allowing you to capture footage from further away without video quality suffering. At full HD, the drone is also capable of 4x lossless zoom, so you can get even further away from the video subject. The variable 24-48mm focal length also allows you to capture different perspectives in your videos.
Like the Mavic 2 Pro, 4K video capture is unfortunately limited to just 30 frames per second. Thankfully, the Mavic 2 Zoom can crank out 60 frames per second footage at 2.7K, and up to 120 frames per second at 1080p.
The drone features "Dolly Zoom" as a new autonomous QuickShots mode, which adjusts the camera's zoom and focus mid-flight to create a unique visual effect. And for those into recording hyperlapse footage, the Mavic 2 Zoom features four automated modes to help you capture smooth and engaging video.
For those recording and editing a bunch of content from the Mavic 2 Zoom, its use of the H.265 video codec will be hugely beneficial. H.265 has massive efficiency benefits over the commonly used H.264 codec, saving users heaps of storage space.
DJI's video-focused drone isn't just for recording, though. The Mavic 2 Zoom can capture photos in resolutions as high as 4000x3000, and can snap "Super Resolution" images by stitching together nine photos.
Several customers praised the drone's zoom functionality, as it allowed them to take visually appealing videos and grab different perspectives that wowed others. Other reviewers mentioned that the drone's performance in low-light situations was not quite up to scratch, especially when compared to the strong performance of the Mavic 2 Pro.
Autel's EVO II with the 8K camera mounted is the best camera drone supporting the super-high resolution currently on the market. Its 4.2 out of 5 star rating from reviews on Amazon makes it a capable option if you really need that extra resolution.
The Autel EVO II allows users to capture 8K video at 25 frames per second, and can also take 8K hyperlapse footage. The drone additionally sports 4K video capture at 60 frames per second, so you can record smooth footage to your heart's desire.
The EVO II supports 10-bit HDR video at 4K, which captures more vibrant colours than standard video. If you need a tighter angle or more distance between your drone and the subject, the drone supports up to 8x zoom.
Those looking at using the drone to snap photos will appreciate the 48MP camera. With this, the drone can capture a great deal of detail in its photos with visual clarity retained even where images need to be cropped.
Being ahead of the curve with 8K video is going to set you back, though. Australians will struggle to find the drone for any cheaper than $2,500, which is a comparable price to the top-of-the-line consumer-grade options from DJI.
For those worried about crashing their expensive new drone, the EVO II has sensors around the whole device which not only allow it to track targets easily but also avoid obstacles mid-flight. The drone's failsafe functionality will return the drone to you if the connection to the controller is lost or if its battery dips too low.
Some reviewers mentioned that Autel's drone wasn't as controllable or smooth in flight as those produced by DJI. Others said that the camera quality could be unimpressive while zoomed in.
The Ryze Tello, with its affordable price and 4.4 out of 5 rating out of thousands of reviews on Google, is the best camera drone for those just getting started.
The drone features a relatively small camera supporting video up to 720p at 30 frames per second, which is low given today's standards. For easily shareable videos, the included EZ Shots mode automatically captures video while autonomously moving about.
If you're wanting to grab photos using the drone, they'll come out at a resolution of 2592x1936.
The Tello is made to be painless and easy to use. It's controlled straight from your phone, directly streaming its 720p video to whatever device is connected to it. You can also control it with compatible controllers, and it supports VR headsets for first-person flying. The small quadrotor device can even be launched by simply tossing it into the air.
It was also designed with safety in mind, with collision detection and propeller protection ensuring nothing and no one is impacted by the 80-gram flying machine. You'll also get alerts when the battery is low, and the drone will automatically land itself if you lose connection to it.
Unfortunately, the Tello's battery is pretty average. You'll only manage to squeeze a maximum of 13 minutes of flight time out of the little drone. You won't be flying it far away either, with just 100 metres of range.
A learning-focused version of Ryze's affordable Tello drone, the Tello EDU is the best camera-equipped drone for kids to pick up for play and to learn. It's a little pricier than the standard model, but its expanded feature set makes it a great pick for kids interested in programming.
The key features from the standard Tello are also on the Tello EDU, including the average-looking camera with 720p video and 5MP photos. It also keeps the EZ Shots functionality which allows users to automatically capture footage while the drone moves autonomously.
Where the Tello EDU differs from its almost-identical twin is its bolstered educational functionality. The drone features an upgraded Software Development Kit (SDK) which allows for more advanced programming using the included "Mission Pads". The EDU model also allows multiple drones to be programmed at once in a "swarm", allowing the one device to control them in sync.
If your kids aren't all that into programming, and you just want to grab them a cheap and easy-to-use drone, the standard Tello will do the trick. There's no good reason to drop an extra $50 on the EDU model for the upgraded programming functionality and swarm functionality if it'll never be used – especially when the standard version commonly goes on sale for way less than retail.
With a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, the SNAPTAIN SP510 is the best camera drone you can buy for less than $300.
The drone is capable of recording video at 2.7K and can capture stills at resolutions as high as 4K. It's important to note that the max quality of videos and pictures depends on whether they're saved internally to a microSD card or if they're sent straight to your phone. Unfortunately for some, the camera comes without any of the extra bells and whistles like HDR photo and video.
The SP510 can be controlled through SNAPTAIN's app, which works across multiple platforms, including iOS and Android. Phones can be held by the included controller, though it's not a perfect solution. Some users said some bigger phones, such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, wouldn't fit into the remote. So if you've got a plus-sized phone, you might struggle to attach it to the controller.
Keeping in line with the majority of drones on this list, the SP510 features a foldable design that makes it easier to carry around from place to place. Handily, the included remote also has a foldable design for seamless packing.
The advertised 16 minutes of flight time is certainly not going to blow anyone away, especially when compared to the market-leading DJI drones which can typically achieve more than double that. Customer reviews mentioned that battery life actually averaged between 10 and 15 minutes.
DJI's compact Mini 2 is the best small-sized drone with a camera that's available right here in Australia. The drone has earned an impressive 4.8 out of 5 rating on Google from more than 500 reviews, and at a price point of $749, it's the best compromise between features, quality and price.
Packed into the small shell of the Mini 2 is a 12MP camera capable of recording 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. If you need to keep your distance from the subject of your photo or video, the drone also features 4x zoom.
DJI's QuickShots functionality is onboard the Mini 2, allowing you to take videos in pre-programmed patterns. Unfortunately, the drone doesn't support HDR, so videos might not have the same crisp colours as if they were taken on the Mini 2's higher-end siblings.
One thing's for sure: The Mini 2 isn't a heavy drone. At 249 grams, it's a similar weight to the largest flagship smartphones from the likes of Apple and Samsung. For that extra convenience, the drone is also foldable, making it perfect for travel.
The Mini 2 has no obstacle avoidance sensors, which may not be the best news for those who are anxious about accidentally crashing a pricey piece of aerial machinery. The lack of object avoidance sensors has another downside: no automatic object tracking. With DJI's Active Track functionality absent from the Mini 2, you won't be able to easily follow moving targets like you can with the bigger (and more expensive) DJI drones.
Some customers in their reviews mentioned that the Mini 2 was good for beginners as it's easy to control and get the hang of. Other customers placed emphasis on the drone's lack of object avoidance sensors which mean you have to be extra careful when flying it. Some customers also said that buying a second battery could be a good idea if you're looking to get more flight time out of the device between charges.
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