This review for best drone camera for 2018 was initially intended to incorporate several drones from different companies and offer comparisons between them. As we looked and compared drones, it all boiled down to the fact that DJI makes the best drones period. DJI has been so innovative in their designs and they continually out perform the competition in every aspect. From the super portable foldable Mavic Air and Mavic Pro, to the Phantom and Inspire line. Here is the information you need to pull the trigger on any one of these outstanding Drones. Whether it will be for personal or professional use, any of the DJI drones will be a good choice.
Best Drone Camera for 2018 Comparison Chart
|DJI Mavic Air|
|DJI Mavic Pro|
|DJI Mavic Pro Platinum|
|DJI Phantom 4 Pro|
|Sensor Size||1.2/3" CMOS||1.2/3" CMOS||1.2/3" CMOS||1.2/3" CMOS||1" CMOS|
|Transfer Speed||45 Mb/s||100 Mb/s||100 Mb/s||100 Mb/s||100 Mb/s|
|Flight Range||1.5 Miles||2.4 Miles||4.3 Miles||4.3 Miles, 60% quieter||3 Miles|
|Flight Time||16 Min||21 Min||27 Min||30 Min||30 Min|
|Top Speed||31 mph||42 mph||40.4 mph||40.4 mph||45 mph|
|Weight||.66 lbs||.95 lbs||26 oz||26 oz||3 lbs|
Drones with cameras have really changed the game for photography and videography, as they can capture angles you just can’t with a regular camera setup. They allow for an aerial bird’s eye view which was previously inaccessible, unless you attempted to break a leg by climbing a tree with expensive equipment. Even then, high quality, stable pictures like ones you get from state of the art drones like DJI was just not possible.
A drone is now a must-have item in your camera arsenal since it completes your kit by giving you access to impossible shots. However, if you’re still not entirely convinced, we have outlined here why exactly you need a drone.
Portability is High
This may not seem like a huge feature to you, but the portability of camera equipment is one highly necessary element to look at. Whether you’re out traveling the world or exploring another exciting portion of the same city you’ve lived in all your life, a drone can be a lifesaver. Many famous videographers like Casey Neistat use drone technology to add flair to their videos without fatiguing themselves in the process.
If you’re on the move, climbing a mountain, running on the beach, combing through streets- you need a drone to get those aerial shots without actually carrying a metric ton of equipment. Every photographer knows the pain of lugging around heavy cameras, lens, tripods, and a million other items. A lightweight, easily functioning drone, which is operated by something as small as your phone, can be a dream.
There’s a Drone for Everyone
The best part about drones with a camera is that it is now possible for a photographer or videographer to get amazing aerial shots within their budget. There are some high-end drones with 4K picture quality and long run times like the DJI Mavic Pro or the DJI Phantom, but cheaper models do exist that might just be in your range.
The DJI Spark Quadcopter is one of the cheapest models out there with 1080p video resolution. While it may not be as powerful as the Mavic or the Phantom, it can still allow you to explore the world of aerial photography or videography.
High Application with High Quality
Using a drone is just easier in terms of application. Landscape or metropolitan cities, they can all easily be captured using the efficient drone. Some photographers and videographers use drones for high commercial views and it comes in handy if you want to promote tourism or elevate scenic beauty. This is especially useful if you have a high quality video resolution as provided by the Phantom or the Mavic drone. The detached quality of the drone from high above also has a sense of peace attached to it. A drone can be used to capture animals or used on site as well.
It isn’t easy to get beautiful aerial shots of the location around you, but the latest arsenal by DJI drones really does make it easier to execute. It’s best to make a learned experience when buying a drone. For more information on the specifics for best drone camera for 2018, read on.
#1 DJI Spark, Best Drone Camera for 2018
So Portable you can take it anywhere, compact and solid
Features all of the signature DJI technologies
Including a mechanical gimbal, a camera that has outstanding image quality, and intelligent flight control
Using only hand gestures, incredible aerial shots can be achieved without a controller or smartphone.
Spark can take off from your hand, using FaceAware software, by face recognition. Within a few seconds of takeoff it can hover in place.
Flight Autonomy, Return to Home, Flight Protection, Intelligent Battery
Pano-Sphere, Pano-Horizontal, Pano-Vertical, ShallowFocus, Pano-180°
High Definition Wi-Fi Transmission
720P real-time video, up to 1.2 miles away.
12 MP Photos
Has gesture controls
Can be controlled by smartphone
Can perform subject tracking
Forward obstacle avoidance
Battery lasts for around 14 minutes
Only supports 1080p video
If this is a first drone, you should get the DJI Spark. It’s small, lightweight, easy to fly, can be controlled by smartphone and hand gestures, and is inexpensive.
#2 DJI Mavic Air, in our lineup of Best Drone Camera for 2018
Ultra portable foldable design, lightweight and ready to take to the air
Enhanced Wi-Fi Video Transmission
Dual Frequency Bands of 2.4 and 5.8GHz. Capable of 720P Live View up to 2.48 miles.
Fast in Sport Mode
Up to 42.5 MPH
Extended Flight Time
Up to 21 Minutes of flight thanks to the High Density Lithium Batteries.
Flight Autonomy 2.0
Vision Sensing System
You can use hand gestures to control the Mavic Air.
Six different quick shots are available, Rocket, Dronie, Circle, Helix, Asteroid, and Boomerang.
Can follow moving targets that are jumping, cycling, and running.
Foldable Remote Controller
Holds your SmartPhone. Detachable controllers are stored inside the controller.
Has a Micro SD Card Slot and 8 GB of internal storage.
Supports recording of 1080P 120fps.
4K 100 Mbps Video
4K 30 FPS Video
21-Minute Flight Time
New QuickShot modes
No USB support for charging.
Most people love the features of the Mavic Air, it is the most compact drone capable of shooting high quality 4K video. One great drone in our list of Best Drone Camera for 2018.
#3 DJI Mavic Pro
It can be as compact as a water bottle when folded up
Looking for a small drone that’s easy to control, with a top speed of 40 mph, can fly for 27 minutes, capture 4K video, has a range of 4.3 miles? Then we recommend that you take a close look at one of the best drone camera 2018, the DJI Mavic Pro.
Has Downward and Forward vision sensors and without GPS it can precisely hover indoors or anyplace.
Longer Flying Time
Up to 27 minutes with a maximum range of 4.3 miles.
No Lost Pixels
The camera has a 3-Axis Mechanical Stabilization system for sharp photos and stable video with no lost pixels.
4k Ultra High Definition Video
4K Video at 30 fps
No Film Crew Needed
With ActiveTrack, just direct it to who you want it to track, it’ll look like it was shot by a pro.
Wave for a selfie
A wave (or gesture) is all it takes for the best selfies.
With tripod mode, every move is smooth, slow, and accurate.
With a flight time of up to 27 minutes, you can check flight time remaining and battery status in real time.
Extra Reliable with Extra Sensors
The Mavic has a pair of each of the key sensors for extra reliability. If one sensor goes bad, there’s a backup.
The model is extremely stable and steady.
The Mavic Pro can be flown by phone or with Wi-Fi.
The field of view of Mavic’s Pro camera is not very wide.
With its compact size, higher frame rate, obstacle avoidance feature, longer flight time, and Mavic’s gesture mode, the Mavic Pro is a great choice.Check Price on Amazon
#4 DJI Mavic Pro Platinum, Best Drone Camera for 2018
The Mavic Pro and the Mavic Pro Platinum have the same specifications except that the Mavic Pro Platinum has a longer flight time and an increased hover time. It also has 4dB of noise reduction.
Improved Flight Time
Better flight time of 30 minutes, and noise reduction of 60%. The hover time has been increased to 27 minutes.
The model is extremely stable and steady
The Mavic Pro Platinum can be flown with Wi-Fi or by Smartphone
The field of view of Mavic’s Pro Platinum camera is not very wide, but that’s minor.
With its improved flight time of 30 minutes, 60% noise reduction, high frame rate, compact size, increased hover time, obstacle avoidance feature, and Mavic’s hand gesture mode, the Mavic Pro Platinum is an excellent choice.
#5 DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Check out these great specs:
20mp 1in sensor
H.264 and H.265 dual codec
30 minute flight time
4.3 mile (7km) long range control.
One inch sensor camera with 60fps 4K video
Rear and Forward obstacle detection
Automated flight modes
Subject recognition and tracking
Somewhat pricey, but well worth it
You can get professional quality 4K video with the Pro, and by using your phone or a tablet, it will save you $300 compared to the Pro+ that uses a dedicated controller with display.
Note: The FAA requires all drone owners to register each drone that is purchased weighing between 0.55lbs to 55lbs (this includes all of the DJI drones on this web-site). If you do not register, you will be subject to civil and criminal penalties defined in the U.S. Government drone regulation terms.