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Best Camera Drones in 2022

Whether you're an independent filmmaker looking to step up your game with drone videography, or simply a hobbyist looking to record stunning video to share with friends and family, you'll want to invest in a top-of-the-line camera drone.

This probably isn't a list for someone buying their first drone, however, we will note which options are most beginner friendly. Considering how expensive high-end drones are, you'll want to be sure of your competency as a pilot before you get behind the controller. Our list of best drones under $300 might be a better starting point if you've never flown a drone before in your life.

The Best

DJI Mavic Air

DJI announced the Mavic Air at CES 2018, designed to fit right between the high-end DJI Mavic Pro and "low budget" DJI Spark (if a $350 drone can be considered budget) as an intriguing entry point for anyone who wants a full-featured camera drone for under $1000.

The Air is extremely portable with arms that fold in to pack it down to the size of a bigger water bottle. It's got a kick-ass 12MP camera that shoots 4K video installed on a 3-axis gimbal giving you the freedom to shoot the craziest footage including 32MP Sphere Panoramas created by stitching together photos. For cool features like that including FPV flight you'll want the Mavic Air Fly More Bundle ($1,298).

This drone can reach flight speeds of up to 68mph in sport mode with average flight times of around 21 minutes. It's also packed with the latest smart features including Activetrack which uses advanced image recognition algorithms to track a moving object with the camera without using GPS. TapFly lets you control your drone with simple taps on the touchscreen. And it's also loaded with advanced sensors for obstacle avoidance, flight safety, and reliability.

Considering all the smart design that went into this drone, along with its portability, the DJI Mavic Air offers great value at just $800 for a state of the art drone.

See at Amazon

DJI Mavic Pro

The Mavic Pro was the first portable drone that DJI released and it's still an amazing option.

The Mavic Pro offers up to 4.3 miles of transmission range and flight speeds of up to 40mph with average flight times of around 27 minutes. Like the Mavic Air, it includes smart features including such as Activetrack and TapFly. There's a reason why this drone is so popular with videographers and drone enthusiasts alike.

The only issue is that the price hasn't come down much since the release of the Mavic Air, so it's kind of a toss-up between the two. You can get the Mavic Pro for just $810 on Amazon, or a Fly More Bundle and other essential accessories like extra batteries and blades for $1,300.

See at Amazon

Also Great

DJI Spark

The DJI Spark is one of the best consumer drones I've seen. It's a full-featured video drone that's fast, maneuverable and capable of stable flight in winds gusting up to 30mph for skilled pilots, but also easy enough for beginners to pick up.

Regularly priced at $500, you can find the DJI Spark on sale for as low as $375, which is an absolute bargain. DJI is the world's premier drone maker, and unlike lesser drones, the DJI Spark is packed with all the coolest camera tricks you'd want from a video drone — all using your smartphone.

There's TapFly that lets you use the onboard camera to plot the course, while the Spark's sensors detect and avoid obstacles for a safe and stable shot. ActiveTrack lets you keep the focus on a moving subject as the Spark follows and tracks automatically. You're also able to control the Spark via hand gestures for the ultimate selfie.

See at Amazon

Parrot Bebop 2 FPV

Parrot is a reliable name in the drone game, and the Parrot Bebop 2 is a great entry-level camera drone for anyone just getting into the hobby, but especially for those interested in FPV flying.

The body of the drone is built around the 14-megapixel fisheye camera — capturing 180-degree range of 1080p video at 30FPS, but without the horizon distortion, you'll find with other wide-angle action cameras. There're also smart built-in safety features to protect your drone, including an emergency mode that will land the drone safely and props that will stop spinning instantly when a collision is detected to avoid damage.

You control the Parrot Bebop with the Freeflight 3 app, available for Android and iOS devices, which includes one-touch return home function: this flies the drone back to its take-off point, where it hovers six feet off the ground until recovered. But this drone ships with a pretty impressive controller along with a first-person view headset for practicing racing or just checking out the epic drone views.

Set up an account on the Parrot Cloud to have your photos and videos backed up and shared with Parrot's growing community of over 100,000 pilots. Ready to fly out of the box with beginner-friendly features, the Parrot Bebop should better fit your budget (at $425) while still providing stable, quality video, with a battery that allows for up to 25 minutes of flight time.

See at Amazon

DJI Phantom 4 Pro

It should come as no surprise to see another DJI drone on this list. The DJI Phantom line has been a favorite amongst drone enthusiasts, and the Phantom 4 is as sleek and well-designed as consumer drones get.

Featuring much of the same technology found in the Inspire 1, the Phantom 4 comes with a gimbal-mounted 4K camera, which shoots at 30FPS.

Enjoy stable, precision hovering thanks to the Vision Positioning System, so even when you let go of the joystick controls, the Phantom 4 will stop and hover in place — even if the wind picks up. Use the ActiveTrack mode to easily set your drone to follow and record a moving subject, while it avoids running into trees or other objects with its built-in Obstacle Sensing System.

And then there's the overall look and design of this thing. It's by far one of the sleekest all-in-one drones on the market and is sure to turn heads whenever you take it out flying. Available for $770 with a package that includes a carrying case, spare props, and a 16GB.

See at Amazon

Blade Chroma 4K/GoPro

The Blade Chroma 4K is another solid choice that comes in four options, but all of which are essentially ready to fly out of the box.

There are two pricier versions that include a 4K camera, as well as a controller with a built-in screen for recording video and keeping track of important flight information such as altitude, speed, and remaining flight time. Upgrade to get an extra battery as well as a handy carrying case for your drone.

Then there are the cheaper versions, which allow you to mount your own GoPro (Hero 4 is recommended), with an option for a 3-axis gimbal. These versions feature the same drone as the 4K camera version, except with a standard wireless transmitter, which means you'll have to stream video from your GoPro to your smartphone.

No matter which drone you decide to go with, they all come with both Smart Mode for beginners still learning the basics and AP Mode for more advanced pilots who want maximum control over their drone. There are also amazing features like Follow Me Mode and Tracking Mode which allow you to set altitude and distance settings in advance and then focus on getting those epic shots.

It's an amazing package for a reasonable price — just under $1000 — considering all the professional features that are included.

See at Amazon

Yuneec Typhoon H RTF Hexacopter

The Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon is a sharp-looking hexacopter that takes stunning video at a reasonable price (under $750 on Amazon). If you're a professional videographer and you want to save some money on the DJI drones, this is the one to get.

It comes fully assembled out of the box — just attach the props and you're good to go. The controller features an integrated 7-inch Android touchscreen that lets you control video settings such as video resolution, white balance and light exposure on the fly (pun intended). The camera is mounted on a 3-axis precision gimbal and can record 4K video at 30FPS, or 1080p slow-mo video at up to 120FPS.

Design-wise, the Typhoon H RTF stands out with its industrial-style supports along the arms that stand out from the streamlined look of DJI drones. Yuneec also includes a 16GB flash drive, a 64GB microSD card, a lens cleaning kit, and a copy of Corel Paint Shop Pro X9 for post-processing your photos.

See at Amazon

AirSelfie

Airselfie is a CES darling, and this year they were showing off their latest model of the compact drone whose sole purpose is taking selfies. The Airselfie drone is slim enough to slip in your back pocket while you're out exploring, allowing you to capture brilliant aerial photos and videos whenever and wherever (legally, of course). Entirely controlled via smartphone with the AirSelfie Camera app, the AirSelfie is capable of flying up to 20 meters and has autonomous flight features so you can focus on posing for the camera while the drone hovers steadily.

It's a pocket-sized drone that you can take selfies with — the future is right now! Get your taste of it for $339 and take your selfie game to the next level.

See at Airselfie

Which drone do you love?

Do you have any experience with the drones we've mentioned here? Got a recommendation for one that we've missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Update March 2018 Added the DJI Mavic Air, DJI Spark, AirSelfie, and Yuneec Typhoon H RTF to the list, removed some older options that are no longer available.

Marc Lagace was an Apps and Games Editor at Android Central between 2016 and 2020. You can reach out to him on Twitter [@spacelagace.

66 Comments
  • I'll be that guy.... This is related to Android News how? Hail Lord Han
  • The ST10 Transmitter with the Blade Chroma uses Android for the OS.
  • I agree!!
  • Ppl like drones.
  • That's not a requirement for an 'article' on this site any more.
  • Many things in the rc world use android now.. the speed control I use In my rc cars can change settings via WiFi or Bluetooth.. we have chargers that can also be controlled via android phone. Recently a transmitter for cars was built using android as its os. My friend made and Android app that pulls results from the software that lap counts our rc cars... I'm not much into drones but android is in use with them as well. Phone geeks and rc geeks have things in common. :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Better than hearing them cry and moan about the Note 7 recall all day
  • Not to deflect, but since when did we only cover "Android News" ?
  • No, but many of us would appreciate a tighter focus. It helps to avoid things like pokegate
  • I thought this was a site for tech enthusiasts not "Android" enthusiasts. Sure cover android stuff but its refreshing to see other tech too...
  • I think it's time for a mission statement. Seriously. It would be great to know what we should expect here. Phil liked to include adult topics as well. Where is the line drawn for Android Central? If you dilute too much you become a mess like the Verge that no one is quite sure what they are and enthusiasts are less likely to visit.
  • Phil isnt here anymore? I'm a little behind the ball I used to use iMore
  • The site visitors are in the drone demographics. They're trying to make money by Amazon affiliate links. It's that simple.
  • Your review for the top drones with cameras is great!! I think the DJI Mavic is the best!! got another review of the top 10 best drone with camera in google, you can check the 10trumps' best drone camera in google!
  • A few additional points about the Blade Chroma Camera Drones, from someone who works for Horizon Hobby, the parent company of Blade: There are currently 5 different Chroma Skus. The BLH8660 is what is called a Bind-N-Fly completion level. This includes the Chroma itself, battery, charger, fixed mount for a GoPro Hero 3/4 and manual. You would Bind (think pairing with bluetooth accessories) the quad to your own transmitter with Spektrum DSMX technology such as the DX4, DX6, DX8, DX9, etc. The BLH8670 expands on the model above by including a Spektrum DX4 transmitter in the package along with a 3-axis gimbal for a Hero 3/4. Everything else is the same. The BLH8660 is the lowest-cost model that includes the ST10 transmitter. This is the transmitter that has the 5 ½ inch touch-screen display with intuitive Android interface built right into it. This version still includes the aircraft, battery, charger and 3-axis gimbal and 5.8GHz wireless downlink for a GoPro Hero 3/4. The BLH8675 ups the game with a stabilized, full 4K CGo3 camera mounted on a 3-axis gimbal. Again this version includes the ST10 transmitter with the 5 ½ inch touch-screen display, flight battery, charger and such all included. Finally there's the BLH8691 which includes the BLH8675 model, a second flight battery and a hard-sided transportation case.
  • Yuneec q500 4k ...
  • That's the one I have but I didn't get the one with the camera because I already had my hero4 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Under $300... all these drones are like 1,000 and up dudes? Posted via the Android Central App
  • You're probably looking at around 500 minimum for something actually capable of taking good stable footage. Give it a year or two and I bet pricing gets better as the market and competition continue to grow.
  • The first two Blade Chroma models that I referenced in my post are both $349.99. Posted via the Android Central App
  • For value, the Phantom 3 series are tough to beat right now. They also have refurbished ones for pretty great price.
  • I was going to say the same thing. I picked up a Phantom 3 Advanced a few months ago and love it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • What do you do with these things and who looks at the footage? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Awesome aerial shots for starters. One of my favourite drone videos I've seen was that of a bunch of thrill seekers free climbing a massive cliff, all filmed from a drone hovering a few metres away. Just go to youtube and search drone videos or something, they're quite spectacular.
    Also good for amateur film makers. Blackberry Priv
    Nvidia Shield "Portable"
    Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
  • Construction job sites. We use one at local paper for footage of a derailed train, house fire, etc. Posted via the Android Central App
  • some ancient archeological sites have recently been discovered in surprising places thanks to drone footage as well.
  • Suprised to see that the Typhoon H didn't make it on the list. LOL
  • This article doesn't seem to be up with current crop of drones. The H is awesome.
  • Look up Ottawa sink hole drone footage on ctv... they used it to get close to a dangerous sink hole.. also in Ottawa they use them for bird control at one of the beaches Posted via the Android Central App
  • What criteria did you use to determine which sUAV (drone) is "best"? Please describe the objective testing methods you used. All i see is regurgitated ad copy. The Inspire is in a different class of sUAV than the rest and of course is going to turn out the "best".
  • I have a Bebop 2 from Parrot. The drone is rock solid. There are a few things to point out with the Bebop. The return home when it loses connection or pressed via the app will do a straight b-line back home and will not remember the trees you flew over. The FreeFlight app has a "Flight Plan" for $30 (thanks Google surveys!). It allows you to create a flight with speed, altitude, camera angle, etc. The nice thing is the ability for it to lose connection and continue the flight. The battery lasts from 20 - 30 minutes. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Have u gotten yourself registered with faa?
  • I will never trust these recommendations until you start saying what your criteria are for recommending them like The Wirecutter does. Otherwise I will just assume you are going off of Amazon reviews which appears to be what you have done.
  • Bingo.. ^
  • Look up inductrix micro fpv for a cool low cost indoor quad.. Ships next month
  • Check out yuneec breeze a $499 selfie drone on sale this week, the yuneec typhoon H should have made the list. GoPro is announcing there drone next month.
  • I have the DJI Standard 3. So much dam fun.
  • For value right now the DJI Phantom 3 Advanced is a great deal. I enjoy mine every time I fly it. The recorded video quality is great. It has advanced features and the quality video link rather than relying on wifi like anything cheaper. The biggest limitation is lack of redundant sensors like the Phantom 4, but mine and friends have not flown away or freaked yet.
  • I have a P3a and it only lacks the Collision detection on the 4. And you can find them for hundreds less than the 4. And with the litchi app they can do so much more Posted via the Android Central App
  • And u failed to mention you need to register and get a faa number to legally fly for any drone over .55 pounds . The number needs to be attached to the drone.
  • Super easy to do, my number is inside the battery cover.
  • Flying two Q500 4Ks, phantom 3 pro and inspire pro for my business. All have their unique abilities and advantages depending on job and conditions.
  • I have the Phantom 4, using my Note 4 as an interface with the DJI app. I love it.
  • DJI Phantom 3 Standard. Great Beginner drone and it can be had for under $500.
  • Registration with the the FAA is not a big deal. $5 for a number to place on your drone. Takes all of 2 minutes. If your going to use the drone for commercial purposes (as a way to create income) than you need to get a drone pilot licence from the FAA and a background check from TSA
  • I own a DJI Phantom 3 Advance..awesome drone with lots of features. You have an option to use a phone or tablet with the controller for FPV, enabling features and change camera settings while in flight (this is very important as some of the other drone models listed in the article cannot do this especially if your using the Go Pro.) For relevance to Android careful, which android device you use. I ran out and purchased a Samsung Tab A 8" for the large screen to use with the controller, but to my dismay, i kept getting error messages when trying to enable Follow me mode and way point mode. These work with my Galaxy Note 4 but not with the Tab A.
    The Android device must have Accelerometer and Gyro features in order to use all the features.
  • Best Buy link doesn't work!
  • Where is the anti-drone technology for Android?
  • Need to add the yuneec typhoon h.
  • So, you update the article today to add the DJI Mavic Pro. You say that the Inspire 1 is still the best, when the Inspire 2 has been shipping for over a month or two. You also say the Mavic Pro "offers a great value at under $2000", yet it's actually under $1,000. C'mon man!
  • The fly more package is $1300. The base model is $1000. The prices shown are in Canadian dollar not U.S dollar...
  • Double Post.
  • It's like this place is running out of stuff to talk about. One week it's ways to watch vr porn and the next it's months old articles with "updates". Totally different place than it used to be.
  • Wait until next week!
    I heard from a reliable source, my dog that fry skillets with usb features are next.
  • Love my Mavic pro with my Note 7 at the helm.
  • I haven't flown any of those drones before, I do have a sky Viper 2900v..... I wish all of them at a longer flight time I get about 10 minutes on my battery as it is now. It's a lot smaller than those bigger ones too but I think it helps when you're in tight areas I don't know I love it no matter what it's fun and if I ever get another one I think I'm just going to build it myself I don't want one ready to go out the box......Lol..,....Later guys!!!!
  • Ummm what about the Phantom 4 pro or the inspire 2, both of which have a better camera than the inspire 1?!?!?
  • Do you think this is an honest "these are the best drones" feature? Anything that merely garners the standard Amazon referral fee would be in competition with the products they negotiated a premium rate for. And something that is out of stock or nearly out of stock at Amazon and won't be immediately restocked is completely off the table for an article like this.
  • Autel isn't in the consideration?
    Autel Robotics X-Star Premium.
  • Dear, Can you indicate any website that sells and ships in Brazil? We have a project in progress and would be of great value to us! Please contact us: contato@bhtechinformatica.com.br
    https://bhtechinformatica.com.br/ Thank you!
  • Might want to stay on top of updating the list if you’re going to continue to repost the article, which I’m fine with by the way, just make an effort at keeping it current.
  • Mavic Air, anyone?!
  • No Mavic Air?
  • Yeah you definitely need to stay current if rerunning an old article. Mavic pro 2 coming out soon, and mavic air that's out now along with a slew of others...
  • Be sure to check out a new $99 drone from Ryze Robotics that's involved in some relationship with Intel and DJI. It's called the Ryze Tello and goes on sale in a couple days. You can use your phone to control it or a remote. It's also got an SDK and point and click programming tools. I'm wondering if this drone is the basis of the drones Intel uses for their choreographed shows.
  • I have the Mavic Pro and Yuneec Typhoon H. The 360 degree camera and the built in tablet in the Typhoon can't be beat. I love it. The MP is great for portability but if I want to capture some really good video the TH is the way to go. Yuneec just needs to have an SDK for it.