Best Quadcopter With Camera: Reviews and Comparison
To enjoy the pleasure and benefits of flying a quadcopter, you need to buy the best quadcopter that will meet all your flying/recording requirements and allow you to improve your flying skills. There are many brands and models of quadcopters in the market, so whether you want a ready-to-fly or do-it-yourself model, you will be able to find one that meets your needs perfectly. In order to select the best quadcopter, it is important to define the purpose you want to use your new drone for before you read quadcopter reviews and you make your final choice.
You may want to fly to have fun and entertain yourself, or you may need a quadcopter with camera so you can fly your drone to share aerial videos and photos with your friends on social media channels like YouTube or Vimeo. On the other hand, you may be more interested in using your quadcopter to make video recordings for a movie or to capture pictures and videos for scientific research, agriculture, environmental studies, surveying, security and military operations. Before you decide on the type of quadcopter you should buy, you need to appreciate the three main flying skill levels.
NEW #1 DRONE DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter
Top 3 Quadcopters With Camera Comparison
In this section, we take a quick look at three different models of quadcopters available in the market today. This brief comparison will enable you to choose the best quadcopter that fits your needs, skill level, and budget.
The first drone is the DJI Phantom 3 Professional which is very similar to the Advanced model but its camera can record up to 4K ultra high definition (UHD) video. The live video streaming provided by this drone is 720p HD. But the battery charger supplied with this model provides a charging power of 100W instead of the 57W delivered by the Advanced model’s AC charger.
The DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter is the second drone. It allows you to record 1080p HD video and 12 MP still photos on the microSD card. The 3-axis gimbal ensures that the camera stays in a straight horizontal line. You can also watch live 720p HD video streaming, with the help of the Lightbridge digital video technology, on your tablet or mobile phone with the aid of the DJI Pilot app. This drone is suitable for intermediate or professional pilots who want to record very smooth videos and photos for personal or commercial use.
The third quadcopter is the DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter which is major upgrade of the original DJI Phantom 2. It has a FPV HD video camera. The intelligent 5,200 mAh battery allows you to have a flight time of 25 minutes. With Wi-Fi video streaming, you can view live video from up to 980 feet from the drone. This drone can record smooth 1080p HD video and 14MP still photos.
1. DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Drone With 4K UHD Video Camera
For professional and commercial use, this about the best drone with camera. It also has other advanced features that make it suitable for recording smooth aerial videos and taking crisp still photographs. The camera that comes with this quadcopter has the capacity to shoot 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) video and 12 MP still photographs of very high quality. A 3-axis gimbal stabilizes the camera and keeps it in a straight horizontal line even the drone shakes or turns. But if you cannot edit the heavy 4K UHD video on your phone or computer, you may record your video at a lower resolution.
While the camera is recording the videos, you can view a live stream of the video through the Lightbridge digital video streaming feature. On your mobile device – tablet or smartphone – you can watch a live 720p HD video. However, the entire video will be recorded at your selected resolution, up to 4K UHD, on the microSD card. Before you start flying, you should place your mobile device on the holder designed for it on the remote controller.
This quadcopter is also equipped with removable, rechargeable batteries. The 5200 mAh battery can keep the aircraft flying in the air while it records video for about 25 minutes. If you intend to fly for longer than that, you should order your drone with a spare battery. The quadcopter has been programmed to return to you or any position you have specified as home just before the battery goes flat. The transmitter has a single 6000 mAh battery which should also be charged fully before flying so that the drone and the transmitter don’t lose signals suddenly due to battery failure.
To view a live stream on your mobile device or use it to control the camera, you need to download and install the Pilot app. There are different versions of the app designed for iOS and Android devices. DJI’s Pilot app will give you total control over the camera. You will be able to use to pan and tilt the camera and take still photographs while you view the effects of your actions in real time.
2. DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter Drone
The Advanced model of the DJI Phantom 3 series is one of the best camera drones for intermediate flying and video recording. But it may also be used by professionals. It is a beautiful white quadcopter with four rotor propellers and four landing struts. It has the same gold stripes as the professional model and green and red lights underneath the four pylons (wings). The remote controller has the capacity to control the drone within a maximum range of 2000 meters. The major difference between the Advanced model and the Professional model is the resolution of the video recording and the capacity of the AC battery charger.
The DJI Phantom 3 Advanced model still ranks among the best drones with camera because it can record a smooth and crisp 1080p HD video with the aid of the 3-axis stabilizing gimbal device. This quadcopter is ideal for a pilot that has learned basic flying skills and needs a drone that can offer more advanced features. If the quality of a 1080p HD Video is good enough to meet your requirements, you can make use of this aircraft to record videos or take aerial photographs. However great care must be taken to ensure that the drone does not experience strong wind interference.
Most of the features and accessories present in the Professional model can be found in the Advanced model including a 5200 mAh battery that allows up to 25 minutes for flying and video recording. A microSD card that can record up to 16 GB of video and still photographs also comes along with the camera. You should also install the downloadable app that allows you to control the camera from your mobile phone or tablet. The DJI Pilot app and the Lightbridge technology will enable you to watch a high quality live stream of the video your drone is recording. This video may be streamed live on YouTube or downloaded and shared on other social media channels like Facebook.
3. DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter With Integrated FPV Camcorder
DJI’s Phantom 2 Vision offers all the great features in the original Phantom model including a ready-to-fly design, Intelligent Orientation Control, and advanced GPS-guided functionality. This drone already has its own camera installed so you don’t need to mount a GoPro camera. You can now unpack your drone, set up its GPS, calibrate the transmitter, and start flying within a very short time. If you need to take professional quality aerial videos and photographs, this could be the best drone with camera that you can use when you have little prior experience as a quadcopter pilot.
Phantom 2 Vision has a 14 MP still photo camera and it will allow you to capture a 1080p HD video and save it on the microSD card. With the downloadable Vision app provided by DJI, you can have a first person view (FPV) of the video footage from the camera. The app is available for both iOS and Android phones and tablets. The videos are transmitted through the Wi-Fi extender which allows you to view a live stream of videos taken up to 980 feet above the ground level.
This drone is equipped with a rechargeable lithium polymer battery that will keep the drone flying and recording videos for up to 25 minutes on a single charge. The battery is detachable and it has intelligent circuitry and a charge remaining indicator that allows you to monitor the amount of charge remaining on your remote controller. However, the total flight time for each session will depend on various flight conditions including the amount of throttle applied and the horizontal distance covered. Pilots who have acquired some basic flying skills will find Phantom 2 Vision very easy to fly. It hovers with amazing stability and the camera is much easier to control than the previous models.
What You Have To Know Before Buying?
Currently, there are hundreds of quadcopter models and brands in the market. So it is important to do adequate research to select the most suitable drone to meet your needs. Whether you need a quadcopter to fly for pleasure or you are planning to buy one to meet your professional or commercial needs, the following tips will be valuable to you.
Search for websites that offer comprehensive reviews of various models of quadcopters; for your skill level. These websites will help you to assess the features of different quadcopters from micro models to professional drones with cameras and first person view facilities. If you do a careful search you will find several quadcopters that will suit your needs and fit into your budget. Check websites hosted by quadcopter enthusiasts and experienced pilots. You should also visit forums with very active and helpful members who will be ready to answer your questions and provide true personal experiences.
After you have decided on the model of quadcopter you want to buy, you should also find out if its spare parts are readily available for sale. Whether you are novice pilot or you have been flying drones for many years, you will experience a crash once in a while. When this happens, you will need to be able to get spare parts to restore your drone and continue flying. Some of the parts that you may require include propellers, landing struts, batteries and antenna. Check the manufacturer’s website and an online store like Amazon for the availability and prices of these parts.
Tip sheets and checklists can help you to learn how to set up and fly a particular quadcopter quickly. You can find these documents and lists on forums and on sites dedicated to the type of drone you are planning to buy. Remember that it is better to buy a quadcopter that has a large user base than one that has not been tested by a lot of pilots. In addition to tip sheets, you should search for YouTube videos posted by pilots who want to share their knowledge and experience with beginners. These videos are very helpful because they will help you know what to expect when you start flying your drone
To get the most value for your investment in a quadcopter, you should be prepared to spend time learning how to fly it. You may need to spend the early hours of the day or just after sunset to practice your flying skills. Start at a low altitude and fly slowly until you are familiar with all controls on the transmitter. Read the user’s manual thoroughly and observe all necessary safety precautions. Even if you are an experienced pilot, you should try to observe the behavior of the new drone for a few flying sessions before you decide to go up high in the air at a high speed. To sharpen your skills, you can use a flight simulator that will help you understand the model better.
Top 5 Quadcopters Recommendation
Here are some of the important things you should consider when you want to buy a new quadcopter.
- Build Quality: The body of the drone should be strong and sturdy so that it can withstand occasional bumps and crashes
- Camera: Select a camera that can provide the highest video and photo resolution you need.
- Spare Parts: Spare parts such as propellers, batteries, antennas, and others must be available for sale online.
- Remote Control: The transmitter controls should be easy to operate with a good rechargeable battery and flight battery indicator.
- Live Streaming Option: In order to control your camera effectively and take good still pictures, you should buy a drone that offers high quality live video streaming.
Top 5 Mini Quadcopters
Extreme Fliers Micro Drone 2.0
This is the first mini quadcopter with a built-in HD video camera module. It may be flown indoors or outdoors and its transmitter enables you to control it within a 150-meter range. It can perform mid air stunts like 360 degree flips with its pre-programmed settings. Its battery lasts for up to 8 minutes on a single charge.
Traxxas QR-1 is a very durable drone and it is suitable for both novice and intermediate level pilots. The durable body can withstand terrible crashes and it is quite easy to repair. Crazy stunts are available through its pre-programmed menu and it also has LED lights to guide night fliers.
Estes 4609 Syncro X
Estes 4609 is one of the smallest quadcopters; it fits easily into your palm. It does not require any setting up to fly and it has LED lights to help you determine its direction in low light conditions. The self-stabilizing gyro ensures stable flight but this drone is best flown indoors.
This is a high quality low cost mini quadcopter with a 3 channel transmitter that is ideal for a novice pilot. It can fly up or down, left or right, forward or backward. Flying may be done indoor or outdoors with a battery that lasts 6 minutes on a single charge.
Husban X4 H107L
Husban X4 is one of the most durable lightweight mini drones. It measures 6” x 6” and has 3.7V 240mAh battery that provides an amazing flight time of 10 minutes on a single charge. With the normal and expert modes, you can use it to build up your skills from beginner to intermediate.
To buy the best quadcopter that will meet all your requirements, you need to pay attention to a lot of details. Ensure that the drone you choose matches your skill level and that it will allow you to practice new flying skills. If you are searching for a professional model to use for commercial purposes, ensure that the camera can provide the kind of pictures and footage that you desire. It should also offer excellent first person view or live streaming features. Preferably, you should be able to use a downloadable app to stream the video and control the camera movements.
In addition, make sure you will be able to fix your quadcopter after every crash. Spare parts must be available online and the sellers should be able to deliver them to your doorstep within a very short time. To enjoy longer flying times you should prepare to order for a spare battery when you are purchasing your drone. Long video recording may also require an extra micro SD card if you are capturing your video at the highest possible resolution. Finally, ensure that you purchase your drone from a supplier that has a good return policy. So if you are satisfied with its performance, you can return it within the warranty period.