One of the many aspects of drones I enjoy is their ability to take stunning aerial photography, and as the industry grows more and more, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the best drone for aerial photography.

Drones are becoming so popular that everyone is getting one. One of the main reasons people are buying drones is because of their ability to show us our world from a bird’s eye view. To see and explore places that previously would have been impossible to explore. Drones with cameras that take awesome photography are increasing, however, one company still dominates the scene. If you have read my reviews, you will know how much I admire the drones by DJI. Well, their drones dominate this list.

My personal favourite drone is the Mavic pro, its small elegant design and powerful features make it a fantastic drone for aerial photography.

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My No.1 Choice- The Mavic Pro

best drones for aerial photography

Mavic Pro Summary

This is one of the most powerful compact drones on the market. It’s foldable design makes it the perfect drone companion for travelling with. The drone comes with a 4K camera stabilised by an advanced 3 axis gimbal. The gimbal eliminates any shake or sudden movements by the Mavic to give you ultra-crisp HD video footage. With its 12 megapixel camera, you will be able to take beautiful aerial images. The controller has a range of 7km and the flying time is an industry leading 27 minutes. Some of the creative features built into this drone are ActiveTrack, finely tuned controls that allow for safe indoor flights and gesture control which lets you control the drone with your hand movements. No need for the transmitter when this mode is activated. All in all, this is a great drone for professionals and hobbyists. It is my personal favourite drone. A mini-drone that is perfect for aerial photography

Key Features

  • 4K@30FPS
  • 12 megapixels
  • Advanced Obstacle avoidance system
  • Intelligent flight modes including a new gesture mode
  • 27 minutes flight time
  • OcuSync technology 
  • 743g

DJI Inspire 2

best drones for aerial photography

Inspire 2 

This is, without a doubt, the most powerful consumer drone currently on the market. In terms of aerial photography/videography,it has no equal. It should be No.1 but the Mavic pro appeals to me more with its slick design and powerful features. The Inspire 2 looks similar to the one but its features are at a whole new level. It has a 2 axis camera at the front and the main camera on its underbelly is stabilised by an advanced 3 axis gimbal. Three cameras are compatible with the Inspire 2. The Zenmuse X4S,the X5S and the X7. All are professional grade cameras.

Both the X4S and X5S can record video footage at 4K 60fps  at 100mbps and the X5S can record at an astonishing 5.2k 30fps in CinemaDNG and Apple ProRes. The X4S has a 1-inch image sensor and takes still images at 20 megapixels while the X5S has an advanced micro 4/3 sensor and takes still images at 20.8 megapixels. For image processing, it has been equipped with its own processor, the CineCore 2.0 is situated on the nose of the drone and is the reason why the cameras can record in stunning high definition. It also comes with a 3-way obstacle avoidance system, its forward and downward facing sensors can detect obstacles from 30 meters away whilst infrared sensors on the top can detect obstacles up to 5 meters. This is great when flying in enclosed spaces. If you are a professional photographer and are looking for a drone for aerial photography, this drone is for you.

Key Features

  • 3 Compatible Professional Camera
  • Zenmuse X4S – 4K@60FPS – 20 MP
  • Zenmuse X5S – 5.2K@30FPS – 20.8 MP
  • Zenmuse X7 – 6K@30FPS – 24 MP
  • 6 Intelligent flight modes
  • Obstacle avoidance technology
  • 27 minutes flight time
  • Lightbridge technology allows transmission range of over 4 miles
  • Body designed to withstand harsh weathers

Phantom 4 Pro

best drones for aerial photography

Phantom 4 Pro 

Although the Mavic is my top choice, technically there are far better drones for aerial photography and the Phantom 4 Pro is one of them. It’s improved body design makes it more aerodynamic and the magnesium shell has greatly reduced its weight. This makes for a far more stable drone which can resist strong gusts of wind. Its gimbal and the placement of battery makes it more balanced with improved agility whilst also raising the accuracy of the controls. The Phantom 4 Pro boasts a fantastic 4K camera capable of recording 60FPS, with its light bridge technology it can stream HD video straight to any connected device on the controller. With its 20 megapixel camera,you will also be able to take some stunning drone photography.

The improved gimbal eliminates undesirable vibration and sudden movements when in flight so that the camera can capture distortion-free images and video footage.The drone has advanced sense and avoidance technology this piece of technology is especially useful for new flyers as it will stop them crashing into objects. This drone has a lot of features to offer and will make a brilliant addition to your photography equipment.

Key Features

  • 4K@60FPS
  • 20 MP
  • 4 Way Advanced Obstacle avoidance and 5 way obstacle sensing system
  • Top speed of 45 mph
  • 30 minutes flight time
  • Dual Redundancy features
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • Over 4-mile range

DJI Inspire 1

best drones for aerial photography

Inspire 1 

The DJI Inspire 1 Pro is one of my top choices for aerial photography and videography, you can read my full review of this stunning drone here.DJI without a doubt are the industry leaders in drone manufacturing and the Inspire 1 is one of their most advanced drones but has to make do with the 4th place on this list. The inspire 1 comes with Zenmuse X3 camera which can record in 4k@25FPS. It can also take really good still images in 12 megapixels. However,if the Zenmuse X3 is not up to your specs,the Inspire 1 is also compatible with the following cameras:

  • X5
  • X5R
  • XT
  • Z3

Its landing arms are made from strong durable carbon fibre and they retract when in the air, giving the camera an unobstructed aerial view for stunning photos and video footage. The controller has a range of around 3 miles and is easily paired with a tablet or smartphone. Its Lightbridge technology gives the user the ability to stream HD video straight to the tablet or smartphone without much lag. This is a feature-rich drone that will make a good addition for aerial photographers.

 

Key Features

  • 4K@25FPS (X3 Camera)
  • 5 Compatible cameras
  • 12 MP
  • Top speed of 49 mph
  • 18 minutes flight time
  • Retractable legs
  • Over 3-mile transmission range

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro with RealSense™.

drones for aerial photography

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro 

Yuneec have been building RC aircraft’s for more than 15 years, although like many other drone manufacturers, they have had to sit under the growing shadow of DJI. Despite this, they have produced some magnificent drones, the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro is one of their flagship drones geared towards the professional photographer.

This drone comes with a host of advanced features that are expected of smart drone nowadays. It has a 4K camera that can record at 30FPS and can take 12 MP still images. The camera can rotate a full 360° so you will not miss a shot whichever way you are facing. The drone comes with an ST16 personal ground station controller that has a built-in 7inch LCD HD screen. It also comes with Yuneec’s innovative one hand controller, the typhoon wizard. The transmission range is a cool 1.6 km and the controller also has a slot for Micro sd card to record your stunning aerial footage.

 

Key Features

  • 4K@30FPS
  • 12 MP
  • 3 axis gimbal 
  • Top speed of 44 mph
  • 25 minutes flight time
  • ST16 Controller with a integrated 7 inch sceen running on
  • Intel® RealSense™ Technology for advanced obstacle avoidance capability

Autel X-Star Premium 

best drones for aerial photography

Autel X-Star Features

The Autel X-Star is a legitimate alternative to the DJI Phantom 3, not only is the design modelled after DJI’s popular drone but it also comes with many of the advanced features.This is Autel robotics flagship drone and it does not disappoint. It made from durable plastic, comes with a 3-axis gimbal and 4K camera that has a 108° field of view. It can shoot in UHD at 40fps and takes 12 mp images.

It comes with a top speed of 16m/s and a flight time of around 25 minutes which is similar to the DJI Phantom 3 professional. The gimbal and camera can be removed for more flight time.It also has several safety features that make it a good drone even for beginners. Its intelligent batteries has two preset failsafe features. At 25% battery capacity the drone will automatically return home and at 10% it will land on its current location.Also, comes with geo-fencing technology that will also be useful for beginners by limiting the distance and height the drone can be flown.

If you are looking for a drone with the features of the Phantom 3 Pro but do not have the budget for one, the Autel X-star is a superb alternative. You can read my full review here

Key Features

  • 4K@30FPS
  • 12 MP
  • 25 minutes flight time
  • Ge0-Fencing technology
  • Intelligent batteries with failsafe technology
  • 35 mph top speed

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

best drones for aerial photography

Phantom 3 Pro Features

DJI have a few on this list, that is because they are without a doubt the leading drone manufacturers in the world today. They are consistently innovating and have a knack for knowing exactly what their customers want. The DJI Phantom 3 has 4 models and they are all exceptional drones and any would make for a great choice for photography.You can read the full review of the Phantom 3 Professional here, although this isn’t the most advanced one. The other range in the Phantom series is the standard version, advanced and 4K.

The Phantom 3 Pro, as its name suggests, is mainly for experienced drone pilots. It is a great drone for aerial photography as it shoots in HD 4K video. Its Lightbridge technology also lets you stream live HD feed straight to your tablet or smartphone.It has an average flight time of around 23 minutes and can be controlled from a range of 5km. Like all the phantoms in this series, it also comes with 5 autonomous flight modes.

Key Features

  • 4K@25PFS
  • 12 MP for still images
  • Top speed of 36 mph
  • 23 minutes flight time
  • Vision positioning system 
  • 3.1-mile remote control range

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K

best drones for aerial photography

Yuneec Q500 4K Features

Yuneec’s most popular smart drone is the typhoon 4k, whilst not as feature heavy as the typhoon h pro, it still holds its own in the competitive field of drone photography. You can read my full review of the Yuneec Q500 4K here.It comes with an advanced 3-axis gimbal which alongside the 4K camera produces stunning distortion-free images.

The drone’s controller has a host of controls including a built-in 5.5-inch LCD HD screen. The screen gives you access to vast amounts of data including flight mode, speed, altitude, battery status, distance from home and much more.It is programmed with a few autonomous flight modes including watch me, follow me and return home.The drone comes with a device called the SteadyGrip, this handheld piece of equipment can be used to take footage of areas far closer to the ground and were flying a drone can be problematic. It’s used in conjunction with a smartphone and the 3-axis gimbal camera. Read my full review of the Typhoon Q500.

 

Key Features

  • 4K@30FPS
  • 12 MP
  • Top speed of 18 mph
  • 25 minutes flight time
  • 3 Intelligent flight modes
  • ST10 Controller with 5.5 inch LCD screen

Mavic Air

BEST DRONES FOR AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Mavic Air

The Mavic Air is the latest addition to the DJI Mavic range and although it is not as powerful as the Pro version, it still comes with some powerful features that make it one of the best drones for aerial photography. 

It is a foldable ultra-portable drone that can fit in your pocket and comes with a 3-axis 4k camera that can also take 12 MP images. It can record slow-motion videos in 1080p 120FPS so you can capture high-speed action in fine detail. It has several intelligent flight modes including ActiveTrack, QuickShots and Smart Capture. Smart Capture lets you control the drone and take selfies with hand gestures. It can put together 25 pictures in 8 seconds to create stunning 32 MP Sphere Panoramas which look awesome when experienced through DJI VR Headsets. With a flight time of 21 minutes and obstacle sensing system, you can fly this drone, take awesome videos and images without worrying about crashing it.

 

Key Features

  • 4k Camera
  • 12 MP Still images
  • Foldable Design
  • Lightweight
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • 21 minutes flight time
  • Top speed 42 mph
  • 8.9K
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