Looking for the best mini drones on the market? Well, you have come to the right place. In this list of the best mini drones, you will find drones that are suitable for both kids, beginners and even amateur photographers (hint, it’s the first one on the list).
This list is by no means exhaustive, we live in the age of drones, and there is an abundance of choice, even when it comes to purchasing a mini drone. So, even if you do not like any of the choices on this list (highly unlikely), there are many more options for you on platforms like Amazon, eBay, Banggood, and GearBest.
As drones are constantly being released, I try and update this list as much as possible; the current list reflects some of the best mini drones on the market right now.
As most of these drones weigh less than 250 grams, you will not have to register them with the FAA (if you reside in the USA); however, those who live in the UK will need to register the drones with the CAA and obtain a Flyer ID and an Operator ID.
What Is The Best Mini Drone With A Camera?
There are a lot of very good mini drones that come with exceptional cameras; however, I do believe that the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the best mini drone on the market. The drone comes with some exceptional features, and its camera is suitable for professional photography.
Best Mini Drones With Camera
1. DJI Mini 3 Pro
The DJI Mini 3 Pro is the ultimate mini drone, boasting a vast range of advanced features, making it my top choice for the best mini drone with a camera. The Mini 3 Pro features an HD camera with a 1/1.3-inch sensor and a large f/1.7 aperture, ideal for low-light photography. This camera captures 48MP images and is stabilised by a 3-axis gimbal for smoother videos and photos. Videos can be recorded in 4K at 60fps, 2.7K at 60fps, and 1080p at 60fps, while slow-motion videos can be captured in HD at 120fps. The drone offers a variety of intelligent video recording modes, including Quickshots, Mastershots, and Hyperlapse.
Additionally, the drone features autonomous flight modes like Active Track 4.0 and Point of Interest 3.0. The advanced 3-way obstacle avoidance system detects obstacles and manoeuvres around them. With a flight time of 34 minutes, a top speed of 36 mph, and a transmission range of 12km, the DJI Mini 3 Pro truly stands out.
2. DJI Mini 3
The DJI Mini 3 is similar to its Pro counterpart but has some notable differences. The Mini 3 has the same size image sensor as the Pro but captures 12MP images and records 4K video footage at 30fps. The camera features multiple photography modes, such as panorama, HDR, and AEB, but has a lower ISO range than the Mini 3 Pro. Regarding intelligent features, the drone includes Quickshots and an advanced return-to-home feature but lacks Active Track, Point of Interest, and Waypoint flight modes. The Mini 3 has the longest flight time for a sub-250g drone, boasting 38 minutes of flight time, extendable to 51 minutes with the intelligent plus battery.
3. Autel Nano Plus
Autel Evo Nano Plus The Autel Evo Nano Plus is one of the best mini drones for photography on the market. This small, lightweight drone is available in three different colours, including the bright orange that Autel drones are known for. The drone features a large 1/1.28-inch image sensor with an RYYB filter and an f/1.9 aperture. The camera excels in low-light performance, capturing 50MP images. Videos can be recorded in 4K at 30fps, and the camera also has an HDR video recording mode. The drone offers several intelligent features, such as Dynamic Track 2.1, Quickshots, and 3-way obstacle avoidance sensors. The drone has a flight time of 28 minutes and a video transmission range of 10km.
Another version of this drone, called the Evo Nano, includes all the same features but has a smaller 1/2-inch image sensor, making it slightly cheaper.
4. DJI Mini 2
The DJI Mini 2, the successor to the original Mavic Mini, remains the best drone under $500. The Mini 2 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and records videos in 4K at 30fps, while capturing 12MP images in both RAW and JPEG formats. The Mini 2 offers HDR support for images and includes a digital zoom feature. This drone can capture three types of panoramic photography and provides five Quickshots, allowing users to create short, high-quality videos from various angles. Equipped with DJI's OcuSync 2.0 transmission system, the Mini 2 can be controlled from a maximum range of 10km and boasts a flight time of 31 minutes.
5. DJI Mini 2 SE
DJI Mini 2 SE The Mini 2 SE is one of DJI's latest mini drones, similar to the Mini 2 but with some notable differences. The drone has the same camera, but can only record in 2.7K at 30fps, with videos recorded at 40Mbps. The camera captures 12MP images in both RAW and JPEG formats and is stabilised by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal. The Mini 2 SE features Quickshot, which allows users to record short HD videos with the push of a button. The drone has a flight time of 31 minutes and a transmission range of 10km.
6. DJI Mini SE
The Mini SE is one of DJI's most popular drones for beginners, packed with fun features and easy to operate. This affordable GPS drone features three flight modes: sports, normal, and cine. In sports mode, the drone can reach its top speed of 29 mph and boasts level 5 wind resistance. The Mini SE is equipped with an HD camera capable of recording 2.7K videos and capturing stunning 12MP still images. As a fantastic travel drone, its 30-minute flight time provides ample opportunity to capture magical moments.
7. Potensic Atom SE
The Potensic Atom SE, one of the best drones under $300, serves as an excellent alternative to the DJI Mini 2. The Atom SE features an impressive camera with a 1/3-inch Sony sensor that captures 12MP images in both RAW and JPEG formats. The drone records stunning videos in 4K at 30fps, 2.7K at 30fps, and 1080p at 60fps, delivering exceptional quality for its price. A 2-axis gimbal stabilises the camera and also offers electronic image stabilisation. The drone comes with three intelligent flight modes, an automatic return-to-home feature, and a 31-minute flight time.
In conclusion, selecting the best mini drone with a camera depends on a variety of factors, including camera quality, flight performance, intelligent features, ease of use, and price. The options mentioned in this article provide a diverse range of choices, catering to everyone from beginners to experienced pilots. Ultimately, investing in a high-quality mini drone will allow you to capture stunning aerial footage and enhance your overall flying experience, whether it’s for recreational use or professional purposes.
Can you use the DJI Mini 3 Pro for photogrammetry?
Yes, the DJI Mini 3 Pro can be used for photogrammetry, although it is not engineered for this specialisation. Its high-resolution 48MP camera and 3-axis gimbal stabilisation make it capable of capturing detailed images required for photogrammetry. However, for professional applications, you might want to consider a drone with more advanced features tailored for photogrammetry and mapping. For example, the most popular DJI drone for mapping is the Phantom 4 RTK, which has been developed for photogrammetry.
Which Mini drone has the longest flight time? The DJI Mini 3 has the longest flight time among the mini drones mentioned in this article. It boasts a flight time of 38 minutes, which can be extended to 51 minutes with the intelligent plus battery.
How high can mini drones fly?
The maximum altitude a mini drone can reach varies depending on the model and manufacturer’s specifications. However, most mini drones can fly up to 400 feet (120 meters) above ground level, which is the maximum altitude allowed by the FAA in the United States. Be sure to check local regulations and the drone’s specific capabilities before flying.
Can you fly mini drones in the wind?
Mini drones can be flown in mild to moderate wind conditions, but their performance may be affected due to their lightweight design. Many mini drones, such as the DJI Mini SE, feature wind resistance capabilities (e.g., level 5 wind resistance) that allow them to maintain stable flight in windy conditions. However, it is advisable to avoid flying mini drones in strong winds or during severe weather to ensure safety and prevent potential damage.
Are mini drones rainproof?
Most mini drones are not designed to be rainproof or waterproof, as their electronic components can be damaged by water exposure. It’s essential to avoid flying mini drones in rainy or wet conditions to prevent potential malfunctions and damage. Some professional-grade drones may have weather-resistant features, but this is generally not the case for mini drones. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications and guidelines for information about a drone’s weather resistance capabilities.
Thanks for your help but can you tell me if i can find a drone that will fallow you if you ride your motorcycle and comes back if loose gps or battery.i am looking for one that has all the options like long battery,gps set up to fallow the set up, can be control from long distance,you know what i mean a drone that has all the bells? thank you
There are a lot of drones that come with the features you are looking for, check out my article on the best drones under 250g, most of these drones have the features that you want.