Who would have thought just a few years ago all the options we have today with consumer camera drones? Not only are they highly-sophisticated, but they’re also affordable and easy to fly. Novice pilots can take to the skies and capture stunning aerial photos and cinematic quality video. YouTube is a testament to what Joe Public can now film with the right tools and a little imagination.

The problem is that so many tech companies have jumped on the quadcopter bandwagon. It seems that everyone has a drone to sell now. Competition is good, but a saturated market is overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. We’ve researched the current favorites so that you don’t have to.

Budget
best-budget-drone-for-filming
Holy Stone F181C
4.6/5.0
Megapixels: 2-megapixels
Video Res: 720P HD
Easy to fly, four speeds, altitude hold, headless mode, stunts, bonus battery.
Check Amazon
Best Value
best-value-drone-for-filming
Yuneec Typhoon H Pro
4.7/5.0
Megapixels: 12.4-megapixel
Video Res: 4K Ultra-HD
Touchscreen RC, autonomous flight modes, long flight time, collision avoidance.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
top-value-drone-for-filming
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
4.8/5.0
Megapixels: 12-megapixel
Video Res: 4K Ultra-HD
SD card support, 8GB internal storage, long flight time, fast, low noise propellers.
Check Amazon

Know Your Wants, Needs & Expectations

Feel free to jump to the reviews if you’re an experienced camera pilot. You most likely know what you need and only want to check out the latest options. Keep reading if you’re a first-time drone pilot or a novice to aerial filming. Skilled pilots may also want to read this introduction as a refresher.

The top camera-carrying drone is not simply the costliest bird with the latest tech. The question is this: which is the best filming drone for YOU? Not everyone has an equal budget or shares the same needs and expectations. And you certainly wouldn’t need a big heavy camera quad if you plan to film in tight spaces or indoors.

Filming & Photo Drones | Top Considerations

Regulations and safety issues continue to evolve with the technology. Don’t fly near airports, fly below a certain height, and keep the drone within your line of sight (LOS) are a few. Visit the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website if you’re unsure or need a refresher.

Below are some essential areas to consider before buying a new camera filming drone:

  • Decide on your maximum budget before anything else
  • Know what you want to film and photograph (be specific)
  • What is your skill level? Some filming drones are easier to operate than others
  • Look at the stills and video quality of an aerial camera
  • Look at gimbal stabilization and the drone’s steady hover ability
  • Do you need Raw/DNG format support?
  • Does your drone camera need a zoom lens?

The other five considerations apply to all drones whether they have a camera or not:

  1. Maximum flying time (battery life) on a single charge
  2. Maximum range. This is the distance the drone can fly from its controller
  3. The battery. Is it removable, how much do spares cost?
  4. Battery charging time. Shorter the better
  5. Flight functions and drone controls that meet your style and needs

Not all Filming Drones Are Equal

A drone may have an excellent camera but no gimbal. Gimbals are vital pieces of stabilizing equipment that steady cameras during operation. That means shake-free videos and blur-free aerial photos. Likewise, some drones may have gimble stabilization but only an average camera. The goal, therefore, is to have an efficient gimbal with a high-quality camera.

An exception to the above is if you only want a toy-grade camera drone for practice purposes. Budget-end camera quads are ideal for developing skills and building confidence.

About this ‘Drones for Filming’ Guide

These reviews are easy to read and get straight to the point. Each piece covers all the areas mentioned in the above introduction and more besides. The seven drones on this page are the result of real user feedback, expert opinions, and personal thoughts. The first three are Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick. The remaining drones are in price order starting with the least expensive first.

The table below shows the remarkable consumer drone picks reviewed on this page:

Drones for Filming Comparison Table

Make and ModelMegapixelsVideo ResPrice
Holy Stone F181C RC Quad W/ HD Camera2-megapixels720P HDCheck Price
Yuneec Typhoon H Pro 4k Camera Hexacopter12.4-megapixel4K Ultra-HDCheck Price
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone Quad Ultimate Bundle12-megapixel4K Ultra-HDCheck Price
Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon CGO3 Camera Quad12-megapixel4K Ultra-HDCheck Price
Yuneec Mantis Q Foldable Camera Drone13-megapixel4K Ultra-HDCheck Price
DJI Phantom 4 PRO Z+ Camera Quadcopter20-megapixel4K Ultra-HDCheck Price
DJI Inspire 2 Camera Quadcopter Bundle20.8-megapixel5.2KCheck Price

1. Holy Stone F181C RC Quad W/ HD Camera | Best Budget

Holy Stone F181C RC Quad W/ HD CameraView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

Best budget pick goes to the Holy Stone F181C RC camera quadcopter. It’s an ideal choice for those who want to dip their toe into the world of aerial filming and photography.

  • Best feature 1: 2MP 720P FHD camera
  • Best feature 2: 6-axis gyro
  • Plus points: Easy to fly, four speeds, altitude hold, headless mode, stunts, bonus battery
  • Minus points: No First Person View (FPV), short flight time, low-average flight range

Novice pilots need beginner-friendly drones, and the F181C Chaser fits the bill.

Aerial Filming & Photography Highlights

There’s no better place to start any new hobby than at the bottom from where the only way is up. For around 70 dollars (at the time of writing), the Holy Stone F181C is an excellent training drone. Okay, so 2MP 720P FHD camera won’t win any accolades in the aerial filming sphere. However, the footage is perfectly viewable and good enough to let you know if you have the bug or not.

The drone’s 6-axis gyro helps to keep flights calm and thus gives novice fliers smoother control. The four speeds range from low through to high and let beginners develop skills at a comfortable pace. The Altitude Hold function steadies the camera quad as pilots capture aerial stills and shoot video.

Holy Stone F181C Standout Flight Features

There are plenty of novice-friendly features with this toy-grade camera quadcopter. It has one-key takeoff/landing and a handy headless mode. Learners don’t need to worry about the direction of the nose in headless mode. That leaves them free to focus on the controls as they get familiar with flying. These are things that give new fliers extra confidence on those maiden flights.

The intuitive remote control (RC) comes with a small screen that displays useful bits of data. The RC is cheap looking but functional with its fingertip controls. The F181C isn’t a serious filming drone, but it’s an excellent first camera quad for those serious about trying.

The Not So Good

The F181C doesn’t offer First Person View (FPV). That means there’s no way to connect a mobile device to see what its camera sees during flights. The average flight time is only 7-minutes. This model comes with a bonus battery, but always let the motors cool down between flights. The range is also quite low at 50-100 meters, but it should be ample for trainee pilots.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 31 x 9 x 31”
Product Weight: 4.9 oz. (139g)
Camera: 2MP 720P HD
Stabilizing gimbal: None
Max Flying Time: 7–9 minutes
Max Range: 50-100 meters
Battery: 3.7V 750mAh Lipo
Charging Time: 70-90 Minutes
The Pros
Incredible value, best seller
Small camera for stills and video
6-axis gyro for steadier flights
Easy to fly at raw beginner level
Four speed modes low–high
Altitude hold
Headless mode
Stunts capable
Bonus battery
The Cons
No First Person View (FPV)
Short flight time
Low-average flight range

2. Yuneec Typhoon H Pro 4k Hexacopter | Best Value

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro 4k HexacopterView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The Best Value pick goes to the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro—the only hexacopter (6 rotors) on this page. It’s in a different league to the Best Budget pick above and produces cinematic quality video.

  • Best feature 1: 12.4-megapixel 360-degree 4K gimbal camera
  • Best feature 2: Retractable landing gear
  • Plus points: Touchscreen RC, autonomous flight modes, long flight time, collision avoidance
  • Minus points: Poor range, long charging times

Hexacopters cost more than quadcopters because they have two extra motors. They’re also bigger and tend to be more expensive to maintain and repair. Still, they do make excellent filming drones.

Aerial Filming & Photography Highlights

The advantage of six propellers over four (quadcopters) is extra flying power and maneuverability. Six rotors also provide added stability in winds which is ideal for outdoor shoots. Yuneec’s Typhoon H has an anti-vibration 3-axis CGO3+ gimbal camera with unlimited rotation. Its 360° range of motion lets aerial photographers and videographers capture stunning 4K UHD video and 12MP stills.

Not all high-end camera drones are this stable or offer a full 360-degree view of our world. The wide-angle low-distortion lens has a 98° FOV (field of view) and uses high-quality glass elements. Another cool feature is being able to adjust the camera settings while the Typhoon H is airborne.

Typhoon H pilots get to view 720p HD real-time footage from the 7” screen of the ST16 transmitter. Its integrated digital video downlink works up to a range of 1 mile (1.6km) in ideal conditions. The display uses touchscreen technology. That means navigation and activation of autonomous flight modes is quick and easy. The all-in-one ST16 Ground Station does away with the need for phones or tablets.

Yuneec Typhoon H Pro Standout Flight Features

The Intel® RealSense™ collision avoidance does an excellent job of navigating around obstacles. And the Dynamic Return-to-Home feature automatically brings the bird back to you within 8-meters. Installing and replacing propellers is fast and effortless thanks to the quick-release mechanisms.

It’s worth noting that the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro has fully-retracting landing gear. That makes the footage more professional looking as there’s nothing to obstruct the views. Hexacopters are bigger and less portable than quads, but this beauty has fully-foldable arms. Another plus is the reasonable 25-minute flight time in ideal conditions.

The autonomous flight modes do the flying so that pilots can focus on the filming. These modes include Orbit Me, Point of Interest, Journey, Curve Cable Cam, and Follow/Watch Me.

The Not So Good

The 1-mile range is not impressive for a high-end hexacopter and is sure to put some people off. The battery charging time is also quite long and takes about 2-hours on average. Spare batteries are necessary in most cases, but they’re expensive.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 220.2 x 16.5 x 12.6”
Product Weight: 4.29 lbs.
Camera: 12.4MP 4k UHD
Stabilizing gimbal: 3-axis gimbal
Max Flying Time: 25 minutes
Max Range: 1 mile (1.6km)
Battery: 3.6V 8700mAh 31.32Wh Li-ion
Charging Time: 2 hours
The Pros
360-degree 4K gimbal camera
Retractable landing gear
Touchscreen Android controller
Autonomous flight modes
Decent flight time
Collision avoidance
The Cons
Poor range for its category
Long charge time

3. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Quad Ultimate Bundle | Top Pick

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Quad Ultimate BundleView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Pro camera quadcopters are the most talked about crafts right now. Just when we thought consumer drones couldn’t get any better, they just did.

  • Best feature 1: 12-megapixel 4K 24–48mm zoom camera
  • Best feature 2: 3-axis stabilizing gimbal
  • Plus points: SD card support, 8GB internal storage, long flight time, fast, low noise propellers
  • Minus points: No gesture control, price tag, expensive batteries

This review focuses on the Mavic 2 Zoom. The Zoom version offers more creative filming opportunities than the Mavic 2 Pro. It’s a premium travel quadcopter for true adventure seekers.

Aerial Filming & Photography Highlights

Zoom camera quads are rare, and this puppy is the best around right now. It has a 12-megapixel 2/3-inch sensor and a lens that provides a 2x optical zoom. Those specs may not sound much compared to cameras on the ground, but it’s a big deal for an aerial drone setup. The 24mm wide angle is standard for many camera drones. What’s not standard, though, is the narrower 48mm.

One of the frustrations with aerial photography is the fixed lenses. Now it’s possible to be more creative and zoom in on subjects. Zoom control lets you capture footage from a safe distance and with a new perspective. The 3-axis stabilized 4K camera shoots at 24/25/30fps (frames per second). The video is tack sharp with superb details. The 2.7K gives the option to shoot at various frame rates.

The 12MP stills quality is superb and sure to please all but the most critical of photographers. There’s an option to shoot RAW file format for better post editing control or JPEG+RAW or HDR. HDR stands for high-dynamic-range. The camera’s HDR processing feature can be invaluable as it captures multiple exposure images. That’s how it improves the dynamic range (shadow and highlight details) in a photo.

Opt for the Mavic 2 Pro if you don’t need zoom capability and want the ultimate in aerial cameras.

Mavic 2 Zoom’s Standout Flight Features

There’s much to appreciate and explore with the Mavic 2 Zoom aside from its lens and compact design. It supports SD cards up to 128GB and has 8GB of internal storage. There’s also the quiet rotors, safety systems, and responsive flight controls. The Mavic 2 Zoom is a fast and agile flier as well. And the 32-minute flight time, long range, and omnidirectional obstacle sensing add further to its appeal.

The Not So Good

The Mavic 2 Zoom doesn’t have hand gesture control, yet most fans wished it did. This DJI camera quad is excellent value, but it’s not cheap. That puts it out of reach for a lot of budding aerial filmmakers who’d love to get their hands on one. The cost of spare batteries adds to its high price.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 18.2 x 12.2 x 9”
Product Weight: 32 oz. (907g)
Camera: 12MP 24-48mm optical zoom
Stabilizing gimbal: 3-axis
Max Flying Time: 31 minutes
Max Range: 5 miles (8 km)
Battery: Intelligent Flight 3850 mAh LiPo
Charging Time: 90 minutes
The Pros
Well-engineered feature packed quality camera quadcopter
Tack sharp aerial photos and smooth video footage
Stabilizing gimbal camera
SD card support
8GB internal storage
Long flight time
Fast, low noise propellers
The Cons
No hand gesture control
High price tag
Expensive spare batteries

4. Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon CGO3 Camera Quad

Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon CGO3 Camera QuadView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Here we have another quality Yuneec filming drone, only this model’s a quadcopter (4 rotors). It’s an all-in-one 3-axis 4K camera drone that’s ready to fly (RTF) straight out of its box.

  • Best feature 1: 12-megapixel 4K ultra-HD CGO3 onboard gimbal camera
  • Best feature 2: ST10+ Ground Station
  • Plus points: Easy to fly, no image curvature, decent flight time, obstacle avoidance, SteadyGrip
  • Minus points: Not compact, long charging time

The Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K camera quad has an affordable price tag. Best of all is that the cost has come down in recent times too. It doesn’t fall short with its flight or filming features either.

Aerial Filming & Photography Highlights

This able camera quad is a perfect choice for anyone moving up from toy-grade models. It’s perhaps one of the easiest camera quadcopters to fly in its class. The Q500 captures crystal-clear aerial footage, but that’s not all it does. It can also work as a ground level camera using the SteadyGrip Handheld Mount (see next section). The camera shoots 4K UHD video at 30fps (frames per second).

The camera captures 1080p/120 fps slow-motion video and 12-megapixel stills as well. The Android-powered transmitter gives pilots full control from the ground. Yuneec call it their ST10+ ground station—a remote control (RC) and receiver. The RC has a built-in 5.5-inch color touchscreen to track live footage. It also lets you adjust camera settings among other things, so no phone or tablet needed.

The CGO3 camera has a distortion-free lens with a 115° field of view (FOV). The shots are more realistic as they don’t display the curvature effect like some wide-angle cameras. Video is more impressive than the photos, but the pics are still very pleasing. And the quad comes with a 16GB SD card to store all the footage for each filming mission.

Yuneec Typhoon Q500 Standout Flight Features

The favorite flight features are Watch Me, Follow Me, GEO-Fencing, and Auto Takeoff/Landing. If aerial tricks are your thing, you’ve got that too. A handy Return to Home (RTH) feature brings the quad back and lands it within a few meters of the RC. The flight time for the Q500 is an impressive 25-minutes in ideal conditions. And an adjustable lever controls speeds with ranges from turtle (slow) to rabbit (fast).

The SteadyGrip is a handheld stabilizer that deserves mention. All you do is slide the camera and gimbal off the Q500 quadcopter and fit it into the grip. The SteadyGrip also has a place for a regular smartphone on top. The phone acts as the camera’s viewfinder using a dedicated app and WiFi connectivity. That’s it. You now have a capable handheld gimbal-stabilized camera.

The Not So Good

The Typhoon Q500 is not as compact as a lot of newer drones. Consider the Yuneec quad below if you need something more portable or pocketable even. But this one is an excellent choice mid-sized quad if size isn’t an issue. The 2+ hour charging time—though not extreme—has most users investing in extra batteries. It’s a long wait between flights if you don’t.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 22.2 x 16.5 x 9.4”
Product Weight: 3.7 lbs.
Camera: 12MP CGO3 4K stabilized
Stabilizing gimbal: 3-axis
Max Flying Time: 25 minutes
Max Range: Range 2624 ft. (800m)
Battery: 11.1V 5400mAh 3S LiPo
Charging Time: 2+ hours
The Pros
Excellent camera drone for budding videographers
Good quality onboard gimbal-stabilized camera
Intuitive ST10+ Ground Station
Easy to fly at beginner level
No image curvature issues
Decent flight time
Obstacle avoidance
Pistol SteadyGrip for handheld shooting
The Cons
Not compact or easily portable
Long charging time

5. Yuneec Mantis Q YUNMQUS Foldable Camera Drone

Yuneec Mantis Q YUNMQUS Foldable Camera DroneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

The Mantis Q is the latest camera quadcopter from Yuneec at the time of writing. It’s portable and pocketable yet packed with cool features and tools like a 4K UHD camera.

  • Best feature 1: 13-megapixel, 4K tiltable stabilized camera
  • Best feature 2: Ultra-portable foldable design
  • Plus points: Feature packed, easy to use, voice control, facial recognition, long flight time, fast
  • Minus points: No obstacle avoidance, No stabilization for 4K

Many camera drone enthusiasts put the Mantis Q somewhere between the DJI Spark and Mavic Air. It beats the Spark with flight time, speed, and image resolution, and is slightly smaller than the Air. It does fall short on the DJI Air when it comes to high-end features, though.

Aerial Filming & Photography Highlights

Yuneec’s Mantis Q foldable camera quad can record UHD 4k video, but its’ not stabilized. However, there is electronic stabilization when shooting at 1080p. The video and image quality is as impressive as other drones in its class on bright days. The quad can capture aerial stills at 13-megapixels in DNG format as well as the standard JPEG. DNG is a lossless format akin to RAW.

The Mantis Q’s camera is tiltable, and that’s not something we see on most drones. It tilts up by around 20° and down a full 90°. That gives videographers more flexible shooting options. Gesture controls and face detection make it ideal for filming and photographing at close quarters. And the portable controller has a smartphone clamp for viewing live images.

Yuneec Mantis Q’s Standout Flight Features

The Mantis Q’ is easy to fly, and that’s always a good start. Having the voice, facial, and RC control options give pilots plenty of flexibility. Different situations often benefit from different flying and filming methods. The 33-minute flight time allows ample time to relax and capture footage without rushing. The flight time is almost twice that of the DJI Spark and 12 minutes longer than the Mavic Air.

Another significant flight feature is the quad’s 44 mph top speed in Sport mode. That makes it a capable racing drone if that’s your thing. The Intelligent Flight Modes include Point of Interest (POI), Journey Mode, and a Return to Home (RTH) function. Finally, this quad is a capable indoor flier too. That’s thanks to its indoor advanced stabilization technology and down-facing dual sonar sensors.

The Not So Good

There isn’t any obstacle avoidance (OA) with the Yuneec Mantis Q so pilots must be extra careful. No OA is not all bad though. After all, it keeps operators on their toes and thus makes them better pilots. Another negative is no stabilization for the 4K video. That’s something to think about on blustery days.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.3 x 2.3”
Product Weight: 1 lb.
Camera: Integrated 13MP 4k UHD
Stabilizing gimbal: 3-axis
Max Flying Time: 33 minutes
Max Range: 0.9 mile (1.5km)
Battery: 3.7V 3000mAh LiPo
Charging Time: 60 minutes
The Pros
Quality aerial filming quad
Adjustable camera angles
Ultra-portable foldable design
Feature packed camera quad
Easy for beginners to fly
Voice control technology
Facial recognition technology
Long flight time
Fast top speed in Sport mode
The Cons
No obstacle avoidance
No stabilization for 4K

6. DJI Phantom 4 PRO Camera Quadcopter Bundle Kit

DJI Phantom 4 PRO Camera Quadcopter Bundle KitView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Anyone who knows drones are sure to have heard of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. It has more competition today than at its launch, but it continues to be a favorite aerial filming quad.

  • Best feature 1: 20MP 4K onboard camera w/ 1-inch sensor
  • Best feature 2: 5-direction obstacle sensing
  • Plus points: Beginner mode, gesture control, flight time, return to home, ActiveTrack
  • Minus points: Vague app tutorials, high cost of spare batteries, no prop guards

Anyone who wants a stable, reliable, easy-to-fly quality camera quadcopter need look no further. The Phantom 4 Pro has stood the test of time. It’s been around for a while now and continues to sell.

Aerial Filming & Photography Highlights

Phantom 4 Pro’s redesigned onboard camera is something else. It boasts eight lens elements and a 1”, 20-megapixel CMOS sensor. It’s capable of shooting 4K Ultra-HD video at 60fps (frames per second).

The camera can also shoot Burst Mode stills at 14fps. Another unique feature is the mechanical shutter that eliminates rolling shutter distortion. Distorted rolling shutters usually show when flying and filming at high speeds or tracking fast-moving subjects. The quad has a powerful obstacle avoidance system too. There’s also its dedicated controller (RC) with a built-in ultra-bright 5.5-inch 1080p screen.

The intuitive DJI GO app and Intelligent Flight Modes add further to the simplicity of the Phantom 4 Pro. Combined, they let aerial film-makers focus more on their footage and less on the flying. DJI’s Go App gives users full access to the Intelligent Flight Modes and camera controls. The camera controls include shutter speeds, aperture settings, ISO, image formats, and more.

The RC displays all vital flight data and the status of the Lightbridge HD video transmission. A lot is going on, but it’s all well-organized, simple to navigate, and easy to grasp.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro’s Standout Flight Features

The Phantom 4 Pro has some cool, intelligent flight modes. They include Draw, ActiveTrack, TapFly, Return to Home (RTH), and Gesture Mode. The drone has an incredible control range of 4.3 miles (7km) and a maximum flight time of around 30 minutes. The bundle kit in this review has everything an aerial filmmaker needs to start shooting pro-level footage.

The Not So Good

There are complaints from reviewers—especially novice pilots—about the vague app tutorials. It’s a powerful app that offers a lot of data and control. Alas, users don’t feel DJI covers the app well. The cost of Intelligent Flight Batteries is a legitimate gripe among DJI fans. The bundle kit here includes three flight batteries as part of the package. The final con is that there are no prop guards included.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 16 x 14 x 9
Product Weight: 3 lbs.
Camera: 20MP 4k stabilized
Stabilizing gimbal: 3-axis
Max Flying Time: 30 minutes
Max Range: 4.3 miles (7km)
Battery: Intelligent Flight 5870mAh 4S Li-P
Charging Time: 60+ minutes
The Pros
High-quality camera quadcopter
5-direction obstacle sensing
Beginner mode for novice pilots
Gesture controls
TapFly, Return to Home, ActiveTrack
Long flight time
Long control range
Intuitive DJI GO App
The Cons
Vague app tutorials
High cost of spare batteries
No prop guards included

7. DJI Inspire 2 Camera Quadcopter Bundle

DJI Inspire 2 Camera Quadcopter BundleView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

Aerial cinematographers call the DJI Inspire 2 the king of the sky because of its incredible versatility. It has so much to offer that it’s earned the affectionate title ‘Swiss Army knife of drones.’

  • Best feature 1: High-quality Zenmuse X5S micro 4/3 aerial camera
  • Best feature 2: 3-axis detachable gimbal
  • Plus points: Tripod mode, inbuilt battery warmers, fast flier, Smart Return to Home, GPS
  • Minus points: High price tag Not travel-friendly

The superior look and feel of the DJI Inspire 2 are evident the second it’s out of the box. It has a magnesium-aluminum alloy shell and real carbon fiber arms, but its quality build is just the start.

Aerial Filming & Photography Highlights

It all began with the DJI Inspire 1. That puppy was the world’s first drone with an integrated HD video transmission system. Other ‘firsts’ were the 4K camera and a 360° rotating gimbal controlled by a simple app. Well, the Inspire 2 is everything that’s good about the Inspire 1—with improvements.

This drone can record incredible aerial video like no other. The starter package comes with a high-quality Zenmuse X5S micro 4/3 aerial camera and 3-axis “detachable gimbal.” That lets aerial filmmakers modify and upgrade their cinematic and photographic setup. The Zenmuse X5S can shoot 5.2K video at 30fps (frames per second) and 4K at 60fps. Stills quality is an incredible 20.8MP.

Fast, far, and far-out flight performance

The Inspire 2 is a fast flier, has a 27-minute max flight time, and an impressive 4.3 miles (7km) range. That means there’s plenty of power and time to reach far-out destinations—and back—on a single charge. The quad can achieve 50mph in only 4-seconds and has a top speed of 67mph. The speed and acceleration make it a formidable camera quad for filming fast-moving action.

It’s not the purpose of this review to get into technicalities. Just know that this smart drone delivers Hollywood-quality video and stills. You need to set aside some time to discover its full potential.

DJI Inspire 2’s Standout Flight Features

The Inspire 2 has a Spotlight Pro (advanced visual tracking) feature that sticks to subjects like glue. Think of it as a Follow Me mode on steroids. Moreover, the camera quad’s Tripod Mode is handy for new pilots because it slows everything down. It’s also ideal for flying in tight spaces or close to the ground. What tripod mode does is significantly reduce speed and braking distance

Obstacle avoidance (OA) systems are invaluable, especially with high-quality high-cost drones. The Inspire 2 has upward, forward, and downward vision systems. They can detect obstacles up to 30-meters ahead and 5-meters above up to speeds of 34mph (54kph).

Some of the Inspire 2’s Intelligent Flight Modes include Point of Interest (POI) and Waypoint. There’s also QuickSpin, TapFly, and ActiveTrack. These smart modes help to produce creative footage and make light work of otherwise challenging shots. The Smart Return to Home (RTH) is another welcome feature. RTH brings the quad back to base along its original route if it loses the transmission signal.

The Not So Good

DJI aim its Inspire 2 high-quality camera quadcopter at professionals and prosumers. To them, the price is relative and justified. However, the high price tag is unjustified for most enthusiastic amateurs who’d otherwise love to own one of these incredible birds. The only other major setback is the size of this aircraft. It’s not travel-friendly and needs careful packing and transporting to its locations.

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Tech Specs
Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 21”
Product Weight: 8.82 lbs.
Camera: Zenmuse X5S micro 4/3
Stabilizing gimbal: 3-axis detachable
Max Flying Time: 27 minutes
Max Range: 4.3 miles (7km)
Battery: 22.8V 4280 mAh 6S LiPo
Charging Time: (2 batteries): 90 minutes
The Pros
High-quality detachable camera and stabilizing gimbal
Tripod mode
Intelligent flight modes
Built-in battery warmers
Fast acceleration and top speed
Smart Return to Home
Accurate GPS
The Cons
High price tag of drone and accessories
Big, not travel-friendly
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