So What Exactly is a Quadcopter with Camera?
There are a lot of different types of drones currently on the market. A quadcopter with camera is a multirotor machine made to haul around a camera to maximize video capabilities. These quadcopters are built with a payload to hold a camera. The camera doesn’t negatively affect the flight or slow down the drone in any way. Buying any quadcopter for sale meant to hold a heavy payload means you’re making a purchase that will positively affect your video quality.
Many models have built in cameras that are not removable. Other quadcopter models have cameras attached in gimbals that allow for stabilization while filming. These gimbals swivel and tilt with the angle of your quadcopter to keep the line of vision on your camera smooth. Gimbals exponentially increase the quality of your aerial photography.
Below you will find our favorite choices from around the site. Clicking on any of the four below will you take you to a full explanation. Some of these are quadcopters that do not have removable cameras and some you can place your own camera on. Scroll down to learn more about our favorite quadcopters with cameras.
Quadcopter with Camera
Although the X-Star Premium isn’t one of the most talked about drones per se, it’s certainly one of those hidden gems in the marketplace. This sophisticated machine is engineered to be agile in the skies and a master of aerial photography. The integrated camera shoots in 4k and has the capacity to capture 12MP stills. You won’t have to worry about unstable images, as the implemented 3-axis gimbal pairs perfectly with the camera and grounds it beneath the quadcopter. As with most drones of this caliber, the X-Star Premium can livestream FPV in high-definition (up to 1.2 miles in distance).
Similar to DJI products, Autel Robotics loads their drones with autonomous tech guts. If you’re wondering what sort of intelligence comes with the X-Star, it comes with smart-features like waypoint following, follow me, orbit, position lock and more. Instead of a singular GPS unit, it also carries a GLONASS navigation system which provides better position accuracy and stability in low-signal areas. And the integrated ‘beginner’ mode makes learning to fly the X-Star an easier process, particularly if you’re just upgrading to your first professional drone.
This drone is often compared to the Phantom 3 series, since their specs sort of mirror each other. Yet what you experience with the X-Star is a bit better price point, and the ability to upgrade the quadcopter via add-ons, whereas with the Phantoms you generally have to buy an entirely new machine if you’re looking to drastically improve your drone.
Let’s make something clear about the DJI Inspire 2; it’s every avid photographer or cinematographer’s fantasy. After the Inspire 1 and the Phantom 4 both swept the marketplace, most manufacturers didn’t produce any revolutionary upgrades anytime soon. Then the Inspire 2 was released.
First, the camera can shoot 5.2k in CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes, and more. Not just that, but now it comes with an integrated dual signal frequency system (livestreaming transmission) which allows for the two separate cameras to livestream FPV individually. This means you’ll have one camera to ‘see’ your immediate flightpath and one camera to film. Not only that, but the flight autonomy on this drone is absolutely ridiculous. DJI has basically said –you know what, instead of your having to pilot the drone and then bring on a videographer to control the camera, let’s let the drone do the piloting for you, and all you really need to worry about is your shot setup.
This means that the DJI Inspire 2 allows for single pilots to set up complex, dynamic shots. The newly integrated Spotlight Pro system basically removes the need for a dedicated camera operator. But enough about the camera. In terms of flight performance it goes from 0-50mph in 5 seconds and can sustain flight (even when filming) for 27 minutes. It takes all the intelligent features of the Phantom series and expands on them. Lightbridge 2 allows for FPV livestreaming with less interference, more clarity, and at longer distances.
We could go on and on, but if you’re serious about capturing professional grade aerial footage, the Inspire 2 is certainly the maverick.
The DJI Phantom 4 is just about the king of the Phantom series (behind the Phantom 4 Pro, of course). Depending on the pilot, some even prefer it as an aerial photography machine over the Inspire 1. In terms of design, it’s equipped with all the intelligent features you’d expect from a Phantom machine (active track, return home, follow me, TapFly, etc.), but what really sets the Phantom 4 apart from the other Phantoms is its camera specs, collision-avoidance-system, battery capacity, and speed.
The Phantom 4 captures footage in 4k and takes stills in 12MP. The 3-axis gimbal is regarded as one of the best integrated-camera-systems in the consumer drone space. It has a max bitrate of 60mbps and uses Lightbridge technology to transmit FPV (in high-definition and without interference). It features two different flight modes; a beginner mode where the drone relies on its intelligence to stabilize flight, and a sport mode where the drone can fly at speeds up to 45mph, dependent on weather conditions. The flight time is pretty normal for Phantom machines, at around 27 minutes.
The Phantom 4 is considered the drone that ‘anyone can fly on’ and by that they mean it’s intelligent enough to adapt to any pilot. This nearly autonomous machine can capture industry standard footage, fly up to 45mph, and avoid collisions on its own. It’s truly a hallmark of drone engineering, particularly when considering the price.
As if the Phantom 4 wasn’t good enough, DJI upped the game and released its successor, the Phantom 4 Pro. If you’re someone who knows anything about aerial photography or consumer drones, then you’re probably aware the Pro is considered to be one of –if not the best—RTF aerial photography machine available on the market. It’s basically everything amazing about the Phantom 4 with a heavy injection of steroids.
If you’re a photographer/cinematographer, then the upgraded camera specs highlight the significance of the Phantom 4 Pro upgrade. It shoots in 4k and takes 20MP stills, has a 120 max bitrate and comes with a new mechanical shutter and improved aperture speed. It also comes with auto focus, has a better FOV, and can take double the amount of pictures (from the 4’s seven to the Pro’s 14) in burst mode. An upgrade sensor assists with lowlighting environments and the preset camera specifications are more accurate than the 4.
In terms of performance, it comes with 360 obstacle avoidance (the first of its kind to do so), which means it has sensors on the sides and both the front and back (this is often the big selling point of 4 Pro). The collision avoidance system can remain active except when flying at the maximum speed of sports mode. It flies for 30 minutes at a time, and has an upgraded Micro SD storage capacity.
The Phantom 4 Pro, for its price point, may just be the most impressive and optimized drone in the game.
The DJI Mavic Pro is the epitome of huge punch, little package. This newly released drone is quickly becoming a consumer favorite. It’s basically the Phantom 4 Pro consolidated into one smaller, sleeker, more portable package. It shoots in 4k, can fly up to 40mph, flies for around 25 minutes, contains all the intelligent features found in the DJI Go application, and can fold into the size of a water bottle. Also, the Mavic Pro incorporates the same 360 degree obstacle avoidance system as the 4 Pro.
It’s basically a well-engineered machine capable of the aerial photography seen in the Phantom 4 Pro line, although the 4 Pro is a bit bigger, has a better FOV and a more optimized camera). For its listed price and wide range of capabilities, the Mavic Pro is one of the best consumer drones ever brought to the market.
With 360 degree collision avoidance, 4k footage, all the autonomous capabilities of the Phantom series, and it folds down to something that can fit comfortably in a small travel bag? The Mavic Pro could very well be the trend-setter for future drones.
As you can see from all the models in this list, each quadcopter with camera model is unique and comes with its own set of features. Sure, there are a few models that tend to be a lot easier to control and which deliver a very good flight experience, but if you are interested solely in how good the recording process is, you obviously need a quadcopter with camera that has HD support.
Pricing will indeed differ depending on the model that you choose, but as a whole you will see that each model in this list covers the demand quite well. These 10 models impress with great attention to detail, impressive quality and an amazing experience all around; you just have to be very careful on the budget that you allocate for them and the results that you want to obtain. Invest as much as you can to work with a reliable and professional quadcopter. Choose any of the 10 models from this list and rest assured that you will not be disappointed!