Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Aerial photography is responsible for some of the most impressive shots on Instagram, YouTube, and even good ol’ TV. But you no longer need to hop on a helicopter or biplane to get these excellent shots. While there are many different activities for drones, aerial photography is one of their most popular draws.
As drone photography becomes more popular, it’s getting more difficult to decide which devices are the best for your needs. Here are some of the best drones for photography out there—as well as the situations they suit the most.
The Best Aerial Photography Drone for Beginners
Yuneec Breeze 4K
Why we like it: A variety of autonomous functions at a low price.
There are a few things to consider when buying your first drone. For a beginner’s drone, you want one that is relatively simple to operate, includes various automated functions, and comes with a reasonable price tag. Yuneec, known for its quality drones and competitive prices, offers the perfect solution: the Yuneec Breeze 4K drone.
This drone is specially catered towards beginners in terms of its price and its various piloting modes. These modes include selfie mode, orbit mode, journey mode, and follow me mode. This makes it perfect for total beginners who need some assistance when it comes to steering their drone.
Its 4K video recording and 13MP camera mean that it also boasts decent quality imaging, meeting most beginners’ aerial photography requirements. The 12-minute flight time is a bit limiting, but this kind of time window is similar to other compact beginner drones on the market.
The Best Budget Drone for Aerial Photography
Parrot Bebop 2
Why we like it: Impressive quality for price. Full HD camera.
The Parrot Bebop 2 balances price and quality in a way that makes it the perfect budget drone for photography. While there are a variety of cheaper camera drones on the market, their quality is markedly lower.
However, the Parrot Bebop 2 has impressive specifications for its price range—even competing with a few drones that come with a higher price tag. The drone boasts 25 minutes of autonomous flight time, meaning that it doesn’t skimp in terms of battery power. It also has a Full HD camera with a 14MP lens.
Other features include GPS tracking, smartphone app controls, and flight stability functionality. It may not be packed with quite the number of features of some of the other drones on this list, but for its price it offers great value for money.
The Best Drone for Real Estate or Commercial Photos
DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Why we like it: Near-unparalleled performance and quality. Suitable for a variety of commercial uses.
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is considered one of the best photography drones on the market. It’s a favorite for consumers, professionals, and businesses thanks to its exceptional video and photo quality. In fact, when you ask professionals which drones are best for commercial photography, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is almost always mentioned.
What makes the DJI Phantom 4 Pro great for real estate and commercial photography is that its price range makes it accessible to both small and large businesses. There are more complex drones that companies can invest in, but these come with a more difficult learning curve.
Since the Phantom 4 Pro is also consumer-friendly, it’s easy enough for businesses to use as well without needing a professional drone pilot on hand. The Phantom 4 Pro is popular among professional photographers, but is also often used for television advertisements, music videos, and other commercial videos.
Its features include a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, three-axis stabilization, Cinema 4K (C4K) video recording, and a 20MP camera with adjustable aperture.
The Best Drone for 4K Photography
DJI Mavic Pro 2
Why we like it: Improves on an outstanding product. Better portability than other premium drones.
In our review of the DJI Mavic Pro, our reviewer dubbed it the best drone he’d ever flown. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is the new and improved iteration of the original drone. Shortly after its release, it garnered the praise and awe of drone enthusiasts.
As the company’s flagship consumer drone, it not only comes with exceptional quality, but also great portability and ease-of-use. It’s equipped with a 20MP Hasselblad camera, six-axis obstacle avoidance, foldable arms, and a maximum flight time of 31 minutes.
It also has a few awesome tricks, such as the ability to create 48MP super-resolution images by patching together nine photos taken with the drone’s telephoto lens. It also has a hyperlapse function, a favorite effect among many photographers.
The drone features HDR and a “hyperlight” low-light mode to make sure your pictures achieve stunning depth and detail. The drone doesn’t come cheap, but it is the belle of the ball when it comes to drones for 4K photography.
Improve Your Photography Skills Further
While using these, the best drones for photography we could find, will give you the opportunity to capture some of the rarest views, having a drone won’t necessarily make you a great photographer.
As has been said many times before, when it comes to honing your photography skills, practice makes perfect. Have a look at the best cheap drones with cameras if you need a spare to practice with, or the best pocket drones to bring with you.