Best Cinematography And Camera Drones

choosing best cinematographt camera drones

UPDATED :  

From shooting a family holiday to professional video capture, here are some of the best camera drones for the job.

YUNEEC TYPHOON Q500 4K

yuneek typhoon q500 4k drone review

DRONE OVERVIEW

The Typhoon is the updated version of the Q500 4K from Yuneec and as the name implies it shoots 4K video just like the Phantom 4. It has lots of great features for the price.

For example, it comes with two batteries and a hand mount that allows you to take the camera (and gimbal) off the quadcopter to use as a mini handheld stabilised camera system. A good alternative to the Phantom 4.

FEATURES WE LIKED:
  • Captures 4K/30fpm HD video

  • Detachable handheld steady grip for ground footage

  • No fly zone feature to help keep your flying area legal

  • All in one transmitter with clear colour

  • 5.5' screen display

DRONE SPECIFICATIONS

typhoon 4k specifications

Model: Typhoon Q500 4K

Manufacturer: Yuneec

Type: Camera and cinematography drone

Operating range: 300 metres with geofence safety feature

Flight Time: 25 minutes

Price: $1,899


WALKERA VOYAGER 4

Walkera VOYAGER 4 4K HD Camera GPS F18 Transmitter RC Quadcopter RTF Camera Drone

DRONE OVERVIEW

Dubbed the flying telescope, the all new Voyager has a staggering 18x optical zoom HD camera allowing long distance footage whist remaining visual.

Smart features like Auto Fly and Waypoint modes allow 360 degrees filming and the easy touch screen interface is both user friendly and packed full of professional features.

FEATURES WE LIKED
  • Simply amazing 18x optical zoom

  • Retractable landing gear keeps footage obstacle free

  • Feature rich and user friendly

  • Realtime HD footage to your tablet

DRONE SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Voyager 4

Manufacturer: Walkera

Type: Camera and cinematography drone

Operating range: The 18x zoom camera will give a massive camera range

Flight time: 20 minutes

Price: $4,221


PHANTOM 4 GOES PRO

Phantom 4 pro camera filming drone review

only $1,699.00

On November 16, 2017 DJI announced the release of the Phantom 4 Pro. This isn't a generational update for DJI, although it may as well have been, as it certainly raises the bar in camera specs, safety and autonomous flight as well as flight times.

If you are a photographer or videographer you are going to love the new P4 Pro. DJI do love to leapfrog themselves on a regular basis, and they have once again done that.

THE NEW CAMERA

The camera now packs a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor, and almost 12 stops of dynamic range bring out levels of detail and low-light performance unprecedented in a flying camera of this size.

Its mechanical shutter eliminates rolling shutter distortion in fast-moving scenes. Phantom 4 Pro can capture slow-motion 4K video up to 60 fps at a maximum bitrate of 100 mbps (it was 60mbps on previous versions).

That alone is awesome! No other small to medium size camera at the moment does 60fps at 4K. And 100mbps gives you additional depth and quality to your footage allowing for better colour grading in post-production.

In addition, the Phantom 4 Pro offers H.265 video compression, which substantially improves video quality at the same bitrate.

NAVIGATION SENSORS

DJI's revolutionary obstacle avoidance system, utilising vision as well as sound sensors, have been added now to each side of the drone.

Where before it would only avoid obstacles in a forward direction, now it has a 5-direction sensing system. Theoretically now if you have obstacle avoidance on you couldn't crash the P4 Pro even if you tried.

IMU SENSORS

Everyone has heard of drones flying away for no apparent reason. Sometimes the cause of this could be a faulty IMU. So DJI have now upgraded the P4 with 2 IMU's.

The IMU (inertlal measurement unit) sensors are used for some rather important calculations to determine how the drone is moving in the air as well as how the motors should react to change orientation and trajectory.

If an error occurs in this unit, which it sometimes does, the drone gets confused and crashes or flies off in a random direction. That is why having multiple IMU's on drones is important.

When the flight controller reads IMU data from 2 units and 1 unit suddenly returns strange readings, the FC assumes it is an error and uses the data from the other unit, rather than reacting to the strange readings.

TRANSMITTER

An updated more compact transmitter (controller) now has the option of a high luminance built in screen.

Meaning no more need for wires and attaching your tablet or phone to the transmitter. It has built-in GPS. compass and a micro SD card slot as well as an HDMI output.

FLIGHT TIME

Boasting up to 30 minutes flight time, the new Phantom 4 Pro stays in the air longer than any commercially manufactured drone, and with the video signal range (advertised) to reach 7km, you can cover some serious distance with this bad boy.

If you are looking for the best consumer drone on the market, look no further. The Phantom 4 Pro has it all.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Speeds up to 72 kph

  • Obstacle avoidance all directions

  • Video upto4K@60fps

  • 20MP Stills

DJI Phantom Pro filming drone for movies

DRONE SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Phantom 4 Pro

Manufacturer: DJI

Type: Camera and cinematography drone

Range: Up to 7km

Flight time: 30 minutes

Price: $2599 (without built-in screen)


PARROT BEBOP 2-FPV PACK

Parrot Bebop 2 FPV Pack review

DRONE OVERVIEW

Building on the success of the v1 the current version 2 offers extended flight times and new updated colour options whilst still providing a good all round drone for everyone to enjoy.

Most recently Parrot have updated the bulky old Sky Controller to a much smaller version and included FPV goggles for that out-of-body experience.

Aimed at the fun recreational market the Bebop is a good complete package and will operate off both your smart phone or tablet or the Sky Controller.

At under 500g the parrot would be a fun addition to any holiday luggage and it's fairly easy for the novice to master.

FEATURES WE LIKED
  • Immersive FPV Experience Goggles

  • Extended flight times up to 20 minutes

  • Compact and easy to travel with

Drone FPV PACK bebop

DRONE SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Bebop 2

Manufacturer: Parrot

Type: Camera and cinematography drone

Operating range: 1km

Flight time: 20 minutes

Price: $1,298 with FPV Pack


3D ROBOTICS SOLO

3d robotics solo drone review

DRONE OVERVIEW

With its now revised price point, the 3DR solo is a real contender for the serious hobbyist.

With its smart flying features it's a genuinely great all round package.

Features such as pre-mapped flight path, orbit and lock-on-and-follow-me enable some real scalability that allows you to capture HD footage via your GoPro.

The controller is compatible with your smart phone and larger tablet giving you a real time aerial experience in a wide range of environments.

FEATURES WE LIKED

Packed with smart features

  • Professional looks and quality

  • Simple and user-friendly controller

  • Captures very smooth HD video from your GoPro

3dr solo quadcopter camera drone sale

DRONE SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Solo

Manufacturer: 3D Robotics

Type: RTF camera drone

Flight time: 20 minutes

Price: $999


Here we have left the best camera drone to last - and if you are serious about any type of photography with a drone, you can't go wrong with the DJI INSPIRE 2.

DJI INSPIRE 2

Inspire 2 Zenmuse X5S camera drone

The Inspire 1 Professional was a ground-breaking transition into a seamless, trouble-free aerial platform, and as been required kit for any professional drone operator since early 2015.

Come January 2017, the next generation of Inspire, the Inspire 2 will take flight and make the Inspire 1 look dated. The Inspire 2 is sleeker, much faster and packs vastly upgraded tech to its predecessor.

Drone Magazine will be getting hold of a unit once released for a full review in Issue 5, but for now let's take a look at some of the new features.

POWER & PERFORMANCE

Out of the blocks the Inspire 2 packs a serious punch. Now with dual redundant self-heating batteries, all that additional power on tap propels this bad boy to an impressive top speed of 92 kph, and reaches 80 kph in 5 seconds.

It will now stay in the air for up to 27 minutes carrying the smaller camera too. It can climb at a rate of 20 ft/ sec and descend at almost 30 ft/sec.

There are even optional high altitude props meaning it can reach an altitude of over 16,000 feet (about 5 km) above sea level. Not that you can legally do that in most countries.

SENSORS AND AUTONOMOUS FLIGHT

Redundant systems provide reliability for the IMU, barometer, electronic speed controller communication and satellite navigation modules.

And now with sensors facing forward, up and down, it can navigate itself around obstacles, handy in enclosed spaces or in a return to home situation if you decided to fly up to an advertised 7km away.

dji inspire 2 filming drone

Inspire 2 pilots will now enjoy the autonomous applications that came out with the Phantom 4 including the amazing ActiveTrack allowing dynamic tracking of moving objects whilst still flying forwards and avoiding obstacles with an independent camera operator.

NEW CAMERAS

Here is the exciting part for professional operators. There are two pretty awesome camera options so far for the Inspire 2, with the promise of more to come.

The Zenmuse X4S camera has a 1-inch 20MP sensor with 11.6 stops of dynamic range and a 24mm equivalent focal length.

The Zenmuse X4S offers aperture control (f2.8-11) and a mechanical shutter that cancels rolling shutter distortion.

The new Zenmuse X5S has a larger Micro Four Thirds sensor with 20.8 megapixels and an incredible 12.8 stops of dynamic range.

The Zenmuse X5S camera now supports 8 lenses from wide angles to zooms. It shoots 20fps continuous burst DNG RAW (20.8 MP).

In the future, a handheld mount will be available for the Zenmuse X4S and X5S cameras, bringing those cameras down to the ground for more flexible filmmaking. Video resolution has been beefed up to 60fps in 4K and now 5.6K at 30fps.

HIGHLIGHTS

Packed with smart features

  • Professional looks and quality

  • Simple and user-friendly controller

  • Captures very smooth HD video from your GoPro

dji inspire 2 premium combo x5s

DRONE SPECIFICATIONS

Model: Inspire 2

Manufacturer: DJI

Type: Camera & cinematography drone

Range: Up to 7km

Flight time: 25-27 minutes

Price: $5199 (base unit)

Release date: Jan 2017