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Top 10 Drones for Photography: Updated for 2017

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Capturing Aerial Beauty

Are you prepared to capture images or videos that seem surreal? Then you are reading the right article. When choosing a drone for photography, you need to consider two major things: budget and quality of the image produced. Multi-rotor drones of more professional standards allow you to attach your own equipment to its carriage. Such drones are a little more expensive and best suited for professionals with their own equipment. The Yuneec Q500 and the Typhoon hexacopter fit this category of drones squarely, but we will discuss that later.

 Also read: Drone Photography Ideas

Camera drones are the most well-known drones. They are obviously integrated with cameras for shooting still images and videos. As such, their cameras are a lot more stable during flight time.

Credit: Wil Stewart

Drone photography can be a great hobby but can also be a great way to make money with a drone. For the hobbyist, drone photography can add another element to an already enjoyable past time. Once you’ve mastered the knack of simply flying, you can upgrade to a camera drone and start showing off your images to friends and family.

You’ll be amazed at the interest you will get in images of well-known places and objects that have been taken from a different angle. Just remember to consider local and federal laws when flying your camera drone over crowded areas or near government buildings and airspaces.

Aerial photography has really taken off in recent years, with many drone enthusiast starting out as a hobby before realizing the scope to make money from their hobby. Some popular aerial photography and video ideas include weddings, sporting events, wildlife, landscapes and land surveying. Sites like From where I Drone can give you some great ideas and tips for places to go and how to get the best images from your camera drone.

Credit: denys nevozhai via Unsplash

If you think you’ve got what it take to showcase your work alongside some of the best in the industry why not consider joining up with 500px. Even if you’re a novice 500px is a great  place to learn some tricks of the trade and read up on other people’s successes or failures with using different techniques.

Editing your footage

Flying your drone well and managing to get great shots isn’t the end either, you will most likely still need to edit and enhance your images before you are happy with the final piece of work. For this there are a few handy apps and programs available to make your life easier. Programs like Final Cut Pro X come with a free trial period so that you can try before you buy. Light works comes in either a free or paid version depending on your level of expertise and editing needs. DJI Go app is probably one of our favourite apps which allows easy and convenient video editing but you’ll need to be flying a DJI drone.

There are many different drones for photography on the market so we’ve done the research for you and summarized some of the pros and cons of the more popular models. Keep in mind that if you are looking to make money with your drone with photography the camera is not the only thing to worry about. While a quality of the camera is important, you will also want a quality model drone as well to ensure you get the best possible aerial shots. A good quality photography drone will need to have good stability and handling as well as decent battery life to keep you in the air long enough to get your perfect shot.

Most camera drone buyers are not monolith UAV users; they tend to spread out use. But for the purposes of photography, we are going to discuss the 10 most recommended drones for photographers by experts.

Drones for photographers


1. The Phantom Vision 4

It has just entered the market and is just as successful as its predecessors: the Phantom Vision 2 & 3. If you are looking to shoot high-quality images on a budget, then this is your choice quadcopter. Don’t be afraid even if you are a beginner. This baby is easy to learn, and the results will stun you.

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2. The 3DR SOLO Quadcopter

The 3DR Solo has risen to the top as one of the premium rated quadcopters. The camera is not built-in, so you have the leeway to attach any camera of your choice to it. What does this mean for the buyer? When the latest cameras hit the market, there will be no need to upgrade the drone, just the camera!

While extremely easy to use, it is also very functional. You can use the camera with or without the drone. How cool is that! It comes integrated with an accessory and gimbal bay which makes it possible for other companies to make new accessories and/or gimbals.


3. The YUNEEC Q500 4K

Compared to the Phantom and the 3D, Yuneec is pretty unknown. However, their drones are still quite competitive. The Q500 4K, one of the newest models designed by Yuneec, shoots 4k videos and stills in the same manner as the Solo or the Phantom 3. Its great features are overkill for the price. The really great feature is that it comes with a hand-mount, which makes it possible to detach the camera and use it as a handheld camera. It is also packaged with two batteries.


4. The DJI S1000 Octacopter

This is one of the best AR drones for professional filming. This is the camera you should get if you are an absolute professional who needs to get optimum shots from an aerial view. Being an Ocotocopter means it can support more weight than a standard quadcopter. As such, you can attach your own professional camera system to it for high-quality photographs that cannot be obtained without a plane or a helicopter.


5. The DJI Spreading Wings S900 Professional Hexacopter

The latest addition to the DJI family of drones is the S900. It is strong, stable, and well-built. You don’t need to master any time-consuming techniques to get it in the air. It is easy to transport, light-weighted, and one of the quickest hexacopters in the market to setup. Its adjoining Hybrid Panasonic Lumix GH4 makes it a great deal for the price.


6. The DJI Phantom Vision 3 Plus

The DJI Phantom Vision 3 has certainly earned its place on the list of best camera drones. It is a great drone to start out with. It affords you the chance to shoot 4K photos on a budget. If you are on a budget to get a drone that costs no more than $1000 but which can still capture unbelievably great shots, then you are going to want to pick this drone. It has great support, is easy to learn, and the camera is nothing short of brilliant.


7. The S800Evo Hexacopter for Photography​

This hexacopter is the small version of the S1000. It can therefore carry any professional camera system. We mostly love it for the professional images it produces and the affordability.


8. The Dji phantom FC40

Are you on a tight budget? Do you want quality images? Then the phantom FC40 is for you. It is an absolute professional but small filming quadcopter for photographers on a budget. Its integrated camera films at 720p 30FPS; needless to say the quality of the image is great. The camera has a viewing range of 10 meters, which can be seen live. If you are new to aerial footage, this is a good pick for you. You can use it as the stepping stone to more professional multirotor drones.


9. The Walkera GPS QR X800 Carbon AR drone

Able to capture a view of 2KM, this camera drone is excellent for getting shots at great heights. It comes with an optional DEVO F12, which can produce FPV when used with the Gopro hero. Stability during flight time is ensured by the retractable legs: This makes shooting smooth and easy. If you are looking to get quality shots on FPV and high-quality filming with the Gopro Hero, then look no further than this quadcopter.


10. The DJI Phantom Vision 2

The Phantom family seems to take the trophy for this list but we can’t help it; it’s a great value product. The major difference between the Vision 2 plus and the Vision two is the Gimbal camera. While the Vision 2 has no Gimbal camera, it comes cheaper than the Vision 2 plus, which comes integrated with a Gimbal.

But for that one difference, everything is pretty much the same. Most professionals go for this camera and then stabilize videos with the Sony Vegas or other such programs. The apps for FPV integrated into the plus version are also present in the Phantom Vision 2.


Conclusion

Based on information from users ranging from beginners to top level professionals, we have listed the Top Ten multirotor Drones for photography regardless of whether they are Octocopters, Quadcopters, or Hexacopters. We endeavoured to include a wide variety of drones for all budgets. This list has no particular order of preference. If you want to step up your game or add to your arsenal, then you have a list to choose from.

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