Camera Drones

Drones are great for flying as a hobby and for getting photographs; they can be used for recreation or professional efforts. For many purposes, camera drones are highly suitable. This guide will show you what to consider when you shop for these devices.

What types of camera drones are available?

Drones can be designed with two types of cameras:

  • First-person view ("FPV"): With these devices, the pilot can watch the obstacles blocking the way of the drone and avert them accordingly. Usually, you will be able to see the path of the quadcopter on a screen on the controller or on your smartphone. FPV cameras are typically used for racing.
  • Photography cameras: These cameras are usually positioned below the drone to enable you to see the view from above. Most are equipped with features that allow you to capture excellent pictures.
What photographic quality should you expect?

The quality of your photography will primarily be determined by the resolution of your camera. Good cameras have a 4K video resolution. These are mainly used by professional photographers. You do not have to obtain this specific resolution in order to take decent videos. If you are an amateur or are only taking videos for recreation, you will find some lower resolution cameras that are suitable.

What features and specifications should you look for?
  • Removable cameras: In some models, users can remove the cameras and fly the drone without the camera attached. This helps to reduce the weight of the drone and allows you to enjoy longer flights. More importantly, this feature will enable you to upgrade the camera when there are advances in the technology. All you need to do is buy a new camera and attach it to your quadcopter.
  • Flight time: Most drones can only be flown for limited periods. Drones with cameras have less flight time since they have extra weight. This drains the batteries much faster. You should still try and find one, which can run long enough for you to complete your race or shoot your video. Alternatively, you can purchase extra batteries to extend the flight times.
  • Stability: It is hard to shoot pictures and videos on a shaky device. You should look for drones made with 6-axis gyroscopes as these are usually highly stable.
  • Range: You are only able to control your drone within a certain radius. A wider range is particularly important for people intending to race with their camera drones. If you want to take pictures and videos from higher altitudes, you should also check the range carefully.
  • Hovering: Some drones are designed with a hovering feature. Typically, these drones will stay at one position in the air if you let go of the controls. That way, you can focus your camera and take sharper images.
  • Ease of operation: If you are not experienced in flying drones, you should consider getting one with simple controls. For example, some quadcopters can be landed with the push of a single button. With some models, the drone will be able to trace its way back to the controller if it goes out of the range.