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Top 10 Drones For Photographers 2017

For all way of shutterbugs – from newbie photojournalists on shoestring budgets to expert filmmakers with deep pockets – these multirotor drones for photographers are particularly designed with versatile skills to provide agile eyes within the sky and seize visually lovely aerial imagery.

DJI Phantom 4 PRO Quadcopter Starters Hard Shell Backpack BundleYuneec Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter Drone RTF with CGO3 Camera, ST10+ & Steady GripDJI Mavic Pro Bundle with Shoulder Bag, Props, Car Charger and 2 Extra BatteriesHoly Stone F181 RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera RTF 4 Channel 2.4GHz 6-Gyro Headless System Black (Upgraded with Altitude Hold Function)DBPOWER UDI U842 Predator WiFi FPV Drone with HD Camera 2.4G 4CH 6 Axis Gyro RTF Low Voltage Alarm, Gravity Induction and Headless Mode Includes Bonus BatteryYuneec Typhoon H Pro with Intel RealSense Technology - Ultra High Definition 4K Collision Avoidance Hexacopter Drone with 2 Batteries, ST16 Controller, Soft Backpack and WizardUDI U818A-HD 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Headless RC Quadcopter w/ HD Camera, Extra BatteryDJI Spreading Wings S900 Professional Hexacopter with DJI A2 Flight Controller and Any Z15 GimbalParrot Bebop 2 FPV - WhiteGoPro Karma with HERO5 Black

Take Your Photos Higher

Whether your goal is to capture still photographs or stunning video, the drones on our list provide you with range, altitude, and an interface that keeps you in control of the camera as well as its flight path.

Most of the drones on this list are quadcopters, which are flying machines powered and propelled by four rotary blades situated parallel to the horizon. Two of these rotors move clockwise, and the other two move counterclockwise. If all the blades spin at the same velocity, they create a force against the air beneath the body of the quadcopter, causing it to rise. With a decrease in power, the copter can hover or decrease its altitude.

By increasing the power to the two blades moving clockwise, or to the two blades moving counterclockwise, you will spin the copter along its Y axis, or yaw, without affecting its angle of flight. By increasing the power to only one of the clockwise rotors and decreasing the power to its clockwise partner (and vice verse with the counterclockwise rotors), you can affect the copter's pitch, providing a tilted, momentous turn. Increase the power to any of the two rotors next to each other, and the copter will move in the direction opposite them.

There are other possible rotor combinations that allow you to achieve more advanced maneuvers, but what's important about these copters is that they all have a little mount on their underbellies to hold a camera. Whether that camera is part of the copter package – or the mount arrives empty and waiting for whatever camera you fit it – depends entirely on the brand and model.

Once airborne, the camera interfaces with its video monitoring system while you control the copter with a handheld radio controller. Sometimes the drone controls are incorporated into the app that controls the camera, and other times the video relay for the camera is built into a physical controller for the drone.

Take Your Tests


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Even the most inexpensive combination of drone and camera isn't cheap, and the most expensive among them ought to require an insurance policy. Too many times have I heard a woeful story from a young photographer or cinematographer who got their hands on a shiny new drone, only to run it into the ground on their first flight and break the drone, the camera, and their bank.

The best thing you can do for the insurance of your gear before picking up a drone for photography is to get your hands on a cheap, tiny kid's drone like you see those depressing salesmen playing with in the hallways of malls across the nation. These will give you an inexpensive, low-risk opportunity to familiarize yourself with the nuances of drone flight before setting aloft equipment worth a couple grand or more.

Then, once you've honed your skills and purchased your photography drone if it's the kind to which you affix a camera of your own, take it for a test flight or two (or twenty) before strapping your camera to its chassis.

When you're ready to purchase that photography drone, the choice between a drone with a camera built into it and one with a bracket designed to receive popular models of action camera is a tough one. While the brands and models with cameras attached to them already tend to be slightly less expensive overall investments, they run the risk of becoming obsolete a lot sooner than a drone whose camera you can quickly replace.

The other major variable to consider is the control interface. If you find that you require separate controllers for the camera and the drone, you're liable to give up hope of ever coordinating a proper shoot, unless you have a talented drone operator and a talented cinematographer working in effective concert with one another.

The far better layouts are the drones whose apps allow for total control on your smartphone or, preferably, your tablet, and the models whose physical controllers also have interactive touchscreens for camera feedback and control.

A Long, Slow Ascent


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In 1907, Louis Breguet, a French designer and builder of aircraft, created a four-rotor aircraft that achieved brief flights, momentarily hovering a few feet above the ground. Repeated attempts to achieve flights greater than a few meters off the ground, without overworking the pilots on board, were largely unsuccessful for the next sixty years or so.

Then, in the late 1970s, Bell Helicopter and Boeing came together on a joint military endeavor to research the possibility of a tiltrotor quadcopter aircraft that could operate as a quadcopter during takeoff and landing, but that could also tilt its rotors into the configuration of a more traditional airplane to achieve greater speeds once airborne.

While Bell and Boeing chipped away at the project, which would eventually get shelved in the early 21st century, advances in the use of drone aircraft for military strikes began a reintroduction of radio-controlled aircraft to the public. Suddenly, radio-controlled fliers seemed less like the domain of the outcast enthusiast, and more like the domain of the rugged military man, a shift that allowed a whole new market of consumers to take the technology seriously.

Once people started mounting their GoPro cameras and other action cams onto the bodies of their drones, all bets were off, and the photographic and film industries would never be the same.


#10.GoPro Karma with HERO5 Black


Karma captures amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air, handheld or body-mounted. The Karma Drone is foldable and fits into its own lightweight case that’s comfortable to wear during any activity. A game-style controller featuring an integrated touch display makes it easy and fun to fly. Karma comes with a camera stabilizer that can be removed from the drone and attached to the included Karma Grip to capture ultra-steady professional-looking handheld and body-mounted footage. More than a drone. It’s Karma.


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#9.Parrot Bebop 2 FPV - White


FreeFlight Pro is a dedicated app for piloting Parrot Bebop, Bebop 2 and Disco drones. The interface was designed for use with FPV glasses and allows you to enjoy total immersion.

All your routes, photos, films and data are saved on the app. You can find them easily and share your impressive adventures with friends and family.

With FreeFlight Pro, you can also access Flight Plan, an in-app purchase that helps you create autonomous flight plans (altitude, speed, camera angle, etc.). Simply map out your flight using waypoints, hit takeoff, and watch your drone do the rest!


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#8.DJI Spreading Wings S900 Professional Hexacopter with DJI A2 Flight Controller and Any Z15 Gimbal


Replaces the recently discontinued DJI Spreading Wings S800 Evo. Perfect for the professional hobbyist, photographer, filmmaker, and search and rescue/law enforcement. Bundle includes airframe, DJI A2 flight controller and your choice of any Z15 gimbal.


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#7.UDI U818A-HD 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Headless RC Quadcopter w/ HD Camera, Extra Battery


6 AXIS GYRO
Equipped with the latest 6-axis flight control systems, 3D lock, More scheduled flight, operating more to the force!
360° Eversion
One key 360°roll, a continuous roll for perfect action and wonderful performance
HD Video Camera
U818A HD equipped with 1MP HD video camera (Resolution: 1280 x 720; Framerate: 30 Fps), lets you control the aircraft Enjoy taking pictures/video of the pleasure flights.
Blade Protector
Highly elastic plastic protective circle, preventing the blades in flight Cause wear, anti-collision anti-fall performance further enhanced!
Upgraded Accessories
Extend your play time with two LiPO Battery and an upgraded 4GB Micro SD memory card.


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#6.Yuneec Typhoon H Pro with Intel RealSense Technology - Ultra High Definition 4K Collision Avoidance Hexacopter Drone with 2 Batteries, ST16 Controller, Soft Backpack and Wizard


The 3-axis anti-vibration CGO3+ gimbal camera captures ultra- stable 4K Ultra High Definition video, vivid 12 megapixel still images and can be rotated through an unlimited, 360-degree range of motion. The CGO3+ gimbal camera features a high-quality glass 98-degree field of view, wide-angle lens, and offers manual camera settings while in flight.


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#5.DBPOWER UDI U842 Predator WiFi FPV Drone with HD Camera 2.4G 4CH 6 Axis Gyro RTF Low Voltage Alarm, Gravity Induction and Headless Mode Includes Bonus Battery


What a cool, fun and powerful drone. My husband and I have talked about buying a drone for a few years now and, after researching several, decided to purchase the DBPower Predator. So far, we are very happy with our choice.

This product comes with everything we needed to get started except 4 AA batteries that are required for the remote. There are even an extra battery and extra blades. Included in this package are the drone, blade guards, remote control, extra blades and all the tools required to get started.

It’s a large drone – 19.1 inches by 19.1 inches. It is a lot of fun to fly. We are beginners so we decided to go to a local park that was wide open so that if we had problems flying the drone or keeping it in the air we would be able to find it. Fortunately, we didn’t have that problem but I’m glad we flew it in an open area and could watch it.

We also installed the blade protectors, although they aren’t required. They went on easily and have a good fit.


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#4.Holy Stone F181 RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera RTF 4 Channel 2.4GHz 6-Gyro Headless System Black (Upgraded with Altitude Hold Function)


This quadcopter flies very well. It is precise, highly maneuverable, and quick. The controls are responsive and smooth. It is insanely durable. I can't tell you how many times I have crashed, sometimes pretty hard, and it still flies just fine. It is simple, and very well made. The camera is what you would expect for 720p. A fun feature, but not very practical. I strongly recommend this quadcopter for a beginner or advanced. I also recommend buying a few extra batteries. I get about 7 minutes of flight time after a 90-minute charge. 5 out of 5 stars for Holy Stone!


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#3.DJI Mavic Pro Bundle with Shoulder Bag, Props, Car Charger and 2 Extra Batteries


Wherever You Go The DJI Mavic Pro is a small yet powerful drone that turns the sky into your creative canvas easily and without worry, helping you make every moment an aerial moment. Its compact size hides a high degree of complexity that makes it one of DJI’s most sophisticated flying cameras ever. 24 high-performance computing cores, an all-new transmission system with a 4.3mi (7Km) range, 4 vision sensors, and a 4K camera stabilized by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal, are at your command with just a push of your thumb or a tap of your finger. POWERFUL Fly for miles. From your pocket. Inside the Mavic’s pocket-sized remote controller is DJI’s brand new OcuSync transmission technology, with a range of 4.3mi (7km) and Full HD 1080p video streaming. No bumps and scrapes When you know what’s in front of you, you won’t bump into it.


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#2.Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter Drone RTF with CGO3 Camera, ST10+ & Steady Grip


A completion level of ready-to-fly (RTF) means this version of the Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter with CGO3-GB Camera, Steady Grip comes factory-assembled and that a pre-bound transmitter/ground station unit (radio controller) is included. More than just an RC multi-rotor, the Q500 4K Typhoon is designed for APV - aerial photography and video. To this end, it incorporates the CGO3-GB, a 3-axis gimbal-stabilized camera with 4K video recording, 1080p video recording at up to 120 fps, and shoots photos at 16-megapixels.


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#1.DJI Phantom 4 PRO Quadcopter Starters Hard Shell Backpack Bundle


This DJI Phantom 4 Pro quadcopter drone camera boasts a 3-axis-stabilized gimbal camera with a 20MP, 1" CMOS sensor capable of shooting up to 4K/60fps video and well as photo bursts at up to 14 fps. The hull has been updated from the previous Phantom 4 drone camera, now featuring magnesium alloy construction for increased rigidity and reduced weight. The Flight Autonomy system adds dual rear-vision sensors plus infrared sensing for a total of five directions of obstacle sensing and four directions of obstacle avoidance. Starter package includes DJI Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter, DJI Remote Controller (Transmitter), Intelligent Flight Battery, Flight Battery Charger, AC Cable for Charger, 4 x 9450S Quick Release Propellers, Foam Case, Gimbal Clamp, Lexar 16GB 633x microSD Card, Micro-USB Cable, USB OTG Cable, Hard Shell Backpack, Landing Gear Stabilizers (White), Transmitter Lanyard, Microfiber Cleaning Cloth.


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