Aerial photography is a difficult art to master, especially for photographers who want to get a bird’s eye view of any landscape. For those with money, they can do this by using a helicopter and take photos from there. However, this is very expensive and can be dangerous considering you will take shots from up in the sky.
Nowadays, taking aerial photography is made easier thanks to the introduction of drones. Drones have cameras in them that can be controlled through a remote by its owner. Owners simply fly the drone like a remote helicopter and take pictures. It is less dangerous and you only need a few permits to be allowed to use a drone.
But, before you go to the stores to get a drone, you need to know which ones are best. Drones are still pretty expensive and not all drones are the same. To help you out, here are our top 5 drones for 2019 and why you need to consider them.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Score: 4.5 out of 5
When it comes to power and high performance, users will not go wrong with the DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone. This drone can shoot 20MP aerial shots in clear color despite its small size.
Here are the key features of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro:
- It has an ergonomically designed camera made by Hasselblad and uses the company's patented Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution (HNCS) technology to capture 20MP aerial shots in clear color.
- It has a brand new 1-inch CMOS sensor which allows the drone to perform well in low-light environments and use an extensive ISO range.
- The drone supports 10-bit Dlog-M color profile for a more dynamic and detailed shot.
- It can take 4K 10-bit HDR videos and can be directly plugged to a 4K TV with HLG.
- The aperture of the drone can be adjusted to fit high and low-light environments.
- It has a 31 minute maximum flight time and comes with omnidirectional obstacle sensors.
Users highlighted several benefits with the Mavic Pro 2 that future buyers will like. Many say that this version of the Mavic has a powerful camera, allowing sharper videos. The larger sensor is also good for low light shots and it is very sharp thanks to its lens. The 4K HQ mode is also something to look forward to because can provide "closer" shots. The zoom is also very good as users report they could take sharp shots despite the distance. Some also report that they love the various settings available with the Mavic such as the asteroid quickshot and the Hyperlapse.
Some also notice that there is a longer range for this drone by up to 500 ft. It is also easy to fly and it is very quiet. There are users who say that it is very stable despite high winds. Battery life is also a big plus for some users. They report that it is longer than other DJI drones, allowing longer shooting time.
Unfortunately, there are some problems with Mavic Pro that current users cited. Some users reported that the sensors often make errors during Helix mode. One reported that their drone crashed because it failed to assess the environment well. It is also not good to use in heavy winds. The side sensors also do not work well in normal flight mode. They only work well in slow flying tripod mode. Users also reported that DJI removed the drone's precision landing option, making it difficult to land the drone after it takes off.
There are also cases of lens distortion when filming, affecting video quality. Some reviewers also said that it does not produce true 4K because of its sensor setup. Some users also complained about the controller as it is very loud and there's no way in lowering its volume. Users also report that this drone is very expensive and given its flaws, they do not recommend it.
DJI Inspire 2
Score: 3 out of 5
The DJI Inspire 2 is the successor to the world's first filmmaking drone: the DJI Inspire 2. It possesses all the great things the Inspire 1 has and took it up a notch.
Here are the key features of the DJI Inspire 2:
- The drone has the Cinecore 2.1 image processing system, which allows the camera to record videos up to 6K in CinemaDNG/RAW and 5.2K Apple ProRes when using the Zenmuse X7 camera.
- It can fly from 0 to 50 mph in just 5 seconds and hit a maximum speed of 58 mph.
- Its max descent speed is 9m/s, making it a fast drone to fly and dispatch easily.
- It can run with a maximum flight time of 27 minutes and can run on low temperatures thanks to its self-heating technology.
- Inspire 2 also has FlightAutonomy, which allows the drone to avoid obstacles immediately and ensure sensors are working properly.
- Users can also use multiple flight modes to create interesting shots with their drones.
- An upgraded video transmission system is installed in the drone to make it easier to fly.
Since it is the improved version of the Inspire 1, users who bought Inspire 2 are blown away when they got the new drone. The drone pretty much has the same features as the first one, but DJI, according to users, improved a lot of its setup. They say that flight time is longer thanks to the dual battery setup that powers all the functions of the drone. Users can also detach the cameras to upgrade it to a better Zenmuse camera.
Flying it is also very good as some users say that it is very stable despite its size. It also comes with an obstacle-avoidance system, ensuring that it will not hit anything on its path. If it did crash, it's carbon fiber body will protect the critical components of the drone. Furthermore, users report that regardless of how fast you are running the drone, it will still focus on the object you are shooting even if it is moving. It also comes with great accessories, which can boost the way you use this drone according to its users.
However, there are some drawbacks in getting the DJI Inspire 2. First of all, many users say it is pretty expensive. If you are a new user, it may be best to get something more affordable. The accessories are also pretty expensive and they are not usually sold with the drone itself. Even transferring the shots to a computer will be costly because it needs a special program for that.
There are also users who say that you cannot use early models of the Zenmuse camera which are used in other DJI models because it will not fit. Users also say that you cannot use filters, batteries and propellers from other DJI models with this drone. Others also comment that the app needs to be updated constantly so the drone won't malfunction in any way. Flight time is also short since it only flies for 27 minutes. if you need a longer flight time, you will need extra batteries, which costs a lot.
Autel Robotics EVO
Score: 4.5 out of 5
If you are looking for something compact, the Autel Robotics EVO is the drone to buy. Despite its size, it can capture smooth and clean 4K videos with no trouble at all.
Here are the key features of the Autel Robotics EVO:
- It uses a 3-axis stabilized gimbal to capture 4K videos and 12MP images. Real glass optics and the special Ambarella H2 processor is used to get a wider range.
- It has a dual GPS and GLONASS system installed to allow it to hover without controlling it manually.
- If the device gets lost or it flew out of sight, it can be called through its Return to Home call. It will also activate if the battery is low or the remote signal is gone.
- It comes with a 3.3 inch OLED screen controller that will allow users to see what it is recording without using a smartphone. The controller can also control the other functions of the drone easily.
- Every device comes with a 1-year warranty and a free Autel Explorer app.
Many users who own an Autel Robotics EVO have a lot of positive comments with the drone. They say that upon unboxing it, it looks very sturdy and heavy. This guarantees that it can fly in almost any condition without affecting video/image quality. Setting it up is also a breeze for many because once it is setup, you can fly it immediately. It is also very easy to fly it because it comes with its own controller that has visual feedback.
There are also those who love the zoom and it will not affect its image quality. It also does its promise in taking 4K at 60 FPS without problems. Battery life is also very good because it allows longer shooting time. Speed is also good for its size since it can do roughly around 44 mph according to some users. Customer service is also a big plus for some users because they report the company replies immediately to any inquiry.
On the other hand, there are some problems that users recommend buyers to consider before they get this drone. First, it can be difficult to set up because the manual - some users report- is printed in a small font. It also lacks key details like where the detailed manual is located or how to do basic troubleshooting. Users commented that they had to learn how to use this drone through online videos not sponsored by the company. Some users also comment that the drone does not come with an adjustable tablet mount. A few also commented there is no iPad software available for this drone since the current one can only be accessible through an iPhone.
When it comes to its features, some users commented that the interfaces and modes still needs polishing. They comment that it will take a while before the drone can focus on one subject or track an object. It will also stop following the subject if it senses obstacles along its way.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Are you always on the go and want a portable drone? The Parrot Anafi is the 4K HDR drone camera to get. It is very small, compact and easy to bring in any weather condition possible.
Here are the key features of the Parrot Anafi:
- The body is made from carbon fiber and microbeads to ensure it can resist knocks and bangs.
- It can shoot 4k HDR videos and 21MP photos with no problems at all.
- The camera installed is a wide-angle aspherical lens, reducing any lens flair and aberrations on images it takes.
- The drone's gimbal can tilt from -90 degrees to +90 degrees vertically without affecting the media quality.
- It is compatible with Adobe DNG/RAW
- The drone can be folded and carried anywhere since it only weighs 320g.
- When not in use, it can be charged through USB Type-C.
- It has a maximum flight time of 25 minutes and can resist winds up to 50 km/h.
- It has three major functions to ensure you do not lose the drone: Geofence, Smart RTH, and Find my Drone.
- Piloting the drone is done through FreeFlight 6 and from the app, you can pick video recording modes with ease.
- Users can also fly this drone without manually controlling it thanks to its AI and visual tracking system.
Many users who bought this drone say it is one of the best compact drones in the market. They love the fact that it is very light and can be brought anywhere they go. Flying it is also very easy some say thanks to the FreeFlight 6 interface and the controller included. They do recommend that users update its drivers before starting it for better performance. Users also report that flight time can be longer and it will not be affected very much by weather thanks to its unique design.
The shots are also very crisp and when they zoom in, users report that it is very clear to look at. The app also allows users to adjust the modes used with the gimbal and the main camera for unique shots. Some are even amazed with the gimbal's system because they could now tilt the camera without having to worry about image/video stability. Charging the drone is also very good because you can just plug it in a USB-C port and it is good.
Meanwhile, some users say there are some problems with the drone that is a big letdown. Some report that they received used drones rather than brand new ones. They also commented that the controller is larger than the drone, which does not make sense. Its gimbal is also a point of contention for some users because they say it is not very smooth when taking photos.
There are users who report that the app for this drone is terrible to use. They say that it will take ages for phones to be recognized and allow you to fly the drone. There is also a lack of obstacle avoidance mechanisms, which would be good if you are shooting around woodlands and other areas with obstacles. If it crashes, users say its gone despite its carbon fiber body. They also add you have to pay for the extra features like the "Follow Me "feature, which would be great if you do not want to control your drone directly. Warranty is also limited and if you do break this drone in some way, you have to find spare parts because it is not available through the company.
Yuneec Typhoon H Pro
Score: 4 out of 5
The final drone in our list of the best drone camera for 2019 is the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro. It is one very intelligent drone because it has highly advanced sensors that helps it navigate around the skies.
Here are the key features of the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro:
- This drone can take 12.4 MP and videos up to 4K 30fps.
- It has Intel's RealSense™ Technology which can detect obstacles and flight paths easily. It will also follow subjects once Follow Me mode is activated.
- It also has a front sonar sensors which allows the drone to stop when it detects obstacles.
- The drone can also be modified to train on any subject using its various mode features: Orbit Me, Point of Interest, Journey Mode
- Users can also program the drone's flight route in advance through its Curve Cable Cam feature.
- Once the drone hits low batteries, the Return Home feature can be selected to let it's safe to fly back to the user.
- Yuneec has also ensured that the drone complies with the FAA's rules on the average flight height allowed for drones.
Many expressed their love for the Yuneec Typhoon H Pro when they got their drones. They said that it is very stable when it is flown even in high winds and pretty agile despite its size. It is even ready to fly out of the box. Many also loved the Intel RealSense system because it does get away from obstacles or stops to prevent damage. Camera wise, it is very crisp and it has a very wide range. Users comment that they were able to take stable shots regardless of the lighting conditions and weather at that time. Even moving subjects are crisp with this drone.
There are users who also love the extra features of the drone such as the Follow Me Feature. When they tried it, the drone was able to keep up even if they are moving at a fast pace. Others also remarked about the 360-degree gimbal included in the drone. They say that it made shooting easier and make it easier to fly the drone. There are also users who commented that the price is pretty good since it does come with a lot of perks when you buy it. Customer service is also top notch since the company replies immediately when they receive inquiries.
But, there are users who say that they have experienced problems with this drone. One user reported that they received used drones instead of a new one. Others reported some of the parts are defective when they received it and replacing them can be difficult. There are even users who report that their drones do not have the Intel RealSense software which is a big feature of the drone.
Users also reported that their drones started malfunctioning after the company released its latest firmware. They report that a lot of the features of the drone stopped after they updated the firmware. There were also users who said that their drones suddenly crashed despite the fact that everything is in good condition. Even reaching out to the customer support team to sort out these problems was a problem for some users. Some said the answering machine said that there is a long wait before they can reach an agent.
Drones are the future of aerial photography as it enables photographers to take photos without having to endanger themselves in the process. If you are considering getting one, check out these five in our list. Who knows, one of them may be the right drone for you to start with. Happy shopping.