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10 Best GPS Drones with Camera & Autopilot – 2017 Buyer’s Guide

Drones with GPS are some of the most powerful you can buy. All of today’s top tier drones come with GPS capability.

And rightly so.

It allows the drone to make thousands of tiny positioning adjustments for the best stability and smoothest flight. But most importantly, it allows the drone to fly autonomously.

GPS enables drones to come with autopilot technology. These intelligent flight modes can be used to take videos, inspect objects, and collect aerial data/imagery with precision that no human being can match.

GPS capability has blown the doors wide open for what drone technology can do in society.

However, there are a lot of options out there, even when it comes to the top tier drone models. To narrow things down a bit, this article reviews 10 of the best GPS drones with cameras and autopilot technology for sale in 2017.

These quadcopters range from $100 if you’re looking for a cheap GPS drone, all the way to $3,500 for a professional model.

Scroll down to start from the beginning, or use the table below to get an overview of each drone.

Make sure to look at the price level column on the right. It will help you find the rigs to fit your budget.

Table of the Best GPS Drones with Cameras & Autopilot

#

Model

Camera

Flight Time

Price

Price Level

1

DJI Mavic Pro

4K / 12MP

27 minutes

Check current price

$$$$

2

DJI Phantom 4

4K / 12MP

28 minutes

Check current price

$$$$

3

DJI Phantom 4 Professional

4K / 20MP

30 minutes

Check current price

$$$$

4

DJI Inspire 2

4K / 20MP

27 minutes

Check current price

$$$$$

5

Yuneec Typhoon H

4K / 12MP

22 minutes

Check current price

$$$$

6

DJI Phantom 3 Series

2.7K-4K / 12MP

25 minutes

Check current price

$$ to $$$

7

Autel X-Star Premium

4K / 12MP

25 minutes

Check current price

$$$

8

Yuneec Typhoon 4k

4K / 12MP

25 minutes

Check current price

$$$

9

Hubsan H501S

1080p

19 minutes

Check current price

$$

10

Hubsan H502E

720p

12 minutes

Check current price

$


1. DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro

The DJI Mavic Pro is one of the best drones on the market today. It is a powerhouse of technology.

First off, it’s one of the only drones of its caliber that’s compact and easy to transport. It folds down to the size of a water bottle.

It sports a powerful 4K camera that takes 12 megapixel still photos, and it has a long flight time of 27 minutes and a control distance of 7,000 meters. This is more than enough time and range to get the shots you need or inspect what you need to inspect.

The drone can fly at up to 40mph, making it great for action sports photography or fast moving aerial pans. Mavic’s vision positioning system includes paired GPS and GLONASS to ensure precise positioning indoors and outdoors.

And its autonomous flight includes all of DJI’s standard intelligent flight modes (Course Lock, Follow Me, Waypoints, Point of Interest, and Home Lock) as well as Return to Home, TapFly, Active Track, Gestures, and obstacle avoidance (using its ultrasonic and ToF sensors, it can sense and avoid obstacles up to 49 feet away).

Like we said, the DJI Mavic Pro is a powerhouse of technology.

Specs

  • Camera: 4K video, 12MP stills (with Adobe DNG RAW support)
  • Flight Time: 27 minutes
  • Range: 7km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Course Lock
  • Follow Me
  • Waypoints
  • Point of Interest
  • Home Lock
  • Return to Home
  • TapFly
  • Active Track
  • Gestures
  • Obstacle avoidance

2. DJI Phantom 4

DJI Phantom 4 image

The DJI Phantom 4 is one of the most advanced drones money can buy.

Its camera shoots amazing 4K video, takes crisp 12MP stills, and the quadcopter has an excellent long flight time of 28 minutes. (This is one of the longest flight times available.)

It was also the first drone to come with an obstacle avoidance system. The drone will move out of the way or bounce backwards when an obstacle comes in its way.

The Phantom 4 comes standard with eight intelligent flight modes — Course Lock, Follow MeWaypoints,  Point of InterestHome Lock, Return to Home, TapFly, and ActiveTrack.

This fantastic drone’s price has come down a lot since its release, so you can get some of the best features out there for an even better price.

Specs

  • Camera: 4K video, 12MP stills
  • Flight Time: 28 minutes
  • Range: 5km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Course Lock
  • Follow Me
  • Waypoints
  • Point of Interest
  • Home Lock
  • Return to Home
  • TapFly
  • ActiveTrack

3. DJI Phantom 4 Professional

DJI Phantom 4 Professional

Just when you thought the DJI Phantom 4 couldn’t get any better, DJI went ahead and upgraded it. This is the DJI Phantom 4 Professional.

They did two things that immediately stand out: They upgraded the camera to take 20 megapixel still photos (and redesigned it to use a 1-inch megapixel CMOS sensor) and they bumped up its range from 5 to 7km. They also increased flight time to 30 minutes.

However, they also gave this GPS quadcopter five directions of obstacle sensing to allow it to sense almost the entire world around it.

The remote control comes with a built-in 5.5in 1080p screen for FPV flight and settings adjustment, and it can fly at speeds up to 31mph (this is extremely fast for a drone of this size).

Direct from the built-in screen, you can take advantage of all of DJI’s standard intelligent flight modes (Course Lock, Follow Me, Waypoints, Point of Interest, and Home Lock) as well as Draw, Active Track, TapFly, Return to Home, and Gestures.

The DJI Phantom 4 Professional is by far one of the best drones with GPS, a camera, and autopilot technology available today.

Specs

  • Camera: 4K video, 20MP stills (redesigned to use a 1-inch megapixel CMOS sensor)
  • Flight Time: 30 minutes
  • Range: 7km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Course Lock
  • Follow Me
  • Waypoints
  • Point of Interest
  • Home Lock
  • Return to Home
  • Draw
  • TapFly
  • Active Track
  • Gestures
  • Obstacle avoidance

4. DJI Inspire 2 Zenmuse Bundle

DJI Inspire 2 Bundle

The DJI Inspire 2 takes everything from the Inspire 1 and injects it with steroids.

The drone comes with an HD video transmission system, 360° rotating gimbal so your camera has an unobstructed view, and you can adjust settings easily through the accompanying DJI GO app.

The Inspire 2 has a new image processing system that records at up to 5.2K in CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes and more, and it can accelerate from 0 to 50mph in just 5 seconds (with a maximum speed of 58mph).

The Inspire 2’s dual battery system gives it a 27 minute flight time at a max control range of 7,000 meters.

Self-heating technology gives it the ability to continue performing well in low temperatures, and the quadcopter comes with two directions of obstacle avoidance. The drone also comes with most of DJI’s smart flight features (QuickSpin, Active Track, TapFly, Return to Home, and Spotlight Pro, with Waypoints and Point of Interest coming soon).

The Inspire 2 is compatible with any 5.2K gimbal camera, but it is specifically optimized for the Zenmuse X4S and X5S. The Zenmuse X4S (included in this bundle) shoots 4K video and takes beautiful 20 megapixel still photos.

All in all, the DJI Inspire 2 is the epitome of filmmaking power.

Specs

  • Camera: Zenmuse X4S 4K camera, 20MP stills
  • Flight Time: 27 minutes
  • Range: 7km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Waypoints (coming soon)
  • Point of Interest (coming soon)
  • Home Lock
  • QuickSpin
  • Active Track
  • TapFly
  • Return to Home
  • Spotlight Pro
  • Obstacle avoidance (forwards and downwards)

5. Yuneec Typhoon H

Yuneec Typhoon H image

The Yuneec Typhoon H has 6 blades (hexacopter) which typically provides a more powerful lift than the 4 blades of a quadcopter.

This is also one of the few camera drones that follow you that comes with an obstacle avoidance system. The Typhoon H uses a sonar system in the front of the rig to bounce back and move around objects that enter its flight path. And it comes with five intelligent flight modes: Follow Me, Point of Interest, Return to Home, Journey Mode (Selfie), and Curve Cable Cam, including some additional “Smart Safety” features.

The landing gears retract, giving your camera a 360 field of view. This is helpful for getting shots at tough angles and giving your camera an unobstructed view.

And the Typhoon H has a 22-minute flight time, films in 4K resolution, and takes 12 megapixel stills. This hexacopter is a powerhouse and one of the best drones available, period.

Specs

  • Camera: 4K video, 12MP stills
  • Flight Time: 22 minutes
  • Range: 1.6km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Follow Me
  • Point of Interest
  • Return to Home
  • Journey Mode (Selfie)
  • Curve Cable Cam
  • Smart Safety features: the FAA’s No Fly Zone, Smart Circle (8 m diameter around the pilot when taking off and landing), and Geo Fence
  • Obstacle avoidance

6. DJI Phantom 3

The DJI Phantom 3 is arguably the best GPS drone for the money.

The drone comes in four versions:

1. The Phantom 3 Standard— The Phantom 3 Standard offers less features than the other versions, but it is also the cheapest. Even so, it has a 25-minute flight time, can shoot 2.7K video, and it takes 12 megapixel still photos. This puts the Standard ahead of most other drones in its price range.

2.The Phantom 3 4K — The Phantom 3 4K is similar to the Standard except it comes with an upgraded camera that offers 4K video capture capability, and flight distance increases by to 1200m.

3. The Phantom 3 Advanced — Like the Standard, The Phantom 3 Advanced shoots 2.7k video and takes 12 megapixel stills, but control distance increases to a whopping 5 km and it offers live FPV (first person view) streaming of the camera’s view to your controller.

4. The Phantom 3 Professional  The Phantom 3 Professional’s video quality takes a massive jump up to 4K, making it an excellent choice for professional pilots.

All of these drones come with DJI’s intelligent flight modes: Course Lock, Follow Me, Waypoints, Point of Interest, and Home Lock.

For $449 for the Standard up to $799 for the Professional, you can’t make a bad choice with any of these amazing quadcopters.

Specs

  • Camera: 2.7K to 4K camera, 12MP stills
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Range: 1km to 5km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Course Lock
  • Follow Me
  • Waypoints
  • Point of Interest
  • Home Lock

7. Autel X-Star Premium

Looking for a high quality camera drone with GPS that isn’t too expensive?

Look no further than the Autel X-Star Premium.

This drone is packed with great features:

  • A 25 minute flight time
  • A long flight range of 2km
  • 4K camera that takes 12 megapixel still photos
  • Autonomous flight modes (including Follow Me, Orbit, and Waypoints) controlled via the free Starlink app for iOS or Android
  • Remote control with mobile device holder for an FPV display
  • The Starpoint Positioning System helps the quadcopter stay stable and safe, even during indoor flight and at low altitudes
  • SecureFly technology helps the drone return to home safely in case of a fly-away

The package even comes with a carrying case, 64-GB MicroSD card, extra propellers, and more.

The X-Star Premium is a fantastic top-tier drone.

Specs

  • Camera: 4K video, 12MP stills
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Range: 4km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Follow Me
  • Orbit
  • Waypoints
  • Return to Home
  • Starpoint Positioning System
  • SecureFly Technology

8. Yuneec Typhoon 4K

Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon image

The Yuneec Typhoon 4Kcomes with some advanced features at a price that’s affordable for many drone buyers.

The built-in camera shoots 4K video, and it takes crisp 12MP still photos. The Typhoon 4K also comes with two autonomous flight modes — Watch Me and Follow Me — standard.

The controller comes with a built-in touch screen that lets you adjust flight settings. And you can get a first person view feed from the drone camera.

This quadcopter is a great choice for auto filming.

Specs

  • Camera: 4K video, 12MP stills
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Range: 800m

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Watch Me
  • Follow Me

9. Hubsan H501S FPV Quadcopter

Hubsan are products fun, durable, and they get the job done.

The Hubsan H501S is definitely one of them.

This quadcopter is smaller, more compact, and is sells for under $300, yet it still comes with a powerful 1080p camera and FPV capability. The drone’s remote control comes with a 4.3 inch LCD screen that gives you a real time view of what your drone is seeing.

The H501S also comes with some surprisingly advanced GPS assisted features, like GPS Hold, Headless Mode, Return to Home, Altitude Mode, and Follow Me (the drone will lock onto your position and follow you as you conduct an activity).

It also comes with 19 minutes of flight time (great for a drone in this price range) and a nice 300 meter control distance.

The H501S is a compact FPV drone and one of the most affordable drones with a camera, GPS, and autopilot technology.

Specs

  • Camera: 1080p
  • Flight Time: 19 minutes
  • Range: 300m

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • GPS Hold
  • Headless Mode
  • Return to Home
  • Altitude Mode
  • Follow Me

10. Hubsan H502E

Hubsan H502E

The Hubsan H502E is one of the cheapest drones with GPS assisted flight (if not, the cheapest).

So if you’re looking for a cheap GPS drone with a camera, the H502E is one of your best bets.

The quadcopter can lock on up to 12 satellites for its position locking and tracking, and it comes with the standard GPS assisted features: Precise Satellite Positioning, Altitude Hold, and Auto Return to Home.

The on-board 720p camera captures crisp video, and it has a solid control range of 200 meters.

For around $100, the Hubsan H502E is a fantastic inexpensive option in the GPS drone market.

Specs

  • Camera: 720p
  • Flight Time: 12 minutes
  • Range: 200m

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Precise Satellite Positioning
  • Altitude Hold
  • Auto Return to Home

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