12 Best Professional Drones for Sale in 2017 (Photography and Videography)

Drones have come along way since their inception.

And the professional grade drones have been leading the way.

These professional photography and videography camera drones are jam-packed with high tech features, like autonomous flight modes, FPV capability, and HD cameras.

If you’re looking for a high quality drone to enhance your skills, this article reviews some of the best professional drones for sale in 2017. It will help you find the right drone to fit your needs and budget.

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

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

Table of the Best Professional Drones for Aerial Photography and Videography

#

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

GoPro Karma

GoPro

20 minutes

Check current price

$$$

10

GHOSTDRONE 2.0 w/ 4K Camera

4K / 12MP

25 minutes

Check current price

$$

11

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

1080p / 14MP

25 minutes

Check current price

$$

12

3DR Solo

GoPro

20 minutes

Check current price

$$


1. DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro

The DJI Mavic Pro is a powerhouse of technology.

It’s one of the only drones in its league that’s compact and easy to transport. The quadcopter can fold down to the size of a water bottle.

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

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.

Its autopilot 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 (the drone uses its ultrasonic and ToF sensors to sense and avoid obstacles up to 49 feet away).

The DJI Mavic Pro is one of the best drones out there, period.

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 top professional drones you can can buy.

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

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 with eight intelligent flight modes — Course Lock, Follow MeWaypoints, Point of InterestHome Lock, Return to Home, TapFly, and Active Track.

This fantastic drone’s price has come down a lot since its release, so you can get some of the most advanced 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

This is DJI’s upgraded version of the Phantom 4, the DJI Phantom 4 Professional. And boy did they upgrade this thing.

Two things 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 increased its range from by 2km (up to 7km). They also increased flight time to a whopping 30 minutes.

However, they also gave this professional quadcopter five directions of obstacle sensing. It can sense almost the entire world around it.

The remote control comes with a built-in 5.5in HD screen for first person view flight and to adjust settings, and it can fly at speeds up to 31mph, which is very impressive for a drone of this size.

Straight 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 a camera for photography and videography.

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 X4S Bundle

DJI Inspire 2 Bundle

The DJI Inspire 2 is the Inspire 1 on steroids.

The drone comes with an HD video transmission system, a 360° rotating gimbal (so your camera has a completely unobstructed view), and you can easily adjust its settings 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 and it has a control range of 7km.

Self-heating technology gives it the ability to continue performing well in low temperatures, and the quadcopter comes with two directions of obstacle avoidance (forwards and downwards).

The drone also comes with most of DJI’s intelligent 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 at the pinnacle of drone 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 comes with six blades, providing additional power and lift.

This is also one of the few camera drones 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.

This photography drone also 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-degree field of view. This makes it easier to get shots at tough angles and it gives your camera an unobstructed view of the world around it.

And the Typhoon H has a 22-minute flight time, films in 4K resolution, and takes 12 megapixel stills. This hexacopter is a fantastic choice for aerial filming.

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 (8m diameter around the pilot when taking off and landing), and Geo Fence
  • Obstacle avoidance

6. DJI Phantom 3 Series

The DJI Phantom 3 is arguably the best professional 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 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.

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 Robotics X-Star Premium

Looking for a relatively cheap high quality commercial-grade drone?

Look no further than the Autel X-Star Premium.

This drone is packed with great features:

  • A 25 minute flight time
  • A long 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
  • Remote control with mobile device holder for FPV
  • Starpoint Positioning System to help the quadcopter stay stable and safe, even during indoor flight and at low altitudes
  • SecureFly technology to help 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 drone for aerial photography and videography.

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 4K comes with some advanced features at a price that’s affordable for many pro pilots.

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

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’s camera.

This 4K quadcopter is a great choice for aerial photography.

Specs

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

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Watch Me
  • Follow Me

9. GoPro Karma

Best Drone for GoPro Karma image 1
GoPro Karma image 2

GoPro’s first entry into the drone market was a huge bust.

However, it relaunched recently and it seems like the issues have been resolved. In other words, GoPro’s Karma drone is ready to rock and roll.

This drone is a fantastic quadcopter for professionals:

  • Foldable design allows it to fit snuggly into GoPro’s carrying case for easy transport
  • Autonomous flight modes make it easy to capture expert aerial imagery (Auto-Take Off and Landing, Orbit, Dronie, Cable Cam, and Reveal)
  • The GoPro Passenger App lets a partner view your flight and control the camera while you fly (or vice versa)
  • The camera has an unobstructed view
  • Karma’s controller comes with a touch-screen monitor for FPV flight
  • It can fly up to 35 mph at a 3km flight distance
  • And Karma has a solid 20-minute flight time

This quadcopter is made for both professional and recreation pilots to take full advantage of their GoPro camera’s power.

Right now, you can purchase Karma either with or without a GoPro Hero 5 included in the bundle.

Specs

  • Camera: GoPro Hero
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Range: 3km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Auto-Take Off
  • Auto-Landing
  • Orbit
  • Dronie
  • Cable Cam
  • Reveal

10. GHOSTDRONE 2.0 w/ 4K Camera

Ehang GHOSTDRONE 2.0 image

The Ehang GHOSTDRONE comes with a powerful 4K camera, and the drone itself comes with a great set of unique features:

After you download the EHANG Play app (iOS and Android), you can choose Avatar Control. This allows you to control the quadcopter simply by tilting your phone in the desired direction. (Also known as motion control.)

Using the same app, you can use Waypoints to give GHOSTDRONE a flight path and have it follow the path automatically. While the drone is flying itself, this frees you up to take aerial images/videos or simply get an aerial view of the world on the FPV screen.

The quad also has an auto return-to-home function when battery power gets low (an important safety feature). And the camera comes with multiple image taking modes, like Wide Dynamic Range, Cycle Recording, Burst Mode, and Time Lapse.

GHOSTDRONE is also ready to fly right out of the box.

With this set of features and a long 1km flight range, this drone offers a ton of opportunity to experiment with different ways of image capture at an extremely affordable price.

Specs

  • Camera: 4K video, 12MP stills
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Range: 1km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Waypoints
  • Auto Return to Home

11. DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ image

The Phantom 2 Vision+ is one of the most affordable drones for professional pilots.

It comes with the classic DJI Phantom features, like a long flight time, first-person-view capability, and a powerful camera that takes 14 megapixel still photos and shoots video in 1080p.

This version includes an upgraded controller with rechargeable batteries and a gimbal control dial, updated motors, and more efficient propellers.

The built-in 3-axis gimbal also gives you smooth footage and stable still images.

The DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ is a great camera quadcopter that won’t break the bank.

Specs

  • Camera: 1080p video, 14 MP stills
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Range: 500m to 700m

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Waypoints

12. 3D Robotics Solo

3D Robotics Solo image

Solo is one of the most technologically advanced drones available, offering a ton of autonomous flight features. And it has come down a lot in price (at under $300).

It’s a GoPro drone and it’s one of the only that allows in-flight access to your GoPro, giving you the ability to adjust camera settings, start recording, and stop recording while flying.

Solo also comes with four autonomous flight modes: Follow Me, Orbit, Cable Cam, and Selfie.

The quadcopter’s controller is manufactured in a video game design to make it easier to handle, and it offers one-touch takeoff and landing.

This is one of the few drones that beginners and veterans alike can fly to get professional quality shots.

Specs

  • Camera: GoPro
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Range: 1km

Autopilot Flight Capabilities

  • Follow Me
  • Orbit
  • Cable Cam
  • Selfie

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