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Last Updated: January 2016
Trying to do some aerial photography? Or take some eye-catching videos from the sky?
Consumer drones have become the single best (and most economical) way to get a bird’s eye view of the world around us.
If you’re looking for a drone with a camera, this article breaks down 17 of the best camera drones for any sized budget.
Scroll down to start from the beginning, or use the table below to get an overview of each featured drone.
DJI Phantom 3 Series
YUNEEC Q500 4K Typhoon
$899.99 - Check current price
DJI Phantom 4
$1,199 - Check current price
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0
$229.99 - Check current price
Syma X8G With 8MP Camera
$109 - Check current price
Yuneec Q500+ Typhoon
$1,400 - Check current price
Blade Chroma (4K Camera)
$1,099 - Check current price
$44.99 - Check current price
$43.99 - Check current price
DJI Inspire 1 PRO
$3,399 - Check current price
$568 - Check current price
Holy Stone F181
$109.99 - Check current price
Syma X8C Venture
$59.99 - Check current price
$650 - Check current price
Yuneec Typhoon G
$499 - Check current price
$199 - Check current price
Cheerson CX-20 Professional
$249.99 - Check current price
The DJI Phantom 3 is one of the top camera drones for sale. It gives the broadest range of pilots the features they want at an affordable price.
The Phantom 3 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 Phantom 3 Standard ahead of many other drones in its price range.
2. The Phantom 3 Advanced —The Phantom 3 Advanced also shoots 2.7k video and takes 12 megapixel stills, but control distance increases to 5 km and it offers live FPV (first person view) streaming of the camera’s view to your controller.
3. The Phantom 3 Professional —The Phantom 3 Professional’s video quality takes a massive jump up to 4K, making it an excellent choice for pro pilots.
4.The Phantom 3 4K —The Phantom 3 4K offers 4K video capture capability, just like the Professional, but control distance decreases to 1,200m.
For $449 for the Standard up to $888 for the Professional, you really can’t go wrong with the price-to-features ratio of this camera drone.
The Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon rivals DJI’s Phantom line of drones with cameras.
With its built-in camera, the Q500 Typhoon shoots 4K video in 1080p and takes 12 megapixel stills. It also comes with two autonomous flight modes (Watch Me and Follow Me).
And the controller comes with a built-in touch screen to adjust settings and get a live FPV feed from your drone’s camera.
If you’re looking for a high quality drone, flying this quadcopter is a smart choice.
Note: Want to improve your aerial photography/videography skills? Check out this list of drone training courses.
DJI’s latest release brings out the big guns.
The DJI Phantom 4 is one of the most advanced drones on the market, harboring some fascinatingly sophisticated technology.
The Phantom 4 shoots 4K video, takes 12 megapixel stills, and has a flight time of 28 minutes (longest in the Phantom line). It also comes with an obstacle avoidance system. The drone will literally move out of the way or bounce backwards when obstacles come in its way.
And it offers five intelligent flight modes — Follow Me, Course Lock, Waypoints, Home Lock, and Point of Interest.
The price of this RC camera drone has come down significantly since its release, so you can get some of the most advanced features available for an even better price.
The Parrot AR.Drone was one of the first drones to gain widespread appeal, and there’s a reason why their 2.0 model has maintained that popularity.
The AR.Drone 2.0 shoots video in 720p, and using their their AR.FreeFlight app you can get a live video feed to your smartphone, see your battery level, adjust settings, and even control the drone itself.
You can record videos and take photos then share them immediately through the app. And its propeller guard comes standard, making it a durable quadcopter and a safer investment.
It’s a cheap camera drone that offers a surprising set of features. The onboard camera shoots HD 720P and 1080P videos, and it takes 8 megapixel still photos.
The Syma X8G also comes with Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC), meaning you have the option of maneuvering the drone based on where the nose (front) is facing or having the forward direction have nothing to do with where the nose is facing. This lowers the learning curve and can make taking certain shots easier.
All in all, this is an excellent UAV for aspiring pilots and aerial photographers/videographers.
Its camera can take 16 megapixel still photos and 1080p videos at 60FPS, with a redesigned lens that produces less image distortion. The quadcopter also relays an FPV feed to the 5.5 inch screen on your controller, so there’s no need to buy an additional monitor or goggles.
The Q500+ is a powerful drone for sale with a camera.
The Blade Chroma is one of my favorite drones on this list, mainly because it offers a 30 minute flight time (much longer than most drones).
It’s also one of the more affordable quadcopters with a drone camera that shoots 4K video, which is quickly becoming the standard for aerial photos and videos. And like the Yuneec Q500 and Q500+, its controller has a built-in screen for reading flight telemetry data (like battery life) and getting a first person view of your drone.
And with autonomous flight modes standard, the Chroma becomes a fully-featured aerial photo/video tool.
The Syma X5C is an excellent camera drone for beginners.
It’s inexpensive (priced around the same as most mini drones), so if you crash you aren’t risking a large investment. And it offers image capture capability with its 2MP camera.
You won’t get pristine quality shots, but you will be able to learn the ropes, fly indoors and outdoors, and practice the skills necessary to fly a more expensive rig.
The UDI 818A is another excellent quadcopter for building your skills. It’s on the cheaper side of drones that come with cameras, and its propeller guards make it one of the more durable quadcopters around.
The camera quality isn’t stellar, but it’s good enough to test your skills, track your improvement, and help you know when it’s time to upgrade. Use this drone to get comfortable flying and taking photos/videos at the same time, or as an inexpensive quadcopter to have some fun with.
The DJI Inspire 1 PRO is a drone for high-end aerial photography and videography.
It comes with a camera that shoots 4k video and takes incredible 16 megapixel still photos. It also features DJI’s five intelligent flight modes that allow you to fly your drone autonomously.
The lens is detachable, which gives pilots the ability to further customize their shots. And the Inspire 1 PRO’s arms move up during flight, giving your camera a 360 degree view.
The Inspire 1 PRO is one of the top professional drones on the market right now.
The 3D Robotics Solo is one of the most technologically advanced drones in its price range.
It 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 that differ slightly from DJI’s — 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.
The Holy Stone F181 is an excellent RC quadcopter for building your aerial photography and videography skills.
It comes with an onboard camera that shoots video in HD 720p. It also offers a one-key return-to-home function (a press of a button brings the drone back to you) and an LCD screen on the controller shows you flight telemetry data.
For less than $100, the Holy Stone F181 is a great training drone.
It comes with an HD 2 megapixel camera for taking photos and videos. With a touch of a button, the camera drone can also perform 360-degree flips and rolls in any direction.
The X8C Venture comes with LED lights for low-light conditions and propeller guards for additional durability. As far as cheap aerial photography drones go, the X8C is worth a look.
The 3D Robotics Iris+ takes autonomous flight to a new level.
Using the DroidPlanner 2 app, you can map out a flight path and instruct your drone to take it. You can also set the Iris+ to focus its camera on a point of interest, so you can get almost any shot you want 100% autonomously.
Flight time is a whopping 16 to 22 minutes, and it comes with high-end Follow Me and stabilization technology.
The Iris+ is a one-of-a-kind in GPS-assisted flight.
It comes with Watch Me and Follow Me autonomous flight modes, GoPro camera capability (Hero 3, 3+, or 4), and its controller contains a 5.5 inch screen for viewing flight telemetry data (like battery life) and changing the drone’s settings.
The Typhoon G also has a solid flight time of 25 minutes. For aerial photographers and videographers, longer flight time is a god send, helping them save time and money on batteries.
The Parrot Bebop is one of the cheapest drones with a high-powered camera.
The drone camera can take 14 megapixel still photos (higher quality than the Phantom 3 and 4‘s 12MP camera) and shoots video in 1080p. To put the cherry on top, the camera also offers a wide 180-degree field of view.
For under $300, the Parrot Bebop is a feature-rich multirotor.
The camera mount supports a GoPro, the camera of choice for many pro aerial photographers and videographers (no matter the drone model). The CX-20 also offers a very respectable 15 minute flight time.
It’s ready to fly right out of the box with a max speed of 10 meters per second, and the quadcopter’s Auto-Pathfinder has GPS Attitude and Attitude Control Mode to customize your flight experience.
If you’re a GoPro user or want to become one, the CX-20 Professional is an affordable path for you to get in sky and start taking expert quality shots.
This list of camera drones for sale is not exhaustive, but it’s a solid starting point for any pilot wanting to get into the sky and take some shots.
Just make sure to budget correctly and buy a drone that matches your skill level.
Founder of Drone Business Marketer