Best Drone Cameras – Top 5 Picks for 2018

This is our official list in search of the best drone cameras on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and a handy beginners guide to cameras on drones and all that comes with it.

Quick Look:

  1. GoPro HERO4 Silver
  2. Spy Tec Mobius Action Camera 1080P HD Mini Sports Cam
  3. Antix Quadcopter Compatible Full HD 1080P WIFI
  4. Pyle PDVRCAM50W Sports Action Camera
  5. Tactic DroneView Mini Camera for Sport and Hobby

We know time is of the essence, so the above is a cheat sheet of what’s ahead, just in case your’re in a hurry. Otherwise, keep scrolling down for more detailed and constructive info on each item.

5 Highest Reviewed Drone Cameras


It is no secret, drone camera photography is really taking off.  Drones are very cool and gaining in popularity beyond experts. Drones, are UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and are remote controlled flying devices. Drones cameras are simply drones equipped with cameras so you can capture aerial photography.

From pricing and different camera specs, you will see a variety of choices on and prices on the market today.  One of our five drone cameras reviewed on our list will meet your needs perfectly.

1.) GoPro HERO4 Silver

GoPro HERO4 Silver

The GoPro HERO4 Silver is a tried-and-true, professional-grade action camera ideal for drone operators looking for smooth, high-quality video.

It is able to record resolutions up to 1080p at 60 frames per second, and 720p at an impressive 120 frames per second. This makes it ideal for slowing down high-speed footage. Along with the camera itself, the complete GoPro HERO4 Silver package includes a durable housing to protect the camera and various mounts for installation.

It has support for WiFi and Bluetooth, rechargeable battery, live streaming of video to smartphones through the GoPro App, and even tools to edit and crop videos on the go.

The GoPro HERO4 series has all of the features modern sports videographers could possibly need. The camera also includes a built-in touch display for quickly reviewing and editing captures.

PROS

  • Professional-quality video recording
  • Waterproof
  • Built-in LCD display

CONS

  • High-end price
  • Non-aerodynamic design
  • Included mounts may not work for all drone frames

($) Check price on Amazon

2.) Spy Tec Mobius Action Camera 1080P HD Mini Sports Cam

Spy Tec Mobius Action Camera 1080P HD Mini Sports Cam

The Spy Tec Mobius Action Camera 1080P HD Mini Sports Cam is a low-profile video camera ideal for placement on drone frames. The camera itself boasts an ideal design for high-speed drone operators.

It records 1080ps video at 30 frames per second and can record 720p video at 60 frames per second. This creates better frame-by-frame or slow-motion recording. The complete camera weighs only 1.2 ounces and is only 2x1x1 inches all around. This makes it able to fit on all but the smallest drone frames with ease.

Instead of using a built-in display for controlling the camera, which can be expensive and prone to damage, the Mobius is able to be controlled with just a few button clicks. You can also remotely control it with your smartphone.

All-in-all the Spy Tec Mobius Mini Sports Cam is able to provide an impressive video and still-image capturing the experience for just a fraction of the price for comparable cameras.

PROS

  • Slim, aerodynamic design
  • Incredibly light
  • Well-featured for the price

CONS

  • No built-in display
  • Limited battery life
  • Not as many frames per second as professional models

($) Check price on Amazon

3.) Antix Quadcopter Compatible Full HD 1080P WIFI

Antix Quadcopter Compatible Full HD 1080P WIFI

The Antix Quadcopter Compatible Full HD 1080P WIFI sports action camera. It is ideal for drone operators looking for the features and feel of a GoPro without spending nearly as much.

This camcorder is able to record video at 1080P like its GoPro counterpart but does so at about 30 frames per second. Supports Micro SDHC cards for quickly swapping or expanding memory. The camera itself comes with a 2-inch display for controlling and managing recordings. In addition, the camera can also be controlled remotely via WiFi.

Operators can then use their smartphones to view and manage videos on the Antix camera. This is impressive and gives you control It’s a sports action camera and comes complete with USB cable, charger, and rechargeable battery. Several mounting options including handlebar and helmet mounts, also come included with the camera.

PROS

  • Inexpensive
  • Built-in display
  • Includes a waterproof housing to protect the camera

CONS

  • Low frames per second recording
  • Waterproof case is of lesser grade
  • No memory included

($) Check price on Amazon

4.) Pyle PDVRCAM50W Sports Action Camera

Pyle PDVRCAM50W Sports Action Camera

The Pyle PDVRCAM50W Sports Action Camera is fully featured with a 1.5-inch display. This is ample for use with drones or editing film from any other pre-recorded videos.

This action camera records with 1080p resolution for HD video. It also captures still images at 10 megapixels. With a compact, lightweight frame it is easy to take with you anywhere. Top features include a charging cable that you can use on the go. The display conveniently allows you the ability to review videos from the device itself.

If you are using this sports action camera with a drone component choose the streaming wifi option. This will allow you to connect with a smartphone and review images on your cell phone.

PROS

  • HD video and 10-megapixel camera
  • Streaming wifi capabilities
  • 5-inch display

CONS

  • Design lacks impact resistance
  • Limited battery life
  • Low 32Gb memory limit

($) Check price on Amazon

5.) Tactic DroneView Mini Camera for Sport and Hobby

Tactic DroneView Mini Camera for Sport and Hobby

The Tactic DroneView Mini Camera for Sport and Hobby is a slim, lightweight and powerful camera in a very reasonable price-range. It is able to record up to 720p video or take 1 megapixel still photos. The Tactic DroneView Mini Camera package also includes a 4GB memory card and rechargeable battery, perfect for the on-the-go drone operator.

Dimensions are about 3.1 x 1.3 x 0.9 inches and it weights just a single ounce. This lightweight and efficient design make it ideal for mounting on high-speed drone frames and can minimize damage to the camera in case of impact.

The Tactic DroneView Mini Camera can be controlled via its buttons or remotely. In addition to a port for custom remote receivers, the camera can stream itself over WiFi and be controlled through Android or iOS smartphones.

PROS

  • Low-profile design
  • Inexpensive
  • Includes memory card

CONS

  • Poor impact design for lens
  • Lower recording resolution
  • Limited battery life

($) Check price on Amazon

Brief Guide to Drone Cameras

What Are They?

Drone cameras are simple cameras that you can fit to the frame of a drone to take still photos or video while it’s flying. A drone is a little bit like a remote controlled helicopter, but with the difference that it is more intelligent. It can stabilize itself and hold itself in a particular location without pilot input.

It has a GPS chip to tell it where it is, and an altimeter so it can judge how high it is. Drones can correct their own course and withstand stiff gusts of wind. All this makes them ideal for photography, since you need to have a very stable camera for good quality photos.

What To Look For

A good resolution is key to how much detail your image will have. If you think about aerial photos – there is a lot of detail in one shot, since it is so far away and there is potentially so much in one picture. So detail is very important.

1080p is considered as pretty good for video, although for professional footage you want at least 12 megapixels for stills, and 4K for video. Also pay attention to whether the camera offers video or not, since some will only take stills.

Make sure that your drone has a gimbal that can support your camera if you want really good non-blurry video footage. Gimbals are small camera holders attached to the drone frame, which keep the camera stable and work against vibration, a better one of these will also help you get better photos and video.

There are usually 2-axis and 3-axis gimbals, so the 3-axis would be the better of the two. You can also look for a good stable camera action mount. Look for extra intelligent features such as ‘Active Track’ where the drone camera will detect and track a subject and keep it in the frame.

Also look at how heavy and large the camera is, because the bigger it is the harder it will be to carry around with you. It will also add more to the payload of the drone, making it carry more.

Look at the battery life of the camera – ideally you want it to last at least as long as the battery life of the drone so that one won’t go out before the other. You might also want to buy some extra batteries so that you have a back up.

If you are likely to be using this camera in the dark or in low light conditions then you might want to find one that has a low light mode. Also if you are worried about rain, then go for a waterproof version so you don’t need to bring it in as soon as you see a cloud in the sky.

If you want to be able to use first person view then make sure it has the capability for that – some cameras can even be controlled remotely from your phone or tablet via Wifi.

Who Can Benefit

If what you do could benefit from aerial photography then a drone camera is for you! Real estate agents can use them to take video of the grounds of a house, and even inside it so that someone who wants to buy the house can see it almost as well as if they were walking around it themselves.

Aerial photographers who sell people photos of their houses, or shoot footage of big festivals and events can also greatly benefit from these. It’s like investing in a helicopter with a camera man, but at a fraction of the cost. You can even become a freelancer, and earn money from your hobby.

Another use for drone cameras is to give the operator a first person view, so that they can fly them as if they are actually onboard.

This means that as you fly the drone, you are getting a live video feed relayed back to you, which enables you to fly higher and further than you would just by looking at it from the ground, and can also help you navigate around obstacles more easily.

If you love landscape photography then you can greatly enhance your hobby with a drone and a camera mounted on it. You can take amazing panoramic shots of mountains and rivers and oceans, from places you would never be able to get to otherwise.

Wedding photographers can also get a whole new angle on a wedding with a drone camera – ever wondered how to get all the guests into one shot? This might be your answer. You can also use drone cameras for surveys and inspections.

What To Avoid?

Avoid a really low resolution camera since the quality of the photos won’t be very good. Also make sure that your drone has the capability to attach a camera to it. Some don’t.

If you want an FPV (first person view) camera, then make sure you check the specifications – as some only transmit about ten feet. Be cautious about cameras that are really designed for something else and only seem to add drone camera as an afterthought, as they may not be not that good for a drone.

FAQs

Are there any laws about taking photos from drones?

There are certainly laws about flying drones, such as not flying them within 3 miles of an airport, and not flying above 400 feet from the ground.

Different states have varying laws on photography from the air, so you would need to check with the FAA and your local state. You might need to check especially on taking photographs in public places, and flying drones over private property.

Do I need any extra equipment?

You may need a video transmitter if you want a live video feed of where you are flying your drone. Also if you want to really zoom in on something you may need a long lens with a zoom. You will also most likely need a Micro SD Card to capture your footage.

Wrapping Up

There are no doubts that drone cameras are increasing in popularity. Recreational use of drone cameras allows us to push the limits of how we typically perceive the world around us.

We have new possibilities for filming, photography, inspection, surveying, mapping and more. With the various types photography, but it is important to know what you are looking for before you buy.

Operators looking for smooth, high-quality video have choices like never before. The five best drone cameras that made our list are here to give you the right options so you can quickly start enjoying the fun.

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Written by Rhoda Jane Pickens

Rhoda has been fascinated with product development for the majority of her life. Her expertise is in home and garden products, but her curiosity and vast experience allow her to cross category lines. Maintaining a detective like critical eye, she cares about the end user of gadgets.