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The best camera drones for aerial photography

The best camera drones for aerial photography
person holding a drone

person holding a drone

This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience.

Are you looking to get into aerial photography? You’re not alone. Drone photography is now the ultimate flex for hobbyists and professionals alike.

Aerial shots were a headache when the drones first flew onto the scene, with users needing to combine photography prowess with the thumb dexterity of video gamers. Now, manufacturers have released camera drones that everyone can master.

Indeed, there are lots of great devices out there for capturing some amazing images.

Should you take up drone photography?

First and foremost, drone photography is about getting the shots that you wouldn’t normally be able to get. You can get an aerial perspective and great long-range shots (assuming the camera is up to the job). Drone camera tech will also let you zoom in and get into unique angles. You can fly a drone into areas that would otherwise be hard to reach by foot and capture awesome action shots.

That’s why drone photography has become a staple for professional photographers and filmmakers.

What features to camera drones offer?

Drones can be as advanced or basic as you want — which naturally comes down to how much money you’re willing to spend. But here’s some specs to look out for when choosing a camera drone:

app — Some drone manufacturers will provide a specialist app that helps you control both the drone and your images. It may come equipped with GPS from mapping out routes and getting images from precise locations. You may also be able to upload images directly onto social media.

Flight Modes — These aren’t necessarily specific to camera drones but intelligent flight features are a bonus. These might include “return to home” or object avoidance to prevent crashes.

Dreadlocks — You want pictures and footage that are reliable and well stabilized. The best drones will use a two or three-axis motorized gimbal to keep the camera steady.

Picture Quality — Naturally you want the best possible HD quality if you’re spending big bucks. 1080p is a decent resolution for casual use, though 4K is the standard these days. Some camera drones are capable of the even sharper 8K.

Range — The kind of range you need will depend on how you intend to use the drone. But it’s safe to assume that more advanced drones will fly and transmit images back much farther. Some drones will transmit from several miles away.

Zoom — A standard feature on any camera, but zoom on drones can be controlled via smart devices or even automatically on drones. Look out for features such as object identification and motion tracking.

Keep these points in mind when beginning your purchase process.

How do you fly a drone?

If you know your way around a game controller, it’s a breeze to learn. Drones are controlled by either a handheld controller or a smart device app.

What is FPV?

FPV drones (the FPV stands for First Person View) are flown as if you’re in the cockpit, with a camera transmitting the drone’s point-of-view to your device or a set of goggles. They’re most commonly used for racing drones but can be used for photography.

How do you register your drone?

If your drone weighs over 250 grams, you must register it with the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) for a small fee. Piloting an unregistered drone is against the law. Go to for the rules and regulations and CAA Consultations for registration.

What’s the best drone for photography?

We have searched high and low for the very best drones with cameras, and highlighted a small selection of devices that you should check out. We always recommend doing plenty of your own research before investing in a drone, but this should be a great place to start. We have lined up top drones from leading brands.

These are the best drones with cameras in 2023.