TOP CAMERA DRONES FOR SALE
DJI Mavic Air
- Flight Time - 21 minutes
- Control Range - 4km/2.5 miles
- Camera Resolution - 12MP/4K Video
The DJI Mavic Air is small in size but big on features, being one the best all-round drones to hit the market in 2018. This compact drone is the smallest design from DJI yet doesn’t sacrifice any performance or features, with a fantastic 4K camera, intuitive controls, and a variety of modes that are perfect for beginners and experienced operators alike.
This is an incredibly lightweight and compact drone, with the Mavic Air weighing just 300g. It also comes with foldable design and a compact carry case for easier transportation, taking virtually no space in even a small backpack.
Despite being a smaller drone, the Mavic Air isn’t lacking in premium hardware, with nothing important being sacrificed to help accommodate the small design. There are two high-quality cameras fitted to the drone, including a downward facing camera and the main camera with a three-axis gimbal.
These powerful cameras capture 12-megapixel still images, 32-megapixel panoramic images, stable 4K footage up to 30fps, and can also be adjusted to capture 1080p at slower frame rates for epic slow-motion shots.
Flying the DJI Mavic Air is great fun too. The mobile application makes connecting to the drone quick and easy, while it’s got an impressive speed of up to 40mph. There are several shoot modes too, all of which are designed to help capture amazing video and photos without much effort thanks to one-button action.
A new advance pilot assistance system ensures minimal crashes and collisions in the air, while an impressive control range of 2.5 miles allows you to take the Mavic Air high into the sky for some epic shots.
DJI Mavic Pro
- Flight Time - 27 minutes
- Control Range - 7km/4.3 miles
- Camera Resolution - 12MP Still/4K Video
Prior to the release of the DJI Spark and DJI Mavic Air, the Mavic Pro was the smallest drone produced by DJI, and while it may not be the smallest anymore it remains one of the best all-round consumer drones available.
Even though the model isn’t the newest, most of its design and features are still top of the line. It’s compact and lightweight for easy transport, while the 27-minute flight time on a single charge remains one of the best around. A control range of 7km is also very impressive, highlighting just how well the Mavic Pro has aged.
It also has a very powerful camera, with a ½.3-inch sensor that captures stunning 12MP still images, while there are various resolutions for capturing video footage, including 4K (30fps) and 1080p(96fps).
A motorised gimbal combines with quality sensors the keep the Mavic Pro stable and secure in any flight conditions, allowing users to capture some truly wonderful photographs and videos with the drone.
As for flying the drone, the Mavic Pro is easy to operate and will provide endless hours of fun. There are various flight modes available at the flick of button and these allow you to fly the Pro in various ways, such as the sport mode that kicks the drone into high gear, flying at an incredible 40mph.
Even the standard mode is easy to operate, being very responsive across the impressive 7km control range, descending and ascending with the upmost ease.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro
- Flight Time - 30 minutes
- Control Range - 7km/4.3 miles
- Camera Resolution 20MP Still/4K Video
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a top-selling drone that is packed with high-end features and functionality while being a great choice for beginners. Combining quality performance with easy usability has gained the Phantom 4 Pro a reputation as one of the best drones for anyone new to quadcopters, being very easy to control and capable of capturing stunning images and videos.
One of the reasons that the Phantom 4 Pro is such a good drone for beginners is the 5-point obstacle avoidance system. Unlike previous Phantom Drones, the 4 Pro comes with sensors on the front, back, underside, left side and right side.
By constantly scanning the environment these sensors allow the drone to automatically avoid collisions with obstacles, which is ne of the biggest challenges when flying drones, especially for beginners.
The Phantom 4 Pro is also highly responsive mid-flight thanks to the incredible control range (7km), while you can expect an impressive 30-minute flight time on a single charge. Top speed hits around 45mph, although this is reduced to 30mph when using the full 5-point obstacle avoidance system - which is very much recommended to avoid any crashes!
The Phantom 4 Pro’s camera is also of the highest quality. Featuring a one-inch CMOS image sensor, the camera catches still images in breath-taking 20MP quality along with stunning 4K video at up to 60fps.
Parrot Bebop 2 Power
- Flight Time - 30 minutes per battery (two included)
- Control Range - 2km
- Camera Resolution - 14MP Still/1080p Video
The Parrot Bebop 2 Power is new and improved upgrade over 2016’s Parrot Bebop 2, providing a range of new features that make it great for flying, filming, and taking amazing photos. With two batteries each providing a 30-minute flight time and an impressive 2km control range, expect to have hours of fun flying and capturing footage with the Parrot Bebop 2 Power.
A custom-made wide-angle lens combined with an anti-distortion system allows for quality aerial photography, while the three-axis digital stabilisation further improves the images by lowering vibrations for the upmost clarity.
The ½.3-inch CMOS camera capture 14-megapixel still images and records 1080p HD video footage at up to 30fps, allowing for some seriously impressive footage to be captured with the drone.
Better still, the drone comes with a first-person view headset that provides a truly immersive first person flying experience, which can be used to capture amazing footage or just enjoy the flying experience even more!
Flying the Bebop Power 2 is simple enough thanks to the compatible smartphone app that lets you fly using your phone. There are various one-touch flight modes and controls that make the drone easy to operate.
For instance, filming mode slows the average speed down for capturing quality footage, while flying mode lets you crank up the speed and have all kinds of fun, and there are various autonomous modes for getting specific footage from the drone.
DJI Inspire 2
- Flight Time - 27 minutes
- Control Range - 7km
- Camera Resolution - 24MP Still/5.2K Video (30fps)
The DJI Inspire 2 is a flagship consumer drone that has a range of market-leading features and functioning, including stunning camera quality, exceptional build quality, and some of the best handling performance you will find in a drone.
Made from a blend of robust carbon fibre and a magnesium aluminium composite, the build quality of the Inspire 2 is nothing short of incredible. It has a front-facing interchangeable FPV camera, internal sensors that provide a reliable obstacle avoidance system, and you get to choose from a range of Zemuse cameras for the drone, with the X5S being the standard option.
The cameras compatible with the drone are of the highest quality, with the X5S being designed with the idea of being used primally with the Inspire 2. This camera has a massive sensor that produces an amazing 24MP still image, with every photo featuring breath-taking detail and vibrancy.
Should the X5S be used for video recording, expect nothing less than professional-level footage, with both 4K recording at 60fps and 5.2K recording at 30fps, and you can even downscale to 720p HD, although it seems almost a waste to do so!
The speed, handling, and responsiveness of the DJI Inspire 2 is outstanding. A dedicated controller makes it easy to operate the Inspire 2 even with limited flight experience, but you do need to connect a compatible smartphone to use the FPV when flying. The smartphone app also lets you use the drone’s range of automated flight modes and adjust the camera settings.
- Flight Time - 16 minutes
- Control Range - 100 metres
- Camera Resolution - 12MP
The DJI Spark is possibly the best portable drone on the market. While most compact drones are fun to operate but lacking in quality features, the Spark manages to be very small but also packed with functions that make it easy to operate.
No bigger than your average smartphone, the Spark cane easily fit inside of your pocket and has a surprising number of cool features for a drone in this size range. With a 12MP camera, obstacle detection, hand gesture recognition, and built-in GPS, there has never been so much included in such a small drone!
One of the coolest features of the Spark is hand gesture recognition. After letting the camera scan your face, the Spark takes off and then recognises a variety of hand gestures mid-flight, allowing you to take photographs and perform other functions without needing a controller.
For instance, you can command the Spark to take a selfie by creating a picture frame with your hand, while showing your palm towards the camera commands the drone to follow your palm in any direction.
It’s possible to control the Spark with the compatible application on a smartphone, but the dedicated controller is sold separately and is needed if you want to exceed the 100m control range offered by the drone’s Wi-F, while there are additional flight modes available in the app that aren’t possible with hand gestures.
DJI Phantom 3 Advanced
The Phantom 3 Advanced a professional drone for sale that ticks all the boxes. The beauty of this Phantom 3 Advanced is that it comes in a "ready-to-fly" mode, meaning that the basics needed to fly, such as flight battery (an extra intelligent battery is also included), charger, 16GB microSD card and the pre-bound radio controller are included.
You just have to go through the necessary calibration steps to make sure that the flight control computer works correctly. One tap on the DJI pilot app on your iPhone (or Android) and the Phantom 3 soars up to a pre-defined height unless directed where to fly. The customizable handheld transmitter is precisely designed to allow control of the Phantom 3 with ease and authority. The GPS-based navigation system is very helpful to ensure flight stability and smooth shoots. Talking about shoots, the camera allows recording in full HD 1080p. The 3-axis gimbal keeps the camera steady and fights any unwanted motion like vibration or wind turbulence. The 94 degree angle-of-view lens of the camera has a narrower angle compared to a fisheye, which allows for reduced distortion while still capturing extensive shots. The remarkable Lightbridge technology relays a 720p HD digital live video from one of the best quadcopters available. Additionally, you can also take JPEG or RAW pictures at 12MP. I was sceptical about flying the Phantom 3 Advanced indoors, but it passed that test with flying colours too. The Vision Positioning technology uses sonic waves to navigate it effortlessly indoors, without using GPS. As with other DJI quadcopters, the Return to Home Failsafe feature ensures that the Phantom 3 Advanced returns to its take-off spot in case it flies beyond 60 feet or the battery starts to drain. I have only scratched the surface with this review. The Phantom 3 Advanced has a lot more to offer. Take a deep breath, invest in it, and you won't be disappointed.
BEST DRONES FOR BEGINNERS
Different Types Of Quadcopters and How Much Do They Cost?
There are a number of different types of drones, from the tradition drone, to the quad-copters to the multi-rotor helicopters, which are the big thing right now. While most drones fall under the quadcopter or hexacopter or multi-rotor craft style, the biggest differences come from their size, price and features. Most come with four rotors for stability and a similar body layout.
With the smallest, entry level drones in the UK starting around £10 anyone can get started in the hobby without a big investment. If you are looking to use a camera with the drone, expect at least £40 as the starting price, you can get the fantastic Syma X5C drone for around that price. Prices can move up to several hundred if you wish to use the drone to see live video on your smartphone with professional capabilities.
Find the Right Drone
There isn’t one particular drone that is perfect for everyone. It comes down to your particular needs. As you now know, not all drones include a camera. If you are looking for something that will be fun to simply fly around the yard or park then a standard quadcopter drone or mini drone will do the trick.
If you are looking to fly the drone a bit more out of your line of site, you will want to find a slightly higher end model that includes video of some sort. Generally 720p video will do the trick, but bear in mind that the quality of the camera will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. When it comes to top end drones the two main manufacturers are DJI and Parrot. The DJI Inspire 1 is one of best available on the market while the Phantom series is not far behind.
Once you start getting to the higher end of the price spectrum you are likely looking for a drone that can shoot video of the highest quality a GoPro camera. In this case, make sure you find a drone that includes a gimbal. Essentially, a gimbal is a mount for a camera which is gyro-stabilised to allow for steady shots as the drone flies. Just be prepared to make a bit more of an investment here.
There is one particular issue that most UK drones face currently, which is battery life. The type that you are likely going to be considering should get between 5 to 15 minutes of flight time before another hour long charge is required. So budget for additional batteries if you wish to get more time in the air, just understand that you are going to have to constantly switch the batteries out and look for a drone body style that makes that easy to do.
Where to Fly
UK Drone law requires that an unmanned aircraft is always within the controller’s line of site. So claims of drones reaching 100m range don’t really have much of an impact on your purchase. The big consideration is where you expect to spend most of your time flying the quadcopter. For me, personally, there is a large park across the street from my neighbourhood which is perfect for flying as it is basically a huge open field.
If you plan to only fly in your yard or garden, you have to consider the amount of space you have. You likely won’t be an expert pilot the first time you send your drone up, so expect to have to retrieve it a few times as you get your bearings. Flying in a fenced back garden may not be the best idea – unless you are fond of jumping fences to pick up futuristic looking pieces of technology in front of your neighbours.
Generally a field, like a local pitch, is perfect for flying as you are able to safely keep the drone away from others and not risk crash landing into others if things go out on you. Wind will also be a factor and needs to be carefully researched. Don’t fly in areas that create wind tunnels, even if the ground gets very little wind as your chance to lose control is much higher. Keep all of this in mind as you start to narrow down your potential purchases.
So you decided to buy a drone? Awesome. You have just enabled yourself to dive into the amazing world of drones. Surely you have many ideas by now. Flying a drone around your house, maybe a park, a magnificent architectural landmark or camp site with great landscape are some of the ideas I had when I just got my drone. But before you embark on the drone adventure, you have to learn how to properly fly a drone first. Luckily for you, you can find the how to guide down below.
1) The absolute first step, which is crucial to your practicing success, is to know your drone. You need to know what you are dealing with and what you have at your disposal. Knowing what it is made out of, what features it has can cut your learning process in half. Study your drone, study your controller. Make yourself conversant with the drone manual. Once you are acquainted with basics you can now do the next step.
2) The second step involves finding your flying spot. Flying a drone in enclosed areas like inside the house is not a smart idea. You can accidentally knock down some valuables and cause a huge mess like knocking off human who may be within. For that reason it is best to go outside, somewhere with a lot of space. Parks are the best places to learn how to fly a drone but other places may include empty parking lots may also be great places to practice. You get a ton of space, have a nice overview of the area and get privacy.
Here are some general tips before you get started:
- It is always best to fly early in the day. The Sun can be distracting in noon and the afternoon, while any time after the Sun sets will grant you poor visibility.
- Avoid crowded areas. You need privacy and focus for learning.
- Avoid distractions as much as possible. Learning how to fly a drone requires a major part of your attention. No playing games on your phone or talking to your friends.
- Never skip any of these steps. Do it a 100 times if you have to but master it. Mistakes and impatience will damage or destroy your drone.
3) Set the drone and check the controls. Slowly and delicately check the controls. In some cases the gyros on your controller might be reversed, ultimately leaving drone rotation and falling on the ground. Use one tenth of the maximum throttle to check the controls. Fly just slightly above the ground, 10 cm for a start. Once you get the hang of it, move onto the next step.
4) Gradually increase the throttle. Now that you know the controls, it is time to increase your flying skill. Add more throttle so that you can get used to your drones full potential. Try flying moving around and reaching a higher altitude, 20 cm for a start. If your drone wanders off, throttle it down. Since you are working on low altitude, you will not subject it to significant damage. If the drone lands near an object, move it back to the initial position. Do not fly from that position. Better safe than sorry.
5) Reaching the sky. At this point you need to play around with the altitude. Slowly increase 10 cm at a time. Once you get to a higher altitude you will see that flying the plane is a lot easier. The more you fly, the more confident you will be. Just take things slowly and make sure not to damage your drone
6) Flying and landing is a useful technique every drone pilot should know. It is a very simple technique which increases your landing and handling skills. Before you start choose a point A and point B. They should be about 1 – 2 meters apart. Lift your drone, move from point A to point B and land. Once you are done, repeat the process from B to A. This exercise requires patience. The more you practice, the better you will be. When you master flying and landing, you will greatly increase your flying skills.
7) Flight control is the name of this exercise. Now that you have mastered all the previous methods, you will want to turn around and not just move in one direction. Controlling your drone and turning it in different directions is a crucial technique you must know. How to master it?
All you need to do is put the drone so it right in front of you. Lift it up to a small altitude, about 20 – 30 cm. Rotate it firstly 60 degrees left. Do the same right. You can use the watch notation, so first 10 o’clock, then 2 o’clock.
Once you have mastered this simple rotation, do the following. Turn your device 90 degrees left and 90 degree right. By using the watch notation that would be 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock. Practice until you can rotate with ease.
The final exercise for flight control is to rotate it by 150 degrees left and right. Again by using the watch notation, this is 7 o’clock and 5 o’clock. This one will be difficult to do. It will take a lot of time to perfect these methods but once you master them you will be unstoppable.
8) Opposite flying is a method which can get you out of a sticky situation, where, for any reason, your drone was turned by 180 degrees. To do this, turn the drone so it is facing you. You have to be aware that now the controls are inverted. Left is right, forwards is backwards. Do steps 6 and 7 also with this method. Experiment with different heights and move one step closer towards being a professional pilot.
9) The last method is called M.L.Z., multiple landing zones. This method is just like method 6 but here instead of two points you have much more. Setting different points can not only aid your flying but can also prepare you for some unexpected events during flying.
So what are you waiting for? Follow the steps and learn how to fly a drone, you can also get a drone that follows you. Have the guaranteed fun drones have to offer.
While drones are fantastic pieces of technology, they are also full of fragile parts. Propellers are the most likely parts to break, so order extras when you make your purchase. Also make sure you are splitting into clockwise and anti-clockwise purchases as the rotors come in those two styles.
Look at the difficulty to obtain the extra parts for your particular drone before you make a purchase. If Amazon has a long listing of parts that are all ready to ship today, you are probably in good shape. If you can’t find parts without significant Google research, you may find yourself with a (not very heavy) paper weight very soon.
Motors are also going to be replaced at some point, but the lifespan is going to be primarily based on the quality of the quad you purchase. Brushless motors are rarely found on the lower end models which means you are going to be sitting on a shorter lifespan than if you went with a higher priced quadcoptor. It generally isn’t that hard to find the replacement motors, but the skill required to install the new parts may be a hindrance if you are not technically minded. Visit our spare parts page for more information.
The best thing you can do is research and decide what you want to use yours for. You have a good understanding now of the basics you should look for when buying a drone in the UK, but it would be wise to do additional research on the individual ones that are in the running for your money. YouTube is a great place to see them in action while also getting real owners feedback. These devices are a fantastic way to enjoy a lazy Sunday out at the park with the family, but they are an investment that should not be rushed in to.