Best Quadcopter Reviews: 5 Best Camera Drones
If you are interested in unbiased and objective best drones and quadcopter reviews, you are on the right page :-) A quadcopter is essentially a helicopter that has four rotors for lifting and propulsion. Quadcopters have become very popular as UAVs recently, and that is hardly surprising if you think about how good these really are.
Drones - and there are so many kinds of them - are getting massively popular. So much so that the plethora of choice makes it pretty hard to know which are the best drones and what to buy. Here, we explain what you need to know about buying a drone, no matter what your budget is.
There are several kinds of drones - quadcopters, minis, multi rotors and so on. Typically, they have 4 propellers, but this is not a rule. Helicopters have 2 rotors, tri copters 3, quadcopters 4, penta copters 5, hexacopters 6, and octocopters have 8 rotors.
Best Quadcopter Reviews: These Are The Best Drones In Their Class
SNAPTAIN SP300 Mini Drone
Prop Guard: Yes
Flight Time: 8 minutes
Range: 30 meters
360 degree flips
Control by hand gestures
SNAPTAIN H823H Mini Drone
Prop Guard: Yes
Flight Time: 6 minutes
Range: 30 meters
One key 3D flips
One key return
One key start / land
Syma X5SW-V3 WiFi FPV Drone
Prop Guard: Yes
Flight Time: 6 minutes
Range: 30 meters
One key 3D flips
One key return
One key start / land
Intermediate Level Quadcopters
Camera: Yes - 12MP
Flight Time: 16 minutes
Range: 1.2 miles
For Serious Hobbyists
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Camera: Yes - 48MP
Flight Time: 31 minutes
Range: 11 miles
DJI Phantom 4 Pro
Camera: Yes - 20MP
Flight Time: 30 minutes
Range: 4.3 miles
DJI Mavic Air
Camera: Yes - 4K
Flight Time: 21 minutes
Range: 2.4 miles
While octocopters are the most stable and reliable, quadcopters are the most popular of all multi rotors because they are so easy to build and there is a lot of support available.
A lot many people – more than one would imagine, want to know which would be the best drone for them. That’s not an easy question to answer as the best quadcopter that would be right for you depends essentially on four main factors:
- Your skill level
Unless you are really skilled, you should not buy an expensive drone. Not unless you are so rich that you are willing to crash a $2500 drone without batting an eyelid.
Slick advertising seems to have created the impression that quadcopters are a breeze to fly and just about anyone can handle any kind of drone without lots and lots of prior training. While some of the best drones are relatively easy to fly these days, it is not always true. Think back to the time when you were learning to ride a bike or drive a car. This can be just as complicated and hard to learn. Learning to handle an expensive six or eight channel quadcopter will require hours and hours of training with simpler models and perhaps even with a simulator. There simply is not shortcut to this.
You simply cannot learn to fly a complicated drone right after reading the quick start guide. Before you buy a drone, it would be good to know if it's suitable for beginners - if you are indeed just getting started.
- Why you want a drone
Are you trying to learn how to fly? Or are you and experienced pilot who is trying to get into aerial imaging? If you are a beginner, you will want to buy something real cheap and easy to fly, preferably less than $100. But on the other hand, if you belong to the latter group, you would want to buy a top of the line quadcopter with an excellent fpv system.
- How serious you are about the hobby?
Do you see yourself flying drones a few years down the line? Or are you just trying to see whether you will develop a lasting interest in the hobby after flying a drone for a few hours? Not asking this question can lead you to make the mistake of buying something expensive that will never be used again after a few days. This hobby is certainly not for everyone. The best drones on the market aren't exactly cheap.
You will be required to spend hours and hours learning quite a lot of stuff. You will need to get yourself a basic, working understanding of meteorology, aeronautics, and mechanics. Just like those folks who train to become regular pilots.
You will also need to invest countless hours figuring out how to work the controls, put things together and take them apart and more. Unless all of this fills you with joyous anticipation, you would perhaps be better off buying one of those cheaper drones that are only good for indoor flying.
And here’s another, seldom discussed factor …
- How much money are you willing to invest in the hobby?
This really does not matter much if you are an experienced pilot and are really serious about the hobby and are certain you are in this for the long run. But if you are someone who is just starting out, then it would be good for you to ask yourself this question. If you are inexperienced and are not really sure whether you will be flying multi-copters a year or two down the line, you would not want to spend too much just testing the waters, so to speak.
Even if you have a lot of money to throw around, the thought of crashing a $2500+ drone will most certainly not cause you to leap with unadulterated joy. Like everything else in life, you would want to prepare a budget and stick to it.
So the best choice for you really depends on your personal preferences and skill level.
The cheapest quadcopters - nanos, micros and minis - start at around $15, but they do not come with cameras and some of these cheaper models surprisingly hard to fly. Camera drones typically cost $50 or more. And models with FPV can cost at least $100 - and with these, you can see the live feed on your iPhone or any android smartphone. And some have radios with OSDs (on-screen displays) as well.
Of course, the very best drones usually aren't ones you can buy for less than $500.
As you pay more, you can expect to buy models with more features and better quality. And these can stay airborne longer - between 10 to 15 minutes while the cheaper quads usually fly no longer than 7 to 8 minutes.
Higher priced drones also have a lot more sophisticated electronics that make them more stable, increase the reliability and are a lot easier and more fun to fly. The extra electronics - like better flight controllers, sensors and electronic speed controllers - do make a lot of difference because quadcopters are inherently unstable.
For instance, high priced drones like the DJI Phantom hover with hardly any effort or skill on the part of the pilot, while low-cost quadcopters need a lot of skill on your part if you want them to hover. This is so because these expensive quadcopters have electronics that make them a lot more stable than cheaper models.
Only the more expensive drones have cameras. If you are a beginner, you do not need a camera. Plus the regulations require you to always have the drone in your sight while flying it. But once you have become more skilled at flying quads, you would want to buy a model that comes with a camera.
You would want to note that although a drone might have a camera, it may or may not offer FPV (a real-time video stream). FPV cameras allow you to fly a quadcopter even when it is out of sight and you cannot see it. But you would not want a drone to be out of sight as that would be against the law.
Not all cameras are made the same. Cameras that come with the best drones cost a lot more.
At the cheaper end of the price range, you will be lucky to get even VGA video. If you want to shoot video that's half decent, you would want to select at least 720p (1280 × 720). Keep in mind that - as always - you can not rely on specs alone. Not all 720p cameras are made alike - one 720p camera may shoot really impressive photos while another may be totally unsatisfactory.
Another thing you would want to note is even the best action camera may shoot video that's wobbly and far from professional - unless you also invest in gyro-stabilized mounts. These mounts can insulate your camera from all of the vibrations that cause wobbly pictures and videos. They do not come cheap, though.
Some cameras record video directly to a microSD card (or USB drive), and some others record from the remote control, or even directly to a smartphone. Direct recording is usually more reliable and of better quality.
Flight time and charging time
Typically you can expect between 5 and 15 minutes flight time between charges, and charging the batteries takes about an hour. It's a shame more companies do not deliver spare batteries. You would want to have at least 2 sets of spare batteries if you are keen on minimizing downtime.
You should also budget for a few sets of rechargeable AA batteries as most controllers require four of them. More so if your radio has an on-screen display which can burn through a set of alkaline batteries in under an hour.
By law in most countries including the US and Britain, you should always have your quadcopter within your sight. So by law, the range is limited to around 100 meters. Most smaller models - nanos and minis - have a range between 10 meters and 50 meters. But some of the bigger models can have a range well over 100 meters - but you are required by law to keep your drone within 100 meters.
While you can easily fly a nano in your apartment, you most certainly cannot fly a bigger quadcopter inside an apartment. And it sometimes can be a challenge to find a place to fly a larger drone. Parks and playgrounds are not really ideal as you could crash your drone and end up causing injury to someone.
Ideally, you would want to fly larger drones in a place without tall trees and with hardly any people or animals around. A busy street is not where you would want to fly a quadcopter.
And you would want to avoid flying in windy conditions unless you are highly skilled. Even for the best pilots, flying in strong winds can be a really hard thing to do.
Too many people who are really serious about the hobby make the mistake of not learning the ropes on a simulator first. A quadcopter simulator can shorten the learning curve significantly - and save you a lot of money and frustrating downtime by helping you avoid those initial crashes. Ever crash can mean expensive repairs and downtime - and a lot of frustration.
It is not for nothing that pilots who fly "real" aircraft train for hundreds of hours on simulators before they try their hands at the real thing.
You would want to take a cue from them if you are just getting started and get yourself a simulator. And train for at least 50 hours on it before you fly any quadcopter. Especially if you are planning to start with a more expensive drone. The best drones cost quite a bit of money - and you would want to use a quadcopter simulator for several hours and practice for a few more hours on lower priced models before you attempt to fly one of those.
Drones are fragile contraptions. And crashes are inevitable when you are getting started. Even experienced pilots crash sometimes. And crashes mean broken parts. Which means you will always want to have at least a few spares of the parts that are most likely to get damaged.
At the very least, you will want a couple of spare sets of propellers.
You would also want to choose models that come with propeller guards if you want to minimize downtime.
It also makes sense to buy models for which replacement are readily available. In general, the more popular the model is, the easier it is to buy spares for it.
Some manufacturers offer steep discounts but do check if spares are easily available. Else you might be wasting money if you crash and can't fix the quad. And always buy spares along with the quadcopter as you might get a discount.
Motors too might get damaged in a crash. Which is why you would want to have at least a spare set of motors. You would want to note that most of the very low-cost models use brushed motors which have a shorter life. The more expensive models have brushless motors which are easier to maintain and last longer.
Privacy and aerial photography
Aerial photography can sure be exciting and tons of fun, but you would want to go the extra mile to make sure you do not intrude upon anyone's privacy. You certainly would not want to shoot videos of other people and their property and publish them online without their consent.
In most countries, it is illegal to fly anywhere near airports and other restricted areas. In some countries, you cannot fly a quadcopter over densely populated areas. And if you end up crashing and damaging property, you will be liable for the damages caused.
While this is certainly a very exciting hobby, you would want to learn all you can about the relevant laws and ensure you do not break any laws or cause any damage.
Depending on your interest in the hobby, once you are fairly confident of your piloting skills, the next thing you would want to do would be to build your own quadcopter instead of buying a ready to fly model.
Now, you would not want to get into building your own quadcopter before you can fly one very easily. Doing this can get expensive pretty fast, and unless you are really committed you may lose interest and give up on the hobby altogether.
Collision avoidance and obstacle detection are now becoming commonplace in most of the higher end drones. And the best drones today all come with obstacle detection capability.
It started with companies placing sensors to detect obstacles in the front.
Now, the best drones have obstacle avoidance sensors on the sides, front, back and on the underside - enhancing their obstacle detection capabilities.
Companies now use several kind of obstacle avoidance sensors on drones - monocular vision, stereo vision, infrared, ultrasonic, Lidar and time of flight.
But not all drones comes with these sensors on all six sides. Most may be able to detect obstacles only in one or two directions.
DJI is the leading maker of obstacle avoidance drones.
Flight Controller Flight Modes
Your quadcopter drone comes equipped with a flight controller that can make flying a lot easier - even for those with limited piloting skills.
A flight controller can perform a range of highly complicated tasks depending on the flight modes it is capable of - from stabilizing the quadcopter to flying along specific GPS waypoints at specified altitudes. Of course, the sophistication and capabilities of the flight controller depend on the price of the drone.
Flight controllers have several flight modes that can be broadly divided into three groups - holding position vertically or laterally; orienting with respect to the pilot; and failsafe flight modes.
You would want to choose a drone that's equipped with a flight controller that meets your particular requirements.
DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter Review
A drone is a must have for any adventurist. A drone needs to chosen after careful precision to suit your style and personality the best. But a drone that matches everyone’s personality is the chic and irresistible DJI Mavic Air.
It is highly portable since it can be folded according to your desire. Its performance and skills are unparalleled when tested with other quadcopters available in the market.
Pros of the DJI Mavic Air Quadcopter
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter Review
A quadcopter is a highly popular gadget among most adventurists. Especially among bloggers or vloggers who are generating a nice side income because of their travel pictures and videos. If you are looking to get in on this business or even if you want to buy a drone for your hobby, it would be wise choice to go for the DJI Phantom 4 Pro quadcopter. Its versatility, superior features and innovative technology makes it a must-have product.
This quadcopter can shoot 64fps 4K video at 100Mbps. And it can fly for thirty minutes. That's mighty impressive!
Advantages of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter
Disadvantages of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter
Parrot Mambo FPV Quadcopter Review
A drone or quadcopter is usually popular among bloggers, vloggers and adventurists. But it is recently rising into something more than that. A first person viewing or FPV quadcopter can be used by a beginner to learn their way around the drone and ultimately it can be used for the purpose of racing.
Drone racing is quickly rising to become a highly exhilarating hobby sport among various age groups. If you are looking for such a FPV drone, look no further than the Parrot Mambo FPV.
Advantages of the Parrot Mambo FPV Quadcopter
DJI Mavic 2 Pro Quadcopter Review
DJI is known for excellent drones they manufacture. They are top-notch, equipped with the most functional camera and myriad of features and functions. They are the perfect companions to take on any adventure. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is one such superior drone that has high market demand. Its excellence in the sky is unmatched.
Advantages of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro quadcopter
Blade Nano QX RTF Quadcopter Review
Flying quadcopters have become an extremely enjoyable hobby among masses. Not only is it treated as a toy for children but has also become quite a hobby among different age groups. If you are searching for the perfect gift for a child or just looking to add more to your collection, you can go for the Blade Nano QX RTF quadcopter. Its high performance, various features and overall performance are bound to persuade you into purchasing the toy.
Advantages of the Blade Nano QX RTF quadcopter
Disadvantages of the Blade Nano QX RTF
DJI Spark: An All-in one Quadcopter Drone
The DJI Spark is one of the most highly acclaimed portable mini drones available in the market. This quadcopter is perfect for any occasion. It can be a toy for children, a hobby for adults, a racing gadget for the gamers and the quintessential friend for adventurists. Whatever may be the scenario, you will find your match in the DJI Spark.
Advantages of the DJI Spark
Disadvantages of the DJI Spark
Eachine E010 Quadcopter Review
The Eachine E010 is the perfect gadget for kids. It is colorful, easy to handle and lots of fun. The Eachine E010 will make a perfect present for your little kid.
Advantages of the Eachine E010:
Disadvantages of the Eachine E010 Quadcopter
Hubsan X4 Quadcopter
A drone is not only popular among bloggers and vloggers. It has risen to popularity to become a hobby among many. Not only are they fun to fly but there is absolutely nothing more thrilling than navigating it through the sky all the while conducting tricks in the air.
Drones have become so popular among hobbyists that many of started a collection of their own. The Husban X4 is one such must have collectible.
Advantages of the Hubsan X4 Quadcopter
Disadvantages of the Husban X4
Rabing Flying Car Quadcopter Review
This drone seems to have appeared straight out of the Harry Potter franchise.
A car that can also fly? A kid will want nothing more.
Advantages of the Rabing flying car quadcopter
Tello Quadcopter Drone Review
If you want a drone simply for the joy of it then you must opt for the Tello Quadcopter Drone. It is easy to fly, has an attractive appearance, various features and is simply a whole lot of fun.
Advantages of the Tello Quadcopter drone
Disadvantages of the Tello Quadcopter drone
UFO 3000 Quadcopter Drone
Mini drones are the perfect gift for children regardless of gender. They are fun to play with, safe and above all they are guaranteed to make your child happy. Something about flying a device which they can fully exercise control over spells out fun and frolic.
But even if you have decided on drones, it can be quite a task to find the correct model your child would enjoy. The UFO 3000 is probably one of the best models can have though.
Advantages of the UFO 3000
Disadvantages of the UFO 3000