Over the past few years, drones have come a long way in terms of video quality and stabilisation. Regardless of whether the cinematic project you’re working on is a big or small one, drones have the potential to capture breath-taking videos with an aerial perspective.
Most of the drones available in the market are quite expensive and doing some research into drones can help you choose the right one without costing you a fortune.
Fortunately for you, we’ve done all the hard work, and compiled a list of the seven best ready-to-fly drones you can purchase right now.
DJI Inspire 2
The DJI Inspire 2 is aimed at professional cinematographers and filmmakers, and packs in the most advanced hardware the industry has to offer. The Inspire 2 is made up of a magnesium alloy body, which is sold without a camera. As the end-user, you can opt to mount a fixed-lens camera with a one-inch sensor, an interchangeable Micro Four Thirds system lens, or a proprietary Super35mm cinema lens mount (with 6K video capture support). The battery life is quite extraordinary, while features such as the retractable landing gear and 360-degree camera rotation make the Inspire 2 the best drone money can buy.
The high-speed Sport mode and 5.2K video support with CameraDNG and ProRes recording only add to the list of features that make the Inspire 2 versatile. The Dual-operator control with an integrated FPV camera has proven immeasurably useful in top-tier cinematography projects.
Price: US$ 3499
You can find more information about the Inspire 2 drone here
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
While the Inspire 2 is meant for professionals, the Mavic 2 Pro is intended for the mainstream consumer. Although it is expensive, it offers exceptional battery life and reliable build quality. The Mavic 2 Pro is compact, and the foldable design helps with portability. The drone is loaded with sensors, to ensure obstacle avoidance and the on-board camera can capture 20MP stills in the RAW or JPEG format.
Overall, the Mavic 2 Pro is the most feature-packed and compact drone that’s available on the market, provided that your wallet allows it. The only thing holding it back from perfection is its measly 8GB of internal memory. Thankfully, it can be expanded via SD card expansion.
Price: US$ 1729
You can find more information about the Mavic 2 Pro drone here
Autel Robotics EVO
The EVO drone is a viable alternative to the Mavic 2 Pro, being compact and allowing for a neat, folding design. The on-board camera allows for 4K recording at 60FPS, with support for the LOG video profile and also support for the DCI format. The obstacle avoidance system is spot-on, while the battery life is reliable for long shoots. Autel Robotics went ahead and made a drone that covers all bases, without compromising on build quality. The camera is well-stabilised and offers smooth UHD footage if only being slightly over-sharpened in the default video profile.
Price: US$ 1049
You can find more information about the EVO drone here
The Parrot Anafi an ultraportable drone that charges via USB-C and can record 4K HDR footage. The folding system is quite durable, and the battery life of 25 minutes is quite good for a drone of this size. The Anafi drone is ideal for vloggers and consumers who require a drone that is small but can still record quality footage. The small footprint does affect overall build quality, making the drone feel a bit flimsy in-hand.
Price: US$ 599
You can find more information about the Anafi drone here
The Ryze Tello is a relatively inexpensive drone that can be programmed via Scratch. It supports Bluetooth remote-controllers and comes with automated flight modes. The control range is limited, and the on-board video camera is not that great. The Ryze Tello is a drone that can help beginners get accustomed to drone controls but can also be of use to consumers who requires a drone that won’t burn a hole in their wallet.
Price: US$ 99
You can find more information about the Tello drone here
Parrot Bebop 2
The Parrot Bebop 2 is a mid-range drone that comes packed with features and manages to stay light. The chassis is quite durable, but the drone doesn’t come with a gimbal.
The drone uses rubber dampeners and electronic video stabilisation to ensure footage is smooth and crisp. Parrot offers an optional flight controller and FPV headset and takes flying the drone to another level.
The only downside to the drone is that some of the exciting features like route planning and ‘follow me’ functionality need to be bought separately.
Price: US$ 349
You can find more information about the Bebop 2 drone here
Pitched by ZeroTech as a ‘selfie drone’, the Dobby is small enough to fit in your bag, which gives it an advantage over many drones that are often too large to be carried around easily. It cannot handle strong winds due to its size and construction but is perfectly fine for use indoors. The drone comes with audio and visual sensors, fixed on its underside, that allows users to execute palm take-offs and landings. The drone is controlled via a smartphone application and features orbital moves, object tracking and facial recognition; all included as standard.
The only gripe users might have is the flight time, which varies between 5-10 minutes, depending on variables such as wind speed and recording time.
Price: US$ 159
You can find more information about the Dobby drone here
If you think we’ve missed some other great alternatives to the ones listed above, feel free to comment down below.
Also read: Top 7 Audible alternatives