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7 drones with stunning 4K cameras

Drones have been used for decades to take a closer look at the earth for scientific studies and by international militaries to spy on targets. But while this was mainly for covert operations, commercial drones have allowed everyday people to fly around their own backyards.

The cameras on early models only gave you a slight glimpse into what your surroundings looked like, but as technology advanced, so did the gadgets inside drones. Their high-powered 4K resolution lenses now record vivid footage and stunning photos, and some have turned aerial photography into a living.   

In this article: DJI Mini 3 Pro, DJI Mini 2 and Syma X500 4K Drone.

Fantastic photographic flyers

The camera lens is by far the most exciting aspect of any drone. For many years, 1080p resolution was the standard for capturing videos and taking photos. But the introduction of 4K cameras in 2015 opened a gateway for many exciting uses. 

Hollywood also started to notice, and it’s common now for high-speed chases or sweeping landscapes to be filmed with a drone rather than an expensive helicopter.

But while the camera is capable of award-winning footage, there is a stumbling block for any drone pilot. You can only film the scenery when the drone is in the air, and the batteries that power them are often inefficient. On average, you can only squeeze about 30 minutes of flying from a battery set. 

One aspect that isn’t a problem is the transmission range. This is how far the drone can fly from the pilot while still maintaining a stable connection to the controller. An additional specification for drones is the video transmission range. This is the maximum distance that a drone can be from the pilot while still relaying a video feed. Beyond this range, the video will cut out but the drone will continue to fly its preset course. 

Flying regulations

Before taking your drone to the skies, you must check the local regulations. The Federal Aviation Authority requires that certain drones must be registered, whether for commercial or recreational use.

This is to ensure that all drone pilots abide by FAA rules on where to fly their drone and how to do so safely. In the past, people sometimes flew their drones close to airports, shutting down flights and disrupting operations. Through registration, the FAA can keep track of who is flying where, and under what conditions.

Best drones with stunning 4K cameras

DJI Mini 3 Pro

DJI is one of the most popular drone makers, and it’s easy to see why. In addition to the powerful 4K camera, the Mini 3 Pro can record videos at 60 frames per second, take 48-megapixel photos and has a flight time of 34 minutes. The gimbal rotates 90 degrees and can take true vertical photos. For safety, it has tri-directional obstacle sensing and uses the latest-version Advanced Pilot Assistance System.

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DJI Mini 2

The Mini 2 is an affordable alternative to the latest DJI Mini model, but it still packs a punch for aerial photography. The 4K camera sits on a three-axis gimbal, lets you take 12-megapixel photos and 4K video at 30 frames per second, and has a flying time of 10 minutes. Its video transmission range is over 10 miles, and can resist Level 5 winds.

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Syma X500 4K Drone with UHD Camera

This drone is one of the more affordable if you're just starting with flying them. It connects to your mobile device, which clips into the controller. The camera has a 120-degree field of view and a 90-degree vertical view. The two included batteries give you a total of 56 minutes of flying time.

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Holy Stone HS720E GPS Drone

This drone has a 4K camera with a Sony sensor and electric image stabilization. It lets you capture 4K footage at 30 frames per second or 1080p footage at 60 frames per second. The camera lens has a 130-degree field of view, and the two included batteries give you 46 minutes of flying time.

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Holy Stone 2-Axis Gimbal GPS Drone with 4K EIS Camera

This drone features a 4K camera on a two-axis motorized gimbal and, combined with electric image stabilization, lets you capture stunning footage. It has a flying time of just under 30 minutes and connects to your mobile phone through the controller. It has a built-in GPS and features a headless mode, automatic takeoff and altitude hold.

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DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo

This excellent kit includes everything you need to fly the DJI Air 2S drone for even longer. The bundle is more expensive than most, but it includes the Air 2S, a carry case, additional batteries and propellers, a controller and spare data cables. The drone captures stunning 5.4K video at 30 frames per second and 4K video at 60 frames per second.

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Ruko F11 Pro Drone

This is an excellent starting drone for aspiring pilots with a beginner mode that guides you through all the steps. The 4K camera has a 120-degree field of view lens and can adjust 90 degrees vertically. It has a total flying time over an hour and several flying modes.

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Worth considering

  • This foldable drone is one of the most affordable ones with a 4K camera. 
  • With three-directional object avoidance and stunt-show mode, this compact drone is an excellent choice.
  • In addition to the 4K camera, the 4DF3 GPS Drone has a 120-dgree field of view and a camera that remotely adjusts 90 degrees.
  • Unlike other drones where the camera facing directly forward, this drone’s 4K camera resembles a GoPro that hangs inside a three-axis gimbal underneath. 

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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