6 Best Camera Drones for Photography and Videos in 2022
If you’re looking to elevate your content creation, these drones will help you capture that perfect aerial shot.
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Whether you’re new to photography and content creation or a pro, camera drones offer a whole new creative experience.
While some are little more than expensive toys, there are plenty of options that feature high-end camera technology, allowing you to take photos and capture unique perspectives in high resolution.
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Many drones now also include advanced features such as impressive stabilization systems, large sensors, and extended battery life. That said, the best drone for you will likely depend on your budget and skill level.
To help you find the one that’s right for you, we’ve rounded up six of the best options available to Aussies below, based on real customer reviews and our own knowledge of the products.
With a whopping 4.8 out of 5 stars on Google Reviews, the DJI Mavic Air 2 is a solid choice for filmmakers and photographers. Boasting an impressive flight time of up to 34 minutes, the small drone packs a host of advanced features into its compact body, including a 48MP camera, 4K/60p video capabilities, and reliable obstacle detection and avoidance. .
The drone is easy to fly, making it ideal for aerial photography beginners, and performs well in the wind according to reviews. Due to its collapsible nature, it sits quite low to the ground which can be a hassle when taking off and landing, but it’s still a great value-for-money option.
If you’re just looking to dive into the world of drone photography, the DJI Mini 2 is an ideal buy. As well as being extremely well rated, the ultra-compact model is a cheaper option that still includes a 4K camera. Despite its size, the Mini 2 is able to hold its own against more expensive rivals in terms of battery life, with a surprising flight time of 30-31 minutes.
Similar to the Mavic Pro 2 (above), it has some issues getting off the ground from grass and other uneven surfaces and also only comes with a single battery included. However, it does offer a great selection of modes for beginners and professional snappers alike, such as automated “QuickShot” modes, auto exposure bracketing shots, and raw shooting, giving you plenty of opportunities to capture the picture perfect.
Those looking to go pro can look to DJI’s Air 2S instead, which is essentially a premium version of the Mavic Air 2. The Air 2S benefits from the same compact design as the Mavic Air 2, but is equipped with the same sensor 20MP 1 inch as in the Mavic 2 Pro, allowing it 5.4K/30fps and 4K/60fps video capabilities.
With a digital zoom option, a wide variety of automated shots and a flight time of up to 31 minutes too, the Air 2S manages to pack a huge amount of functionality into its slim and sleek design.
While it may not impress tech enthusiasts, DJI’s Mavic Mini SE is a big step up from toy drones, while still being an affordable choice for hobbyists. The palm-sized model weighs less than 249 grams, making it about the same weight as an average smartphone. Because of this, it’s not only extremely portable, but it’s also exempt from certain regulations in many countries, making it a great travel companion.
Its 2.7K video resolution isn’t too impressive, but it’ll do fine for anyone looking to create social media content. It lacks forward collision sensors, but its other on-board sensors and 3-axis camera stabilizer keep the video from getting shaky and allow the drone to hover easily.
Boasting a flight time of up to 40 minutes, the Autel Robotics EVO II has the longest-lasting battery of any camera drone we considered. With its orange and black design, the model is a far cry from DJI’s line of minimalist drones, although it’s easier to spot when it lands. While not the lightest model on this list, the EVO II’s 8K Hyperlapse photography capabilities and standalone options are worth it for those looking for a professional model with more control.
Recording in resolutions up to 7680×4320, the EVO II also allows you to deep zoom and crop an image or video in 4K without any loss of quality, which is certainly a nice touch. While 8K shooting is limited to 25 fps, the model is a nice alternative to some of DJI’s higher end models.
Water and drones don’t usually mix, but PowerVision’s PowerEgg X Assistant will be happy to get a little wet. The egg’s unique design is encased in a waterproof case, allowing you to fly it in the rain without worrying about it sizzling. It can also land on water, making it ideal for those looking to take some truly impressive landscape shots.
Unfortunately, the waterproof case affects image quality, but it’s worth noting that it can be removed whenever it’s not needed. The model can also be used as a drone, camcorder or standalone AI camera, with all three modes using a 4K camera with 3-axis stabilization, face detection and SyncVoice technology.
AUSTRALIAN RULES ON RECREATIONAL DRONES
Although drones can capture incredible images, it is important to remember that aerial photography can invade the privacy of others and in some circumstances even be dangerous. To keep you and others safe, we have listed the main drone rules for Australians below.
You can also head to the Section Civil Aviation Safety Authority on the Australian Government website for more information.
- You should not fly your drone higher than 120 meters above the ground.
- You must keep your drone at least 30 meters away from other people.
- You must not fly above or above people or in a populated area. This includes beaches, parks, events or sports ovals where a game is in progress.
- Respect the privacy of others. Do not record or photograph people without their consent.
- You must keep your drone within your visual field of vision. This means that you can still see the drone with your own eyes.
- If your drone weighs more than 250 grams, you must fly at least 5.5 kilometers from a controlled airport. You can use a drone safety app to find out where you can and can’t fly.
- You should only fly during the day and not through clouds or fog.
- If you see manned aircraft nearby, you should move away and land your drone as quickly and safely as possible.
- You must not fly your drone over or near an area affecting public safety or where emergency operations are in progress.
- If you intend to fly your drone for or at work (for commercial purposes), you must follow additional rules. You will also need to register your drone and obtain a license or accreditation.
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Lauren is the Best Of Consumer Technology Editor at news.com.au. Previously, she worked at comparison site Finder as a senior shopping writer, where she reported on everything from tech gadgets to the latest home products. Before cutting her teeth as a journalist, she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of South Australia and worked as a media adviser for JB Hi-Fi where she sold the very products she writes about now. .