Last Updated on August 7, 2020
Drones with Cameras
Aerial UAV Filming and Photography
Are you ready to capture images and video far beyond what you thought was possible ?
Well If you are then a drone is a great addition to your filming arsenal. Not only will it provide you with a platform for new levels of creativity but it will also allow you to be one of the first in the field using advanced drones for filming. Once you think of the possibilities it will be easy to make a decision to make this one of your new hobbies. All of these drones are GPS stabilized which means control is easy and doesn’t require any special skill. Professionals photographers will get a valuable tool that will help them with work opportunities. Hobbyists will have a remote quadcopter that can film where they live, their holidays, weddings, party’s and anything else you can think of.
Whatever your reasons be one of the first to take to the skys, its just the beginning.
Lets take a Look at how drones with cameras are being used for filming today…
So which drone is right for you ?
The things to consider when choosing your drone is your budget against the quality of picture produced. The more professional multi-rotor drones allow for you to add your own digital video equipment to the undercarriage. These are priced quite a bit more than the models such as the Phantom Vision 2 Plus but may be the best solution for people who want to utilise thier existing equipment. The S1000 and EVO S900 are multi rotor drones that fit this category.
Based on the above information here we list the Top Ten best multirotor Drones for Filming including Hexacopters, Quadcopters & Octocopters. We have tried to include a broad range of drones catering for all budgets and have a great time testing these.This list is in no particular order.
The Best Multi Rotor UAV Drones for Aerial Filming & Photography
DJI Inspire 4K – The First 4K Filming Drone
The Inspire from DJI is a professional camera drone. It has been designed to provide a stable platform for high quality detailed video that is production quality. We recommend this drone for professional filming and the footage it produces is commonly used on TV
DJI 4K Phantom Vision 4
The Phantom Vision 4 is oneof the newest drones out and follows on from the sucess of the Phantom Vision 2 & 3. If you want hight quality video around a $1000 budget then this is the quadcopter to get. Easy for people to learn and great results.
DJI Spreading Wings S900 Professional Hexacopter
The newest drone from DJI is the the S900, its sturdy and has very good stability and strength. It can be ready to go within a few minutes and you can be up in the air in no time. Its very light and easy to transport, its the only hexacopter that is this quick to setup. Paied with a Panasonic Lumix GH4 Hybrid you can have the one of the best combinations out today at a resonable price.
DJI Phantom Vision 3 Plus – 4K Footage On A Budget
The Phantom Vision 3 is one of the best drones for starting out with. If you dont want to shell out over $1000 on a drone but still want to capture incredible production ready footage then this is the drone you will want. Easy to learn, brilliant camera and excellent support makes this one of the best in class.
3DR SOLO Quadcopter – Add Your Own 4k Action Camera
The 3DR Solo has quickly become one of the highest rated quadcopters. The 3DR does not come with a built in camera, instead you are able to connect almost any action camera you want to its under carriage. This means when the 8K actions cameras come out, you will not have to upgrade your drone!
DJI S1000 Octacopter
If you are a true professional and you want the best from aerial filming then this is the camera drone you want. . Because this is a Ocotocopter it is able to carry a lot more weight than your typical quadcopter. what this means is you can mount your own professional camera equipment on it and produce quality films and photography that is impossible without a helicopter or plane.
DJI Phantom Vision 2 Plus – Easy, Effective & Safe
For semi professionals who want to add a bit more to their repertoire this is ideal. Its a lot less expensive that the S1000 and comes with everything ready to go straight out of the box. If you feel that 1080P 60fps footage is good enough for your needs then this is probably the quacopter you want. Great Gimbal camera, easy to control and smooth footage make this a great buy for many people. We would say this is the Best quadcopter available at the moment due to its price and functionality.
DJI EVO S800 – Your Aerial Camera Platform
The Evo S800 is the smaller brother of the S1000, it is a hexacopter which means it can still carry your professional video camera equipment. This is ideal if you are looking for professional video footage and a reduced cost.
DJI Phantom 2 with Zenmuse H3-3d 3-axis Gimbal
If you already own a gopro camera then the Phantom Vision 2 with a Zenmuse gimbal mount may just be the best solution for you. Its controls and the way it works is the same as the Vision 2 plus but you sacrifice the ability to see FPV via live stream. For action work where you will always have the quad in close proximity this is the best solution especially if you fit it with a GoPro HERO3: Black Edition which will give you 120FPS recordings.
DJI Phantom Vision 2 – No Gimbal But Great Value
The difference between the Vision 2 and the Vision 2 Plus is the Gimbal camera. Because the Vision 2 does not have a Gimbal camera it is cheaper than the plus. Everything else performs the same as the plus. Many people choose this and tend to stabilize their video on programs such as “sony vegas“. The Phamtom vision 2 is also comes with the same apps for FPV as the plus.
Walkera GPS QR X800 Carbon AR drone
With a range of up to 2KM this quadcopter is great for capturing video at great heights. Again you can use your Gopro hero and still do FPV with the optional DEVO F12 controller. This has retractable legs to ensure greater stability while flying which allows for smooth video. If you are looking for a FPV solution along with the superior film quality of the Gopro Hero then this is a good fit for you.
DJI Phantom FC40 – Best Value Aerial Filming
Drones with Cameras: Transforming the Landscape of Filming and Just About Anything Else
Drones have been around for quite some time, but those aimed at the consumer market is fairly recent and improving each year. What started out as toys evolved into tools for aerial photographers and videographers. Now, we’re seeing really sophisticated programmable aircrafts. And all of that we’ve seen in the span of just five years.
Simply browsing the internet for drone videos will give you an idea of its many uses, from getting an up close and personal view of an erupting volcano to the more mischievous vandalizing of Kendall Jenner’s Calvin Klein billboard in the busy intersection of Houston St and Lafayette St in New York City.
Truly, camera-equipped unmanned aerial vehicles have been making waves in recent years. Frequently over the past years, we’ve been hearing news about the different ways multi-rotor drones like quadcopters have been used to film various subjects: waterfalls, disaster surveys and marine creatures – just to name a few.
Whether for purely aesthetics or in the name of science, it’s become clear that the impact of drones will only strengthen in the coming years. While the recent US drone strike in Pakistan has received some backlash, others have found more creative and innovative ways to use drones in a more positive light like using drones to retrace the movements of dinosaurs around Australia.
While Amazon and the FAA continue to argue about drone technology being used to deliver packages to customers, we’ll be content with whatever aerial videographers and photographers, as well as those in other fields use drones for.
Multi-Rotor Drones and Filming
The use of multi-rotor drones in filming is wide and varied.
In Canada, a remotely-operated hexacopter nicknamed Mobly was used to observe the health and habits of killer whales living off the coast of Vancouver, BC. These whales are considered endangered and threatened and every time Chinook salmon populations decline, scientists observe that whale populations decrease as well.
Scientists wanted to find out whether malnutrition played a part in the deaths of the whales. They could have used manned helicopters for the study, but those are huge and noisy which could distract the whales. Plus, it couldn’t get close ups because it needs to fly high.
That problem was addressed by Mobly, a handheld camera drone built by Lance Barrett-Lennard (one of the scientists involved in the study) and colleagues at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Not only is Mobly small and remotely operated, it just produces 38 decibels of noise.
Through Mobly, the team were able to capture footage of killer whales and separate individual whales from the other through the scars and scratches made more visible thanks to the drone. Also, they were able to identify pregnant whales.
Through the captured video, scientists can identify the most important salmon runs to better help the whales.
Other than making difficult tasks more simple, drones have also been used to film dangerous situations, for example volcano exploration. Given their fiery temperament, it’s quite difficult for humans to go on physically exploring volcanoes to get a better understanding of them. But thanks to technology-assisted exploration, scientists now have a way to film a volcano’s crater by remotely flying a craft over it. Although, explorations like these do result in the casualty of drones, it’s less hazardous for human life.
The use of camera-equipped drones also present lots of unique opportunities for filmmakers. One example of this was the use of a camera-carrying drone that filmed around Los Angeles to recreate the same footage featured in Man of Steel. Thanks to drones, aerial shots and crane shots become a whole lot easier.
Pilot-less aircrafts can change the face of documentary filmmaking as well. Eric Cheng of DJI, a company that produces drones, was able to capture an aerial shot of an erupting volcano in Iceland. Capturing that with a human camera operator would’ve been too dangerous and life threatening, but with a drone, all that beautiful footage was filmed from a safe distance. In other words, drones can go places people couldn’t get to.
High-Quality Drone Cinematography
Of course, drone cinematography won’t look great unless a high-quality camera is used. Since 4K has been making a buzz in the handheld camera market to capture creative and innovative videos and photos, it was just a matter of time before the technology made its way to drones.
And that it did.
The Inspire 1 is the world’s first 4K camera drone and it was unveiled at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The drone was created by Hong Kong-based company DJI and is targeted at filmmakers who want high-quality footage but at pocket-friendly prices.
Apart from the Inspire 1 drone, DJI has also released a more recent 4K drone, the Phantom 3 Professional. It provides 4K video at 30fps/12-megapixel and can be used to livestream footage to your mobile device.
But if you still find the price of 4K drones a little bit too steep, you can opt for a 4K camera like the GoPro Hero4 and strap it on to any commercial drone available in the market. It may not be the real deal, but it sure can help you create stunning aerial videos at less the cost – just ask those who strapped a GoPro onto an eagle and let it fly across the Chamonix Valley of France’s Mer de Glace.
Other drones that can support a GoPro camera include:
- Iris+ by 3D Robotics
- 200 QX by Blade
- QR X350 by Walkera
- Vortex by com
Also cameras like the Phantom Flex 4K have also been successfully flown up in a drone and the results were stunning. Yes, 4K camera drones can cause a dent in your bank account, but there are also other multi-rotor drones capable of carrying 4K cameras that give you the same pleasure for a little less cash.
Other Camera Drones at Work
The drone market is continually evolving with a different news about drones being published on a weekly or monthly basis. Here’s a brief look into the recent happenings involving drones at work:
- In Norway, researchers are using drones to measure the effects of climate change.
- The Syrian Airlift Project intends to use drones to fly food and medicine into war-torn areas of Syria.
- Swiss WorldCargo and Swiss Post will work with Matternet to test delivery drones.
As you can see, drones aren’t just useful in innovating the art of film making, but it has some practical, useful and even scientific applications as well.