Best Camera drone 2021 • 7 Camera drones Reviews
Drones are among the most recent innovations in the world of technology and mechanics. A few years ago, these devices caught everyone’s attention because of how strange it was to see them taking to the skies and flying over our heads, remotely controlled—like children’s toys!
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What is a camera drone and how does it work?
This type of drone stands out from other models because it is equipped with photo and video cameras. In that regard, we can give them the same technical definition as any other drone: small, crewless, and remotely controlled aircraft. Doesn’t that make you think of children’s RC cars?
This type of drone was designed to feature a camera that would allow the user to capture aerial imagery wherever the drone travels. This means that you can see everything the drone sees in real time or photos. In many cases, this can give you a peek of places you cannot physically access due to harsh terrain. Our guide and test should help you to form an opinion about camera drones and find the best one for you.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Camera Drones
Before you decide whether or not to buy one of these devices, have a look at their pros and cons. Comparing them will help you resolve any remaining doubts so you can feel confident in your opinion when making your purchase.
- Multiple uses and applications
- Very affordable prices available
- Technology constantly evolving
- Wide variety of models
- Short flight time
- Complex piloting for beginners
Shopping Criteria for Camera Drones
You should now be more familiar with the main features and technical characteristics of camera drones. In the section below, we will focus on a series of key purchasing criteria that will help you make the best possible decision.
- Intended use
- Flight time
- Radio coverage and transmission range
- Camera resolution
We can consider this criterion to be the most important because it will determine other aspects. Camera drones can be used for many purposes, such as leisure. Photography enthusiasts can use their drones to take pictures and videos of landscapes that are difficult to access or from different perspectives.
On the other hand, things are quite different if you want to use your device for professional purposes, such as security, surveillance, searches, or the like. In that case, you will need a camera with a much higher resolution (particularly for facial recognition). The geolocation technology should also be as precise as possible to provide you with accurate coordinates. In our opinion, you should take your time and think about what requirements you have for the product in order to find the best one for you.
This value represents the autonomy of the camera drone in the air before the battery runs out. The flight time varies a lot, depending on the model you purchase. The most basic and affordable drones offer no more than five minutes of autonomy, while high-end ones can easily reach half an hour or more. Therefore, it is strongly advisable to compare the flight times of different models before purchasing one.
The charging time of the battery is naturally another aspect that you should keep in mind. Just like smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices that run on batteries, it can vary considerably depending on the amperage. The longer the battery takes to be charged, the longer you will wait before using your camera drone.
Radio Coverage and Transmission Range
People tend to confuse these two different concepts. The radio coverage is the distance from which you can pilot your camera drone using the remote control. The transmission range, on the other hand, determines the maximum distance between the drone and the device that receives the live broadcast.
This means that a higher transmission range will allow you to see the images captured by the drone’s camera at a greater distance. It is, in turn, determined by the scope of the Wi-Fi coverage that sends the signal to your receiver. Note that the radio coverage is always superior to the transmission range, both of which can vary from barely 50 meters to over a kilometer.
As you can imagine, the built-in camera is precisely the main feature of this type of drone. Devices without cameras are more intended for entertainment and doing tricks in the air but are not as versatile as the models we discuss in this article. This is why the characteristics of the camera are at least as important as those of the drone itself.
The resolution, for instance, is what allows you to take photos and record videos with greater or lesser sharpness. If you intend to use your camera for more advanced or professional work, you will need to be more careful regarding this aspect. It might be advisable for you to have a look at test photographs or video recordings. Nowadays, certain drones offer 4K camera resolution.
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What are camera drones for?
While the appearance of these devices initially surprised us and was strange to most inexperienced users, their use is now widespread. Drones are instrumental in certain leisure and entertainment activities, allowing us to take photos of beautiful and remote landscapes and locations that are hard-to-reach or inaccessible on foot. They have also become an incredible support tool in many professional fields.
Security and emergency forces use camera drones to scan forests or other areas of rough terrain in search of missing persons. They are used at large public events—sporting, musical, or political, for instance—to monitor behavior or identify potential threats. Camera drones indeed are multifunctional devices. As there is such a broad range of different models, our comparison hopefully helps you find the one for you.
What types of cameras do these drones feature?
Let’s focus on the main feature of these drones: the camera. Since this element is often autonomous and attached to the drone that transports it, it becomes essential to have a closer look at its technical characteristics—independently of the quality of the drone itself.
Drone cameras, like any other video or still camera, have different resolutions, image qualities, recording speeds, editing options, transmission (with or without built-in Wi-Fi for simultaneous video playback), and optical zoom. Prioritize specific features depending on your intended use of the camera. It might also be possible for you to test the camera first or have a look at test footage.
Can I broadcast live videos with my camera drone?
Of course! In fact, this is one of the main functionalities of these drones. The camera records the images it captures and broadcasts them automatically and in real-time to a predetermined electronic device via a Wi-Fi connection. The device that receives the transmission—a smartphone, tablet, or computer, for example—can play it back instantly.
These images can then be stored on the drone’s memory cards or on the devices to which they are sent. They can also be broadcast externally, either through applications or public channels (such as YouTube), or for projection on internal or private circuits (for security and video surveillance).
Who can buy a camera drone?
Up to now, no limitations have been implemented regarding the accessibility of these products. Anyone can technically purchase a drone in physical stores or online, although the general opinion is that its use is not recommended to children under the age of 15 without adult supervision. If you buy a drone for your children, it is advisable that you supervise the runs. There is a risk of losing control of the device and crashing it into people or objects.
Setting this detail aside, we can all enjoy the benefits of camera drones and everything they have to offer: spectacular photos, bird’s-eye-view videos, and audiovisual routes through inaccessible places, for instance. It is the responsibility of each user to operate their camera drone appropriately. Note that there are regulations regarding the use of drones in the United States.
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