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Drones have become a popular phenomenon and more people are developing an interest in purchasing them and exploring the amazing features that they have to offer. But the biggest nightmare is being able to pick out the best among the many models on offer in the market and making the right purchase decision.
Different types of drones exist, ranging from low-cost quadcopters to more costly professional drones. Having a good understanding of each of these drones will aid you in a big way to get your desired drone. In this review, we will relay to you all there is to know about drones to help you make an informed purchase decision.
Below is a detailed exposition of the top 10 best Drones in 2018. Check this out.
Best Drones 2018
Scroll the table right & left
|DRONE NAME||CAMERA||FLIGHT TIME||BATTERY||DRONE TYPE|
|DJI MAVIC PRO STANDARD BUNDLE||GIMBAL STABILIZED 12MP/4K CAMERA||UP TO 27 MINS||3830 mAh||QUADCOPTER|
|DJI SPARK FLY MORE COMBO ALPINE WHITE||12MP STILL PHOTO/1080P VIDEO||UP TO 16 MINS||2970 mAh||QUADCOPTER|
|DJI PHANTOM 3 PROFESSIONAL||DCI 4K/12MP CAMERA||UP TO 23 MINS||4480 mAh||QUADCOPTER|
|YUNEEC Q500 4K TYPHOON QUADCOPTER DRONE||UHD 4K30 VIDEO/12MP STILL PHOTO||UP TO 25 MINS||5400 mAh||QUADCOPTER|
|THE YUNEEC TYPHOON H HEXACOPTER||4K VIDEO/ 12MP STILL PHOTO||UP TO 22 MINS||5400 mAh||HEXACOPTER|
|DJI INSPIRE 2 PREMIUM COMBO||5.2K VIDEO/20.8MP STILL PHOTO||UP TO 27 MINS||4280 mAh||QUADCOPTER|
|DJI INSPIRE 1 V2.0 RAW QUADCOPTER||DCI 4K VIDEO/16MP STILL PHOTO||UP TO 18 MINS||4500 mAh||QUADCOPTER|
|GOPRO KARMA QUADCOPTER||4K30 VIDEO/12MP PHOTO||UP TO 20 MINS||5100 mAh||QUADCOPTER|
|WALKERA TALI H500 HEXACOPTER||3-AXIS GIMBAL CAMERA||UP TO 25 MINS||5400 mAh||HEXACOPTER|
|DJI MATRICE 600 PRO HEXACOPTER||ZENMUSE CAMERAS AND GIMBALS||UP TO 35 MINS||4500 mAh||HEXACOPTER|
Toy drones are cheap and come without a camera. Their price range is below $20. Drones with more features such as live video and a color screen attached on the remote control and longer flight times have a higher price range roughly close to or over $100.
Low-cost drones need a USB recharge after a 10-minute flight. It takes about 60 minutes to do a full recharge. They can fly up to 100 m high. Drones with a small size and a lightweight tend to be blown around by the wind. It’s advisable to fly them on windless days.
Big-size drones are more expensive, with their prices ranging to over $15,000. They fly miles high, with a battery life of up to 25 minutes before getting recharged.
Not all drones have cameras and you don’t really need them since you’re flying them at a visible range. Good quality footage is available for drones with a gimbal which stabilizes the camera when the drone moves around.
Recording video is always directed to a USB drive or microSD. Some, however, record directly to a smart phone or remote control.
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Having this in mind, here’s a list of the 10 best drones that you can purchase in 2018.
The DJI Mavic Pro is a compact quadcopter that is sharp, responsive, and produces high-resolution images. It has an advanced Flight Control System with several sensors including GPS, ultrasound, a camera facing the ground, dual redundant IMUs, among others that track its flight position and prevent collisions.
The Mavic Pro Standard Bundle works hand-in-hand with the DJI GO Mobile app to access settings, view a low-latency video feed, get a telemetry readout, edit and share your footage.
In addition to using the joystick, a tap-based command is also available to fly the drone. It can also capture gestures and take selfies.
The drone has an advanced power management, an enhanced propelling system, and custom-made batteries with a high energy density which give it a longer flight time, up to 27 minutes in perfect conditions and 21 minutes for regular flights.
The long range OcuSync transmission technology transmits a signal 4.3 miles high while supporting for a short range 720p Video and 1080p transmission. As you fly the drone, the OcuSync pinpoints available frequencies and works with the one having minimal interference to offer more control and reliability.
There’s a strong integration between the DJI GO app and the OcuSync which allows for the real-time transfer of important drone statistics to you. It can also serve as image and video downloads at 40Mbps while in flight.
The camera uses advanced motors and three specially reduced brushless motors to aid it to move in the opposite direction of the drone, therefore eliminating any unwanted movement to produce a smooth video.
The camera shoots 4K video at 30fps and Full HD 1080p at 96fps allowing it to project a slow motion. It has a minimum focus distance of 19” giving it excellent performance in taking landscape shots and aerial selfies. It can also do a 90-degree flip for portrait shots.
ActiveTrack allows the drone to track someone or something without the aid of transmitters and GPS. The Mavic Pro is programmed to identify and distinguish people, vehicles, and animals. Once the intended subject is identified, you can fly around it to take as many shots as you desire to depend on the set mode.
There are three modes available: The trace mode which allows the drone to follow the subject in front or behind or circle around it while it moves. The profile mode allows the drone to fly side by side with the subject, while the spotlight mode keeps the camera focused on the subject as you fly from any position.
Every image captured by the drone can have a size-range of up to 12 megapixels and can be saved in a JPEG or DNG format.
You can take a natural selfie without the aid of the phone or the controller. Set the drone to Gesture Mode and walk in front of it. Make a hand movement to make it follow you. Once you’re ready, create a box shape with your fingers. The light below the drone’s front arms starts flashing, giving you a three second preparation period to pose before taking the photo.
The Tripod Mode limits the drone’s maximum speed at 2.2mph. The remote control stick is dulled to provide you with accuracy for perfect framing. It also works well when flying indoors or on limited spaces.
Flight Anatomy is the drone’s brain. It is a multifaceted software and hardware network with five cameras, ultrasonic range finders, redundant sensors, GPS/GLONASS, and a collection of 24 CPUs that process and link together all this data.
The Mavic can accurately position itself in a variety of environments through the use of optical flow technology which banks on a single camera facing down with the assumption that the ground is always level.
It has the ability to sense its environment in 3D and respond to it, making sure that it steadily hovers, regardless of whether it is on the cliff’s side where lower sensors have no target, or below a canopy of the forest where there’s no satellite positioning with the ground covered with potholes and irregular markings.
Precise landing technology ensures that the drone lands exactly where it took off. Each time you take off to fly, the two vision sensors facing down record a video of the ground and pair it with satellite coordinates. When landing time comes, it returns to the same coordinate, matches the video, and lands back to the initial takeoff position.
While the drone is flying, it scans the environment surrounding it and creates a 3D map to direct it where to fly and what to avoid. It can be able to see the range of 98’ in front and can precisely measure the distance to a range of 49’ in front. This is more accurate compared to sonar-based evasion technologies.
When an obstacle is detected, and a way round is established, it diverts and flies around it. If there’s no way around detected, it slows and stops and hovers until you give it the next instruction.
Obstacle avoidance is kept active for each Intelligent Flight Mode, alongside each ActiveTrack mode, Terrain Follow, and TapFly. When set to Automatic Return to Home, it similarly switches on, making the drone fly back to you without crashing on anything. Avoidance works best at 22mph flying speed.
Sports Mode gives the drone 40mph top speed as it boosts alertness and responsiveness. It works well when shooting something fast. The drone stops immediately when you release the controls.
The Mavic Pro makes use of its compass to direct it and the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to inform it about how it’s flying. Data flow interruption from the two may result in an unsteady flight. The drone has two of each, so that in case of inconsistency in one, it switches to the next, maintaining a steady reliable flight.
When flying over a changing landscape, the drone’s Terrain Follow Function makes use of height data collected by the on-board ultrasonic system and the cameras facing down to maintain the same flying height as the ground moves. Set the desired height from the ground and work on getting a good shot.
DJI GO Mobile app is the drone’s control center. When your phone is connected to the drone, it displays everything seen by the camera in almost real-time. You can set and frame every shot perfectly. The app also provides full camera manual controls for videos and photos, including shutter, ISO, and file format. It also allows for drone tuning to enable you to fly it as per your preference.
You can fly the Mavic Pro by using your phone only with a virtual joystick and still have complete access to all Intelligent Flight Modes such as Spotlight, Trace, Profile, TapFly, and Circle.
A simple tap on your phone’s screen is translated by the software into a heading, defining whether you want to ascend or descend. To change direction, elsewhere on the screen and the drone will easily divert to a different destination.
Easy video editing tasks, automatic video editing frameworks, and simple image and video management interlink the necessary tools needed to create classic videos using your phone.
FPV has DJI Goggles that function to make flying more exciting. The two 1080p LTPS displays have a wide 85° view angle, availing you with a bird’s eye view point of the surrounding environment. Inbuilt OcuSync connectivity ensures a direct link to the drone in the absence of Wi-Fi or a cable link with the controller.
The Intelligent Flight Battery has a linked battery management system that evaluates different aspects such as power consumption, pending voltage, temperature, among other things to determine pending flight time to accurately predict landing time.
There are also several established safety mechanisms to avert over draining and overcharging, which can permanently destroy a LiPo battery. These batteries only need to be maintained at 50% charge while storing them in the long term. More or less of that would result in permanent damage.
When not in use, DJI Intelligent Flight Batteries drain power up to 50% to maintain proper functionality. Low-temperature protection activates in extremely cold environments. This keeps propelling power under control based on the battery’s temperature, ensuring that only a battery that’s fully warmed-up can provide full power.
The DJI Mavic Pro is a brilliant drone will all the desired features packaged into it. From exceptional Flight Time to Obstacle Detection to longer battery time to remote control and virtual joystick control, this drone is a perfect choice.
Though a bit expensive, it’s worth every buck you invest on it. If you’re shopping for quality and excellence, then the DJI Mavic Pro Standard Bundle is the way to go.
The Spark Fly More Combo brings together the Alpine White Spark quadcopter and the Remote Controller, propeller hubs and extra spare propellers, a charging hub and a power supply, and an extra flight battery.This drone is exceptional with excellent features and offers dynamic shots.
The Spark Fly More Combo has a 2-axis camera stabilized by gimbal with a 1.2/3” CMOS sensor that enables capturing 12MP still images and record Full HD 1080p30 videos. The UltraSmooth technology and the 2-axis mechanical gimbal greatly minimize rolling shutter and shake effect to maintain stable shots.
The camera has a f/2.6 aperture lens with a wide-angle featuring a 25mm corresponding focal length for a wide view angle. The drone captures vertical and horizontal scenes by automatically adjusting its heading and gimbal.
3D Vision technology facilitates capturing of images that have a shallow depth of field.The photo modes available include (AEB) Auto Exposure Bracketing, 3-Frame Burst Shooting, Single Shot, 20 to 60 Seconds Intervals.
Connecting to mobile devices at a 1.2 mile far off distance is made possible through Wi-Fi. It supports 2.4 and 5.8G signals to ensure consistency in a crowded spectrum. You can also have a live video feed of up to 720p resolution.
The Fly More Combo has the ability to accurately position itself in a wide array of environments through the use of basic optical flow technology. It relies on a single camera facing down and assumes that the ground is always level.
It senses its world in 3D and responds to it steadily hovers regardless of whether it’s below a forest canopy with no satellite positioning access, or above a cliff’s side where lower sensors have no target.
The drone uses FaceAware to lift from your hand through face recognition. It flies and hovers seconds after powering on. It also receives instructions using hand gestures to move and capture images. It can also fly off from and land on your palm.
Through the Rocket Mode where the drone ascends while the camera points down, the Dronie Mode where it flies upward and backward with the camera focused on the subject, the Circle Mode where it circles around the subject, and the Helix Mode where it flies up in a spiral pattern around the subject, you can create high standard real videos.
ActiveTrack enables the drone to track a subject without the aid of a GPS or transmitter. It is trained to recognize subjects such as vehicles, people, and animals.
A simple tap on your phone’s screen is translated by the software into a heading, distinguishing whether you want an ascent or descent, a change of direction. Another tap on a different part of the screen translates to a new turn in a different direction.
Sports mode gives the drone a 31mph top speed as it becomes more alert and responsive. It is great for filming fast moving subjects. There is a rapid stop when you release the controls.
Flight Autonomy System entails the main camera, 3D Object Sensing, a high precision IMU, GPS, a 24-core controller, and a Vision Positioning System (VPS). They enable the drone to accurately hover anywhere, sense obstacles up to 15’ away, have the VPS assistance at 98’, and land safely.
The drone returns to the initial point of takeoff and land smoothly through GPS. This happens automatically when the battery is low, controller signal gets lost, or upon pressing the Return to Home (RTH) button. It senses and moves around obstacles while it returns.
DJI’s GEO System informs you of areas where drone flights are a security concern for instance stadiums and airports.
The Wi-Fi and remote controller operate on 5.8 and 2.4GHz frequency ranges. The system can make use of the uncrowded 5.8GHz range if the 2.4GHz range is crowded.
There’s an aerodynamic profile that enables a smooth flight with minimal wind resistance. Keeping the aircraft and gimbal level enhances performance and stability. This allows for strong wind flights and attaining a 31mph top speed in Sports Mode.
FPV is automatically enabled in Sports Mode making the camera move with you during a flight. You can pair the drone with a separate DJI Goggle for superior performance.
The DJI GO 4 app has automatic editing templates with a wide range of filters to enable you to quickly edit and share videos on social platforms.
A high-energy-density LiPo flight battery is used to bring out the best performance. A safe flight is assured through 12 intelligent protection functions. The battery also makes an estimate of the remaining time and informs you of the landing time in real-time.
The drone’s battery charging hub works alongside the Spark Intelligent Flight Battery. Three Intelligent Flight Batteries can be charged sequentially or simultaneously by it. Charging is enhanced on the basis of the battery’s cell voltage and power level.
Charging current is limited in the event of low battery temperatures, prolonging the battery’s life and preventing a hazard.
The Spark Fly More Combo 4730 Fast Release Folding Propellers have a folding design to minimize the drone’s size for transport. The fast release mechanism allows for a fast and easy swap of the propellers.
The Prop Guard protects the drone’s propeller blades when a collision or crash happens.
The Intelligent Flight Battery has a 1480mAh capacity which enables up to 16 minute flight time depending on flight speed, weather condition, and power level. It’s a lightweight easy to carry a battery that is easy to install.
The Fly More Combo is an exemplary drone with exceptional features and brilliant performance. It works well even in strong winds, has gimbal for steady camera shots, has propeller protection in case of a collision, has obstacle detection to prevent crashing, has a GO 4 app for easy editing and sharing of videos, it gives you value for money.
If you’re shopping for a small size, more features, and great image quality, then the DJI Spark Fly More Combo is the best choice to consider.
The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is an excellent drone that comes with a 4K camera and an integrated 3-axis gimbal system. The camera is able to shoot still photos up to 12MP in JPEG or DNG RAW format. The 3-axis gimbal offers pan and tilt control and maintains an even horizon line.
Gimbal settings allow camera locking on a fixed subject, manual movement via transmitter rotaries and camera stabilization.
The Main Controller is the computerized flight control system’s brain that processes and analyzes flight data in real-time. It does data collection in the whole system including the GPS location, automatic sensors, and motor speed, and does an analysis to instruct the drone on how to behave in different scenarios.
Due to the complexity of the drone depends on a GPS-based system of navigation to ensure flight stability and offer more features. GPS assisted mode offer smooth shots compared to manual operation.
There’s an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that makes use of a 6-axis gyroscope and an accelerometer track the smallest tilt and change in acceleration. The data is then transmitted to the Main Controller to help in retaining a stable flight.
There are 4 Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs) transmit important motor speed data to the Main Controller and send back commands to the motors depending on your input. This communication ensures the drone’s stable flight and works to achieve gentle pans and rapid acceleration flight movements.
Vision Positioning System uses a unique camera coupled with sonic waves to offer a stable function indoors or near the ground like GPS does outdoors. It enables the drone to keep its location, be responsive to pilot commands in the absence of GPS and stop upon releasing controls.
One tap on the pilot app turns the drone’s motors on and raise them to a pre-determined level making it hover in place without motion until you direct its movement.
The Phantom 3 recalls the takeoff point when GPS is on. A simple button tap makes its return to the takeoff point.
In the event that the controller loses a signal, the Return to Home function takes over. The drone ascends to 60ft and then takes a straight-line movement back to the predefined home position.
The Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) functions to enhance a natural flying experience. Technically, the yaw control allows for a continuous drone rotation which sometimes becomes confusing and mixes up controls. IOC prevents this situation from happening.
The camera system has video recording up to 4K30 and also takes 12MP DNG RAW and JPEG photos. There’s a 3-axis gimbal that’s incorporated offer camera stability, tilt, and pan control. The recording is done on a microSD card. The camera also has a 94° view angle lens for minimal distortion and capturing established shots. The lens has a f/2.8 aperture.
The gimbal offers stability by offsetting unwanted motion such as vibrations and rocking the wind and maintains a level horizon for the drone. Control dials on the radio controller enable manual tilting and panning of the camera.
The app allows for a live 720HD image view on IOS and Android mobile devices and also facilitates full camera control, allowing you to set limits such as shutter speed, ISO, camera tilt, white balance, and video start and stop. Tethering is also available to allow USB transmission on the mobile devices.
Photos and videos can be directly downloaded to the phone after recording for editing and sharing on social media platforms while the drone is still flying in the air. An internet connection will allow for live streaming on YouTube.
There’s a flight simulator that allows for practice before flying. The flight log allows past flight review of the time, videos, and photos were taken.
The Phantom 3 Professional is by far an exceptional drone with excellent features and great performance. It has good compatibility with mobile devices and is quite simple to use. The only downside is the low storage memory and small battery life which you can always recharge and reuse. All in all this drone cuts out in competition and is high ranking.
If you’re shopping for quality, loads of features, brilliant performance, and value for money, then the DJI Phantom 3 Professional is the best option to consider.
The Yuneec Q500 Typhoon Quadcopter is an outstanding drone with a CGO3-GB Camera, Camera Aluminum Case, a steady grip, and a radio controller. It is designed for Aerial Photography and Video (APV). The CGO3-GB Camera has a 3-axis gimbal stabilization and records 4K UHD video at 30fps and 1080p video recording is up to 120 fps and 12MP still image capture.
It also comes with an ST10+ Personal Ground Station, 5.8 video receiver, a 10 channel 2.4 GHz transmitter all in a single handheld unit. It has an inbuilt Android mobile device with a 5.5” touchscreen giving you a First Person View (FPV) video shoot from the camera. There is also superimposed telemetry data.
It has two flight batteries 5400mAh offering up to 25 minutes flying time depending on the weather.
The CGO3-GB combines a 3-Axis Brushless gimbal and a 12MP 4K camera to become one unit that serves to shoot stable aerial images and videos. The camera also shoots slow motion at 120 frames per second in 1080p, 60p, 50p, and 48p.
There’s an inbuilt microphone for audio recording that can be switched on and off through the mobile app or ST10+.
Images can be captured in DNG RAW or JPEG formats. You can also take photos as you record a video. The camera has a 5.8GHz Wi-Fi link integrated that allows you to view and operate from the 5.5” touchscreen via the ST10+ Personal Ground Station. Pairing with a mobile device is also possible through a mobile app.
The ST10+ or app provides control over the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, and resolution. A holder to mount the smartphone on the ST10+ is also available.
The camera has a 130° wide angle FOV lens supported by a gimbal. High-quality images and videos are recorded on the 128GB microSD card.
The ground station system and the hand-held radio controller merge into a single device featuring the 10-channel ST10+. It has a 2.4GHz transmitter for the drone’s joystick operation. There’s also a 5.8GHz range receiver that facilitates an effective camera video feed plus telemetry data.
The drone’s flight computer can access a database with listed FAA restricted flying areas such as airports. The maximum flying altitude can be set to stay below 400’ above ground level.
There’s a Smart Mode that uses GPS to create a 26’ Safe Circle surrounding the pilot. Joystick dependency is maintained to ensure that the drone moves in the same direction that the joystick is pressed regardless of the quadcopter’s positioning.
A virtual barrier sets a 300’ maximum radius to ensure the quadcopter is always on sight while flying.
Angle Mode is improved for the more skilled pilots using the Q500 for aerial photography. It offers more control and, pitch angles, and a steeper bank allowing for a wider array of more shots.
The Home Mode feature is activated by flipping a switch on the ST10+ which then automatically triggers the drone to fly back to the home point and have a 10’ and from the initial takeoff point. If the drone loses the transmitter signal, Return Home takes control and flies it back to the home point. Proper GPS tuning is necessary to for proper functioning of this feature.
The CGO3 SteadyGrip transforms the gimbal and CGO3-GB camera stabilized handheld mini-rig. There’s a smartphone holder for Android and IOS devices with a 6.4” screen allowing you to operate camera settings and watch a live feed using the app.
The gimbal moves via a rail attachment for easy setup and gains its power from 6 AA batteries located at the base. The handgrip’s top has a pitch control roller that allows manual camera tilt adjustment while shooting.
The Q500 4K Typhoon is an excellent drone with exceptional features. It has a 25 minute flight time, 3-Axis gimbal camera stabilizer, a Home Mode for easy return to the takeoff point in the event of a lost signal, an inbuilt microphone for audio recording, a virtual barrier to keep it in sight, a flight computer with an AA database for restricted flight areas, the list goes on and on.
By far this drone offers value for money by the many features and exceptional video and image quality it relays. If you’re shopping for top-notch performance, look no further, the Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter Drone is the option to go for.
The Yuneec Typhoon H Hexacopter is a one of a kind drone that runs on RealSense Intel Technology for superior independent flying. This navigating aid captures the surrounding in 3D to aid in evading obstacles and offer positioning data in the event of limited or unavailable GPS.
The drone has a GCO3+ 4K gimbal stabilized camera with a 12MP still mode, making it effective for all types of aerial imaging. The rotor design offers a great flight stability and more accurate control in comparison with 4 rotor systems. This also implies that a single motor’s failure won’t be disastrous.
Landing gear retracts during flight eliminating obstruction during a 360-degree shoot. Folding motor arms and parts made of carbon fiber minimize the drone’s profile and weight allowing easy transport.
It also comes fitted with an ST16 smart transmitter, a Wand Wizard Controller, 2 flight batteries, and a soft backpack.
The Intel RealSense Technology helps the drone to fly independently, navigating intelligently around objects and enhancing safety and creativity.
The R200 Intel RealSense Camera coupled with the Intel Atom Module function perfectly with the flight control’s firmware to enhance intelligent obstacle navigation.
The dedicated cameras and sensors enable the system to map and learn the environment in 3D, identifying obstacles, mapping out an alternative route, and piloting around it.
There are sensors facing downwards that enhance stability, allowing for indoor and outdoor flights when it’s near the ground, even when GPS reception is poor.
The drone also recalls objects evaded previously for future reference.
The NO Fly Zone feature sets the drone’s ceiling flight at 400’over the ground at the point of takeoff. This ensures compliance with FAA operational guidelines. Geo-Fencing can be activated to limit flight patterns, maintaining the hexacopter’s flight within a predefined flight radius.
The Typhoon H’s Home Mode allows it to fly back and land 26’ perimeter near you.
The Point-of-Interest (POI) locks the drone in a circular track within the takeoff point. This mode functions well to create a circular tracking shot and offers a bird's eye view. The camera also moves independently.
The drone flies in a circular motion around you, training the camera on you for that whole period. This is the same as POI with the exception that it locks on the pilot instead of the object.
The Typhoon H flies up to 150’ up and captures excellent aerial selfies. It also flies between predetermined coordinates as it independently controls the camera’s position.
The Watch Me feature ensures that the drone will remain in a single place and keep the camera always pointed at you anywhere you go. The Follow Me feature, on the other hand, instructs the drone to maintain the camera’s position on you while moving along with you.
The ST16 handheld radio controller Personal ground Station Transmitter is combined with the ground station system in one device with the ST16 16-channel. It has a 2.4 GHz transmitter to operate the drone’s joystick.
There’s also a 5.8GHz range receiver for the camera’s video feed plus telemetry data. An inbuilt Android device with the 7” touchscreen is available for the ground station function.
The 7” inbuilt First Person View Display allows you to view a live feed with a 720p resolution display. It also displays telemetry data such as GPS coordinates, battery life, and altitude from the flight controller. You can also access settings through the touchscreen interface.
The CGO3+ brings together a 12MP 4K camera and a brushless 3-Axis gimbal into one unit that functions to capture stable aerial videos and still photos.
The camera also comes with a 5.8GHz video link for the live view and remote operation which facilitates viewing and operation from the ST16 Personal Ground Station’s 7” touchscreen. The mobile app downloadable from iTunes and Google Play allows for the mobile device pairing.
The Wizard Wand is a TV controller with a remote style used alongside the ST16 to create superior photos and videos as one operator pilots the drone and the other operates the camera.
The Typhoon H has six rotors on it. In the event of one rotor failing, the drone will not stall. Upon detecting a motor failure, the flight controller adjusts parameters to compensate for it. Movement and performance will be tremendously reduced. You can, however, land it safely.
During a flight, the landing gear retracts, giving the camera a clear unobstructed 360° shooting.
There are quick disconnect propellers for a fast breakdown. Each rotor folds down to the resting position on the drone for a more dense profile, allowing easy transport.
The carbon fiber parts are widely used to increase durability and decrease weight.
The Typhoon H Hexacopter integrates most of the required features needed in a drone for superior functionality. The Intel RealSense Technology allows for independent flying, intelligent navigation, and creativity. The 3-Axis Gimbal stabilizes the camera for better shots. It has a 4K camera for high-resolution images and videos. It has 6 rotors which in the event of a failure keep the drone stable and allow for a safe landing.
This drone is by far exceptional and has superior functionality. If you’re shopping for great performance at a fairly small price, then the Yuneec Typhoon H Hexacopter is the option to consider.
The DJI Inspire 2 is a brilliant drone with classic features. It comes with a Zenmuse X5S gimbal camera with a Micro 4/3 sensor. Apple ProRes and CinemaDNG RAW licenses have been pre-installed, facilitating the recording of 4K and 5.2K videos in post-friendly low-compression formats.
All the important items for the drone are included: A transmitter controller, two batteries and a charger, a calibration plate, extra propellers and a carry case for storage
The Inspire 2 Quadcopter’s Magnesium-aluminum-clad is an exceptional photographic tool that combines the drone with the X4S and X5S gimbal cameras to create cinema-grade images that are recordable at high bit rates in H.264 and H.265 formats, and in the case of X5R, different flavors of CinemaDNG raw and Apple ProRes that use the required licenses.
The main features and technical characteristics of the DJI Inspire 2 Premium Combo include:
The DJI Zenmuse X5S keeps track of highly professional aerial imaging. It is equipped with a Micro 4/3 sensor and has strong 12.8 stops with better signals, color sensitivity, and noise ratio compared to the X5R. It hosts the camera, gimbal, and lens.
The CineCore 2.0 image processor gives the ZenMuse X5S the ability to capture 5.2K 30fps Apple ProRes and CinemaDNG videos and 4K 60fps and 30fps using H.264 and H265 respectively. It also supports continuous DNG burst shoots with 20.8MP at 20fps.
The Inspire 2 has the ability to accelerate 50mph/4s and attain a top speed of 58mph. This makes it great for shooting action and sports.
There are two batteries that allow for up to 27 minutes flight time on a full charge. In the event of a malfunction of one battery, the other battery is able to maintain the flight until a safe landing is achieved. The drone’s propulsion system drives on a PWM signal with signal port redundancy. If it loses the PWM signal, transmission continues via the serial port.
The quadcopter has incorporated the advanced obstacle avoidance built in the Flight Autonomy System making it easy to automatically avoid objects above, below and in front of it. Downward and Forward Vision systems empower the drone to identify obstacles at a 30-meter range, hence creating a secure flight at speeds of up to 34mph at a 25° attitude controllable angle.
The upward facing Infrared sensors detect obstacles that are 16’ above, intensifying safety while flying in enclosed spaces. Obstacle sensing systems remain active on normal flights, Intelligent Flight Modes, and RTH.
The Inspire 2 recalls all the flight paths in the event of an emergency and Return-To-Home is activated without enabling GPS. The Downward and Forward Vision System enables the creation of a real-time map of the flight route during flight. In case of a lost video transmission signal and the Smart Return Home is activated, it flies back home following the original route.
If the signal is restored, it changes to a straight line. During the return flight, the primary camera is used for identifying obstacles 200m ahead for a safe return home flight. It also reconnects really fast after losing a signal.
The onboard 2-Axis FPV camera separates the main camera view from the flight view, offering the drone a dedicated tap-to-fly camera. When you tap on the screen in the First Person View, it sets the flight route and the Inspire 2 automatically flies along that route and the pilot only focuses on the gimbal movement.
The Spotlight Pro feature is an exceptional tracking mode that gives single pilots the ability to capture complex images. It makes use of advanced visual-tracking procedures to focus on a subject during flight regardless of the flight direction, creating exceptional shots that would only be possibly taken by a dedicated camera operator.
If the gimbal attains its rotation limit, the drone rotates in the gimbal’s rotation direction without affecting the shot being taken or the flight control.
Spotlight Pro comes with two shoot modes: The quick Mode which selects an object and begins tracking, whereas the Composition Mode selects the subject together with the tracking position. As soon as the subject is in the predefined tracking position, the shortcut is pressed to initiate tracking. The gimbal is movable for composition adjustments during the shooting process.
Spotlight Pro is present in all Intelligent Flight Modes like the TapFly, WayPoint, ActiveTrack, and POI.
ActiveTrack Mode allows the drone to recognize a vast array of objects such as people, cars, boats, and bikes. The tracking profiles are adjustable on the basis of the subject being tracked, offering a better tracking accuracy.
The Lightbridge Technology has a great transmission distance ranging up to 4.3 miles with the capability of 1080p and 720p videos together with First Person View to the camera operator and the pilot. You can switch between 5.8GHz and 2.4GHz frequency controls to evade interference and offer great signal stability.
It also supports Slave and Master setups. The Master Controller transmits to the Salve Controller an HD signal to a distance of 300’ without losing the image quality.
Broadcasters can use the Broadcast Mode for a direct broadcast from the drone via a 720p60 and 1080i50 signal transmission. Aerial Live-Stream on TV is done by simply connecting the satellite truck to the drone’s transmitter.
The drone is thrust up by the propulsion system to 58mph to allow for ascents of up to 19ft/s and descents up to 29ft/s. It accelerates to 50mph in 4 seconds and the maximum flight attitude angle is 40°. The dual controller sticks located on the transmitter are tweaked to offer more sensitivity, allowing hard movements to be handled with ease.
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Without a doubt, we can certainly say that the Inspire 2 is certainly a drone in its own unique class. Its features are exceptional, its performance is on top of the game, it delivers great video and image quality and it offers value for money.
If you’re out shopping for great features, superior performance, and live TV broadcasting on a drone, then the DJI Inspire 2 Premium Combo is the best choice to go for.
The DJI Inspire 1 V2.0 Raw Quadcopter is an outstanding drone made with exceptional features and portrays an amazing performance. It features the Zenmuse X5R gimbal and camera system alongside a 15mm f/1.7 lens and a Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor with RAW recording and 4K image capture.
It comes with a retractable arm system where the bottom side of each propeller motor contains a foot that serves as a landing pod when you lower the arms. A 3-Axis gimbal maintains steady shots and recording is done on internal microSDHC/SDXC SSD drives. It has two transmitters for piloting and tilting the camera.
The main features and technical characteristics of the Inspire 1 V2.0 include:
The Inspire 1 depends on a GPS-based stability system that has the ability to maintain a position despite wind interference, bring the drone home when a signal is lost and allow several semi-automated flight modes activated through the app.
It also has an indoor mode which depends on Vision Position Technology for stability when flying indoors or on areas with no GPS.
The Inspire 1 comes Ready-To-Fly (RTF) meaning that there’s no significant assembly requiring soldering since there’s an installed pre-bound transmitter.
The drone has a mirrorless camera performance owing to the Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor. It also features a standard MFT mount, an Olympus M. ED 12mm f/2.0 lens, and the Zenmuse X5R camera with a Panasonic Lumix 15mm f/1.7 lens.
The Zenmuse X5R has the ability to capture videos in DCI 4K at 23.98p and UHD 4K at 29.97p. More to that, the X5R comes with the Cinema DNG RAW recording that lowers compression and increases latitude for image handling. It can also capture still photos while flying up to 16MP resolution.
Furthermore, the camera supports 3,5 and 7 burst frames and has time-lapse on intervals between 3 and 60 seconds. Image capture is in DNG RAW or JPEG formats. Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual Exposure, and Program Modes are available in conjunction with the Full Auto.
Mounting of the Zenmuse X5R is done through an incorporated 3-Axis gimbal that makes use of brushless servo motors to maintain a stable, short, horizontal level. The camera has a 360-degree full pan to ensure that it stays locked on the subject. You can manually tilt and pan through the transmitter controls.
You can have a display of a real-time feed of the Zenmuse X5R camera in 720p HD via a HDMI monitor or a mobile device, making it great for First Person View flying. Photographers and videographers can also monitor the frames from the ground through the DJI Lightbridge System with a 1.2-mile range.
The transmitter has an HDMI port that connects a First Person View monitor. A USB port is also available for battery charging. The mount gives the provision for a direct tablet or smartphone attachment to the transmitter.
The Zenmuse X5R camera and gimbal assembly is detachable from the drone to allow for future upgrades and safe transport
The propeller arms, made of carbon fiber, stand in a straight position, functioning as a landing gear when the drone is placed on the ground. When in flight, they retract, offering the camera a 360-degree unobstructed view.
The Aerodynamic Airframe feature minimizes resistance, increasing battery life and enhancing superior performance.
The Optical Flow Technology makes use of sonic waves and a unique camera to offer indoor stability. It enables the drone to maintain its location, respond fast to pilot commands, and stop upon releasing controls even in the absence of GPS.
The mobile app allows access to the manual camera control, auto takeoff and landing, manual camera controls and telemetry. You can also build an autopilot course through waypoints in the same way as on DJI’s iPad Ground Station system.
The tablet connects to the transmitter through the USB. Connecting to the waypoint map requires an internet connection.
Manual Mode allows you to change camera settings such as White Balance, Exposure and ISO while in flight customizing every shot according to your desired preference.
The Live Map allows you to monitor where the drone is. It shows you the latest flight path.
The Home Point automatically refreshes the moment the GPS signal becomes available on the remote control. This is essential as you travel on a boat or in a car, enabling the Return-To-Home point to move in the operator’s direction. Different types of configurations can be accessed through the Dynamic Home Point Function.
You can initiate takeoff and land through a single tap. Make one tap to make the drone hover and transform, ready to initiate shooting. Make a second tap to transform it to landing mode and do an auto-land.
Transmitter customization puts you in charge of the drone, allowing you to customize it to your desired preference and have it move and respond the way you want it to.
The transmitter or radio controller allows you to control the Inspire 1 while in flight. It operates on 2.4GHz and has a gimbal dial, dedicated buttons for video and image capture, among others. It has incorporated a 6000mAh rechargeable battery.
The Inspire 1 has an extra transmitter to allow for more accuracy. Two people can control the quadcopter, one pilot it while the other controls the camera and gimbal. Each user has their screen to view the shoot in real-time.
The flight battery continuously supplies voltage to the flight computer. The computer uses special procedures to stream information about the remaining flight time and distance to return home.
The battery keeps track of battery health and status, a number of charges and discharges, and cell voltage.
The Inspire 1 is an exceptional drone that has features that make it stand out from the competition. The Zenmuse X5S camera and gimbal allows for a greater video shoot and image capturing the experience and is great for photographers and videographers. It comes with two transmitters to allow for two users to control it. Aerodynamics allows for proper flight in the event of rough winds.
The only downside to it is having a short flight time of 18 minutes. But overall, this drone is excellent. If you’re shopping for exceptional features and great performance to capture the best aerial videos and photos, then the DJI Inspire 1 V2.0 Raw Quadcopter is the best choice to go for.
The GoPro Karma is a brilliant drone fitted with the HERO5 Black action camera. Its entire design is custom made for the Hero line use including total control combined with the HERO5 Black. There’s a detachable gimbal for camera stabilization during flight and also on the ground with the Karma grip.
It has a 20 minute flight time and has an intelligent controller with a flip touchscreen and a live feed feature. There’s a GoPro Passenger app for control by two people. It comes with a flight battery and charger, a compact case, and a Karma Grip handle,
The main features and technical characteristics of the GoPro Karma include:
Being a motorized gimbal, the Karma Stabilizer compensates for vibrations among other unwarranted movement sources, offering you polished professional footage. It comes with a camera mount for the GoPro HERO5 Black.
The stabilizer is detachable and can be linked with the Karma Grip for use in a close proximity to the ground. The Grip is compatible with different GoPro Mounts and is usable with the Karma Case inbuilt shoulder mount.
There’s a gamepad style control on the Karma Controller for spontaneous operation.
The flip-up touchscreen allows for a live feed view from the GoPro HERO5. You can also tweak camera settings during flight.
Karma has a ground-to-up design to offer the GoPro total control during flight. You can control capture settings and camera modes, and add HiLight Tags via the inbuilt touch technology.
There’s a pre flight training using a flight simulator for easy and quick flight learning.You can launch and land the Karma through one button on the controller.There’s an inbuilt No-Fly Zone feature to limit the drone from flying to restricted environments. When it goes out of range, loses connection, or has a low battery, GoPro flies back home.
The GoPro Passenger App allows an extra person apart from the pilot to join into the drone’s flight using a different mobile device. You can operate the camera and view a live feed via the app.
You can capture Pro-quality shots using the Auto Shots Paths Flight Modes. They include: The Dronies which is a Selfie Mode that locks the GoPro HERO5 on you, the Cable Cam that makes aerial tracking shots where the drone flies following a fixed path, the Orbit where the drone flies following a circular path with the camera locked on a fixed subject, and the Reveal where you stay close to the subject then pull off to reveal dramatically.
The GoPro HERO5 Black action camera functions effectively over rough terrains, on the skies, and underwater capturing 12MP images and 4K videos all through.
The enclosed rubber chassis enables the HERO5 Black to go 33’ deep with no external housing requirement. It records with one button press on grounds consisting of snow, water, sand, concrete, and dirt.
The touchscreen allows for playback and editing of the camera footage. The included Frame offers an additional protection layer and an interface for 3-prong accessories. There’s a mounting buckle fast release and 2 adhesive mounts for the Frame.
There are separate accessories such as selfie sticks, dive housings, and handlebar mounts for the HERO5 Black’s creative position. There’s a touchscreen on the back surface displaying the user interface. On the front is a screen with a top and side button.
Pressing the record button powers on the camera and starts recording. The inbuilt voice Control Feature allows for voice commands for various camera functions such as photo burst, start/stop video recording, among others.
You can select the best resolution for your project, record it in UHD 4K resolution at 30fps or 1080 and 720p for higher frame rates, more options for Field Of View, and electronic stabilization.
Video recording modes can be simple or complex as per your preference. For capturing a single shot, use auto exposure. When shooting off the cuff footage, manual control is available for the exposure.
You can record audio for video via 3 microphones. The HERO5 does audio processing for a stereo signal. If the audio is affected by high winds, it chooses the microphone picking the best sound and filters excess wind noise.
Different types of photo modes exist: Raw File option where the HERO5 Black capture raw images in GPR format, Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) Mode where better detail is maintained for scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, Burst Mode where you can capture bursts of photos in a high action series to capture the moment, and Time Lapse Mode where you can capture floating clouds, stars, and constellations.
GoPro captures and allows a fast access and editing of your footage with simple powerful functions. Go Plus allows GoPro content access on the cloud.Android and iOS devices allow for playback, live preview, and sharing of shots. GoProQuik allows you to edit videos with a few taps.
The GoPro comes with loads of features and is an exceptional performer in photo and video coverage. The GoPro HERO5 camera allows for effective functionality on rough terrains. The 3-Axis gimbal stabilizes the camera for better shots. The landing gear is retractable for 360-degree unobstructed camera shooting, the feature list goes on and on.
The downside is that it has a small flight time and doesn’t come with obstacle avoidance sensors. All in all, this drone is exceptional for shooting in different environments and offers outstanding image and video quality. If you’re shopping for more features, dual control for two people, mobile device compatibility, and flexibility, then the GoPro Karma Quadcopter is the best option to go for.
The Walkera Tali H500 Hexacopter is a brilliant drone that has the GoPro HERO’s great recording ability and the alertness of a multi-rotor aircraft and a 3-Axis gimbal stability for a great video experience. It has a 6 rotor design that gives it more power.
It has a flight control system that offers independence while flying. Different flight modes such as the automated GPS assistance and manual control are available. Integrated GPS offers smart features such as Return-Home-Fail-Safe, Orbital Flying, and Integrated Orientation Control (IOC).
The H500 has a handheld radio controller with an inbuilt 5” screen for First Person View flights. There’s a video transmitter that conveys a video feed from the camera down to the ground through a 5.8GHz downlink.
The battery is a 5400mAh LiPo flight offering up to 25 minutes flight time. It is fixed at the drone’s back and has an LED indicator to display the remaining power. It also comes with a special charger.
The Tali H500 is fully assembled and is ready-to-fly. There’s a pre-bound transmitter, case, battery, and charger included. Accurate calibration is however needed before a flight, most importantly when using GPS-enabled features. Wrong settings may result in an off-course flight.
There’s a gimbal available for the iLook and iLook+ or the GoPro HERO3, 3+, and HERO4 action camera to capture images and videos while flying. There is a 3-Axis for tilt, pan, roll, and correction. The video is kept stable and vibration free and maintains a stable horizon during flight.
Two dials are available on the transmitter for gimbal operation, one for tilt, and the other for can't. They are center-notched to allow for a level position easy return of the camera.
To remove the gimbal from the mounting rail, loosen one thumb screw and glide the gimbal of the mounting rail. All electronics for control and video signals pass through a ribbon cable that can be unplugged from the lower side of the drone.
The transmitter has a 5” color display for a live feed view from the camera and On-Screen Display telemetry data which includes temperature, battery voltage, and GPS data. The radio functions on the 5.8GHz band.
There’s a combined video output the 3.5mm connector to enable the use of a field monitor of First Person View goggles. A headphone jack is available to allow the hearing of audible alerts.
The main features and technical characteristics of the H500 include:
The one-button takeoff feature allows you to press one switch on the transmitter for the Walkera lift from the ground and hover at a 15’ altitude.
By just a flip of a switch, the landing gear folds up allowing for unobstructed camera shooting.
GPS Position Hold enables the drone to hover on the preset GPS coordinates. The Flight Control System counters wind turbulence to keep the H500 steady.
Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC) offers a more intuitive flight. With the multi-rotors being symmetrical, it’s easy to get confused with identifying the front side. When the forward button is pressed, the IOC ensures the drone moves in the direction that the front side facing.
The drone can fly in a circular motion around predefined GPS coordinates. This is essential for aerial video, making a 360-degree tracking shot around a motionless object. The radius is defined by an Orbit Mode as you stand at the center then move back till you attain the intended distance then take off.
With a good GPS calibration, a single button press on the transmitter causes the Hexacopter to fly back home to the initial takeoff point. Enabling the Failsafe Return to Home automatically flies the drone back to the takeoff point in the event of a lost signal. GPS calibration must first be done to avoid the drone flying to a wrong takeoff point.
The H500 has 6 propellers that are self-tightening to ensure that they don’t become loose during flight. Three rotate clockwise while the other three rotate anti clockwise. The clockwise propellers have silver-grayish caps while the anti-clockwise ones have black caps.
Status LEDs have been incorporated to the prop struts on the top and bottom for fast identification when the drone is on the ground. The flight battery also has its own LEDs to help keep track of the remaining power.
After flying, you can pack the transmitter, charger, battery, and other drone items in the wheeled hard case.
There’s a 5400mAh LiPo battery and a charger included. It has a 25 minute flight time before needing a recharge. The LED on the battery displays the pending power while In flight and charge status while recharging.
The H500 is by far a one of a kind drone with exceptional features and excellent performance. It features a one button takeoff feature, foldable landing gear, Intelligent Orientation Control for a more Intuitive flight, 3-Axis gimbal for camera stability, a 5400mAh Flight battery for longer flight time, and much more.
This drone guarantees great performance and is worth every buck you invest on it. If you’re out shopping for quality videos and images, great features, and exceptional performance, then the Walkera Tali H500 Hexacopter is the option to consider buying.
The DJI Matrice 600 Pro Hexacopter is a unique drone made for professional video shooting and industrial imaging. It comes with an enhanced flight performance and a better loading capacity. The antennas and arms are pre-installed and the design allows for extra modules.
It works with the A3 Pro Flight control and integrates the Lightbridge 2 System for HDMI, Low Latency Monitoring through SDI, HD resolution, and controller USB outputs.
It works with Zenmuse Z15 series gimbal, Zenmuse X Series gimbal, and Ronin-MX gimbal for camera support.
This drone comes almost-ready-to-fly and features a flight controller, transmitter, flight batteries, a customizable impact absorber case, and a six-bay charger. It also requires a bit of assembly.
The main features and technical characteristics of the 600 Pro Hexacopter include:
The Matrice 600 Pro works with the Intelligent ESC sine-wave-driven for accurate performance, efficiency, and safety. The A3 Pro Flight controller has a self-adaptive system that automatically adjusts flight limits on the basis of diverse payloads.
This drone is easy to set up and flies within minutes. It has an optimized airframe for easy transportation. The landing gear has folding frame arms and a quick release. There are GNSS modules and sensors under the top cover together with IMU units dampening system for more reliability in flight.
The zen muse gimbals and cameras are compatible with the maximum 13.2lb payload enabling the Ronin-MX gimbal flight and several cameras such as RED EPIC and Micro Four Thirds systems.
The motors are actively cooled for reliable operation and extended time periods while the dust proof propeller system makes maintenance easy.
The A3 Pro System has been designed for professional cinematography applications offering navigation and stability of the drone. GNSS allows for the use of satellite systems like GLONASS and GPS together with a compass to offer accurate positioning data.
It can also be used with DJI’s Lightbridge 2 system to offer a video downlink with a high quality from a mounted gimbal camera. The Ground Station enables route planning and telemetry and offers a flight simulator.
The system has 3 IMUs, 3GNSS units, making up 6 redundancies. It works alongside complex diagnostic procedures. Upon detection of the IMU unit or GNSS failure, the A3 Pro switches to a different unit to maintain accuracy and reliability.
The 600 Pro supports the DJI Assistant 2 and the DJI GO app which offers a live HD view, redundancy status, battery status, and transmission strength. This app is also the central control of the camera. It allows access to ISO, shutter speed, and image and video capture on the Zenmuse X Series camera.
The drone’s radio range has a 3.1-mile extension and has a clean signal.
Real-Time Kinematic Technology (RTK) upgrades the A3 GNSS system for a more superior navigation accuracy. RTK uses double antennas for offer great accuracy compared to a compass and isn’t affected by magnetic interference stemming from metal structures.
DJI Lightbridge 2 has a ground up design to offer professional broadcasting, HD live streaming, and high frame rates.
The Matrice 600 is compatible with the Mobile SDK and DJI Onboard SDK. It has two parallel API and CAN port to connect DJI devices such as the RTK GNSS units, Guidance Sensor System, and other components.
The batteries are monitored by the battery management system, guaranteeing a safe landing when one battery fails. The charger has 6 charging hubs that can charge 6 Intelligent Batteries at a go. TB47S battery charge time is 92 minutes while the TB48S battery charge time is 110 minutes.
The 600 Pro is by far a unique drone for professional photographers and videographers. It has brilliant features that make it stand out from the other drones. The flight time is great and the charger is efficient for multiple charging. It comes with a live HD video streaming which works great for those looking for a live stream experience.
If you’re shopping for excellence and great performance all in one package, then the DJI Matrice 600 Pro Hexacopter is best to purchase choice to make.
If you are curious about learning about the science behind this amazing invention, this cool and informative video is worth to watch.
Well, there you have it, the best-detailed review of the top 10 best drones 2018. You now have the info in your hands to make the best purchase decision for the drone that fits your budget and offers the features you’re looking for for the best aerial video and photo shoot experience.
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