Mini drones with cameras attached are one of the best ways to get into aerial photography. If you’re just starting out, you don’t want to go and spend a ton of cash on a large drone that you might not use. So, opting for a smaller drone can be an awesome place to start your journey into aerial photography.
There are a lot of different drones available on the market, and an increasing number of mini drones available. You can find a half decent mini drone for as low as $20, but finding one with a camera can be a little more expensive. So, there are a few different brands and drones that you’ll want to take a look at.
Best Mini Drone with Camera
- SYMA X21W MINI RC DRONE Equipped with HD camera to take photos and videos while flying! Bring a new perspective to your photos and videos from the air.
- RC DRONES FOR BEGINNERS: The Drone with All Functions for Easy Operation Included: Altitude Hold / Headless Mode / One Key Backward /One Key Take Off and Landing
- ALTITUDE HOLD: Powerful air pressure altitude hold function allow you to release the throttle stick and the drone will keep hover at it's current height. Easy for you to shoot quality images or videos.
The Syma is actually one of the older quadcopter drones around, and they’ve been a trusted brand for almost a decade now (which in drone years is a lot longer!).
You’ll get a flight distance of about 70 meters with this one, and a flying time of almost ten minutes. This is about the average when you’re looking at lower cost drones. You can easily charge this drone up through USB port, which means if you have your laptop or powerbank with you, it’s easy to give it an extra bit of juice.
Like any good drone, it’s altitude hold works extremely well. Altitude hold means the ability that you can stay at one position in the air, which as you can imagine, is essential for a drone with a camera. You can also actually control this drone with your smartphone which is pretty cool – by tilting your iPhone, you get the ability to determine where your drone goes.
Overall, the Syma X21W is a good option if you’re looking for an entry level drone that looks and controls well.
- Phone direct control with transmission or transmitter control with smart phone. Apple iOS/ Android phones compatible
- 360 degree flips & rolls. One key 3D rolling special effects. Flip in 4-ways flip(left, right, forward, backward). Continuous roll for perfect action and wonderful performance.
- Headless security mode. When eyes can't identify the orientation of the drone, the headless mode can help to control easier and prevent from losing the direction.
The Simrex X300C is a great option if you’re on a tight budget. Though the price fluctuates a little, you’ll usually find this quadcopter for less than $50 online. It’s a really good option for those that are looking to learn how to fly, and if you’ve never owned a drone before, this might make an awesome choice.
One of the reasons that this drone is perfect for beginners is that you get three different options in terms of flying modes. You can fly at slow, medium and fast paces. So, this is perfect if you’re just getting to grips with drone flying – setting it to slow pace will allow you the ability to fly slow and steady.
For newbies, this is a top options for a mini drone with a camera and you’re unlikely to find anything at a cheaper price than this one. The only bad thing about this drone is that the range is relatively low (less than 50m). this doesnt make it great for long distance drone flying, which is about what you’d expect considering it’s low price.
- TAKE IT ANYWHERE: The unbelievably lightweight and compact design (74*74*24mm) means it's possible to fly even in small spaces and can be taken with you anywhere for fun on the go.
- 720P HD CAMERA: Despite its tiny size, this amazing little drone packs a built-in 720p HD camera allowing you to shoot incredible aerial photos and videos then share them instantly with family and friends.
- HEADLESS MODE & 3 SPEEDS: Thanks to headless mode, the pilot is able to fly the drone to any location without the need to worry about which direction the drone is facing, whilst the 3 different speeds mean that whether you're already skilled or a first time flier, there is a speed that will suit you.
The Drocon GD60 packs a good camera that works well even though the drone itself is really small. For a camera drone, the quality of camera is pretty important, so you want to be sure that the camera is good enough quality.
Although this drone only has a pretty short flying time (of around 6 minutes), it does have a really low charging time too. You only need to charge this drone for 30 minutes to get a full fly, which works really well for short spurts of flying.
You’ll also like this drone if it’s a gift for young children. Why? Well, the nylon material makes it a very good option if you think it might crash a lot. If you want a drone that can deal with a few bumps, then this is a good option if we’re considering durability. With an 80 meter flying range, this is impressive for a low cost drone.
- APP Control and Gravity Induction Mode: App function makes flying the drone without remote control ,and the gravity induction mode allows you to fly your mini drone forward/backward, left/ right in correspondence to the direction you move your phone.
- Equipped with Wifi Camera and Support VR Headset, you can watch a real time live streaming video feed of your flight directly from your phone.
- Altitude Hold Mode: Drone will hover in a default height which makes controlling the drone much easier and stabilizes the camera for aerial photography and videography, more stable and more suitable for kids and novice users.
The Cheerwing CW10 is a good wifi option if you’re looking for a gift for younger kids. It’s vibrant colors and ease of use make it ideal for children to get the hang of using a drone. It’s available in both red and fluorescent yellow, so you have a choice of colors dependant on what you’re looking for.
This drone has all the features of more expensive drones – altitude hold mode for hovered flying, ability to use with VR headsets and it’s easy to use it with live video. What makes this ideal for kids to use is that it has a one button take off mode. This means that all you need to do is press one button and the drone will hover above the ground. This makes it a lot easier to control your take off without crashing or tilting to one side.
Overall, the Cheerwing CW10 is another safe option if you’re looking for a cheap camera mini drone for kids.
Holy Stone HS110D
- FOV 120° 720P HD FPV CAMERA: This high-quality camera captures memorable moments. See the world through the eyes of a bird on your phone.
- ALTITUDE HOLD: It allows the rc quacopter to suspend in mid-air even with your hands off the joystick, for hands-free hovering. Easy, stable flight experience makes this a perfect drone for beginners, kids, starters, newbies, etc.
- HEADLESS MODE: Orientation of the drone is in relation to the pilot, easier to control and fly back when the drone is out of sight, you'll have total control for a straightforward flying experience.
The Holy Stone HS110D is the perfect example of a drone with a camera done right. If you want to go for the premium end of the budget quadcopter, then this is going to be a great choice for you. Yes, it’s not particularly a mini drone because it’s a bit bigger, but it’s still worth considering.
The main reason that this drone is a little more expensive than other mini drones with a camera is generally down to the quality of the camera. If you’re looking for higher quality video footage, then it’s worth looking at drones that actually have better quality cameras. They can be a little more expensive, but at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. And that’s truer with the camera industry more than any other. It also has a much better battery than standard, so you’re going to get a longer battery life.
It has a 120 degree FPV camera (FPV stands for first person view, which is what the majority of drones have). This is wide enough that you’re going to be able to get a good landscape image if you’re hovering over fields and houses. Some drones have a narrow field of view, so they can’t see nearly as much as this one.
You can actually set it up with live video feed with your iPhone or Smartphone too, which is super cool. This means if you’re exploring a new area and you’re travelling, you can easily set up the drone to look ahead and see what’s in the area. You also have the ability to integrate the drone with a VR headset, which is another cool aspect of the Holy Stone model.
All in all, this is an ideal drone for beginners who are looking to take their drone flying seriously. It’s a little more expensive than the cheaper drones, but you’re getting a higher quality product too.
- 3D Flip and Roll: easily stage a 360° rolling stunt, various flight movements.
- 720P Camera with FPV Transmission :watch the world from a bird-eye sight.
- Hover Function: it enhances the shooting stability and reduce the blurring of shooting due to the shaking of the aircraft, even free your hands from the controller.
Although most camera drones are used for aerial photography, this isn’t all you have to use it for. A decent mini drone can be used for a multitude of different things. The T700 is great for using as a stunt drone, so if you’d be interested with performing tilts, flips and 360’s with your drone, then this one is likey to interest you.
One common misconception with mini drones is their size. They really are mini, and the T700 is a really good example of that. It’s literally 14 x 13 cm in terms of length and width, and it’s really thin too at only 4cm. This is one of the reasons that mini drones have become more and more popular – their small size means you can easily practice with them indoors before taking them outside. It has all the functions of a regular size drone, which make it one of the best choice available.
If you’re after a good christmas gift, then the T700 would make a perfect one. It’s undoubtedly decent enough quality for it’s low price, and would make a perfect stocking filler.
Holy Stone HS160
- FOLDABLE STRUCTURE: Foldable & flexible blades make the drone small and portable. Also provides a better and safer flight experience
- Wi-Fi FPV 720P HD CAMERA: Equipped with 720P HD camera to take aerial photos and videos. Images and videos will be stored in both the app and the mobile album system
- APP CONTROL SYSTEM: Operate your drone through an APP after connecting the Wi-Fi to your phone (iOS or Android), offering you real-time image transmission, easy to shoot and read, fun to share
The Holy Stone 160 is the little brother of the 110D, which is what I mentioned earlier as possibly the best mini drone with a camera attachment. The 160 offers a far more budget friendly option, though you’re losing a few of the abilities of the drone itself.
Whilst the main features that you could want in a drone are all there, a few things different with this drone. Primarily the main difference you’re going to experience is the battery life. Whilst you’ll get an 8-9 minute flight time with this drone (which is about the regular for a drone of this price), this isn’t as good as with the 110D, which has a much improved battery life.
Although for the most part, this drone is another awesome choice for a first drone. It has 4 different speed functions and a foldable structure, which makes it really easy to carry around with you.
- HEADLESS MODE: Usually, the forward direction of a flying multi-rotor is the same as the nose direction, by using Headless, the forward direction has nothing to do with nose direction, the direction will be the same as your remote controller
- 3D SPLIT SCREEN DISPLAY: Compatible with 3D VR HEADSET on MJX FPV APP, use your own VR HEADSET (NOT INCLUDED) to see the world in a different way
- FPV REAL TIME TRANSMISSION: Connect your phone with the drone and the view will be shown directly on your phone, thus enjoy the world above the horizon
The DBPower doesn’t offer too much different than the other drones I’ve talked about. But, it’s unfair to exclude it from the list because it’s a perfectly good drone in it’s own right.
It’s god a decent time capacity of 8-9 minutes, which is good considering the price. Generally with drones, the battery life is one of the things you’ll see increasing as you see the expense go up. But, this depends on the budget you have to spend on a drone yourself. So, if you have a smaller budget, it’s important to get a drone with a quick charging time – which the X400W undoubtedly has.
You can easily use this drone with your mobile phone, and like pretty much every other quadcopter, it functions in what’s called ‘headless mode’. This is essentially the idea that there isn’t one end of the drone that’s the front point, so you can easily go in any direction. This makes it much easier to manouevre than if you were using a helicopter or a drone without headless mode.
Overall, this is another really good drone that works well at a budget. Worth considering if you’re looking for a budget camera drone.
Why opt for a Mini Drone?
If you’re debating the difference between a drone and a mini drone, then it can be tough to choose between the two. There are a couple of things you’re going to want to consider to ensure that you get the best drone (or mini drone) for your needs.
Of course, one of the main advantages of choosing a mini drone is that you’re going to get a cheaper price. This isn’t always true, as there are some more expensive mini drones out there as well. But generally, the equivalent mini drone is going to be cheaper than a normal drone with similar specifications.
Easier to Control
Although drones are relatively easy to control anyway (part of the reason that they have become so popular), mini drones are even easier to function. The majority of mini drones will include a manual that should be more than enough to get you going controlling your own mini drone.
Less likely to get noticed
It’s pretty difficult to miss a drone when it goes flying past you in the sky. But generally the smaller the drone is the less likely it’s going to be seen. This makes it great for aerial photography as you can get some awesome images without people looking and pointing – “look, there’s a drone!”.
Overall, there are some really great mini drones with cameras built in to them available currently. You don’t need a massive budget to be able to afford them, and they work extremely well for the novice photographer. If you’re just getting getting started with aerial photography, then it can be one of the best hobbies to take up (and there’s the possibility of making some money out of it further down the line, too).
As long as you’re ensuring that the drone has all the basics like headless mode, a decent camera and the ability to integrate it with your phone, then you should be good to go. A good mini drone with a camera can make an awesome present for someone (or for yourself), so it’s definitely worth looking at purchasing one.
Last update on 2019-04-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API