Unlike the old days, aerial photography isn’t something you should worry about doing. You don’t need super-expensive camera gear or a helicopter to get stunning views from above.
Instead, you can get started with a camera drone. Professional photographers have used camera drones for years, but these nifty devices have become more affordable and easy-to-use nowadays.
If you want to jump-start your career in aerial and landscape, architecture photography, or action videography, camera drones are a worthwhile investment. The best part?
You don’t have to spend too much on getting one of the best camera drones for beginners.
Following the rise in demand for drone cameras, many manufacturers have presented low-cost alternatives to their fully-fledged drone systems.
Despite the comfortable price tag, these airborne devices come with a bunch of features like improved piloting, advanced image stabilization, and build quality.
It ultimately means you can have an excellent camera-drone experience, but you can’t pick one so randomly.
Instead, we must consider aspects such as weight, flight time, battery, innovative features, and compatibility before selecting the most suitable drone for your photography needs.
But we know it’s impossible to find the best drone camera for each type of beginner. Therefore, we’ve listed the five best camera drones for beginners.
While most of them are inexpensive, we’ve included some highly-advanced options as well, and they may cost a little more. Nevertheless, all the drones on this list are worthy investments on any day.
5 Best Camera Drones For Beginners
- Winner: DJI Mini 2
- Runner-Up: DJI Mavic Air 2
- Ruko F11 Pro
- Ruko F11
- SNAPTAIN SP700
Winner: DJI Mini 2
- Weight: 8.8oz
- Flight Time: 31 minutes
- Camera: 12MP CMOS
- Video: 4K 30fps
DJI Mini 2 is hands down the best overall camera drone for beginners in the market right now. Available for a competitive price, this mini-sized drone packs almost all the features you’d need.
First of all, it weighs only 8.8oz, which exempts the device from regulatory registration procedure. When folded, the Mini 2 can easily fit into your hand, convenient.
Despite the minimal design and low weight, the drone camera gets the job done for most types of shots.
DJI has included a 12MP CMOS sensor that can capture high-detail photographs and footage.
Thanks to its 3-axis motorized gimbal, you can get stable shots even from some of the riskiest environments. As for video recording, the sensor supports up to 4K recording at 30fps.
It doesn’t offer optical zoom, but the 4x digital zoom comes in handy during some shots. While recording video, you can use one-tap functions like dronie, helix, rocket, helix, and boomerang.
When it comes to flight time and piloting, the DJI Mini 2 brings all the goodness of a DJI product. For instance, it has a maximum flight time of 31 minutes and can gain speeds up to 35.79mph.
Because the drone comes with level 5 wind resistance and a maximum altitude of 4,000 meters, you can get the best shots on any day.
DJI has used the OcuSync 2.0 technology in the drone so that it can quickly shift between two frequencies, thereby improving the maximum transmission distance to a whopping 10 kilometer — not that you’d need such a high number so often.
There are a few limitations, though. For instance, it comes with downward obstacle sensing only. On the flip side, DJI has enhanced the flight experienced through a well-optimized controller and the official DJI app.
It makes things easy for users to capture panorama shots and 4K Hyperlapse with ease. Even if you are new to drones and flight control, the remote control will make you feel at home in a few days.
You can also pair the DJI Mini 2 with accessories such as the intelligent flight battery and a two-way charging hub. Finally, the DJI app makes it easy to edit and download 4K videos to your smartphone with ease.
Altogether, the DJI Mini 2 is the best drone with a 4K camera for beginners. It gets almost everything correct to provide a smooth aerial photography experience.
As a budget-conscious beginner, you cannot go wrong with this device.
- Portable and lightweight design
- Support for 4K video recording
- 4x digital zoom and 1-touch functions
- Easy-to-master controller
- Downward obstacle detection only
Runner-up: DJI Mavic Air 2
- Weight: 20.1oz
- Flight time: 34 minutes
- Camera: 48MP CMOS
- Video: 4K 60fps
If you want to begin your aerial photography with a more powerful drone camera, you should consider what the DJI Mavic Air 2 has to offer.
It isn’t the most compact drone camera out there, but you get some handy features without spending a fortune. One limitation is that it weighs more than 250 grams, and you will have to register the drone before you start using it. However, unlike what we saw in DJI Mini 2, the Mavic Air 2 can handle versatile capturing environments with ease.
Because it’s supposed to assist professional photographers and videographers, the MSI Mavic Air 2 is packed with a 48MP CMOS sensor.
This sensor not only provides crystal-clear images and 4K video recording but also supports 8K Timelapse content. More importantly, you can capture 4K videos at 60fps, which offers you better control while editing.
The advanced CMOS sensor also uses a D-Cinelike flat color profile, which can retail more details without consuming too much storage space.
There are quite a few improvements in terms of flight time and piloting options, though. The drone camera uses the same remote control that we got with the DJI Mini 2, but you can maneuver the course better.
For instance, the drone offers a maximum flight speed of 34 minutes and a maximum speed of 42.5mph when you have enabled the S mode.
Similarly, it uses obstacle sensing from three directions, giving you confidence while handling the drone. It also uses the ActiveTrack 3.0 technology to improve dynamic frame tracking and control.
We should also commend how the DJI Mavic Air 2 works with its remote control and the DJI Flight app. Since it’s using the OcuSync 2.0 technology, the drone can easily stream full HD content to the smartphone.
It has a maximum transmission range of 10 kilometers as well. Thanks to the built-in functions, you can get superb aerial shots from the drone even before you master the advanced controller functions. Once again, we see the use of an intelligent flight battery and low-noise propellers.
These elements assist the DJI Mavic Air to leverage the extra power without trouble.
We don’t think every beginner photographer needs all the premium features found in the package. However, if you want to learn your steps from the master, the DJI Mavic Air 2 is an excellent investment, indeed.
When appropriately used, the features can take your content to the next level.
- Improved flight time and power
- ActiveTrack 3.0 for advanced tracking
- 4K at 60fps and 8K Timelapse support
- Professional CMOS sensor
- Requires regulatory registration
Alternative: Ruko F11 Pro
- Weight: 18.34oz
- Flight time: 30 minutes
- Camera: 4K UHD
- Video: 2.9K at 30fps
If you are looking for a powerful alternative to the beginner drone cameras we have covered, you must check out the Ruko F11 Pro.
Powered by competitive pricing and advanced features, this package delivers all the professional features you’d need. We start with a 4K Ultra HD camera that can give you super high-res photos and video recording at 2.9K quality.
More importantly, the included sensor has a Field of View angle of 120 degrees, allowing you to capture wide photos and videos.
Ruko has also included a powerful battery that offers up to 30 minutes of flight time. However, in the same package, you get an additional battery to keep charged for backup needs.
Therefore, in practice, the camera drone can offer a flight time of up to 60 minutes. The company claims that charging the battery takes only 3.5 hours. Because the device comes with intuitive remote control, you can easily track the advanced camera features.
In terms of the flight experience, the Ruko F11 Pro can improve a lot, though.
Since it uses a 5GHz-based Wi-Fi system for real-time data transmission, you can live-stream the view from the sensor within a distance of 300 to 500 meters.
For image transmission, the limit has been set at 500 meters. These figures translate to that you cannot use the drone for long-distance flying sessions.
On the bright side, the company has added an assistive flight system based on GPS. This feature will allow the drone to give you better, non-shaky shots on any day.
It’s also worth noting that Ruko has included level 7 wind resistance in the system. However, added features are where this camera drone makes the most significant difference.
You can choose between various modes, such as Tap Fly, Follow Me, and Auto Return. You can also use the Lost Drone Tracking system to get back your system in case of unexpected errors. Altogether, you have so many features to check out, and many of them are suitable for beginners. The problem?
It is a powerful drone, and you have to register it with the FAA before flying it.
The Ruko 11 Pro is an incredible choice if you need a drone with an HD camera with advanced options. It comes with added power and detailed control modes that make professional shots easier than ever. We also loved that Ruko provides an all-inclusive package of accessories.
- Ships with two batteries
- 4K Image quality sensor
- Advanced flight modes
- Useful features like Auto Return
- Requires FAA registration
Alternative: Ruko F11
- Weight: 18.34oz
- Flight time: 30 minutes
- Camera: 4K UHD
- Video: 2K HD, 60fps
Ruko F11 is the standard variant of the drone camera that we just covered. You should check this option if you want to save more money but retain the core features.
Like the previous product, the Ruko F11 uses an ultra-HD 4K camera for photography. For video recording, you get a limited 2K maximum quality, which has room for improvement.
Compared to the other one, however, this drone can easily be folded and managed. It also works for different needs.
When it comes to flight time and battery, things remain almost the same. You get up to 30 minutes of flight time, but you can double it using the extra battery, which is available free-of-cost. The transmitter device also looks incredible and enables easy controls.
This way, you can control the drone as well as the viewing angles with ultimate ease. There are a few limitations, though. This drone isn’t as powerful as the Pro variant that we have covered above. You should take note of this if you are looking for blazing speeds.
There are some problems with the amount of control you have over the flight process.
It uses a combination of GPS and 5GHz Wi-Fi to maneuver in the air. While the GPS keeps the drone at suitable angles with best-in-class accuracy, the Wi-Fi module enables First-person-view streaming of the recorded content. You can’t use the drone for distances higher than 500 meters, though. In that case, you may experience disruptions and data loss.
Once again, the company has added support for level 7 wind resistance, which is bold for its price.
Another thing that makes the Ruko F11 an excellent choice for beginners is the variety of flight modes and features one can check out. In addition to useful features like Return Home, which lands the drone safely in case of emergencies, Ruko has added custom-made designs that help you fly the drone better.
Some other features allow you to capture images and video from experimental angles. Even when you cannot maneuver the drone effectively, the system can manage itself. Finally, you get a comprehensive carry bag to carry all accessories of the camera drone.
If you need the powerful features from Ruko without spending too much but can handle the worries of FAA registration, you can check out the Ruko F11. It’s a worthy package that will assist beginner photographers who need a great start.
- Reasonable pricing
- GPS-assisted flight mode
- Custom-made options
- Level 7 wind resistance
- Requires FAA registration
Alternative: SNAPTAIN SP700
- Weight: 49.6oz
- Flight time: 18 minutes
- Camera: 2K Full HD
- Video: 2K Full HD
Here is a beginner-friendly camera drone that costs less than a budget-friendly smartphone. Though you’ve to make some compromises, the drone can catch up with your aerial photography skills in a few days.
This is an especially great choice if you need a hobby drone for beginners as well. Unlike the other products we have mentioned, the SNAPTAIN SP700 offers only 2K photo capture and 2K video recording.
So, you can’t expect any exceptionally-clear pictures from the device.
The device comes with the corresponding levels of flight time as well. You can fly the SNAPTAIN drone for up to 18 minutes on a single charge. It’s lower than the standard models but is also the best we can expect for the price.
The brushless motor performs well and can provide a good experience altogether. While this is not an exceptional part of the camera drone, it just gets the tasks done. Because the system uses a new-gen modular battery, you can expect the best performance.
The flight control aspect of the drone isn’t so fancy, either. You have to keep the drone within 500 meters of the remote control. However, if you need the FPV live-streaming of the content, you need to be within a 400 meters distance.
The bright side is that the control panel and the apps work with even low-end iPhone and Android smartphones. Nevertheless, you miss out on features like wind resistance and obstacle sensing. It means you should be careful while using the drone to do even the simplest tasks. However, you still get the hover options.
As the products from Ruko, the SNAPTAIN SP700 offers a bunch of recording features. For instance, there is a Circle Fly mode, which can orbit a specific object for long-term content.
Similarly, you can set up a virtual fence, which would stop the drone from getting out. The simple controls on the interface will help you land the drone with extra ease. We should also mention the Follow Me mode, which comes in handy for content creators out there.
On the safety side, SNAPTAIN has included some security-oriented features such as Failsafe RTH and Low Power RTH.
All points considered, the SNAPTAIN SP700 is an impressive camera drone for beginners who have a tighter budget to keep. Although you don’t get some useful features like obstacle sensing and longer battery life, it is a great camera drone to get started with.
- Affordable pricing
- Intuitive remote control
- GPS-based hovering
- Useful movement functions
- Limited flight power
Camera Drones for Beginners FAQ
What is a beginner drone?
We cannot find a fixed definition for a beginner drone. People mean a few things when they mention a beginner drone. This drone should be easy to use and offer an effective way to manage details.
Most notably, the drone should have some essential safety features like Return to Home and Obstacle Detection. These features will make it easy for beginners to get started with drones and aerial photography.
Due to the many excellent features in today’s camera drones, you can capture complex shots with minimal effort. At the very base of things, a beginner drone should be sturdy-built and powerful, though.
Can drones fly at night?
Yes, drones can fly at night without trouble. However, you should check if your area has any restrictions for flying drones at night. It isn’t common anywhere, but it’s good to take a glance.
As for the technicalities, you have to take care of the obstacles on the way when flying a drone. However, premium drones come with multi-directional obstacle sensing and avoidance.
If you can use either of the options, you won’t have trouble flying a drone at night.
Can drones fly in the rain?
Most drones cannot fly in rain because water contact would tamper the hardware inside. Besides, based on the rain’s intensity, the flight modes may also impact.
At the same time, we have to mention that a few premium drones come with a water-resistant and water-proof design. Unless you have one of these drone models, it makes sense to keep your drone experiments away from the rain. In most cases, the drone would either fall or crash when exposed to too much rain.
Of course, you don’t want this happening to a device you paid a couple of hundred dollars for.
Are drones worth buying?
It is a tricky question. The simple answer would be that it depends on how you use it.
The complex answer is this. The right drone camera can help you capture some of the best images and videos that you had never imagined before.
We are talking about aerial photography and landscapes and even seamless vlogging on the go. On the other hand, if you are a serious photographer, you can use a drone to improve the breadth of your photos and make them creative. Even hobbyists can now use drones to compose a creative photograph using aerial and third-party shots.
To complement these needs, makers have been adding many additional features to the package.
If you belong to these categories or just want to create better content all the way, drones are worth buying, indeed.
The Bottom Line
We hope we successfully showed you some of the best camera drones for beginners. As we said, the products on this list are made for different user-bases.
The idea is to find the category to belong to and choose the camera drone. For instance, while we recommend the DJI Mini 2 for professionals and hobbyists alike, the DJI Mavic 2 is a more refined product.
We’d recommend that to people who can use the extra power while creating content.
Similarly, each product presents with you a few questions as to whether you should choose it. Based on your response, you can select the best camera drone to begin flying with.Back to Top