The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography.

The best camera drones are far more than the simple toys they used to be. They’re now used widely by both amateur and professional photographers because they can reach areas and shoot from angles that regular cameras can’t. They allow aerial photography and videography of landscapes, buildings and events that previously required the use of a helicopter, a small plane or a crane.

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Drone have significantly evolved greatly since the first ready-to-fly model ten years ago – and a decade later, drones are now everywhere. Almost every drone has a camera supported by a powered gimbal, which stabilize the vibration from the propellers. Sensor size is still an issue for photographers, but there are few options depending on your needs. Below we have selected for you 10 awesome drone that you may consider to purchase on your next destination or simply for your own pleasure…


01. DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

The all-round best drone for photography

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs:

Weight: 905g | Dimensions (folded): 214×91×84mm | Dimensions (unfolded): 322×242×84mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K HDR 30fps | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 31 minutes (3850mAh) | Max Range: 8km / 5mi | Max Speed: 72kph / 44.7mph

  • Very portable
  • Optical Zoom
  • Great software features
  • Expensive
  • No 60fps for 4K

DJI’s Mavic Pro changed what was possible with the best camera drones back in 2016, making it possible to fold and carry a decent-quality lens without being overly heavy or bulky. It could capture 4K (at a maximum of 24fps) and introduced a handy fold-out controller that seemed to have more in common with a PlayStation than bulky radio controllers from their hobby era…


02. Autel EVO II

With 8K video, this might be more than you need!

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs

Weight: 1174g | Wing span (unfolded): 397×397mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 8K @ 25fps | Camera resolution: 48MP | Battery life: 40 minutes | Max Range: 9km / 5.5mi | Max Speed: 72kph / 44mph

  • 8K video quality
  • 48 megapixel camera
  • Omnidirectional sensors
  • 8K shooting is limited to 25fps

Like the Mavic 2, Autel’s second EVO is offered with different camera choices, in theory at least (supply has been erratic in its early months, but then 2020 hasn’t been an easy year). Both are built around a heavy, rugged-looking (but average feeling) orange airframe which eschews sleek consumer-friendly design for simple practicality. It’s a bit chunkier than the Mavics, but it can fly for longer and is bigger unfolded).


03. DJI Mavic 2 Pro

A brilliant camera in a quality package

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs:

Weight: 907g | Dimensions (folded): 214×91×84mm | Dimensions (unfolded): 322×242×84mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K HDR 30fps | Camera resolution: 20MP | Battery life: 31 minutes (3850mAh) | Max Range: 8km / 5mi | Max Speed: 72kph / 44.7mph

  • 1-inch sensor
  • Reliable airframe
  • Great software features
  • Expensive
  • No 60fps for 4K

2020 saw the arrival of the Mavic Air 2 with a host of improvements to the Mavic line which make the Mavic 2 Pro more of a speciality aircraft than before, but whichever way you look at it the stills and, in lower light, the video remain unbeaten (without spending a good amount more and throwing portability out of the window).


04. PowerVision PowerEgg X Wizard

Best waterproof drone and best A.I. camera drone

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs:

Weight: 860g / 1.9lb | Dimensions (egg): 178 x 102 x 102mm | Dimensions (drone mode): 427mm diagonal | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K @ 60fps | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 30 minutes (dry mode) | Max Range: 6 km / 3.7mi | Max Speed: 65kph / 40mph

  • Waterproof & water landing mode
  • Audio-sync recording option
  • Camcorder mode a nice option to have
  • No record button in camcorder mode
  • Small image sensor

PowerVision is certainly an inventive company – as its awards shelf will testament – and it has been making underwater drones as long as flying ones, so the PowerEgg X shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it did. Their original PowerEgg was a stunning product, yet rather than revising it, PowerVision opted to go back to the drawing board. They created an altogether new egg which could be used as a drone, a hand-held or tripod-mounted camcorder making use of the gimbal for stability and A.I. for subject tracking, and – in the optional ‘Wizard’ kit – a beach-ready drone which can land on water or fly in the rain.


05. PowerVision PowerEgg X Explorer

Great A.I. camera drone (but without the waterproofing)

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs:

Weight: 860g / 1.9lb | Dimensions (egg): 178 x 102 x 102mm | Dimensions (drone mode): 427mm diagonal | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K @ 60fps | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 30 minutes (dry mode) | Max Range: 6 km / 3.7mi | Max Speed: 65kph / 40mph

  • Audio-sync recording option
  • Camcorder mode a nice option to have
  • No record button in camcorder mode
  • Lacks the waterproofing of its Wizard sibling
  • Small image sensor than Wizard

The Explorer is a stripped down version of the PowerVision PowerEgg X Wizard – losing its magical waterproofing powers, but in the process saving you a chunk of money that may well be a sensible move if you are into fair weather flying. The specification is the same however when it comes to its flying skills. You still get the drone, controller, case, a single battery, camcorder grip & tripod mount – but you don’t get the extra battery, weatherproofing components or canvas bag that you get with the Wizard.


06. DJI Mini 2

The best drone for the beginner

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs:

Weight: 249g | Dimensions (folded): 38×81×58mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K 30fps (1080P@60fps) | Camera resolution: 12MP | Battery life: 31 minutes (2250mAh) | Max Range: 10km / 6.2 miles | Max Speed: 57kph / 35mph

  • Very portable
  • Registration-free in USA, China and more
  • Easy-to-flyRaw photos
  • Limited tracking features

DJI defined compact quality camera drones as something which could appeal to and be understood by everyday consumers with the Mavic in 2016, but price and, more recently, weight limits kept some consumers away. Drones over 250g (or operating them) now require registration and a small fee in most countries. The Mavic Mini solved the weight issue in 2019, but the latest Mini 2 has taken that already miraculous design and souped it up so it can now attract more serious users too.


07. Parrot Anafi FPV

The foldable Anafi is the best drone for travel

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs:

Weight: 310g | Dimensions (folded): 244×67×65mm | Dimensions (unfolded): 240×175×65mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K HDR 30fps | Camera resolution: 21MP | Battery life: 25 minutes (2700mAh) | Max Range: 4km / 2.5mi | Max Speed: 55kph / 35mph

  • Very portable
  • 4K @ 100Mbps with HDR
  • 180° vertical-turn gimbal and zoom
  • Only 2-axis control
  • Some features are in-app purchases

Parrot wasn’t really a contender in the high-end aerial video market until the Anafi arrived in mid-2018, but it was definitely worth the wait. Rather than push up prices and weight with sensors of questionable use (and the processing power to handle their data), Parrot leave the business of avoiding obstacles very much to the customer. In exchange, though, it’s managed to keep the portability and price manageable, helped by the fact a great hard-fabric zip case is included so you’ll be able to shoot just about anywhere.


08. DJI Mavic Air 2

If it’s a foldable drone you want in 2020, this is the best

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs:

Weight: 570g | Dimensions (folded): 180×97×84mm | Dimensions (unfolded): 183×253×77mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K 60fps | Camera resolution: 48MP | Battery life: 34 minutes (3500mAh) | Max Range: 18.5km / 11.4mi | Max Speed: 68kph / 42mph

  • Portable
  • 4K shooting a 60fps
  • Object avoidance with course correction
  • No side or top sensors
  • App could be better

The new DJI Mavic Air 2 is a stunning technical achievement, an incredibly capable drone that – for most people – might look like the only flying camera they’d ever need. With front, downward and rear-facing distance sensors, the drone is capable of identifying obstacles and not just warning the pilot, but also plotting a course to avoid, say, a wall or a tree if needed.


09. DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

This is the best drone for serious photographers and filmmakers

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs:

Weight: 1375g | Dimensions: 350x350xmm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 4K @ 60fps | Camera resolution: 20MP | Battery life: 25 minutes (5870mAh) | Max Range: 7km / 4.1mi | Max Speed: 72kph / 44.7mph

  • Large image sensor
  • Design classic
  • Subject tracking
  • Size feels a little clunky

The Phantom was a revolutionary product, its earlier versions including the first drone to feature a gimbal-stabilized camera rather than requiring the user to supply their own. Its rugged body design means that while it’s no longer the obvious choice for beginners or consumers (for whom folding products offer at least the same practicality), there is a strong use-case for an occasional professional.


10. DJI Inspire 2

The camera drone to buy when the optics are your priority

The best drones 2020 for aerial video and photography. By discover Evolution

Specs:

Weight: 4000g | Dimensions: 605 diagonal mm | Controller: Yes | Video resolution: 5.2k @ 24fps | Camera resolution: 20.8MP | Battery life: 23-27 minutes (4280mAh dual battery) | Max Range: 7km / 4.1mi | Max Speed: 94kph / 58mph

  • Interchangeable lens system available
  • Solid build quality & backup systems
  • Capable of live 1080i broadcast
  • High purchase cost
  • Dual battery makes getting spares expensive
  • Props need to be locked into place

The Inspire 1 brought with it a jaw-dropping Klingon-inspired design that keeps the props comfortably out of most shots while allowing for a big, stable frame. The Inspire 2 cements that professional quality with a magnesium hull (careful where you grip it) and lots of dual redundancy for safer flight.


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