One of the biggest payoffs of flying a drone is the images you capture during flight that give you a perspective you can’t get elsewhere. Often times a quadcopter will come with a camera built-in, but for those that want a higher-quality image or the ability to fly without the added weight, it makes sense to purchase a drone without a camera and stick on their own when they wish.
So I’ve compiled a list of options for those who want to purchase their own drone camera to save you time searching so you can spend more time flying!
Drone Camera Round Up!
GoPro HERO Series
The GoPro Series of cameras is the gold standard of action cameras (and drone cameras for that matter), so it only makes sense they’d be the best for drone footage as well. You’d be wise to look over this comparison chart they offer, as the technical specs can be confusing. GoPro’s are frequently paired with a high quality quadcopter, like the DJI Phantom 2, to maximize the air time and maneuverability. We’ve got a complete guide to the Phantom 2 if you need help choosing a drone as well!
My recommendation is to go with GoPro Hero (linked above) if you’re new to drone flying and are happy with 1080p video (which is probably all your monitor and TV can handle now, anyways). It does’t make sense to spend more on a camera when you’re going to be sending it hundreds of feet into the air and risk a fierce crash, or worse, losing your drone in a field or on top of a building.
If you are an experienced quadcopter pilot and have the money to spend, I’d recommend going for the top-of-the-line Hero4. It has all the tech specs you could ask for from an action camera, including 4k video recording at 30FPS, so it won’t become obsolete for at least another 5 years.
Mobius Action Camera
If you’re looking for a cheaper and more lightweight drone camera, or maybe one that could double as a dashcam, this camera is for you! It has an impressive 80 minute battery life despite weighing only 1.4 ounces, and shoots 1080p at 30 FPS! You would also have an easier time attaching this to a smaller drone, whereas something like a GoPro would weigh you down too much. Here’s some great beginner quadcopters you could strap the Mobius onto. Check out the video below to see some impressive drone footage from such a small camera!
DBPOWER Action Camera
This camera (clearly a GoPro knock-off) is an amazing deal at the price. It offers many of the same features as a GoPro Hero for a much smaller price. This would be a great drone camera for someone starting out who wants to use many of the same mounts that a GoPro has, but doesn’t want to risk losing such an expensive camera. Judging by the Amazon reviews, this thing is a steal, so be sure to consider it.
The video below does a good job comparing the two cameras if you need further help.
That wraps up our drone camera purchasing guide for 2015! Now get out here and get flying those quadcopters! If you want some photography tips, CNN has a thorough article on the topic.