The Best Drones for Photo, Video, and FPV

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The Best Drones for Photo, Video, and FPV

When it comes to finding the best drone, there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution. Different pilots have different needs, different budgets, and different skill levels. Some are photographers, some are racers, and some just like to fly. In other words, what's best for one drone pilot might not be what's best for all.

To help you find the drone that best suits your needs and interests, we've put together a list of some of our favorite flyers and separated them by category and application.

- Best Drone Overall: DJI Mini 4 Pro | Jump to Details » 
- Best Premium Drone: DJI Mavic 3 Pro | Jump to Details »
- Best Drone for Photography: DJI Air 3 | Jump to Details »
- Best DJI Alternative: Autel EVO Lite+ | Jump to Details »
- Best Budget Drone: DJI Mini 3 | Jump to Details »
- Best FPV Drone: DJI Avata 2 | Jump to Details »
- Best Drone That's Also an Egg: PowerVision PowerEgg X | Jump to Details »

Best Drone Overall: DJI Mini 4 Pro

The best drone for most people

Offering a perfect combination of performance, price, and portability, the DJI Mini 4 Pro is the best drone for most people. This feature-rich flyer builds upon the success of its acclaimed predecessor, the Mini 3 Pro, adding better image quality, greater obstacle avoidance protection, and improved object tracking.

The DJI Mini 4 Pro offers the best combination of performance, price, and portability for most people.
The DJI Mini 4 Pro offers the best combination of performance, price, and portability for most people.

At first glance, the Mini 4 Pro doesn't look much different than its predecessor: Its foldable body, 249-gram takeoff weight, and 1/1.3" camera sensor appear identical to the Mini 3 Pro. But don't let the indistinguishable aesthetic fool you. Beneath its doppelgänger design, the Mini 4 Pro packs serious performance upgrades, enough to earn it best-in-class honors.

What kind of upgrades? Well, for starters, improved image processing helps the Mini 4 Pro be better at handling and reducing noise, which, in turn, allows it to capture higher-quality images in low-light situations. Another big upgrade is support for the 10-bit D-Log color profile, which greatly improves color consistency and versatility, and gives operators greater control over video output.

Not only does the Mini 4 Pro produce better images and video, but it's also safer than the Mini 3 Pro, thanks to its enhanced omnidirectional obstacle avoidance. On top of that, the Mini 4 Pro also has dramatically better range, can transmit video from farther away, and comes fully equipped with DJI's most advanced subject-tracking modes and creative features.

The Mini 4 Pro is the total package. No other drone does so many things so well. It's everything you want in a consumer-level drone, at a reasonable price that won't break the bank.

Read More: The Best Mini Drones

Best Premium Drone: DJI Mavic 3 Pro

The best prosumer drone money can buy

Prosumer and professional pilots looking for the best drone money can buy should set their sights on the Mavic 3 Pro. Featuring the world's first triple-lens camera system and state-of-the-art obstacle avoidance, DJI's flagship flyer is as advanced as they come. 

The filmmaker-friendly DJI Mavic 3 Pro is the best premium drone you can buy.
The filmmaker-friendly DJI Mavic 3 Pro is the best premium drone you can buy.

The Mavic 3 Pro's tri-camera system includes a 24mm Hasselblad wide-angle lens (which is the same incredible camera used in the Mavic 3 Classic) and two telephoto lenses: a 70mm medium telephoto and a 166mm full telephoto. Each lens is backed by a long list of pro-grade features and technologies, giving pilots the means to capture and achieve their artistic vision.

It's not just the camera system that's premium either. The Mavic 3 Pro also features DJI's most sophisticated collision avoidance technology, a built-in 1TB SSD, autonomous flight modes, up to 43 minutes of flight time, and so much more.

One thing to keep in mind about the Mavic 3 Pro is that it's a professional-grade drone, which means it incurs a professional-grade price: the base model alone will run you close to $5K.

Watch: Hollywood Cinematography for Drone Operators

Best Drone for Photography: DJI Air 3

The best drone for capturing aerial images

Featuring a versatile dual-camera system with best-in-class image quality, the DJI Air 3 is one of the best drones for capturing aerial images. This photo-friendly flyer incorporates not one but two camera lenses: a 24mm equivalent wide-angle lens and a 3x telephoto lens. Both lenses feature a large 1/1.3" CMOS sensor capable of capturing 48MP stills and up to 4K100 video.

Class-leading image quality helps make the DJI Air 3 an excellent choice for photographers.
Class-leading image quality helps make the DJI Air 3 an excellent choice for photographers.

In addition to its class-leading image quality, the Air 3 also offers excellent wind resistance, so you won't have to worry about it getting pushed around in breezy weather and messing up your shot. The Air 3 also boasts an impressive 46-minute flight time, giving you time to capture plenty of high-resolution photos and breathtaking images.

Read More: Benefits of Filters for Drone Photography

Best DJI Alternative: Autel EVO Lite+

The best drone from DJI's biggest rival

Although not as prominent as drone-manufacturing monolith DJI, Autel Robotics still has plenty to brag about. Case in point: the EVO Lite+, a flagship-worthy flyer featuring a 1" CMOS sensor that shoots up to 6K30 video and can capture 20MP stills.

It might not have the same brand recognition as DJI drone, but Autel Robotics' EVO Lite+ is still a formidable and flagship-worthy flyer.
It might not have the same brand recognition as DJI drone, but Autel Robotics' EVO Lite+ is still a formidable and flagship-worthy flyer.

The EVO Lite+ stacks up well against DJI's Air series, offering image quality, flight performance, and overall value that places it squarely between the DJI Air 2S and the costlier Air 3. Of these three, it's worth noting that the EVO Lite+ is the only one with an adjustable aperture—an appealing feature for pilots who want greater control over the amount of light the camera lets in.

Read More: Autel Robotics' Expansive Drone Lineup

Best Budget Drone: DJI Mini 3

The best bang for your buck

Featuring the same compact footprint and sensor size as the Mini 4 Pro, the Mini 3 is the best budget drone you can buy. This wallet-friendly flyer is great for first-time pilots or anyone looking to get the most bang from their buck.

Offering tremendous performance at an affordable price, the DJI Mini 3 delivers the best all-around value.
Offering tremendous performance at an affordable price, the DJI Mini 3 delivers the best all-around value.

The Mini 3's top features include the ability to capture high-quality 12MP stills and 4K30 video. It also boasts an impressive 38-minute flight time, 6.2-mile transmission range, and several automated functions, including pre-programmed flight patterns that make shooting professional-level videos a breeze. You get all these features and more for nearly half the price of the Mini 4 Pro.

Despite its tremendous value, there are some notable omissions from the Mini 3's feature set, including obstacle avoidance and subject tracking. Of those, the lack of obstacle avoidance is more noteworthy, since you'll have to fly without the protection of DJI's automated safety net.

Read More: Drone Accessories Gift Guide

Best FPV Drone: DJI Avata 2

DJI RTF FPV FTW

If you're interested in first-person view (FPV) flying, the DJI Avata 2 is the best place to start. DJI's beginner-friendly flyer is designed to make the somewhat-intimidating world of FPV flying more accessible by providing an easy-to-fly solution that's ready to fly right out of the box.

Interested in first-person flying? The DJI Avata 2 is one of the best ready-to-fly FPV drones you can buy.
Interested in first-person flying? The DJI Avata 2 is one of the best ready-to-fly FPV drones you can buy.

Conventional FPV systems include three essential components: a drone, an RC controller, and FPV goggles (or headset). With the Avata 2, you can purchase all of these components together in a ready-to-fly combo or buy them à la carte.

Reminiscent of the classic "Tiny Whoop" design, the Avata 2 is a palm-sized plane with a powerful 155-degree camera capable of shooting up to 4K HDR video, with a 24 ms latency, and a top speed of 60 mph.

For a complete FPV experience, you’ll need to pair the Avata 2 with a comatible FPV headset, such as the DJI Goggles 3, and a controller. The Avata 2 supports motion-sensitive controllers like the RC Motion 3, as well as traditional controllers like FPV Remote Controller 3.

Watch: New to Flying FPV Drones? Watch This!

Best Drone That’s Also an Egg: PowerVision PowerEgg X

Par eggcellence

In 2016, visionary drone-manufacturer PowerVision launched its very first consumer drone, and in doing so, boldly asked the question: But what if it was also an egg?

Nearly a decade later, PowerVision remains the undisputed authority on egg-inspired aviation, thanks in part to the success of its award-winning oval aircraft, the multifaceted PowerEgg X.

Hitchcock's worst nightmare: the PowerVision PowerEgg X
Hitchcock's worst nightmare: the PowerVision PowerEgg X

A modular marvel, the PowerEgg X features three distinct shooting modes (and one egg mode). It can be used as an autonomous AI camera backed by deep-learning technology, a handheld camera with gimbal-like stabilization, and a high-performance waterproof drone capable of shooting up to 4K60 video and capturing 12MP stills.

In egg mode, it's just an egg. But that's still pretty neat.

Watch: Getting Started in Drone Photography and Videography

Questions about finding the right drone or how we chose our favorite flyers? Drop us a comment down below and we'll get back to you right away.

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