The Best Flying Camera Drone

Note: There is an updated version of this post. Please see Best Drone Cameras for 2017 & Buyer’s Guide[/box]

If you would like a fun, impressive, and quite frankly the coolest “toy” you’ve ever owned, you would pick the DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Drone (with 4K UHD Video Camera). It’s stable, easy to control, responsive and smart. The GPS flight control is awesome and makes learning to fly the drone so much easier. It’s the ideal choice for those getting started with aerial cinematography.

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter Flying Camera Drone

 

The Phantom 3 Professional brings several improvements to already popular DJI Drone series.

Before we get into the details, just to be clear, it comes fully assembled and ready to fly out of the box. It’s one of the easiest drones to fly and even if this is your first time flying, you will be mastering it in no time.

It includes the standard features of any DJI drone – including GPS navigation with auto takeoffs and auto landings, intelligent high power flight battery, a built-in safety database of no fly zones, etc.

The motors are a bit larger and this is acutally a good thing – becuase it allows for a more precision control. If you have large enough space, you can fly it indoors, thanks to the new “sonar”-like sensors at the bottom of the drone. These optical and ultrasonic sensors called Vision Positioning allow you to fly indoors precisely without a GPS signal.

A fully stabilized 3-axis 4k UHD video cameral lets you take crystal clear, mind-blowing videos and stunning still photos. The phantom will take off and then hover wherever you leave it allowing you to control the direction of flight or camera easily.

The new generation Lightbridge technology allows you to directly see what the drone sees. You can see the live video feed from the drone as you fly. This full resolution video is simultaneously recorded on the internal micro SD card.

The awesome DJI lightbridge technology and a better camera makes this a great deal . You will be hard pressed to find anything comparable at this price.

Check out what customers who recently bought the phantom 3 have to say by reading the reviews here.

Note on FCC Regulations:

Due to safety regulations, DJI has factory-locks in place preventing you to even start the motor if you live within a 15 mile radius of the White House. This includes D.C., most of Prince Georges County, Arlington, Fairfax, Silver Spring, Falls Church and Montgomery County. DJI does not provide this warning before you purchase. Just be aware that if you bought it and live within 15 miles of the White House, you will not be able to fly your Phantom.

$1,259 on Amazon

Check out DJI Phantom 3 on Amazon.

A Great Alternative: DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter

DJI Phantom 3 Advanced Quadcopter

The Phantom 3 Advanced is a great alternative to our top pick, The Phantom 3 Professional.

Everything is practically the same, except for the camera. You still get 1080 HD video camera that takes a very high-quality video and still photos.

If you find that The Phantom 3 Professional is out of stock, or want something a bit cheaper, you cannot go wrong with The Phantom 3 Advanced.

Read customer reviews here.

$1,059 on Amazon

Top Rated Flying Camera Drones

Flying Camera Drone Reviews

UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter

UDI U818A 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter

UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter with Camera RTF Mode 2

UDI U818A

Now, if you do not want to spend too much and simply want to get the quadcopter experience with a camera, UDI U818A 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Quadcopter is a great choice.

The video camera is good but don’t expect high resolution photos. Start in mode 1 to get used to it and then move on to mode 2 for fast and fun flights. Does not perform very well in windy conditions.

It’s on sale now on Amazon. For about $50 bucks, this is a quick plug-an-play drone that is good both indoors and outdoors.

$50.62 on Amazon

Our Previous Pick: DJI Phantom FC40

Our Previous Pick

DJI Phantom FC40 was our top pick last year. However, DJI has now discontinued this model. We have updated this guide with our new top pick DJI Phantom 3 Professional.

The Best Flying Camera Drone - DJI CP.PT.000027 Phantom FC40 Quadcopter with Wi-Fi FPV Video Camera

DJI Phantom FC40 Quadcopter with Wi-Fi FPV Video Camera

The DJI Phantom FC40 is a complete quadcopter, pretuned by the factory. Attach the propellers, charge the included battery and you should be good to go. You do need 4 AA batteries to the remote (not included).

Some have complained about the setup and firmware upgrade – so be sure to religiously follow the instructions and you should have no problems.

Unlike the other models, it comes with an integrated video camera that records a pretty good 720p HD video on a micro SD card.

You will also get a live first-person view (FPV) Wi-Fi streaming of video to the free app for iOS or Android devices. The app for FPV is easy to use and connects to the camera easily.

It features a new 5.8GHz remote control which will not interfere with the 2.4G Wi-Fi when flying.

After some hiccups in the past, they have really made their GPS return-to-home feature reliable – so that you always have that peace of mind. You do need to activate this feature by downloading software from DJI.

Quick tip: Print out the manual – it makes using the Phantom a lot easier.

$569 on Amazom


DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter

Update June, 2015: DJI has discontinued this product.

DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter Version 1.1.1 for GoPro Camera Hero 1 2 3 Hero3

DJI Phantom

DJI Phantom Aerial UAV Drone Quadcopter is a beautiful drone with new propeller design , two receiver antennas, and the gimbal tilt control on the back of the transmitter.

We were very close to picking this as the best flying camera drone. Because it does not come with an integrated camera, we went with the FC40 – we want our recommendation to be as hassle-free as possible while getting the desired outcome.

The main (dis)advantage you have is that while you will be able to get stunning aerial Go Pro footage, you will have to buy the Go Pro Camera separately (Available on Amazon for $278).

$549 on Amazon

Updates

Updates

Upate 1: Our pick for the best flying camera drone for wedding photos and video is also DJI Phantom 3. Read more here: The Best Flying Camera Drone for Weddings

Update 2: DJI has reduced the price of The Phantom 3 to $1,259.

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Author: Neil Trevor

Neil loves to travel. Whenever he finds some time to take a break in a cafe, he loves to sit down, sip a cup of cappuccino and write. Chief travel editor at WhatRocksAndWhatSucks.com, right now Neil probably is somewhere in Europe (or in South America, who knows!). Reach him at neil@wraws.com or on Google+.

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