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With the current rise in popularity, or should that be craze, for quadcopters, there are more and more makes and models appearing on the market every day and one of the biggest questions is just what is the best quadcopter with camera available today.
To help in your search, whether you are looking for an entry-level fun-to-fly quadcopter or one for professional photographic purposes, we have looked as some of the most popular and best quadcopters currently filling our skies and below is our guide to the Top Ten with our tips and recommendations.
Important to Consider in Your Search
- Camera Resolution. Most quadcopter cameras have a minimum resolution of 300 pixels which will provide decent quality photos and video. If you need the highest quality then opt for a resolution of 720 pixels or more. Similarly for top quality aerial videos 1280×720 pixels would be the minimum requirement.
- Flight Time/Charging Time. The flying time of a quadcopter will vary dependent upon make and model but 5 to 15 minutes would be normal before the batteries need charging. This can take up to and over an hour. Some more expensive models have a flying time of almost 25 minutes.
- Flying Range. This is very important as you don’t want to see your quadcopter disappear over the horizon because you no longer have control over it. Despite manufacturer’s claims on their products, always assume it is less than the distance stated.
- Spare Parts. Whatever make of drone you choose, be sure that spare parts are easily available as propellers and other delicate parts break quite often.
- First Person View (FPV). If you want to see what the quadcopter sees, and control your drone even when it’s out of sight, you will need FPV. Check to make sure your quadcopter and camera have this capability.
The Top 10 Quadcopters with a Camera Table
The 3 Best Quadcopters with Camera
DJI are probably the leading manufacturers of quadcopters and the new Phantom 3 Advanced shows just why. Simple enough for even beginners to fly, the Phantom 3 is also a superb choice for keen amateur or professional photographers with all the features you would expect from a top of the range quadcopter with camera.
The Phantom 3’s built-in features such as automatic hovering, take-off and landing make for a stress-free and enjoyable experience and the return to home function avoids the usual worry should you lose sight of your flying machine.
Your new Phantom 3 comes out of its box ready to fly with a transmitter or radio control included and requires very little time or effort to prepare for your maiden flight.
On a fully-charged battery (which takes from 35 to 50 minutes) you have over twenty minutes in the air and plenty of time to capture beautiful aerial photographs using the Phantom 3’s built-in 1080 pixel camera which also delivers full HD video recordings.
As you would expect from a DJI quadcopter, the video can be streamed live to your remote control unit giving you full First Person View and the drone’s stability in flight is truly amazing even on a windy day.
The Phantom 2+ had long been my favourite drone and I thought it could not be improved upon but Boy was I wrong! The Phantom 3 is a whole lot of quadcopter for the money and worth every cent as far as I’m concerned. No need for a Phantom 4! The Phantom 3 Advanced has all you will ever want from a quadcopter whether it’s for work or fun or a little of both and fully deserves its rating as the best quadcopter with camera.
For its relatively low price tag the SYMA X5C-1 delivers a lot. Ready to fly when it arrives, you should be up and running (or should that be running and up?) in no time at all and ready to enjoy all that your new favourite quadcopter has to offer.
Although the battery can take ninety minutes or over to charge, you should get a good ten minutes in the air and the SYMA X5C-1 is certainly a lot more stable in flight than its predecessor.
The remote control buttons are fairly straightforward and easy enough to master making this particular model ideal for both beginners and more experienced quad flyers. A nice feature is the ability to turn on the camera when the drone has reached a suitable height, conserving valuable battery power and extending your flying time.
After mastering the basics, the SYMA X5C-1 can be switched to the expert mode of flying allowing more experienced flyers to indulge themselves in trickier aerial stunts. Or maybe just to show off their new found flying prowess to their fellow quadcopter enthusiasts.
The SYMA X5C-1 has an operating range of close to fifty meters and the 720 pixel on-board camera delivers decent quality photos and video which for a drone in this price range cannot be faulted.
The SYMA X5C-1 is the best budget quadcopter I have come across in recent times. After only seven trial runs I was ready to move on to the expert mode and, I can honestly state, with no major disasters to report. Certainly, for a reasonable price, the SYMA X5C-1 rates right up there as one of the best entry-level quadcopters, and is more than worth its relatively low cost.
The Q500 Typhoon from Yuneec is another awesome quadcopter that almost rivals the DJI Phantom. Almost but not quite!
If you can afford the expense, the Q500 is worth the investment as it is suitable for both beginners and advanced flyers.
The remote control unit is almost too simple to believe but is a thing of beauty in its simplicity. Simple start/stop buttons and a built-in 4.5 inch screen make flying the Q500 as easy as falling off a bike or falling from the sky, which the Q500 doesn’t do.
The 1080 pixel camera delivers top quality for both still photos and full HD video and is very easy to operate from the hand-held remote unit.
Charging the battery will take about an hour but you get a good twenty minutes in the air or more, depending on your camera usage, and the Q500 has a decent range of almost 600 meters.
The Yuneec Q500 is easy to operate, great fun to fly and the remote control unit is excellent but, at the price, my preference is still for the DJI Phantom 3.