2017 has been a great year for drones.From being a pricey and giant madman’s dream they’ve become quite affordable and portable reality now appealable to the masses. The drones serve people who simply want to fly something around the sky for fun to industry professionals who use them to capture 4K aerial video.
Here are the best selection of the best drones in 2017.
Best Overall Drone
DJI Mavic Pro
DJI Mavic Pro is one of the smallest drones in DJI’s lineup. It features folding arms that makes it conform to your already full bag. But don’t let its diminutive size fool you, this pint-sized quadcopter boasts the kind of performance that DJI is famous for.
A new OcuSync transmission system will offer up to 4.3 miles of range at 40 mph speed. The lengthy range away from the base controller is aided by GPS and satellite to help maintain precise location control.
Also, some of its advanced automated flight modes let you capture some stunning cinematic shots, plus fantastic quality 4K video and 12-megapixel still images. With a battery life of around 27 minutes, you get a seriously amazing combination of nimble flight and fantastic image quality with the DJI Mavic Pro.
Best Drone for Beginners
Learning to fly a drone begins with mishaps, so an aspiring pilot needs a drone that is tough, as well as cheap so that losing it won’t bankrupt them. The drone comes fully equipped with a 3.7V 500mAh LiPo battery (which gives you a flight time of about 7 minutes), a transmitter, and a mini camera.
Remember this drone isn’t mainly recommended if you plan on shooting stunning cinematic shots, but it is recommended for practicing hovering and landing until you get a grasp on flying a drone. It does have a 2MP HD camera, and it also is VR compatible, meaning you can use a VR headset and experience what the drone is doing as though you’re right up there.
Another cool feature of the UDI U818A is its 360° eversion maneuver. If your drone is about 10 feet or higher in the air you can hit the 360° button and the UDI U818A will automatically do a flip in the air.
Best Drone for Kids
The market is full of cheap mini-drones from no-name brands, so if you’re buying the Parrot Mambo for your kid you know you are buying a quality product.
Unlike most other mini-drones, this one is actually designed specifically for kids. In addition to a chunk of motion sensors and an advanced autopilot software to keep the drone stable, Mambo also comes with some of the attachments that make it more fun and engaging for the little ones than a basic quadcopter. It comes with a cannon attachment and a grabber arm that can clamp and carry small objects.
With a battery life of around 9 minutes and a 0.3-megapixel camera that points downwards, this isn’t really a drone for photography.
Best Drone For Professionals
DJI Inspire 2
Ideally suited for news stations, filmmakers, aerial videographers or just a deep-pocketed quadcopter lover, DJI’s Inspire 2 is the company’s finest flagship-level drone. It has a seriously impressive spec sheet consisting of a controllable range of up to 4.3 miles, a top speed of 67 miles per hour, forward obstacle avoidance, along with stabilization and autopilot features. But the star of the show definitely is the camera.
DJI Inspire 2 includes the company’s latest Zenmuse cam, the X5S. It is a mirrorless Micro Four Thirds camera made specifically for aerial photography and cinematography. It shoots 5.2K at 30 fps or 4K at 60 fps, takes 20.4-megapixel stills, and boasts of a ridiculously wide ISO range of 100 – 25,600. The ability to swap camera lenses lets the professional photographers and videographers have complete control over their images and 5K video. Also, this rig is housed inside a vibration dampened 3-axis gimbal, so your footage comes out silky smooth no matter how you fly it.
You get more than 25 minutes of flight time out of the twin-battery arrangement and DJI’s amazing control system. The DJI Go app puts all of the camera’s advanced controls right at your fingertips. Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO can be adjusted using this app, and focus can be set by simply tapping on the subject.