They always say that big things come in small packages, and the newest innovations in drone technology proves that. If you haven’t seen what some of the latest mini drones have to offer, you might be missing out. Unparalleled design allows for enhanced durability, flight time, and now the addition of a high visibility camera.
The popularity of drones today gives fliers more access than ever to new technology. It also has flooded the market with highly competitive products that can be overwhelming to search through. Finding the perfect drone entails determining your needs, what features you want, and how much you are willing to pay. The last thing a beginner wants is to be frustrated with an expensive drone, or a professional stuck with an inexpensive one that doesn’t fulfill all of their needs. Mini drones are the answer for enthusiasts both amateur and professional who want to skip the headaches of some of the more advanced drones, while still having the camera and recording functions that make them worth the purchase.
The portable and lightweight size means you have the ability to survey any area, all while not sacrificing the high quality camera options of bigger drones. People are raving about these top 5 mini drones with cameras, and it’s easy to see why. If you want to take your hobby to the next level, then you might want to check out some of the top reviewed and awarded mini drones out there on the market.
The folks at DJI are on top of their drone game, and the latest DJI Mavic 2 is everything you’ve ever wanted in a big drone, minus the size. In addition to its 31 minute flight time and 1080p video transmission, the DJI Mavic boasts a whopping 20mp camera resolution. DJI is regularly described as one of the most innovative companies in the drone industry, and their technology is the recipient of several awards.
The Mavic takes the features of DJI’s best selling drones, such as the Phantom series, and condenses it into one small package. It’s a bit more affordable compared to some of their other options as well. If you’ve been eyeing some of the more advanced models they have to offer, but don’t want the commitment, then the entire Mavic series is a great option for you.
The reviews for the DJI Mavic 2 are glowing– in fact, it’s the highest rated mini camera drone on the market. Customers have noted its great stability in the air, along with an above average camera resolution. While the Mavic comes in at the largest size of the aircrafts on this list, its condensed size means no sacrifice in quality, and it still out performs some of the larger drones out there.
The leading feature of the Mavic is its camera, and no other mini drone out there can quite compare. Reviewers write that they were sold on the combination of the long, 16 minute flight time and the gimbal camera with added stability. People have captured some incredible shots, from towering landscapes to weddings to just plain selfies. The quality is quite impressive, too. The photos are virtually indistinguishable from that of a regular camera, and even appear higher resolution than your average smartphone photo.
Eachine’s mini quadcopter is a mini drone through and through–it can fit in the palm of your hand. Like the Mavic, it comes with 1080p realtime video transmission, along with trajectory, 3D flip, and one key return capabilities. Eachine isn’t as heralded as some of the leading drone companies, but its low price point and number of features makes it a worthy inclusion on the list.
This drone is perfect for beginners who haven’t quite gotten the hand of flying yet, or fear they might crash a more expensive craft. It’s a great pick for younger fliers too, as the added stunt capabilities makes it particularly fun to fly. The E61HW even pushes the limits with new VR compatibility, allowing you to see everything from the prospective of the drone. That alone makes it a great value for the price.
Shoppers on Amazon were quick to praise the Eachine mini drone for its inexpensive price point and minimal learning curve. Some people also noted the advanced smartphone controls as a plus, which use built in gravity sensing technology to control the craft with a tilt of the phone. Overall, the Eachine E61HW attracts high ratings for its great quality as an introductory drone with fast set up.
It’s important to note that the Eachine is by far the cheapest craft on the list. On Amazon, as of September 2019, it’s listed at $38.99 with Prime shipping. Drones with similar features by other companies retail for much higher, Eachine still seems to surpass them in quality. For those with price as their biggest concern, Eachine might be worth a look into.
The Potensic A30W comes at a higher price than Eachine’s E61HW, but its added features compensate for it. Like many of the top mini drones on the market, it has realtime wifi transmission and recording capabilities. What makes Potensic unique, however, is its ease of control and options for altitude hold when taking pictures.
If you’re interested in drones for photography purposes, then Potensic is one of the best options for mini drones. One touch take off, in air hold, and landing allows you to take pictures effortlessly. Its durable design makes it not only a great longterm investment, but a safer option as well for those who might not be the most experienced with flying drones.
The ease of control with Potensic’s A30W mini drone makes it a popular hit on Amazon. Some customers noted the ability to even fly indoors. Aside from its great value as a camera drone, Amazon customers repeatedly rated Potensic with 5 stars for the safety quality alone.
The drone has an added emergency stop function that makes it ideal for flying around children or public areas. Potensic rivals Eachine for its fast set up and easy care, also coming in at just under $100. The Potensic A30W is definitely a step up from a toy on a shelf, while still having an affordable price tag.
DJI makes its second appearance on the list, and for good reason too. The Spark is by far the most compact of all of their drones. The DJI name means top flying speeds, distance, and camera resolution. The spark clocks in at 31mph in sport mode, and has a 12mp resolution for still photos and 1080p for video.
One of the most attractive things about the spark, however, is the price. Retailing for just over $700, the Spark is a great alternative to DJI’s more advanced models, like the Mavic, which can be upwards of $1000. While the Spark doesn’t quite match up to the Mavic, it certainly exceeds any other mini drone on the market, camera or not. The compact revolutionary design makes it fantastic for hard to reach areas and ease of control. In addition to its stabilized camera, the 1.2 mile range control and GPS/vision based navigation make it a great flyer for landscapes, stunts, and competitions.
Some reviewers were concerned at the size of the drone, and whether or not its more compact size would indicate a decrease in quality or durability. The majority of Amazon customers, however, found that the drone exceeded expectations. The Spark, according to one person, held up after a 10 foot fall on concrete with only a few scuffs to show for it.
One issue that seemed to come up on the other hand was the lack of starter accessories. The Spark comes with a nice, padded, shock absorbing case, but it only holds the drone itself–not controllers or additional hardware. In addition, some reviewers noted the importance of having a good camera cover and additional props on hand, both of which the Spark comes without. In the event that your Spark ever does take some damage, DJI’s care program can take care of it for $60 a year.
UVify labels their OOri drone as “the world’s first smart racing drone,” and it certainly lives up to the name. The OOri has top speeds of 50mph, and the “performance tweaked” BLDC motors allow for daring dives and unbeatable precision. The camera is an added bonus, and unlike the other drones on the list, the UVify OOri has an on-screen video feed and display on the controller itself.
UVify packed the OOri with all kinds of features that are hard to find elsewhere. It comes with three modes: beginner, acro mode for tricks, and power mode for full performance in racing. A neat feature is the six color LEDs on the body that can be assigned to designate teams for competitive play.
The designers at UVify had speed in mind for all aspects of the design, including charging. A unique battery design allows for quick interchanging, and depleted batteries can return to full charge in under 30 minutes.
A number of Amazon customers were disappointed to find that the camera feed couldn’t be recorded on an SD card or a smart phone. Despite that, it still has hover capabilities making it useful if you’re into exploration. Another fault some customers found was that the controls were difficult, but not in the typical way of unresponsiveness. In fact, the controls were described by many as too responsive!
The OOri still redeems itself as being the fastest, most compact mini drone on the market. It’s designed to give a competitive edge, and its fine tuned technology does just that. While this drone might not be the best option for amateur enthusiasts or photographers, it sure is great for those looking to stand out with their hardware.
In just a few short years, drone technology has reinvented itself, and become more advanced and more accessible than ever. Mini drones are becoming the top choice for photographers, enthusiasts, and competitive racers. Leading drone companies are pushing themselves to create aircrafts with sharper clarity, better flight distances, and streamlined controls.
The top mini drones on the market all bear similar specs, but have unique options and functions that factor into their quality. Assessing your needs and budget can help you narrow down your search and navigate the increasingly condensed market. It’s a good idea to become aware of new releases and projects in the works, as new and improved models come out every year.
A regular mini drone or even a nano drone might come at a cheaper price, but the up-charge is worth it. Camera access is not only good for taking pictures, but can make a monumental difference in controlling the drone itself as well. The last thing you want to do is to wreck your new purchase, and having a good quality camera can prevent that from happening!
These five drones are all fantastic options for drone enthusiasts of any background. Backed by hundreds of other buyers, you can be sure that you get the most value for your money.