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It seems there’s always something new when it comes to drones. From manning sensitive military and rescue areas to luring drone hobbyists worldwide, these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) continue to evolve in the last few years!
For instance, some high-tech drones now come with improved flight time, speed, obstacle sensory range, and hover accuracy. But do you think drone evolution stops there? Wait till you hear night-vision drones.
Yes, that ability to see and capture videos and images even in low-light conditions. I just observed, though, that when it comes to flying drones at night, there is still confusion even for hobbyists.
Is it really allowed to fly these mini flying robots at night? The answer is an absolute yes. As long as you follow the basic safety rules (as published by the Federal Aviation Administration) in drone flying and you have a license to fly at night (if it’s for commercial purposes), then there’s no need to worry.
Below, we also look at the best drones with night vision. Take note, some don’t have built-in night vision (since there are only a few models with this feature), but are equipped with geothermal cameras instead so they can still see at night.
Let’s get started. Shall we?
The Walkera F210 professional drone is one of the UAVs with night vision cameras available in the market. At first glance, you’ll notice that this model has a standard equidistant axis design. You can also switch to three different flight modes using this drone: advanced, stabilizing, and intermediate.
Designed for speed, Walkera F210’s racer body is made out of lightweight carbon fiber materials. And to make it more durable, this professional drone was equipped with a protective cover motor design.
It also has a powerful brushless motor that helps boost its flight time and performance. Unlike other thermal drones or drones with thermal imaging cameras, this Walkera F210 has a night vision HD camera with one million pixels.
I think the best combination of this drone’s features is the adjustable angle HD camera with night vision.
Professional drone pilots who are looking for a fast, versatile, and maneuverable night vision drone that gives sharp and clear images in an almost pitch dark setting.
If you’re looking for a racing FPV drone with a night vision camera, then the SwagDrone 210-UP does not disappoint. In fact, this RTF (ready-to-fly) drone is composed of carbon fiber materials and is designed mainly for high-speed racing.
The main features that I especially like about this drone are the failsafe and locator modes that make it easier for pilots to retrieve their UAV as well as the 4-UP FPV goggles that give users a better way to control this unit when flying at high speeds.
Its uses are not limited to aerial photography as this model can also be used by law enforcement agents, fire departments, or firefighting operations, for public safety, roof inspections, search and rescue operations, and commercial inspection, among others.
However, if you’re looking for a drone with almost the same features as this model, you may check out DJI Phantom 4 Pro Version 2.0, BFight 210, and Flytrex m600.
Advanced pilots who want to capture stunning HD images and videos with wide-angle and night vision functions.
With features most comparable to DJI models, the Autel Robotics EVO II drone feels and looks durable. It boasts a durable frame and I like its light orange color that makes it easy to spot.
To house a bigger battery to power the drone for up to 40 minutes, Autel went bigger with this unit’s airframe. And when it comes to maneuvering and takeoff (or even flying in a straight line) Autel Robotics EVO II drone may not be as agile as the Mavic Air 2 (known for being adept and nimble even in narrow spaces), but you can maneuver it enough for a good drone flying experience.
People who are looking for a drone with a thermal imaging camera that can capture sharp, clear, and crisp photos and videos even at night.
Although thermal cameras are known for just being heat vision cameras and not exactly night vision, I included the Parrot Anafi in this list because of its features. Its Anafi thermal imaging makes it easy to identify, count, and observe species while you remain at a safe distance.
Thermal drones, like the Parrot Anafi, use thermal energy that is radiating off each living organism. This drone can help prevent illegal hunting and can be used by construction industry professionals when performing their building diagnosis and determining insulation voids and thermal losses.
This model can defect heat energy even in tough environmental conditions, like fog and rain.
Wildlife management and civil security experts as its ANAFI thermal makes it easy to identify hotspots (remotely) and count species even at night.
If you want a foldable and affordable drone with a night image function, then the SNAPTAIN A15H Foldable Drone should be on your list. This versatile drone gives a good night vision image and features a wider view when flying (120-degree Field of View).
It also gives high-quality images and video output. Another thing I appreciate about this model is that it comes with a gravity sensor mode and Intelligent Gesture and Voice Control functions.
Professional and beginner drone pilots who are looking for an affordable drone with a night vision camera
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DJI ZenMuse XT Thermal Camera
Yangda 30X Drone Camera
When choosing a thermal imaging or infrared imaging camera, consider the focus, working temperature range, color alarms, and resolution. Two of the most popular drone thermal cameras I would recommend are the FLIR Vue Pro R and Flir Duo Pro R.
But how does thermal imaging work? Well, thermal imaging converts infrared radiation to visible images that show relative temperature differences in an image or scene viewed by the drone with a thermal camera.
As a drone pilot, consider buying a drone with a live video feed. This is because it allows you to effectively see through the UAV’s eyes as if you are right there and makes flying the drone both safer and easier.
When shopping for a quadcopter with a built-in night vision camera, consider those that offer clear images or video of at least 1080p quality so you can make license plate numbers or faces even in low light conditions.
Flying drones and taking pictures using your drone at night can be an awesome experience! The footage is just unlike any other. I, for instance, prefer taking night photos of some city.
And if you want to know what I consider as the best drone in this list or category, then it would be the Walkera F210 Professional Night Vision Drone. I believe it’s one of the best-designed racing drones with easy control features and has fast flight performance, ideal for sports requirements.
It can also offer you a detailed image even on a cloudy day or at night. The only downside is that it has a non-removable battery and it only has a total flight time of 8 to 9 minutes once fully charged.
Nevertheless, it’s not easy to get a powerful quadcopter with the same design and feature set as what Walkera F210 offers.
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