Over the years its been incredible the rise of the mini drones with cameras. Cameras used to be massive bulky things, mini cameras were the things of film and spies, and drones just didn’t exist. But now anybody with a bit of spare cash can get their hands on a tiny drone with an inbuilt camera.
Its amazing how tech has advanced and become available to anyone.
But there are so many mini drones with camera available, which one do you go for?
In this small article I will go through some of the tech, how it works and what you should look for in your new drone.
And we are talking mini drones here. The type you can fly around your home and dart in and out of table legs. Anything larger than your hand is getting a little large for this article!
What is a mini drone and how does it work?
The mini drone is a tiny drone, usually with a camera. It has a miniature camera on board and is controlled via remote from the user on the ground, usually via a radio handset, but sometimes its by infrared or via a smart phone.
These are the official size categories of drones from the casa, but sometimes manufacturers stray from these :
|Micro||100 g or less|
|Very small||101 g to 2 kg|
|Small||2.01 kg to 25 kg|
|Medium||25.01 kg to 150 kg|
|Large||More than 150 kg|
We actually have a full article on how a drone flies so you can click through to that if you want more info.
What to look for in a mini drone
The first thing you need to look at is the manufacturer. There are loads of cheap and nasty versions of mini drones, that are really only meant as toys. These drones should be avoided as they wont have the stability, controlability and camera quality that we want.
- Whats your budget? You can literally spend as much as you have on a mini drone. Set your budget before you start looking and try and stick to it.
- What do you need it for? If you want it for professional drone photography in tight spaces then you are going to have to pay more. If you just want to fly around your home playing about then you might be able to pay less.
Its also a good idea to search around on facebook groups or other forums to see what everyone else is talking about.
Anyway, enough of all that, which are the best mini camera drones?
Which are the best mini camera drones?
There are lot to choose from, but here are three of the most popular and a few points about what is making them so popular.
- Directly controlled from phone
- 1 key flips and tricks
- Headless mode
- 6-axis gyro flight control
- 10 minutes flight time and 45 meter range
- Great value and good build quality
- Looks impressive
- Single press take off and land
- Propeller guards for flying around the home
- In built gravity sensors to keep it stable
- Altitude hold keeps the drone stable
- Tiny and shiny with a great camera
- One of the best brands in drones today!
- Professional package
- 0.55lbs and folds into a neat little package
- Amazing camera for pro footage
- Up to 30 minute flight time
- Easily the best camera of any mini drone
Out of every mini camera drone, you really cant beat the DJI. So why was it not at number 1? Because its ten times the price of the others. Not everyone wants a professional camera drone.
Some good features to look for
If you don’t like the look of the drones above we wouldn’t blame you. After all there are literally thousands of mini drones with cameras on the market. So how do you choose? What are some great features of these modern quad-copter spy gadgets?
- Stability sensors. The more stable your mini drone is the more fun adn useful it will be. Without stability your drone will be a nightmare to fly. Unstable drones are just too difficult to fly and it makes the whole experience miserable.
- Auto return is a neat feature that means the drone will fly back to your position if its battery is about to die…Granted, its a rare feature on mini drones but you might be able to find it.
- Auto hovering is useful. It allows you to let go of the height controls and the drone will stay steady at that height.
- One key take off and landing. The drone takes off and lands almost by itself, you just tap one button and the drone either lands or takes off. simple.
- Headless Mode will allow you to control your drone much easier. Especially for the beginner. Drone headless mode makes the drone steering operate relative to the controller, rather than the direction the drone is pointing. Meaning the pilot doesn’t need to reverse the controls if the drone is pointing at you.
- Out of range alarm. An alarm sounds when the drone goes out of range.
- Auto flight routes. You can draw the flight path and the drone will pilot itself
But above all, look for a camera drone which meets your needs!